Described as “an experiment in radio broadcasting which plays in the boundaries of conversation, performance, distribution, and access through the lens of contemporary art,” the project is headed by New York, London, and Hamburg-based publisher Montez Press. Their first summer residency program ran July 19 to August 19, 2018, and included the likes of Hard to Read, NYC Trans Oral History Project, Triple Canopy and Berlin Community Radio, as well as AQNB’s own Content Prole: A journey into the depths of the online gig economy collaboration with Matthew O’Shannessy.
For her first solo show at the gallery, the LA-based artist presents nine of a series of drawings called Monday Cartoonsconsisting of template tones black, white and red. ‘Bob the Pigeon’ frequently crops up in Ulman’s work and social media, ‘waddling’ somewhere between Ulman’s “personal assistant, confidante, trainee and lover,” and is featured, with drawings from forthcoming bookA Job is a Job is a Job.
The exhibition also features an accompanying text by Ella Plevin, who contextualizes the work in relation to Ulman’s ongoing practice and interest in ‘Privilege,’ where she notes the artist is now examining “her own real aspirations and assumptions,” while shining light on “the unbearable humiliation of being middle class.”**
The exhibition promises to showcase “a polyphony of voices in poetry and visual arts whose common mode of expression is a first-person narrative and a confessional character of statements, while self-representation in language becomes a discursive practice of reflection and questioning and struggle for the artist’s subjectivity.”
The theme this year is ‘Authenticity?’ and ‘How To Stay Cool in the Post-Digital Age’. Bringing together diverse perspectives on these concepts from arts and technology, the event will be host to a long line-up of events, exhibitions, screenings, performances and talks that will respond to the way we present ourselves against the backdrop of a growing desire to remain authentic within a time where authorship is becoming increasingly irrelevant and indefinable.
That’s followed by a list of nine garbled lines of numerical and alphabetical characters that look like a encrypted code or a URL, followed by a “key” that says “confidence”. In this case the appropriate definition of the word is probably less about self assurance and more about secrecy.
Amalia Ulman is presenting solo exhibition Labour Dance at London’s Arcadia Missa, opening September 30 and running to November 5.
The artist, whose work often looks at power structures and their associated aesthetics, confronts her own privilege through a dramatisation of her own position, and one that the press release calls “a position of criticality not accessible to all.”
The new work will expand on previous online and IRL project Privilege(2016) that featured as part of the Berlin Bienniale. The accompanying text also includes a quote by feminist theorist Kristeva, “One does not give birth in pain, one gives birth to pain”. The title is two-fold, nodding to politics as well as women in labour.
Amalia Ulman is taking part in the itinerant residency programme Caribic in Las Vegas, running April 30 to May 1.
Ulman is ‘Resident 60’ of the emergent “(2-day artish residency)” that has also hosted the likes of Puppies Puppies, Georgie Nettell and Luis Miguel Bendaña in various locations including Rome, Lisbon, Berlin and Thessaloniki. According to the website, Caribic “exists in the present moment”, moving from its most recent base in Athens, near Life Sport, to the Nevada United States capital to develop “uncorrupted and intuitive formats together with artists”.
There’s little information on the process and outcomes of the residency itself except that Ulman will be hosted by artist and curator Hans-Christian Dany and the findings following these short residencies are promised online at centerforrealgrowth.com, which you can apply to join via email on the website.
The Performing for the Camera group exhibition is on at London’s Tate Modern, opening February 18 and running to June 12.
Featuring over 500 images, the show purports to explore photography as both performance and utility in a survey of works by artists including Yayoi Kusama, Marcel Duchamp, Cindy Sherman and Yves Klein.
Also included in the survey of “vintage prints, large scale works, marketing posters” is Amalia Ulman‘s ‘Excellences & Perfections’ four-month durational performance on Instagram.
A massive survey of the impact of the internet and computer technologies on art practice is happening at London’s Whitechapel Gallery opening on January 28 and running until May 15.
Electronic Superhighway will bring together over 100 artworks spanning four decades between 1966 and 2016. It will be curated in reverse, so that the viewer will walk progressively towards the most historical experiments in media and sensory technology.
Cookie Gate happened in Dublin’s Ellis King in July 2015 during a period in our making history where all information around an art work or its object is attached so loudly to it – where words around art are as redundant as they are needed. The work by the 32 artists, including Thea Govorchin, boychild and Kari Altmann addressed the moment of communication between art work and audience. By thinking about the structures of desire inherent in looking at adverts (and Facebook art show press releases, for example) the show, which ran 10 July – 15 August, aimed to dissect what the press release referred to as the ‘pre-engagement’ part of expression. Do artists second-guess what to make for an audience? Is this a passive movement between consumption and outwards communication or is it transparent? If it is transparent is this because its ‘about’ giving in to desire and working with this also as a mode of identity making as an artist? What are the materials and material objects that get caught up in all of this? Maybe you just want a cookie, and another, and another.
The press release reads: “Corporations, brand names, and images become rituals, obsessions, and diversions. Consumption is made all but too easy”.
Amalia Ulman showed ‘Safety Net’ (2014) out of turquoise thongs attached together and spread across a garage door. The work is a weak safety net and possibly acts a little bit like desire does. Another piece that holds form and shape with tension was Dublin-based Fiona Hallinan’s ‘Pendants’ (2015). These are a group of necklaces made from objects the artist found while walking around and are pinned to the wall beautifully in diamond forms, as though on display in a jewellers with a black matte background and well lit. Gina Folly’s ‘Life’ (2014) and ‘Untitled (2015) are two tiny wax ears resting on the surface of a pillow, half-embedded; half-listening out. One ear was made last year and the other this year. You are slowly hearing and consuming more (everything) -that is all you are doing in Folly’s piece. Kari Altmann presents what looks like a portrait and upright miniature trampoline called ’Stretch, Flex and Extend’ (2015). Attached to the silver frame by bungees is an image of a cream or some pills with the word ‘extend’ on the front and a plant coming out of the top, shrouded in a cloud of mystic visible pink aroma. Altman’s piece is transparent.
There are two works with faces with wide smiles and white teeth with braces. One is ‘Rigged V1’ (2015) by Auto-Italia‘s Kate Cooper and displays all at once an open mouth, a grimacing mouth that can’t talk for its braces and bridges, and an example or perhaps an offering of dental perfection.
boychild’s ‘Patrick’ (unbound)’ and ‘wu (threshold)’ (both 2015) look like x-rays or an image that is trying to come through. They are haunting and minimal and un-clear. They are possibly the works that communicate the most about outwards communication:
“Sometimes we go shopping for bare necessities and sometimes we are looking for something to really really satisfy us”. **
Pioneering the evolution of audiovisual language both on and offline since the 60s, cinema legend Jonas Mekas presents The Internet Saga, a solo exhibition runningfrom May 6 to November 22. It’s located at two sites, the Palazzo Foscari Contarini –a sixteenth century building that is now a Burger King restaurant –and video art space Spazio Ridotto.
Curated by curatorial duo Francesco Urbano Ragazzi in collaboration with Zuecca Projects, the project is dedicated to art on the web and launched on the May 6 and 7 in conjunction with the 56th Venice Biennale. Ragazzi chose the Burger King at the Palazzo Foscari Contarini as an exhibition space to serve “as a metaphor of [the] Internet” representative of the “relationship between eras and materials, history and trade, fake and authenticity which are elements which characterize it”.
The exhibition opened with a Skype performance by Amalia Ulman who phoned in to the Internet Saga press conference at the My Art Guide Meeting Point in Venice on May 7 (you can see an excerpt of the video that screened here). It was organised as a tribute to the influential artist and to launch Ulman’s own )TITRE( web calendar contribution to the project. Meanwhile, Mekas will continue to broadcast a collection of over 500 videos until the exhibition’s November close; personal entries from an online journal he’s been keeping since 2006. The work is undisruptive as it plays on four screens already present in the building, “juxtaposing itself to Palazzo Foscari Contarini, by modifying it without interfering with its reality, without touching it, as it would at a virtual level”.
Mekas is also exhibiting ‘To Petrarca’ (2009), a seventy-minute sound piece comprised of recordings made in the streets of New York that merge with the sounds of Andy Warhol’s funeral. Photographic transparencies are attached, and filter light like stained glass, to thirty-two windows facing the courtyard. They are 768 reproductions of mostly unpublished frames from Mekas’ body of video work.
Spazio Ridotto functions as a cinema, presenting a selection of Mekas’ video work in the second location. The project also has two official websites to compliment the exhibition, www.internetsaga.com, updated daily, and a web calendar created by Ulman located at www.titre.name, which will be updated irregularly “by artists and intellectuals who reflect on time in the Internet era”. **
The Barbara Vanderlinden-curated series takes place the Exhibition Laboratory of the Academy of Fine Arts at Helsinki’s University of the Arts, and invites the US-based artist to join the Prognostics lecture for a discussion of her work.
Most recently, the photography and new media artist made her Instagram feed into an art project titled ‘Excellences and Perfections’. In the lecture, she’ll discuss the future of art and the role of new languages, models and forms in its creation. The series will also bring US artist Adriana Ramić on March 11, UK artist Rachael Allen on March 25, and Saudi artist Sarah Abu Abdallah on April 8.
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. **