Few artists have managed and consider their entire output like Martin Kippenberger. Although not formally recognised as a graphic designer, a legacy of Kippenberger are his brilliant posters that he produced for exhibitions.
Martin Parr is a British documentary photographer, photojournalist and photobook collector.
His exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, Return to Manchester, is a wonderfuly astute look at how the people of Manchester have changed over the ast 40 years. The city had a ‘profound effect’ on Parr since hs days studying at Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University) from 1970-73.
The space exhibits his photographs from Prestwich Mental Hospital in the early 70s, life during the Thatcher era, the Guardian Cities project in 2008 all the way through to the football matches and Pride events of 2018. All are linked through the working classes and every day life.
Read more about the exhibition here.
Venue: Manchester Art Gallery
Dates: Friday 16 November 2018–Monday 22 April 2019
Grégoire Pujade-Lauraine is a photographic artist and designer from France. He’s worked as head of design and production at MACK , contributing to books by artists such as Joan Fontcuberta, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Guido, Guidi, Alec Soth or Paul Graham among others, and collaborating with institutions from the Tate to Le Bal, the Hasselblad Foundation to the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Words taken from LIBRO.
He has published two books of his own artistic work, The Significant Savages (2011) and A Perpetual Season (2014).
Thomas Demand (born 1964) is a German sculptor and photographer. He currently lives and works in Berlin and Los Angeles, and teaches at the University of Fine Arts, Hamburg.
In 2005, MoMA described his work as follows:
Demand’s photographs can seem convincingly real or strangely artificial. The work of German photographer Thomas Demand achieves a disquieting balance between the two. Born in 1964, Demand began as a sculptor and took up photography to record his ephemeral paper constructions. In 1993 he turned the tables, henceforth making constructions for the sole purpose of photographing them. Demand pushes the medium of photography toward uncharted frontiers. His originality has won him recognition as one of the most innovative artists of his generation.
Richard Mosse has spent the past few years documenting the ongoing refugee and migration crisis, repurposing military-grade camera technology to confront how governments and societies perceive refugees. His latest book The Castle is a meticulous record of refugee camps located across mass migration routes from the Middle East and Central Asia into the European Union via Turkey.
Using a thermal video camera intended for long-range border enforcement, Mosse films the camps from high elevations to draw attention to the ways in which each interrelates with, or is divorced from, adjacent citizen infrastructure. His source footage is then broken down into hundreds of individual frames, which are digitally overlapped in a grid formation to create composite heat maps.
Truncating time and space, Mosse’s images speak to the lived experience of refugees indefinitely awaiting asylum and trapped in a Byzantine state of limbo. The book is divided into 28 sites, each presenting an annotated sequence of close-up images that fold out into a panoramic heat map. Within this format, Mosse underscores the provisional architecture of the camps and the ways in which each camp is variously marginalised, concealed, regulated, militarized, integrated, and/or dispersed.
His images point to the glaring disconnect between the brisk free trade of globalized capitalism and the dehumanizing erosion of international refugee law in European nation states. Named after Kafka’s 1926 novel, The Castle prompts questions about the ‘visibility’ of refugees and the erosion of their human rights.
The book comes with a separate book of texts, including a poem by Behrouz Boochani, the journalist, novelist and Iranian refugee currently held by the Australian government in confinement on Manus island, an essay by Paul K. Saint-Amour, associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, an essay by philosopher Judith Butler, and a text by Richard Mosse.
Hitoshi Tsukiji was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1947. Originally self-taught, Tsukiji later became acquainted with the book designer Nobuyoshi Kikuchi, who taught him methods of photographic expression and thought. Since the mid-1960s, Tsukiji has pursued the essence of photographic expression in the city with a sharp eye while eliminating lyricism. In 1979, he established CAMERA WORKS with photographic historian Ryuichi Kaneko, and photographers Shinzo Shimao and Miyabi Taniguchi and published the booklet camera works tokyo (1979-1995). His photographs are included in the collections of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Tokyo Photographic Art Museum; Kawasaki City Museum; the Japan Foundation and Princeton University.
In our own bodies, we are outnumbered 9 to 1 by non-human cells. If we as humans need these organisms to function, are we even humans without them? In this episode, Victoria Sin attends the second symposium of Serpentine Galleries' General Ecology series: the Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish, titled 'We Have Never Been One'.They catch up backstage with symposium curators Filipa Ramos and Lucia Pietrouisti, and with speakers Phoebe Tickell, Germain Meulemans, Anaïs Tondeur, Anna Tsing, Leah Kelly, Daisy Hilliard and Priya Jay. With sound works from Annea Lockwood, Sophia Al Maria, Vivian Caccuri and Jenna Sutela. The extract at the beginning of the episode was written by Alex Cecchetti.
Host: Victoria Sin
Production: Jessie Lawson for Reduced Listening
Mixing: Steve Wyatt
Kenta Cobayashi (b.1992, Kanagawa, Japan), graduated from Tokyo Zokei University in 2015with a B.F.A in Painting. Cobayashi freely mixes and experiments with multiple techniques including digital photography, Photoshop, virtual reality and sound programming to create sensuous and vivid images in collaboration with others artists in his community.
Below are images from a published (by Newfave, 2016) installment of Everything and shares its title with a blog that Cobayashi updates daily with photographs expressing everything that he sees in the course of daily life. These images are an aggregation of his own feelings of curiosity and consternation toward the changing role of the photographic medium.
“Welcome to the world of Dirk Zoete. Because that’s what his work is: a conceived universe. The way someone leaning over a table makes a plan and imagines the world. While technology takes us into several intangible dimensions with virtual reality and other applications, Zoete makes us believe the world is still flat. Everything seems to have only a front and a back. As if we still believed that the earth is just a disk, and we can fall off. Zoete’s drawings are clumsy, intermittent, naive, adventurous, simple. It’s like a child’s imagination, depicting in a heap what you otherwise cannot fit on a piece of paper.”
—Philippe Van Cauteren
Published in occasion of his first major solo exhibition in a Belgian museum, To be determined. According to the situation, held at S.M.A.K. in Gent in 2017, this catalogue explores Dirk Zoete’s peculiar practice. Enriched by essays and texts by Philippe Van Cauteren, Stephan Berg, Koen Peeters and Ann Hoste, the book is a journey through the artist’s process—who, starting from a drawing, generates models, sculptures, architectural constructions, photos, films. An all-encompassing approach that makes the Belgian’s work outstand as a natural successor of the German Bauhaus and Russian Constructivism, but with a more human touch.
The catalogue features a wide selection of images, presenting the many different stages of transformation of a drawing into a three-dimensional piece, and the hybrid nature of the exhibition set-up, a mix of a museum show and an artist’s studio, both essential characteristics of Zoete’s art.
- Published by Mousse Publishing, 184 pgs, 24 × 16.5 cm, softcover, 2018, 9788867493517
Skander Khlif is a Munich based Tunisian-German engineer and contemporary street and documentary photographer.
Before having lived in 8 different cities, he grew up in Tunis where, like most of the local children, he spent most of his time playing and wandering the streets of his quarter. Today he still has a deep relationship with the streets and public areas which he considers as a theater stage where everyone is playing, acting and performing. Street photography became his favorite way of looking at the world. He is a light seeker in search of stories to tell. Fascinated by emotions, and relationships between people and their environments.
Enjoy some photographs from his TOKYO, CITY OF CONTRASTING BEAUTY series:
Bastard Countryside collects together 15 years worth of exploration within the British landscape, dwelling on what Victor Hugo called the ‘bastard countryside’: “somewhat ugly but bizarre, made up of two different natures”. Friend’s large-format colour images scrutinise these inbetween, unkempt, and often surreal marginal areas of the country, highlighting frictions between the pastoral sublime and the discarded, often polluted reality of the present.
Starting from a classical landscape tradition, Friend’s meticulous 5x4 photographs are given heightened effect through exaggerations of colour and composition, embodying a friction between British pastoral ideals and present reality. In particular, Friend follows moments in which the expected narrative of the landscape is rudely interrupted: often through leakage, pollution, or the wreckage and containment of nature.
In his accompanying essay, writer Robert Macfarlane describes Bastard Countryside as “a vision par excellence of our synthetic ‘modern nature’– produced by assemblage and entanglement rather than purity and distinction”. Contained within Friend’s photographs are “hard questions […] about what kinds of landscape one might wish either to pass through or to live in; about what versions of ‘modern nature’ might be worth fighting for, and why.”
Robin Friend (b.1983) is a London-based photographer who grew up in Melbourne, Australia. He divides his time between his fine art practice and commissioned work. Recent projects include the award-winning books Sanctuary: Britain’s Artists and their Studios and Art Studio America (Thames & Hudson, 2011-13); a collaborative chroreographic work for the BBC, Winged Bull in the Elephant Case (2017, with Wayne McGregor); and a National Gallery exhibition project, documenting the gallery's wartime art storage in a Snowdonian mine (2018). Friend's work has been exhibted at Aperture Gallery, New York; Christies, Paris and at the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Somerset House & the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Bastard Countryside is his first book.
- Published by Loose Joints, 104 pgs, 28 × 24.5 cm, Hardcover, 2018, 978-1-912719-04-4
Ruth Bate (1990) is an artist from Salford who lives and works in Belfast. His practice involves painting, drawing, design, music, lectures, workshops and performance. Whether it is a painting, a book of typographic experiments, a live music performance or a lecture on Babe 2: A Pig In The City - it all belongs to one body of work. In this respect, Bate embodies the Total Artist.
Fanny Ågren is a photographer from Stockholm, she currently lives and works in London. Her work looks at architecture and light with a refreshing attentiveness and delicacy that brings the unseen back into view. Observing the objective relationship between natural elements and the usually innocuous objects of everyday life, (a door, a grid, a vent) Fanny captures the moment when these worlds collide and presents us with a vantage point to see beyond their name. Elevating our perception and senses in this way is an important utility of Fanny’s work as it elevates perception and the senses - encouraging us to see something else. Perhaps, even something beautiful in the otherwise invisible.
3 Oct 2018 to 10 Feb 2019
A persons brain activity was captured on an MRI scan as they imagined specific things. The data was then fed through into a ‘deep neural network’, which drew on a database of millions of images to produce corresponding patterns and visions.
Is it this, or this? The machine keeps approximating and so, in turn, does the viewer - piecing together fragments and spasms of imagery. Temperature, light and movement all contribute to what is seen on the screen. We are presented with a portrait of our mental picturing: a reflection, built from the workings of the mind's eye and the interface of the human brain and artificial intelligence. It is art that is ever changing and never twice the same.
Before entering Uumwelt we were warned about the flies who had been “particularly active”. There is a ‘community’ of approximately 50,000 common blue bottles in the exhibition and some had found themselves into reception, onto magazines and implausibly inside glass cabinets. On entering the space, the flies were calm. Some buzzed around but most of them piled close to a circular window at the top of the room - a glimpse into a world they would never know. There were lots of flies on the floor, I saw flies on top of flies, some inevitably crushed and a surprising amount walking around. A utility of the flies was that they directed the attention to the dimly lit room, causing the viewer to integrate the dimensions of the space into the exhibition. It moved us inside the art as opposed to looking at it on a wall, making us participants in an interactive environment.
In (what I thought was) an unconnected series of events: last weekend I had visited to a butterfly house with my family. The other night I dreamt about a baby parrot that was vomiting all over the place. I ran and held its convulsing body, disturbed, confused and barefoot in the kitchen. With that in mind, if I was asked to think about a fly, it is likely that these dreams and memories would all be in some way connected. Maybe the fly would grow butterfly wings, a beak or throw up to reflect this. It raises the question of whether a memory can ever be remembered identically. What does this say about reality? Certainly, A lasting impression of Uumwelt was a renewed intuition about how we perceive the connectivity and events in our lives. Inside our heads, these thoughts and moments become part of one weird transmogrified whole. A living organism, closer to a cuttlefish and than a library.
The large panels in Uumwelt show the surface level abstractness of our mental imagery but also the rapidity of our minds. I didn’t see any single ‘thing’ or specific object. Instead, the images were truly amorphous, crazy and hypnotic. The forms glowing in the dimly lit chamber-like space were accompanied by the machine sound of the technology used to capture the brainwaves. The mood was somewhere in between sedate and sombre with the whirring and digital nature of the sounds framing the event both calmly and indifferently.
The reality of Piere Huyghe’s Uumwelt, which aptly means ‘the world as it is experienced by a particular organism’ is hard to conceive. Infinitely changing images created in partnership with a human brain interpreted by AI and influenced by the viewer's presence (whilst surrounding by thousands of flies) can feel like too much. Are we living in the future? Has it arrived and what is AI making art now?
In Uumwelt, the plane of memory, reality, dream and imagination come together in one understandably perplexing form. Huyghe shows an important window into how increasingly sophisticated systems will provide portals for us to more deeply understand ourselves. I was left with the feeling that the concreteness of our collective sense of reality is becoming increasingly liquified and translucent. Uumwelt disrupts the first person perspective of our memories, encouraging us to step out of the frame and watch the memory one step removed. If we do, we might be surprised by what it looks like. AG
The Whitechapel Gallery, London
14 February 2018 – 13 May 2018
The final room of Mark Dion’s exhibition at The Whitechapel Gallery, aptly titled The Wonder Workshop, is the highlight and take-home image of a characteristically detailed and curious examination of our relationship to the natural world.
As one enters The Wonder Workshop, there is a satisfying sense of order about seeing these objects, artefacts and antiquities placed out of their context, reordered monochromatically and uniformly. Presented in a blackened room, in dark cabinets, the only light in the room is generated by the objects themselves which glow fluorescently. The significance of these glowing totems from around the globe is unclear - does it speak to an energy that exists within these objects? Or perhaps the luminosity is a symbol of the soul, signalling the life and spirit in these items - the richness of their history. Another consideration could be that the luminosity of these items is a metaphor for the life we bring into them, through fascination, folklore and study.
Dion is interested in our representation of nature and the history of ideas that surround it. With The Wonder Workshop standing as an exception, the running themes throughout the exhibition are explored in a more literal approach. In the first piece, The Library For The Birds Of London, there are live zebra finches dancing from branch to branch of a large tree enclosed within a tall atrium. Balanced across the heavier branches are old nature books on birds, Dion explained that the books are there for the birds who obviously can’t read them, further adding that if they could read it would definitely be of benefit to the species. The absurdist premise of the work, which is light and initially uplifting in presentation, carries a more ominous undertone in that Dion's point highlights the innocence of the birds who are imprisoned in a piece of art about how they can’t read.
Between these two polar opposites are a myriad of curiosities: treehouse-like forms and installations, a highlight of which is The Bureau of the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and Its Legacy. The room itself isn’t classically surreal but is - like much of the exhibition - packed with oddities and genuinely looks like it could be a set for a film of the same name.
There is so much to see in The Theatre of The Natural World, that it feels impossible to do so. However, Dion said recently of his work that the aim is to slow the viewer down and for them to have an ‘interesting time’ - his wager being that the more time you spend the more you will get out of the exhibition. It's a noble aim that is achieved throughout the exhibition with varying degrees of success but very much worth the experience. AG
Hayward Gallery, London
25 Jan 2018 – 22 Apr 2018
Among many superlatives, ‘An audacious chronicler of the global economy’ is how Ralph Rugoff, Director of The Hayward Gallery, described Andreas Gursky, whose major retrospective marks the triumphant reopening of the gallery following a lengthy refurb. Despite all the money and elitism washing around the upper echelons of the art world, Gursky is not a corporate darling and the scope of the exhibition reaches far beyond materialism.
Through a kaleidoscopic vision of late 20th and early 21st-century life on earth, Gursky lives up to his career-defining goal of documenting ‘The Encyclopaedia of Life’. From early semi-rural landscapes of his native Germany and more specifically Düsseldorf, the exhibition leads quickly up to Gursky’s epic portrayal of the world. The transition to a wider lens view of humanity, moving away from the individual in favour of our more collectivised endeavours, began with Salerno I, taken in 1990. Whilst driving through the town, he saw the port and there was something in it (he did not know what) that inspired him to capture the moment. When processing the image, he was amazed by the outcome, captivated by something that would later inspire, arguably his most important work. At first, he thought it was the ports themselves but he later pinpointed the idea more generally as being: ‘the balance between great scale and a huge amount of sharp detail.’
These pictorial qualities combined several functions throughout the exhibition; they work abstractedly, as Pollock-like rhythms of dancing colour whilst the detail and scale mean they are interesting both up close and from a distance. They are big, fascinating and exotic objects that display beautifully in the Hayward’s unique multi-level, gallery layout.
There is a distinct element of the hyperreal within images such as Amazon, Chicago Board of Trade II and 99 Cent II, something otherworldly and yet familiar. Technically, Gursky achieves the effect of scale and immense detail, by using several lenses to capture multiple points of the vast landscape. The outcome is one that is not compromised by the form of a single lens and is richer in detail than our eyes could naturally perceive. Some images are aided by digital manipulation, the colours intensified and changed, things removed, added and distorted. This is an important distinction to Gursky’s approach that separates him from a photojournalist and positions him as an artist pushing the boundaries of his medium.
The work feels objective enough to be neither damning or praising of globalisation. It does, in its sheer scale, provide enough distance and visual stimuli to see these fundamentals of the global economy in a different way. The most transformative aspect of Gursky’s work is his ability to show nature in what is widely considered unnatural - the material world. In Gursky’s ‘Encyclopedia of Life’, we have reminded of the strange behaviours unique our species, a bizarre animal that would evolve to act out and facilitate these ever expanded and increasingly complex systems - a microcosm of the universe. AG
See the Andreas Gursky exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, London here
Wade Guyten: Das New Yorker
Wade Guyten’s Das New Yorker sees the Serpentine transformed into a bleak chapel of non-event consumerist imagery in which relics of the 21st century stand indifferently over you. Large sections of news websites, the Book of Mormon ads, iPhone ads and grey mush circumvent the senses in a familiar but uncharacteristically static way. They are more boring when you can’t click away or habitually ignore them because in this context it is art and at the very least there is an ‘art experience’ to be had. In a world so jam-packed with entertainment, it is noteworthy, that some galleries don’t feel pressured to become fun houses, social media ready with large slides sticking out the side of the building.
Art and the gallery serving as a means for reflecting the world back at itself is a well-trodden path but still a worthy route to take and can be particularly effective through the means of photography. Wade Guyten’s exhibition Das New Yorker, helps you to remember the world you see every day - it turns out that it’s one of endlessly banal visual content; how many adverts do you ‘consume’ against your will on a daily basis? 50? 100? 1000? and how many do you consciously see?
If you live in a city, no doubt you hold a vast and disorganised archive of consumer mantras and long forgotten advertisements, all the while the conscious self, glossing over them. A particularly interesting piece featured the New York Times’ homepage to their website - a bastion of journalistic integrity that in reality was part news and part advert, in equal measure - it was surprising and absurd. Much of the work documents matter of factly, how heavily consumerist the visual landscape we live in is, both on and offline. It’s not beautiful, even if it’s a Space Black iPhone 6 set on a black background - it is still not beautiful.
Wade Guyten went beyond just the matter of fact and showed some of the idiosyncratic amateurish adverts that exist - commonplace on listing websites like Gumtree and eBay. In this image, a disgusting brown couch is repeated several times, lit badly, documented by the seller carelessly who was probably looking for a quick sale. Other images look objectively at the phenomena of pixelation and digital representation - zoomed in and wrapped around canvasses. These images provide a welcome respite from the others and through abstraction sit well next to the exhibitions more direct counterparts. You certainly won’t leave Das New Yorker with a spring in your step but you may leave feeling a bit more attentive to the reality of the consumerist culture around you. AG