Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Venice: V-A-C Foundation – The Electric Comma Exhibition

Photograph courtesy KADIST Collection and V-A-C Foundation

V-A-C Foundation

The Electric Comma - Exhibition
The Electric Comma is a group exhibition curated by Katerina Chuchalina and Pete Belkin, produced by V-A-C and developed in dialogue with KADIST, combining the V-A-C and KADIST collections, until March 31. Taking its title from Shannon Ebner’s installation The Electric Comma, the exhibition focuses on shifts in language, perception and understanding in the age of artificial intelligence. Through varied practices and from different backgrounds, participating artists deal with the negotiations between the conscious mind and today’s pervasive learning machine, imagining pathways of exchange between human and nonhuman, ranging from the poetic and intuitive to the algorithmical and analytical. A number of works in the exhibtion look at ways in which we communicate with information technologies and the ecological impact they may have, paralleling cryptographic and biological systems, revealing or imagining living infrastructures for artificial life.

Daria Martin - Soft Materials – 2004
16mm film looped
photograph courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London and V-A-C Foundation
Shannon Ebner – Dear Reader – 2011
single channel video 3’

The construction and interpretation of language is key in understanding how our minds work, how we perceive and communicate with an increasingly connected and automated world. In the thirteen-line poem that forms the basis of Shannon Ebner’s series The Electric Comma, written language is transformed in abstract and more intensely visual form. By turning unfinished poetry into image, Ebner’s process exposes the nonlinear, often erratic way in which we experience language.
Dayanita Singh – File Room – 2011
gelatin silver prints
As the majority of our collective histories, memories and imaginations are being digitized, the effects of this on the human condition and on our planet as a whole remain underestimated. Encountering Dayanita Singh’s File Room is like glimpsing a frozen, forgotten world of paper. An archive of archives, this series of photographs depicts seemingly infinite stacks of records and memories stored within India. An elegy to the disappearing paper trail, File Room is a stark reminder of today’s sea change in humanity’s relationship to memory. The way stories are told, records are kept and histories are constructed no longer follows the same trajectory as before.    
Above. Co-curators, Katerina Chuchalina and Pete Belkin talk with Francesco Manacorda, in the center, who will curate part two of The Electric Comma, which will take place at the Moscow Museum of Art in April 2018.

Bridget Riley – Stretch – 1964
emulsion on panel
Photograph courtesy the artist and V-A-C Foundation
Andrey Shental – Descent into the Fungal – 2016-2017
two channel video installation – mushrooms
Andrey Shental’s video installation Descent into the Fungal features fungal mycelium networks that enable connected plants to communicate in addition to transmitting nutrients and energy, looking at how certain life forms benefit from this network of connections while others fall prey to it. Today, a growing super-organism of algorithms and databases increasingly filters how we perceive, learn, communicate and remember. Sprawling around the globe like a fabric of mycelium, our current digital infrastructure bears more resemblance to living systems than outdated analogue technologies.
Alighiero Boetti – Due mani e una matita (Se resto sul lido…) – 1976
mixed media and collage on paper
Urban Fauna Lab – Misting Miner – 2016
ethereum mining rig with 4 graphics cards water cooling cycle, glass aquarium
Misting Miner, a vapor sculpture by Alexey Buldakov from the Russian collective Urban Fauna Lab, visualizes the invisible phenomenon of mining crypto currency. The excess heat produced by the computer as it performs this process is a latent and untapped source of energy that can be redirected and used in many ways.
Daniel Keller - Soft Staycation (Gaze Track Edit) - 2013
flexible Led curtain, video
Director of the V-A-C Foundation - Teresa Mavica

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Friday, November 24, 2017

MASS MoCa: Laurie Anderson – Lollabelle in the Bardo


Laurie Anderson – Lollabelle in the Bardo
In 2011, the death of Laurie Anderson's dog, Lolabelle, triggered a series of works, including these works, Lolabelle in the Bardo. A practicing Buddhist, Anderson imagined her dog in the Bardo — a place in which, according to The Tibetan Book of the Dead, all living things must spend 49 days in preparation for reincarnation. Anderon's large-scale (10 x 14 feet) charcoal drawings of Lolabelle's journey are vast and gestural, open in a way that makes you feel like you can leap inside them.
Laurie Anderson – Lolabelle in the Bardo
Laurie Anderson is a multimedia artist, known for her achievements as a visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, vocalist, and instrumentalist, and her innate ability to meld her dynamic practices into new and vibrant forms. She is one of MASS MoCA’s first artists-in-residence. At the museum viewers can explore (through 2018), as well as, these gigantic charcoal drawings, a multi-functional constellation of galleries and installations including a working studio, audio archive, exhibition venue, and a virtual reality environment for experiences she co-created with Hsin-Chien Huang.

Laurie Anderson – Lolabelle in the Bardo
Lolabelle in the Bardo, functions like a stock of memories depicting multiple versions of the dog including one of Lolabelle playing the keyboard – a task Anderson taught Lolabelle late in her life to combat boredom as her eyesight failed. In each drawing Anderson includes a Tibetan prayer wheel, always spinning like a dervish, symbolizing the cyclical nature of life and the stories we tell each other.

Contessanally blog post
Laurie Anderson’s movie review - Heart of a Dog

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

New York: Public Hotel and Public Kitchen


Our idea was to stack these two very distinct typologies on top of each other, on one hand to express their difference, while on the other to unify them within the same building skeleton. It was also our aim to complement them with a diverse mix of uses so that the building becomes like a city within the city. “
Herzog and DeMeuron

Public New York
Public is the new Ian Schrager hotel designed by award winning architects Herzog and DeMeuron. Located in the Bowery, the rapidly evolving cultural and artistic district in the center of Lower Manhattan, the hotel complex also offers a grocery, coffee shop, bars, trendy communal areas, a shop and a Jean-Georges’ restaurant.

Public New York
Taking the pretension out of luxury is important new idea. Hopefully it’s something that will change the industry. I always liked the idea of making cool things, sophisticated things, available to everybody.”
Ian Schrager
Going through a garden, spectacular, museum like, neon lit, mirrored escalators take you up to the lobby and hotel check-in. Beside the escalators a grocery store market serves gourmet organic “slow food” which guests can enjoy in the Louis communal area, work while they eat or take a snack to go.  

The Lobby
Great Service Great Style Great Fun Great Price
The hotel lobby and Lobby Bar is where lines blur between fun, socializing and culture. It is the hotel’s heartbeat and social hub with comfortable seating, easy power outlets where community comes to life.

"Public kitchen is the best of "New York" food, "World Food" really and all of the cultures that make up the eclectic mix and melting pot that is New York City.”
Jean-George Vongerichten

Public Kitchen
Public Kitchen features a smoker, a wood-burning grill and the eclectic menu, which is meant to be shared, it is executed by chef Thomas McKenna.

Popcorn-Cheddar Frico - Chives -  Crushed Chili

  Spicy Tuna Tartare  - Ginger Yuzu - Puffed Rice Crackers

Peach and Blackberry Cobbler
Caramelized Puff Pastry -  Blackberry, Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream
Strawberry Linzer Bar
Strawberry Sorbet - Strawberry Ice Cream


Trade is a new retail complex from Tania Schrager, Yelin Song and Steven Giles which takes a “No” brand philosophy. An unlikely combination of cool products not found in any one store. An eclectic curated selections of unique one-of-a-kind clothing, books, objects jewelry, accessories and more.

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Thursday, November 09, 2017

New York: MoMA – Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait - Exhibition


Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait

Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait, until January 28, curated by Deborah Wye and Sewon Kang, explores the prints, books, related sculptures and the creative process of the celebrated sculptor Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010). Bourgeois’s printed oeuvre, a little-known aspect of her work, is vast in scope and comprises some 1,200 printed compositions, created primarily in the last two decades of her life but also at the beginning of her career, in the 1940s.

Photograph and copyright Manfredi Bellati

The spider—why the spider? Because
my best friend was my mother and she
was deliberate, clever, patient, soothing,
reasonable, dainty, subtle, indispensable,
neat, and as useful as a spider.”

 Louise Bourgeois – Spiders
Louise Bourgeois is perhaps best known for sculptures of spiders, ranging in size from a brooch of four inches to monumental outdoor pieces that rise to 30 feet. Long a motif in Symbolist art, the spider encompassed several meanings for Bourgeois, who cited it most frequently as a stand-in for her mother, a tapestry restorer by trade who impressed Bourgeois with her steadfast reliability and clever inventiveness. Yet Bourgeois also appreciated the spider in more general terms, as a protector against evil, pointing out that this crafty arachnid is known for devouring mosquitoes and thereby preventing disease.

Louise Bourgeois
at the printing press in the lower level of her home/studio on 20th  street, New York, 1995
Photograph by Mathias Johansson
The exhibition explores this celebrated artist’s prints and books, a little known but highly significant part of Bourgeois’s larger practice. Her copious production in these mediums—addressing themes that perennially occupied her, including memory, trauma, and the body—is examined within the context of related sculptures, drawings, and paintings. This investigation sheds light on Bourgeois’s creative process, which is uniquely and vividly apparent through the evolving states and variants of her prints; seeing these sequences unfold is akin to looking over the artist’s shoulder as she worked.

  My Inner Life (#5) - 2008
etching – gouache – watercolor –pencil – stitched text on fabric
My Inner Life (#3): Eugenie Grandet  - 2008
etching – gouache – watercolor pencil

My poetic license is to remove the arms, to remove the head, and then, if I want, to fetch them back.
Louise Bourgeois

The Puritan - Folio set no.3
engravings, with selective wiping gouache and watercolor additions

Untitled (The Wedges) – 1950
painted wood
Printed grids, biomorphic ink drawings, and geometric wood totems are found in her early years, organically shaped marble and plaster sculptures come later, and an outpouring of abstract drawings and prints fills her last decade.  For Bourgeois, abstraction was yet another tool for understanding and coping with her feelings, which were always the driving forces of her art. She used terms like “calming,” “caressing,” or “stabbing” to describe strokes, and her drawn lines and evocative shapes reflect shifting moods and perceived vulnerabilities.

Clothing exercise of memory...

It makes me explore the past...

how did I feel when I wore that...
Louise Bourgeois

By 2000, Bourgeois had turned to printing on old handkerchiefs, and then other fabrics. She also constructed books of fabric collages. Printing on fabric was a major preoccupation of Bourgeois’s later years and she highly valued her collaboration with seamstress Mercedes Katz and the various printers with whom she worked. The old fabrics she selected resonated with memories yet, on occasion, she ran out of material when making an edition and had to seek out matching fabrics. To this same end, she sometimes took advantage of digital possibilities for duplicating aging or fading effects. In contrast to her prints and books on paper, Bourgeois’s fabric works have a tactile presence that gives them a decidedly sculptural dimension.
Ode a L’Oubli – Ode to Forgetting – 2002
fabric illustrated book – 32 fabric collages – two-hand addition - lithographed texts and cover

Madeleine – 2000
drypoint – selective wiping – fabric

Spiral Woman – 2001
Drypoint – ink – pencil and gouache

The Couple (from portfoglio La Reparation) – 2003
drypoint – engraving – acquatint

You pile up associations the way you pile up bricks. Memory itself is a form of architecture.”
Louise Bourgeois

She said, “My skyscrapers reflect a human condition,” and here they became personifications of loneliness, alienation, anger, and hostility. At that time, Bourgeois also created her Femme Maison, depicting a female body topped by a house. It became a feminist icon and was later issued as a print.
Femme Maison – 1946-47
Oil – ink on linen


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