Margaret Haines presented solo exhibition I dreamt in heaven at The Hague’s 1646 gallery which opened November 3 and is running to December 3.
The installation explores “the ethics and aesthetics of empathy,” through a multimedia arrangement. Sculpture, performance and text-based works are placed around the space, including an email correspondence between Haines and a neuroscientist who discuss the “evolutionary and developmental implications of empathy.”
A short film is also presented alongside the other works, using the language of editing, sound and body movement to create a fantastical image that follows a young motorcyclist riding through suburbia. The press release expands on the term ’empathy,’ noting that it is a recent one and has its roots in Greek meaning “obsession, intense emotional state, unbearable emotional engagement, positive or negative, hatred even.”**
Curated by Tallinn’s CCAEdirector Maria Arusoo and happening as part of the PERFORMA 17 program, the show reflects on a perceived shift “taking place in the realm of our aesthetic and emotional sensibilities.” The two Estonian artists present textiles, rugs, and clothing; sculpture and video, pondering the “deep mutation in the psychosphere” resulting from an overconsumption of virtual space.
Focussing on the female perspective, Estna and Metsalu — the latter of whom is also a member of Young Boy Dancing Group — attempt to address “this uncanny, post-accelerationist body in its new surroundings, questioning our state of turmoil, loneliness, and uncertainty surrounding the future.”
There will also be a specially-curated mini-bookshop by artist-founded, Tallinn-based publisher Lugemik, running as part of the exhibition during gallery hours and reflecting on the themes of the show.
Karelia-founded and now, according to Ivan Zoloto, “absolutely dislocated” Full of Nothing is releasing two so-called ‘sister albums,’ premiered and streaming exclusively on AQNB today.
Borrowing its title from the Russian label’s own motto, Moa Pillar‘s No Expectations is the second album by the producer also known as Fedor Pereverzev this year. The first one, called Hymns came out on vinyl in the summer, taking his maximalist sound to its psychedelic extreme: endless intros, hazy interludes and fever dreams. On No Expectations, however, Pereverzev balances it all out with short, direct dance floor ready tracks with a firm touch of romanticism and weirdness.
Zurkas Tepla, on the other hand, is new to the label. The mysterious Muscovite prefers not to share his photo online and uses a fake Lithuanian name for a moniker. He’s turned some heads with concept pieces Bank Robber and In The Same Car, released on Forest Swords’ Dense Truth. Tepla’s music is inspired by paranoia and a strange affection for rats and vehicles from 90s Russia. His records are often accompanied by written plays or visuals. Aptly-titled Permanent Research, this is Tepla’s first fully-fledged long-player, inviting the listener into the artist’s ‘meta-political post-digital dystopia.’**
The second iteration, with tickets available here, will host a night of stories, prompting you to dig into your memory bank, bringing you back to specific places like, “Sun Maid raisins, doing homework on staircases, or the middle seat of the car.”
The line up is yet to be released, and the hosts are still collecting names for the open mic for anyone keen to get involved.
What You Saying? is a newly run platform seeking to connect anyone interested in storytelling, from “bizarre to bonkers, serious to significant.”
“The gag doesn’t go much deeper than that unfortunately,” writes M.E.S.H., aka James Whipple, about the pun of the title ‘Elevator Piece,’ a work inspired by the auditory illusion of a rising pitch without ever shifting, called the Shepard tone. It’s showing as part of Berlin’s 3hd FestivalWhatever You Thought, Think Again group exhibition, running November 22 to 25. It’s unclear what the work will be but if his second album, HESAITIX, released via PAN on November 10, is anything to go by, it’ll surely be impressive.
Whipple’s production is special because it possesses an incredible subtlety and attention to detail that not a lot of other music that you’d also probably describe as noisy, post-industrial dance, has. A resident DJ of the trendsetting Berlin-based, American expat club collective (and also label) Janus, the California-born producer’s sound aligns itself with the high-tech intensity of affiliated artists like Lotic and Kablam, while at the same time differentiating himself by care and intricacy. That balance – of soft contrasts and dappled hues – comes across most succinctly in HESAITIX, where Whipple creates a cinematic narrative around a kind of technological Arcadia. Despite being recorded entirely on a digital audio workstation – for the most part in the picturesque surroundings of Umbria, no less – the music is so delicately put together that it sounds almost completely organic. The rhythm, clatter and animal calls come alive.
In communicating with Whipple via email, his conversation is equally understated and no less profound. Raised on occult interests and revisionist feminist anthropology, while coming out of a carried exploration of deep ecology and anti-humanism into the Utopian promise of Prometheanism, M.E.S.H. talks us through his fascination with nature and how we relate to it.
** There’s very much an element of film soundtrack to the album, and with the project you’re doing for 3hd, you mention being inspired by the Shepard tone that Hollywood film director Hans Zimmer often uses. What led you in this direction and do you imagine the record as a sort of sonic cinema?
James Whipple: I guess it comes from an interest in sonic manipulation. I also am curious about the way Hollywood works, the way all these three-and-a-half -hour films that are impossible to follow are churned out, but also how if you ignore the fundamental issues that make these films both hyper-lucrative and borderline unwatchable. There are all these artisans and technical people pushing things forward from a craft perspective. I think it’s important to increase the fidelity of our imaginative power and seize these tools from the pigs who control these industries.
**I think what I like most about your music is that it’s almost as if it doesn’t sound electronic at all, that it could be performed with live instruments. How do you come up with these percussive elements?
JW: This might not be a very exciting answer. But I like to work at a pretty low volume. I find it really jarring and uncomfortable to be blasting music all the time. So this somehow causes me to make sounds that are more ‘worked-on.’ Because if you work loud the sounds literally feel real, if you are working quietly they are more like a picture of a sound and require something more.
** With the titling and the use of these nature samples in the music, there’s very much this Arcadian quality to HESAITIX, at the same time as being repeatedly intruded on by more industrial electronic elements, what are you getting at with that?
JW: I don’t think I’m consciously trying to juxtapose these elements. But I definitely have a longing for wilderness, while also pretty much believing in a kind of Prometheanism. I would love to see the human race using about 10 times more energy, while protecting and expanding all wilderness areas on earth.
When I was younger, I was really attracted to deep ecology and anti-humanism because of the leftist bubble I grew up and was educated in. It was really powerful for me to be able to experience, for example, old-growth forests in Oregon, these types of places where an ecosystem is at its peak of complexity and resilience that feel almost psychedelic to stand in because they are exploding with life. I think humans that are deprived of these types of experiences are at more risk of psychosis. At the same time, we need to intensify human activity and technological progress to eventually end all suffering.
**From my position, I think it’s perfectly in keeping with this ‘organic simulation’ element to your work, which has been developing through earlier releases, is that something you’d agree with and is there something about this nature/technology, science/mythology nexus that attracts you?
JW: Yes and no. I don’t combine these elements because I want to make some kind of critique or set up a binary. I literally just want to live in paradise. When my music is harsh and grating, I feel ashamed and sorry. I think there is a moral imperative to increase the resolution of our dreams.
**You use some Latin (‘Nemorum Incola,’ ‘Diana Triplex’), as well as words that look like they could be Latin but appear made up (‘Ihnaemiauimx,’ HESAITIX), what’s going on there and why?
The press release includes only a brief narrative that asks the reader to step into the fantasy where “five stage flats represent a submerged raft. Two ghost lovers. Rose and Eros, wander, or float, deciding on what to make for dinner. The water is a calamity, a purgatory, a void, a luxury.”
DAMA is an independent art space within a baroque palace in the center of the city, run by Giorgio Galotti, Domenico De Chirico, João Laia, Greta Maria Galotti and Giovanna Repetto.**
Olga Fedorova presents solo exhibition Generic Jungle at London’s Annka Kultys Gallery opening November 15 and running to December 16.
The exhibition of new ‘lenticular pictures’ by Russian artist Fedorova will be the first solo exhibition at the gallery. While trained in painting, her present work has shifted towards a multi-media approach that highlights “passionate, wild and strange women.” Her interest in composition, new technology, animals and digital media among others things come together to intersect and create situations out of dreamlike protagonist scenarios.
Using a “tongue-in-cheek symbolism and oblique political commentary,” Fedorova looks at psycho-political states of anxiety through the symbol of ‘sexiness’ and female sensuality.
Looking at “the contemporary context of archeology and museology,” the installation explores display elements through the lens of 3D virtual reality and is a continuation of a previous show by Õllek When You Have the Object Itself in Front of Your Eyes.
The pair also recently collaborated on an instagram show Exhibit_onscroll exploring similar themes of image representation and “dematerialisation within observing the format of an exhibition.”**