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Miami: Art Basel Miami Beach Selected Works Pt. 4
09/12/2014
Click here to view slideshow Takashi Murakami at Blum & Poe Seth Price at Friedrich Petzel Alex Katz at Thaddaeus Ropac Heimo Zobernig at Chantal Crousel Mary Heilmann at 303 Gallery Contemporary Art Daily is produced by Contemporary Art Group, a not-for-profit organization. We rely on our audience to help fund the publication of exhibitions […]Contemporary Art Daily is produced by Contemporary Art Group, a not-for-profit organization. We rely on our audience to help fund the publication of exhibitions that show up in this RSS feed. Please consider supporting us by making a donation today. Read full article here

Playing by the Rules at the Shanghai Biennale
09/12/2014
Playing by the Rules at the Shanghai BiennaleTo explain the work of the fictional artist at the Shanghai Biennale, the real artist, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, printed a newspaper, which includes a fake press release and interview. The texts make clear that the invented Robbie Williams — “the artist, not the singer,” Haghighian likes to quip — outsources his generic contemporary art from a Berlin art production company. The stacked television screens, horse jumping sound installation, and readymade hurdle sculptures are all on display in Shanghai. Before the opening, however, Haghighian, who was born in Iran and lives in Berlin, discovered a problem. The English to Chinese translation in the newspapers was gibberish­, garbled by a graphic designer in Beijing. On the cover, “solo show” was mysteriously translated into “the beginning of a new world.” Haghighian discarded the 6,000 misprints and whipped up 100 corrected papers for the opening night. Hosting the 10th Shanghai Biennale, the Power Station of Art is the only state-run museum for contemporary art in in China. As with Haghighian’s newspaper, elements of artistic expression at the Biennale were altered in translation to the government-sanctioned show.  Chief curator Anselm Franke said the 2,000-year history of Chinese bureaucracy, in fact, inspired the concepts behind the Biennale’s theme, “Social Factory.” While curating the Taipei Biennale in 2012, he visited the extensive archives of the imperial dynasties at the Palace Museum, where he was captivated by the nation’s long history of social fabrication.   But as an organizer of this 70-artist show, Franke attempted to evade Chinese codes. “Being an outsider, you can sometimes disregard the rules and hierarchies out of your own ignorance,” said Franke, who is the head of visual art and film at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. Some protocols, however, were inescapable. As of the Biennale’s opening day, November 23, works from Taiwan were delayed at customs, as any cultural product originating in Taiwan or Hong Kong is automatically sent to Beijing to be inspected by the Ministry of Culture.  And though there is no longer a committee presenting curators with government-approved artists, the Ministry lightly edited this year’s selection of artists and wall texts. Early on, Hong Kong-based artist Pak Sheung Chuen and Guangzhou-based artist Song Ta were blacklisted. There were no formal reasons given for their exclusion.     “The relationship between the government and us [the Power Station of Art] shouldn’t concern average people,” said a high-positioned administrator at the Power Station, who asked not to be named. “Art should be checked in every country,” he added. The Ministry’s sensitivity may have been heightened because of the recent pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong. Singaporean artist Ho Tzu Nyen was originally going to show his film “The Nameless,” which features found footage of Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, a famous Hong Kong actor who voiced his support for the non-violent protests in October. Ho was uncertain if the film would survive the Ministry’s scrutiny — along with Leung’s appearances, the work, inspired by real events, centers around the Secretary General of the Malayan Communist Party, a triple agent responsible for the fall of the Left in Malaya. Regardless, the artist and curator submitted the work, not wanting to police themselves.    “Maybe Anselm [Franke] and I are both just really optimistic people,” Ho said. When the Ministry banned the film from the exhibition, Ho was undaunted. “I think it is important we speak the facts, just as I think it is important we don’t make a big fuss over it, since we all accepted the rules of the game.” Mainland artists themselves have become protean navigators of their political milieu. Zhao Liang, for instance, is best known for his bold documentary “Petition” (2009), which follows migrants for 12 years as they attempt to appeal to a dismissive Communist Party in Beijing. The film was banned in China and the government harassed the artist. And yet, two years later, Zhao collaborated with the Ministry of Health on projects about HIV and AIDS. Today, Zhao is showing the film “Black Face, White Face” (2014) at the Biennale, which presents an intimate look into the worn faces of a coal miner and a limestone factory worker. Before the Biennale opening, the Ministry requested that another Chinese artist, Liu Ding, unplug a telephone line in his installation “1999.” The government officials believed that the story recorded on the phone line about the Chinese art world cast the Biennale in a negative light. “I did not have any anticipation or assumption before hand, but when things like this happen, I am prepared to face it and deal with it,” Liu said. Since the censorship, Liu has been working with the Power Station to correct the Ministry’s misunderstanding — the speaker is talking about biennials in the 1990s, not the current Biennale at the Power Station. Zhao Tao’s painting depicting cannibalism was also removed the day before the opening; presumably, the censors found it macabre. The purging, however, did not rattle the Biennale’s pragmatic curatorial team. “Censorship is part of the established system here,” said Hong Kong-based co-curator Cosmin Costinas. “That doesn’t necessarily make it acceptable, but it is very difficult to be self-righteous about it.” Overall, the works chosen by the international curators for the Biennale are tactical. In the late 1980s through the 2000s, underground, overtly provocative art ran rampant in China. After that, the expanding market became the dominant force, and a distrustful attitude towards art developed among those watching the soaring prices. Franke expressed fear that such cynicism would be tapped to help support neo-traditional, right-leaning politics in the future. “At the moment, I don’t think that cynicism is very productive,” Franke said. “I try to upset mechanisms that produce false alternatives, such as the false alternative between traditional social order and libertarian chaos. But, of course, we can only do minor things in framing discourses.” In recent months, the Communist Party has been tightening its arts policies. In October, Xinhua news reported that China’s president, Xi Jinping, told a group of performers and writers: “Fine art works should be like sunshine from blue sky and breeze in spring that will inspire minds, warm hearts, cultivate taste, and clean up undesirable work styles.” This week, the Party announced that it will instate a program sending artists to the countryside to develop a “correct view on art,” a chilling throwback to the Cultural Revolution.  As for Haghighian’s fictional artist Robbie Williams, his hilariously vanilla art did not attract the Ministry’s attention. At the VIP dinner, a fellow artist expressed his regrets to Haghighian that Robbie Williams himself couldn’t make it to the opening ceremonies. On stage, a few Biennale officials gave opening speeches. The victorious NBA theme song, “Roundball Rock” by John Tesh, boomed during the interludes. Waiters placed the soup course on the rows of white-clothed tables, served in two-tiered bowls with tea candles lighting the lower level. The Power Station committee stood to be applauded, and an ecstatic lightshow erupted across the dim, blue-lit room.  “He would have loved this,” Haghighian replied. The Shanghai Biennale runs through March 31, 2015. Published: December 8, 2014 Read full article here

Miami: Overduin & Co. at NADA
08/12/2014
Artist: Sergei Tcherepnin Venue: Overduin & Co., NADA Date: December 4 – December 7, 2014 Click here to view slideshow Images courtesy of Overduin & Co., Los Angeles Contemporary Art Daily is produced by Contemporary Art Group, a not-for-profit organization. We rely on our audience to help fund the publication of exhibitions that show up in this […]Contemporary Art Daily is produced by Contemporary Art Group, a not-for-profit organization. We rely on our audience to help fund the publication of exhibitions that show up in this RSS feed. Please consider supporting us by making a donation today. Read full article here

Slideshow: "The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World" at MoMA
08/12/2014
Language English Featured: 0Order: 0Author(s): Regina MogilevskayaSub-Channels: MuseumsReferenced Artists: Laura OwensJoe BradleyJulie MehretuRashid JohnsonNicole EisenmanShort Title : "The Forever Now" at the MoMA Read full article here

The Past Is Present in Göran Olsson’s “Concerning Violence”
08/12/2014
The Past Is Present in Göran Olsson’s “Concerning Violence”It was one day after a grand jury decided not to indict officers in the death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner, who was videotaped being choked and thrown to the ground by policemen on July 17, 2014, and I was sitting across a table from the Swedish documentarian Göran Hugo Olsson, talking about his new film, the remarkably prescient “Concerning Violence.” Based on Frantz Fanon’s revolutionary text “The Wretched of the Earth,” published and just as quickly banned in France in 1961 (the first English translation arrived via Grove Press in 1963), the film brings the writer’s anti-colonialist plea to the masses through a rich collage of archival footage and a bold, provocative clash of text and disciplined voiceover. When I asked if he sees his film having a place in the debates currently happening around structural violence in the wake of Ferguson and Eric Garner, Olsson lit up. “Of course there is resonance today,” he said. “I wouldn’t do the film if I didn’t think so.” He said he was at the protests the night before and reached for his cell phone, showing me images he took of crowds swarming through midtown Manhattan streets and cramming into the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal. “Police brutality in America is absolutely total Fanon dynamics,” he said. Aside from its contemporary relevance, “Concerning Violence” can also be seen as a continuation of the work Olsson began with “Black Power Mixtape” (2011), which traced the story of the black liberation movements happening in the United States in the late ’60s and early ’70s through the lens of Swedish journalists, whose footage of prevalent figures such as Stokely Carmichael and Angela Davis was collecting dust in the vaults of the Swedish Broadcast Corporation before being discovered by the filmmaker and reconstructed into a stirring narrative. Olsson’s interest in revolutionary histories stems from his childhood memories of the Soweto uprising in South Africa in 1976, when a protest led by black high school students against the mandatory teaching of Afrikaans, the language of South African whites, in schools was met with violence by the local police. According to some reports, hundreds of school children were killed. “As kids we were totally terrified by this fact,” he said, and remembers collecting money for the African National Congress, which won the country’s first democratic election in 1994 led by Nelson Mandela, with his classmates. This early social consciousness was filtered through the punk era, which fused a connection between culture and politics. In the ’80s Olsson was influenced by a wave of politically engaged films that embraced documentary and essay forms, produced by groups such as the Black Audio Film Collective, and filmmakers such as Isaac Julian and Derek Jarman. But that influence only extends so far. “What happened in the last 20 years of documentary filmmaking is that a lot of people — artists, photographers, writers — moved into the field of documentary and really enriched our work,” he said. “But it’s really hard to be a documentary filmmaker and become an artist. I’m not an artist; I’m a documentary filmmaker. It doesn’t even matter if I make films or not. Documentary films are not a genre but a method, a process.” After the relative success of “Black Power Mixtape,” Olsson was receiving offers from producers in Los Angeles and was hesitant to make another film constructed around archival footage. But then an editor at a publishing house in Stockholm gave him a copy of “The Wretched of the Earth.” Sitting down at a coffee shop, he read the first chapter and was blown away, deciding quickly that this would be in some way his next project. He went through various methods of translating the text on screen —Maybe it needs contemporary images to make the connection between Fanon’s words and what’s happening now more concrete? — before discovering a treasure trove of archival footage in the archives of the Swedish Broadcast Corporation capturing anti-imperialist struggles, once again collecting dust, that was too remarkable not to use. “I didn’t want [the film] to feel old so I only used the youngest material, which was color, good resolution, sound, and so on,” he said. We visit the liberation movements in Mozambique and Angola, watch an inspiring interview with the former president of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara, who was assassinated not long after the footage was shot, and bear witness to startling images of violence, especially against women, that verge on the grotesque. While feeling that the images of extreme violence were important to include in the film, Olsson was worried about their effect on the viewer. A solution came via a problem with the book itself. The introduction to “The Wretched of the Earth,” written by the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, a supporter of Fanon and anti-colonialism in general, has long been criticized for misreading the original argument of the book. (Fanon’s wife reportedly later attempted to have the introduction removed because of Sartre’s support of Zionism, but publishers still include it today because it apparently helps the book sell more copies.) In translating Fanon’s work to the screen, Olsson arrived at a formal structure not unlike that of a book, with individual chapters and bold text that unfolds across the frame. Within this formula, he arrived at the idea of having a preface to the film, and reached out to Gayatri Spivak, a professor at Columbia University and one of the best-known postcolonial thinkers. The film opens with Spivak, sitting in her office surrounded by stacks of books that tower over her, reading a prepared statement that highlights contradictions not just in Fanon’s writing but in the film itself. It’s a bold and provocative move for a film to announce its faults up front and center, but one that Olsson felt was necessary. “I think she’s the magic key that opens the door for the film,” he said.  “She connects the ideas not only to today, but also to gender and the future.” Spivak’s response to the overwhelming maleness of the book led Olsson to seek out more female voices for the film. When searching for somebody to do the voiceover narration of specific chunks of Fanon’s texts, he landed on the singer Lauryn Hill. “She has magic around words,” he said, and was happy to find out that she was currently reading Fanon, and was eager to collaborate on the project. The only problem was that she was in prison, serving three months from July to October 2013 for tax evasion. When she was released, it was too late to do the music, but she went into a recording studio three days after leaving jail to record the audio you hear in the film, which bristles with authority and anger. Since “Concerning Violence” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014, Olsson said some of the most enthusiastic responses have been from teachers, who commonly ask him about how they can show his film to students. He hopes that the film will have a life as a useful tool for people attempting to understand Fanon’s writings on the mechanics of structural violence. “I think it’s time for us to really think this through,” Olsson said, pausing to take a deep breath. “If we had listened to this guy 50 years ago, we wouldn’t have all these eruptions.” Published: December 8, 2014 Read full article here

Miami: Art Basel Miami Beach Selected Works Part 3
08/12/2014
Click here to view slideshow Martin Wong at P.P.O.W David Hammons at White Cube Miriam Cahn at Elizabeth Dee Katharina Fritsch at Matthew Marks Lutz Bacher at Greene Naftali Contemporary Art Daily is produced by Contemporary Art Group, a not-for-profit organization. We rely on our audience to help fund the publication of exhibitions that show […]Contemporary Art Daily is produced by Contemporary Art Group, a not-for-profit organization. We rely on our audience to help fund the publication of exhibitions that show up in this RSS feed. Please consider supporting us by making a donation today. Read full article here

Slideshow: See the Beauty of Bermuda
08/12/2014
Language English Featured: 0Order: 0Author(s): Jacqueline MermeaSub-Channels: IdeasShort Title : See the Beauty of BermudaSub-sub: Cultural Experiences Read full article here

Miami: Essex Street at NADA
08/12/2014
Artists: Park McArthur, Zak Prekop Venue: Essex Street, NADA Date: December 4 – December 7, 2014 Click here to view slideshow Images courtesy of Essex Street, New York Contemporary Art Daily is produced by Contemporary Art Group, a not-for-profit organization. We rely on our audience to help fund the publication of exhibitions that show up in this RSS […]Contemporary Art Daily is produced by Contemporary Art Group, a not-for-profit organization. We rely on our audience to help fund the publication of exhibitions that show up in this RSS feed. Please consider supporting us by making a donation today. Read full article here

Highlights from V&A's "What is Luxury?"
08/12/2014
Language English Featured: 0Order: 0Author(s): Michelle TaySub-Channels: ExhibitionsShort Title : Highlights from V&A's "What is Luxury?" Read full article here

Miami: Art Basel Miami Beach Selected Works Part 2
08/12/2014
Click here to view slideshow Laure Prouvost at MOTINTERNATIONAL Ida Ekblad at Greene Naftali Seth Price at Reena Spaulings Nathalie Djurberg at Gio Marconi Richard Rezac at Rhona Hoffman Contemporary Art Daily is produced by Contemporary Art Group, a not-for-profit organization. We rely on our audience to help fund the publication of exhibitions that show […]Contemporary Art Daily is produced by Contemporary Art Group, a not-for-profit organization. We rely on our audience to help fund the publication of exhibitions that show up in this RSS feed. Please consider supporting us by making a donation today. Read full article here

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