Luna Park Project – La Grande Ourse

© Luna Park

© Vincent Mauger

We really like the Luna Park project. Curated by Sara Lucas and Guillaume Clermont,  it is the new series of exhibitions at R2D2Bruxelles. La Grands Ourse explores time, sometimes a memorable boredom, sometimes so fast, it is inevitably a face to face with ourselves which it is impossible to escape. As trivial as it could be, waiting is a terrible thing. Given the impossibility of escape, without haste or fear, we think of the day after. Perhaps we had only dreamed this short day, long, slow twilight, the lack of hot coals, snow, cold sky, the impatience of the beast, his groans. But we now know the starry night.

© Romain Boulay

© Pierre-Pol Lecouturier

23 March – 14 April 2012

Neon, who’s afraid of red, yellow and blue ?

Finally an exhibition about neon! Neon, so easy to create (you just need to decide the dimension of the tube and the color), but such a strong communication tool. La Maison Rouge in Paris hosts the first major international exhibition in Neon Art since the 40ies to the present, with hundreds of historical and unpublished works. Starting by the pioneer Gyula Kosice and Lucio Fontana in the early 1940 and 50ies, MorelletBruce Nauman, Stephen AntonakosJoseph Kosuth or Mario Merz in the 60ies, artists such as Jason RhoadesClaude LévêqueSylvie Fleury and many other contemporary artists.

© La Maison Rouge

Close to the Mendeleïev periodic elements series, we find the family of gases known as “noble” or “rare”, a group of chemical elements with common properties: odorless and colorless in conditions called “standards”, these monatomic gasesonce under pressure produce a colored light when traversed by an electric field. Neon (Ne), whose name comes from the Greek word “neos” (new) produces a red light. Argon (Ar) gives a blue light while the sodium vapor produce yellow radiations.

© La Maison Rouge

© La Maison Rouge

© La Maison Rouge

In 1912, exactly a hundred years ago, the French physicist and chemist Georges Claude developed the first fluorescent tube. The public presentation of his invention in place at the Paris Universal Exhibition. A few years later, he filed a patent in the U.S. and in 1923 he sold the company to its first two Packard neonreproducing the brand name. We know the rest of the story …
17th February – 20th May 2012

Alex Prager wins Paul Huf Award 2012

© Alex Prager

Alex Prager has been chosen as the winner of the Foam Paul Huf Award 2012. Foam is an international photography museum located in Amsterdam that exhibits established artists and also supports emerging young talents with short-term shows. Now in its sixth year, the Foam Paul Huf Award gives a photographer under 35 years of age the opportunity to hold an exhibition at Foam Amsterdam and an award of €20,000.  Prager was selected from a field of more than 100 nominees worldwide by an international jury that included Simon Baker (Curator of Photography and International Art, Tate Modern, London), Darius Himes (co-founder of Radius Books) and Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen, among others. Prager’s work will be on view at Foam from August 31st to October 14th, 2012.

The chairman of the jury noted: “Alex Prager’s work is original, intelligent and seductive. She thoroughly deserves her place in the company of former Foam Paul Huf winners, which is fast becoming a who’s who of contemporary photographic practice.” Since 2007 the prize has focused entirely on young, international talent and boasts an impressive list of previous winners, including Mikhael Subotzky and Taryn Simon (2007), Pieter Hugo (2008), Leonie Hampton-Purchas (2009), Alexander Gronsky (2010) and Raphaël Dallaporta (2011).

© Alex Prager

Born in 1979, Prager is a self-taught photographer who lives in Los Angeles, California. Featured in MoMA’s New Photography 2010, Prager’s work has been exhibited at institutions worldwide. Additionally, her photographs are in the permanent collection of several major museums, including MoMA, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the SF MoMA, and Moderna Museet, Stockholm. Her work was recently included in group shows at the NRW Forum in Düsseldorf and Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna. Her work has also been featured in publications such as the New York Times MagazineVogueW Magazine, and Art in America.

The exhibition of Prager’s newest series, Compulsion, opens at the Yancey Richardson Gallery on April 5, 2012 and M+B Gallery, LA 7th April – 16th May.

In Europe the new series Compulsion will be presented at Michael Hoppen Contemporary, London 20th April – 26th May.

Yancey Richardson Gallery

Michael Hoppen Contemporary

The artist: Mai-Thu Perret

We are used to see neon artworks, shapes, letters and silhouettes in almost every exhibition. But the first time I saw the The Crystal Frontier showing dancing bodies together with neon tools i was impressed. The cold light of neon started to be romantic and the hard structure of the mannies became flexible as the smooth bodies of ballerinas that we usually see in rhythmic gymnastics. So let me introduce you Mai-Thu Perret known in both in Europe and the US for her ambitious multi-disciplinary practice encompassing sculpture, painting, video and installation.

© Mai-Thu Perret

Born in Geneva in 1976 and educated at Cambridge University, Perret lives and works in Geneva. She has recently been awarded both the 2011 Zurich Art Prize and Le Prix Culturel Manor 2011. She is included in ILLUMInations (curated by Bice Curiger) at the 54th Venice Biennale. Recent solo exhibitions include Spectra, Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2011); Mai-Thu Perret: The Adding Machine, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau; travelling to Le Magasin, Grenoble (2011); Mai-Thu Perret: New Work, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009), 2013, Aspen Art Museum (2009); 2012, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London (2008).

© Mai-Thu Perret

In an interview with Laura Moriarty for SF MoMA  Mai-Thu Perret commented her works: “Symmetry in some sense is a readymade form of composition, and I suspect that’s one of the main reasons I am so interested in it. It relieves me of the burden of more idiosyncratic, “creative”, or “personal” compositional choices… I enjoy a lot of the associations that come with symmetrical forms: naturally forms, patterns, repetition, outsider art. However, there are also many different instances in the work where symmetry is broken, offset.”

© Mai-Thu Perret

Ingrid Melano

Invitation: with eyes closed i see happiness

I have just received the invitation for next exhibition of Marina AbramovićWith Eyes Closed I See Happiness which opens on 20 March 2012 in Lia Rumma gallery. The exhibition is the second of the major events which the artist, the pioneer and key figure of Body Art, will present in Milan. On the previous day, she will present The Abramović Method at the PAC museum.

© Marina Abramović

Both events are new projects – and, indeed, the phrase “an artist should never repeat him/herself” is part of her “Artist’s life Manifesto” – the first to be presented after the titanic performance The Artist is present, given at MoMA in New York in 2010.For three months, each day and for seven hours a day, the artist presented herself to the public at MoMa by remaining seated, motionless and absolutely silent, opposite a chair that never remained empty. Thousands of people took turns to sit on the chair and an extraordinary flow of energy was created just through the power of the gaze. In her performances in the seventies, Marina Abramović subjected herself to numerous trials of physical and psychic endurance, challenging every limit and taboo linked to the body, while today the artist is interested in the concept of duration and a more intense relationship with her public.

© Marina Abramović

This is the sense in which the works performed at the Lia Rumma Gallery should be interpreted. The title of the exhibition, which also describes the new state of the artist, comes from a rewarding and regenerating method of exercise:  With Eyes Closed I See Happiness. It is an attainable truth which reveals infinite possibilities in its implied invitation to look inside yourself, leaving the world far behind.
The importance of this practice is emphasized by a group of sculptures placed on glass pedestals, made from a plaster cast of the artist’s head covered in quartz crystals. A series of large photographic works contribute to the atmosphere and illustrate the simple and unadorned gestures made by the artist to elevate her spirit. Because only in the dense and illuminated time of meditation and in the active truce of silence is it possible to make space and attain the essence.

But her best performance is probably Imponderabilia, the one with she did her lover Ulay, in Bologna, 1977, where, the couple stood naked against the walls of the narrow entrance to the museum facing each other.

Lia Rumma

Diane Arbus touring exhibition

© Diane Arbus

The exhibition about the work of Diane Arbus (1923–1971) is now at Fotomuseum Winterthur, Zurich. Her bold subject matter and photographic approach produced a body of work that is often shocking, in its steadfast celebration of things as they are. Arbus found most of her subjects in New York City, photographing people she discovered during the 1950s and 1960s. Her contemporary anthropology—portraits of couples, children, carnival performers, nudists, middle-class families, transvestites, zealots, eccentrics, and celebrities—stands as an allegory of the human experience, an exploration of the relationship between appearance and identity, illusion and belief, theater and reality. This exhibition of two hundred photographs includes all of the artist’s iconic photographs as well as many that have never been publicly exhibited.

© Diane Arbus

This exhibition has been organized by Jeu de Paume, Paris, in collaboration with the Estate of Diane Arbus LLC, New York and with the participation of Fotomuseum Winterthur, Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, and Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam.

Fotomuseum Winterthur