Art and Performance
For our ‘50 years on‘ anniversary celebrations, it’s great to hear of new departures. Schooltree’s original rock opera, Heterotopia, is about ‘a girl who loses her body and must journey as a ghost through a parallel world of the collective unconscious to get it back’. Both ‘urban folklore and metaphysical fairy tale’, Heterotopia was developed over several years and recorded as a double album to be released early this year..
6 January 2017
Here is the beginning of my reponse to Fiona Ackerman’s wonderful exhibition Glasslands held at Winsor Gallery – 26 November 2016 – 7 January 2017.
Fiona Ackerman makes a mirror box, an enclosure, a theatre, a disruption of images, as both an invention and exploration of gardens. Rather than the tradition of depicting gardens, bounded spaces, the canvasses embody the process of gardening, cultivating an impossible space: a medley of sculptured cut-outs, with branches, grasses, leaves entangled and entangling. The density of foliage is ceaselessly reflected and refracted in texture, colour, size and dimension to produce something that is both a display and a performance. Am I in a glass house or outside? These inventions seem in-between. I am positioned close-up as if I could reach inside or outside, but to get where? Glasslands prompt the questions: what is a garden and what are the possibilities of these curious spaces…….?
For the rest of my text, Fiona’s introduction to the paintings and further images click here.
22 November 2016
Looks to be wonderful exhibition for the Singapore Biennale:
27 October 2016- 26 February 2017
“Paracosmos propels the viewer into a parallel world – a space of otherness that is recognisable but unfamiliar. Shaped by Shinto ideas of interconnectivity, the site-responsive work is situated in the circular stairwell of the Singapore Art Museum, a central transition space that connects two floors. Here, the ‘membrane’ of hand-cut mirrors dissolves the definition between foreground and background by dissipating the single image into an explosion of reflections. A space of simultaneity, and eternally liminal, the mirror was core to philosopher Michel Foucault’s concept of the heterotopia as a kind of zone that could encompass other sites. Yet munificence can also be deceptive, and like a mirror that throws a warped or skewed reflection, heterotopias can disturb and distort the spaces held in their embrace. The mirror reveals itself as a paradoxical device: able to hold every other image by having no inherent image, it canenfold an ‘everywhere’ by being a ‘nowhere’ in itself”.
1 November 2016
Following on from my last post – pleased to say that we may well be using the Cultureship as a wonderful site for our Festival of Heterotopias next year.
Extract from The Sea by Jorge Luis Borges
Before the dream (or the terror) could weave
Mythologies and cosmogonies,
Before the time could mint itself into days,
The sea, the always sea, it had been and it was.
Who is the sea? Who is that violent
Antique being that gnaws at the pillars
Of the earth and is one and many of the seas
And abyss and splendor and chance and wind?
26 July 2016
Was an honour to stay the night on artists Zatorski + Zatorski’s beautifully restored ship on the Thames in London.
“The Cultureship is a cultural catalyst that encourages inter-disciplinary collaboration and promotes engagement with our collective cultural and maritime history”.
“The ship, De Walvisch, has therefore become a catalyst for creativity, a heterotopic space which can take one on both a physical and metaphorical journey. Since bringing her to London in 2011 she has carried afloat creatives of all disciplines, from world-famous musicians and artists to leading marine engineers and physicists, gathered aboard for Salon events or one-off cultural performances and projects. Our aim has been to create an environment conducive to creativity, collaboration and wonderment”.
13 July 2016
Very pleased to visit the Fromanger exhibition in Paris at the weekend. The second image is from a series of installations placed along Paris pavements in 1968, Souffle de mai.
Rather like these two quotations from Fromanger:
Art becomes interesting when it’s not yet art.
When you become convinced that there are no lines in nature, all drawing turns into abstraction.
29 April 2016
If you are near Paris in July, there’s a group show of contemporary Cypriot art exploring the theme of heterotopia at the Melkart Gallery in the Marais. The exhibition is organised through Le Centre Culturel du Crous de Paris.
15 April 2016
Gérard Fromanger – exhibition: 17 February – 16 May, 2016 Centre Pompidou.
From my essay Foucault and Heterotopian Art pdf:
“Foucault’s essay on Gérard Fromanger’s pioneering figurative paintings offers a very different study of the allure of visual spaces that hover between an experiment and an experience. Foucault titles the essay ‘photogenic paintings’ which captures Fromanger’s use of photographs as the starting point for his visual explorations. Foucault begins his essay by describing how in the late nineteenth century the birth of photography produced a mad frenzy in the visual arts, introducing techniques with:
‘a new freedom of transposition, displacement, and transformation, of resemblance and dissimulation, of reproduction, duplication and trickery of effect’ (Foucault, 1999: 83)
Fromanger rediscovers the joy and love of photography and its transformative potential in painting. ……..Using a technique of painting directly over a transparency projected on a canvas screen, Fromanger converts the image, creating something that is neither a photograph nor a painting but, echoing lines from his essay on Rebeyrolle’s canvasses, a sort of ‘electric flash of the flight between the two’ . With blocks of dominant primary colours, the canvasses multiply the visibility of a specific event – from pedestrians walking by shop fronts to rioting prisoners tearing up the roof of a prison – and transform it into a ‘thoroughfare’, provoking a dispersion of inter-connected images. The canvasses do not ‘capture images: they pass them on…..”
Foucault, M. (1999 [1975)]) ‘Photogenic Painting’, in S. Wilson (ed.) Revisions: Gérard Fromanger. London: Black Dog Publishing. pp. 81-108.
18 February 2016
East China’s Zhejiang province, Wuzhen – the water town – is holding its first International Contemporary Art Exhibition beginning in March 2016. The exhibition entitled ‘Utopia/Heterotopia’ will be curated by Feng Boyi and display works by 40 influential artists from 15 countries.
Feng Boyi is an independent curator who specialises in contemporary Chinese art. He has worked with many artists, including Ai Weiwei, and organised various provocative art exhibitions in China.
Artists will include: Marina Abramovic, Ai Weiwei, Araki Nobuyoshi, Chen Zhiguang, Cheng Dapeng, Choe U-Ram, Richard Deacon, Olafur Eliasson, Ann Hamilton, Oliver Herring, Damien Hirst, Florentijn Hofman, Studio Job, Kishio Suga, John Körmeling, Lai Chih-Sheng, Antti Laitinen, Li Songsong, Li Binyuan, Jaffa Lam, Maya Lin, Liu Jianhua, Mao Tongqiang, Miao Xiaochun, Martin Parr, Peng Wei, Finnbogi Pétursson, Pinaree Sanpitak, Roman Signer, Kiki Smith, Song Dong, Sui Jianguo, Bill Viola, Weng Yunpeng, Wu Junyong, Xiang Jing, Xu Bing, Xu Zhongmin, Yin Xiuzhen, Zhang Dali.
13 January 2016
Two distinct art residencies are under way and both refer to heterotopia in launching their projects.
“Twenty-Three Days at Sea …… will offer selected artists passage aboard a cargo ship sailing from Vancouver, Canada to Shanghai, China. Crossing the Pacific Ocean takes approximately twenty-three days, during which time the artist will be considered “in residence” aboard the vessel”.
“The ship is a floating piece of space, a place without a place that exists by itself, that is closed in on itself and at the same time is given over to the infinity of the sea…” Foucault
“The Weight of Mountains is a microcosm or a portable heterotopia. It is fluid, and malleable through its roaming nature and interchangeable curators and locations”
Following the Weight of Mountains residency there will be a symposium held in London on 19 November 2015 in collaboration with the art project no.w.here: ‘Another Art World is Possible: A collaborative symposium on heterotopias’
7 September 2015
Came across this art catalogue for an exhibition entitled ‘heterotopia’ held in 2009 at Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM).
Peter Cachola Schmal (Author), Peter Cachola Schmal (Editor), Yorck Forster (Editor)Heidelberg: Kehrer Verlag.
The exhibition’s title “Heterotopia” is taken from Michel Foucault’s famous lecture and essay on “Other Spaces”, written in 1967. In it, the French philosopher outlines an analysis of space. For him, space is neither an abstract continuum nor the neutral coexistence of units, but a spatial situation that is characterized by a complex “assembly of relations”. “Heterotopias” are thus social places that exist in parallel and possess a changed relational and structural fabric, enclaves in a world, examples being prisons or sanatoriums. The exhibition will present works that can be classified as “Outsider Art”: The creators of the art exist beyond the pale of the established art world, and were exposed to extreme emotional strain or unusual experiences, were systematically excluded or ostracized by society. DAM owns a small collection of outsider artworks, and they will be on show in the exhibition, among others Stefan Häfner’s “Future City” (it has now been expanded to feature three building complexes), Hans-Jörg Georgi’ “Six Storey” cardboard airplane – both have their artistic home in Atelier Goldstein, Frankfurt/Main – and the scroll pictures by Patient N. They are supplemented by pieces by other artists that all have in common that they imagine subjectively shaped living places or world systems: There are the works of Dutch artist Willem van Genk (1927 -2005), which have inadequately be described as city and machine visions, reminiscent on the one hand of Dada, Pop Art, collage and comics, and, on the other, conveying much of the explosive force which the artist brought to bear in their creation. Then there is the entrancing kingdom of “Monera”, at which Dutch artist Gerard van Lankveld continues to work to this day. From the early 20th century Heidelberg Prinzhorn Collection come the sheets from Josef Heinrich Grebing’s trading empire and Joseph Schneller’s “Villa Laube” pieces. The “Heterotopia” is a version of the “Schets of Schim. Intuitive Architectuur” (“Intuitive Architecture. Sketch or Madness), presented in 2007 as part of the Time Festival Gent in Museum Dr. Guislain, Ghent, and revised specially for the DAM. Originally, the outsider works were shown in the context of historical architectural visions that were in large part taken from the DAM Collection – a method that has now been deliberately avoided. Precisely the DAM context of non-outsider art highlights works that would otherwise be subjected to a rigid distinction between accepted art and non-accepted outsider art. The imaginative power of the works on show tackles the major challenge facing architecture – to create a built “shell” for the world that is in harmony with the subjective desires of its inhabitants.
25 August 2015