Sophie Jung

Beyond the limits of statements + conversation: A short guide to Art Basel, Liste, Dream Fair

14 June 2017

Art Basel, a contemporary art fair that also takes place in Miami Beach and Hong Kong during other parts of the year, brings together over 290 international galleries, showing work by over 4,000 artists. The huge project, opening June 15 to 18, is teeming with exhibitions and events, as well as fringe fairs LISTE and Dream Fair (see below) running alongside.

The main fair is split into sections; booth exhibitions in Galleries, solo presentations in Feature, artists up for the Baloise Art Prize in Statements, rare publications in Edition, large scale projects and performances in Unlimited, site specific works in Parcours, experimental screenings in Film, as well as a range of artists talks and panel discussions in Conversations.

Here are our recommendations:

Art Basel


Do Artists Need to Leave Africa to be Successful? Artist talk with Candice Breitz, Zanele Muholi, and Valerie Kabov, Jun 15
– Oh the Humanity! Artist talk with Cécile B. Evans and Susanne Pfeffer, Jun 17
– Archives and the Digital Dark Age. Curator talk with Glenn R. Phillips, Sabih Ahmed, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Jun 17


– ‘The Stuart Hall Project‘ (2013) by John Akomfrah, Jun 15


Concerned by the ghost without being bothered (2017) by Flaka Haliti
– City Lights (Dead Horse Bay)‘ (2016) by Lena Henke


Antenna Space presents work by Guan Xiao


– Peres Projects presents Donna Huanca‘s performance ‘Bliss (Reality Check)


Running since 1996, Liste introduces young and emerging galleries and artists, as well as a number of performance events and talks. As a special guest of this year’s programme, HeK presents a selection of artists “who utilise 3D modelling and 3D printing to explore the convoluted dialogue between the real and the virtual world,” including Morehshin Allahyari & Daniel Rourke, Lou Cantor and Tabita Rezaire, among others.

Some of the participating galleries include:

Arcadia Missa (London) featuring Maja Cule, Hannah Perry, Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings, Hannah Black and Amalia Ulman.
Carlos/Ishikawa (London) featuring Vanessa Carlos
Emalin (London) featuring Nicholas Cheveldave
Aoyama/Meguro (Tokyo) featuring Tatsumi Orimoto + Koki Tanaka
VI, VII (Oslo) featuring Eloise Hawser
Jenny’s (Los Angeles) featuring Julien Ceccaldi, Mathieu Malouf, Eirik Sæther
LambdaLambdaLambda (Prishtina) featuring Tatjana Danneberg, Hanne Lippard, Dardan Zhegrova
MadeIn (Shanghai) featuring Shen Xin, Miao Ying + WANG NEWONE
mother’s tankstation limited (Dublin) featuring Cui Jie
Project Native Informant (London) featuring Juliana Huxtable and Morag Keil
Sandy Brown (Berlin) featuring Grace Anderson, Kamilla Bischof, Quintessa Matranga + Aude Pariset

Curated by Eva Birkenstock, Liste’s 2017 Performance Project Rehearsing Intra-Activity presents a mix of artists and dancers to explore “an expanded understanding of the concept of choreography” including work by:

– New Noveta Abject Majetek, Jun 12
Dana Michel Mercurial George, Jun 14
– Sophie Jung Death Warmed Up, Jun 16
– Isabel Lewis Strange Action, Jun 15
– Jérôme Bel Cédric Andrieux, Jun 13

Dream Basel

The online art fair Dream, which opens June 13 to 18, runs concurrently with international established fairs, where the ‘booths’ hold digital files of work by artists, featuring up to 12 galleries with this one, including Berlin’s Exile featuring Pakui Hardware, Mexico City’s Lodos gallery featuring Elsa-Louise Manceaux
Lewis Teague Wright, and London’s Supplement featuring Sophie Jung
Ben Cain and Marianne Spurr, among other galleries and artists.**

Sophie Jung, ‘The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful’ (2016) HD Video screenshot. Courtesy the artist + Supplement Gallery, London.

Header image: Lewis Teague Wright, ‘Oa4s, ‘Bunnypot’,(2017) Inkjet print on transparent film. Courtesy the artist, Lodos Gallery + Dream Basel.

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Where are we heading? In the hazy divide between art + the written word

22 February 2017

“How do artists work with words, and writers with images?” asks the event Where Art Meets Literature, co-hosted by London’s DRAF and Frieze Academy taking place on February 25. 

Currently & Emotion: Translations, ed. Sophie Collins (2016). Published by Test Centre, London.

This question is not exactly a new one, written about in depth in publications like New Inquiry and Frieze, there are also the existing practices of countless artist and writers who have been questioning this boundary for years, exhibitions devoted to the topic, such as Rhizome‘s 2015 online project Poetry as Practice

The all-day Where Art Meets Literature symposium, hosted by Ben Eastham, will look at this long history, and the ways in which each discipline (increasingly) support each other. The event will attempt to unpick the relationship between the two fields, and will feature contributions by a number of artists, writers and theorists researching this intersection, including Sophie Collins, Sophie Jung, Holly Pester and Nisha Ramayya, as well as Tom McCarthyBrian Dillon and Deborah Levy, among others. 

While there certainly has been a relationship between the two for a long time, Daniel Penny makes a confident, yet precise observation in his essay ‘The Irrelevant and the Contemporary‘ that “POETRY is having a moment.” However, the distinction between art and literature is a hazy one, is increasingly difficult to define. Perhaps the question shouldn’t be how the two disciplines working with each other but rather how they are becoming one.

Tracing the history of poetry, especially from page to screen, and its movement between contexts, the practice confidently defines itself now as anything. From memes and Twitter accounts, to image macros, vlogs and status updates, the potential for a possible platform or stage ‘to speak in words’ is endless, and obviously positions ‘post-internet’ discourse and the alt-lit community in the thick of this conversation. In this vein, we can also declare the presence of literature in art as going beyond just a ‘reading’ or artists’ poetry book, but also in statements, press releases, installations; words placed on paintings or the walls of a gallery; performances, lectures, essay-films, and voiceovers. 

Steve Roggenbuck and S. Petticrew, ‘Our Life is so Weird’ (2016). Installation view. Image Courtesy of Rowing, London

Using words as a material or as an appropriative strategy for the concept of a work is probably what creates a distinction between the two. In ‘Art Hearts Poetry,’ Quinn Latimer comments on the colonial nature of the art world and its hungry, capitalist agenda where it “devours and assimilates everything.” The idea that literature is being picked up and plucked out is evident in the strange phenomenon where artists can arguably enter more easily into the space of the ‘writing and spoken word world,’ but writers-by-label find it more difficult to enter the ‘art world.’ It’s a reality that makes one realize there isn’t such a fluid dialogue as one might think.

But, expanding past the notion of disciplines and the ‘trending’ of poetry in art, or vice versa, the collapse of these categories is perhaps a more relevant discussion to be having, and one that can’t be removed from a wider, more cross-disciplinary conversation that is also related to the growing need and urgency for intersectional discourse. Artists like video-maker and poet Steve Roggenbuck and multimedia artist and poet Penny Goring are two examples, among many, of artists who to a degree eliminate any idea of a separation between disciplines, seamlessly weaving many languages into one practice.

Penny Goring @ ‘And No Animal is Without Enemy’ (2016). Courtesy @human_pony.

That said, it would be too reductive to assume there is some special relationship forming solely between art an literature. In the same way music and DJ-ing as a practice has entered the art world, or an Instagram account becomes a serious subject for an institutional exhibition, this topic belongs to a larger conversation. The changing nature of contemporary art and the ways in which the unspoken rules and formulas that used to quietly underpin the language of the industry are now breaking down. Are we falling out of love? Or is it just longing? Maybe it just isn’t enough anymore. At a time when ‘making’ for an artist feels like a dead end, perhaps we are searching for revival.**

The Where Art Meets Literature symposium is taking place at London’s DRAF on February 25.

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The First Summer Fest of Western Liberation @ Réunion, Jun 3 – 5

1 June 2016

The First Summer Fest of Western Liberation is on at Zurich’s Réunion, running June 3 to 5.

Organised by artist Keren Cytter together with Natalie Keppler and Andreas Wagner, the weekend event looks to open up the idea of “art-space, art-event and time” in a summer festival that includes music by group, Ravioli Me Away, a brunch-time performance by Dafna Maimon & Hanne Lippard and a curated library by Motto Books.

Also taking part in the event is London- and Basel-based artist-poet Sophie Jung, and Andrew Kerton, who has previously worked with Cytter in a performance called ‘Poker Face’, as well as at the 2009 Serpentine Gallery’s Park Nights where he performed his own, ‘Artism or Autism’.

Maggie Lee will screen a film, as will Kerstin Cmelka, whose video works, like Cytter’s and perhaps many of the participants in The First Summer… make the artist the protagonist within a extensively imagined and assembled narrative.

See the FB event page for more details.**

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LT presents Anonymous @ Southbank Centre, Mar 29

29 March 2016

Local Transport present ANONYMOUS, a night of live art at London’s Southbank Centre on March 29.

ANONYMOUS is the first event curated by nomadic cultural platform Local Transport while they are on a residency in the Southbank Centre and they are aiming to do more, three-part editions, each examining economics and politics through live arts and cabaret performance.

Each of the artists, London-basel based Sophie Jung, filmmakers Luke Seomore and Joseph Bull, and Serbian artist Bogomir Doringer whose solo show, Faceless ii, aqnb reviewed in 2013, will ask of anonymity its capacity to protect and dissolve us from permanence, injustice and consequence and the kinds of identity left by and under its thinning shield.

Jung, who has recently shown with Soft Focus Institute and Gallery Nectar will present a new spoken word piece under the banner ‘DIGITAL’, in which we might expect her usual sad and playful word-games, personal experience and intimate details combined explicitly with the disillusionment of politics, and social commentary.

The the event page for more details**

Sophie Jung, The Servant Problem (White House Cornered), video still from performance documentation (2015). Courtesy the artist
Sophie Jung, ‘The Servant Problem (White House Cornered)’, video still from performance documentation (2015). Courtesy the artist



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The Absent Image (2015) exhibition photos

15 January 2016

How do we understand Malevich’s ‘Black Square’ today? How do we focus on its empty void that in the 1915 exhibition, 0.10 in Petrograd, reduced art to a promise of zero: where art had no icon, no image, no imagined state in its gaze and where, hopefully, art could start again and zero could be moved on from.

How does the ‘Black Square’ haunt art now? The artists in the exhibition The Absent Image, curated by Elene Abashidze in Tbilisi’s Gallery Nectar reflect upon this exactly 100 years since 0.10

Imran Perretta’s work ‘FSWAD’ (2015) is two sheets of foil blankets on whose surface skin whitening cream mixed with white emulsion paint leaves two silver parts distanced from each other. The silver feels torn apart, and more visible now, perhaps despite being so. They sit above a plastic mosque that is placed on top of a plastic bag with an alarm clock nearby. It looks like it’s on top of a cloud, difficult to place. 


Left - right: Anna K.E, 'Enough Sugar' (2011), Imran Perretta, 'FSWAD' (2015). Installation view. Photo by Angus Leadley Brown. Courtesy Nectar Gallery, Tbilisi.
Left – right: Anna K.E, ‘Enough Sugar’ (2011), Imran Perretta, ‘FSWAD’ (2015). Installation view. Photo by Angus Leadley Brown. Courtesy Nectar Gallery, Tbilisi.

Tbilisi born and New York-based Anna K.E.’s video from 2011 is projected on the wall. ‘Enough Sugar’ shows the artist pulling herself across a studio floor on a rectangle shape made of white tiles. She sits on the tiles as though there’s something terrible on the ground that she can’t touch and moves things out of the way with sticks as she makes her way painfully and slowly across. The camera is always behind her, filming her back, which is working hard. Somehow it is difficult to call the rectangle of white tiles ‘a boat’ and it is too simple to say she is ‘rowing’. 

Gio Sumbadze, who was recently interviewed by Tbilisi-based Abashidze about the deep connection between Western-centric ideas of acceleration, and more historical understandings of utopia shows ‘Map of Nowhere’ (2015). It is a series of pencil drawings, torn from a sketch book and nailed to the wall, all in a row. The maps are not directive. They are flat, like photographs of roses taken from above, caught just as they are -imaged and not signifying. They do not lead anywhere and somehow there is a correlation between looking at them and looking at ‘Enough Sugar’, which holds a view also from slightly above and behind. 

Presented in a wooden vitrine as an archive is Nikita Kadan’s work ‘Yesterday, Today, Today’ (2012). Small and portrait marble and granite blocks are lined up together, some with fronts coated in coloured tape while Sophie Jung’s piece is two paired-back and silently installed iPod minis. The title of Jung’s piece is ‘COS of the Grand Change, and dada: art is to be explored: it is not to discover just one way to paint, a painter must always try neeeew ways to paint’ (2015). Perhaps it’s a small request to focus-in on the present tense. Jung’s pitch of “Art is to be explored” against “it is not to discover just one way to paint” might pose a disconnection in the one-way flow or current route that art often takes to define an imagined and imaged future. **

Exhibition photos, top right. 

The Absent Image group exhibition was on at Tbilisi’s Gallery Nectar, running December 19, 2015, to January 17, 2016.

Header image: Imran Perretta, ‘FSWAD’ (2015). Installation detail. Photo by Angus Leadley Brown. Courtesy Nectar Gallery, Tbilisi.

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The Uncanny Valley @ Wysing Arts Centre, Sep 26 – Nov 8

25 September 2015

Cambridge’s Wysing Arts Centre is presenting The Uncanny Valley group exhibition, opening September 26 and running to November 8.

Curated by Donna Lynas, the show features existing works and new commissions exploring the Masahiro Mori-coined concept of the ‘Uncanny Valley’, as in the emotional response and intellectual uncertainty experienced when a viewer encounters a hyper-real object.

Including a new piece by Joey Holder and music produced by Rachel Maclean during a her 2015 Wysing residency, the show looks at “the aesthetics of the uncanny through computer generated imagery” via contributions from Julia Crabtree & William Evans, Benedict Drew, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Holly Herndon, Sophie Jung, Lawrence Lek and Katja Novitskova.

See the Wysing Arts Centre website for details.**

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Äppärät opening reception @ Ballroom Marfa, Sep 25 – Feb 14

25 September 2015

A reception for a new group exhibition titled Äppärät is opening at Texas’ Ballroom Marfa on September 25, running until February 14, 2016.

The group show, curated by writer, curator and Frieze Contributing Editor Tom Morton, features the works of thirteen artists—among them Ed Atkins, Cécile B. Evans, Sophie Jung, Lee Lozano and Marlie Mul—examining conditions of labour and those of play, and how the two interact.

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.

See the exhibition page for details. **

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The Eternal Internet Brotherhood/Sisterhood + Malaspina Castle

11 September 2015

Founded four years ago by Greek-Italian artist Angelo Plessas, The Eternal Internet Brotherhood/Sisterhood is an object of social innovation, network hyperactivity, and acephalous communication. It’s a project that seems like the format for a Gesamtkunstwerk, a total artwork, in the age of techno-relational capitalism: a retreat for artists, writers, architects, curators, gathered in isolation to experiment with practices of extra-urban networked/un-networked forms of life-work. The first of the nomadic getaways was held on the Greek island of Anafi in 2012; the second in the surrealist park of Las Pozas in the jungle of Xilitla, Mexico the following year; and the third on the shores of the Dead Sea in Palestine (reported on here) in 2014. This year around fifteen participants gathered during the summer days of July 6 to 15, at the Malaspina Castle of Fosdinovo, a proper medieval castle, with castellations, frescoes, and ancient armours.

Ylva Ogland, ‘The Rituals of Castello Malaspina’ @ The Eternal Internet Brotherhood/Sisterhood (2015). Courtesy Angelo Plessas.
Ylva Ogland, ‘The Rituals of Castello Malaspina’ @ The Eternal Internet Brotherhood/Sisterhood (2015). Courtesy Angelo Plessas.

Life in the castle is divided along micro-happenings, solitary work, and intensive sessions of collective browsing, when everyone was sitting around a table glued on their laptops, iPhones and iPads. A visit by Gianni Pettena, a historical exponent of the Radical Architecture movement, is one of the highlights, together with a dinner prepared by Ylva Ogland. It consists of black and white food, a chromatic opposition that appears often in her work, followed by a ritual administering of homemade vodka distilled with crushed rubies and stones from the Parthenon along with a sprinkle of breastmilk. At the same time, #ETINTERBRO is being represented by Plessas in Athens by what he describes as a “promotional stand”; an immersive installation at the Museum of Cycladic Art, which was awarded the 2015 Deste Prize on September 7 (You can read the #ETINTERBRO catalogue text here). However, the news coming from Athens is that of the post-referendum Greek political quandary. Between conversation about the crisis as the Greek government is capitulating to the requests of international creditors, a collective quantum meditation is lead by artist Sophie Jung. There is a chance for a walk in the forest, where each participant decides to produce a spontaneous and ephemeral work. Events taking place in the castle are articulated on dual the representation of time, both online and off, as participants rush to upload their best pictures and videos to the internet. It feels like everything around us is being remediated in the form of a sort of live online happening, merging the #ETINTERBRO hashtag with private memory. Then there are the countless conversations: about art, work, life, which will remain unreported.

Soft Baroque, ‘Firework Chair’ performative design @ The Eternal Internet Brotherhood/Sisterhood (2015). Courtesy Angelo Plessas from on Vimeo.

On the one hand The Eternal Internet Brotherhood/Sisterhood is a fluid situation-generator, a conversational machine, and an escapist context-shifting invention: “For me this is the Brotherhood“, says Plessas, “it’s about finding ways to experience your feelings and your limits in another situation”. On the other, it’s a comment on one of the most traumatic transformations in the production and consumption of culture. Abandoning the traditional function of the artist as a content provider, Plessas takes is upon himself to explore the function of social media in contemporary culture: that of context provider. Because with #ETINTERBRO, Plessas makes his job as artist to create a situation for the participants to explore different ways of communicating, for creative gestures to be exchanged. The result is a synthesis between the visions glued together in those Superstudio‘s collages where people lived in harmony with natural landscapes crossed by network reticulations and Facebook’s constant swarming of producer-consumers. Removed from an urban setting and immersed in a suggestive location, the Eternal Internet Brotherhood/Sisterhood feels like Pettena’s Radical Architecture is happening all over again and it is real: people inhabit landscapes of communication grids and the internet fulfils a liberating function. **

Event and installation photos, top right.

The fourth Eternal Internet Brotherhood/Sisterhood was on at Tuscany’s Castello di Fosdinovo, running July 6 to 15, 2015.

Header image: Angelo Plessas with Danai Anesiadou’s work, The Eternal Internet Brotherhood/Sisterhood (2015) @ Castello di Fosdinovo, July 6 to 15. Courtesy the artist.

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Sophie Jung, New Waiting (2015) exhibition photos

22 June 2015

Some would say that to be a woman is to long. For what exactly it is difficult to say; the target shifts continually as one approaches. In New Waiting, a recent collaboration between artist Sophie Jung and curator Juste Kostikovaite, the idea of longing is taken as the starting point. More specifically: female longing in the digital age, which is a new, headless kind of beast.

The installation is introduced with a scene with Vladimir and Estragon from Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, but the latter name is replaced with Estrogen. Otherwise, the words remain intact. The replacement of Estragon with Estrogen is telling: Estragon is the fall guy, the dunce, the complainer and the forgetter—the shameless one. That the role of the stupider, weaker character is replaced with the hormone integral to “femaleness” is telling and sets the stage for Jung’s “private onesie-purgatory of infinite, weightless waiting”.

It’s for the kidneys. (Silence. Estrogen looks attentively at the tree.) What do we do now?


Yes, but while waiting.

What about hanging ourselves?

Hmm. It’d give us an erection.

(highly excited). An erection!

With all that follows. Where it falls mandrakes grow. That’s why they shriek when you pull them up. Did you not know that?

Let’s hang ourselves immediately!

From a bough? (They go towards the tree.) I wouldn’t trust it.

We can always try.

Sophie Jung from Laura Oks on Vimeo.

The Luxembourg-born and London-based artist’s practice routinely addresses representation and its pitfalls, both personal and cultural, as seen in DOUBLE, her joint exhibition with Shana Moulton, and her performances from Learning About Heraldry at Ceri Hand Gallery. With New Waiting, Jung turns her sharp eye to the tropes of historicised feminine obsession, examining what it means to be a woman and to long in the modern world in a new “virtually emoticised” state of waiting. Smart but water-damaged devices wait in heaps of uncooked rice at the gallery floor while its walls are filled with the echoes of a yodel, understood as “an ancient alternative to the high-frequency 24/7 just-aboutness of fb/twitter/insta/gmail messaging hysteria”.

Exhibition photos, top right.

New Waiting by Sophie Jung ran at Tallinn’s Temnikova & Kasela from March 3 to May 3, 2015.

Header image: Sophie Jung, press photo portrait. Image courtesy artist.

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HOAX #5 launch party @ studio1.1, Mar 30

30 March 2015

Artist-led project HOAX is launching its fifth issue at London’s studio 1.1 on March 30.

The artist-run bi-annual journal combines art and text, online and off, and their latest launch brings an hour of reading and performances by six writers and artists, as well as a showing of artwork. The contributors to their fifth issue include Sophie JungErica Scourti, and Isabel Adomakoh-Young, as well as Alice Ladenburg, poet Lydia Hounat, and artist AnnaMaria Kardos.

See the FB event page for details. **

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Pale Journal Issue 1 launch @ [ space ], Feb 13

12 February 2015

London’s [ space ] will be launching the first issue of Pale Journal on February 13.

The contemporary art gallery’s inaugural launch will be accompanied by a set of performances and readings from various artists, including Canadian artist Dan Barrow known for his “narrative overhead projection performances”, artist Alexander Townend Bate, video and visual artists Giulia Loi and Mary Vettise, Berlin-based artist Anna Zett, and London- and Basel-based artist Sophie Jung.

The night will be capped off with a musical performances by QUITTERS.

See the FB event page for details. **

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