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Daniel Arsham merges past, present and future in fictitious archaeology


Daniel Arsham merges past, present and future in fictitious archaeology


 

 

Connecting Time
*Daniel Arsham merges past, present and future in fictitious archaeology


January 019

If you step inside the Moco Museum in the coming months, you’d be forgiven for feeling as if you had stepped into a twisted reality. Daniel Arsham, the New York-based artist, has transformed eleven spaces at the museum in order to merge past, present and future and immerse visitors in an absurd experience. His solo exhibition 'Connecting Time' encompasses several disciplines, including architecture, design, fashion, sculpture, film, and fine art. Arsham is fascinated with pop culture, sports and the impact of archaeology, which is expressed through a range of objects and symbols that have been fossilised and eroded. The Moco Museum is the first Dutch establishment to exhibit Arsham’s work, which will be on display until the end of September 2019.

© MOCO Amsterdam, Daniel Arsham

© MOCO Amsterdam, Daniel Arsham

Connecting Time is a retrospective with works that span Arsham’s entire career. He has also created new work, including the Calcified Room, exclusively for Moco Museum. By showing everyday products in calcified appearance, visitors shift from past to present to future. Subtle twists turn architectural interventions, which visitors experience at first as ‘common’, into a surrealist environment.

About Daniel Arsham

Daniel Arsham (United States, 1980) is a New York-based artist whose work explores the realms of architecture, design, sculpture, film and fine art. Achieving his first success as a stage designer, Arsham and his architectural firm Snarkitecture quickly began collaborating with renowned artists, musicians, designers and brands. He is the first and only artist-in-residence at Adidas, and gained widespread fame following his recent collaboration with Pharrell Williams. A central element in Arsham’s work is the concept of fictional archaeology. He creates ambiguous spaces and situations, and conflates past, present and future by presenting millennial-era objects in calcified form. He is also interested in experimenting with the timelessness of symbolic objects and customs across different cultures. Arsham has received prestigious international awards for his work, which has been shown at MoMA PS1 in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, the Athens Biennale, the New Museum in New York, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, the SCAD Museum of Art, Carré d’Art de Nîmes and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, among others.

© MOCO Amsterdam, Daniel Arsham, Hiding Figure

© MOCO Amsterdam, Daniel Arsham, Hiding Figure

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FONDAZIONE PRADA PRESENTS A NEW EXHIBITION PROJECT BY LIZZIE FITCH AND RYAN TRECARTIN IN MILAN


FONDAZIONE PRADA PRESENTS A NEW EXHIBITION PROJECT BY LIZZIE FITCH AND RYAN TRECARTIN IN MILAN


 

 

FONDAZIONE PRADA presents
*Lizzie Fitch + Ryan Trecartin


december 018

Commissioned by Fondazione Prada, their large-scale multimedia installation represents the first output of a creative process begun in late 2016, investigating the perpetual promise of “new” terrain and the inherent instability of territorial appropriation.

© Fondazione Prada, Fitch Trecartin

© Fondazione Prada, Fitch Trecartin

Taking the idealized rurality endemic to back-to-the-land ideologies as a conceptual starting point, the project represents both a return and an escape. Relocating their studio operations to the countryside of Ohio for this work, Fitch and Trecartin conceived the framework for a new movie as a haunted map: a location with its own will and a constellation of permanent built sets which include a large hobby-barn commissary, a lazy river, and a forest watchtower, occupied by a cast of characters who are simultaneously agents and subjects of the map. The artists contort these sites through dislocations of time and memory to explore the notion of borders and boundaries—existential, psychosocial, and physical.

Conceived for the Podium, the Deposito and the external courtyard of Fondazione Prada’s Milan complex, the show is staged as an immersive intervention where visitors navigate constructions suggesting both agency and containment, an active state of limbo. Aural and visual echoes of nature and daily life will merge with distortions of familiar spaces such as amusement parks, homesteads, and fortifications, extending the digital and narrative content of the movie. Fitch and Trecartin’s new work probes the desire to escape and the pervasiveness of systems and techniques that bind us together. The exhibition will be completed with a movie retrospective to be screened at Fondazione Prada’s Cinema.

© Fondazione Prada, Fitch Trecartin

© Fondazione Prada, Fitch Trecartin

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When Communicating Scents: Perfumery schooling calls for patience, attention, and perseverance.


When Communicating Scents: Perfumery schooling calls for patience, attention, and perseverance.


 

 

When Communicating Scents


november 018

written Julia Ahtijainen
illustrated Gary Chew

A friend of mine, who wishes that one day I’d change my field – “start doing something serious and stop wasting my talent and time” wrote me:

“I was thinking the other day that I really don’t like any perfume per se... All of them are just too damn strong... If they are supposed to enhance the person, they should never overpower them, and it seems that they always do. Too much lipstick for a pig... but still a pig.”

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My friend verbalized pretty clearly how I sometimes feel about my job. Communication is a weird field. It’s something in between politics (one has to be always polite and politically correct), babysitting (taking care of the journalists and explaining multiple times the importance of social media, the needed cheesy actions and press gifts to the owners or the creators of the brands), and style (you kind of a need to look and sound and be an extension of a brand, otherwise you might lose some loyalty points from both sides of the business). And then – how do you measure the results in between these three? The blood, sweat, and tears one invested in a couple of nice, sometimes forced, words and meetings. The time that’s been wasted or invested?

But I’m not a pig, neither do I like to use too much of a lipstick. I’m a pretty honest and unfortunately for this field a pretty direct lady. And, I don’t like pigs, neither eating pork... unless it’s a symbolic ‘prosciutto crudo’and a night-out with my Italian friends.

“Pig” is a word that smells. A word that has multiple meanings and is heavy in many cultures, banned within some religions. Italian historian Roberto Finzi in his book called “L’Onesto Porco” (trans. “honest pig”) explains “the meaning of pig” from a cultural, religious and linguistic point of view, and funnily in Italian the worst cursings begin always with a word “porco”, which means also “dirty”. Though, the smell of the meat isn’t always delightful and despite the growing trend of vegetarianism, most of the people in the world still eat pork.

Most of the animals become “dirty” when domesticated, while in nature they’re perceived as they are. In this case – anything and everything can become a sign. And here opens up a Pandora box full of the daily struggles of a semiotician trapped in product-related communications.

I’ve been accused of being too opinionated in this field... Yet, if a parfume“per fumum” means “through smoke”, one can easily become volatile while communicating. To understand a phenomenon, a person or a sign, one has to create types, detect similarities and differences. Put the subject into a system. Into a frame, so that it cannot escape, cannot fade away. There is no reason behind the plain abstraction, an empty expression, a delusion while communicating scents. Michelangelo wrote that the greatest danger for all of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. And one should always aim high.
Communication in perfumery is like leading blind people from the high. Leading them with passion and honesty, at least in my case. Here, I’m talking about the artistic, truthful and humble way of communicating a scent, taking pride in a communication of outstanding masterpieces.

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Applied semiotics is ultimately a creative act which helps to communicate and aim high. It involves sculpting one’s tools (frameworks) to make them fit for purpose and applying them correctly to a phenomena. The perfumer judges odors in terms of quality, intensity & duration of perceptibility (volatility). Scent is an entity. Communication of a scent requires the same effort of imagination needed for creation. In order to do this, some sort of power of imagination is required too.

There is probably a frustrated novelist inside many semioticians and once in this field one needs to know how to write, but more important – one needs to know how to read. Reading is a technique not only acquiring knowledge but also for sharpening insight and critical powers. Looking at and comparing the possible oppositions and similarities, reworks, copies and traces.

Semiotic work tends to be more akin to detective work. It requires a need to be provocative. Semiotic theory fragments work well as hooks upon which to hang one’s thinking. Being a “culture vulture” in this case is an advantage and pop culture knowledge is absolutely vital to survive.

The Main Characters or Our (Semiotic) Environment are:

SPEED = messages, responses, feedback, information, execution, rigor, chronicle
CLUTTER = ideas, content, books, music, events, choices, pattern detection
UNPREDICTABILITY = accountability, flexibility, constant changes
DISTRACTION = information overload, concentration, mindfulness
FRAGMENTATION = the niches, subcultures, the big picture, cultural sensitivity
IDEOLOGY = critical thinking, competing, changing ideologies

Now, when I washed away all the possible lipstick hues and revealed the “dirty way” of reading and analyzing the communication of a scent, I shall mention also the style, the taste... or let’s say the intuition. Our sense of smell is indisputably primal: a seat of powerful memory, a scent is an immediate recall and recognition. The most ancient part of our neuroanatomy, the archipallium – is our primitive reptilian brain. Hence – there’s no way to complete any perfume culture detective project or job without an intuition being involved. And one of the best definitions for intuition I found in the field of perfumery.

“Intuition is not a miracle; it is a flame which is sparked only if the necessary amounts of knowledge, experience, reflection, and meditation are available. Perfumery schooling calls for patience, attention, and perseverance.”
– Edmond Rodnitska

 
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Croatian Films at DOK Leipzig


Croatian Films at DOK Leipzig


 

 

Political Roots,
Digital Spaces,
Young Folks &
Big Screens
*Croatian Films@DOK Leipzig 2018


october 018

The 61st edition of DOK Leipzig is set to kick off on 29 October. This year’s festival features films that depict transformational processes or aim to spark change, honours Austrian documentary filmmaker Ruth Beckermann and living legend Werner Herzog, provides exciting insight into Lithuania’s film scene in the Country Focus and showcases the cinematic work of Leipzig artist Lutz Dammbeck. On top of all that, fascinating creations from the realm of animated film get their moment in the spotlight too, as well as further works for the big screen which take a look at the legacy of the Soviet Union, at strong women and perception of women, at architectural masterpieces and deep into the abyss – while getting to the roots of current political trends in Germany, Europe and beyond.

Balkan / Post-Soviet Realities: Many of our films treat crises of identity – including those which depict everyday post- Soviet realities and observe individuals in the Balkan states as they attempt to process the conflict-marred recent history of their homelands.

Film “IKEA Four YU”_
Marija (33) grew up in a family that lives Yugoslav ideals even today. Given that Marija and her family are of Serbian origin, who continued to live in Croatia, regardless of the pressures of the recent war, the Yugoslav identity is the one they felt closest to (more than only the Croatian or Serbian one). She had always felt that her family's ideals were her own, until her life path turned her in a different direction. When she founded her own family with her husband, she began to question her parents' and grandparents' values, as well as her own, and if that was the environment in which she wanted to raise her son (5). Within a journey through the family history, Marija opts for a "new beginning" in a totally different environment and sets up a new home ... in Sweden. This film is a story about growing up, separation from the nest, and accepting one's own value system, and how to get there, in the atmosphere of a stable and loving family.

© The Cure (2018)

© The Cure (2018)

Film “The Cure”_
Through a series of seemingly simple everyday scenes, the director Ana Opalic depicts the period of several months in the life of her mother Tamara, who suffers from oropharyngeal cancer. The daughter looks to understand why her mother still smokes, despite her condition.

© On the Water (2018)

© On the Water (2018)

Film “On The Water”_

A portrait of a former industrial city shown from the perspective of the river running through its centre. Today, the river is a space of relaxation and leisure. The film by director Goran Devic allows a closer look at the people spending time along its banks reveals all the social conflicts of a country in transition.

61st International Leipzig (Germany) Festival for Documentary and Animated Film:
DOK LEIPZIG 29 OCTOBER – 4 NOVEMBER 2018

 
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PRADA presents "STORYTELLING", a solo show by Liu Ye at Prada Rong Zhai in Shanghai.


PRADA presents "STORYTELLING", a solo show by Liu Ye at Prada Rong Zhai in Shanghai.


 

 

fondazione PRADA
*Storytelling - Liu Ye


october 018

Prada presents *Storytelling, a solo show by Chinese artist Liu Ye curated by Udo Kittelmann, with the support of Fondazione Prada. The show will take place in the premises of Rong Zhai, a 1918 historical residence in Shanghai restored by Prada and reopened last year. The exhibition project will show the work of Liu Ye through a selection of 30 paintings realized from 1992 onwards.

© Liu Ye  Chet Baker , 2009 Acrylic on canvas 40 x 30 cm Private Collection, Beijing

© Liu Ye
Chet Baker, 2009
Acrylic on canvas
40 x 30 cm
Private Collection, Beijing

Liu Ye expresses an intimate and sensual imagination, that feeds on heterogeneous sources related to literature, history of art and popular culture from the Western and Eastern hemisphere, giving rise to atmospheres which evoke introspection, purity and suspension. In the artist’s oeuvre the stylistic features of fairy-tales coexist with the sense of humor and a parodic vein.

Referring to his own artistic production, Liu Ye underlined that “every work is my self-portrait”. Combining different elements and sources, his paintings are generated by a plurality of creative forces: memory, observation, imagination and artistic education. All his works are pervaded by a certain ambiguity as they seem suspended between two worlds: reality and invention. During his artistic development he created a personal domain, at the same time accessible and impenetrable to others, which can be described as a subjective reality.

© Liu Ye  Mondrian in the Morning , 2000  Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 180 cm Private Collection, Beijing  Photo: Cao Yong (曹勇)

© Liu Ye
Mondrian in the Morning, 2000
Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 180 cm
Private Collection, Beijing
Photo: Cao Yong (曹勇)

One of the most distinctive feature of Liu Ye’s initial approach was the collision of anachronisms, typical of an individual immersed in a foreign culture: modern art motives combined with old masters’ quotations, western cultural references associated to Chinese cultural icons. The autobiographical nature of his work assumed another connotation after his return to his homeland from Europe in the late nineties. He employed his art as a mean of self-exploration and discovery, in a context in which artistic creation and daily life mutually influenced each other. As he specified, “Even though I have never become an abstract artist, I am nonetheless interested in stripping down narrative and simplifying.” His visual narratives don’t progress linearly or logically; they are based on contrast as a collage of different forms and languages.

As Udo Kittelmann highlights, “I experienced his paintings as sensitive pictorial messages relayed between two worlds that are often viewed as contradictory: Western cultures versus Asian cultures. Even back then, Liu Ye’s paintings struck me as manifesting a dialectical constellation, for his work is not only interwoven in many ways with China’s manifold cultural developments; it also bears witness to a profound knowledge of the history of European culture and painting. His pictures are grounded equally in traditional Eastern and Western intellectual and artistic trends, conjoining the strengths of the past and the future.”

Within the decorated spaces of Prada Rong Zhai, Liu Ye’s enigmatic works will acquire a new layer of meaning, engaging a dialogue with the architecture and the unique atmosphere of this historic, early 20th century mansion, which was originally conceived as a place of encounter between European and Chinese traditions. The sequence of the rooms of Rong Zhai’s two main floors will punctuate the exhibition, revealing unexpected resonances between Liu Ye’s paintings, and their relation to the architectural and decorative elements. Visitors will be invited to freely move around the different spaces in order to create a palimpsest of images, memories and new stories told by the artist.

 
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C/O Berlin will be presenting the exhibition Nobuyoshi Araki . Impossible Love—Vintage Photographs.


C/O Berlin will be presenting the exhibition Nobuyoshi Araki . Impossible Love—Vintage Photographs.


 

 

NOBUYOSHI ARAKI
*Impossible Love—Vintage Photographs


october 018

A young woman with her legs spread wide; buttoned-up dressed workers on a city street. Photographs like these of intimate, private scenes juxtaposed against snapshots of nameless passers-by were an early commentary on the heterogeneity of Japanese society. In 1973, Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki published a series of image pairs showing life in Tokyo between 1969 and 1973 as a photo- graphic book. In their authenticity, these early works by Araki reveal a dysfunctional society, calling the social responsibility and moral sense of its members into question.

Kinbaku, 2010, Polaroid  © Nobuyoshi Araki Courtesy artspace AM, Tokyo

Kinbaku, 2010, Polaroid
© Nobuyoshi Araki
Courtesy artspace AM, Tokyo

Nobuyoshi Araki is one of the most influential and widely discussed artists in the world whose work deals with nakedness, sexuality, and the body in a radical and realistic way. In these works, what is most surprising to the viewer is the photographer’s lack of distance and the familiarity of his gaze. Araki’s extreme closeness and intimacy with the subjects and the situations depicted are unique and revolutionary to this day. In contrast to classic photojournalism, which looks into an unfamiliar world from the outside, Araki not only is part of his subjects’ lives but also plays a central role in his own photographs, thus transcending voyeurism. He navigates the tense relationship between classical visual composition and his chosen visual themes with a direct, intense visual language, creating works that are in equal parts moving and unsettling and that set him apart from virtually all of his peers. His work concentrates on a sexuality that is lived out in complete openness. In depicting this, the artist never denounces or accuses, but instead leaves all inter- pretation up to the viewer. Together with US photographers Nan Goldin and Larry Clark and Ukrainian photographer Boris Mikhailow, Araki is considered one of the pioneers of intimate, subjective photography.

Ohne Titel, a.d.S.  The Days We Were Happy , 1975 © Nobuyoshi Araki Courtesy Privatsammlung Eva Felten

Ohne Titel, a.d.S. The Days We Were Happy, 1975
© Nobuyoshi Araki
Courtesy Privatsammlung Eva Felten

In this unique compilation and for the first time in Europe, C/O Berlin presents the exhibition Nobuyoshi Araki . Impossible Love—Vintage Photographs. Exclusively on view at C/O Berlin, the show combines Araki’s Tokyo series from his early works with a selection of his recent Polaroid collages and newly developed slide shows— all of them exploring the contradictions between anonymity and intimacy, the public and private sphere, reality and dream. A catalog accompanying the exhibition will be published by Steidl Verlag, Göttingen.

 
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Foam presents the first solo exhibition by Paul Mpagi Sepuya in Europe.


Foam presents the first solo exhibition by Paul Mpagi Sepuya in Europe.


 

 

PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA
*Double Enclosure


october 018

In his exhibition Double Enclosure, Sepuya enters into a dialogue with himself as artist, his subjects and the spectator. He comments on the medium of photography as a construction of longing: the longing to record things, to look, to touch and to keep. Through a combination of draped fabric, careful framing and layered images of existing work, the viewer sees arms, thighs, torsos and hands, but rarely the whole body of the subject. In this way, the spectator is visually challenged to tease apart the construction of the image.

Darkroom Mirror Study 2017  ©Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Darkroom Mirror Study 2017
©Paul Mpagi Sepuya

With this visual strategy in which he references a homo-erotic visual culture, he explores the productive and critical power of longing as an essential part of his work.  

The exhibition shows a free selection of work from series that Sepuya has developed during the past three years. His photographs often contain fragments or compilations from earlier work, which appear in the image as strips or cuttings, overlap the camera lens or are pasted to the mirror of the studio in which he is taking his photos. He firmly distances himself from digital applications by shooting in his studio mirror and bringing his diversity of materials together in a single plane. Thus, his images are not collages in the true sense of the word, but ingenious compositions created in front of the lens and recorded in a single shot. The subjects portrayed, the camera and tripod, and prints of earlier images come together in layered, collage-like compositions that demand an active form of looking. Moreover, by constantly pointing the camera at us as the central motif in the image, Sepuya makes the spectator aware of himself, as the construction of the image not only takes place via the photographer, but is also strongly dependent on the interpretation of the viewer. In this way, Paul Mpagi Sepuya plays a self-assured game of exposure and concealment, an exploration of surface and reflection, lens and mirror, touching and tracing. His provocative approach arouses a feeling of desire, to see that which is hidden.


Mirror Study for Joe 2017  ©Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Mirror Study for Joe 2017
©Paul Mpagi Sepuya

 

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