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Posts Tagged ‘art’

ARTBABBLE

I’ve been meaning to write about this site, ArtBabble, for a while now. It offers a collection of high definition videos dedicated to art and artists, from interviews and artworks to talks and documentaries. This is how they sum it up: 

What is ArtBabble?

Art-Bab-ble[ahrt-bab-uhl]
noun; verb (used without object) -bled, -bling

1. free flowing conversation, about art, for anyone.

2. a place where everyone is invited to join an open, ongoing discussion – no art degree required.

Here is an example of the kind of video they host:

What happens when five artists come one of the world’s largest libraries in search of inspiration for their next project? Hosted by Grace Bonney of the Design*Sponge blog, “Design by the Book” follows a glassblower, letterpress printer, ceramicist, pattern designer, and graphic designer as they uncover hidden treasures in The New York Public Library and then return to their studios ready to design… by the book. The artists are: Lorena Barrezueta, Rebecca Kutys, Mike Perry, John Pomp and Julia Rothman. Special guest Isaac Mizrahi will joins us in Episode 2 to share his sources of inspiration.

Unfortunately, it is predominently American art and artists. The closest thing we have, for now, is Tate Shots.

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A selection of photographs from the Travelling Light exhibition, which opened on Friday at the WW Gallery in Hackney, east London.

Turns out the artwork embroiled in bureaucratic battle (see previous post) was by Sri Lankan born artist Roma Tearne. She wanted to wrap a single black or crimson cloth over the eyes of the statue of Eros in Piccadilly, London, but the people in charge refused to give the gallery permission.

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Travelling Light, London>Venice Biennale

 

Travelling Light is an upcoming Venice Biennale art exhibition organised by a group of women from London’s East End: Sophie Wilson of Pharos Gallery, Chiara Williams and Debra Wilson of WW Gallery. The brief said all artworks had to be posted to the London venue for the first leg of the exhibition before they could continue on their travels to Venice, so the artists (among them Roma Tearne, Kate Davis, Maria Chevska and Oona Grimes) had to work to certain size and weight restrictions.

Submissions to Travelling LightThe travelling exhibition, which will showcase a total of 58 artists, is set to open in London and end up in Venice for the opening week of the Biennale. However, one of the submissions requires public interaction, and Westminster Council has yet to give the women permission to go ahead.

 

Read more about their efforts to cut through the red tape on their blog and on Twitter, and find further information, including a list of participating artists, on the website.

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My new personal project is to find out about interesting artists and art projects through Twitter. Here is a selection so far:

Follow me on Twitter

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More than 100 people have commented on Jonathan Jones’s piece, “Should Banksy be nominated for the Turner Prize?”, over the past two days, despite the fact we’ve heard his arguments before. The question of Banksy’s artistic worth, it seems, is something we are all still itching to debate.

Jones has confessed in the past to being “pretty harsh” about Banksy, and to publishing more articles about this “unimportant graffiti and street artist than I care to count”. Writing about Banksy is, Jones says, the “thorn of being an art critic in modern Britain”. “Cy Twombly is the only graffiti artist I care about” (3 June 2008)

However, it is a thorn that has generated a lot of material for Jones’s blog, culminating in the latest piece on his decision not to nominate the street artist for this year’s Turner Prize competition.

His reasons for considering the artist are twofold: one, he would like to be convinced of Banksy’s worth, and two, he would welcome the media attention such a nomination would surely generate. However, he concludes that Banksy no longer generates the same column inches as before, and finally says:

The reason I don’t like street art is that it’s not aesthetic, it’s social. To celebrate it is to celebrate ignorance, aggression, all the things our society excels at. For middle class people to find artistic excitement in something that scares old people on estates is a bit sick.

The vast majority of people responding to this piece argue indignantly in favour of street art, pointing out that it is not the same as “tagging”, and is aesthetic as well as social. An early comment by mroli (15 April 09, 4:12pm) reads:

Are old people on estates scared by street art? I don’t think they are. Certainly not the kind of street art that Banksy perpetrates. How on earth does it celebrate ignorance? How does it celebrate aggression? Don’t nominate him if you think he’s crap, but not nominating him because he is a “social” artist, that encourages discussion, is open to everyone, whose work is essentially disposable and yet adopted as permanent is madness.

Another comment accuses Jones of blatant self-promotion, for the article reveals nothing new about Jones’s relationship with street art, and instead seems to be a thinly veiled boast about his role in nominating artists for the Turner Prize shortlist.

And now, to bring up a blog entry Jones wrote about lazy arts reporting in September 2007, which was always going to come back and bite him on the arse. “Imagine how little news about visual art would appear in the papers,” says Jones, “if the following generic stories were banned:

  1. The most expensive work of art ever
  2. Anything about graffiti
  3. Lost masterpiece rediscovered
  4. Contemporary artists as plagiarists
  5. Art historian/archaeologist makes earth-shattering discovery Restoration stories”

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Thirty-eight years ago, the Tate Gallery (now Tate Britain) installed Robert Morris’s interactive artwork Bodyspacemotionthings in its Duveen Galleries, and all hell broke loose. Visitors went “beserk” playing on the walls, seesaws, stilts and tunnels, getting splinters in their bums and bruises.

Robert Morris: Bodyspacemotionthings

Photo: Tate

On May 22 this year, Bodyspacemotionthings is coming back to Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.

Assistant curator Kathy Noble told the Independent: “It was a landmark moment in Tate’s history. The idea was to encourage viewers to become more aware of their own physicality.”

Concerned art fans will be reassured to learn the new version of the work will be made with contemporary materials instead of the rough wood of the 70s.

This is a sly move on the museum’s part. Bodyspacemotionthings will doubtless be even more popular than Carsten Höller’s slides (2006), if only because of the controversy surrounding Morris’s original.

UBS Openings: The Long Weekend will run for four days from 22 May.

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Introducing Annette Messager– my new favourite artist. Ok, I’m a little late to the table with this one, since her retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, London, opened at the beginning of March. But I have to say it’s the best exhibition I’ve seen in a long time.

Annette Messager: The Messengers

The striking image used to market the exhibition drew me into the Hayward.

Messager uses all manner of materials – soft toys, stuffed animals, fabrics, photographs and words – to create a feminine, and often strangely beautiful, body of work.

 

The eyes on this promotional poster turned out to be part of a small series, called My Trophies. Messager covers large-scale photographs of parts of the body in doodles, which are reminiscent of tattoos and children’s book illustrations.

Other works worthy of note:

  • Chimaeras – This work meets you at the door, and looks like a spooky nightmare full of evil fairies and bats with human faces.
  • My Vows (Mes voeux)– I have seen this before at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and it still impresses me now. Hundreds of photos of body parts are hung together to form a circle. The act of layering up the photos makes the chins, ankles, noses and, yes, boobs, seem like a collection of objects.
  • Casino – A sheet of red fabric waves over glowing, aquatic blobs, as if the sea has been turned into a womb. One of the most original works of art I’ve come across.

Annette Messager: The Messengers is on at the Hayward until Monday 25 May.

Read Adrian Searle’s review in the Guardian

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