"Drip Event," Exhibition view at The Power Station, Dallas, 2013

Emanuel Rossetti’s practice seems evasive at times. Encountering his work, you often feel like you have arrived either too early or too late—and never at the right time. This is perhaps because Rossetti seems less concerned with organizing discrete, individual encounters with things and more interested in the contagion of collective spirits within a particular space. Rossetti often works in collaboration with artists Stefan Tcherepnin and Tobias Madison: “Drip Event” at The Power Station in Dallas (2013), for example, turned two exhibitions floors into a sonic installation of flooded water, which was also programmed with music events and other interventions. At The Modern Institute in Glasgow, “Life & the Invitation& Vapour in Debri&” (2014) transformed the architecture of the exhibition space with its flesh-colored carpeted walls. At the Hepworth Gallery, Haggard Caravan (2014) was a sound and sculpture installation in which debris collected during the ten-daylong residency was embedded in the site’s surface. This August at Kunsthalle Bern, Rossetti continues to pursue his interest in the physicality of sound, but it’s an exhibition that also promises to investigate the distinct properties of each ingredient in this “industrial hot sauce.” He extends the spatial, temporal and social loops of a space, contaminating that space with something alien, unsettling and unknown. (Matt Packer)

“Delay Dust,” Emanuel Rossetti’s solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Bern, will open on August 16

Carsten Nicolai, unidisplay, 2012. Installation view at MMK, Frankfurt am Main. Courtesy of the artist; Galerie EIGEN+ART Leipzig/Berlin; and The Pace Gallery. Photo by Axel Schneider

A self-defined “Creative City,” this summer the Japanese city of Sapporo will see the inaugural edition of the International Art Festival open under the theme “City and Nature,” aiming to examine how urban and natural environments can coexist in the future. Directing proceedings will be guest director Ryuichi Sakamoto, whose own artistic practice is the stuff of legend: Yellow Music Orchestra, which he formed in the late 1970s with fellow group members Hanuomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi, changed the landscape of electronic music. Specifically for the festival, Sakamoto has created Whitescape (2013 – ongoing), an ambient piece to which layers will gradually be added up until the festival’s opening. Venues like the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art will present thematic exhibitions with work by Subodh Gupta, Naoya Hatakeyama, Anselm Kiefer, Tetsumi Kudo, Carsten Nicolai and Tomás Saraceno (through September 28). On the occasion of this exhibition’s opening, there was a screening of Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (2010), the documentary by Sophie Fiennes about Anselm Kiefer’s work in an abandoned French factory. SIAF 2014 will stage a special performance of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet’s dance BABEL (Words) (2010) at Sapporo Art and Culture Hall on 22 August and a live performance by Alva Noto with Sakamoto at Sapporo Education and Culture Hall on 27 September. (Stuart Munro)

Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, Untitled / Evidence, 1977
Courtesy of the artists

Deconstructing the pedestrian elements of life is one of the ways art expands our conceptual horizons. In their cult 1977 book Evidence, Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel furthered this assumption with impressive results. Having published a second edition in 2004, which sold out quickly and became nearly impossible to find, D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers has now released an e-book version containing a facsimile copy of the original book plus a newly commissioned scholarly essays by Sandra Phillips. Sultan and Mandel rethought photography by detaching their practice from its most obvious aspect: they did not take pictures. Instead they embarked on a journey of archival research, selecting photographs originally filed as scientific and industrial documentation by Bechtel Corporation, the Beverly Hills Police Department, the Jet Propulsion Laboratories, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Stanford Research Institute, among others public and private organisations and corporations. Without the scientific annotations and files accompanying the photos in their original context, they speak an altogether different and reconceptualised language, thus proclaiming the imposition of beauty and humanity over the mundane and utilitarian. (Pablo de Gandia)

LP1 by FKA twigs

August 11 2014
3:00 PM

In a media soundscape where over-emotional vocal convolutions have become cross-genre and predominant to the extent of being considered synonymous with “technique,” FKA twigs‘ exercise in constraint is an R&B aural caress. Born Tahliah Barnett, FKA started as backup dancer in music videos—a career she recalls in Video Girl: “The camera’s on your pain that it loves / You’re looking for the all around good love”—before creating a huge buzz when she released her self-produced EP1 on Bandcamp. After collaborating with director Jesse Kanda (the video for “How’s That” with Twigs’ digitally-rendered body metamorphosing into pure black and white visual signal is a must see) and with producer Arca on EP2 and being included in the roster of the indie label Young Turks, FKA twigs launched Nabil’s directed introductory video for her first album earlier this spring: “Two Weeks” exalts her low-serotonin, intimate style to mainstream accessibility. Tahliah has often been compared to the classic ’90s R&B singer Aaliyah, though these ten songs clearly trace her artistic lineage back to Bristol’s futuristic torch songs (Martina’s collaboration with Tricky, Portishead) and the ethereal, “heavenly” voices that climaxed in the exhausted new wave of iconic label 4AD. Punching basses, trap-rap-like percussions, languid minor chord pads counterpoint the potent songwriting in a way that will entice you in for more, again and again. Already a strong candidate for the 2014 top 20 albums. (Francesco Tenaglia)


Fouad Elkoury, Color snapshot, Place des Canons (Beirut 1982), 2014
Courtesy of the artist; The Third Line, Dubai; and Galerie Tanit, Munich/Beirut

At first glance, political and historical matters surrounding the Arab art world seem daunting to encapsulate, and understandably so. Wafa Hourani’s mixed media sculptures, Qalandia 2087 (2009), give us a look into a dioramic perspective of Palestinian refugee camps, with strangely soft lighting peaking through each window and faint sounds and music streaming through the doorways. The simple reaction to homogenize a multifaceted culture is exactly what New Museum’s current major exhibition “Here and Elsewhere” aims to work against. The position of the artist in this midst of uncovering historical narratives creates a dialectic between self, collective memory and present day political discourse. Full disclosure of hidden nuances in personal discovery alongside trauma become hard-hitting and sticky. Representation through images and the status of such in the face of historical and contemporary consciousness is of concern to over forty-five contemporary artists including Ziad Antar, Marwa Arsanios, Fouad Elkoury, GCC, Tanya Habjouqa, Etel Adnan, Basma Alsharif and Akram Zaatari. Borrowing its title from a 1976 film-essay by French directors Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin and Anne-Marie Miéville, the exhibition, along with a number of approaches and styles, highlights the vast differences among inspirations and tribulation in contrasting landscapes inclusive to the Arab World. The show outlines multigenerational observations with a presentation of novelist and painter Etel Adnan’s seventy-three page manuscript The Arab Apocalypse (1989), a critical response to the Lebanese war, and her meditative oil painting series Untitled (1985-2012). A fully illustrated publication will be released alongside the exhibition co-edited by Negar Azimi and Kaelen Wilson-Goldie. (Ashlyn Behrndt)

“Here and Elsewhere” at New Museum, New York, runs through September 29

Anna Betbeze, exhibition view at Kate Werble Gallery, New York, 2013
Courtesy of the artist and Kate Werble Gallery, New York. Photo by Elisabeth Bernstein

Anna Betbeze’s dyed wool, flokati, and terrycloth wall hangings are psychedelic, often deranged recontextualizations of familiar fabrics. Utilitarian objects like towels and rugs are acid-dyed, burnt, clumped and torn, bearing marks reminiscent of destruction. The works are at once painting, sculpture and document of these varied actions. Each work carries these actions like a story. Miniscule and gaping holes highlight blank wall space and pieces often droop onto the floor. Fabrics fall and ripple free form. The materials exude a retro vibe, like shaggy midcentury vestiges dipped in vivid dyes. And yet at the same time, Betbeze’s looming wall pieces resemble flags, tapestries and furs, evincing medieval wall hangings. The artist’s patchwork terrycloth compositions, such as Suntan Potion (Hypnotics) (2013), feature cleaner lines, like Minimalist paintings tanning beneath a tropical sunset. Off the wall, her practice also encompasses terrycloth robes that viewers may don in the gallery. For Art Basel’s Statements section, Kate Werble Gallery presented a soft sculptural platform that the artist aptly called “a landscape, planet, body, bed, an ash tray, a cancer, a wool blanket in midsummer, an old smoked-in living room, a garden in full bloom—hot and sweaty, maybe the way a body feels under a dress.” Betbeze’s new shag carpet works are currently on view alongside Brie Ruais’ undulating glazed ceramic forms at Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Beverly Hills, in cooperation with Nicole Klagsbrun and Kate Werble Gallery, New York. (Simone Krug)

Installation view of Lee Ufan Solo Exhibition at Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo, 2014.
Photo by Kozo Takayama

Lee Ufan, the Korean minimalist painter, sculptor and academic is praised for his extensive contributions to the development of Mono-ha (“School of Things”) and Postwar art in Japan. Ufan trained as a philosopher upon his arrival in Yokohama in the late ‘50s. Concerned with material meaning, he’s known for his works that reflect upon scale. He has taken over an entire museum on the Japanese island of Naoshima and a large part of the surrounding landscape with both sculpture and painting. Ufan’s current solo show at Tokyo’s Kaikai Kiki Gallery compounds his Mono-ha roots by creating two installations that feature stone, sand and canvas. Relatum - Excavation (2014) turns physical material, untouched by the artist, into “archeological elements” that describe an overwhelming passage of time. Murals are excavated, painted on the ground amidst a sea of sand and pebbles. He treats the basement gallery as an archeological dig, mapping both the shifting gallery space and the murals themselves. How this piece detangles what Ufan would call “threads of art history” is a question whose delicate shift is as incremental as the work itself, but one that’s worth exploring. If this excavation of painting defines anything then it’s the relationship had between people and place; an effect triggered by the subterranean setting of the gallery itself. Ufan is one of few artists of his generation that still elicits debate, one being the question of Asia’s persistent culture of Westernisation. On August 9, don’t miss the opportunity to share the same tatami with Lee Ufan and to hear him speak about his work, post-war Japanese art, making his career abroad, and many other topics. (Stuart Munro)

Lee Ufan’s exhibition at Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo, runs through August 21

"A Museum of Immortality," exhibition view, 2014, as part of HWP 2013-14: Chapter 5. Courtesy of Ashkal Alwan

The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts Ashkal Alwan, a non-profit organization based in Beirut, has hosted the educational program Home Workspace since 2011. Ashkal Alwan introduced a new generation of artists after the Lebanese Civil War, helping to produce, exhibit and circulate their work. In collaboration with world–wide platforms, it has curated projects in Lebanon and abroad, published literary works and artists’ books, as well as produced and screened video (during its Video Works program) and hosted artists in residency. Led by resident professors Jalal Toufic and Anton Vidokle, this year’s HWP program titled “Creating and Dispersing Universes that Work without Working” has recently ended with “A Museum of Immortality,” an exhibition presenting fifty participants set in an architectural installation by Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller. Based on Boris Groys’s understanding of the museum as the place where the new and the alive turn into a defunct historical construction, the show tracked it back to Russian philosopher Nikolai Fedorov’s idea of a socially just and technologically produced immortality: a universal museum that collects the remains of every human being. Stay tuned for the upcoming Home Workspace Program (2014-15), which will be initiated on October 6. Titled “Setups / Situations / Institutions,” the program will be led by a group of resident professors, among which the Cuban artist Tania Bruguera and Lebanese Walid Raad. (Marta Jecu)

"Yvonne Rainer: Dance Works," exhibition view at Raven Row, London, 2014
Courtesy of the artist and Raven Row, London. Photo by Marcus J. Leith

Yvonne Rainer: Dance Works” at Raven Row, London, provides deeper insight into the New York-based dancer, choreographer, filmmaker and writer’s production from 1961 to 1972. The show, curated by Catherine Wood, Curator of Contemporary Art and Performance at Tate Modern, includes a selection of videos and photographs of performances and rehearsals, workshop tasks, sketches and scores, as well as Rainer’s experimental short films, Trio Film (1968) and Hand Movie (1966). Alongside her long-time collaborator Pat Catterson, Rainer has trained a group of dancers to perform a 45-minute show on a daily basis for the duration of the exhibition. The dancers will present some of Rainer’s most iconic works including Trio A (which has become one of Rainer’s most celebrated works despite the poor reviews it received when it was first performed in New York in 1966), Chair Pillow (1969), and the UK première of Talking Solo (1963) and Diagonal (1963). The live performances have been organized with Martin Hargreaves, Program Leader at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. Rainer’s works are performed without an audience in mind and their fluid nature allows the performances to take place in gallery and museum spaces, as well as theaters. The dancers follow task-orientated and banal performances, including single and ordinary movements, as well as group activities with a repetitive but varied cycle. (Tatevik Sargsyan)

“Yvonne Rainer: Dance Works” at Raven Row, London, runs through August 10

Starting out as a low-budget, oversized fanzine, the indie style magazine index quickly grew into an influential voice with 51 issues published between 1996 and 2005. The memorable covers were shot by photographers such as Bruce LaBruce, Wolfgang Tillmans, Juergen Teller, Doug Aitken and Leeta Harding, among others. index brought fashion, design, film, art, philosophy and writing together in a non-hierarchical flow of interviews, reports, texts and images, and always a couple of steps ahead of the hype. Abel Ferrara, Fritz Haeg, Ann Demeulemeester, Terry Gilliam, Slavoj Žižek are only a few of the names featured by index. The recently published “bible of indie culture,” index A to Z: Art, Design, Fashion, Film, and Music in the Indie Era celebrates the rich history of index, with the uncompromising personalities, humor and DIY attitude of Generation X. Here, the most memorable interviews and photographs of the index years are included alongside previously unpublished materials and party pictures. The book is organized in alphabetical chapters, referring to ideas of archival systems and to the nature of photography. Sections include F for Fashion, I for Indie, V for Vanished, and X for X-Rated. Finally, the book features new interviews with founders Peter Halley and Bob Nickas, a reminiscence by photographer Bruce LaBruce, and a historical overview by Wendy Vogel, who also edited the book. (Maaike Lauwaert)

In hindsight, Los Angeles-based recording label Stones Throw can be identified, like the more avant-garde-inclined Anticon, as a brilliant response to the chart friendliness and subsequent hyper-materialism that characterized a vast portion of the mainstream post-golden era (1987–1993) hip hop. Founded in 1996 by Chris Manak, internationally renowned as a DJ and beat-maker by the moniker of Peanut Butter Wolf, Stones Throw Records has embodied the sonic possibilities of militant independency, with an inexhaustible curiosity towards black music’s history and heritage and, most importantly, a genuine desire to create a community of like-minded talents. The documentary Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton, directed by Jeff Broadway, presents Manak as a soft-spoken charismatic figure who develops an encyclopedic knowledge of soul, funk and disco as a kid and follows this path into becoming a pivotal curatorial presence in the American rap scene. His rooster includes Madlib and J Dilla – hard to say who of the two is the greatest producer of their generation; as well as Dam-Funk’s weird, angular sound reminiscent of the ’80s L.A., Mayer Hawthorne’s angelic soul, and the best selling Aloe Blacc. Although one may rightfully say that Madlib’s sample-heavy, exotic style is the pillar of the label, over the years Manak has pursued many, surprising style shifts. And though eschewing an overt political position, the label seems to preserve some of the spirit of counter-cultural California—its original sense of inclusiveness and progressive thinking. (Francesco Tenaglia)

David Douard, " )juicy o'f the nest.," installation view at Sculpture Center, New York, 2014
Courtesy of the artist and Sculpture Center, New York. Photo by Jason Mandella

Paris-based artist
David Douard

July 30 2014
3:00 PM

David Douard’s video Glory Hole (1) (2013) shows a girl chatting with an uncanny 3D-animated heart-shaped figure whose skin undergoes a metamorphosis incited by the girl’s words. Interested in how people often relate to technology by unwittingly blurring the borders between themselves and objects, Douard analyzes the aesthetic properties of communication tools and infrastructures: the backbone of the always-on, hyper-connected environment. His sculptures and installations trace complex real-world ecosystems, where various relics left by society hybridize in ambiguous strata of decay, growth, organic matter and technology. Whether objects found in the streets or words encountered on the Internet, Douard plays the role of a hacktivist insofar as he re-designs these elements into a new interface, which demands an awareness, albeit irrational or spontaneous, from its viewer-subject. For “Mo’Swallow,” his recent solo exhibition at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the French artist used a text as a matrix with which to generate forms; language, narration and thought acted as a virus, which worked as an automatism of writing, a sort of super-fast monologue unfolding itself in the space. In the coming months Douard’s works will be exhibited in group shows including the Odense Sculpture Triennial, Copenhagen; Taipei Biennial; as well as in a solo at Johan Berggren, Malmö. (Bianca Stoppani)

Photo by Ari Marcopoulos


July 29 2014
3:00 PM

Ratking is a rap group straight out of Brooklyn by way of the Upper West Side, Harlem, Long Island City and New York City’s public imagination. The trio consists of young gun vocalists Wiki (Patrick Morales) and Hak (Hakeem Lewis), and their more seasoned producers Sporting Life (Eric Adiele) and Ramon. Eschewing the monoculture of the recent web, Ratking is decidedly regional. The city is their subject. Their music is rooted in the experience of puffer coats, stop-and-frisk and puppy love. The group’s diverse influences range from ’80s No Wave acts like Suicide and Swans to ’90s hip hop greats like Wu Tang Clan and Dipset. Their debut album So It Goes for XL Recordings grounds stylistic jump cuts with surprising continuity. It lacks the delightfully frenetic pace of their EP Wiki93, but both releases share a strong, diaristic narrative. Ratking’s video for the track “100” took inspiration from painted films, while the recently released “Canal” is a 16mm city symphony punctuated by light leaks and vignetting. They blend form and genre, pushing towards a new world sound with masterful storytelling that is equal parts De La Soul and Jonas Mekas. Their conceptual concern is with “realness,” that elusive quality that we all only know when we see it. Some call it authenticity, but it’s bigger. On “Look in My Eyes,” Obie Trice talk-raps: “Every man determines his definition of realness, what’s real to him.” (Martine Syms)

Rachel Reupke, Containing Matters of no very peaceable Colour, 2009 (video still)
Courtesy of the artist

Futurecamp, a ten-week residency happening at the Wysing Arts Centre in South Cambridgeshire, will host a number of great minds to examine potentialities that future holds. Psychology in a digital age, gender, politics of the public sphere and alternative methods of art and education are a few of the vast topics posed for exploration by artists Bonnie Camplin, Patrick Goddard, Daniel Keller, Rachel Maclean, Hana Moulton, Ahmet Öğüt, Rachel Reupke and Tracey Rose. Taking place on an eleven-acre rural site, thirty-five contributors overall will participate in a series of events through performance, discussions, lectures and screenings. The events delve further than a diminutive piece of Internet ephemera and expand into philosophy and science when doctors, journalists, anthropologists and professionals from a variety of disciplines are paired with the selected artists. Two of the artists will be present for the entire duration of the events. David Raymond Conroy’s work explores circular patterns among consumption and production, alongside the exploration of authenticity and self. He’ll be joined by artist James Richards whose practice culls sources such as blockbuster cinema and viral web footage to create video and sound pieces. Upcoming events include “Alternative Methods: Art and Education” on July 26 and “A Post-Gender World” on August 9. (Ashlyn Behrndt)

Yang Fudong, Liu Lan, 2003 (video still)
Courtesy of the artist and ShanghArt Gallery, Shanghai

Hosted in the historical spaces of Capo d’Arte, a non-profit organization near Lecce, in Southern Italy, the exhibition “Altrove: Yang Fudong” (26 July – 4 September) aims to offer a glimpse into the profound complexity of Chinese culture by presenting the work of one of the most important and widely recognized contemporary Chinese artists. From its special observation point, its position de finibus terrae (“the End of the Land”), Capo d’Arte points our imagination towards places of frontier, encounters and contrasts, through the work of artists from the other end of the world who deal with geographical and cultural issues of boundaries, exploring what brings us closer and further in time and space. Fudong’s exhibition, curated by Davide Quadrio and Massimo Torrigiani, is structured by contrasts of scale, imagination and duration. It includes a selection of videos which speak to the artist’s various influences, spanning from painting to film and photography. In his work, one of great aesthetic and technical rigour, past and present merge into a dream-like imagery, polarized between the fabled and the grotesque, which builds on, among a myriad of influences and references, the modernist culture of Shanghai―city of harbor and frontier, a crossroads of cultures of Asia-Pacific and Western influences. “Altrove: Yang Fudong” will take place in several areas of the historical center: the videos will be screened in three uninhabited houses and in a unique space, the patrician Comi Palace, home to the Via Vai foundation. For a preliminary, in-depth discussion of Fudong’s practice, don’t miss this interview by Davide Quadrio for a recent Kaleidoscope cover story.

The exhibition “Altrove: YANG FUDONG” at Capo d’Arte, Lecce, will open on July 26.

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