FEATURED ARTIST: Anna Blessmann and Peter Saville, Dieses Objekt…

FEATURED ARTIST: Anna Blessmann and Peter Saville, Dieses Objekt…

 

Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda at Bortolozzi

Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda at Bortolozzi

 

David Hockney’s The Arrival of Spring

David Hockney’s The Arrival of Spring

 

FEATURED ARTIST: Anna Blessmann and Peter Saville Anna Blessmann…

FEATURED ARTIST: Anna Blessmann and Peter Saville Anna Blessmann…

 

Kazumi Tanaka at the Fabric Workshop and Museum

Kazumi Tanaka at the Fabric Workshop and Museum

 

Margaret Harrison at Silberkuppe

Margaret Harrison at Silberkuppe

 

Fan Mail: Carlo Speranza

Fan Mail: Carlo Speranza

 

STUDIO VISIT #23 – Gianluca Concialdi

STUDIO VISIT #23 – Gianluca Concialdi

 

Third edition of Dhaka Art Summit

Third edition of Dhaka Art Summit

 

The Oxymoron of Normality at DEPO, Istanbul

The Oxymoron of Normality at DEPO, Istanbul

 

Contemporary Art Torino and Piemonte: autumn 2014

Contemporary Art Torino and Piemonte: autumn 2014

 

Marco Maggi

Marco Maggi

 

Lisa Oppenheim wins the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize

Lisa Oppenheim wins the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize

 

Adriano Pedrosa appointed Artistic Director

Adriano Pedrosa appointed Artistic Director

 

Join SculptureCenter’s Kickstarter Campaign! Pledge $100 or more…

Join SculptureCenter’s Kickstarter Campaign! Pledge $100 or more…

 

Brighton Photo Biennial: Communities, Collectives & Collaboration

Brighton Photo Biennial: Communities, Collectives & Collaboration

The festival gains critical mass in central Brighton, where venues are all within easy walking distance from one another. At Fabrica, the space closest to the sea, Simon Faithfull’s installation Reef (2014) takes us under water to see and hear the phenomenon of a sinking ship. Faithfull, who describes his practice as ‘investigating the world as sculptural object’, has staged the wrecking of the Brioney Victoria, a small fishing boat, off the coast of Dorset. Video footage shows the ship as it slowly takes on water and disappears from sight; cameras mounted inside take over the documentation of its journey. An edited cut of the sinking plays out on a loop from a raised screen mounted to the railings of the gallery’s mezzanine, while below, television screens on plinths show a live-feed of the ship’s ongoing transformation from vessel to artificial reef. When I visited, the underwater cameras had malfunctioned and the screens instead showed a loop of murky images gained while operational. The year-long duration of the project leaves time for correcting technical failures – though I wonder if some secrets of nature are better left invisible.

If Faithfull’s project required a team of experts to execute, Erica Scourti’s So Like You (2014) at the University of Brighton Gallery invites a more active participation in the generation of images. Scourti feeds personal images into Google’s Search By Image engine (where an image, rather than a word, serves as the initial search term) to find other pictures with similar digital footprints – titles, tags and other data embedded in the images. She traces some of them back and invites the people who made them to take new pictures that respond in turn, this time consciously, to some of her other images. As viewers we see a slideshow of these new pictures, partly obscured behind layers of tags and other information embedded in them, such as where they were taken and the make of camera used. If this is hard to follow, it’s because the project seems designed to obscure and complicate, rather than untangle, the webs of exchange, re-use, appropriation and influence that make authorship and originality so murky in relation to the networked image.

Brighton Photo Biennial: Communities, Collectives & Collaboration

Simon Faithfull, ‘Reef’, installation view at Fabrica. Photograph: Nigel Green

As with Faithfull’s Reef, collaboration is crucial to Scourti’s process, but the execution and ultimate creation is attributed to the artist alone. The thematic heart of the biennial, then, is Circus Street Market, where hundreds packed in for the launch party, and which is showcasing ‘Five Contemporary Photography Collectives’. The term ‘collective’, which tends to imply a relation – aesthetic, ideological or otherwise – among the work produced by group members, seems too loosely appointed here. In some instances the label appears to be a means of cross-marketing more than anything else, and as a consequence, these selections looked more like disconnected group shows. The sparse captions also left some more challenging images – in particular from the series ‘La Sala Negra’, by two members of Barcelona-based RUIDO Photo, which depicts the pandemic violence across three Central American countries, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala – without sufficient context. Sputnik’s dynamic look at post-Soviet life, and ABC’s bureaucratic, imageless book-museum (displayed apart from the other four collectives, and to better effect, at the University of Brighton Gallery), stood out for their inventive and thoughtful approaches to collaboration. In theory, the site itself has a neat resonance, as a historic market place for community gathering. But the relatively small and makeshift displays seemed lost in the vast architecture, which calls out for something monumental and site specific to animate it.

Brighton Photo Biennial: Communities, Collectives & Collaboration

‘Five Contemporary Photography Collectives’, installation view at Circus Street Market. Photograph: Nigel Green

The photographic archive offers another sense of collective understanding, and three shows revolved around the retrieval and reinterpretation of archival material, thinking through both the collectives that contributed the original images and the different lenses that have shaped them. A modest show at Dorset Place Gallery organized by the photo-historian David Mellor, ‘Real Britain 1974: Co-Optic and Documentary Photography’, gathers pictures by the Co-Optic group, whose members included Gerry Badger, Fay Godwin, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen and Martin Parr. The centerpiece is a set of 25 postcards that counter typically romantic tourist-friendly imagery with views of ‘real’ Britain, a black-and-white social landscape, many of which have since gained iconic status.

At Brighton’s Museum & Art Gallery ‘Amore e Piombo: The Photography of Extremes in 1970s Italy’ also looks back nearly forty years, at a more expansive and perplexing set of images. The so-called ‘Years of Lead’, a period that culminated in domestic terrorism and intense strategies of political propaganda, are here re-lived alongside images of a burgeoning celebrity culture, all taken by the Italian press agency Editorial Team Services, and now part of the collection of the Archive of Modern Conflict. To say they depict the events of the time is only a half-truth: the lines between fiction and reality were so effectively blurred by the theatre of war that the circumstances around many key events, even those plainly pictured, still remain unclear. A selection of press prints, as well as news footage, film clips and books, take over the gallery’s high-ceilinged library. In a striking display, the prints stand in wooden frames dispersed along tall gridded bookshelves that line the room. A compelling floor installation at one end commemorates the still-mysterious kidnapping and assassination of Aldo Moro, the architect of the Historic Compromise between Italy’s Communist and Christian Democrat parties, by the Red Brigades in 1978. It’s an emotionally charged show with plenty of fascinating pictures. A catalogue and essay in the Photoworks Annual by curators Roger Hargreaves and Federica Chiocchetti lend further insight into this tumultuous period and remarkable archive.

Brighton Photo Biennial: Communities, Collectives & Collaboration

‘Giulio Andreotti’, c.1970s, photographer unknown.
© TEAM Editorial Services/Alinari

The theme carries through at the De La Warr Pavilion, a short train-ride along the coast in Bexhill, which takes up the most imposing of documentary photo archives, Magnum. Before digital technology took over, Magnum relied on a functional archive of prints to disperse their images. ‘Magnum Photos: One Archive, Three Views’ asked anthropologist Elizabeth Edwards and artists Uriel Orlow and Hannah Starkey to mine boxes of existing prints – about 68,000 taken between 1950 and 1995 – and make selections that both reflect personal interests and illuminate the cultures and agendas that shaped the archive’s historical development. The restrained selections showcase 130 images, beautifully displayed as three discrete image-sequences, labeled only by geographic place-name (there are take-away sheets with full image-lists available). Starkey’s take, for example, pulls out images of women made by both sexes, beginning with a knockout Eve Arnold self portrait. Left uncaptioned on the wall, the photographs leave the viewer to move from image to image trying to guess the gender of the photographer in each case, and wondering if it matters. It does, of course, in the larger scheme of things. Though made over a period that saw intense social and political progress for women – documented, in fact, in Magnum images like Leonard Freed’s Women’s Liberation (1970) – women made up less than five percent of Magnum-represented photographers.

Brighton Photo Biennial: Communities, Collectives & Collaboration

Leonard Freed, ‘Women’s Liberation march at City Hall. NYC. USA. 1970.’
© Leonard Freed / Magnum Photos

If that’s a staggering but believable statistic, then Douglas Gordon’s deeply disturbing two-channel projection, Hysterical (1995), showing footage from a 1908 medical enactment of treatment for female hysteria, is a reminder of the not-so-distant yet unfathomable depths of patriarchal control. Gordon’s work is part of ‘Twixt Two Worlds’ at the Towner in Eastbourne, another regional partnership, alongside the De La Warr show and ‘The Amazing Analogue: How We Play Photography’, at Hove Museum and Art Gallery.

Though uneven, as exhibition programmes on this scale tend to be, there are some great pictures to be seen here if you’re willing to devote the time. What’s missing, in the end, is recognition of the downside of collaboration. There’s a pathological optimism in the view presented by the biennial, which itself hinges on strategic partnerships and collaborations tied to funding opportunities – the reality for a publicly funded arts organization, especially a relatively small one without a dedicated space. But it would have been interesting (and honest) to take a look at that reality, and the steep challenges currently faced by art and institutional practices. Other ‘C’ words, like Corporate, Committee and Compromise, might come to mind.

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Simon Starling at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Simon Starling at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

 

Introducing the series: “Translation is Impossible. Let’s do it!”

Introducing the series: “Translation is Impossible. Let’s do it!”

 

On The Run. Gabriele De Santis

On The Run. Gabriele De Santis

 

Laurie Anderson in conversation and performance at The New Yorker Festival

Laurie Anderson in conversation and performance at The New Yorker Festival

 

Simon Starling at The Arts Club of Chicago

Simon Starling at The Arts Club of Chicago

 

Glitch Gallery Installation Shots

Glitch Gallery Installation Shots

 

Gerard Byrne

Gerard Byrne

 

Who Pays Artists?

Who Pays Artists?

 

Issue 37 out now

Issue 37 out now

 

Vincent Meessen, together with guest artists

Vincent Meessen, together with guest artists

 

MUSEION and Henry Moore Institute present Carol Bove / Carlo Scarpa in Bolzano

MUSEION and Henry Moore Institute present Carol Bove / Carlo Scarpa in Bolzano

 

Prestigious new prize for art and film: the EYE Prize

Prestigious new prize for art and film: the EYE Prize

 

Shezad Dawood

Shezad Dawood

 

I’m Afraid, Will I Dream? at HQHQ

I’m Afraid, Will I Dream? at HQHQ

 

Daniel Buren at Baltic

Daniel Buren at Baltic

 

Processed Space

Processed Space

 

FEATURED ARTIST: Kate Bonner, In two places at once, 2014….

FEATURED ARTIST: Kate Bonner, In two places at once, 2014….

 

Marc Camille Chaimowicz at Galerie Neu

Marc Camille Chaimowicz at Galerie Neu

 

Low-Fi Portraiture — Face Value at Main Line Arts Center

Low-Fi Portraiture — Face Value at Main Line Arts Center

 

Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg at Lisson

Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg at Lisson

 

Joe Reihsen and Charlie Billingham. Brand New Gallery, Milan

Joe Reihsen and Charlie Billingham. Brand New Gallery, Milan

 

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey at Mary and Leigh Block Museum

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey at Mary and Leigh Block Museum

 

Chris Ofili

Chris Ofili

 

Carlos Garaicoa

Carlos Garaicoa

 

The Darknet

The Darknet

 

Tadej Pogačar & the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Museum of Contemporary Art

Tadej Pogačar & the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Museum of Contemporary Art

 

“Blurring Boundaries and Bridging Gaps: Communication and Education in the field of Contemporary Art”

“Blurring Boundaries and Bridging Gaps: Communication and Education in the field of Contemporary Art”

 

Confessions of the Imperfect

Confessions of the Imperfect

 

Better Read: A Lively Interview With Ray Johnson, c.1968

Better Read: A Lively Interview With Ray Johnson, c.1968

 

FEATURED ARTIST: Kate Bonner, Reversed left to right, 2013….

FEATURED ARTIST: Kate Bonner, Reversed left to right, 2013….

 

Weekly Roundup

Weekly Roundup

 

Pierre Huyghe at Hauser & Wirth

Pierre Huyghe at Hauser & Wirth

 

Lotte Geeven

Lotte Geeven

 

A dystopian performance for drones

A dystopian performance for drones

 

News post – CRUXspace’s 2nd showdown, acorn-planting with Street Road, free Schneeman talk at Bryn Mawr, opportunities and more!

News post – CRUXspace’s 2nd showdown, acorn-planting with Street Road, free Schneeman talk at Bryn Mawr, opportunities and more!

 

Corruptible

Corruptible

 

Cacophony as Interruption?

Cacophony as Interruption?

 

The Eighth Season of The Artist’s Institute

The Eighth Season of The Artist’s Institute

 

OPEN CALL!

OPEN CALL!

 

Giulia Cenci. Spazio A

Giulia Cenci. Spazio A

 

Anselm Kiefer at Mass MoCA

Anselm Kiefer at Mass MoCA

 

Exhibition of 21 shortlisted artists for the Future Generation Art Prize 2014

Exhibition of 21 shortlisted artists for the Future Generation Art Prize 2014

 

Jung Yeondoo

Jung Yeondoo

 

Annual fundraiser auction 2014

Annual fundraiser auction 2014

 

Cut to Swipe

Cut to Swipe

 

Apichatpong Weerasethakul awarded 2014 prize

Apichatpong Weerasethakul awarded 2014 prize