Leslie Kulesh

Sour Grapes @ Sorbus Gallery, Sep 23 – Oct 9

20 September 2016

The Sour Grapes group exhibition is onat Helsinki’s Sorbus gallery, opening September 9 and running to October 10.

The show spans a variety of media, from sculpture to painting, textile, as well as poetry. Featured artists include Jan Anderzén, who produces experimental music and images, and poet and dance artist Sini Silveri from Tampere; Stockholm-based Zoe Barcza &mdashartist and founding member of London’s Auto Italia; London-based artist Leslie Kulesh; Lahti-based Mikko Luostarinen who works in drawing and comics; and Helsinki-based sculptor Hermanni Saarinen.

Sorbus is a non-profit artist-run space running since 2013 and host to a diverse programme of events and exhibitions by artists like Jaakko Pallasvuo, Anna Zett and Kimmo Modig, as well as group shows like Jupiter Woods’ Longshore Drift in May.

Visit the Sorbus webpage for more details.**

Leslie Kulesh, 'World Interiors' (2016). Installation view. Courtesy the artist + Savoy Centre for Glasgow International.
Leslie Kulesh, ‘World Interiors’ (2016). Installation view. Courtesy the artist + Savoy Centre for Glasgow International.

Header image: Leslie Kulesh ‘Anthropo-scenester’ (2016). Detail. Courtey the artist.

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New Noveta @ Cell Project Space, Jul 21

18 July 2016

New Noveta will be presenting new work Govore at Cell Project Space on July 21.

The performance artist duo are showing as a part of the exhibition currently on at the East London gallery, is it rude or polite to leave the room, featuring work by Leslie Kulesh and Nina Cristante, and will leave a permanent mark on the show for the remainder of its duration, according to the press release.

New Noveta recently performed at Berlin’s Sandy Brown, which aqnb reviewed, and which saw the duo, Keira Fox and Ellen Freed dancing chaotically and screaming over the intense accompanying soundtrack. At the upcoming event, they are collaborating with Vindicatrix, who’s music is described as hypnotic and wonderful and who has previously worked with artists Morag Keil and Georgie Nettell.

See the Cell Project Space website for more details.**

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Glasgow International 2016, Apr 7 – 25

6 April 2016

Glasgow International, the biennial festival of contemporary art spread across Scotland’s largest city, is in its 11th year and this time will host artists from all over the world between April 7 to 28.

Directed by Sarah McCrory, the event holds shows small and large: invited and commissioned at large galleries like Tramway, or self-organised in flats and other public or non public addresses.

Here is a list of aqnb recommendations spanning the two weeks:

See the Glasgow International programme page for more details.**

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Veins of Gypsum Mortar (2015) exhibition photos

4 December 2015

Veins of Gypsum Mortar ran at Ashley Berlin between July 17 to August 1 2015. Artists Viktor Briestensky and Adam Shiu-Yang Shaw invited several other artists to show with them in a dimly lit room full of shadows in the space formally known as Other Projects. The title presents an altering thought that the part (mortar) that holds and seals things (gypsum) together is maybe the things themselves: too, or instead of. Gypsum is a material found present in chalk, alabaster and other forms of plaster. Many of the works in the small internal room seem as though they have swallowed chalk.

Leslie Kulesh‘s piece, ‘T.A.H. Temporary Autonomous Home (Survival Pillow Set)’ (2015) is made and therefore protected with PET film, a transparent polyester film which blocks the following waves: thermal, micro, and electro magnetic -as the materials list on Ashley Berlin’s website describes. There are two pillows. They are very close to each other, held together by a strap that makes them sit back to back. The foam pieces on their insides are visible – each granule.

Adam Shaw, 'Yucca Rose' (2015) Install view. Trevor Good, Courtesy Ashley Berlin.
Adam Shiu-Yang Shaw, ‘Yucca Rose’ (2015) Install view. Trevor Good, Courtesy Ashley Berlin.

On to one of the stone walls in the room Berlin-based artist Marco Bruzzone sticks soft, barbecue-sized marshmallows into the shape of a ‘T’ or a cork-screw or a drill and its called ‘get out fast’ (2015). Andrea Lukic shows three short recent videos -including the haunting ‘Christine Nicole’ (2014) -all wrapped up in in a square monitor, which is all wrapped up in transparent plastic and is also a place for Parisian artist Antoine Renard‘s piece of ground beef (‘untitled’, 2015) to sit.

Artist and co-founder of New York’s Tomorrow Gallery, Aleksander Hardashnakov shows several small drawings pasted to the walls and interior piping, Adam Shiu-Yang Shaw’s ‘Yucca Rose’ and ‘Beyond Quartzite’ are also on the walls, coming out like small cliffs on a bigger cliff face. Viktor Briestensky presents some masks, which also come out from the wall – or the weird melting shadow shape carved into the wall directly behind them. For ‘untitled (hood)’/ ‘untitled (mask)’ 2015 Briestensky swaps facial features for metal grates and eyes for silver foil goggles. 

With no press release to speak of Veins of Gypsum Mortar is instead made up of casts, hollow things, lamps, lighting and things used as padding or stuffing -marshmallows included, maybe. **

Exhibition photos, top right.

The Veins of Gypsum Mortar group exhibition was on at Berlin’s Ashley from July 16 – August 1.

Header image: Veins of Gypsum Mortar (2015). Exhibition view. Trevor Good, Courtesy Ashley, Berlin.

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Laura Yuile @ Vulpes Vulpes, Jul 2 – 26

1 July 2015

Vulpes Vulpes is bringing artist Laura Yuile for a new solo exhibition titled The Capital, running at the London space from July 2 to July 26.

The South London artist group and project space welcomes the UK artist and her new body of work, which considers “spaces of economic speculation and investment on both global and individual bases”, and how the architecture of speculation, and the presence of hope, can impact the frameworks around us.

The exhibition, running concurrently with Yuile’s group show Business as Usual at Turf and her two-artist show Co-Pourri with Leslie Kulesh at Caustic Coastal, includes a new video work as well as a series of sculptures that examine the relationship between systemic global conditions and networks and the local, domestic sphere. Yuile will also deliver a presentation about her research and some of the questions the exhibition raises with a special guest speaker on July 18.

See the exhibition page for details. **

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Club Caligula (2015) exhibition photos

19 June 2015

What a group of artists intend in cushioning themselves under the calamitous umbrella of the Caligula name is open for discussion. He was not a man known for his military or intellectual prowess, nor his humanitarian leanings; he was excessive, giving his pet horse a marble stall equipped with an ivory manger, and brilliantly vindictive, assassinating the very people that helped put him into power within the year. Nonetheless, Club Caligula, Stefania Batoeva‘s recent curation at Supplement Gallery in London, has joined her with three other artists under the questionable patronage of the mad ruler, whose feats of waste and carnage during his short four-year reign led him to be the first Roman emperor to be assassinated.

The Sofia-born and London-based artist continued her busy year with the small group show, this time modifying the London art space and inviting three fellow artists to collaborate and contribute to the exhibition. The once-bare gallery was transformed into a kind of South Beach, if South Beach knew about minimalism: white vinyl covered the floors, which had been transformed into a dance floor, chrome bar stools stood as if waiting for customers to sip sugary cocktails, and the windows wore PVC covering to block out the imagined hot Miami sun.

Club Caligula (2015) exhibition view. Image courtesy Supplement.
Club Caligula (2015) exhibition view. Image courtesy Supplement.

On the walls, Batoeva displays a series of new paintings, her characteristic large-scale canvases swathed in colour, but brighter this time, bloodier. The paintings, who abstraction only shows the glimmers of bodies or scenes, nonetheless spell disaster—they are aggressive, hostile, illustrating battles won and lost and suffered. Joining Batoeva in the exhibition were three international artists. From Berlin (and sometimes Sweden), Batoeva had invited artist and musician Ilja Karilampi. For Club Caligula, Karilampi produced a dubplate mix ripped from his Downtown Ilja radio show on Berlin Community Radio. The mix, to be played throughout the exhibition, came with a collection of vinyl stickers created in collaboration with Batoeva and distributed in various corners of the art space, displaying lyrics, tags, logos, and rules.

Batoeva invited the two remaining artists, Leslie Kulesh and Isaac Lythgoe, from London, where both are based. Kulesh, who returned to her limited “technomadic” womenswear collection, Temporary Autonomous Girl (TAG), for inspiration had transformed the existing pillars of the gallery with padded, digitally printed, electro magnetic resistant fabric used in TAG, while Lythgoe presents a sliding door-like piece called with a mouthful of a title, ‘here he is a serious dog, a democratic dog, but he doesn’t think he’ll spend a lot of time at the party today’ (2015).

Exhibition photos, top right. 

Club Caligula ran at Supplement Gallery from April 3 to May 2, 2015.

Header image: Ilja Karilampi, ‘Espressen’ (2015). Courtesy Supplement.

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Stefania Batoeva + co. @ Supplement, Apr 2 – May 2

31 March 2015

London art space Supplement is bringing artist Stefania Batoeva, joined by three other artists, for Club Caligula on April 2.

Batoeva mostly works with painting, creating large-scale canvases swathed in colour, often running high on blues, whites, and greys. She is joined for Club Caligula by Swedish-born and Berlin-based artist Ilja Karilampi, who also runs a radio show on Berlin Community Radio.

The other two artists joining Batoeva are American-born and London-based artist Leslie Kulesh, and British artist Isaac Lythgoe.

See the exhibition page for details. **

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K.I.S.S @ Generation & Display, Mar 20 – May 2

19 March 2015

Generation & Display is celebrating its inaugural exhibition at their new North West location with a massive group show titled K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid!) and running from March 20 to May 2.

While no description is given about the thematics or aesthetic leanings of the show, its lengthy list of participants gives an idea of what to expect. Included in the line-up are Paul Kneale, Jesse Darling and Ben Vickers, who are simultaneously participating in the Berlin Lunch Bytes conference that weekend.

In fact, the line-up features many familiar names, from Holly White and Huw Lemmey, to Takeshi ShiomitsuLeslie Kulesh, Mat Jenner, Megan Rooney, Harry Burke, and Hannah Black, along with about 15 others.

See the exhibition FB page for details. **

BODIES AGAINST THINGS by Caspar Heinemann.


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Vanity Fair | Demo Mode @ Project Native Informant, Jan 14

13 January 2015

Project Native Informant is bringing artists Leslie Kulesh and Sæmundur Þór Helgason together for an evening titled Vanity Fair | Demo Mode, taking place on January 14.

No information is given about the nature of the exhibition, or even its predominant medium, but knowing Kulesh’s work – ranging from her T.A.G. “post-digital” clothing collection to her “Glamourshotz”©®™ show at Lima Zulu – it’s going to be full of pop culture references.

Goldsmiths MFA graduate Helgason’s work is less familiar to us, but curated by artist Cory Scozzari – who recently contributed to the group show Do I want an Old Fashioned? – it’ll be interesting, we can guess that much.

See the Project Native Informant website for (limited) details. **

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Antoine Renard @ Center, Dec 18 – Feb 14

17 December 2014

Center is bringing a new exhibition by Antoine Renard titled Jurassic Haze to close out the year, running at their Berlin space from December 18 to February 14.

Renard was one of two artists who, together with Clémence de La Tour du Pin (as well as curators Elise Lammer and Emiliano Pistacchi), put together the EDENunlimited/tbc.tbc collaborative project back in the Fall of this year. Renard and du Pin were also the masterminds behind the recent ‘Seasons into the Abyss’ video.

The latest exhibition at Center unites Renard with artists Sandra Vaka Olsen (of the forest-dwelling Stoneroses group exhibition) and Tore Wallert, and brings a VR video night on January 29, as well as Leslie Kulesh with Hotel Palenque on closing night.

See the exhibition FB page for details. **

coeval.gen.in (Clemence de La Tour du Pin and Antoine Renard), ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ (2014) from aqnb.com on Vimeo.


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The Conch @ SLG, Oct 29

29 October 2014

The Conch series returns with a new sold-out event tonight, taking place at the Clore Studio of the South London Gallery at 7pm.

The series brings together presentations of new works and commissioned writing by artists and writers considered emerging, using the format of an open forum to invite critical discussion and feedback in a relaxed atmosphere.

Tonight’s event brings presentations by artist and educator Annie Davey, artist and designer Leslie Kulesh, artist Laura Morrison, writer and lecturer Laura Guy, artist Christopher Kulendran Thomas and D.G. Turk.

See SLG’s event page for details. **


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Leslie Kulesh @ Lima Zulu, Oct 17 – 22

17 October 2014

London’s Lima Zulu is opening its doors for “Glamourshotz”©®™, a pop-up contemporary portrait studio running as part of Leslie Kulesh‘s performance exhibition from October 17 to October 22.

Opening during London’s dizzying Frieze Art Fair, Glamourshotz invites visitors to get a free portrait taken, digitally finished by Kulesh using Photoshop techniques like watermarking and airbrushing, and available for purchase or free digital copies. As the show rolls on, the portraits will collect and hang at the gallery space, the exhibition becoming itself through the process.

Exploring not only our reflections in today’s image-obsessed culture, but our social acceptance of them as such, Kulesh’s show obliquely references the phenomena and movements of modern culture: the cult of the selfie, the filters that remove us from definition, etc.

See the Lima Zulu exhibition page for details. **


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‘T.A.G.’ collection by Leslie Kulesh launched Sep 26

29 September 2014

Leslie Kulesh has released an edition collection of womenswear pieces “for today’s post-digital lifestyle” called ‘T.A.G. Temporary Autonomous Girl’ and launched by the American artist on September 26.

With ‘T.A.G.’, Kulesh has taken the idea of post-digital art and applied it to clothing, and so to the body, building on her ideology of jumping on the “mass wave of digital representation that was washing over us, and using it to our advantage”.

The six-piece collection consists of three outerwear garments as well as three base-layer pieces designed to provide “real world support”. She’s re-worked a men’s fly fishing vest to include 14 pockets, including those designed specifically for smartphones and lined with an electromagnetic protective fabric called Colbaltex.

Similarly, the base layer pieces feature holes at the knee and elbow joints equipped with “Crystal Catalyst 3-Hole Resonators that transform Electro Magnetic Frequencies into harmonious frequencies and foster a ‘stress-free’ environment for your body to function in”.

See the ‘T.A.G. Temporary Autonomous Girl’ website for details. **

Screen shot 2014-09-29 at 12.34.36 PM

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It’s been four years since 2010 @ Arcadia Missa reviewed

19 June 2014

Generously welcoming a criteria-less variety of media and personal exploration, the It’s been four years since 2010 group exhibition at London’s Arcadia Missa illustrates the value and undeniable power of instinct. A shared anniversary show of sorts between the UK and Mexico’s Preteen Gallery, the guttural curation of invited artworks by the latter’s Gerardo Contreras is something that feels very new, and at first, rather hard to grasp. But don’t be put off by initial, elusive confrontation. This show makes one work hard to break down institutional expectations, revealing something gloriously elementary.

What’s immediately noticeable on entering the gallery is that nothing really seems to match, other than a subtly shared notion of a kind of confused, apocalyptic expression along mixed media littering the space in the room and around the walls. A pillowcase, pasted Morrisons shopping bags, a disposable camera photo, paint, a boxy old TV, and moving image showcasing glitched layers of sexualised needle usage happily exist among one another –and the resulting atmosphere isn’t immediately recognisable.

It's been four years since 2010 at Arcadia Missa with Preteen Gallery, June 2014. Exhibition view. Courtesy Arcadia Missa.
It’s been four years since 2010 at Arcadia Missa with Preteen Gallery, June 2014. Exhibition view. Courtesy Arcadia Missa.

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge’s layered collage combines framed text and coloured visual, while Phoebe Collings-James’ child-like line paintings incited an overheard conversation suggesting they could have been produced while high. Nightmarish sketches of bizarre shapes and characters from both Luis Miguel Bendaña and Abdul Vas were no different, while a hanging, ‘talking sculpture’ made from cut-down Australian Banksia nuts provided the only offer of natural materials from Lewis Teague Wright.

Although interesting in themselves, focusing too much on each piece isn’t necessarily helpful when exploring Contreras’ aim with the exhibition. Only when the works are understood as a collective does the exhibition come together, and since all of them are so different, it’s surprising how simple and unified the ambitions of both Arcadia Missa and Preteen seem to be.

Without being material-led, the show and each artists’ work presents physical making as an intuitive act of expression. Simultaneously (and critically), the curator’s work appears to immediately react to that, and what is beautiful about Contreras’ approach is the visceral way in which this is executed. When asked, he told me that “curation is spiritual stimulation”, and as a celebration rather than a critique, It’s been four years since 2010 is an instinctive gathering of works without order, which for the curator, manages to elevate the art beyond its tangible meaning. The performance by O F F Love’s Simon Guzylack (with visuals from Leslie Kulesh) later on in the evening exemplified this idea. A projector showcasing an intriguing series of hand gestures executed by a group of webcam users and artists set the backdrop for an emotive musical performance. Wearing a caged, flowery mask, Guzylack’s ambiguous lyrics were contorted by various different electronic effects. Ambling bpm allowed for a trance-like, mellow tone, and despite being unable to connect to a figurative narrative in the artist’s song, the audience was certainly taken on a journey by the expressive sounds and movements involved.

It's been four years since 2010 at Arcadia Missa with Preteen Gallery, June 2014. Exhibition view. Courtesy Arcadia Missa.
It’s been four years since 2010 at Arcadia Missa with Preteen Gallery, June 2014. Exhibition view. Courtesy Arcadia Missa.

By encouraging this kind of detached objective, It’s been for years since 2010 promotes both personal and collective dialogues –an act which directly relates to Arcadia Missa’s curatorial position as an established, independent gallery. By recognising the institutional nature of contemporary curation, an appreciation of different ways to work allows for exhibitions like this one to shine.

A brief conversation with Arcadia Missa co-curator Rozsa Farkas illuminated me further. She talked about letting the show and the works within it exist just as they are, rather than framing them with the agenda of the gallery or the curator. As she explains, what follows is a space for a show that makes no distinction between studio and gallery, bringing the studio to the viewer rather than trying to reform an artist’s practice into a finished product. It’s a good way to work, and the respect between all involved in the exhibition for this reason is evident.

This notion of respect runs deeper both within It’s been for years since 2010 and the collaboration between Arcadia Missa and Preteen gallery itself. Connecting originally on twitter and forming a ‘love affair’, the bond between Contreras and Farkas was described to me as cosmic: “we were meant to meet up and sync up so crazily on so many levels, so it was a cosmic thing this show we made happen” Creating a platform to support their community of artists is high on Arcadia Missa’s agenda, and equally, the thing that connects all of the works within the show is in a similar feeling of camaraderie between Contreras and all of the contributing artists.

It's been four years since 2010 at Arcadia Missa with Preteen Gallery, June 2014. Exhibition view. Courtesy Arcadia Missa.
It’s been four years since 2010 at Arcadia Missa with Preteen Gallery, June 2014. Exhibition view. Courtesy Arcadia Missa.

And so we return to the liberality by which these pieces are allowed to exist as a collaborative art project. Despite an initially confusing collection of works, what’s very simple here is that direct reaction follows direct expression –and even if that expression is (in Farkas’ words) “a little bit fucked up”, we can all relate to the dilemmas it conveys. By accepting these works, we join Contreras in celebrating them, and without constraints or categorisation of medium or space, this show stands as a tribute to many of the things that make us human. **

Arcadia Missa’s collaboration with Mexico’s Preteen Gallery, It’s been four years since 2010,  is on at the London gallery, running June 13 to July 19, 2014.

Header image: It’s been four years since 2010 at Arcadia Missa with Preteen Gallery, June 2014. Exhibition view. Courtesy Arcadia Missa.

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