1 July 2014

Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950 at Mudam Luxembourg, July 12 - Oct 12

Destruction has played a wide range of roles in contemporary art—as rebellion or protest, as spectacle and release, or as an essential component of re-creation and restoration. Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950, on view at Mudam Luxembourg from July 12 through October 12, 2014, offers an overview, if by no means an exhaustive study, of this central element in contemporary culture. Featuring approximately 90 works by nearly 40 international artists, and including painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, film, video, installation and performance, the exhibition presents many of the myriad ways in which artists have considered and invoked destruction in their process.
Above: Arnold Odermatt, "Buochs," 1965. © Urs Odermatt. Courtesy Galerie Springer, Berlin.

While destruction as a theme can be traced throughout art history, from the early atomic age it has become a pervasive cultural element. In the immediate post-World War II years, to invoke destruction in art was to evoke the war itself: the awful devastation of battle, the firebombing of entire cities, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan, and, of course, the Holocaust. Art seemed powerless in the face of that terrible history. But by the early 1950s, with the escalation of the arms race and the prospect of nuclear annihilation, the theme of destruction in art took on a new energy and meaning. In the decades since, destruction has persisted as an essential component of artistic expression. Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950 offers an overview of this prevalent motif. 

Left: Ori Gersht : Big Bang I, 2006. (détail) Photogramme ;© Ori Gersht. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, Joseph H. Hirshhorn Purchase Fund, 2008 (08.17)
Right: Yoshitomo Nara : No Fun! (in the floating world), 1999, Courtesy of Eileen Harris Norton

Many of the earlier works in the exhibition directly record nuclear bombs or their aftermath, or use such documentation as a starting point for broader commentary. The use of found film, television, and photography as a source expanded more widely in the 1960s as the importance of media coverage of disasters on a cataclysmic or everyday scale increased. Other artists adopted more conceptual or symbolic approaches to address the potential for destruction in the world or as a reaction to social conventions. Destruction has also been employed as a means of questioning art institutions or challenging the very meaning of art itself. In many of the artworks on view, regardless of time period, medium, or intent, the desire to control destruction or to emphasize the integral relationship between construction and destruction is central.

30 May 2014

Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Youth at The University of British Columbia, June 1, 2014 - Jan 4, 2015

The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC presents a unique look at contemporary art viewed through the lens of Indigenous youth in its new exhibition, Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Youth, from June 1, 2014 to January 4, 2015. Curated by Pam Brown, of MOA, with curatorial assistant Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, this thought-provoking, radical exhibition examines the diverse ways in which urban Aboriginal youth identify with their environment—both in urban spaces and ancestral territories.

Cody Lecoy, Lions Gate Bridge, 2013. Acrylic on canvas.

"Unfiltered and unapologetic, this exhibition unites more than 25 young artists, ages 15–25, from across Canada, the US, Norway, and New Zealand to define what it means to be an urban Aboriginal youth in today's society," says MOA curatorial assistant Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers. "In doing so, they challenge centuries of stereotyping and assimilative policies. This exhibit will leave visitors with the understanding that today's urban Aboriginal youth are not only acutely aware of the ongoing impacts of colonization, but are also creatively engaging with decolonizing movements through new and traditional art forms."    

29 May 2014

Without Masks: Contemporary Afro-Cuban Art at the University of British Columbia, May 2 - Nov 2

The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC opens a window into the lives and struggles of Cubans of African descent in its new exhibition Without Masks: Contemporary Afro-Cuban Art on display from May 2 to November 2. This remarkable exhibition has assembled a diverse group of Cuban contemporary artists devoted to two fascinating themes: on the one hand, an insight into contemporary Afro-Cuban cultural and religious traditions and, on the other, an intense dialogue on the complex racial issues affecting the country today. 
Above: Juan Carlos Alom, Sin Palabras (Without Words), 2008. 
Digital print laminated on PVC, edition 1 of 3.

Orlando Hernández, formerly of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana, curated Without Masks following his own rigorous criteria. Focusing beyond aesthetic, the exhibit favours originality and the profoundness of the works' sociological, historical, anthropological, religious, ethical and political messages.

"There is a very strong African tradition in Cuba. We inherited many religious practices from Africa—Palo Monte, Santeria, Ifá, Abakuá—and there are a lot of Cubans of direct or mixed African descent," says Hernández. "In Without Masks we seek to make new and deeper studies of those cultural, aesthetic, symbolic, and religious legacies that we share and take for granted, without forgetting that we have received them from black sub-Saharan Africa."

27 May 2014

Here Africa / Ici l’Afrique by ART for The World, May 8 - July 6

Here Africa / Ici l'afrique assembles, for the first time in Switzerland, contemporary African art with more than 70 works by 24 artists from 17 African countries. The exhibition is hosted in the premises of the Château de Penthes, Geneva-Pregny, located in the area of United Nations and the international organizations. 

Left: Mustafa Maluka (South Africa), Untitled (Man), 2011. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva 
Right: Sedira (Algiers), The Lovers, 2008. © Zineb Sedia. Courtesy Mennour Kamel, Paris

Central to the exhibition is the question, "What exactly is Africa, in its gigantic and complex diversity, this gathering of nations created through ancient and recent migrations with different political regimes, specific evolution, and multiple patters of town development? Here Africa / Ici l'afrique, showcases the work of a selection of artists from different Saharan and sub-Saharan parts of Africa. 

Left: JD'Okhai Ojeikere (Nigeria), Onile Gogoro gold Akaba, 2008. Gelatin silver print 
Collection Patrick Fuchs and / Noboru and Fernandes de Abreu, Geneva
Right: Toguo, Talking to the Moon II 2013 , Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Lelong, Paris

These artists and filmmakers* are: Omar Ba (Senegal), Faouzi Bensaïdi* (Morocco), Filipe Branquinho (Mozambique), Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (Ivory Coast), Edson Chagas (Angola), Romuald Hazoumè (Benin), Pieter Hugo (South Africa), Adelita Husni-Bey (Libya), Nadia Kaabi-Linke (Tunisia), Gonçalo Mabunda (Mozambique), Mustafa Maluka (South Africa), Abu Bakarr Mansaray (Sierra Leone), J.D.'Okhai Ojeikere (Nigeria), Joshua Okoromodeke (Nigeria), Richard Onyango (Kenya), Idrissa Ouédraogo* (Burkina Faso), Chéri Samba (Congo), Sarkis & Guem & Perdrix (France-Benin), Zineb Sedira (Algeria), Yinka Shonibare MBE (UK/Nigeria), Malick Sidibé (Mali), Abderrahmane Sissako* (Mauritania), Pascale Marthine Tayou (Cameroon), and Barthélémy Toguo (Cameroon).

The Permanent Revolution (An Ideological Screwball Comedy) at Museo Jumex, May 18 - June 15

The Permanent Revolution, an original play by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes, explores the tensions between socialism and capitalism, two economic ideologies that still have resonance in contemporary culture.

As a new departure from the artist's Baby Marx series—an exploration of the contradictions that occur between these two currents of thought through marionettes of characters that include Vladimir Lenin, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Karl Marx, Adam Smith and Milton Friedman—The Permanent Revolution gathers, for the first time in Mexico, these celebrated thinkers to discuss their revolutionary ideas and disproportionate ambitions. 

Above: Pedro Reyes, "The Permanent Revolution" (still), 2014. Video. Camera: Moritz Bernoully. Courtesy of Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City.

This new hour-long script commissioned by Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo, sets the play in present time and flirts with important and urgent subjects such as ideological radicalism, government transparency and the controlled use of information. Additionally, six new characters will be joining the original cast: Leon Trotsky, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Steve Jobs and Julian Assange. 

The plot, which includes political intrigue, romance, philosophy, conceptual art, debauchery, technology, espionage, explosions and guaranteed entertainment for the whole family, addresses philosophical questions and political matters that have a direct impact on our lives, making the story that much more explosive. Here, the real, the absurd, and the ironic are chock-a-block.

With more than forty performances during four weeks, The Permanent Revolution will be presented at Museo Jumex along with an exhibition of artworks related to this project.

Learn more at www.fundacionjumex.org

26 May 2014

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos presents Àsìkò at Dak’Art 2014

CCA, Lagos presents in collaboration with Synergie Contemporaine, Dakar, Àsìkò, the fourth edition of its international art programme under the title A History of Contemporary Art in Senegal in 5 Weeks as part of the OFF at the 11th Dakar Biennale. In 2010, CCA, Lagos began an innovative programme with the aims of filling a gap in the art education curricula in Nigeria and other African countries, which tend to ignore the critical methodologies and histories that underpin artistic practice. Using the format of part art laboratory, part residency and part informal art academy, over the course of 35 intensive days The History of Contemporary Art in Senegal in 5 Weeks will focus partially on technique and primarily on methodology, critical thinking, and the implementation of conceptual ideas as well as the development and role of curatorial practice. 

Above: Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh, "S.A.F.P.A. (Six and Four:Prison Anxieties)," 2013. Installation detail, Chale Wote Street Art Festival, Accra, 2013. Courtesy the artist.

At the end of the 2013 Àsìkò, The Archive: Static, Practice and Embodied held in Accra, the participants provocatively titled their final project, A History of Contemporary Art in Ghana in the Last Five Weeks. Was this gesture an attempt to indicate that the complex history of contemporary art practice in Ghana could be broached within the temporal period allotted—five weeks? Certainly such an elaborate history condensed and absorbed in the space of 35 days, or 840 hours, is subject to questioning. Despite its inevitable sentiments of reductiveness, the title nonetheless provided a space of examination and reflexivity, a space in which to dwell on the effects of time and its potential in tune with the central theme of "The Archive."

Robin Rhode: Animating The Everyday at Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College, May 4 - Aug 10

South African artist Robin Rhode's exhibition, Animating the Everyday, a ten-year survey of his digital videos, is on at the Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College from May 4 through August 10. The 22 works in the exhibition focuses on the digital videos that Rhode identifies as "animations" and photographic series that correspond to or complement the time-based work.
Above: Robin Rhode, Kinderstoel, 2011. Digital animation, 2:20 minutes. Courtesy of the artist; Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong; and White Cube

Rhode's exuberant animations—created in the streets, studios, his parents' yard in Johannesburg, and Berlin, where he now lives and works—transform the quotidian into the playful and fantastic but include an underpinning of melancholy, danger, and risk. "I embrace chaos. I don't create a work only with the idea that it has to be lighthearted; there's something dark underneath," Rhode explained at a recent visit to the Neuberger Museum of Art. "I come from a culture that is very spontaneous, that has a lot of humor and sarcasm. It stems from the South African mentality and has to do with freedom, and with the possibility of imagining or reinventing another world quite rapidly...Approachability and accessibility are fundamental to my work."

Giving Contours To Shadows at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) / SAVVY Contemporary, May 24 - July 27

It is common knowledge that history and the privilege to write history is one of the most prestigious chalices, earned or seized by any victor or person in power. In its multi-dimensionality, it is the concoction of the real/truth, the fictitious, and the untold that makes history what it is, especially as it is the case that the silent voices in history are much louder than the voices which have found a way into our ears today. 
Above: Lerato Shadi, "Matsogo" (still), 2013. HD video.

Giving Contours to Shadows will have Africa as its point of departure to reflect on philosophical and historical aspects of global concern. The project is thus interested in casting light on alternative narrations and epistemologies, as well as on another art history. The project will investigate and deliberate on new narratives beyond the colonial/post-colonial discourse.

24 May 2014

HLYSNAN: The Notion and Politics of Listening at Casino Luxembourg – Forum d'art contemporain, May 17 - Sep 7

In the Old English word hlysnan, "to listen," the focus is on the notions of attention and intent. Similarly the emphasis in the project HLYSNAN: The Notion and Politics of Listening lies on the active act not merely of hearing—usually referring to automatic or passive sound perception – but rather specifically on listening; hearing with intent.
Above: Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere, "What we might have heard in the future," 2010/2014. Radio drama. Installation view at Casino Luxembourg. © photo: Patrick Galbats.

Listening requires intensified concentration and attentiveness towards what one is listening to; it is linked to the notion of desire, anticipation and understanding, a striving for a possible meaning. HLYSNAN: The Notion and Politics of Listening understands listening as agency, as gesture, as attitude and as taking a position. The  exhibition attempts to reconcile audio practices with contemporary social and political realities and invites the visitor to actively experience, listen and engage with the sense of hearing to the various complex interplays.

Tatiana Trouvé's exhibition, I tempi doppi, at Museion Bolzano, May 24 - Sep 7

Curated by Letizia Ragaglia, Museion presents Tatiana Trouvé's first solo show in an Italian museum. The Italian-born artist, who lives and works in Paris, is known for installations designed to draw the visitor into haunting situations that oscillate between the real, the imaginary and the illusory, and question our sense of space and time. 
Above: Tatiana Trouvé, "350 Points Towards Infinity," 2009. Installation view, "A Stay Between Enclosure and Space," Migros Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, 2009. Photo: Stefan Altenburger, Courtesy Johann König Gallery, Perrotin Gallery and Gagosian Gallery.

The title of the exhibition alludes to the intrinsic duality of the artist's work, where the rational and the irrational, the mind and the senses, are inextricably linked. The fourth floor of the museum hosts the large installation 350 Points towards Infinity (2009), in which 350 slender plumb lines hanging from the ceiling mysteriously appear to be pulled in different directions. The arresting presence of the work, which evokes a shower of metal raindrops, hints at the concealed presence of some kind of chaotic forcefield. Indeed Trouvé's works often conjure up alternative worlds, enabling visitors to envision hidden, parallel dimensions, and experience the unsettling feeling that things are not quite as they seem. 

Learn more at www.museion.it

Aperture: Summer 2014 Available Now, "The São Paulo Issue"

The summer 2014 issue of Aperture focuses on the dynamic photography scene in South America's art capital, São PauloAperture's editors worked onsite in São Paulo with guest editor Thyago Nogueira, head of the Contemporary Photography Department at Instituto Moreira Salles, one of Brazil's leading cultural institutions. 

The issue showcases a rich cross section of both historical and contemporary photography, reflecting curatorial and research activity taking place today, with a broad embrace, from the inception of photography in the early 19th century to the most exciting contemporary figures. In between are key touchstones: the postwar avant-garde photo clubs, the photo-conceptualists of the 1970s, art and photojournalism during the repressive dictatorship years, and the recent rise of politically engaged, new-media-savvy photography collectives who engage questions of inequality in Brazil's booming economy. The issue offers a fresh take on São Paulo's exceptional photographic culture, reflecting the energy, diversity, and history of the city itself. 

Rashid Johnson's Magic Numbers, opening at the George Economou Collection on June 20

The George Economou Collection has recently announced the upcoming Magic Numbers, a solo exhibition by American artist Rashid Johnson (b. 1977, Chicago)opening in Athens on June 20. Curated by the artist in collaboration with Katherine Brinson, associate curator at the Guggenheim Museum New York, and Skarlet Smatana, director of the Economou Collection, the exhibition features a site-specific installation of works largely conceived on the occasion of the exhibition.
Above: Rashid Johnson, "The New Black Yoga" (still), 2011. 16mm film transferred to DVD with sound, 10:57 minutes. © Rashid Johnson. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Since coming to prominence in the early 2000s, Johnson has forged a nuanced and diverse body of work that explores the complex contemporary and historical forces that shape identity. His paintings, photographs, videos, and sculptures draw on a shifting corpus of references spanning music, literature, intellectual history, and pop culture, interwoven with dense autobiographical valences. His installations often take the form of wall-mounted shelves that suspend together found objects such as books, vinyl records, CB radios, plants, and oyster shells, imbuing them with a new, talismanic significance. In recent years, Johnson has also increasingly worked in a purely abstract vein, mining the legacy of modernist abstraction while exploiting the unique expressive potential of his vocabulary of unconventional materials. 

Five New Spring 2014 exhibitions at the New Museum, New York

The New Museum launches a new series of solo shows, featuring the first New York museum presentations of five young international artists, including a new performance work by Ragnar Kjartansson, an immersive sound installation by Roberto Cuoghi, a survey of videos, sculptures, and drawings by Camille Henrot, and site-specific installations by Hannah Sawtell and David Horvitz. Working across various mediums, the artists are linked by an interest in music, sound, and the circulation of images to represent personal histories and systems of knowledge.

Ragnar Kjartansson: Me, My Mother, My Father, and I, May 7 - June 29, Fourth Floor, Curated by Massimiliano Gioni & Margot Norton
Born into a family of actors and theater professionals, Ragnar Kjartansson draws from a varied history of stage traditions, film, music, and literature. His performances, drawings, paintings, and video installations explore the boundaries between reality and fiction as well as constructs of myth and identity. At the New Museum, Kjartansson presents works with and about his family, including a newly orchestrated performance and video piece titled Take Me Here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage (2011/2014), in which ten musicians play a live composition for the duration of the exhibition. Other works in the exhibition are made in direct collaboration with Kjartansson's parents, including a new series of images of the sea made with his father, titled Raging Pornographic Sea (drawings)(2014), and an ongoing video collaboration with his mother where she repeatedly spits in his face, Me and My Mother, which began in 2000. 

Gallery MOMO presents, Dorky Park in collaboration with Ayana V Jackson, May 30, 2014

8 May 2014

"Punk Protest Performance: Pussy Riot in Perspective", 12 May 2014, 6–9pm

Pussy Riot. Photo: Igor Mukhin, 2012.

Monday 12 May 20146–9pm
Det Norske Studentersamfund
Slemdalsveien 150369 
Oslo, Norway

With Rosi Braidotti, Judith Butler, Viktor Misiano and Pussy Riot
A number of issues were raised when members of Pussy Riot were arrested and imprisoned after their Punk Prayer performance in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (2012). When does public protest transgress the limited range of permissible behaviours in a society? What is the future of feminist performance art under times of censorship? 

The First Supper Symposium have gathered these renowned speakers to provide different perspectives on Pussy Riot's punk protest performances—from gender theory to Russian contemporary art practice—in dialogue with members of the feminist collective. Ekaterina Sharova will contextualise Pussy Riot's performances in relation to the Russian contemporary art scene, while Viktor Misiano will situate their work within a history of art activism in the immediate post-Soviet era. Rosi Braidotti will reflect on the politics of women's rock and punk bands and how performances have been used as feminist means of protest. Judith Butler will examine the gender and LGBT issues Pussy Riot invoke in a wider context of political demonstrations. Pussy Riot is represented by Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina. Panel discussion moderated by Natalie Hope O'Donnell.

The symposium forms part of a series of events and exhibitions in Oslo, including a screening of Non-Consensual Act (in progressand artist talk with Goshka Macuga at Kunstnernes Hus, and an exhibition with the Feminist Pencil at Galleri 69/Grünerløkka Lufthavn. The parallel programme has been curated by Ekaterina Sharova, in collaboration with the First Supper Symposium.

Words and Image via eflux.

30 April 2014

Maha Maamoun's The Night of Counting the Years at Fridericianum Turm, May 11–July 27, 2014

Maha Maamoun's first institutional solo exhibition focuses on her films, with which she injects history into existing images, texts and sounds: Domestic Tourism II (2008) compiles cameo appearances by the Pyramids of Giza in Egyptian cinema since the 1950s. This ancient Wonder of the World in its role as a backdrop for discussions of national, individual and gender identity in Egyptian mainstream cinema advances to become the protagonist of a dramatic feature film. 

When the text of a contemporary science fiction novel meets the reenactment of an iconic film image from the 1960s, the idea of imagination as potentiality is reduced to absurdity in 2026 (2010). Digging through blurred mobile phone footage on YouTube, which has captured the storming of the state security buildings in Cairo and Damanhur in spring 2011, Maamoun sets up an arduous course of decoding the past (Night Visitor: The Night of Counting the Years, 2011). In her latest film, Shooting Stars Remind Me of Eavesdroppers (2013), Maamoun likewise refuses to direct actors or scenes and instead orchestrates images and sounds recorded in Al-Azahr Park together with an intimate conversation about eavesdropping, truth and trust.

With her films, Maamoun trawls through the cultural imaginary in search of historiographical framing in which to set the present. This is also reflected in the exhibition title, which stems from the cinema classic by Shadi Abdel Salam. Maamoun's works indicate that the question of whether art can step out of the symbolic circle in order to have an effect in the lifeworld is posed incorrectly: it's all about the how. Art is opening out almost of its own accord when Maamoun takes seriously symbolic representations and has them clash with one another. In this process ruptures are caused in the representations, enabling the painful points of current questions to be intuited. 

Words via e-flux announcement.

29 April 2014

[EXHIBITION] Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, May 3–Oct 5, 2014

Frida Kahlo is one of the most famous artists in the world. Her reputation and persona have grown immensely since her death in 1954, yet posthumously she has been turned into a stereotype of Latin American art. This predicament, along with her celebrity status, often overshadows the confrontational and boldly transgressive nature of her paintings, and ultimately undermines the revolutionary intent of her work. 

Left: Image 1, Right: Image 2. See image credit below.

At the time it was made, Kahlo’s unabashedly intimate portrayal of her physical and psychological experiences and her appropriation of Mexican folk art aesthetics challenged the bourgeois European mainstream. The scale and content of her work also stood in opposition to the monumental, nationalistic history painting being produced by her male Mexican contemporaries. Her work subverted accepted notions of gender, sexuality, social class, and ethnicity, and was prophetic in anticipating the broader cultural concerns—postcolonialism, feminism, civil rights, multiculturalism, and globalization—that reached a crescendo in the 1960s and continue to be relevant today.

Image 3: See image credit below.

In 1978, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presented Kahlo’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States. Using two of the works included in the original 1978 exhibition, Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo brings her work into a dialogue with contemporary art. The selected artists in this exhibition share Kahlo’s spirit of rebellion and similarly assert themselves against the patriarchy as they insert their voices into dominant artistic discourses. This exhibition highlights four themes in Kahlo’s paintings to examine their continued relevance to international artists: the performance of gender, issues of national identity, the political body, and the absent or traumatized body. 

26 April 2014

Sharon Lockhart's 'Milena, Milena' at Bonniers Konsthall

Milena, Milena is the second in an exhibition trilogy - a narrative triptych that grows from Lockhart's relationship with Polish teenager Milena. Lockhart first befriended Milena in 2009 in Łodź, Poland during the filming of Podwórka (included in the exhibition). Several years later, Lockhart rekindled her friendship with Milena and discovered Milena's desire to write a book about her life. Triggering an ongoing dialogue between Lockhart and Milena, this imagined autobiography has become the impetus through which the two have explored the ambiguous autonomy of the young adult.

Sharon Lockhart, "Milena, Jarosław, 2013," 2014. Three framed chromogenic prints, 128.8 x 103.3 cm. Courtesy the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels, and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles.

Spread across three institutions and unfolded over a span of three years, each iteration of Milena, Milena features a slightly varied selection of works and marks an organic progression to the overall project. Comprising research (CCA Warsaw, 2013), production (Bonniers Konsthall, 2014), and contextualization (Kunstmuseum Luzern, 2015), Milena, Milena's trajectory aims at reflecting both highlights of the artist's 20-year career and her focus on a single character's choreography of selfhood and identity. 

The exhibition trilogy includes a series of strategically selected identifications that claim the biographical dimension of Lockhart's work, thus operating as (self-)portraits as well as projections. As such, the exhibition is framed by two works of a subtly biographical background: It opens with the cinematic tour de force of Double Tide (2009)—filmed in Maine, USA, where Lockhart spent her childhood—and concludes with the rarely exhibited series "Untitled Studies" (1993–ongoing), the artist's photographic diary, composed of re-photographed snapshots found in her own family album. At the center of the exhibition's narrative is Milena, an enigmatic figure who remains disquietly absent, distilling the different threads of identification in her very non-presence.

Lockhart's new work is a study of intimacy, shaped largely by the artist's reading of theoretical writings of Polish-Jewish educator, children's author and pediatrician Janusz Korczak (1878–1942). A legend of his own time, Korczak experimented with the methods of institutional education, based on the developmental enhancement of a child's inborn abilities. Representative of the social pedagogy approach to education and a pioneer of children's rights, he envisioned a future in which children structured their own world and became experts in their own matters. He crystallized his knowledge of child psychology, while learning to "(speak) not to the children but with the children."

Words from e-flux announcement.

Portraits of Justice, Alfredo Jaar's permanent installation at John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Portraits of Justice is a new permanent installation by Alfredo Jaar at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Commissioned for the Lynn and Jules Kroll Atrium of the new building designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the project was coordinated by independent curator Jennifer McGregor.
Alfredo Jaar, Portraits of Justice, 2013. Mixed-media installation. Courtesy the artist, New York. Photography: Rudolf Costin.

Jaar's new installation Portraits of Justice welcomes students, staff, faculty, and visitors entering the college with an elegant wall of pristine mirrors and aluminum panels. In midst of the reflections of the atrium's buzzing life, the seemingly minimal installation offers the college community a gaze into itself. The work's real complexity however unfolds as the mirrors light up every few minutes with faces of John Jay students, intermittently appearing and disappearing in various areas throughout the installation. 

At random intervals, some of the students speak out the word "justice" and, three times a day every day, the entire installation comes to life as it completely fills up with students whispering, shouting, imposing, or calling for "justice" in unison. The layering of reflections and the gradual unraveling of the complexity of the work reflects the difficulty and intricacy of a field like criminal justice, as well as the rigor and discipline that it requires. Mirrors, an age-old symbol of transparency and scrutiny, also suggest that all justice begins by looking at oneself.

About the artwork: Alfredo Jaar. Portraits of Justice, 2013. Installation with twenty LCD monitors, aluminum panels, TV mirror glass panels, and videos. Software design by Jerzy Klebieko. Cinematography by Rudolf Costin

Words via e-flux.

Acquiring Modernity: Kuwait's Pavilion at the 14th Venice International Architecture Biennale

Commissioned by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, Kuwait’s pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia will take place from June 7 to November 23. Housed in the Arsenale, Acquiring Modernity is Kuwait’s second participation after Kethra, which debuted at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition in 2012. 

Alia Farid, "A composite image of Princess Diana's anticipated
visit to the Kuwait National Museum," 2014.

Under the supervision of deputy commissioner Zahra Ali Baba and the creative direction of artist-curator Alia Farid, Acquiring Modernity will address the exhibition’s overarching theme of 100 years of modernity from 1914 to 2014. The pavilion will explore symbols of modernity in Kuwait’s architecture, with a special focus on Michel Ecochard’s Kuwait National Museum, designed in 1960 and completed in 1983. 

Representing Kuwait at the Biennale Architettura 2014 is a team of 21 individuals engaged in diverse areas of research: Aisha Alsager, Dana Aljouder, Sara Saragoça Soares, Hassan Hayat, Nesef Al Nesef, Noora Al Musallam, Amara Abdal Figueroa, Gráinne Hebeler, Abdullah AlHarmi, Samer Mohammed, Nima Algooneh, Liane Al-Ghusain, Adel Al-Qattan, Wafa’a Al-Fraheen, Dalal Al-Sane, Noura Alsager, Maysaa Almumin, Cherihan Nasr, Fatema Alqabandi, Alaa Alawadhi, and Ghazi Al-Mulaifi. 

The pavilion will also feature collaborations with filmmakers Shakir Abal and Oscar Boyson, graphic design duo Dexter Sinister, and artist Abdullah Al-Awadhi.  Accompanying the pavilion is a research publication available in English and Arabic, a film set for release in November, and a joint installation with the Nordic Pavilion. 

For more detailed information about the curator, participants, or the pavilion, visit website: www.acquiringmodernity.com

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