In the 19th century public galleries opened to provide access to art for the enjoyment and education of all members of society. At this time, it was common for paintings to be displayed close together from floor to ceiling to create a ‘salon hang’, named after exhibitions held in the Salon Carré of the Louvre, the national museum of France. This arrangement was often guided by instinct rather than a planned concept, and could transform the gallery goer’s impression of the exhibited paintings.
BP Spotlight: Source, until September 14 at Tate Britain in London, highlights similarities between the mass display of art in a salon hang and the ability of 21st century digital and social media platforms such as Tumblr and Instagram to present large numbers of images in a single location online. Digital artworks created in response to the display are presented alongside Tate collection works, selected for the visual qualities they share with images created for these contemporary platforms.
The rise of social media along with the mass distribution and consumption of images is transforming how we communicate visually. Images can be easily accessed, they are repeatedly re-used and presented out of context, and the source of the image is immediately replaced. This alters how origin, meaning and content might be read, raising questions about the value of originality and authenticity of the image’s original source.
The light whistles and flashes red. Guided by ferrite metal. Passage still takes place in electricity. A heat engine that reproduces its own parts when they break down. Is it money or is money just thought. Lost inside everything. Resonance of a dead car battery. No one to speak the car. The shade that threatens to return to life. The closer I get to you. Lower front strut brace. Left passenger door window, glass regulator channel run. Door handle pull cable. Window trims in topaz-pearl, silver birch, steel grey, rust. Mineral deposits of salt, broken glass, dust. Fables in which all things are alive and give signs. Voices that imitate the sounds of the press or the blacksmith. Paint shop agates. Signal red. Amber and ruby tail lights. Pulsing, reminiscing. Gestural, phonetic. Songs from clouds of ash, smoke and soot. A very seductive scent. People noticing their own language. Walk about and become what is happening. Carried away on an endless belt. Grounded or in flight. Indicators will let you know. The history of those feelings. When it was in the air.
Our material world is made up of a succession of layers; generation by generation, work by work, each new layer is informed by and created in dialogue with the existing material strata. The food we eat, the spaces we occupy, the written and visual media we engage with, the songs we listen to, the art we spend time with, the films we watch, and the objects we live with were all informed by past material culture and, in turn, will influence future creative decisions. The objects presented in Source Material exemplify the material foundation from which creative work is made today.
Source Material – April 8 to 12, Kaleidoscope Project Space, Milano – presents the objects, keepsakes, and references that have had a pivotal effect on the work of fifty-four creative minds from the fields of architecture, art, cuisine, design, fashion, film, and music, such as Erwan & Ronan Bouroullec, Thomas Demand, Konstantin Grcic, Jürg Lehni, Mike Meiré, Mike Mills, Harsh Patel, Benjamin Sommerhalder, Wendy Yao, etc… Found within the contributors’ everyday working or living environments, these objects are stepping-stones for the creative process.
Images: Massimo Torrigiani, Leggio; Marco Velardi, Disegnare Colorare Costruire, book series curated by Bruno Munari; Jürg Lehni, A Guide to Architecture in Southern California by David Gebhard, Robert Winter; Andrew Stafford, Scale furniture.
131 Variations, a project by Fleur van Dodewaard, is a reinterpretation of Sol Lewitt’s 122 Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes. Assisted by two mathematicians Lewitt succeeded in visualizing 122 variations on an open cube that was defined only by its edges. What distinguished these from ordinary 12-edged cubes was that only between 3 and 11 edges were visible, meaning that to obtain an image of the full cube the beholder had to complete the three-dimensional form in the mind. In his quest, Lewitt discovered 122 ways of leaving the cube unfinished.
Fleur van Dodewaard set about recreating and photographing the piece seeking to produce an exact copy. But in the process things went wrong: some cubes went missing, others appeared double and previously unknown variants arose. With her 131 Variations Fleur van Dodewaard demonstrates that the 122 variations listed and presented by Lewitt did not represent an exhaustive spectrum of all conceivable possibilities. Accordingly, the “failure” consciously introduces moments of arbitrariness, inconsistency and irrationality into this aleatory process to allow for an element of coincidence, thereby challenging mathematical logic.
131 Variations seeks to debate the issues of authenticity, appropriation and reproduction, while challenging the role of photography as a medium to represent reality. Exhibition until April 5, Hauser gallery, Zürich; Book launch, March 30, 4pm, Foam, Amsterdam.
Since 1967, designers and architects Trix and Robert Haussmann have built an idiosyncratic oeuvre that has continuously challenged architectural, design and aesthetic conventions. In the 1960?s they began to elaborate a complex language that can be viewed as an early post-modern or Radical Design position. Throughout their fifty year long career they have explored many creative perspectives, such as poetry composed by chance, drawings, collages and texts.
Disrupting or “destroying” spaces and forms could be one of the Haussman?s mottos. For instance, their drawer, shaped in the form of a Greek column, is literally “destroyed” by its function (the opened drawers). This work in particular is a direct, deadpan nod to Sullivan?s famous statement “form follows function”. It?s not surprising that the Haussman?s 1981 manifesto was published under the title of “Manierismo Critico”. In contrast to other designers and architects, Trix and Robert Haussmann are acutely conscious that an object can be more a vector of meaning than a functional or aesthetic item. This relationship to the object opened them up to a broader vision of what it means to be an architect today.
The exhibition, from April 26 to June 15, 2014, at Fri Art, Fribourg, entirely conceived in close collaboration with the architects over a long period of time, examines every aspect of their research. Nevertheless, far from being a classical retrospective, it will weave together different bodies of works.
Everything is About to Happen – An ongoing archive of artists’ books selected by Gregorio Magnani, March 14 to April 26, 2014, Corvi-Mora, London – presents circa 300 books in an attempt to offer an overview, and initiate an archive, of recent artists’ books. It focuses on publication as a medium and context for art practices. It looks at the ways in which artists use the format of the book as an artistic strategy exploiting, and often expanding upon, its nature as a fixed but randomly accessible sequence of words and images.
All the books selected are either self-published or participate in a minor economy of small publishers. Their modes of production and circulation, as well as the conditions under which they are experienced and stored, strengthen their content.
The exhibition attempts to address this through different modes of presentation: a vast communal display table, a more concentrated reading station, and an exact catalogue. A certain surplus of vitality, a metaphoric, affective and social overflow of the codex structure is underlined.
With books by AND Publishing & Åbäke, Kasper Andreasen, blisterZine, Daniel Gustav Cramer, Mariana Castillo Deball, Paul Elliman, Arnaud Desjardin, Michael Dean, Karl Homqvist, La Biblioteque Fantastique, Louis Lüthi, Jurgen Maelfeyt, Dan Mitchell, Sara MacKillop, Sophie Nys, Simon Popper, Preston is my Paris, Alessandro Roma, John Russell, Izet Sheshivari, Erik Steinbrecher, Triin Tamm, Erik van der Weijde, Jean-Michel Wicker.
Sister Corita Kent (1918-1986) was an artist, teacher, philosopher, political activist and possibly one of the most innovative and unusual pop artists of the 1960s. She was a nun in the Catholic Church until 1968 when Sister Corita sought dispensation from her vows. For over 30 years, in the heart of Los Angeles, Corita produced a variety of serigraph or screen-printed images. The retrospective exhibition Let The Sun Shine In – until May 10, 2014, Circle Culture Gallery, Berlin – documents Corita’s practice during that time.
As a pop artist, Corita primarily focused on text and vibrant color, manipulated type and images appropriated from the newly burgeoning consumer culture of her era.
After leaving the church in the late 1960s, Corita’s works took a grand stylistic turn. She all but abandoned the neon-soaked Psychedelia of her previous works, and opted instead for a more subtle, nuanced approach to art making.
Corita first taught, and subsequently became chair of the art department at Los Angeles’s Immaculate Heart College, where she became famous for her novel pedagogical methods. Her students helped produce her serigraphs, and her inventive teaching practices encouraged them to look hard and work harder, leaving a lasting impact on the way they encountered the world. With fame also came the opportunity to invite her contemporaries to speak at her lectures. Illustrious speakers including luminaries such as designers Charles and Ray Eames, composer John Cage, graphic designer Saul Bass and film director Alfred Hitchcock.
Upcoming exhibition, But, there is only one thing that has power, from March 12 to April 19, 2014, Galerie Allen, Paris.
L’appellation “Op art”, qui trouve son origine dans l’abréviation de l’expression “optimal art”, s’impose en Europe dans les années 60. Ce mouvement artistique renoue avec l’abstraction géométrique en cherchant à créer des jeux optiques et des effets d’illusions pouvant s’inscrire à la surface de la rétine.
L’exposition Op & Post-op Editions – du 8 mars au 12 avril, 2014, Florence Loewy by artists…, Paris – associe des éditions et des livres d’artistes de Tauba Auerbach, Sigrid Calon, Philippe Decrauzat, François Morellet, Dan Walsh.
Mark Pezinger Verlag is an artist-run publishing house, founded in 2009 and based in Vienna and berlin. the collective (Astrid Seme, Karsten Födinger, Natalie Obert and Thomas Geiger) works beyond conventional structures to explore further possibilities for the artist book. the publications that have been realized are ranging from books to sound works and from one-offs to higher editions.
The exhibition Mark Pezinger works both ways – From Performance to Publication focuses on the performative dimensions of Mark Pezinger Verlag and offers the oppurtunity to experience the publishing house as an economical, social and dynamical sculpture. March 14 to May 4, 2014, FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Marseille.
Muriel Cooper worked across four decades at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in overlapping roles as a graphic designer, teacher, and researcher. Spanning the transition from print, to early explorations of digital typography, to fully evolved information environments, Cooper’s tenure at MIT maps onto one of the most dynamic periods of the school’s technical, conceptual and theoretical development.
As the first Design Director of the MIT Press, Cooper established a comprehensive publishing program and designed books like The Bauhaus (1969) and Learning from Las Vegas (1972). As co-founder of the Visible Language Workshop, she taught experimental printing, tested large-format Polaroid photography, and integrated video systems in MITs Department of Architecture. And at the MIT Media Lab, she developed some of the earliest computer interfaces and educated a generation of designers. Throughout, her approach remained consistent: creating tools and systems for rapid feedback, dissolving boundaries between design and production, and restlessly seeking out new problems.
The exhibition Messages and Means: Muriel Cooper at MIT, organized by David Reinfurt and Robert Wiesenberger with Mark Wasiuta, will take place at Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, Columbia University, New York, from February 25 to March 28, 2014.
Oraibi – librairie itinérante et structure curatoriale basée à genève – invite l’artiste et designer Clémence Seilles, accompagnée de The Estate of Matt Montini, à produire un dispositif de présentation d’une sélection de livres, du 14 au 16 février 2014, à Rosa Brux, Bruxelles. Choisis parmi son catalogue, les ouvrages s’articulent autour des sources littéraires et artistiques d’un psychédélisme revisité, paneuropéen et francophone : livres anciens, raretés, poésie surréaliste, manifestes, revues psychédéliques, catalogues d’exposition, littérature, publications récentes et inédites.
Livre Imaginé – Dans Cinquante Ans d’Ici is a group exhibition – curated by Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk – on the future of the book and other variable formats with AND Publishing & Åbäke, Xavier Antin, Ruth Beale, Nina Beier & Marie Lund, Elena Damiani, Aurélien Froment, Ryan Gander, David Jablonowski, Laurie Kang, Boris Meister, Klaus Scherübel, Sebastion Schmieg & Silvio Lorusso. March 12 to April 19, Les Territoires, Montréal.
The exhibition posits the book – as both thing, container and idea – against the backdrop of some recent and ongoing discussions that address the probable demise of the bound volume in conjunction with the emergence of digital reading devices. As the title of this exhibition already implies, a somewhat speculative approach towards the subject is taken insofar any productive attempt at summation of the debate has resulted in stances taken on either side, but quite obviously avoided closure as the situation undoubtedly remains open–ended.
Dans le cadre de la table ronde L’édition comme reflet d’une expérience, le 14 février, 18h30, à Mains D’Œuvres, Saint-Ouen, “Information Room” est une exposition de publications qui questionnent l’enregistrement, le commentaire et le prolongement de projets artistiques. Du catalogue au livre d’artiste, en passant par l’ouvrage théorique ou le carnet de recherches, ces entreprises éditoriales, aux intentions, formes et formats variés – parfois composites ou ambiguës – incarnent des expériences de mise en tension d’une idée et de sa trace, du geste et de sa captation, d’un objet et de sa représentation, de l’espace d’exposition et de l’espace du livre, de l’oral et de l’écrit.
Codex – until March 29, 2014, Wattis, San Francisco – is an exhibition-manifesto conceived by Pierre Leguillon during a residency in San Francisco. As an artist and book collector, Pierre Leguillon found himself within the stacks of the Prelinger Archive, an “appropriation friendly” library whose organization conceives of its holdings as a “landscape of ideas”, classifying subjects both spatially and conceptually.
This project evolved from a collective inquiry which, given the fanatical desire to digitalize every book, was based on the premise the library has now been “flattened”. The codex (book or block of wood in Latin), which first appeared during the Roman Empire between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, was the earliest form of a bound book.
Replacing the scroll, it permitted linear reading and made it possible to hierarchize the content of a text through direct access to the desired page. Why, in an era of digital databases, online libraries, and the development of new digital media, bring the codex back into two dimensions, into screen format? And why continue to imitate the space of the traditional book by retaining page numbers, by simulating turning pages, etc.?
The irreversible act that consists in taking books into the picture plane is found throughout the entire history of Western art and seems a recurring motif in the most recent contemporary art.
The exhibition Codex is designed as a living organism and offers a series of events in connection with the selected works, composed of screenings, lectures, and exchanges that will also make it possible to “perform” the book, to see it manipulated and, interpreted, either live or at the cinema, through words and gestures.
Mecca – designed by Mathias Schweizer – is a free edition available at the Contemporary Art Center of Ivry – Crédac. Mecca gives indications on the stakes of the program the Crédac, it provides reviews, analyzes and comments on the work of the artists featured. It offers additional means: those of rereading and memory.
Mecca 6 is a non-exhaustive visual journey through ten years of Crédac programming (2003-2013). It is primarily a game based on iconography and memory, exhibition and collection. It is a visual promenade for the reader to make his way and build their own matches.
Des Savoirs Bouleversés – edited by Vincent Honoré, Anna Colin and Åbäke – is a publication inscribed in Unsettled Knowledge, a cycle of exhibitions which has explored the propensity for artists to engage with knowledge from fields beyond their own area of specialism. This book and additional instalment concludes the cycle by taking one further step into the relationship between art, knowledge and specialism as observed in the three exhibitions. It features the work of artists — Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Aurélien Froment, Goldin+Senneby, Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet, Jochen Lempert, Marie Lund, Benoît Maire, Melvin Moti, Benjamin Seror, Simon Starling, and Claudia Triozzi — who wear several hats (scientist, historian, economist, storyteller) and are committed to bridging art and other specialised fields of knowledge. Their practice entails borrowing methodologies from distinct disciplines, infiltrating disparate subject areas and collaborating with agents from further afield in the interests of new forms, new languages, new questionings, and new readings.
The exhibition All Possible Futures explores speculative work created by contemporary graphic designers.
The premise of All Possible Futures originated in 2003 over a conversation between the curator of the exhibition, Jon Sueda, with a graphic designer, about the exhibition and the critical discussion of lost explorations built on speculation and uncertain ground. What would graphic design look like if the discipline supported such speculative practices as a legitimate area of enquiry?
The works in All Possible Futures embody a wide range of approaches to the idea of speculation. They encompass everything from self-generated provocations to experimental work created ‘in parallel’ with client-based projects to unique situations where commissions have been tackled with a high level of autonomy and critical investigation. They highlight different levels of visibility and publicness within the graphic design process.
Some projects were made for clients and exist in a real-world context, while others might otherwise have gone unnoticed: failed proposals, formal experiments, sketches, incomplete thoughts. In the spirit of the show’s title, the exhibition itself shifts and evolves over the course of the visitor’s experience. Some works are traces of pieces. Others must be manipulated or engaged with in order to become fully apparent.
Jon Sueda’s intention is that All Possible Futures asks more questions than it definitively answers, with the hope that it will function as a porthole into a universe of highly sophisticated work that has been striving to find a way out into the world.
The theme of the 26th International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno 2014 is education in the field of graphic design and visual communication. This thematically focused biennial will — through a wide range of exhibitions, lectures and accompanying programs — investigate the educational models of contemporary graphic design as well as the methods and approaches of individual tutors and schools. It will also look at the diversity of specific schools, the influence of architecture on education, and the relationship between theory and practice.
Exceptionally, the International Exhibition, a traditional part of the Brno Biennial, will leave aside the work of professionals to focus instead on work created by students. All works created in a school context between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2013 are eligible for the International Exhibition. The application form is now available online.
The Postcard is a Public Work of Art, January 23 to March 1, 2014, X Marks the Bökship, London, is an exhibition of postcards realized by sixty artists based in Britain, such as Åbäke, Simon Cutts, Arnaud Desjardin, Karen Di Franco, Daniel Eatock, Ryan Gander, Sara MacKillop, Jonathan Monk, Stuart Whipps, etc.
The title of the exhibition is from a card first published close to twenty years ago by publisher and poet Simon Cutts, who has been making postcards at his imprint Coracle since 1975.
Reproduction Request (Half Letter) questions the relationship of proximity, distance, and mediation with series of small group shows that investigate reproduction as a form, and the various modes of dissemination and circulation for a given format. This project affords artists, curators, writers, and designers the opportunity to think about how particular artworks either lend themselves to duplication and dissemination or actively resist and disrupt easy reproduction. There will be no installation; the work in the shows will exist only as reproductions. The catalog is the show is the catalog.
The first exhibition, January 10 to February 7, 2014, COR&P, Columbus, with R.S. Beckman, Kate Bonner, Dante Carlos & Rolu, Munro Galloway, Nicholas Gottlund, Jessica Mallios, Ken Nurenberg, and Ed Steck, takes the form of a half-sized photocopied booklet or “zine”…