The Artissima international fair of contemporary art is taking place at various locations across Turin, running from November 3 to 6.
Now in its 23rd edition, the renowned project brings together 193 galleries from 34 countries, and is host to over 52,000 visitors. Directed by Sarah Cosulich, this year’s Main Section of the fair will be held at the Ovalin the glass pavilion that was originally built for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
The fair is split into seven sections: The Main Section, which includes 105 carefully selected galleries, Back to the Future, focussing on the re-discovery of avant-garde works, Present Future,dedicated to emerging artists, Per4m, devoted exclusively to performance art, New Entries for emerging galleries, and Art Editions, which hosts limited prints and editions, as well as Dialogue, a section for specific commissioned projects.
The show, a brand new collection of work by the London/Berlin-based artist, will feature “two humanoid robots and a robot dog” and explores our relationship with the machine. The installation places itself within the movement of data and intelligence, focusing on the emotional impact of our relationship with technology, and the unfolding vulnerabilities that evolve alongside.
Drawing from a variety of sources within science, theatre, film and technology, the exhibition invites the viewer into “a narrative loop that unfolds across multiple screens, robots, a fountain and other sculptural elements.”
The event will include a screening of London and Berlin-based artist Cécile B. Evans‘ ‘Hyperlinks or It Didn’t Happen’ (2014) video work, along with LA writer, teacher and X-TRA editorial board member Leslie Dick speaking on Sarah Charlesworth‘s 1980 photo series ‘Stills’. Dick will then be joined in conversation with LA-based artist and writer Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, moderated by Brica Wilcox.
Both Charlesworth and Evans’ works address ideas of the image, life and death; where the former explores the role of the image-maker in her six-and-a-half foot tall images of people plunging to their demise. The latter’s video piece contemplates data after dying through its posthumous avatar-narrator resembling the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
The themes of the show tackle identity in the digital age, examining a world in which Instagram and Twitter follows and likes create the feeling (and sometimes reality) of fame. Like Warhol predicted, everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame—except it might be more like 15 seconds.
Co-Workers – Network as Artist, running from October 9 till January 31 at Musée de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, presents the work of artists emerged in the 2000s and whose practices deal mainly with networking and systems of exchange that displace the anthropocentric position of the subject, outweighing its human scale. It comes as one of two exhibitions, the other being Co-Workers: Beyond Disaster at Bétonsalon, Centre for Art and Research, focussing more on the way people interact with their environment and how disasters impact and transform us collectively.
In Co-Workers one can discern echoes from the 1985 Les Immatériaux at Centre Georges Pompidou. Organised by Jean-Francois Lyotard and Thierry Chaput, director at the Centre de Création Industrielle, it questioned mainly how our relationship to the world had changed. Stating how materiality had lost its criteria of identification and that dematerialisation was but a word that constitutes the materiality of material, Lyotard foresaw the scenario that we are presented with today.
The notion of co-working is illustrated, perhaps too cohesively by the scenography, designed by New York art collective DIS. Approaching the exhibition with their signature fluidity whereby they manage to subdue most divergences, they create a space in flux, the transitions between the individual works are generally smooth, resembling a working area with no clear delineation between private and public space. This dimension is particularly present in DIS’s installation, ‘The Island (KEN)’ (2015), a composite kitchen bench and shower in the room that’s host to talks and performances. The installation becomes a kind of mainframe to the exhibition, providing a reading or a point of entry to the other works.
Parker Ito’s 24 image series are the first works you encounter in the space. The images are made up of a material that responds to light. This, coupled with the superimposed images, gives the impression that they are constantly changing and re-materialising. Ito’s work thus introduces the first topic of the exhibition: ‘Circulation and Rematerialisation of Images’.
Further on, Cecile B. Evans’ ‘Working on What the Heart Wants’ (2015) is a prototype for a work that will be presented at the 2016 Berlin Biennale, also curated by DIS. It’s an installation made up of a three channel work, where Evans presents a 3D environment on the left side, a video showing a character with wavering emotions in the centre, and a chat with freelancers that were asked to work on the production on the right.
The notion of mutability and consciousness –especially during times of emotional agitation and change –is further developed in Ian Cheng’s ‘Emissary in the Squat of Gods’ (2015). It’sthe first episode in a new series of works made up of two parts. The first shows a preconscious primitive community faced with a geological catastrophe. The second shows a character coming out of a volcano, as his consciousness starts to grow.
Similarly Hito Steyerl’s ‘Liquidity, Inc.’ (2014), presents an installation that represents a time of crisis and impending catastrophe, while questioning our response to this situation. It’s an installation piece made up of a screen that divides the room in two. On the entrance side, vertically positioned blue foam benches direct you to the other side of the screen where one finds a tsunami-like cushioned area made of the same material.
Placed at the exit is Ed Atkins’ darkly humorous video ‘Even Pricks’ (2015). The work deals with depression and the inability to express a deeper connection than is afforded through emoticons. Following that one finds the self-proclaimed “exhibition within an exhibition”, a curatorial contribution from by a long-term research and multi-platform project 89plus, founded by Simon Castets and Hans-Ulrich Obrist. Their project, presenting work by a younger generation of artists born in or after 1989 –a year marked by the fall of the Berlin wall and the introduction of the World Wide Web –is cut-off from the rest of the exhibition, contained in a glass booth right next to the exit.
Certain aspects of Lyotard and Chaput’s 1985 exhibition remain central and recurrent in 2015’s Co-Workers. It presents as an exhibition dramaturgy of the complex relationship between objects and subjects and new materialism. On an aesthetic level this is vastly explored here, there could be more engagement with an ethical discourse concerned with its themes that goes beyond an aestheticization of the subject. Thirty years on, it’s a problem that’s not yet been resolved. **
The new exhibition, which takes its title from the name of a fictional, post-iPhone device found in Gary Shteyngart’s 2010 near-future novel Super Sad True Love Story, is about “the mammalian hand, and the tools it touches, holds and uses”. DJ Mike Simonetti will be playing in the Ballroom Marfa courtyard following the opening reception.
London’s Studio_Leigh has invited 27 artists to explore the value of art in a group exhibition that will launch with a private viewing on September 24.
The more than two dozen participating artists—which include Cecile B. Evans, Matt Ager and Laurence Owen—taking part in the gallery’s inaugural show, provide works that consider how their individual artistic biases interact and overlap with the materiality and function of art.
“The resultant works,” the press release states, “all aim to extend the artists’ inherent visual or conceptual interests into the quotidian.” The exhibition will be accompanied by an essay from Amy Sherlock, Reviews Editor of Frieze.
Featuring artists based across the timezones of New York, LA and London, both presentations take time and space as key themes. Send Cycle is an “urgent combination of the high and low tech” in its combined staged photography and found images (or, perhaps, objects) taken from the internet. The Monopole Memory installation explores memory as its own place, that in turn is physically realised in the Der Würfel eighty-centimetre cubed project space.
A new exhibition titled Plagiarist of My Unconscious Mind! is opening up at LA’s Chateau Shatto on July 21 and running until August 29, with a proper opening reception on July 24.
The group exhibition combines works by Peggy Ahwesh, Cécile B. Evans and George Egerton-Warburton, with an extended installation of Rose Hobart (1936),artist Joseph Cornell’s 18-minute surrealist edit of the 1931 film East of Borneo, starringRose Hobart in the lead role (the idea for which he was later accused by the booming ego of Salvador Dalí as plagiarizing, somehow).
For Plagiarist of My Unconscious Mind!, Château Shatto revisits the first presentation of Cornell’s film, converting it back to black and white and projecting in through a piece of blue glass, accompanied by the soundtrack of 78 rpm records playing alongside the film.
Always Brian (TI AMO) owes its title to street art. The only evidence of an underground language exposed in the light of day, the words could mean a range of things, their semantics depending on any number of factors that are too many to quantify. It doesn’t stop people and their programmes from trying though, with linguistic inquiry and word count text analysis software (LIWC) being one of them. It’s this purported window into the “emotional and cognitive worlds” of any given social media user that provides an interesting launching point for this group exhibition. Organised by 63rd-77th STEPS and running January 16 to 18, the show becomes an obtuse inquiry into the implications of the monitoring and manipulation of peoples’ very moods and the way we read them via the text they choose to share.
The three day exhibition marked a year since Fabio Santacroce founded the aforementioned “art staircase”, that often exhibits off-site, by taking up residence across the three rooms where the spray-paint tag of ‘Brian’ and his love were discovered at the train station of Bari, Italy. It acts as a nucleus in a synaptic network of information shared between nine artists that include Rosa Ciano, Benjamin Asam Kellogg, Lucia Leuci and Yuri Pattison; their self-contained clusters of personalised information presenting images and objects as codes and signifiers that can be read any number of ways.
Jasper Spicero‘s wall-hung iPad featuring a generic looking bedroom is tangled up inside a web of taut and tied-together shoelaces. Cecile B. Evans‘ dancing animated scissors are singing Sade’s ‘No Ordinary Love’ through the stilted tonal blocks of a Vocaloid application in a projection of ‘How happy a Thing can be‘ (2014). Matthew Landry‘s ‘Whisper’ collection of personalised image-board posts tacked to a couple planks of wood announce “MY BEST FRIEND MAKES ME UNCOMFORTABLE” and “Ummm”. Amalia Ulman‘s slide show presentation ‘The Future Ahead’ (2014) video – also shown at the artist’s The Destruction Of Experience solo exhibition in London last year – takes Justin Bieber as a starting point to exploring femininity in terms of masculinity and teen girl fandom: “he’s still monetizing on their prepubescent love-business”.
Before you read into the following riddle that is the Always Brian (TI AMO) presentation text – assembled from a harvest of status updates, mail and conversations – spare a thought for the fact that Santacroce himself describes it as “fragments from conversation mixed with personal considerations and turned into a “fractured”, hyper-textual poetry without any specific revealing intent”.
“Always Brian (TI AMO), Corso Italia and a burnt kebab. I like how you fall in sleep on trains, you feel fastened to Earth. Leaves are lying about their agony and we have all been gifted with a YEAR IN REVIEW. It tastes iron. Entertaining revolution, performed poverty, wealthy orgasm. Kamut year. DID YOU UPGRADE YOUR REVERENCE? Happiness is not a cinematographic effect and you have been approving only “first class” tags. LINGUISTIC INQUIRY AND WORD COUNT.”
Each sentence bares a semantic logic all it’s own like the exhibition of artworks it introduces. Its artists’ ability to communicate relies heavily on their association with last year’s 63rd – 77th STEPS programme, as well as their nebulous interrelation between one another, almost entirely by virtue of using text as material, and fragments as form. Understanding that might get you closer to the artists’ intentions, but it also might not. **
The ongoing Lunch Bytes Structures and Textures discussion series continues in Finland with The Status of the Object taking place at Helsinki’s Sinne on September 9, from 5 to 7pm.
Running as part of the European Edition discussion programme, The Status of the Object takes on hyper-interconnectivity and the buzz surrounding the “internet of things”, inviting four speakers from difference disciplines to discuss the repercussions of formerly (and formally) inanimate objects showing signs of agency.
Featuring talks with writer and artist Jenna Sutela, philosopher Marcus Steinweg, artist Cécile B. Evans, and media professor Lily Díaz, The Status of the Object uses Graham Harman’s “object-oriented ontology” as a starting point in its investigation of the inanimate object and our limited knowledge of its possibilities.
Named after the neurological phenomenon of a body part, even organ, that’s missing or amputated but still felt in its absence, the Phantom Limbs group exhibition expressed a dearth in its abundance. Running at London’ s Pilar Corrias between June 27 and August 1, eight artists exploring “notions of consciousness” within a digitally mediated existence were presented across its two floors.
Ken Okiishi‘s ‘E.lliotT.: Children of the New Age’ (2004) presented a surreal look into a mediated suburban dead end via amateur aesthetics and the disembodied mumblings of its performers, featured in its own white box display just across from Charlotte Prodger‘s ‘Compression Fern Face (2014)’ installation. A Sony reference monitor displayed a 3D animation filtering human experience through found texts in the latter artist’s work, YouTube clips, 16mm film and spoken narratives presented as “two coded abstract symbols move in tension with each other” on the screens white, framed background.
Philippe Parreno‘s ‘Happy Ending, Stockholm, Paris, 1996, 1997’ (2014), one of ten transparent glass scultpures, stands near the gallery reception, as easily overlooked as when an earlier incarnation of the work mysteriously disappeared from a 1996 solo exhibition. Antoine Catala‘s ‘: )’ (2014) and ‘(::( )::) (bandaid)’ (2014) are emoticons made material and moving on a motor on the floor beneath ‘Storage’ (2014) – an image of a fridge with an impress of pot and pan in it – while Ian Cheng‘s live computer simulations, stood in a corner across, present basic algorithms acting as “DNA that seeds the generation of endless, mutating sequences of behaviours between objects and characters”.
Films by Rachel Rose and Cécile B. Evans, ‘Palisades in Palisades’ (2014) and ‘The Brightness’ (2013) appear in the darkened downstairs. The former is a 3D monitor featuring choreographed, rootless teeth and an interview with a Phantom Limb specialist, also called Cécile B. Evans, her speech consciously and self-reflexively out of sync with the movement of her mouth. The latter uses scripted, documentary and post-production processes to explore the major consequences of “images and data overflowing from the flat surfaces of the screen” across historical timelines, while Alisa Baremboym‘s ‘Leakage Industries: Clear Conduit’ (2012) – a sculptural construction of organic and synthesised materials converged and suspended from the ceiling – flows top-down but is constrained by its context as the materials list describes its product as “dimensions variable”.
From here, other works by the same artists intersperse the two floors across media, including the sculptural incarnation of the CGI of Evans’ ‘The Brigthness’ in ‘Lost, Teeth’ (2014) and Okiishi’s ‘Holding my arm/phone above the visual barrier to see it becoming a cyborg’ (2013 – 2014) inkjet print wallpaper confusing notions of space, materiality and authorship. Together they reveal a chilling examination of a language and experience in perpetual, ungraspable, motion. **
The event is part of an ongoing Jerwood Encounters exhibition titled TTTT, composed of artists exploring both sculpture and digital work through new forms and materialities, including Oliver Laric and Benedict Drew.
With the concept of the ‘digital native’ being such a contentious issue, perhaps spambot ‘AGNES’ –the first ever digital commission from the Serpentine and curator of digital Ben Vickers –is its truest incarnation.
Apparently born in ’98 and ‘living and working’ at the Gallery website, AGNES’ disembodied hands and voice leads her viewer through a personalised tour of a WWW dystopia, that can lead anywhere from a wikipedia page on sleep deprivation to a video narrative from the perspective of a sentient, English-speaking chicken.
Based between London and Berlin, Cécile B. Evans produced a video work in the surrounds of Palazzo Peckham during this year’s Venice Biennale. The buzz of the major art exhibition, the collective launched American Medium Network, illustrating the growing engagement with popular culture and mass media by emerging artists and Evans’ video piece is no different.
Here she intersperses footage of the art space with obscured female head features and gaudy graphics with a pitched-down narrative of modern malaise before pulling out a quote from Ciara’s ‘Like a Boy‘: “we’d be out. Four in the morning, on the corner rolling, doing our own thing”. Theuneasycollusion of art and popular culture just got a whole lot more unsettling. **