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Friday 30 April 2010

Mark Wallinger at carlier | gebauer as part of Gallery Weekend Berlin

Mark Wallinger opens tomorrow in Berlin as part of Gallery Weekend with new works. This is the artist’s fourth show at carlier | gebauer. The first piece, Steine (2010) is comprised of one thousand numbered stones that cover the floor in the main room. Immediately probing the viewer to ask, is there an order to this system? What happens when we number something? However, there’s no taxonomy involved. These stones, with their inherent contrast of human labour and the monumental timescale of geology, catalyse thoughts of mortality, of catalogues of the vanished and the anonymous.

Creating an uneasy sense of contemplation through the surrounding photographs - camera phone images taken from websites dedicated to pictures of unknown people who have fallen asleep on public transport. Now these photographs, magnified, make up The Unconscious (2010). Liberated from the tense consciousness of the waking state, their faces seem to exist somewhere beyond them, and yet, following an unconscious ordering principle, they resemble themselves more in this lapsed state than when awake. Wallinger’s inversions of individual and social consciousness are continued in a series of further compositions in this exhibition. In Word (2010), a wall filled with text from The Oxford Book of English Verse 1250 – 1918. However all punctuation and grammatical signs have been removed. This renegotiate the meaning, making it disorientating looking for rhythm and rhyme. Without titles, devoid of those conventions that otherwise endow this publication with its incontrovertible authority, a single word containing centuries of linguistic and aesthetic evolution.

In The Magic of Things (2010), Wallinger edits, in chronological order, all the unpopulated moments and spaces where acts of sorcery occur; in scenes that reference memories of suburban culture, in locations peripheral to the main action, in its unconscious interiors. Removed from their agency, floating teacups, self-mending mirrors and a car that arrives from the afterlife through the living room wall all acquire a level of supernaturalism as the internal rationale of the fiction is removed. There is an awkward parity here between The Magic of Things and contemporary art’s exorcism of the “aura” of the artwork, where the recipient of cherished ideas and peerless skills of the now absent artist animate inanimate material. And yet for all the obvious trickery we are not disenchanted.

In the second room Wallinger opens up an auditorium: 100 second-hand chairs, which are all different. They have been organised in ten miscellaneous rows of ten. Quite literally, making his mark, the word MARK is handwritten in marker pen on the rear of each chair’s back-rest and white threads run like perspective lines from each of these to meet their vanishing point.

In According to Mark (2010), everything belongs to MARK. In the reflection of the gaze the artist becomes his own audience here, his only perspective. In his book The Logic of Sense, Gilles Deleuze describes a critique of the dominant ideology, which no longer seeks to pull back the curtain behind which it assumes truth will be found, but instead feels its way across the curtain, moving along it and mimicking its structures. Wallinger’s works unfurl across this surface. In his oeuvre social consciousness is dragged up to the surface.

If you’re in Berlin this weekend, don’t miss this show. Opening 1 May and continuing until 5 May.

For further information visit: www.carliergebauer.com or www.gallery-weekend-berlin.de

Short Film Competition Deadline Extended Until 4 May

Over the past few months, and especially the past few weeks, there has been such a buzz in the office! The Short Film Competition has brought filmmakers from all over the world together. We’ve had filmmakers from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Israel, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and just about every European country!

The one thing that makes me so incredibly excited about this is that we’re going to get the opportunity to experience first hand the creativity and skills from all across the world. I think as humans, we all share similar experiences – the range of emotions, and to see these anecdotes interpreted through film is an honour.

I know that the judging process is going to be tough, but we’re prepared. To those of you who have already entered, I am wishing you luck and if you’ve thought that you missed the deadline, we’ll there’s an extension until 4 May, and your films can reach us up until 15 May.

I would also like to extend a warm thank you to our partners The National Media Museum, Glasgow Film Theatre, Shooting People, Kerry Film Festival, Rushes Soho Short Film Festival, Wallflower Press, and Raindance.

This award offers winners and runners-up a fantastic prize package, including:

·Screenings of your film at: The National Media Museum (Bradford), Rushes Soho Shorts Film Festival (London), Glasgow Film Festival, Kerry Film Festival, Glimmer: Hull Film Festival, Project Space Leeds and on the Aesthetica website.
·£500 first prize, £250 runner-up.
·12 months membership with Shooting People.
·Collection of film books from Wallflower Press.
·A weekend course with Raindance.
·Winner and 10 runners-up to be included on a DVD that will go to all Aesthetica readers.

Films should be up to 25 minutes long.
For detailed guidelines and entry visit www.aestheticamagazine.com/film_submissions.htm

EXTENDED Deadline: 4 May – films can arrive until 15 May.

Wednesday 28 April 2010


The Concise Dictionary of Dress is probably one of the most fascinating installations on right now in London. Combining two of my favourite topics art and design, this show takes on much more than just aesthetics. Opening today in Blythe House, which was originally built as the headquarters for the Post Office Savings Bank, the imposing monolith has been the working store for the V&A’s reserve collections of furniture, ceramics, glass, jewellery, textiles, fashion and fine arts since 1978. Located within its vast spaces, The Concise Dictionary of Dress begins as you navigate a turnstile, cross a corridor and take the industrial goods lift up to the top floor. A wrought iron staircase leads you out onto the roof towards an exposed cupola containing the first of a sequence of intriguing definitions in a walk-through dictionary of dress. Due to the multi-sensory applications of this installation you are immersed from the very beginning – taking you both physically and mentally to a new dimension.

The Concise Dictionary of Dress is an Artangel and V&A collaboration with psychoanalyst, Adam Phillips, and costume curator, Judith Clark. The installation re-describes dress in terms of anxiety, wish and desire, presented as a series of eleven definitions and accompanied displays. Cast objects and photographs, tableaux of clothing and accessories are arranged amongst the rolling racks and wrapped objects stored at Blythe House. During an hour-long guided journey through the building, visitors encounter the installations and their associated written ‘definitions’ from a dictionary created by Adam Phillips.

As your path winds through this hidden history of art and design, the anatomy of the building reveals surreal and evocative interventions in unexpected places; metaphors of repression, ceremony and desire; intriguing traces of the human form, and fragments of the clothed body briefly glimpsed.The Concise Dictionary of Dress also manifests in an illustrated 128-page book published by Violette Editions. The publication features specially commissioned photography by Norbert Schoerner (£15).

For tickets and further information visit www.artangel.org.uk. The installation continues until 27 June.

To read about another ArtAngel commission with Catherine Yass, featured in Aesthetica, please CLICK HERE.

Images by Julian Abrams.

Monday 26 April 2010

Video Art At Its Best: Johanna Billing at Modern Art Oxford

Swedish artist, Johanna Billing’s videos reflect routine, rehearsal and ritual with an emphasis on the fragility of individual performance and the power of collective experience. Billing was born in 1973 in Jönkoping, Sweden. She attended Konstfack in Stockholm where she has lived and worked since graduating in 1999. She became known for video works set in Stockholm such as Project for a Revolution (2000), Missing Out (2001) and You Don’t Love Me Yet performance events (2002 – 2010), which launched her international career.

In this, the second of a series of three new commissions organised by Modern Art Oxford, Camden Arts Centre, London and Arnolfini, Bristol, Johanna Billing presents a new film: I’m Lost Without Your Rhythm (2009). The film, which forms the centrepiece of the exhibition at Modern Art Oxford, is based around the recording of a live choreography event involving amateur Romanian dancers and acting students in Iasi, Romania during the Periferic 8 Biennial of Contemporary Art in October 2008. Led by Swedish choreographer Anna Vnuk with whom Billing last worked over a decade ago on one of her first films, there is no final performance as such. The resulting video weaves several days’ activity into a continuous process of live improvisation between choreographer, dancers and local musicians.

For Billing, the project was an attempt to explore, along with the participating individuals and the audience, what contemporary dance can be, or means today, especially in relation to a developing country and economy such as Romania. Consequently the work becomes about movement in general, choreography closer to everyday life than might first be imagined. She comments: “Often I think I am after a way of communicating – sometimes perhaps with oneself – that we have lost contact with.”

I’m Lost Without Your Rhythm will be shown at Modern Art Oxford alongside earlier video and installation works from over the last nine years including Missing Out (2001), Where she is at, (2001), Magical World, (2005), and Another Album, (2006). Recent major solo exhibitions include Taking Turns, Kemper Museum, Kansas City; This is How We Walk On The Moon, Malmö Konsthall, Malmö (both 2008); Forever Changes, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel and Keep on Doing, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee (both 2007). She has participated in survey shows such as Documenta 12, Kassel (2007); Singapore Biennale (2006), 9th Istanbul Biennial; 1st Moscow Biennale (both 2005) and 50th Venice Biennale (2003). Johanna also runs the record label Make it Happen with her brother Anders, publishing music and arranging live performances.

The exhibition marks the reopening of Modern Art Oxford following a substantial redesign of the Gallery’s entrance and public spaces. Showing concurrently with Johanna Billing’s exhibition is Maria Pask: Déjà vu 17 April – 6 June. Déjà vu was filmed on location in Rose Hill, a housing estate in East Oxford, Déjà vu is inspired by Rose Hill Roundabout, a community newsletter produced in Rose Hill from the 1950s to the 1960s. The film presents a series of mini-dramas, recalling past community events described in archived issues of Roundabout, and provides an insight into issues prevalent at the time, such as continuity of local life, community and togetherness.

There are a series of related events including: Johanna Billing and Maria Pask will be in conversation on Thursday 27 May, 7pm. £4/£3 and on Friday 28 May, 7pm-10pm local bands will perform their own renditions of the song You Don't Love Me Yet as part of Billing's ongoing project You Don't Love Me Yet, (2002-2010). F

Free admission, booking essential. For further information visit www.modernartoxford.org.uk

All images (c) Johanna Billing

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