at Kunstverein Nürnberg
July 8 2014
Presented at the Kunstverein Nürnberg, “A bōAt A Promise” is the first institutional solo exhibition of Berlin-based French artist Aude Pariset. Comprising two series of site-specific works, the show responds to the airy and modernist architecture of the building, a former Bavarian dairy distribution office designed in 1930 by German architect Otto Ernst Schweizer. The first series consists of three see-through windsurfing sails depicting headquarters of main international pharmaceutical companies, such as Bayer, Takeda and Pfizer. The second corpus is a series of five inkjet prints representing solar panels sourced from an online databank, on which the artist has applied an experimental test method using non-archival ink and a fixative varnish in order to challenge the durability of the image’s surface. Interested in questioning the authenticity and reproducibility of digital imagery, Pariset’s photographic and sculptural installations reflect a dichotomy between destruction and conservation of images and human bodies. Her contribution to the last Lyon Biennale indeed presented a haunted ensemble of clothes and prints, previously aged and naturally discolored in the open air. Obsolescence, unpredictability and the representation of consumption are also at stake in her recent collaboration with Juliette Bonneviot, in which prints of cosmetics decay in chemical products inside an aquarium over the course of the exhibition. (Martha Kirszenbaum)
Aude Pariset’s solo exhibition “A bōAt A Promise” at Kunstverein Nürnberg runs through August 10
“Manners of Matter”
at Salzburger Kunstverein
April 28 2014
“Manners of Matter” takes as its point of departure Ad Rheinhart’s provocative 1950s diner party witticism: “Sculpture is something you bump into when you back up to look at a painting.” This group show was organized by the Salzburger Kunstverein and co-produced with Musée du château de ducs de Wurtemberg, Montbéliard, where it will travel this Fall (from September 19 – February 1). Curated by Mexico City-based Lulu co-founder Chris Sharp, “Manners of Matter” addresses the role of sculpture today, as our relationship to artworks becomes limited by the two-dimensionality of prints and screens. Dealing with the physical absence and digital presence typical to contemporary life, the exhibition questions the relationship between the materiality of the body and the iteration of the sculpture. Photographs of objects and sculptures recall just how historically and conceptually intricate the relationships between these two media are. A third fundamental component of the show is performance and the representation of the body, highlighting fluidity, fragile presence and imperceptibility. “Manners of Matter” gathers works from different epochs throughout the 20th century, including historical positions such as Constantin Brancusi’s Florence Meyer posant dans l’atelier (1932); Polish sculptor Alina Szapocznikow’s surrealist-inspired “Photosculptures” series from 1970s; Bruce McLean’s self-portraits posing on pedestals (Pose Work for Plinths, 1971/2011); documentation from Koji Enokura’s 1972 Symptom—Sea-Body (P.W.-No. 40) performance; as well as the contemporary approaches of French photographer Jean-Luc Moulène’s still lifes of mass-produced commodities (Régulier / Barneville, 24 janvier 2008, 2008) and Esther Kläs’s totemic and human-sized sculptures (Rama 1 and Rama 1b, both 2013 both). (Martha Kirszenbaum)
“Manners of Matter” at Salzburger Kunstverein opens on April 30 and will run through July 7.
Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s “Hustlers”
published by steidlDangin
December 16 2013
Between 1990 and 1992, American photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia traversed California to find locations, scenarios and models for his upcoming series of portraits. A recent recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, diCorcia decided to shoot hustlers in Hollywood, dedicating the grant to remunerate them at whatever price they would charge for their sexual services. This bold gesture ultimately provoked a complaint about misuse of government funds, yet led to the artist’s first solo museum exhibition at MoMA in 1993. Philip-Lorca di Corcia’s series “Hustlers” marked the beginning of his involvement with street photography, albeit in a way conceptually opposed to his predecessors’ Henri Cartier-Bresson or William Klein, for whom the “decisive moment” was the cornerstone of a photographic gesture based on hazard and encounter. On the contrary, while diCorcia’s images seem to depict a random event, they rarely imply chance. Instead, they result from a carefully arranged set-up and a pre-determined narrative in locations that evoke the American West—a motel room, a car interior or a fast-food restaurant. Two decades later, and parallel to diCorcia’s eponymous exhibition at David Zwirner gallery in New York, steidlDangin published the monograph Hustlers. Designed by fashion photography retoucher Pascal Dangin, the book includes the original forty photographs alongside fifteen newly produced works. (Martha Kirszenbaum)
Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland
at MOCA, Los Angeles
December 11 2013
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles presents the first American cross-retrospective of artist Tom of Finland and photographer/filmmaker Bob Mizer, both iconic pioneers of contemporary gay aesthetics and producers of some of the most influential queer, homoerotic and fetish images of postwar America. The exhibition presents a series of collages and drawings by Tom of Finland, born Touko Laaksonen in 1920 in Kaarina, Finland, and described as the “most influential creator of gay pornographic images” by cultural historian Joseph W. Slade. His idiosyncratic illustrations depicts gay subcultures of the early 1950s, particularly bikers and leathermen. Tom of Finland’s illustrations first appeared in 1957 on the cover of gay “beefcake” magazine Physique Pictorial, produced by the Los Angeles-based photographer and filmmaker Bob Mizer, who took thousands of portraits of male nudes from the 1950s through the 1980s. Mizer photographed over ten thousand models in his studio, specializing in handsome, naturalist bodies arranged according his to satirical, dramatic or sci-fi scenarios. He also created over three thousand film titles, such as Motorcycle Thief (1958) or Joe Dallesandro Posing (1966). The exhibition at MOCA, Los Angeles, charts the way the interconnected work of these two artists has profoundly marked American counter-culture of the post-war period and has influenced generations of artists and filmmakers, including, among others, artists such as David Hockney, Kenneth Anger, Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol. (Martha Kirszenbaum)
Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland’s exhibition at MOCA, Los Angeles, runs through January 26, 2014.
at MoMA, New York
September 2 2013
The 100th iteration of MoMA’s bi-annual Projects series will feature two video installations by Akram Zaatari, who will also serve as Lebanon’s representative at this year’s Venice Biennale. Working with film, photography and installation, Zaatari excavates and documents everyday objects that reflect on political and cultural realities of post-war Lebanese society. His works examine the representation of territorial conflicts in the media, the logic of religious and national resistance, the circulation and production of images in the divided Middle East and the depiction of male sexuality. As a co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation, Zaatari’s practice involves archiving the photographic history of the Middle East. Zaatari’s past exhibitions and publications include “Hashem El Madani: Studio Practices or Mapping Sitting,” produced in collaboration Walid Raad. MoMA’s Projects 100 presents Dance to the End of Love (2011), a film installation based on YouTube clips made by Arab youngsters and shared freely online, examining the role of social media as a space of intimacy and public representation. On Photography, People and Modern Times (2010) tracks photographic records that Zaatari researched and collected for the Arab Image Foundation in the late 1990s, questioning the conventions of photographic documentation and evoking the emotions that link the images to their owners. Using the world around him as an ongoing resource, Zaatari creates personal diaries confronting past and present visual cultures, our relation to memory, the intimate and the human. (Martha Kirszenbaum)
Akram Zaatari’s exhibition at MoMA, New York, will run through September 23.
Urs Fischer’s solo show
at MOCA, Los Angeles
August 9 2013
Three years after the New Museum presented an immersive installation entitled “Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty,” the Museum for Contemporay Arts (MOCA) in Los Angeles opens the largest American retrospective of the New York-based Swiss artist. Fischer’s practice explores the secret mechanisms of perception, combining a Pop immediacy with a neo-Baroque taste for the absurd and a Duchampian fearlessness. This comprehensive mid-career survey, curated by Tate Modern’s Jessica Morgan, is presented at MOCA’s Grand Avenue location and the Geffen Contemporary, both of which will bear a distinct approach to the unique spaces of each venue. In Fischer’s uncanny environment, bread sculptures rub shoulders with teddy bears, melting wax stands along rotten vegetables, skeletons meet movie stars and toys greet grave-like holes. While he famously excavated the floor of the New York gallery Gavin Brown Enterprise in order to dig a crater within the exhibition space in 2007, Fischer’s gigantic clay installation at MOCA was formed on-site by some 1,500 pre-registered visitors who visited the museum in the weeks preceding the opening and sculpted humorous domestic animals, ironic figurines or futuristic landscapes. Twisting and expanding our visions of reality, Fischer’s world is alterable and unexpected, and the pleasure that his sculptures and installations provide seems to be based on our attraction and simultaneous repulsion to the dreamlike appearances that he constructs. (Martha Kirszenbaum)
Urs Fischer’s solo show at MOCA (Los Angeles) will run through August 19.
“Hi From California”
at Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles
May 16 2013
It all began on a full moon night in the Californian desert, a few miles away from Joshua Tree National Park. Former Tanya Leighton gallery director Robbie Fitzpatrick and writer Alex Freedman, both dressed in custom suits, hosted a pre-opening party for the launch of their gallery in Los Angeles that featured a Native American-inspired ritual of burying artworks packed in suitcases into the ground. Nestled in what used to be a medical clinic in a Hollywood Boulevard strip mall, Freedman Fitzpatrick presents an opening group exhibition reflecting the owners’ involvement in an emerging European scene and who, from Berlin through Zürich and London, have formed a reunion of artists sharing a sense of generational community. The press release of the exhibition “Hi from California” is composed by Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff, founders of the Berlin hangout Times, and reflects a personal narrative that seems to grasp a reunion of long-time friends and collaborators. The presented works comprise a wall-size erotic/organic painting by performer Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, a series of black resin puddle sculptures by Londoner Marlie Mul, and an in-situ pipe-sized installation by Zürich-based Mathis Altmann. As to extend notions of disciplines and media, fashion designer Nhu Duong exhibits a pair of gloves in the front window, while Swiss artist Hannah Weinberger conceives a sound piece accompanying the set-up. Deliberately defined as a Los Angeles commercial gallery, yet experimenting in the style of a European non-profit space, Freedman Fitzpatrick clouds the clues and announces upcoming collaborations with Tobias Madison and Lucie Stahl. (Martha Kirszenbaum)
“Hi From California” at Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles, will run through June 1.
Paris Photo Los Angeles
April 26 2013
For its seventeenth anniversary, the elegant Parisian art photography fair Paris Photo launches its first doppelganger edition in the city of angels, opening today and running through April 28th. A debut in an environment passionately allied to the moving image and American visual culture could not appear as a better choice. A highlight of this first Los Angeles occurrence might be, to begin with, its exceptional location—the mythical Paramount studios that have been in operation since 1926 and have witnessed the golden age of Hollywood. Paris Photo Los Angeles hosts over 70 international galleries from fourteen countries. Among them, Los Angeles-based dealers Cherry and Martin will present a double booth with works by Amanda Ross-Ho and the recently rediscovered Los Angeles figure Robert Heinecken; Michael Kohn Gallery will be focusing on a key figure in Californian conceptual photography and collage art, Wallace Berman. In a larger approach to west coast photographic practices, Gallery Paule Anglim exhibits a selection of works by San Francisco artists at the peak of the Bay Area Conceptual movement of the late 1960s, including Bruce Conner. Several European dealers, mostly French, have crossed the Atlantic for the fair, such as the Parisian gallery 1900-2000, dealing in twentieth-century works, or the Austrian gallery Konzett, showing rare vintage prints by Viennese Actionists Günter Brus and Otto Muehl. A public program of discussions, mainly involving American photographers (Catherine Opie, Doug Aitken or Sharon Lockhart), will be held in tandem with a screening series entitled “Sound and Vision,” which will include Chris Marker’s La Jetée (1962) and Philippe Parreno’s Anywhere Out of the World (2000). (Martha Kirszenbaum)