Photo by Ari Marcopoulos

6-23 ’13 –N6 Street– Brooklyn
published by Dashwood Books

April 24 2014
3:00 PM

In the robotic magic world that graffiti artist KATSU spreads in his immediate surroundings, self-made drones cover in an abstract expressionistic style walls and canvases hundreds of meters high, normally inaccessible to the human. The artist virtually vandalized both Picasso’s Girl before a Mirror (1932) at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the White House in Washington D.C. In an equally performative gesture, KATSU tagged the façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in 2012, a few days before the opening of a group exhibition dedicated to graffiti and street art. His tag was unequivocally removed by the museum’s authorities. His actions amalgamate commercial maneuvers with anarchic confrontation, as well as digital activism with conceptual painting. The recently released 6-23 ’13 – N6 Street – Brooklyn (2014), published by Dashwood Books, New York, combines design from Camilla Venturini with full-page photographs by Ari Marcopoulos. The cult photographer, who formerly assisted Andy Warhol, has created, for this collaborative project, an immersive documentation of KATSU’s work in an empty lot in Brooklyn. Marcopoulos’s images of the wall paintings attentively follow the traces of KATSU’s famed tool: the fire extinguisher. With its graphic aesthetic and minimal layout, the book tames the expressive force of KATSU’s theatrical art, but at the same time, in documenting the work, acknowledges its lasting value in spite of its ephemeral quality. (Marta Jecu)

Marinella Senatore, exhibition view at Kunst Halle St. Gallen, 2014
Courtesy of the artist; and MOT International, London/Brussels. Photo by Gunnar Meier

Marinella Senatore
at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen

March 20 2014
11:00 AM

Marinella Senatore’s artistic research seems to propose a new form of art: an overwhelming human energy without authority, meant to be further employed and applied. Her current retrospective “Public Secrets” at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen becomes its set. Senatore’s public actions like street parades, operas or radio programs involve thousands of participants, from professionals as filmmakers, scenographers, choreographers and actors, to a more general audience, all of them exchanging their roles and working together. In a recent interview the artist explains that her work indeed reproduces a model of labor: it generates new social spaces of production and new forms of action. Yet “Public Secrets” is understood as an open-use, post-production platform. Rather than simply using the images as documentation of her actions, these archival materials can be crafted into non-linear narratives by the public, thus generating new information. In most of the works on view, historical material collides with the present: Estman Radio (2014) is an homage to a mobile theater that entertained Spanish workers during the middle of last century; while in the video piece Speak Easy (2009), craftsmen and professional actors participate in a musical set in the New York of the 1950′s. Her recent project School of Narrative Dance (2013), is a mobile free school, in which emancipation, inclusion and self -training are induced with storytelling. (Marta Jecu)

Marinella Senatore’s exhibition “Public Secrets” at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen runs until April 13.

John Einar Sandvand, Garbage dump in Phnom Penh; and William Cho, Marina Bay Light and Water Show.
Artwork by The Laboratory of Manuel Bürger

Transmediale Festival, Berlin

January 28 2014
3:00 PM

As an aesthetic phenomena, “post-digital” describes the humanization of technology, a fusion of embodied media and the augmented reality of biological, spiritual, kinesthetic, prosthetic and cyber experiences. This year’s edition of Berlin’s Transmediale festival (29 January–2 February) is dedicated to the post-digital afterglow and seeks to find the potential of our post-digital trash. With approximately two hundred participants, the festival includes screenings, conferences and performances, and delves into such topics as self run web tools, digital detritus and its valuable data (Afterglow of the Mediatic’s  series), digital versus analogue image production (Luther Price’s Utopia) and performance rituals in which cybernetics merges with low-tech (MSHR’s Birch Cooper with Brenna Murphy). Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the official host of Transmediale, presents two exhibitions. “Art Hack Day Berlin” pairs artists working in technology with hackers working with art. The works in the exhibition are the uncertain outcome of a forty-eight-hour work session undertaken by more than 70 artists before the opening night. “Critical Infrastructure” is a survey of our global resources, reserves of materials and energies in workshop format, between international artists and Berliners. Those already anticipating Transmediale can partake in Vorspiel—a one week prelude to festival in galleries, clubs and independent project spaces. (Marta Jecu)

Installation view of "Words without silence," Maurizio Nannucci's solo show at Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg. Courtesy of the artist; and Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg

Maurizio Nannucci
at Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg

December 19 2013
3:00 PM

In a constant metamorphosis, semantics can generate linguistic meaning, but can also alter the historic meaning of words. Political slogans, advertisement rhetoric, and informal unreflected use can drain words of their significance, which again implicates a calibration of our perception of the world. This potential of words to cross time and space, governing the border between sign, image and sound is quintessentially represented in “Words Without Silence,” Maurizio Nannucci‘s solo show at the Salzburger gallery Nikolaus Ruzicska. On view are the typical double-meaning inverted phrases of one of the pioneers of neon art and concrete poetry (born 1939 in Florence), like The Possible Plan of the Impossible The Impossible Plan of the Possible or New Horizons for other Visions / New Visions for other Horizons, Same Words Different Thoughts / Same Thoughts Different Words. Unlike in his outdoor installations, where his interventions dissolve the concrete materiality of architecture, in the gallery context Nannucci’s formulas dissect space mathematically and augment the experience of architecture into a meta-discourse: the gallery, illuminated by the associated colors, is comprehensive and creates a synaesthetic experience. The show recalls Nannucci’s preoccupations with collecting, publication and multiples (he founded Zona Archives Editions). It brings the viewer into contact with a fluid circuit of meaning, where reiteration confers a new freedom to words gaining the power to realize what they state. (Marta Jecu)

Maurizio Nannucci’s solo show at Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, runs through January 11.

T E O T N-29
Installation view of "The End of the Night" at LACE, Los Angeles 2013

“The End of the Night”
at LACE, Los Angeles

December 2 2013
12:00 PM

Part one of the double exhibition “The End of the Night”, previously on view at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, was dedicated to the dark cinematographic world of Kenneth Anger. With works by Los Angeles artists Oskar Fischinger, Brian Butler, Karthik Pandian, Stephen G. Rhodes and Jennifer West, the show was saturated with pictorial colors, personal symbolisms and occult references. In return, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions shows part two: an exhibition of works by five French artists prolonging the legacy of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s unfinished film L’Enfer (1963–1964). Experimental cinema, contemporary art and issues of fetishism and mysticism are recurrent preoccupation of the double project’s curator Martha Kirszenbaum. The exhibition at LACE, designed by Marianne Zamecznik according to the purist aesthetic of Clouzot with erudite quotes from op, kinetic and sound art, also presents Julio Le Parc, a French pioneer of sensorial mobile environments and collaborator of Clouzot. Four young artists reload this canonical, theatrical expressivity and particular eroticism in Pulse (2010-2012), a minimal light but high noise generating sculpture by Pierre-Laurent CassièreThe Eighth Sphere (2010), a geometrical double-channel projection by Florian and Michael Quistrebert; and two formal video essays on objects by Isabelle Cornaro, with the specific self-reflexivity of the post-conceptual approach, reminding us of Roland Barthes’s dictum in Camera Lucida: “A photograph is always invisible: it is not it that we see.” (Marta Jecu)

“The End of the Night”at LACE, Los Angeles, runs until December 22.

Brian Bress, Creative Ideas for Every Season (video still), 2010
Courtesy of Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles

Los Angeles-based artist and filmmaker Brian Bress

March 23 2012
10:35 AM

Brian Bress’s art confronts its viewer with grotesque interpretations of the various guises of the stereotypical American “persona.” His works often form around a caricatural protagonist— a boxer, a diver—whose activities are deliberately staged as somewhat unsuccessful performances. As the title of his recent show at Cherry and Martin suggests, “Under Performing” is a method in its own right for Bress, the desired outcome of his choreographed video-portraits. These works embrace the artistic tradition of low-budget aesthetic and abject value systems that emerged in the 1970s as an unfiltered distortion of TV consumer culture, social malady and subject-centered narratives. “Under Performing” plays on the underproduced nature of Bress’s expression, its lo-fi quality constituting the very essence of his practice. Where the outcome of the performance, or the visual manifestation of the art work as a complete product, is “underachieved,” the emphasis shifts on the very desire for communication. “Status Report,” the New York première of Bress’s work at New Museum, continues to play on this proposition, exploring issues of spatial representation and the construction of the cultural and subjective “self.”                (Marta Jecu)

Jimmie Durham, A Fountain in Case Your Roof Leaks, 1996,
Courtesy of Christine Koenig Galerie, Vienna

Jimmie Durham’s exhibitions at the
Swiss Institute in New York,
and MuHKA in Antwerp

March 21 2012
4:04 PM

Maquette for a Museum of Switzerland” at the Swiss Institute, is Jimmie Durham’s staging of a museological display. Assuming the role of an anthropologist, the artist builds his own museum of Switzerland in New York, displaying a collection of statues, relics and masks. Switzerland’s folklore is juxtaposed with the long-standing traditions of watchmaking, banking and Schnapps. The show expands on the issues that have always preoccupied Durham. A former activist for the American Native Indian movement, the artist continues his self-critical exploration of colonialism and the reconsideration of taxonomy, cultural authority and nationalist ideologies. Approached with irony, the exhibition is, nevertheless, far from empty satire, attesting to Durham’s former claim: “I don’t want to make cynical or pessimistic work, because that’s naive. So if I want to be against instruction and belief but want to still contribute to liberation, I have to use whatever means seem human at the context. So the irony I try to use is never cynical or mocking, it’s another kind of interruption.” Simultaneously with the Swiss Institute show, the most comprehensive retrospective of Durham’s work to date opens its doors at MuHKA in Antwerp. The survey provides an exhaustive exploration of Durham’s multifaceted practice through a display of previously unpublished texts, recordings and objects. (Marta Jecu)

Sean Paul, Technological Breeding (Whistlejacket), 2007,
Courtesy of the artist

New York-based artist
Sean Paul

March 21 2012
2:57 PM

Today, no-one is surprised by artistic anti-market gestures; in fact, market criticism forms a perfectly acceptable sphere of the most marketable art practices. This premise constitutes the underlying ideology for much of New York-based artist Sean Paul’s practice. The press release for his 2006 exhibition at Elizabeth Dee, famously featured a photocopy of the 2003 Top Gun Prospecting financial advisement bookcover, matched with a transcript of Paul’s dialogue with his dealer. Taking this commentary further, the artist’s solo exhibition at Front Desk Apparatus is organized in collaboration with Thea Westreich, whose consulting firm provides advisory services for collectors. “Every Hair of the Bear” displays what Paul describes as “arrangements,” oil on canvas paintings mapping out black square territories on white backgrounds. Also on show is a richly textured monochrome print and a reproduction of a classical portrait of a princess in her precious garments, architecturally folded around a gallery pillar. A mirror amplifies the display, offering an alternate installation view. The sparse arrangement, nonetheless, presents an elaborate layering formulated through reproduction, abstraction and reflection of familiar imagery. Sean Paul’s current projects include a participation in a group show “New York: Directions, Points of Interest,” at Massimo de Carlo, Milan, dedicated to the young art scene of New York. (Marta Jecu)

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