Twin Vision – Ryan and Trevor Oakes

© Oakes

Twin brothers and artists Ryan and Trevor Oakes  (Boulder, USA, 1982) have similar interests, which isn’t really unusual for twins. However, the brothers have taken their mutual fascination with vision, light, space, and depth to a whole new level, and have built their careers on exploring these concepts through drawing.

© Oakes

© Oakes

© Oakes

© Oakes

The twins have begun to explore the dynamics of visual perception when attending primary school, continuing their research at the Cooper Union’s School of Art in New York City. After graduation, they continued to investigate the act of looking and the perception of space and depth, inventing a new design technique based on binocular vision.

© Oakes

Their works are exhibited in the permanent collections of the Field Museum, the Spertus Museum in Chicago and the New York Public Library. In the summer of 2009 have created a large sculpture for the Millennium Park in Chicago, later installed at O’Hare International Airport. They have exhibited their work and lectured throughout the United States and abroad. Their most recent exhibitions have been hosted by the Museum of Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, and the CUE Art Foundation in New York. In the fall of 2011 carried out a project for the Getty Center in Los Angeles and in the winter of 2012 were resident artists at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Troy, New York.

© Oakes

The Oakes brothers have provided visitors to their exhibitions with an educational experience that combines art, mathematics, science. Adults and children have been fascinated by their self-designed easel, and the finished product is sure to be a masterful work of art.

© Oakes

Ryan & Trevor Oakes


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Lothar Hempel – The Story of The Old New Girls

© Lothar Hempel

Last day to see Lothar Hempel‘s works in Paris. For his fourth solo exhibition at art: concept, Lothar Hempel presents a brand new series of paintings that mix oil-colour, crayon, collage, acrylic, print, stains, drips, scratches, sheddings, smears and splatters. These intriguing paintings are filled with unintentional signs that result from the multiplicity of the layers applied by the artist, who wants to take us on an adventure in an unknown story.

© Lothar Hempel

Who are they? On one of the painting, one can see a slender silhouette, her glance lost somewhere we don’t know. Is she a model? Does she come from the East? Does she live in the West? On another one a little girl from the Hmong tribe appears, hiding between the thick foliage of a forest that has the appearance of a luscious LSD trip; is she hiding from her harassing life in the golden triangle, growing an opium destined for the secret pleasure of the westerner who furtively looks at her? Is she living in a universe of decay, or is she just posing for an NGO, or a dream vacation advertisement?

© Lothar Hempel

Lothar Hempel draws his inspiration from German history as well as from Californian New-Wave, Greek tragedy, pagan culture, music and cinema. His interest doesn’t reside in references as such: taking images for what they are or for what they convey in contemporary western culture is not his main concern. Rather, he seeks a re-appropriation akin to a way of seizing reality to make it circulate in his universe. His works are densely emotional, and instead of relinquishing themselves from the start in the form of a concept, they make us face lost or forgotten memories which we feel we could recover from one second to the other, thus engendering a multiplicity of individual interpretative possibilities and creating paths between dream and reality. Lothar Hempel creates a cosmogony – complete with characters, objects and environment – in which verbal and visual intermingle and by which previously distinct media clash in an almost violent way.

© Lothar Hempel

Because Lothar’s paintings are objects that seem maltreated, reminiscent of urban vandalism. They seem to make references to publicity panels, but at the same time they have their own history and recurrences. For Lothar, these women, these Old New Girls, are a whole group that doesn’t belong to a simple one-time narrative. They have always been there, from the start, but they live and survive in a sort of constant reappearance. They are, he says: “As migrating birds that go from North to South in a permanent movement that is both nostalgic and symbolic of renewal.” Confirming Lili Reyneaud Dewar’s idea that «the work expresses live-forces that escape standardization», rather than seeing these Old New Girls as characters, one can consider them as representations of principles, or even as objects or accessories necessary to comprehend a metaphorical ensemble. Painted objects? Women-accessories? Characters that turn into props, providing the background of another show: our own.

© Lothar Hempel

Lothar Hempel’s work stands at the crossroads between surrealism and primitivism, narratives and formalism, dream and folly, ethnology and psychoanalysis. Within this conceptual imbroglio, related to a geographical ambiguity that leaves us at a loss, it would be hard to understand where the Old New Girls have gone… on the rooftop of a parking garage, exposed to weather and watched by the birds, like an old publicity panel waiting to be replaced? As background-props of a music video- clip in which other women wriggle?The only certainty is that even though they are not static, they are made of ineluctable truths, souvenirs, projects, intimate experiences and hallucinations. Their ultimate cause is to reveal a natural affinity with our ideas that allows us to create our own story.

Galerie Art Concept

Picasso Grid | Koen Delaere | Bas van den Hurk | Marijn van Kreij

Last day to see this exhibition in Berlin. In his essay from 2009 political philosopher Michael Hardt reintroduces the term ‘affective labour’. Traditionally the expression was put to use to serve ‘a useful ground for anticapitalist projects’ but later, translated as ‘immaterial labour’, it has become one of the most significant fundamentals of our global capitalistic economy. Could it be said that affective labour therefore lost its controversial potential? On the contrary, says Hardt, in our time it could work as a double-edged sword, on the one hand ‘a necessary foundation for capitalist accumulation’, on the other hand a ‘potential for subversion and autonomous constitution’. Affective labour can be positioned within our neo-liberal economy, but at the same time constitutes a fierce critical distance.

© Autocenterart

What is affective labour? What’s its potential? And how can we use it, as artists, to position ourselves within the ‘ friction force’ of Berlin? These are the starting points for the exhibition Picasso Grid. There are two sides to the term affective labour. On the one hand it’s about affection, the ability to share, exchange feelings, the possibility to build a community and to reconstitute solidarity. Opposed to these ‘softer’ elements we find the term labour orwork’. Work as the investment to bring the affective in to effect, and as work done by artists. We are artists. Through the production of artworks we show our affection and our urge to create a sense of community.

© Autocenterart

But how? In his 2010 essay You Make Me Feel Mighty Real Jan Verwoert links the term affective labour to what he calls a ‘zone of sentience’. The latter he describes as ‘a dimension of experience that would remain inaccessible to us if it weren’t for the possibility to share reality through becoming mutual witnesses’. It means the willingness to connect our perception to a larger area of feelings so an elementary, undifferentiated conscious can occur. Consequently the exhibition could be seen as a site where perilous encounters can take place, where positions are not taken rigidly – to establish power – but something is put at stake, for real. A place where each of us recognizes his vulnerability, individually in our work and in the position of our works mutually, the employed space and its relation to the viewer.

© Autocenterart

In this way the exhibition can be potentially affective. It’s like asking the question: ‘How are you?’ It’s easy to respond with ‘Fine, thank you’ and go on, but you can also try to answer the everyday question more seriously – still, today – and try to feel each other’s love, pain or sorrow more thoroughly, feel the feelings that are passed on and share your thoughts. Then a zone of sentience can occur: a shared space to exchange our genuine, not fixed, experiences.

© Autocenterart

Autocenterart

Eldenaer Strasse 34 a

10247 Berlin

The heart of contemporary art beats in Kassel

dOCUMENTA (13) is dedicated to artistic research and forms of imagination that explore commitment, matter, things, embodiment, and active living in connection with, yet not subordinated to, theory. Opened yesterday it will last for 100 days. Founded by German Arnold Boe, since 1955 is held every 5 years to house the works of hundreds of artists.

These are terrains where politics are inseparable from a sensual, energetic, and worldly alliance between current research in various scientific and artistic fields and other knowledges, both ancient and contemporary. dOCUMENTA (13) is driven by a holistic and non-logocentric vision that is skeptical of the persisting belief in economic growth. This vision is shared with, and recognizes, the shapes and practices of knowing of all the animate and inanimate makers of the world, including people.

Guillermo Faivovich & Nicolás Goldberg

dOCUMENTA (13) is located in an apparent simultaneity of places and times, and it is articulated through four main positions corresponding to conditions in which people, in particular artists and thinkers, find themselves acting in the present. Far from being exhaustive of all the positions that a subject can take, they acquire their significance in their interrelation. The four conditions that are put into play within the mental and the real spaces of the project are the following:

On stage. I am playing a role, I am a subject in the act of re-performing.

Under siege. I am encircled by the other, besieged by others.

In a state of hope, or optimism. I dream, I am the dreaming subject of anticipation.

On retreat. I am withdrawn, I choose to leave the others, I sleep.

These four conditions relate to the four locations in which dOCUMENTA (13) is physically and conceptually sited—Kassel, Kabul, Alexandria/Cairo, and Banff. These places are phenomenal spatialities that embody the four conditions, blurring the associations that are typically made with those places and conditions, and which are instead constantly shifting and overlapping.

dOCUMENTA (13)

Selected by Ingrid Melano

Monumenta 2012 Daniel Buren

© Mustikka

Yesterday i finally managed to visit Monumenta 2012, to see the work in situ of Daniel Buren. Grand Palais, because of its size, its beauty and its history, is one of the most difficult places for an exhibition. Even more than its architecture, the really striking thing about this place is its atmosphere, its lightness, the impression of being outside when you are inside. The spirit of the place is sunshine and light.

© Mustikka

Of course Monumenta is the perfect playground to make photos, is a public place and visitors must be left as free as possible and allowed to take photos if they want to. So we had fun!

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

Daniel Buren said about the the installation: “First of all, and this often happens to me, the decisions and choices made depended not only on the constraints of the venue but also on the materials available. For colouring the light as I wanted to, the best solution turned out to be plastic film, a light, flexible, transparent material, stretched over circular steel frames specially made for the occasion. But this film comes only in four basic colours: blue, yellow, orange and green. So I used those four colours because there was no other choice. So that was my basic coloured material, to which I added white and black.

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

 Then, using a very simple system which proved to be very effective, I distributed those four colours over the plan of the whole device, starting from the top left (the north is on the right) and systematically filling in all the circles with colours in the alphabetical order of the names of the colours (in French): blue, yellow, orange, green. That gave an astonishing distribution in which the first colour (blue) was used 95 times and the three others 94 times. An equal distribution, plus the first colour, as if the cycle B, Y, O, G, B, Y, O, G, B, Y, O, G could go on forever but had to end with the first colour, blue.

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

In the centre, the vertical projection of the circumference of the dome stops the accumulation of coloured circles and opens a big circular empty space on the ground. This ring is filled with round mirrors reflecting the image of the dome, which visitors can climb on to. The dome is coloured with a chequerboard pattern of filters, placed at the highest point in the space, on the skylight itself, more than 35 metres in the air. The colour used here is blue, and I am looking forward to seeing how it will mix and the new colours that will appear when it is projected on the four colours of the circles underneath and on the black and white stripes on their vertical posts.”

© Mustikka

Monumenta 2012

Klara Lidén Bodies of Society

This May, the New Museum presented the first large-scale, American museum exhibition of the artist Klara Lidén, featuring a selection of works in the Museum’s second floor gallery. In her practice, Lidén regularly mines the anxieties of urban space to create ingenious and psychologically charged installations. She scavenges the streets of cities around the world for discarded materials, which she uses to build sculptural hideaways, scaled to her own body, in unexpected places.

© Klara Lidén

This exhibition will also feature a number of Lidén’s videos realized over the past decade. She has performed impromptu acrobatic routines in a Stockholm subway car in Paralyzed (2003) and moonwalked her way through the streets of Manhattan at night in The Myth of Progress–Moonwalk (2008), which premiered in the New Museum exhibition “After Nature,” (2008) and marked Lidén’s first New York museum presentation. In these works, Lidén moves alone through urban settings gliding at a rhythm separate from the world around her.

© Klara Lidén

Klara Lidén was born in 1979 in Stockholm, Sweden. She attended the School of Architecture at the Royal School of Technology in Stockholm from 2000 to 2004; the Berlin University of the Arts in Berlin, Germany, in 2003; and the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm from 2004 to 2007. Lidén has been the subject of numerous solo presentations in Europe, including major exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery, London, and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm. In 2009, Lidén’s work was presented as part of an exhibition in the Danish and Nordic Pavilions at the 53rd International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale and she received a special mention from the jury of the 54th Venice Biennale.

© Klara Lidén

New Museum

Selected by Ingrid Melano

Walk through VIP MFA

Today is the opening of VIP MFA, the first contemporary art fair for young artists, organized by VIP Art Fair. It is the first-ever online juried event conceived to support and champion emerging artists’ first steps into the art market, with a selection of almost 40 international schools to enter their best graduates, giving arts professionals, collectors and cultural consumers around the world a global overview of cutting-edge contemporary practice.

Swiss graduate Susana Perrottet (ZHdK, Zurich) has been selected as winner of VIP MFA and will receive, with her institution, the first prize of $15,000. Runners up Chris Hood (San Francisco Art Institute, USA) and Emanuel Straessle (ZHdK, Zurich) will receive $10,000 and $5,000 respectively. Judges included Diana Al-Hadid (artist), Kate Fowle (ICI), RoseLee Goldberg (Performa) Matthew Higgs (White Columns), Joachim Pissarro (Hunter College), and O Zhang (artist).

I made a tour to pick my favorite emerging artists. Enjoy!

© Olivier Pesret

The work of Olivier Pesret endeavours to induce spectators to reflect and question their position and movements in an art space.Through work imbued by minimalism but nevertheless galvanised by architecture and design as well as fashion and literature his objective is not to fill the art space but rather to reveal its characteristics and imperfections.

Using exhibition scenography and devising choices, he provides a unique space for the artworks to allow them to own the space and create new trajectories within it. His work consists of volumes, installations, resin, lights, and objects, either newly created or transformed from alternative contexts. These items are chosen as much for their function as they are for their semantics.

© Zhang Hongfei

Zhang Hongfei sculptures draw on elements of traditional Chinese Opera. He loves the dynamic character and aesthetic aspect of opera which combines the quintessential beauty of theater, dance, music and song, together symbolizing the very best of China’s performance arts.

© Matthew Murray

Matthew Christopher Murray been interested in abandoned sites since he was a child, but started documentingthem a decade ago while researching the decline of the state hospital system. While he had no education in photography, Matthew is currently studying for an MFA at Rochester Institute of Technology. He has lectured on abandoned spaces and mental health history for Preservation Pennsylvania and others.

© Kristen Studioso

The interest of the artist Kristen Studioso lies is in creating artwork that reflects life experiences and engages with time when time ‘misbehaves.’  Although time generally has a past, present, and a future, when under stress (or distress), that linearity collapses, leaving only an extended experience of ‘now.’ Working in a combination of stop action video (comprised of photograph stills), video, and audio, her practice pulls from what is already present, yet generally left undocumented.

© Monika Sziladi

Monika  Sziladi is interested in how society and human behavior are becoming simultaneously tribalized and atomized amidst the ever increasing noise of mass (over)communication, digital media, and self-broadcasting. Her photographs are digital collages constructed from images that she shoot at public relations, networking events and at meet-ups of subcultures that were formed and (or) are operating as a result of social connectivity on the Internet.

VIP MFA