Friday, December 26, 2014

Santa's real workshop: the town in China that makes the world's Christmas decorations

Santa’s workshop … 19-year-old Wei works in a factory in Yiwu, China, coating polystyrene snowflakes with red powder. Photograph: Imaginechina/Rex
Text by Oliver Wainwright 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


The river moves beneath the sheet ice. 
The wind is a grand hall of records. 
In the recipe box above the refrigerator, 
the deathbed photos of four generations — 
somewhere, their hands have turned
to prime numbers. Somewhere, 
a voice that smells like a well bucket 
has arranged the vowels of my name 
like three glass pill bottles. Mother of wet rope 
and cordwood, Father with your pant-cuffs
of smoke, I feel myself spinning back
to the first hour of the universe 
to rest within a singular shade of carbon. 

Michael McGriff, 2014

Graham Harman: Art Without Relations

In an exclusive essay, one of the philosophers at the forefront of Speculative Realism makes some connections

By Graham Harman

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Project for the Wind

Sigurdur Gudmundsson, A Project for the Wind-Drawing /Sculpture, 1971-75, 2 b/w offsetprints

Mrs. Cavendish and the General Malaise

Like a boxer at a pre-fight weigh-in, defiant,
no sign of acceptance, Mrs. Cavendish began
to stare meaninglessness in the eye.
The difference: no one, nothing, stared back.
Mrs. Cavendish, I said, it’s impossible to win.
As we consider today, it’s almost tomorrow.
As we admire the flowers, how easily they’re ravaged
by wind and rain. The best we can hope for
is a big, fat novel, slowing down the course of time.
Several tomorrows always linger in the margins,
which means until the very last page
you’ll choose to live with the raw evidence
of how someone else sees and makes a world.
Mrs. Cavendish, I’m also sorry to report
the maps are missing from the office of
How to Get Where You Want to Go—
just one more symptom of the general malaise.
I have little hope that they can be found,
at least not in our lifetime. At the risk of telling you
what you already know, Mrs. Cavendish, here’s
something merely true: the insufficiency of the moon
has been replaced by the lantern, the lantern by
the light bulb, but what won’t go away is the promise
of salvation out there in the bright beyond.
There will always be people who think suffering
leads to enlightenment, who place themselves
on the verge of what’s about to break, or go
dangerously wrong. Let’s resist them
and their thinking, you and I. Let’s not rush
toward that sure thing that awaits us,
which can dumb us into nonsense and pain.
My dog keeps one eye open when he sleeps.
My cat prefers your house where the mice are.
Stare ahead, my friend. The whole world is on alert.

Mrs. Cavendish, every day is old news.

Stephen Dunn


Carmen Herrera, Iberic, 1951, acrylic on canvas on board,101.6 cm diameter

Friday, December 5, 2014

Maison Erne

Maison Erne (model), autriche, architects: Gert-Michael Mayr-Kleber

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Photograph of a sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi

Nigel Henderson, photograph of a sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi, 1950. The photograph was taken at the 'Kenneth King, Eduardo Paolozzi, William Turnbull' exhibition held at the Hanover Gallery, 32A George Street, London.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


I tell you nothing new when I say
here we are again, unable to claim
many moments of relief
from the confirmable gloom, though
there was a time, before news became
ubiquitous, when it was possible
to close our eyes and hide in our rooms.
The excitement of bones found
in mass graves—not ours, the remains
of mastodons and dinosaurs—told us
something of our past. Now we see
face down in ditches
our neighbors with whom we once
broke bread, whose children played
in our yards, and everywhere
colossal denials of blame.
I tell you nothing new, Andre. I dare
boring you, Miguel, with what

you already know, the enemy

suddenly the enemy, Down on your knees,

motherfucker, for being down on 
your knees to the wrong god.
I dare boring you because the shovels 
are blades, the dirt is bloody, and I need
to remind myself of the creatures
we are and have been—remnants 
everywhere.No need, really, to dig.

Stephen Dunn

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Rosetta”, Dir. frères Dardenne, 1999

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Seed Storage Envelope

See Storage Envelope, 2014, granite, fabric, seeds,  19 x 18 x 10 cm.

Η ελάχιστη δομή

Το 18ο αιώνα ο πολιτισμός δεν παράγεται πλέον στα ανάκτορα και στα μοναστήρια, αλλά στις αγροικίες και στις εξοχές. Η περίφημη αγροικία του Goethe, τα τοπία του Turner και του Constable, η αισθησιακή ρέμβη του Rousseau, ο Μέλανας Δρυμός, δεν είναι παρά σημεία μιας ολικής και σχεδόν μαζικής εμβύθισης στη φύση, μια μέθεξη στο τοπίο που έμελλε να είναι και η τελευταία ιστορικά. Το ρομαντικό πρότυπο της αγροικίας, «το κατοικείν των χωρικών», όπως θα πει ο Heidegger, είναι και το τελευταίο ίχνος μιας αρχαίας αντίληψης για την κατοίκηση που έρχονται να ανατρέψουν εκ βάθρων οι νέοι καιροί. Ένα κατοικώ που στοιχειώνει όμως ακόμη και σήμερα το φαντασιακό μας. Η οικογένεια Eagles, τα δεντρόσπιτα, η κατασκήνωση στη φύση, τα παιδιά των διαμερισμάτων που συνεχίζουν στις ιχνογραφίες τους να σχεδιάζουν καλύβες με ξύλινους φράχτες, όταν τους ζητείται να σχεδιάσουν το σπίτι τους, μαρτυρούν ένα ίχνος που δείχνει να αντιστέκεται σθεναρά. Η μορφική αντοχή μιας ψυχικής ανάμνησης, της πιο βαθιάς ανάμνησης σύμφωνα με τον Μπασελάρ, που σαγηνεύει πάντα άμα τη εμφανίσει του.

Επιμέλεια έκθεσης: Αποστόλης Αρτινός

Δημήτρης Αμελαδιώτης, Γιάννης Αρβανίτης / Δημήτρης Μπαλτάς, Κωστής Βελώνης, Γιώργος Γυπαράκης, Γιάννης Γρηγοριάδης, Πάνος Δραγώνας / Βαρβάρα Χριστοπούλου, Γιάννης Δελαγραμμάτικας, Δημήτρης Εφέογλου, Θεόδωρος Ζαφειρόπουλος, Γιάννης Ισιδώρου, Αντώνης Κατσούρης, Ζήσης Κοτιώνης, Ανδρέας Λυμπεράτος, Ειρήνη Μπαχλιτζανάκη, Χρήστος Παπούλιας, Εύα Παπαμαργαρίτη / Δήμητρα Βογιατζάκη, Αλέξανδρος Παπαθανασίου, Λεωνίδας Παπαλαμπρόπουλος, Φωτεινή Παπαχατζή, Βάσω Πλαβού, Κώστας Ρουσσάκης, Νάνα Σαχίνη, Χριστίνα Σγουρομύτη, Ιωάννα Στρατόγλου, Νίκος Σεπετζόγλου, Συμεών, Κωστής Σωτηρίου, Μαρία Λιανού / Πάνος Ξενάκης / Αλέξανδρος Χριστοφίνης, Μάρω Φασουλή, Κώστας Χριστόπουλος, Extra-Conjugale (Ειρήνη Καραγιαννοπούλου, Sébastien Marteau).

Στα πλαίσια της έκθεσης θα γίνεται καθημερινά μια σειρά προβολών πάνω στο θέμα της Καλύβας σε επιμέλεια της Κίκας Κυριακάκου.

Ο κατάλογος της έκθεσης με κείμενα των Αποστόλη Αρτινού, Κωστή Βελώνη, Δήμητρας Βογιατζάκη, Φοίβης Γιαννίση, Γιάννη Γρηγοριάδη, Ζήση Κοτιώνη, Ίριδας Λυκουριώτη, Σταύρου Μαρτίνου, Γιώργου Μητρούλια, Χρήστου Παπούλια, Βασιλικής Πλαβού, Γιώργου Τζιρτζιλάκη και Χρήστου Χρυσόπουλου, θα κυκλοφορήσει απ' τις εκδόσεις Κριτική.
4 Νοεμβρίου – 13 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Don't Forget I Come from the Tropics

Even long after my death
Long after your death
I want to torture you.
I want the thought of me
To coil around your body like a serpent of fire
Without burning you.

I want to see you lost, asphyxiated, wander
In the murky haze
Woven by my desires.

For you, I want long sleepless nights
Filled by the roaring tom-tom of storms
Far away, invisible, unknown.
Then, I want the nostalgia of my presence
To paralyze you.

María Martins (to Marcel Duchamp) c.1945

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Olmega Serpiente

Olmega Serpiente, Veracruz,1800-100 A.C.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Upside down — the Netherlands

It is often said that simple things that we may not be even aware of can have significant consequences. Arrows on highway signs, for example. Research shows that when they point up instead of down they give drivers a feeling of being more informed and having more time to react. Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch ministry of infrastructure and the environment, has been studying this issue since as far back as 2008. A trial conducted on the highway at the Velperbroek junction near Arnhem indicated that using upward-pointing arrows can improve traffic flow by up to 10 kilometres per hour and reduce traffic delays by up to 30 minutes. Since then, the Netherlands have changed most of their signs to use upward-pointing arrows, and so have Sweden and Germany. Neighbouring Belgium is currently in the process of studying the effects of reversing the arrows, while most other countries, including the US, UK, Canada, France and Spain still use downward-pointing arrows.

by Peter Biľak 

A Psalm of Life

What The Heart Of The Young Man Said To The Psalmist.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers, 
   Life is but an empty dream! 
For the soul is dead that slumbers, 
   And things are not what they seem. 

Life is real! Life is earnest! 
   And the grave is not its goal; 
Dust thou art, to dust returnest, 
   Was not spoken of the soul. 

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, 
   Is our destined end or way; 
But to act, that each to-morrow 
   Find us farther than to-day. 

Art is long, and Time is fleeting, 
   And our hearts, though stout and brave, 
Still, like muffled drums, are beating 
   Funeral marches to the grave. 

In the world’s broad field of battle, 
   In the bivouac of Life, 
Be not like dumb, driven cattle! 
   Be a hero in the strife! 

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant! 
   Let the dead Past bury its dead! 
Act,— act in the living Present! 
   Heart within, and God o’erhead! 

Lives of great men all remind us 
   We can make our lives sublime, 
And, departing, leave behind us 
   Footprints on the sands of time; 

Footprints, that perhaps another, 
   Sailing o’er life’s solemn main, 
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, 
   Seeing, shall take heart again. 

Let us, then, be up and doing, 
   With a heart for any fate; 
Still achieving, still pursuing, 
   Learn to labor and to wait.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1847.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Triste Tropicalia

Marcelo Cidade, “Triste Tropicalia”, 2004, concrete pipes and fems. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Casas que Crecen

Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, Jorge Campuzano e Ing. Elias Macotela
la casa que crece, 1962. Manual “Casas que Crecen”. Archivo Ramirez Vazquez.

Museo Experimental El Eco

Exhibition view at Museo Experimental El Eco with a work of Felipe Mujika. Archit: Mathias Goeritz, 1953, Mexico City.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Casa Eduardo Prieto López

El vestíbulo de la Casa Eduardo Prieto López con “El ángel” escultura por Mathias Goertiz, Jardines del Pedregal, México, DF Arq. Luis Barragán - Reception hall of the Eduardo Prieto Lopez House with “The Angel” sculpture by Mathias Goeritz, The Gardens of Pedregal, Mexico City. Architect:  Luis Barragan.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bad Art is Good for Us All

Anonymous thrift store painting titled “Future Tennis Stars”

Text by Alison Gerber

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Staging the Domestic

Staging the Domestic, 2011, wood, acrylic, wool, 120 x 93 x 37 cm

Anna Chatzinassiou and "Salon de Bricolage" (Athens), present at "The Hospital Club" in London, a group exhibition titled "Staging the domestic".
The term “domestic” is used in this exhibition with its dual meaning, indicating both the home and the native.
The title could thus be interpreted both as “installing artwork within a domestic environment” and as “directing native Greek art across borders.”
Participating artists:
Venia Bechraki, Alexandros Georgiou, Apostolos Georgiou, Panos Kokkinias, Angelo Plessas, Mantalina Psoma, Alexandros Psychoulis, Georgia Sagri, Danae Stratou, Elena Syraka, Panos Tsagaris, Kostis Velonis and Marina Vernicos.
Curated by Anna Chatzinassiou
16 October - 7 December 2014
"The Hospital Club" , London.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

How to Become A Non-Artist

 How to Become A Non-Artist is a project Ane Hjort Guttu carried out with her four-year-old son. Together they investigated what could comprise an artwork, with her son creating various “installations” around the house. Documented as a narrated slideshow, the work explores the heritage of the readymade from a very personal and humorous angle.

Talk with Marcelo Cidade and Kostis Velonis

September 20 / 12:00 pm :  Modulario, Museo TamayoMexico City.

Trickster / The variable practice

A Whales Architects, The Turk, 2014
The expanded term “trickster”, as a deity that, in shamanistic mythologies, bears the characteristics of an anthropomorphic animal but also the qualities of a mythological hero who breaks the laws while being in fact a seducer. The game between two related definitions – the one who works miracles and the trickster – can be useful for appreciating a direction of today’s visual production. If we consult the ancient Greek definition of “metis”, which means cunningness and skill, we see that doing the trick was coming along with both the materialization of a technical invention or immediate necessity, and the styles of the artistic practice.
The problem arisen unexpectedly, the apparent impasse not predicted in the original design, lurks as contingency in the practices of the artists examined here, as well as in our lives. But through the multiple and variable wavering of Metis, it turns into a beneficial accident, something not only manageable but almost desired. The point of friction operates as a signal for the change of course and tactics. It did and does indicate the internal dynamics of situations, goes back to Odysseus and his “many devices”, is opportunistic in the strategic meaning of the term, outside its moralistic and negative meaning, and joins up with “cunning intelligence”: the kind of noesis that Plato overthrew for the purpose of establishing the idealistic thinking.The vision of the curator of this exhibition is to assemble works of contemporary artists who, by their tactics, bring forth the reading of the world as a permanent global variation, where apparently insignificant details of daily practice find their meaning in the evolution of things, and the conjunctures are no longer problematic imponderable factors but the field of genesis of new dynamics.

Valentina Karga, "Summer school for Applied Autonomy" , 2014

In those works and tactics, a kind of intelligence still survives, which does not paralyze in front of the unpredictable (the conjunctions), which is able to cope with perplexities in front of the distance that separates an ideal project from the effort of its implementation.
Participating artists: A Whales Architects, Arvanitis Nikos, Kamaris Stephanos, Karga Valentina, Kessanlis Nikos, Kotionis Zissis, Kotsoni Eleni, Ntelakos Apostolos, Pantazopoulou Ioanna, Sachini Nana, Sachpazis Costas, Sagri Georgia, Sepetzoglou Nikos, Touloudis Petros.
Curators: Alexandros Psychoulis, Kostis Velonis
theoretical back-up: Phoebe Giannisi gallery, Athens : 29.9 – 22.11.2014

Friday, September 5, 2014

In the Trance

A pretty anarchist said to me

It's not that great love happens

What happened became your great love

Her echo had an ancient glow & so

proved buoyant for my little craft
I left the world & felt a world
The bee loading its gloves with powder

The albatross wanting one thing from the sea
Nothing can wreck our boat said she
& when the water felt the glacier
The future held a present tense
The present held a future without cease

Brenda Hillman

From Practical Water, 2009

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A House for Everyone

Maison Steckermann, Paul Chemetov (architecte) Andre Bonati (ingenieur), 1972. 

Love Story

Eight months ago, I came across a passage in a book that has haunted me since. It was in Michael Ignatieff’s biography of Isaiah Berlin, and it concerns a night Berlin spent in Leningrad in 1945. Berlin was hanging out when a friend asked if he’d like to go visit Anna Akhmatova. Not knowing much about her, Berlin said yes.
Twenty years older than Berlin, Akhmatova had been a great pre-revolutionary poet. Since 1925, the Soviets had allowed her to publish nothing. Her first husband had been executed on false charges in 1921. In 1938, her son was taken prisoner. For 17 months, Akhmatova had stood outside his prison, vainly seeking news of him.
Berlin was taken to her apartment and met a woman still beautiful and powerful, but wounded by tyranny and the war. At first, their conversation was restrained. They talked about war experiences and British universities. Visitors came and went.
By midnight, they were alone, sitting on opposite ends of her room. She told him about her girlhood and marriage and her husband’s execution. She began to recite Byron’s “Don Juan” with such passion that Berlin turned his face to the window to hide his emotions. She began reciting some of her own poems, breaking down as she described how they had led the Soviets to execute one of her colleagues.
By 4 in the morning, they were talking about the greats. They agreed about Pushkin and Chekhov. Berlin liked the light intelligence of Turgenev, while Akhmatova preferred the dark intensity of Dostoyevsky.
Deeper and deeper they talked, baring their souls. Akhmatova confessed her loneliness, expressed her passions, spoke about literature and art. Berlin had to go to the bathroom but didn’t dare break the spell. They had read all the same things, knew what the other knew, understood each other’s longings. That night, Ignatieff writes, Berlin’s life “came as close as it ever did to the still perfection of art.” He finally pulled himself away and returned to his hotel. It was 11 a.m. He flung himself on the bed and exclaimed, “I am in love; I am in love.”
Today we live in a utilitarian moment. We’re surrounded by data and fast-flowing information. “Our reason has become an instrumental reason,” as Leon Wieseltier once put it, to be used to solve practical problems.
The night Berlin and Akhmatova spent together stands as the beau ideal of a different sort of communication. It’s communication between people who think that the knowledge most worth attending to is not found in data but in the great works of culture, in humanity’s inherited storehouse of moral, emotional and existential wisdom.

Berlin and Akhmatova could experience that sort of life-altering conversation because they had done the reading. They were spiritually ambitious. They had the common language of literature, written by geniuses who understand us better than we understand ourselves.
The night also stands as the beau ideal of a certain sort of bond. This sort of love depends on so many coincidences that it only happens once or twice in a lifetime. Berlin and Akhmatova felt all the pieces fitting amazingly into place. They were the same in many ways. There was such harmony that all the inner defenses fell down in one night.
If you read the poems Akhmatova wrote about that night, you get the impression that they slept together, but, according to Ignatieff, they barely touched. Their communion was primarily intellectual, emotional and spiritual, creating a combination of friendship and love. If friends famously confront the world side by side and lovers live face to face, Berlin and Akhmatova seemed to somehow enact both postures at once. They shared and also augmented each other’s understanding.
For Berlin, this night was the most important event of his life. Akhmatova was stuck in the Soviet Union, living under a regime of manipulation, fear and lies. She suffered horrendously for it. The regime decided that she had cavorted with a British spy. She was expelled from the Writers’ Union. Her son was thrown into prison. She was desolated but never blamed Berlin, speaking of him fervently and writing movingly about the numinous magic of that night.
I’m old enough to remember when many people committed themselves to this sort of life and dreamed of this sort of communion — the whole Great Books/Big Ideas thing. I am not sure how many people believe in or aspire to this sort of a life today. I’m not sure how many schools prepare students for this kind of love.

Text by David Brooks

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Earth Overshoot Day arrives earlier as we consume too much for planet to replenish

The latest grim news about the Earth’s resources is that we are using them up faster and faster every year, and that is creating bigger and bigger economic inequalities between countries.
We hit what is known as Earth Overshoot Day even earlier this year – on 19 August
Global Footprint Network, the environmental think-tank that monitors mankind’s impact on the planet, working with the World Wide Fund for Nature, said we are running out of irreplaceable reserves.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Je donnerais ma vie

Claude Cahun, Je donnerais ma vie, August 1936.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Theater of the World

Every city is reimagined and rebuilt as a result of a spectacle. Whether it is to boost tourism, to complete political promises or to encourage nationalism, the architecture of a city is often ornamented to demonstrate progress. Ever since the representation of nations at the World Fair´s from the XIX century, to the post-war urban renovation projects, buildings raise as artificial monuments that later become obsolete even when they disguise the urban reality.
The Theater of the World looks into the work of different artists interested in architecture as a place for political and social representation. Although, more than revealing the failed utopias from the past, this exhibition reflects on the world as stage, where the monuments, palaces, ruins and social housing projects coexist and renovate under the same façade of nation and apparent development.

Artists : Alexánder Apostol,Yto Barrada, Marcelo Cidade, Nathan Coley, Livia Corona, José Dávila, Marjolijn Dijkman, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Angela Ferreira, Andreas Fogarasi, Meschac Gaba, Carlos Garaicoa, Terence Gower Pedro Reyes, Pablo Hare, Heidrun Holzfeind-Christoph Draeger, David Maljkovic, Olivia Plender, Anri Sala, Kostis Velonis

Curated by Andrea Torrenblanca.
Curatorial Assistant Ixel Rion. 
Museo Tamayo, Mexico City

Friday, July 25, 2014


Push Pin Studios: Seymour Chwast, Cy Nelson- Art Director, Dutton

Sailor Friends