March 10 2014
Kaleidoscope presents KALEIDOSCOPE Videoclub, a new online platform dedicated to artist videos and experimental film, stemming from a reflection upon modes of distribution and reception of moving image in the Internet era. Hosting curated programs conceived either as thematic explorations or monographic surveys, the website gives access to rarely seen works while reinventing the concept of the film club as a digital space for experiencing, sharing and discussing art. Contents are uploaded on a regular basis, disseminated through social media, and occasionally accompanied by screening events—pursuing our idea that the magazine is an open platform that can exist in print, online, and live.
The kick-off program of the KALEIDOSCOPE Videoclub is #VOICEOVER, an extension to the current issue’s survey on the deployment of off-camera commentary as a conceptual device in the moving image works of a new generation of artists. Featured artists include Ed Atkins, Laure Prouvost, Pilvi Takala, Hito Steyerl, Helen Marten, Camille Henrot, Ian Cheng, John Smith, Mark Leckey, and Oliver Laric.
On this occasion, two #VOICEOVER screenings curated by Shama Khanna with works by Ed Atkins, Steve Reinke, Peter Wachtler, Laure Prouvost, Richard Sides, Andrew Norman Wilson and Pilvi Takala will be held at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, on March 10, accompanied by a public conversation with featured artist Richard Sides; and at Kaleidoscope’s newly opened project space, Milan, on March 14, accompanied by a public conversation with featured artist Andrew Norman Wilson.
March 10, 7–9 pm
#VOICEOVER at Palais de Tokyo
13 Avenue du Président Wilson, Paris
March 14, 7–9 pm
#VOICEOVER at KALEIDOSCOPE Project Space
via Macedonio Melloni 33, Milan
To follow in late March, the second program of KALEIDOSCOPE Videoclub will be #FRANCESCOVEZZOLI, a retrospective selection of the artist’s extraordinary and lesser-known video works from the late nineties to the present, which dangerously tangle with thorny issues like religion, sex, politics and the codes of the art system.
March 5 2014
Los Angeles-based sculptor Oscar Tuazon rejects architecture as a projection of economic and social ideologies, claiming it as a “bastard” form of sculpture somewhere between Land Art and Minimalism. The difference between a house and a sculpture is a roof. For “A Home,” his current sophomore exhibition at Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich, Tuazon presents a full-scale replica of his home in rural Washington State. But to the untrained eye, this home is more of a floor: it functions as both a shadow site formed by the gallery space and a pedestal for Tuazon’s “dysfunctional furniture.” His twinning continues with a series of walls torn from rough environments and stuck as-is on the pristine edges of the white cube. Tuazon builds constructions using materials such as wood, concrete and steel to conjure manual labor. In a recent artist talk at the gallery, he asked “What kind of work is an artwork?” Tuazon thinks it is hard work: he can cut his objects and they can cut him right back. Thus, “A Home” could be a stage for his masculinity. Tuazon enjoys working alongside the crew of laborers hired to construct his monumental pieces. He occupies their bodies. This pantomime embeds itself in the artwork. Tuazon’s work performs the disparate spaces we inhabit and the tensions of trying to negotiate between them. (Martine Syms)
Oscar Tuazon’s exhibition “A Home” at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, runs until March 9.
March 4 2014
Employing media ranging from hand-drawn vinyl transfers to appropriated body jewelry, Sam Pulitzer’s work examines the process by which gestures of counter-cultural transgression gradually become codified and assimilated. For a 2011 show at Los Angeles’s Anat Ebgi, for instance, the artist repeatedly pierced the gallery walls with one-inch gauged metal ear plugs; in recasting the white cube as a bodily form, he questioned the possibility of subversive activity in an environment which aestheticizes, and thus renders impotent, any attempts at nonconformity. A 2012 solo exhibition curated by Michele D’Aurizio at Fondazione Pastificio Cerere in Rome saw him adorning the space with vinyl transfers of stark, vaguely cartoonish illustrations whose allusions to anarchistic politics, goth fashion, punk and black metal music and fantasy literature were translated into highly stylized graphic renderings. Now, an upcoming solo exhibition at New York’s Artists Space set to open on March 16, titled “A Colony for ‘Them’,” will find the artist installing an elaborate architectural labyrinth within the gallery space. Densely coating the structure’s walls with vinyl transfers of various commissioned illustrations and texts, Pulitzer will again ask the viewer to decipher a set of slogans and symbols whose cultural meanings are at once dependent upon and ultimately diluted by the context of their presentation. (Christopher Schreck)
March 3 2014
With his signature combination of dense diagrams, photography, graphics and text, since the early ’60s, Stephen Willats has relentlessly mapped our urban and social environment. Whereas his subject matter has remained steadfast, his varied approach to modes of display and distribution has seen him work across print and alternative exhibition platforms. Variously editing Control magazine, working with members of his community and displaying work in local libraries and housing estates, Willats has pioneered the figure of the artist as a type of post-studio nomad. He was one of the first contemporary artists to bring broader social, communication and pedagogical theories into artistic discourse, influencing successive generations of younger artists. Prefiguring tendencies in interactive and participatory practices, Willats seems to have now found his moment. The Whitechapel Gallery presents “Concerning Our Present Way of Living,” an archival display of Willats’ work. It features Sorting Out Other People’s Lives (1978), which was first exhibited at the Whitechapel in 1979, and made in conjunction with local residents from the Ocean Estate, a run-down housing estate in London’s Tower Hamlets borough. 2014 promises to be a busy year for Willats, with another showing of his early work at Raven Row, London. Both exhibitions will offer an opportunity to survey work by an artist who increasingly resembles conceptual art royalty. (George Vasey)
Stephan Willats’ exhibition “Concerning Our Present Way of Living” at Whitechapel Gallery, London, will run until September 14.
February 28 2014
“Geographies of Contamination,” an exhibition co-curated by Laura McLean-Ferris, Alexander Scrimgeour and Vincent Honoré, presents ten contemporary artists exploring disruptions within social and digital systems and processes. Featuring Olga Balema, Neïl Beloufa, Nicolas Deshayes, David Douard, Renaud Jerez, Sam Lewitt, Marlie Mul, Magali Reus, Rachel Rose and Michael E. Smith, the exhibition aims to analyze the “rapid mutability of art.” The invited artists deal with materiality by playfully decategorizing the conventional form and nature of objects. Through corrupting and manipulating everyday objects they create new spatial and conceptual environments, as well as pair digital with analogue, food with waste, and memory with fact. The mix of mutated objects—presented in installation, sculptures and film—distorts a visual understanding of their inanimateness. French-Algerian artist Neïl Beloufa presents Bowling and Cats, both part of the artist’s “Vintage” series (2013), an installation of wooden panels with electric plugs which have been used to power the other artists’ films. The abstract shapes visible on the compressed wooden panels resemble sections of damaged and mysterious archaeological discoveries. Contrary to Beloufa, Berlin-based French artist Renaud Jerez’s installation, Pain Corp® (2014), transforms useful items into dysfunctional sculptures, such as disassembling the plumbing pipes of a jacuzzi and “mummifying” them in bandages. A discovery throughout the works on display is Grips (2014), a tiny cluster of figs made out of cast aluminium by French-born, London-based artist Nicolas Deshayes, offering a subtle yet sexual material presence. (Tatevik Sargsyan)
“Geographies of Contamination” at David Roberts Art Foundation, London, runs through March 29.
February 26 2014
Originally published in 1967, Something Else Press’s An Anthology of Concrete Poetry is newlyback in print after four decades. A comprehensive American anthology featuring 77 poets, the volume counts 342 pages in black and white print and is edited by Emmett Williams. An Anthology of Concrete Poetry traces the history of the late twentieth-century conceptual poetry movement back through to the use of letter arrangements to create shapes originating in Greek Alexandria three centuries before Christ. Pattern poems from this time are a type of ancient Greek verse that form specific shapes, such as wings and altars, and of which only few examples survive. The Concrete poetry’s movement began in the early 1950s in Germany with the Swiss writer Eugen Gomringer, who borrowed the term “concrete” from the practice of his mentor Max Bill. Futurist artists also used forms of concrete poetry to express anarchistic sympathies; Filippo Tommaso Marinetti created his poems as collages, cutting symbols from newspapers as well as drawing. Readers of this anthology will also find examples of concrete poetry that appeared in Austria, in the work of the Vienna Group, where Gerhard Rühm wrote constellations and ideograms, phonetic poems, and montage and photographic texts; Swedish poetry by Öyvind Fahlström, who attempted to associate familiar words nonsensical statements; and by Iceland-based artist Dieter Roth, whose artist books further challenge the premise of concrete poetry, liberating the poem from the author’s subjectivity. (Ingrid Melano)
February 25 2014
“An Introduction to Radical Thinkers” is the second series of events held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London, and undertaken with Verso Books for the launch of the latest set from their “Radical Thinkers” collection. With the aim of bringing theory to a broader audience outside of the academy, the ICA invites a variety of speakers to introduce the writing of Gillian Rose, Max Stirner, Edward W. Said, Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, and Sheila Rowbotham from 21 January–18 March 2014. Among the speakers, writer Federico Campagna and post anarchist thinker Saul Newman presented Stirner’s defence of individualism in The Ego and His Own (1845) on 4 February; on 18 February academic Shahidha Bari elucidated Said’s analysis of identity in his final book, Freud and the Non-European (2003); and professor and editor Steffen Böhm will present Laclau and Mouffe’s influential text Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (1985) on 4 March. Sharing a similar approach to Stirner, but arguing for a plurality of political spaces, Mouffe and Laclau discuss “radical democracy” in the book’s fourth and perhaps most compelling chapter, stating that “[…] the project for a radical and plural democracy, in a primary sense, is nothing other than the struggle for a maximum autonomization of spheres on the basis of the generalization of the equivalential-egalitarian logic.” (Anja Isabel Schneider)
February 22 2014
Rachel de Joode is a great connoisseur of surfaces—wet, smooth, crumpled, drooping. The Dutch-born, Berlin-based multi-media artist conflates the mediums of photography and sculpture via photorealist sulpture and sculptural photography. Her works distort familiar structures, lending new shapes to bodies and objects. The human body becomes a geometric box on a pedestal in Color of Me (2013), a Photoshopped collage of the artist’s own wrinkles and pores. Her body is reduced to the dysmorphic state of the prostrate figure in Marcel Duchamp’s Étant Donnés (1946-1966). De Joode employs a similarly hued kneaded terracotta clay, whose contours likewise resemble the lumps and crannies of the human body that mark its surface. Rather than exhibit the clay itself, de Joode’s clay only becomes sculpture in photographs of clay-marked shapes, or on photographic prints on fabric draped over live human models. Her work is at once photograph, sculpture, photograph of sculpture and performance. Objects perform elsewhere, as in Life Is Very Long (2012) where 60 frozen pizzas slowly defrost (and collapse) over the course of the exhibition. In “The New Beauty Of Our Modern Life,” a group show at Higher Pictures, New York, the artist maps the trajectory of the dripping tear in photorealist sculpture. De Joode’s work is also currently on view in “Surface Poetry,” a group show at Gallery Boetzelaer|Nispen, Amsterdam, and in “The Molten Inner Core,” a solo show at Gallery Neumeister Bar-Am, Berlin. (Simone Krug)
February 21 2014
At the core of Simon Denny’s show “Disruptive Berlin” at Galerie Buchholz, Berlin, are a series of sculptural works that respond to the city’s newfound identity as a hub for emergent technology companies. Works such as Berlin Startup Case Mod: Sociomantic (2014) and Berlin Startup Case Mod: EyeEm(2014) appear as an assemblage of emblazoned computer hardware, accessorized with USB sticks and printed fascias. In these and in other works, flatscreens become shelves and computer packaging materials become plinths; the technology here seems to fold into its own promotional rhetoric and an overcooked sense of its own futurity. Denny describes the work as a series of subjective portraits of specific hot-tipped startup companies and specialist events such as TechCrunch, and Hy! Berlin, aimed at accelerating new business investment for startups in the city. Together, the sculptures in “Disruptive Berlin” presents a noisy scene of competing forces, all pitching their own pre-loaded zeitgeist of a tech-modulated world soon to come. This sense of zeitgeist is also retro-activated through works in the exhibition such as Disruptive Legacy Model: Apple IIe (2014) that utilize older technologies (an early model of an Apple home computer), and others such as the Axel Springer Unternehmensarchiv investment kiosk (2014) that draw on specific narratives of commercial breakthroughs that have consequently shaped the cultural interface of computer technology in recent years. (Matt Packer)
Simon Denny’s exhibition “Disruptive Berlin” at Galerie Buchholz, Berlin, runs through March 15.
February 18 2014
There’s always been a certain prestige to youth, but over the past twenty years age hasn’t mattered. Forty was the new thirty, which was the new twenty. In their new report “Youth Mode,” trend forecast group K-HOLE describes this phenomenon as “the death of age.” Generational conscience be damned. Youth is an attitude. Matt Wolf ’s new film examines the invention of the teenager as a powerful consumer class through the first half of the 20th century in America, England and Germany. Teenage (2013) collages archival footage, amateur movies, reenactment, striking photography, and diary entries to mime the overwhelming experience of adolescence. These materials compose specific portraits of emblematic teenagers from history, such as black Boy Scout Warren Wall, rebellious German Swing Kid Tommie Scheel, idealistic Hitler Youth Melita Maschmann, and self-destructive Bright Young Thing Brenda Dean Paul. These characters are interpreted by the young voices of Jena Malone, Ben Whishaw, Julia Hammer and Jessie Husher, and their story is put to by the music of Bradford Cox, the lead singer of alternative bands Deerhunter and Atlas Sound. Based on the book Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture 1875-1945 (2007) by punk author Jon Savage, Wolf gives voice to the unspeakable moments where subjectivity meets history, thus asking who is responsible for the future. (Martine Syms)
February 17 2014
George Grosz’s provocative drawings and caustic caricatures depict a cosmopolitan yet eerie Berlin, with scenes of decadence, eroticism, violence and distress. Eschewing illusionistic depth in favor of expressionist detail, members of the bourgeoisie, prostitutes, war cripples and politicians share the picture plane. Inspired by Grosz’s graphic œuvre, Los Angeles-based artist Miller Updegraff offers a powerful reading of Grosz’s work in a series of paintings and drawings on view at Clifton Benevento, New York, until 22 February. For his second solo show at the gallery, Updegraff presents a new body of work including Whisky frisky (2013), where he uses disparate scenes extracted from Grosz’s drawings to create a subtly complex white painting. It is Updegraff’s subtractive gesture, scraping away the white gesso from the surface, that creates the image. The subsequent outlines on the raw canvas form a subdued yet intricate figurative composition. While bodies and faces overlap in a frenzy of pictorial information, each “line” is traced with the utmost care to enrich a feature or continue a figure’s contour. Sourcing his materials from drawing, painting, sculpture and photography, Updegraff seems to hint at techniques dear to Grosz’s practice, such as etching, photomontage and collage. The artist, who trained as an anthropologist, continues his subjective exploration of the historical content – in this case, Berlin between the First and Second World Wars – and its claimed objectivity. (Anja Isabel Schneider)
Miller Updegraff’s solo show at Clifton Benevento, New York, runs through February 22.
February 14 2014
The Lustful Turk (1828) is an erotic epistolary novel about the adventures of Emily Barlow, an innocent English girl kidnapped by the Dey of Algiers during an Eastern journey. The main themes emerging from this story are marked by the ambiguity that is also the undertone of Patrizio Di Massimo’s project of the same title. Recently he presented several new works at Gasworks, London: large-scale paintings, sculptural assemblages with furniture and trimmings and a wall painting. If the starting point sounds purely descriptive, the artist’s gaze brings out the novel’s mysterious allure of symbolic and turbid elements, suspending the works in a mild and drowsy grace. Developing his fascination for the relationship between bodies and objects, later Di Massimo staged this seductive role-playing game with Inside Me (2013), a performative installation made of a 130 stacked cushions, occasionally activated by the presence of a man inside the installation. The secretive representation of the individual’s most inner and unconscious longing for the Other is then re-absorbed and suspended in the expanded time of the miseen- scène. Yet, on the occasion of “Me, Mum, Mister, Mad,” his first solo show at Kunsthalle Lissabon, Patrizio Di Massimo will present several new works, emphasizing his concern with exposing those unsaid, hidden aspects of relationships, which result in an impossible and tragic grasp of meaning and of possession. (Bianca Stoppani)
Patrizio Di Massimo’s solo show at Kunsthalle Lissabon will run through April 12.
February 13 2014
“As a matter of fact, artifice was considered… to be the distinctive mark of human genius.” With only a paragraph-long excerpt from French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans’ most famous novel Against Nature (À rebours, 1884) in place of a press release, “I love you Me either,” the current show at Mayfair’s Project Native Informant, London, begins its address to the various binaries of artifice and authenticity. Joris-Karl Huysmans was itself a pseudonym used by French novelist Charles-Marie-Georges Huysmans. The quote is prefaced by a brief laying out of these binaries: desire and excess; circulation and stasis; emptiness and exhaustion. The list of artists participating in the show is more than apt: Georgia Sagri, whose performance at the 2012 Whitney Biennale took place amongst a surreally fragmented array of objects, both crude and technological, in front of a photographic studio backdrop; Dafna Maimon, whose video work One Plus One Is Two Times Half (2012) uses clumsily delivered lines by rigid actors and erratic, slapstick gesticulations to broach issues of intimacy; and Edward Kay, whose bizarre and unsettling portrait paintings present repulsive characters as celebrity or monarchy. The show seems fitting with the gallery’s programme of projects thematized around varying levels of artificiality—from the futuristic, decorative, screen-like works by Petros Moris to Loretta Fahrenholz’s hyper-weird New York apocalypse movie. (Nick Warner)
February 11 2014
Lucy Kim is an artist who plays games with images. The Korean-born and Massachusetts-based artist subjects referents of pop culture to forms of visual distortion. Likening her practice to a type of analogue Photoshop, she processes appropriated imagery with a keen sense of materiality, exploring how visual perception can be confounded. She often works against the latent qualities of a medium, and one can look towards the work Parrot Figurines (2013) as typical. Incorporating oil paint, aluminium foil and plastic, the almost sculptural treatment of the surface interferes with the viewer’s ability to easily decipher the image. The creased surface dramatizes the relationship between what is represented and how it is made. Continuing with the bird motif, Kim has cast sculptures of parrots and ducks with latex, then painted and stretched the elasticated castings over stretcher bars. The resultant warping and pictorial repetitions act to camouflage the originating source to point of increasing abstraction. Viewers are asked to see two things simultaneously in Kim’s work: method and content, while process and representation work against each other to disorient them. It is these formal slippages that create the compelling effect of a slapstick dysfunction. Kim has recently become represented by the New York gallery Lisa Cooley, who will be hosting her first solo exhibition in 2015. (George Vasey)
February 10 2014
In Ericka Beckman’s exuberant work, both objects and bodies are staged to perform. Born in 1951, she studied at the California Institute for the Arts and then moved from Los Angeles to New York in the mid-seventies. Since then, she has been delving into the construction of the image and of the self with her films “moving backwards” through a recollection of past experiences. Following her recent successful mid-career retrospective at the Kunsthalle Bern, a selection of her work will be on view at Le MAGASIN in Grenoble. Her works are carefully researched and constructed, featuring sets of playful, handmade props in bold colors and elaborately intertwining live-action filming with layers of animation. Her narratives combine elements of choreography, music and singing with underlying structures borrowed from team sports and games. We Imitate; We Break Up (1978) is the first part of her experimental “Super-8 Trilogy” (1978–80), in which Beckman and her friends perform. Dressed in a girl’s school uniform, the artist imitates the movement of a pair of wooden puppet legs. Beckman draws here from the writings of psychologist Jean Piaget, in particular his study of cognitive development in childhood. In more recent work, the artist goes a step further in performing the image, employing architectural features to direct the camera. In the end, it seems her work is left to perform itself. (Anja Isabel Schneider)
Ericka Beckman’s exhibition at Le MAGASIN, Grenoble, runs until May 4.