Saturday, December 31, 2016

Eile mit Weile

Andreas Alciatus “ Eile mit Weile “ , Emblemata ,1531

Friday, December 23, 2016

Would You Say That Your (Artistic) Practice is Political?

The various possible answers to the question seem scripted in advance – like we are arriving at this question too late.
In the second half of the twentieth century, the domain of politics was imagined to have shifted from a rarefied space (however historically constituted, i.e., the polis, the public sphere, etc.), to a decentralized and »capillary« operation within all spaces. This led to a significant blurring of boundaries, most clearly elucidated in the key mantra of Second Wave feminism: »the personal is political.« By the mid-1990s, however, locating the political was a process marked by a certain melancholy, even exhaustion. The Google Ngram below plots the use of the expression »everything is political« between 1800 and 2008

by Gavin Steingo

Friday, December 16, 2016

Unlearning Alphabet

Unlearning Alphabet, 2016
Wood, plywood, acrylic
250 x 80 x 7 cm 

Don’t Overthink It

Matthew B. Crawford’s first book, the best-selling Shop Class as Soulcraft (2009), established him as a polemical champion of the superiority, mental and moral, of manual labor over the kind of employment typically sought by college graduates, including any work done on a computer and in a cubicle. For some readers, the fact that the author had earned a doctorate in political philosophy and also owned a motorcycle-repair shop lent a certain kick-ass authenticity to his enterprise. Now ensconced at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, Crawford is back with a heady argument against headiness, and to aid him he invokes as models a couple of artisans and an array of regular guys—short-order cooks, hockey players, and, of course, any dude who knows his way around a Harley. In The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction, he doesn’t just herald the soul-cleansing properties of skilled craftwork. He indicts the philosophical tradition that he believes has robbed us of the world beyond our muddled, misdirected minds. Crawford calls this tradition the Enlightenment, though his description of the European intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries distorts it almost beyond recognition.

By Rebecca Newburger Goldstein

Instructions for Happiness

Happiness can be understood as a basic human need. And the exhibition is all about the personal pursuit for happiness. But instructions for happiness?
As happiness is quite an individual matter, instructions for happiness are of course a pretty absurd promise. Regardless of whether happiness is sought after in the interpersonal, the immediate or the everyday respectively the beauty of the small things in life – the exhibition tries to question the notions of happiness.

Selected artists were invited to contribute a work, that also includes a manual: A work that – based on an instruction – invites to do something, for instance use an object, react to a situation, interact with others under certain rules, perform something for others or oneself or simply initiates a thought process. The form of the work (as well as the instruction) could take any possible shape – resulting in artworks that are as diverse and formally divergent as the technical possibilities. But the seemingly chaotic diversity also reflects a plurality of perspectives on happiness that the artist (as well as society) share.

Aside from the question of happiness in the context of today’s Athens, the exhibition also tries to reflect upon art’s possibilities of immediate effects on society. Thus the boarders of the power of the aesthetic field can be questioned in the show on one side, while tracing the notions of happiness on the other side through experiencing the works in order to maybe also find answers for oneself.

Untitled (Life without tragedy Series), 2015 

Featuring works by Anna Sophie Berger, Liudvikas Buklys, Heinrich Dunst, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Christian Falsnaes, Benjamin Hirte, Barbara Kapusta, Stelios Karamanolis, Alexandra Kostakis, Adriana Lara, Lara Nasser, Rallou Panagiotou, Natasha Papadopoulou, Angelo Plessas, Maruša Sagadin, Hans Schabus, Björn Segschneider, Socratis Socratous, Misha Stroj, Stefania Strouza, Jannis Varelas, Kostis Velonis and Salvatore Viviano; curated by Severin Dünser and Olympia Tzortzi

Opening Tuesday, 20.12.2016, 8pm
21.12. – 30.12.2016, 12pm – 8pm
Lekka 23 – 25 & Perikleous 34, Athens

Kindly supported by The Federal Chancellery of Austria, NON SPACES and KUP

The Kids Want Communism

"The Kids Want Communism” is a yearlong exhibitions project at MoBY-Museums Bat Yam that is held in conjunction with a number of different artists and institutions around the world, including exhibitions, lectures, exhibits, screenings and publications throughout the year of 2016-2017. Partner institutions include the Tranzit Prague, VCRC Kiev, Free / Slow University of Warsaw, State of Concept in Athens, Škuc Gallery in Ljubljana and MoBY.
As part of the third round of “The Kids Want Communism” the entrance exhibits the paintings by the artist Toy Boy, who was born in Luanda, and grew up as a street kid in Angola after the Cuban war against South Africa and the United States. The unique story of this unknown war which led to the fall of the Apartheid is being told through the artist’s experiences.
Beside him, the installation of Hila Laviv and Dana Yoeli “In the Corner This Morning,” an installation poster inspired by the utopian rooms designed by the father of the Soviet constructivist art movement El Lissitzky (1890-1941). The visitors are invited to take with them a poster with a paper self-preparation model, and are encouraged to touch, cut, fold, paint, and decorate in handicrafts tradition of DIY (Do it Yourself). In this way the painting becomes an object.
On the second floor, the large-scale installation of Max Epstein “Dacha,” which was created especially for the exhibition, restores not only the traditional Russian wooden summer house, but also provides the uncanny features it involved. Tamar Nissim presents “I am Simha Sabari,” which tells the fascinating story of Sabari (1913-2004), a Jewish Communist from Yemeni descent, born an albino in the Yemenite Quarter in Tel Aviv and was active in the party in Palestine. The rich political, ideological and cultural contradictions of Sabari’s character display a complexity which seems to have disappeared today.
Mati Lahat exhibits “Titans,“ an installation created especially for the exhibition and composed of original frescoes created by Shraga Weil and Shmuel Katz in the communal dining hall of Kibbutz Ein Hamefratz in 1954. Lahat rescued the frescoes before the dining hall wall was destroyed. At MoBY he presents them against graphite drawings of the Liquidators monument in the Ukraine. These volunteers sacrificed their lives to seal the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl with concrete in 1986 in order to prevent further leakage of radioactive radiation.
Tal Gafny’s installation "Atidim” was also created especially for the exhibition. In its center is the image of Alyssa Carson, an American girl who has been practicing for the last nine years in order to participate in the first manned expedition to Mars, planned by NASA for 2033. The work represents a summary of the first chapter of the project which will accompany Alyssa on her departure to Mars in 17 years.
The exhibition “Notes on Division,” curated by Iliana Fokianaki of State of Concept in Athens, one of the international partners of "The Kids Want Communism” activities, focuses on a return to the Greek civil war of 1946-1949 and the political discourse surrounding the current economic crisis in the country. The exhibition will host six major artists from the art scene in Athens, including: Konstantinos Kotsis, Yota Ioannidou, Antonis Pittas, Yorgos Sapountzis, Kostis Velonis and Vangelis Vlahos.
In addition, the installation “Charging Station" by Nir Harel moves from the central entrance space to the top floor and spreads between spaces. The installations “Red Star” by Noa Yafe - a diorama of Mars; the incubator/sarcophagus of the “Great Soviet Encyclopedia” created by Nicole Wermers; “Structure for Rest” by Ohad Meromi of beds for daydreaming, are moving in the second floor to construct new constellations between the exhibits. The mural by Jonathan Gold showing people standing in line has been completed during the year and is now presented in its final form.

Care a lot, 2016 
Wood, marble, acrylic 
24 x 14 x 11 cm

“The Kids Want Communism” is an annual exhibitions project at MoBY-Museums of Bat Yam, and is held in conjunction with a number of different artists and institutions around the world, throughout 2016. The Kids Want Communism is organized by Iliana Fokianaki, Vladimir Vidmar, Oleksiy Radynski, Vit Havranek, Kuba Szreder and Joshua Simon.

MoBY-Museums Bat Yam 
 December 15, 2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Precision German Craftsmanship

It was a good day and I was about to do something important
and good, but then I unscrewed the pen I was using
to see the ink. Precision German craftsmanship.
The Germans are so persnickety and precise,
they wash their driveways. Their mountains and streams
dance around each other in a clockwork, courtly imitation
of spring. They build the Panzer tank, out of rakes
hoses and garden gnomes; they built me.
And I’ve seated myself above an avenue on the brink
of mystery, always just on the lip, with my toes over the lip
but my bowels behind.
When I replaced the ink the sky was socked in,
only one window of blue open in the north, directly over someone.
But that person was reading about Rosicrucians in the laundromat,
he was unaware as the blue window closed above him.
The rest of us are limp and damp,
I see a button in front of us that says “spin cycle.”
I’m going to push it.

Matthew Rohrer, 2001

Zur Grund- und Bodenlosigkeit der Kunst

The title Zur Grund- und Bodenlosigkeit der Kunst (On the Groundlessness and Bottomlessness of Art) refers first and foremost to a number of characterizations of modern art, assigned both from the outside and from within. Perhaps groundlessness/bottomlessness are even a characteristic attribute of modern art, between scandal and nihilism, different modes of constructivism and negative critique, universalist projects and experiments with the laws of visual perception. As far as contemporary art is concerned, however, other associations present themselves. Is it not an attribute of contemporary art to pull the ground out from under everyday perceptions in the sense of an ontological destabilization? Doesn’t contemporary art constantly have to subvert traditional, normative concepts of reality in order to open up the grounds of reality construction and representation for experimentation?

Anselm Franke is a curator and writer based in Berlin. He is Head of Visual Art and Film at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, where he co-curated The Anthropocene Project (2013–2014), and several exhibitions including Ape Culture (2015) and Nervous Systems (2016). 

In cooperation with Kunstakademie Münster and Freunde der Kunstakademie e.V. Münster Lecture
Anselm Franke, Zur Grund- und Bodenlosigkeit der Kunst
Tuesday, 6 December 2016, 6 pm
Kunstakademie Münster, Hörsaal 1

Genii Loci

Μέσα από την παρουσίαση 100 δημιουργών και την επιλογή 147 αντιπροσωπευτικών έργων από τις συλλογές της Εθνικής Πινακοθήκης-Μουσείου Αλεξάνδρου Σούτζου, του Εθνικού Μουσείου Σύγχρονης Τέχνης, του Κρατικού Μουσείου Σύγχρονης Τέχνης καθώς και σημαντικές ιδιωτικές συλλογές της χώρας, η έκθεση επιχειρεί να αναδείξει τη βιωματική και πνευματική σχέση των καλλιτεχνών με τον τόπο, καθώς και τον τρόπο με τον οποίο, μέσω της καλλιτεχνικής έκφρασης, ο τόπος φορτίζεται με ένα πλήθος νοημάτων και συμβόλων που προβάλλουν την ιδιαιτερότητά του και καθορίζουν το πνεύμα, τον χαρακτήρα και την ψυχή του.
Η εννοιολογική διάρθρωση των ενοτήτων της έκθεσης βασίζεται στην κατανόηση των φαινομένων, μέσα από τον συσχετισμό, τον σχολιασμό και την αντιπαραβολή τού χθες με το σήμερα, κι έχει ως κεντρικό ζητούμενο το πώς κάθε φορά η ελληνική καλλιτεχνική παραγωγή συνδιαλέγεται με το παρελθόν και τα διεθνή νεωτεριστικά πρότυπα.
Η έκθεση δομείται εννοιολογικά σε τρεις μεγάλες ενότητες. Η πρώτη πραγματεύεται την έννοια της ταυτότητας και το αίτημα της ελληνικότητας όπως αυτό διατυπώθηκε τη δεκαετία του ‘30 και τη μεταπολεμική περίοδο. Η δεύτερη αναφέρεται στην έννοια της αμφισβήτησης και στην αισθητική και πολιτική ρήξη των δεκαετιών του ’60 και του ’70, ενώ η τρίτη στην έννοια της αναζήτησης και στις μεταμορφώσεις που συντελούνται στη σύγχρονη ελληνική τέχνη σε σχέση με την παράδοση και τη μνήμη, τη διερεύνηση υπαρξιακών πεδίων και τις κοινωνικοπολιτικές εξελίξεις από τη δεκαετία του ’80 έως σήμερα.
Επιμελητές της έκθεσης είναι οι ιστορικοί τέχνης Έφη Αγαθονίκου, Τίνα Πανδή, Θοδωρής Μάρκογλου και Σπύρος Μάκκας, ενώ τον αρχιτεκτονικό-μουσειογραφικό σχεδιασμό έχει αναλάβει ο αρχιτέκτονας Αλέξανδρος Ξενάκης.

At the end of the demonstration day, 2009

Συμμετέχοντες Καλλιτέχνες
Αβραμίδης Ιωάννης, Αγγελιδάκης Ανδρέας, Ακριθάκης Αλέξης, Αλεξίου Νίκος, Αληθεινός Δημήτρης, Αντωνάκος Στήβεν, Απάρτης Θανάσης, Απέργης Αχιλλέας, Αστεριάδης Αγήνωρ, Βακιρτζής Γεώργιος, Βαρώτσος Κώστας, Βασιλείου Σπύρος, Βελώνης Κωστής, Βλάχος Βαγγέλης, Γαΐτης Γιάννης, Γερόλυμπος Γιώργης, Γεωργίου Απόστολος, Γουναρόπουλος Γεώργιος, Δαμπασίνα Λυδία, Δανιήλ (Παναγόπουλος), Διαμαντόπουλος Διαμαντής, Δίγκα Κλεοπάτρα, Διοχάντη, Εγγονόπουλος Νίκος, Ευθυμιάδη-Μενεγάκη Φρόσω, Ζογγολόπουλος Γιώργος, Ζούνη (Σαρπάκη) Όπυ, Θόδωρος, Καλλιγά Λίζη, Καναγκίνη Νίκη, Κανιάρης Βλάσης, Καπράλος Χρήστος, Κατζουράκης Κυριάκος, Κατζουράκης Μιχάλης, Κατράκη Βάσω, Κεσσανλής Νίκος, Κοκκινιάς Πάνος, Κοκκινίδης Δημοσθένης, Κόντογλου Φώτης, Κοντόπουλος Αλέκος, Κοντός Δημήτρης, Κουνέλλης Γιάννης, Λαζόγκας Γιώργος, Λάππας Γιώργος, Λοϊζίδου Μαρία, Λογοθέτης Στάθης, Μαγγιώρου Λουκία, Μανουσάκης Μιχάλης, Μόραλης Γιάννης, Μποκόρος Χρήστος, Μπότσογλου Χρόνης, Μπουτέας Γιάννης, Μυταράς Δημήτρης, Ναυρίδης Νίκος, Νικολάου Νίκος, Ντάβου Μπία, Ξαγοράρης Ζάφος, Ξαγοράρης Παντελής, Ξενός Γιώργος, Παπαδημητρίου Μαρία, Παπαηλιάκης Ηλίας, Παπακωνσταντίνου Λήδα, Παπακωνσταντίνου Νίνα, Παπαλουκάς Σπύρος, Παπασπύρου Ρένα, Παρθένης Κωνσταντίνος, Παρμακέλης Γιάννης, Πάστρα Ναυσικά, Πεντζίκης Νίκος Γαβριήλ, Ρόρρης Γιώργος, Ρωμανού Χρύσα, Σαμαράς Λουκάς, Σεμερτζίδης Βάλιας, Σικελιώτης Γιώργος, Σκυλάκος Βασίλης, Σπαχής Άγγελος, Σπηλιόπουλος Μάριος, Σπυρόπουλος Γιάννης, Στάμος Θεόδωρος, Στέρης Γεράσιμος, Σόρογκας Σωτήρης, Σούλου Χριστιάννα, Στραπατσάκη Μαριάννα, Σώχος Αντώνιος, Τάκις (Βασιλάκης Παναγιώτης), Τάσσος Α., Τέτσης Παναγιώτης, Τσαγκάρης Πάνος, Τσαρούχης Γιάννης, Τσιβόπουλος Στέφανος, Τσόκλης Κώστας, Φαϊτάκης Στέλιος, Φασιανός Αλέκος, Χαραλάμπους Πάνος, Χατζηκυριάκος-Γκίκας Νίκος, Χατζημιχάλης Γιώργος, Χριστάκης Τάσος, Χρύσα, Ψυχοπαίδης Γιάννης, Ψυχούλης Αλέξανδρος

30 Νοεμβριου - 8 Ιανουαριου : "Genii Loci. Ελληνική Τέχνη από το 1930 έως σήμερα"
Κρατικό Μουσείο Manege, Αγ.Πετρούπολη,

Ένα Σημείο στο Κέντρο