Coming back to Wide Open School (programme of lectures & workshops running @ the Hayward Gallery till July 12), yesterday’s lecture by Jane & Louise Wilson was really fascinating. The artists duo talked to writer/critic Brian Dillon about the theme of ruin and which role does it play in their work. In case you’re not familiar with their work, take a look at this short movie, where they describe their latest projects: Atomgrad (2010), series of photographs shot in Pripyat, an abandoned, demolished town just outside of Chernobyl and a short film Face Scripting (2011), which was inspired by the assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh.
Blog archives: June 2012
An initiative of Hayward Gallery/Southbank Centre, Wide Open School is an experiment in public learning. From June 11 for a period of one month, the gallery transforms its exhibition and event halls into classrooms and studio workshops. Noted artists, and academics, give lectures on various topics and otherwise inject you with creative vibes – all for the humble price of £10 per event.
While some of the events sold out immediately (celebrities as Tracy Emin, Mark Leckey or Jeremy Deller were in high demand), there is still plenty of great stuff to chose from. We booked 7 events and we have attended 3 so far. They left us with mixed feelings. While Antony Gormley’s conversation with Michael Newman was fantastic: well structured, engaging and providing real insights into Gormley’s work and philosophy, Cao Fei’s & Pak Sheung Chuen’s discussion The Orchid Pavilion was just plain bad, at least the first 30 or so minutes.
As much as we like both artists’ work, freezing our asses off while sitting on an improvised wooden installation outside the Hayward and trying to have pseudo philosophical talk through an interpreter – Pak Sheung Chuen at least tried to talk English and connect with the public, but he was fighting cold, wind, rain and bad acoustics all at the same time, so that battle was clearly lost – is not our idea of evening well spent. We gave it our best shot, but when we began to smell religious-tinted discourse, we were out.
On Sunday we went to Yinka Shonibare’s and professor Richard Phillips’ talk Sex in the Colonies /Who’s Fucking Who. Catchy theme, you’d think, and Shonibare being one of our top favs, the expectations were high indeed. Only to discover that being a great artist doesn’t necessarily make you a great lecturer … plus accrediting public with 30 mins of Q&A is a really bad idea.
Sadly, our initial enthusiasm is therefore somewhat tempered, but there are 4 more events to attend (5, if we get reimbursement for the flawed Orchid Pavilion thing ;-)), so let’s reserve the final verdict for later. Tonight: Jane & Louise Wilson in conversation with Brian Dillon about the concept of ruin and it’s representation in contemporary culture. Looking forward!
You can follow tweets about the lectures on #wideopenschool.
Having seen the YBN (Young British Naturists) show announcement, we thought somebody had found dirty pictures of the YBA’s and tried to get the art scene’s attention. But Google confirmed Young British Naturists is an organization for realz, even with their own FB fan page. Further research revealed that the show at Gallery One and a Half is no fraud either. It’s the first solo of photographer Laura Pannack and you can read about her adventures with the nudies on It’s Nice That .
The show runs till the end of June.
Non-Functional Thoughts (1978-2008) is work by Italian artist, and Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev’s husband (see previous post), Cesare Pietroiusti. If you are into art philosophy, make sure to read Pietroiusti’s thoughts concerning the problematic and paradoxical situations that are hidden in common relationships and in ordinary acts (pdf). If not, just enjoy the puns.
Once again this year Kassel becomes the epicenter of the art world with dOCUMENTA. Its 13th edition features 200 artists from 50 countries and includes satellites in Egypt and Afghanistan. Curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the buzz seems to focus on her role and her vision more than on the art itself, including expectations of pumping up the show with “bright new impulse” (no pressure, huh).
An article in Deutsche Welle describes dOCUMENTA 13 as a state of mind, offering visitors insight into the artistic practice rather than serving a menu of what’s hot on the market. Although cultural value and market value are definitely correlated – inclusion adds to the artists’ reputation and their sales price – the show is “more about creativity in general than about art in particular“, so much Roberta Smith in NYT.
Leaving the advanced polemic to the more qualified, we’ll go and witness what it has to offer art–wise, and will report. It sure looks promising: Tino Sehgal, Jérôme Bel, Pierre Huyghe, Tacita Dean or Rosella Biscotti are just few artists out of many whose work we look forward to seeing!
One of the dOCUMENTA 13 sites, photographed by Nils Klinger
EVA & ADELE in front of an art tapestry by British-based artist Goshka Macuga, photographed by Jens Meyer/AP
Spanish greyhound called Human with his front leg painted pink, by Pierre Huyghe, photographed by Boris Roessler/EPA
Tacita Dean’s “Fatigues”, photographed by Nils Klinger