Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Martin Creed: FEELINGS

Martin Creed: FEELINGS
July 7- September 16, 2007
Opening: Saturday, July 7,
5:00- 7:30 pm

Performance with Martin Creed
and His Band
Saturday, July 7, 8:30 pm
SummerScape 2007 Spiegeltent
For tickets: 845-758-7900

Martin Creed is renowned for his aggressive deployment of a range of seemingly banal materials, such as a spot of blu-tak affixed precisely to the center of a wall; sheets of letter paper filled in with highlighter or ballpoint pen; collections of an enormous variety of balls; stacks of lumber; or neon spelling out simple words and phrases such as “THINGS,” “FEELINGS,” or “EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT.” Such works subvert traditional hierarchies, appearing to aim for a Minimalist degree-zero of sculpture, while invoking a surprisingly broad range of potential meanings and emotional responses, from fear to pleasure and empathy.

Creed is also a musician and speaks of wanting to make art aspire to the condition of music. The idea is that one might experience art more as an event than as a static object, as in two of Creed’s most renowned works, The Lights Going On and Off (1996) and Half the Air in a Given Space (1997).

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Kunsthaus Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum

China Welcomes You …
Desires, Struggles, New Identities
Opening: Wednesday, June 6 / 7pm
June 7 – September 2, 2007

Everyone is talking about China. Reports on the development of the economy, the political situation, and also about the booming Chinese art market feature almost daily in the media and serve as a kind of attractant for curious Westerners. One major point of interest is the question of the Other, an emerging image of this unknown, massive, new player on the global field.

Beyond this general question, the exhibition China Welcomes You … at Kunsthaus Graz presents a selection of some fifteen artists, setting out to explore new identities that present China from very different perspectives, confirming some stereotypes and refuting others. At the same time, the exhibition sets out in search of the roots and precursors, bridges between here and there, between such a rich heritage of major historic upheavals in the twentieth century and the dynamic present situation. The exhibition, that fills the whole Kunsthaus Graz up to the panorama terrace Needle, features a broad spectrum of very different genres from installation to projection, painting and ceramic art that display and challenge their origin, sometimes subtly, sometimes unexpectedly ostentatiously. They induce us to rethink our own image of a stable, global present and its rules of art by examining such polarities as singularity versus copy, mass versus individual, or ethics versus ar tistic freedom.

All of the exhibits are on show in Austria for the first time, indeed most of the projects were created specially for Kunsthaus Graz. Ai Weiwei, for example – who is even now causing quite a stir at this year’s Documenta with his project in which he invites 1001 Chinese people – presents a magnificently monumental piece in Space01 with his imposing porcelain installation created for Graz. Feng Mengbo brings his latest project about Chinese shadow theatre to Graz, building a bridge to the history of the Chinese world of gestic poetry with new media. Cao Fei, who will also be appearing at this year’s Venice biennial, focuses on the subject of economic boom and the question of individuality in her Whose Utopia installation (2006), thus addressing questions that have not only concerned China for decades but that are rather of world-wide relevance in the context of global economic systems. With these and other works, the exhibition China Welcomes You … shows that China – both in t he past, reaching back to Marco Polo, and in the present – is a mirror in the definitions of culture, a country that both disturbs and attracts us. Different and yet so similar.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

6 June – 2 September 2007
All in the Present Must Be Transformed: Matthew Barney and Joseph Beuys’ will examine key affinities between the two artists, who, though separated by generation and geography, share many aesthetic and conceptual concerns. The exhibition will focus on their metaphoric use of materials, their interest in metamorphosis, their employment of narrative structures, and the relationship between action and documentation in their work. The show's contents will be drawn largely from the Guggenheim Museum's permanent collection and will pair a selection of drawings and vitrines and sculptures by both artists. The presentation will also examine the performative side of their practices, demonstrating the way both have theatricalized their sculptural production. Curated by Nancy Spector, the exhibition will premiere at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin before traveling to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice during the 2007 Venice Biennale.

Venice Biennale David Altmejd at Canadian Pavilion

David Altmejd, representing Canada, has been known mostly for his recurrent werewolf motif: heads of fanged changelings sprouting crystals and mirrors and chains, as if decaying or exploding, which explores our fear of our animal instincts.
For the Canadian pavilion, the werewolves are there but they are starting to disappear — eaten by birds. Altmejd (pronounced AWLT-mayde) said he created the space to look something like an aviary partly so he could completely fill the pavilion, as birds would fill an aviary. They are everywhere, taxidermied and sculptured, along with the occasional raccoon or squirrel lurking behind a pillar. The exhibition is so heavily mirrored that it feels as if you are walking around inside a disco ball and viewers come close to walking into the walls. (The artist says that people have smacked into the glass windows on their way out, apparently thinking the danger is behind them.)The elaborate installation, which arrived in Venice in 55 crates from his studio in Long Island City, Queens, took Mr. Altmejd two and a half weeks to put together. And where did he come across all the taxidermied birds? eBay, of course.

It's Happening! "The Grand Tour" 2007

This June something extraordinary is happening in the
world of art. In a rare alignment of events, four of
Europe’s premier contemporary art exhibitions will
open within days of one other. This once-in-ten years
occasion has been dubbed “The Grand Tour,” an homage
to the 17th century tradition for elite youth to
travel through Europe’s greatest capitol cities in a
quest for heightened cultural knowledge.

The Tour opens June 10 with the 52nd Biennale di
Venezia in Italy. As a means to increase the rate at
which modern art is disseminated throughout the world,
the Biennale has constructed 30 permanent national
pavilions in Venice’s historic city centre since its
inception in 1895. This year debuts a new pavilion
dedicated entirely to Italian culture. The Biennale
also boasts a large exhibition hall which will house a
themed exhibition by the show's Director, Robert
Storr. This year’s theme is “Think with the Senses -
Feel with the Mind. Art in the Present Tense.” Storr
proposes that since the existence of Plato,
philosophers have divided and compartmentalized human
consciousness pitting one faculty against another:
mind versus body, thought versus feeling, etc. Storr
believes the challenges to understanding that reality
exceed the power of theories and definitions to
contain them. “Think with the Senses - Feel with the
Mind” is based on the concept that art is the means by
which humans are made aware of the whole of their
being. According to Storr “to make sense of things in
given circumstances is to grasp their full complexity
intellectually, emotionally and perceptually.”

Art 38 Basel opens in Switzerland June 13. The show
features leading art galleries from 30 different
countries. Exhibitions include Art Statements - 25
one-person shows by young artists; Art Premiere - 16
curated projects representing the juxtaposition of
works by two artists; and Art Unlimited - an
exhibition platform for unusual art projects such as
installations and performances. This year Art
Unlimited will house artist Ai Weiwei‘s architectural
sculpture Fragments, an installation of antique
furniture and timber from destroyed Qing dynasty
temples. The sculpture is part of Weiwei’s larger
exhibit, Fairytale, on display at Documenta 12.

Documenta 12, opening in Kassel, Germany June 16,
began as an attempt to reconcile German public life
with international modernity after the end of Nazi
dictatorship. Today Documenta serves as a forum where
visitors can discern whether art is succeeding in
grasping the world in images, and whether these images
have validity for its public. Under the guidance of
Documenta’s artistic director Roger M. Buergel the
artwork will not be shown independently, but be put
into relationship with each other. To promote this
idea of connectedness the exhibition poses the
questions: is humanity able to recognize a common
horizon beyond all differences, and is art the medium
for this knowledge?

This year, amid great buzz, Documenta features
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s highly anticipated project
Fairytale. For the exhibit 1,001 Chinese will be given
matching clothes and luggage, flown to Kassel,
assigned bamboo bunks in Ai-designed temporary
quarters in an old textile factory, and sent to wander
the city for the three-month duration of the show. The
focus of this project is the participants’
experiences, specifically how individuals will change
as their material circumstances do.

Skulptur Projekte Munster opens in Germany June 16.
The exhibition will showcase works of 35 artists from
all over the world including Jeremy Diller, Elmgreen & Dragset
Mark Wallinger and Isa Genzken.
Those participating in the 2007 exhibition are
challenged to examine the character of contemporary
sculpture, primarily its capacity to change the
appearance of public space. Sculpture projects will
explore the interdependence between the arts, the
city, and the public. The sculptures are to be created
mainly in Munster and then installed throughout the
city, gradually changing its face.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996) will represent the United States at the 2007 Venice Biennale.

The 52nd International Art Exhibition opens on June 10
The 52nd Intl. Art Exhibition Think with the senses - Feel with the mind, directed by Robert Storr, opens to the public on June 10 in the Giardini and Arsenale venues, and in other venues in Venice.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres: "America" 52nd International Venice Biennale

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, "Untitled" (America), 1994. 15 watt lightbulbs, waterproof extension cords, waterproof rubber light sockets, overall dimensions vary with installation, 12 parts: 20 m in length, with 7.5 m of extra cord each. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Purchase with Funds from the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee. Installation view of Felix Gonzalez-Torres (Girlfriend in a Coma) at Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 1996. Photo: Marc Domage / Tutti. © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation. Courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

A Cuban-born, American citizen, Gonzalez-Torres is best known for his immensely generous yet rigorously conceptual art in the form of endlessly replenishable paper stacks, take-away candy spills, light strings, beaded curtains, and public billboards. With its minimalist refinement and quiet referentiality, his work treads a fine line between social commentary and personal disclosure, equivocating between the two realms and obscuring the culturally-determined distinctions that separate them. Shifting from cultural activism to intimate, autobiographical dimensions—and subsequently eroding the boundaries between—Gonzalez-Torres used the aesthetic allure of his art to stage a subtle critique of social injustice and intolerance. By creating open-ended, participatory artworks, he entrusted his viewers to engage with and ultimately activate their meaning.
Only the second artist to posthumously represent the United States in the modern history of the Venice Biennale (Robert Smithson was chosen in 1982), Gonzalez-Torres had been previously nominated for the 45th Venice Biennale in 1995, and this exhibition expands upon and rearticulates his original proposal for the U.S. Pavilion. Nancy Spector, Chief Curator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, who organized Gonzalez-Torres’s retrospective there in 1995, is the U.S. Commissioner for the 52nd Biennale.
Because Gonzalez-Torres conceived of his art as existing both within the museum and dispersed throughout the community the exhibition also includes a series of twelve outdoor billboards of the same image of a bird in flight, installed throughout the city of Venice. Presented without identifying text, these billboard images exist as lyrical spaces for contemplation amid the bustle of urban life.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years

MoMA surveys the radical career of one of America's preeminent living sculptors. June 3–September 10

Miranda July at The Serpentine Gallery

June 4th 6.30 - 8.30 pm

Miranda July wrote, directed, and starred in her first feature-length film, Me and You and Everyone We Know, which won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Camera d’Or at Cannes, among other prizes. In "No one belongs here more than you", Miranda turns her extraordinary talents to the short story. She demonstrates that she has an equally original voice in short-story writing as she does in film and performance art. In her enchanting debut, she reveals the idiosyncrasies, vulnerability, longing and odd logic that govern all of our lives.
"No one belongs here more than you" is published by Canongate Books on 14 June 2007.