Kunstforum http://www.kunstforum.as Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:36:36 +0000 no hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Q&A with Quinn Latimer http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/qa-with-quinn-latimer/ http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/qa-with-quinn-latimer/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:33:38 +0000 http://www.kunstforum.as/?p=18604 Quinn Latimer is an American poet and critic based in Basel. KUNSTforum asked her some questions about her work and inspirations.

She is first and foremost a writer, although Quinn Latimer’s practice takes many forms. She is the Editor-in-Chief for Publications for documenta 14, but today, Tuesday November 25th, she is in Bergen, Norway, to talk about the current Julia Wachtel exhibition at No.5, Bergen Kunsthall.


Can you give a brief description of the exhibition of Julia Wachtel’s work, and your interest/involvement with the exhibition?
– I was asked earlier this year by curator Reto Thüring to write the main essay for a new monograph produced about Julia’s work, which will be published by Yale University Press later this month.

Julia Wachtel, Horn Blower, 1986.

Julia Wachtel, Horn Blower, 1986.

The book, which also includes an interview with Julia by Johanna Burton, was produced in conjunction with her recent survey exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art in the US. This exhibition, like the one at Bergen Kunsthall, is part of renewed interest and effort in showcasing Julia’s important oeuvre, which is based in both Pop art and the Pictures Generation, yet moves on from there, predicting many of the concerns of the current generation of artists, from post-Internet aesthetics and appropriation to a reclaiming of cartoon figuration.

What other exhibitions and/or projects are you currently working on?
 – I am currently working on a book titled Anthology, which is a kind of self-conscious collection of critical prose, poetry, and more hybrid texts that pull from history, letters, and fiction. It plays with the idea of a collection of disparate works, while also being very much a book-length project. I am also the Editor-in-Chief of Publications for documenta 14, and I am moving to Athens in January, where I will be working on that project for the next three years.

Can you give a brief description of your practice?
– I am a writer, and though my work takes many forms — criticism, poetry, performance, teaching, editing publications, as well as curating exhibitions on occasion—my interest in language and writing drives everything I do.

Can you name a curator or curatorial team or exhibition that has inspired your own practice?
– For the past six years that I’ve lived in Basel, Switzerland, I’ve been very inspired by Adam Szymczyk’s work at Kunsthalle Basel, not just by his exhibitions but by the political commitment and emotional intelligence he brought to the projects he did there. His work is always keyed into the basic human collaboration at its root, and the political possibilities of that collaboration. I am very excited to work with him on documenta 14 for this very reason.

Can you name an artist, work of art or exhibition that has inspired you?
– Today I am inspired by the people of Ferguson, Missouri, as well as all those around the US (and perhaps the world) who are in the streets and protesting the systemic institutional racism and injustice under which they live. The art world is fine, but it is the world world in which we must really make and dedicate our work.

Is there an author or a book, fiction or theory, that has inspired your works?
– Ah, too many to count. In my suitcase right now are books by Walter Benjamin, Anne Carson, Claudia Rankine, Lisa Robertson, Susan Sontag, Giorgio Agamben, Renata Adler, Stathis Gourgouris, Ulises Carrion, Etel Adnan, and some others. In honor of #Ferguson today, I’d recommend Rankine’s poetry collection Citizen. Everyone should read it. Today or any day.

Why is art important?
– It is how we describe the world to ourselves, and how others show us who we are, or could be. In its metaphor we become real — I think — whatever that means. Also: alongside love, art makes life bearable.


If you’re in Bergen, you can attend the talk at Landmark, Bergen Kunsthall from 7pm. Live streaming of the talk from Landmark, here. The Julia Wachtel exhibition is at No.5 at Bergen Kunsthall until December 14.

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Guilty pleasure http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/guilty-pleasure/ http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/guilty-pleasure/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:57:13 +0000 http://www.kunstforum.as/?p=18590 Tor Lindrupsens bruk av håndverk, materialer og overflate er en ydmyk hyllest til en mye større, kristen skapelsesforestilling. En skikkelig guilty pleasure.

Først, la meg rydde opp i et begrep som irriterer meg, begrepet guilty pleasure. Altså, følelsen som oppstår når man liker noe man ikke burde like. Det er forskjell på følelsene skyld og skam. Skyld er ubehaget som oppstår om man opplever å ha påført noen smerte eller ubehag. Konsekvensen av skyld er i ytterste konsekvens straff, eller at man mister kontakten med den man har gjort noe galt mot. Skam på sin side er angsten for at en er i ferd med å bryte en sosial kodeks. Konsekvensen av skam er at sosiale fellesskap skal fryse deg ut, vende deg ryggen, eller konspirere mot deg.

Likevel bruker folk begrepet guilty pleasure når de liker ting som ikke er korrekt i henhold til politisk korrekthet, konsensus eller smakspoliti. Men, smak er sjeldent skyldfremkallende, derimot er det lett å føle skam når en offentlig går ut og liker noe en ikke burde like. Nå skal jeg komme ut med en av mine guilty – eller snarere shamefull pleasures. Jeg liker de nye verkene til Tor Lindrupsen. Lindrupsens verk er milevis fra kritisk samtidskunst. Her er ingen filosofer fra fransk etterkrigstid, ingen feminisme, ei heller er det spor av postkoloniale blikk eller konseptuelle strategier. Hos Lindrupsen dyrkes håndverket. Hånden på materialet, representasjonen, tradisjonen og problematiseringen av det menneskelige, og Gud.

Tor Lindrupsen, Deep Wells / Forsvinner III. Foto Østfold Kunstsenter

Tor Lindrupsen, Deep Wells / Forsvinner III. Foto Østfold Kunstsenter

Alt er feil i utstillingen Tangeringer, sett med øyne innstilt på samtidskunst. La meg ramse opp: vi snakker treskulpturer av mennesker i full størrelse, med estetiske små innslag av pleksiglass. Alle skulpturene, med et par unntak, har kunstferdig overflatebehandlinger i en koloritt lik impresjonistisk-inspirerte legekontormalerier eller van Goghs mest spraglete åkermalerier.

En av skulpturene er for eksempel en arbeider i blåklær, satt på hodet foran en vegg full av verktøy, med hull i hendene, som Jesus. En annen Jesus-skikkelse er demontert, klar for himmelfarten, sendt som cargo i trekasse. I et eget rom er en hel vegg av glassruter i fargetoner som de i impresjonistisk kunst, med motiver hentet fra disseksjonsbøker fra renessansen. I rommet bortenfor står fler treskulpturer. Menneskeskikkelsene i tre, disse uten noen overflatebehandling, forsvinner tilsynelatende ned i runde, blanke plater på gulvet, som illuderer svarte pøler.

Tor Lindrupsen, Changes / Postindustriell Afasi. Foto Østfold Kunstsenter

Tor Lindrupsen, Changes / Postindustriell Afasi. Foto Østfold Kunstsenter

Gjennomgående møter vi overflater, overflater, overflater. Sammen med en motivkrets hentet fra det punktet der teologi møter vitenskap, og mennesket møter Gud. Magen min skriker til meg at jeg ikke kan like dette. Hvilken emansipasjon finner man i tro og religiøse grublerier i 2014? Jeg merker, mot min vilje, at jeg blir fascinert av disse verkene jeg skulle, og burde ha avfeid som kitsch. Jeg må prøve å finne veien min gjennom dette. Hvorfor opplever jeg denne fascinasjonen ved verkene?

Lindrupsen er en mye brukt kirkekunstner. Han er vant til å jobbe innenfor en figurativ, kristen tradisjon. Det er et par grunnleggende premisser en bør ha innabords for å få noe mer enn bare overflate ut av verkene til Lindrupsen,.Det første premisset er at Jesus Kristus kom til jorden for å gi oss mulighet til å bli frelset (fra norrønt for “fri-halset”, altså befridd for lenkene). Det neste er at det onde i verden ligger begravet i mennesket, vi er alle født skyldige. Jesus frelser oss i følge denne forestillingen fra vår og verdens ondskap. Jesu fødsel og tilstedeværelse på jorden er, for de som tror, en fantastisk glede, men samtidig kilde til store grublerier, der tro og håp veksler med tvil og fortvilelse.

Tor Lindrupsen, Foran: Big Blue Tatoo/ Forsvinner I, Bak: Tranclucens. Foto Østfold kunstsenter

Tor Lindrupsen, Foran: Big Blue Tatoo/ Forsvinner I, Bak: Translucens. Foto Østfold kunstsenter

La meg minne om at den tidlige moderne kunsten sammenfalt med inntreden av den vitenskapelige medisinen og den elektriske belysningen, med Freud, Nietzsche og første verdenskrig. Sånn sett er ikke estetikken til Lindrupsen så rar likevel. Lindrupsens verk tar for seg konsekvensene av det moderne og det sen-moderne, sett med et kristent blikk. Fordi han bruker et sett av verktøy fra da den moderne kunsten ble til, passer estetikken og utførelsen verkene.

Jeg som betrakter må gjerne betvile disse grunnpremissene, akkurat som jeg betviler Pablo Picassos grunnprinsipper den gang da han hyllet Josef Stalin som en ung og myk skikkelse på forsiden av kommunistavisen Les Lettres Francaises i 1953. Men, i likhet med når jeg ser verkene fra Picassos misjonærgjerning som kommunist, må jeg ta inn premissene om Kristus med når jeg ser Lindrupsens verk. Kunsten hans er en meditasjon over Kristus frelseren, over menneskets kropp og kjøtt. Han grubler over vitenskapens framvekst, og hvordan denne fjerner oss fra en kristen tro – og dermed i kunstnerens øyne, gjør oss svakere, parterte, mekaniserte, der vi synker ned i åndelig mørke. Og han illustrerer det med en palett hentet fra den tidlige moderne kunsten.

På Østfold Kunstnersenter fra 25. oktober til 25. desember

Tor Lindrupsen, Unarmed / Kouros og kore. Foto: Østfold Kunstsenter

Tor Lindrupsen, Unarmed / Kouros og kore. Foto: Østfold Kunstsenter

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Allegory of the Cave Painting http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/reproducing-images/ http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/reproducing-images/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:11:17 +0000 http://www.kunstforum.as/?p=18572 The prehistoric Bradshaw paintings in North Western Australia function as a kind of mental model for the exhibition Allegory of the Cave Painting at Extra City Kunsthal in Antwerp.

Navid Nuur, Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © Christine Clinckx

Navid Nuur, Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © Christine Clinckx

The work with dating the Bradshaw paintings have been going on for quite some time, and for reasons unknown until quite recently, the scientists have not been able to date them. In 2010, a team led by Jack Pettigrew of Queensland University found that red bacteria and black fungi had colonized the paintings. The bacteria and fungi – serving as a kind of ‘living pigments’ – cause a constantly reproducing of the Bradshaw paintings.

The exhibition Allegory of the Cave Painting assembles artworks and theoretical propositions in a polyphonic response to these ‘living pigments’. According to the curator, as stated in the press release, “the Bradshaws challenge a central archaeological metaphor: the inaugural moment of symbolic activity, an awakening where we begin and something that eludes us, that is fundamentally unfamiliar, ends. […] They perturb the ways in which modernity frames prehistory as allegorical interlocutor, so that it can establish an uninterrupted descent from it. This rhetorical edifice and constructed inevitability obscures a continuum of zigzagging histories, forgotten technologies and unintended outcomes – a mirror effect between ‘the mind in the cave’ and ‘the cave in the mind’.”

Alon Levin, Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © We Document Art

Alon Levin, Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © We Document Art

Allegory of the Cave Painting is divided in two parts, one showing at Extra City Kunsthal and the other, titled Allegory of the Cave Painting – The Other Way Around, showing at the Braem Pavilion, Middelheim Museum. The exhibition at Extra City reflects on methods of making and thinking about pictures, through engaging the Bradshaw paintings as an organism that extends across plural temporalities and scales.

Participating artists at Extra City Kunsthal:
Nina Beier, Jérôme Blumberg, Constantin Brâncuşi, Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan, Pavel Büchler, Florian Dombois, Harun Farocki, Geert Goiris, Ilana Halperin, Gary Hill, William Hogarth, Toril Johannessen, Sven Johne, Adrià Julià, Susanne Kriemann, Alon Levin, Frans Masereel, Fabio Mauri, Vincent Meessen, Jacqueline Mesmaeker, Gustav Metzger, Ciprian Mureşan, Rosalind Nashashibi, Tom Nicholson, Navid Nuur, Miklós Onucsán, Susan Schuppli, Paul Sietsema, Jonas Staal, Bernard Voïta, Phillip Warnell, Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll

Curator: Mihnea Mircan

20.09 – 07.12.2014
at Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp

Gustav Metzger, Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © We Document Art

Gustav Metzger, Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © We Document Art

Toril Johannessen, Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © Christine Clinckx

Toril Johannessen, Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © Christine Clinckx

Jonas Staal, Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © Christine Clinckx

Jonas Staal, Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © Christine Clinckx

Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © Christine Clinckx

Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © Christine Clinckx

Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © We Document Art

Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © We Document Art

Ilana Halperin, Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © Christine Clinckx

Ilana Halperin, Allegory of the Cave Painting, installation view, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014 © Christine Clinckx

Tom Nicholson, Allegory of the Cave Painting, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014

Tom Nicholson, Allegory of the Cave Painting, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014

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Manifesta 11 to be curated by an artist http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/manifesta-11-to-be-curated-by-an-artist/ http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/manifesta-11-to-be-curated-by-an-artist/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 09:06:27 +0000 http://www.kunstforum.as/?p=18566 Berlin based artist Christian Jankowski has been appointed Chief Curator of Manifesta 11, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, a press release states.

Manifesta 11, which will be hosted in Zurich, Switzerland in 2016, will be curated by Christian Jankowski (Göttingen, 1968). It is the first time Manifesta is curated by an artist, and Jankowski ho will start working in November 2014 towards conceptualizing the 2016 edition of the biennale.

unnamedChair of the M11 Curatorial Selection Committee, Hedwig Fijen who is also the Manifesta Director, explains the selection thus:

‘For the first time in Manifesta’s history, an individual artist will take the position of Chief Curator and will work on a project for an entire urban environment. Jankowski will investigate the whole array of art’s authorship, its production and its reflection on Zurich’s professional landscape. In doing so, Manifesta 11’s Chief Curator approaches the complex identities of the city in an unexpected way, reaching out to audiences beyond the inner circle of contemporary art biennials.’

Christian Jankowski (Göttingen, 1968) who is currently based in Berlin and has a background from the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg (Germany) started his artistic career as a curator of his own independent space, Friedensallee 12, in Hamburg (1992-1996). He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and his work is in the collection of numerous international museums. Recent solo exhibitions include: Heavy Weight History, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2013); Llorando por La Marcha de la Humanidad, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City (2012); Casting Jesus, MARCO, Rome (2012); The Finest Art on Water, Frieze Art Fair, London (2011); Now For Something Completely Different, BAWAG Foundation, Vienna (2009); and Dienstbesprechung, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2008). Jankowski participated in the Venice Biennale in 1999 and 2013 as well as in the 2002 Whitney Biennial.

Jankowski’s work consists of performative interactions between himself and non-art professionals, between contemporary art and the so-called ‘world outside of art’. During the course of his artistic career, Jankowski has collaborated with, among others, magicians, politicians, news anchors, and members of the Vatican. Jankowski registers these performative collaborations using the mass media formats in which he stages his work––film, photography, television, newspapers. This procedure lends his work its populist appeal. Jankowski’s work can be seen both as a reflection, deconstruction, and a critique of a society based on spectacle. In his view, art has turned into a spectacle, and as a result, has undermined its critical potential.

Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, selected the City of Zurich as Manifesta 11 Host for 2016. Zurich offered the opportunity for Manifesta to research an urban environment for the first time.

MANIFESTA 10, curated by Kasper König, took place from 28 June – 31 October 2014 in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation and attracted over 1 million visitors. Previous Host Cities and curators of Manifesta were:

  • Manifesta 1, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 1996: Katalyn Neray (Budapest), Rosa Martinez (Barcelona), Viktor Misiano (Moscow), Andrew Renton (London), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Paris/Zurich)
  • Manifesta 2, Luxemburg, Luxemburg 1998: Robert Fleck (Paris/Vienna), Maria Lind (Stockholm), Barbara Vanderlinden (Brussels)
  • Manifesta 3, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2000: Francesco Bonami (Chicago, Turin), Ole Bouman (Rotterdam), Maria Hlavajová (Amsterdam, Bratislava), Kathrin Rhomberg (Vienna)
  • Manifesta 4, Frankfurt, Germany, 2002: Iara Boubnova (Sofia), Nuria Enguita Mayo (Barcelona), Stephanie Moisdon – Trembley (Paris)
  • Manifesta 5, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain, 2004: Massimiliano Gioni (Milan / New York), Marta Kuzma (Kiev / New York)
  • Manifesta 6, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2006 (cancelled): Mai Abu ElDahab (Cairo), Anton Vidokle (New York), Florian Waldvogel (Germany)
  • Manifesta 7, Trentino-Alto Adige/ South-Tyrol, Italy, 2008: Adam Budak (Krakow/Graz), Anselm Franke (Antwerp/Berlin), Hila Peleg (Berlin), Raqs Media Collective (New Dehli)
  • Manifesta 8, Murcia and Cartagena, Spain, 2010: Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF), Chamber of Public Secrets (CPS), tranzit (dot) org
  • Manifesta 9, Genk, Limburg, Belgium, 2012: Cuauhtémoc Medina (Mexico), Katerina Gregos (Greece/Belgium) Dawn Ades (UK)
  • Manifesta 10, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, 2014: Kasper König (Germany)
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Fashionable Nonsense http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/fashionable-nonsense/ http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/fashionable-nonsense/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 08:35:52 +0000 http://www.kunstforum.as/?p=18553 – On writing and collective narcissism in contemporary art.

Facebook event pages are one of the predominant forms in which I receive press releases from galleries. A notification pops up and I click through to a page of cryptic, hyperbolic writing in the name of art. This form of networked, social interaction is a complicated thing, but it isn’t a culture and technology that puts art beyond communication. I’m not a fan of non-inclusivity and art world cliques are boring. I want to understand your exhibition and I want to know as clearly and as unequivocally as possible, what it says and does.

Daniel C. Blight is a writer, critic and curator based in London.

Daniel C. Blight is a writer, critic and curator based in London.

While most of these event pages remain open and therefore anyone can join and attend creating some sense of spurious democracy, the language used rarely speaks to everyone, instead preferring to couch itself in the worst form of opacity and conceit. Facebook is not the exclusive space for this kind of writing, one can also see it – especially for those that don’t engage with social media – in email newsletters, on gallery websites and importantly when one actually attends an exhibition, printed and available to collect at the door.

Here is a recent example from an East London gallery funded by the Arts Council:

When a page freezes on the syncopated browser of a web user, there is a moment of change in the landscape marked as a reduced distinction of it’s natural other, when it has been manipulated by technology. With a desktop tidy approach to the outdoors the exhibition reflects the increasingly conflated physical spaces of retail, business, and leisure.

This is both grammatically incoherent and ridiculous. The first problem is vocabulary. The use of the adjective “syncopated” in the opening sentence – somewhat ironically considering the word’s meaning – completely displaces the words that follow, offering no clarity to the opening statement. Secondly, what exactly is the reduced distinction of a web browser’s natural other? Either an unreferenced philosophical phrasing, or a superabundant word salad, this language is neither suitable for a press release, nor meaningful in any way beyond the author’s own sense of convolution and self-worth. Thirdly, and this needs little explanation of its failing as a statement, what is a desktop tidy approach to the outdoors? The jump in subject between the first sentence about a web browser and the second sentence about the outdoors, retail, business and leisure, is massive. There is no logical development between ideas and overall it is a facile, bombastic waste of time.

Here is another example from a small project space in South London. Its Facebook event page offers this, followed by the space’s opening hours:

will-to-possess
will-to-live
right to silence
man-made
manomaya
man-unmade
world as lover, world as self
God of the Eastern Sea
God of the Southern Sea
God of the Western Sea
God of the Northern Sea
biodiversity is us

The exhibition’s title is First Water to Tripoli. One might imagine that this is a direct reference to the second phase of the Great Man-made River Project, a practical and draining assault on North Africa’s underground water resources active since the 1980s, initially funded by Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan government. Here, we have a potentially interesting environmental and political subject being engaged with by the project space and the artist, but instead of a meaningful description of the artist’s research into the subject, total rhetoric in the form of some kind of abstract poem pervades.

On closer inspection, this strange riddle postures around some quite unrelated themes. In Hinduism the term Manomaya describes that which is “composed of mind” or perhaps more simply, mindful. Libya has an Indian minority, but no suggestion of the religion of Hinduism’s relationship to the Great Man-made River Project is offered. Is there one? If there is, what is it? What is the meaning and relevance of this religion’s presence within Libya and with relation to the GMRP? The last statement, ‘biodiversity is us’ is just simply untrue. Biodiversity is the acceptance than the human race is not the only living thing on the planet and that this world is more biologically diverse than just us. If this is irony – perhaps referring to the fact that the GMRP benefits man over nature in its potentially environmentally catastrophic extraction of water – then it isn’t available anywhere as information. This might be a conservative position, but press releases have a very particular function and are supposed to contain information. If this one had some that was meaningful, I might be writing a review of the exhibition here rather than a critique of its postured and facetious linguistic tendencies.

Is it a press release, an essay, or a poem? Is this so-called art writing? Why does writing like this exist and why is there so much of it present in the art world?

The art world socialises in cliques that defend and protect one another. This sort of behaviour perpetuates elitism and that clearly manifests in the writing that is produced around exhibitions. A form of collective narcissism is developed by groups of individuals that feel their particular set of peers are onto something – privy to some exclusive body of knowledge unknown to everyone else – and that these insights are to be protected. This kind of behavior might stem from a combination of personal insecurity and group ego. No one really knows what the next person knows, but we all know we have to sound like we know more than everybody else knows. In the act of trying to sound clever, one forgets to communicate clearly.

Because of this vacillation between self-doubt and hubris, the tendency is to attempt to write an exhibition or an artwork into history by offering it fake profundity. To do this the writer turns to philosophy: the most profound and complicated linguistic toolkit of all. If it’s not philosophy, then instead a more cryptic engagement with literary experimentalism might suffice – perhaps a riddle, an ideogram or some concrete poetry. Whatever the case, it must not directly address the content of the exhibition, or the meaning of the artworks, for to do this is to give the game away. Simple and direct articulation is, after all, not very “cool”.

The practical-linguistic result of this is that buzzwords are extrapolated and misappropriated from meaningful histories within philosophy and art theory, multiple hyphenated clauses go in and out of fashion, willfully obscure adjectives are dug up and badly placed in incoherent sentences, and rarely are artworks addressed directly, on the terms that they were made. Simply put, an artwork, which is often a complicated object layered with multiple references and meanings, instead of being explained is deliberately obscured.

That’s just style though – what about subject? Well there isn’t one really: these types of writing around art are written for no one outside the cliques they address; the maintenance of a text’s own superiority over other forms of written culture; the placating of an unnamable, centralised ego; the re-enforcement and unnecessary production of prose which anyone can write, because it has an entirely transparent structure with little depth, if you care to familiarise yourself with it by socialising on Facebook, subscribing to gallery newsletters or picking up that piece of A4 paper at the entrance to a gallery.

What is really at stake with this issue, culturally?

We live in precarious times in terms of funding and labour within the arts, and we all need to be speaking as clearly and as openly to each other as possible, so we stand a chance of getting through this political crisis. And it is a crisis, because funding cuts are rife and the British Education Secretary Nicky Morgan thinks young people shouldn’t chose to study arts or humanities subjects at school, college and university. We need to actively break down cliques and in-crowds, in order to open up art practice to debate, criticism and direct communication.

Fashion might be the problem. Contemporary art is a sucker for it. It changes direction like a piss in the wind. It’s meaningless and futile trying to follow it. In his book On the New (Verso, 2014), Boris Groys aptly distinguishes between what is new and what is fashionable:

Wyndham Lewis once rightly pointed out that, in modernity, the fashion compulsion replaced the tradition compulsion. New cultural trends are no indication that individual freedom has triumphed; rather, they create new – albeit relatively minor, temporally limited – homogeneities, social codes, patterns of behavior, and the new group conformity that goes hand in hand with them. This description is of course accurate, but means only that fashion establishes an inequality between values and allows us to draw a sharp distinction between ‘our’ values and ‘other’ values: when we do, some individual differences are defined as especially valuable and decisive, to the detriment of others.

So fashion is to be avoided. Perhaps the position of any artist or writer should be to work against, rather than reinforce, the status quo? Fashion is the tool with which collective narcissism communicates to the rest of the art world: a clique establishes a series of visual or literary tropes and a sort of question and answer engagement is set up between the key practitioners within that group. Gradually the materials, processes, forms and theoretical references of this group become alike as these individuals produce new work. Practically this is how any art movement might develop, the problem here is that the end goal remains a combination of visually homogenous and conceptually undisclosed. What direction is the practice moving in? Who is it speaking to? What exactly is the point of the production of this work?

Without any sense of direction – a manifesto for inclusivity; a methodology for clear articulation; a process of grounded and rigorous contextualisation of the work produced – one is left with a set of postured and incoherent values. Art becomes unvarying and conformist and writing becomes full of jargon and confusion. Artistic value emerges as fashion: fashion, in turn, forms a culture of inequality.

It is the responsibility of curators to address these issues, as they are the individuals that should be responsible for producing and overseeing press releases and other forms of writing around exhibitions. Artists should be free to communicate through various materials, processes and concepts. It is the job of the curator, through writing, to offer historical context and linguistic clarity to these actions. The rise of the popularity of curating as a cultural pursuit and as an academic degree has, and I would argue to its detriment, left the status of the curator comparable to the artist in that he or she wants to work abstractly, and often not produce any writing at all.

As a result, curatorial activity often fails to mediate the gap between artistic production and public engagement, when it should, at its most basic level, be doing just that. Writing is the thinking that surrounds exhibitions: without a sense of it being produced on clear and articulate terms, there is little left in the way of meaning. Accessibility fades, and forms of individual and collective narcissism prevail.

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Offprint Paris 2014 http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/offprint-paris-2014/ http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/offprint-paris-2014/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 11:22:17 +0000 http://www.kunstforum.as/?p=18526 I disse dager går Paris Photo av staben, og Paris er full av fotografer, gallerister og fotointeresserte.
Vi har vært innom OffPrint og tatt en titt på fotobøker.

Offprint, Paris 2014. Foto: Andrea Gamst

Offprint, Paris 2014. Foto: Andrea Gamst

Offprint Paris er en kunstbokmesse, med bøker som dekker kunst, fotografi, design og eksperimentell musikk. I år har utvalget av forleggere blitt kuratert av Yannick Bouillis, Charlotte Cheetham og Maxime Guitton, og består av mer enn 130 forleggere fra over 20 land.

Årets Paris Photo Apeture Photo Book 2014 Winner ble Oliver Sieber, som vant med boken Imaginary Club. Nedenunder følger bilder fra bøker av Corinne Day, A. McElroy, Gilles Bonnecarrère, Lotte Reimann, Studio XX, Sasha Kurmaz, Ruth van Beek, Thomas Mailaender og Lukas Wassmann.

Oliver Sieber, Imaginary club. Andrea Gamst

Oliver Sieber, Imaginary club. Andrea Gamst

SPBH Book Club 7: Lucas Blalock, November 2014. Foto: Andrea Gamst

SPBH Book Club 7: Lucas Blalock, November 2014. Foto: Andrea Gamst

Corinne Day, May the circle remain unbroken. Foto: Andrea Gamst

Corinne Day, May the circle remain unbroken. Foto: Andrea Gamst

Corinne Day, May the circle remain unbroken. Foto: Andrea Gamst

Corinne Day, May the circle remain unbroken. Foto: Andrea Gamst

A.McElroy, The devil may care. Foto: Andrea Gamst

A.McElroy, The devil may care. Foto: Andrea Gamst

A.McElroy, The devil may care. Foto: Andrea Gamst

A.McElroy, The devil may care. Foto: Andrea Gamst

Gilles Bonnecarrère, Male dancers wanted. Foto: Andrea Gamst

Gilles Bonnecarrère, Male dancers wanted. Foto: Andrea Gamst

Lotte Reimann, Bis morgen im Nassen. Foto Andrea Gamst

Lotte Reimann, Bis morgen im Nassen. Foto Andrea Gamst

Lotte Reimann, Bis morgen im Nassen. Foto Andrea Gamst

Lotte Reimann, Bis morgen im Nassen. Foto Andrea Gamst

Dafy Hagai, Israeli girls. Foto: Andrea Gamst

Dafy Hagai, Israeli girls. Foto: Andrea Gamst

Studio XX, Studio XX, Issue#1. Foto Andrea Gamst

Studio XX, Studio XX, Issue#1. Foto Andrea Gamst

Studio XX, Studio XX, Issue#1. Foto Andrea Gamst

Studio XX, Studio XX, Issue#1. Foto Andrea Gamst

Sasha Kurmaz, Concrete and sex. Foto Andrea Gamst

Sasha Kurmaz, Concrete and sex. Foto Andrea Gamst

Ruth van Beek, The arrangement. Foto Andrea Gamst

Ruth van Beek, The arrangement. Foto Andrea Gamst

Ruth van Beek, The hibernators. Foto Andrea Gamst

Ruth van Beek, The hibernators. Foto Andrea Gamst

Thomas Mailaender, Illustrated people. Foto Andrea Gamst

Thomas Mailaender, Illustrated people. Foto Andrea Gamst

Lukas Wassmann, L. Foto Andrea Gamst

Lukas Wassmann, L. Foto Andrea Gamst

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Fra Gagosian til Kunstforum http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/fra-gagosian-til-kunstforum/ http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/fra-gagosian-til-kunstforum/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 08:31:53 +0000 http://www.kunstforum.as/?p=18497 Mari Rustan tar over som nettredaktør for Kunstforum fra og med 15. november.

Siden oppstarten i 2009 har Kunstforums nettside vært et eget produkt med jevnlige oppdateringer og egne saker skrevet spesielt for nettsiden. De siste årene har det redaksjonelle ansvaret på nett vært ivaretatt av redaktørene André Gali og Monica Holmen i fellesskap, men fra og med 15. november vil Mari Rustan ha hovedansvaret for nettsidens redaksjonelle profil. Hun har allerede jobbet med nettsiden en måneds tid, men er nå offisielt redaktør.

Ny nettredaktør for KUNSTforum, Mari Rustan. Foto: Andrea Gamst

Ny nettredaktør for KUNSTforum, Mari Rustan.                 Foto: Andrea Gamst

– På nett har vi publisert kritikker og meningsytringer, samt nyhetssaker, intervjuer og billedblogger. I papir har vi derimot fokusert på dybdeartikler, større intervjuer, essayer og reportasjer. Papirutgaven krever en annen type fordypning og har en annen type redaksjonell rytme, og vi ser at det går ut over nettpubliseringen når vi er i innspurten med nye papirutgaver, sier André Gali, ansvarlig redaktør i Kunstforum.

Kunstforum drives som et idealistisk foretak, noe som naturlig nok legger noen føringer for driften. Likevel er ambisjonene til stede og papirutgaven vil i høst gjennomgå noen endringer.

– I høst har vi en stor papirutgave på trappene med noen redaksjonelle og designmessige endringer som har krevd tid. Siden Kunstforum er et idealistisk foretak, går arbeidet med papir utover arbeidet med nettsiden. Vi har derfor sett behovet for en egen nettredaktør, og fant at Mari Rustan med erfaring fra blant annet SMUG magasin, auksjonsnettsiden Paddle8 og Gagosian Gallery i New York, hadde den erfaring og kompetanse som vi ønsker, sier Gali.

Rustan vil ha full redaksjonell frihet til å utvikle nettsiden videre, og samtidig være i tett dialog med den øvrige redaksjonen. Hun vil også bidra til papirutgaven som skribent og redaksjonsmedlem, og Holmen og Gali mener Rustan vil være et positivt tilskudd til det redaksjonelle arbeidet. De tror at den internasjonale erfaringen Rustan bringer med seg fra New York, og det at hun bor og virker i Stockholm, kan være med på å gi nye perspektiver til nettsiden og ikke minst bidra til å spre Kunstforum ytterligere i Norden.

– Målet er å publisere saker hyppigere enn før, og kunne tilby en variert blanding av lettere saker, relevante kritikker og kronikker. Jeg ønsker å utnytte det digitale formatet til det fulle, og dra nytte av de fordelene som finnes ved å publisere på nett. På nettsidene har vi for eksempel muligheten til å dekke utstillinger som står kort, gjøre kortere intervjuer og lage bildeblogger, sier Mari Rustan om sine ambisjoner med Kunstforums nettside. Ønsket er at Kunstforum.as skal være et sted både kunstnere og kunstinteresserte kan hente både informasjon og inspirasjon.

Rustan (f. 1985) er kunsthistoriker med master fra University of Westminster med avhandlingen In the Shadow of the Surreal. Enigmatic Fantasies for Obscure Desires, som med utgangspunkt i Guy Bordin ser på introduksjonen av en ny type kvinnelig representasjon i motefotografiet. I perioden september 2011–mars 2012 arbeidet hun ved Gagosian Gallery i New York, blant annet som prosjekt koordinator på Richard Avdeon Murals & Portrait-katalogen. Rustan har også jobbet med oppstarten av fotogalleriet Shoot Gallery i Oslo og for TASCHEN i New York. Hun er kunstredaktør for SMUG magasin, og virker som frilansskribent og oversetter.

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Panamarenko Universum http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/panamarenko-universum-2/ http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/panamarenko-universum-2/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 10:04:07 +0000 http://www.kunstforum.as/?p=18475 On view at M HKA, Antwerpen, until the end of February 2015, is an immense exhibition showing the ‘local’ artist Panamarenko (b.1940).

Panamarenko Universum, exhibition view. Photo: M HKA

Panamarenko Universum, exhibition view. Photo: M HKA

Panamarenko has long since been concidered to be a key artist to the city of Antwerpen, loved by the inhabitants. With both the exhibition and the renovation and refurbishment of Panamarenko’s studio on Biekorfstraat, this endeavour is the most ambitious project of the M HKA in the past decade.

A ‘strange fellow’ with magical sculptures has long been the common perception of Panamarenko, as he might be seen as something between a visual artist and an inventor. Until now, not much effort has been done before in terms of delving into this artist’ ouevre.

The aim of this retrospective is not to bring together as many works as possible, but instead show them in a ”inter-connective context” that may be able to map the ouevre.

Panamarenko is an artist seemingly obsessed with how to make man fly and able to live underseas, and it is an intriguing experience to walk among his many devices and machines at the M HKA.

Panamarenko Universum, exhibition view. Photo: M HKA

Panamarenko Universum, exhibition view. Photo: M HKA

Panamarenko Universum, exhibition view. Photo: M HKA

Panamarenko Universum, exhibition view. Photo: M HKA

Panamarenko Universum, exhibition view. Photo: M HKA

Panamarenko Universum, exhibition view. Photo: M HKA

Panamarenko, Pahama, Spitsbergen, Nova Zemblaya, 1996.  Courtesy Collection Fondation Cartier, Paris. Photo: M HKA

Panamarenko, Pahama, Spitsbergen, Nova Zemblaya, 1996. Courtesy Collection Fondation Cartier, Paris. Photo: M HKA

Panamarenko, Portable Air Transport I, 1969. Courtesy Galerie Jamar

Panamarenko, Portable Air Transport I, 1969. Courtesy Galerie Jamar

Panamarenko Universum, exhibition view. Photo: M HKA

Panamarenko Universum, exhibition view. Photo: M HKA

Panamarenko Universum, exhibition view. Photo: M HKA

Panamarenko Universum, exhibition view. Photo: M HKA

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Provokasjonens kunst http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/provokasjonens-kunst/ http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/provokasjonens-kunst/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 11:13:02 +0000 http://www.kunstforum.as/?p=18471 – Forkaster vi refleksjonen og flertydigheten, forkaster vi også den særlige evnen kunsten er i besittelse av, mener Mette Paust-Andersen.

Det kan se ut til at vi har problemer med å svare på den provoserende kunsten. Vi mestrer ikke språket, og svarer derfor ikke med samme mynt – eksempelvis ved å lage ubehagelige bilder tilbake, slik den danske kunstneren Kristian von Hornsleth foreslår – men tyr heller til virkemidler som vi alle kan forstå, enten dette er å utsette kunstgalleriene for hærverk eller mure kunstneren inne.

Mette Paust-Andersen, prosjektmedarbeider Nordisk Råd og Nordisk Ministerråd

Mette Paust-Andersen har skrevet mastergrad om kunstens retorikk ved Københavns Universitet

Vi har sett det før; i debatten som fulgte bergenskunstneren Morten Traaviks 17.mai-festspill i Nord-Korea, i forbindelse med Lars Cuzner og Muhamed Ali Fadlabis rekonstruksjon av Kongolandsbyen og nå nylig også i oppstyret rundt tildelingen av Ibsen-prisen til den påståtte fascisten, Peter Handke; Når de regelridende samfunnsdebattantene trekker kunstverk ut av deres kontekst, reduserer det flertydige til det entydige og enkeltfasetterte, og tvinger kunsten til å diskutere på premisser og i et språk som ikke er dens eget, kan det lett oppstå misforståelser.

Dan Park og hans provokunst-kollegaer beskyldes av sine motstandere for å bruke kunsten som en slags trojansk hest for å komme til orde, og ytre sine ytterliggående politiske meninger i en offentlighet som ellers forviser disse til bortgjemte nettfora for de ytterliggåendes egne meningsfeller.

Imidlertid finnes det en mulighet for at kunstnerne trekker på politikken og samfunnsdebatten med en intensjon om tvert imot å tvinge oss som medborgere til å erfare verden gjennom den ytterliggående andres – om enn så ubehagelige – perspektiv. For kanskje er det først da vi kan forstå hvordan disse «andre» ser på verden, og hvordan deres verdensanskuelse faktisk er reell, på lik linje med vår egen.

Forkaster vi refleksjonen og flertydigheten, forkaster vi også den særlige evnen kunsten er i besittelse av; evnen til å utfordre og utvide våre perspektiver, å få oss til å spørre heller enn påstå, og å reflektere, heller enn å stagnere i samfunnsdebattens ensporede for og imot.

Dan Park balanserer på randen av samfunnsnormene, og det er dette som provoserer. Som mannen bak illustrasjoner av karikerte stereotypier, påtar han seg en rolle som talsmann i opposisjon til samfunnets etablerte verdier om antirasisme og respekt. På bakgrunn av kunstens ambivalens kan vi imidlertid ikke tillate oss å si oss fortrolige heller med denne rollen.

Skulle Dan Park fremme den samme debatten han i dag står som part i, ved å slutte seg til bejaelsen av det antirasistiske og antistigmatiserende, ville han verken blitt hørt eller maktet å sette fingeren på våre enda så sensitive nerver vedrørende menneskeverdet og ytringsfriheten kontra truslene andre meninger enn våre egne utgjør for dette.

Ved å sette dissens over konsensus bidrar den provoserende kunsten til å fremme et meningsmangfold og en viten om at dette eksisterer. Fortrenger vi den andres perspektiv, forkaster vi samtidig selve grunnlaget for debatten om våre så høyt forfektede verdier. Og denne debatten må stadig pågå, for vi skal aldri være for sikre i vår sak.

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Ride 1 på Lars Bohman Gallery http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/ride-1-pa-lars-bohman-gallery/ http://www.kunstforum.as/2014/11/ride-1-pa-lars-bohman-gallery/#comments Sun, 09 Nov 2014 12:46:01 +0000 http://www.kunstforum.as/?p=18451 Torsdag 6.november åpnet Ride 1 utstillingen Ride 1;6 (Crash) på Lars Bohman Gallery i Stockholm. Med tematikk hentet fra den amerikanske filmen, inviteres man ikke bare inn, men man oppfordres til å delta i verket.

Ride 1, , Lars Bohman Gallery

Ride 1, Ride 1;6 (crash), 2014. Foto: Per-Erik Adamsson/ Lars Bohman Gallery

Siden 2004 har de tre svenskene Stig Sjölund (f. 1955), Ronny Hansson (f. 1962) og Jonas Kjellgren (f. 1962) samarbeidet som kunstergruppen Ride 1. Via barrierer som loser en inn, bygger Ride 1;6 (Crash) med installasjon, fotografi og videokunst på veggene, opp en atmosfere og et narrativ som kuliminerer i hovedattraksjonen, krasjet. Objektene som er plassert tilfeldig på barrierene gir ikke et entydig svar på hva som har skjedd, eller hva som kommer til å skje. Er krasjet bare en ride, uvirkelig som på film?

Ustillingen står til 7.desember.

Ride 1, , Lars Bohman Gallery

Ride 1, Ride 1;6 (crash), 2014. Foto: Per-Erik Adamsson/ Lars Bohman Gallery

ride 1, , Lars Bohman Gallery

Ride 1, Ride 1;6 (crash), 2014. Foto: Per-Erik Adamsson/ Lars Bohman Gallery

Ride 1, , Lars Bohman Gallery

Ride 1, Ride 1;6 (crash), 2014. Foto: Per-Erik Adamsson/ Lars Bohman Gallery

Ride 1, , Lars Bohman Gallery

Ride 1, Ride 1;6 (crash), 2014. Foto: Per-Erik Adamsson/ Lars Bohman Gallery

Ride 1, , Lars Bohman Gallery

Ride 1, Ride 1;6 (crash), 2014. Foto: Per-Erik Adamsson/ Lars Bohman Gallery

Ride 1, , Lars Bohman Gallery

Ride 1, Ride 1;6 (crash), 2014. Foto: Per-Erik Adamsson/ Lars Bohman Gallery

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