Items to be discussed at a formal meeting

Items to be discussed at a formal meeting

e-flux Agenda

Tanel Rander, The Guidelines, 2016. Still from video. Image courtesy of the artist.
In Barbara Casavecchia’s “Riga Roundup,” February 18, 2016.

April 5, 2016
Items to be discussed at a formal meeting
—A cinematic, synesthetic siesta and other matters

a) The Cinema
In our SPACES feature, film scholar Erika Balsom considered the relation between the gallery and the cinema, reflecting on how “the presence of figures such as [Bruce] Conner and [Paul] Sharits on the commercial gallery circuit (…) demands to be seen as the apotheosis of a development that has now been underway for some 20 years: the recuperation of the history of experimental cinema into the art context.”

b) Synesthesia
art-agenda’s second Double Take combined the thoughts of writer Morgan Quaintance and film scholar Lucy Reynolds on Daria Martin’s exhibition “At The Threshold” at Maureen Paley, London. Analyzing how Daria Martin is “drawn to explore the condition of mirror-touch synesthesia in the first of a planned trilogy on the subject,” Reynolds and Quaintance reviewed this “hypnotic vision of uncanny sensuality, shot in saturated 16mm film, in which the lines between self, other, and object dissolve into a holistic sensory continuum.”

c) Siesta&Fiesta
In an Iberian tour framed by the exhibitions of artists Iman Issa (at Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon) and Rosa Barba (Parra & Romero, Madrid), The White Review co-founder and art-agenda’s Assistant Editor Ben Eastham wrote a Lisbon and Madrid Roundup in which he considered the current and future impacts of ARCO, in the fair’s moment of expansion from Madrid to Lisbon.

d) Artists and Gallerists talk  Marcelle Alix, the quasi-person
Pursuing art-agenda’s series of interviews between artists and gallerists, art-agenda published These times of ours, a four-person conversation between artistic duo Louise Hervé and Chloé Maillet and Marcelle Alix’s Isabelle Alfonsi and Cécilia Becanovic about the gallery, the curatorial project, and the quasi-person.

e) Being silly, Bats, Pacifist Ethos
Recently on art-agenda, Ingo Niermann reviewed John Wood and Paul Harrison’s exhibition “Some things are undesigned” at Von Bartha, Basel, reflecting about postindustrial city planning, architecture, and being silly. Outlining the current cultural scene in Marrakesh, Antonia Alampi reviewed Abdeljalil Saouli’s “Hybridations” exhibition at Voice Gallery, “which centers on two figures—the bat and the bullet—to create an allegory of death, inspired by a net of associations related to the political and colonial history of the mountainous region of Fez.” In Paris, “not far from Place de la République,” the site of the November Paris Attacks, Mara Hoberman visited Corita Kent’s “Resurrection of the Spirit” exhibition at Galerie Allen, which “offers a taste of Kent’s Pop aesthetic and pacifist ethos (and) internal struggle as well as a quest to make the world a better place.” From Milan, Ilaria Bombelli reviewed Allison Katz’s “AKA” at Giò Marconi, an exhibition that “has the form of some organism,” which unfolds through “linguistic and phonetic associations,” “like a palindromic word.”

f) Sandwiches, Forensics, Rented Bodies
Leo Goldsmith wrote about Pat ONeill’s “Let’s Make a Sandwich” exhibition at New York gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash. Considering how “Let’s Make a Sandwich” “exhibits both O’Neill’s playful sense of humor and his fascination with diverse materials, images, textures, and technical processes,” Goldsmith observes how “O’Neill constantly troubles the image—and our perception of it—enacting strange encounters with their own elements of risk.” Offering an in-depth consideration of the historical context that surrounded the research of Marco Poloni’s exhibition “Codename: Osvaldo. Two Case Studies” at Berlin’s Campagne Première, Ana Teixeira Pinto reviewed this “study in forensics and iconography, revolving around the question of the revolutionary subject.” Julia Mortiz wrote about Jan Vorisek’s “Rented Bodies” at Zürich’s Galerie Bernhard, considering how an exhibition “offers the possibility of escape.” Also from Zürich, Daniel Horn reviewed the opening show of Galerie Maria Bernheim. “Tunguska” is a group exhibition “pairing emerging talents such as Mitchell Anderson and Ramaya Tegegne with more internationally established artists like Jon Rafman.”

g) Aspirational-lifestyle and Hyperreal Minimalism
From Los Angeles, Jennifer Piejko reviewed Jean Baudrillard’s photography exhibition “Jean Baudrillard’s photography: Ultimate Paradox” at Chateau Shatto, considering this “empirically visually pleasing, a tasteful selection of aspirational-lifestyle and global-traveler snaps,” while analyzing Baudrillard’s refusal “to photograph people, animals, or scenes of violence because of their inherent sentimentality.” Lingering on Baudrillard’s influence, and still in Angeles, Myriam Ben Salah visited Art Los Angeles Contemporary and Paramount Ranch, remarking on how “the city’s hyperreality seemed to be the overarching theme of both the handful of art fairs taking place around town as well as that of the art itself.” Also in a fair context, Orit Gat reviewed Condo, London, “a new structure meant to allow galleries of a similar size to band together in order to promote their artists and share resource,” asking herself “what makes a group show in a gallery successful?” and offering some proposals for the evolution of “the practical and ideological structure of Condo.” Finally, Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh were at Art Basel Hong Kong, where they reflected on whether “less is more”—Marc Spiegler’s “very words during the media reception for this year’s edition”—were truly meaningful to the context of the Asian venue of the Swiss fair.

h) Money and Politics
Writing from Puerto Rico and using this “opportunity to examine how art, money, and politics feed off each other in one of the oldest colonies in the world,” Carla Acevedo-Yates reviewed the 4th San Juan Poly/Graphic Triennial: Latin America and the Caribbean. Considering the implications of organizing a large-scale exhibition in “one of the poorest countries in the world,” Kjetil Røed found “alternative readings” for bridging the blatant wealth divide while considering the outcome of the exhibition, Critical Writing Ensemble, and Film Program at the Dhaka Art Summit. In a Riga Roundup, Barbara Casavecchia observed, through visits to exhibitions, museums and other institutions, how “the contemporary art scene in Riga seems caught in a moment of suspension, in between relocations, instability, and future optimism.”

i) Communists and Post Offices
We’ve also published Pedro Neves Marques’s well-informed review of Stan Douglas’s recent Odyssean film project, “The Secret Agent.” Presented at Victoria Miro in London, this multichannel installation is “an adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s 1907 novella of the same name,” located in “the turmoil of the ‘hot summer’ of 1975—featuring bombings of the offices of leftist political parties, a siege of the constitutional assembly by workers, and November’s anti-communist counter coup (…) though it is inevitable—in the wake of the 2015 Portuguese elections that pushed the centrist Socialists to make a historic deal with the Communist Party and the Left Bloc—that it resonates with contemporary ideological shifts.” Close-by, from Madrid, Mariana Cánepa Luna reviewed Francesc Ruiz’s “Correos” exhibition at García Galería, which “astutely addresses the pitfalls of the liberalization of public-sector services,” while reflecting about the relation between design, governmental practices, and their translation onto corporative identities, while from Dublin, and considering the exhibition as a crime story, Isobel Harbison visited Siera Hyte’s current show at Ellis King, whose “bright, airy space is set up like a film set or crime scene.” Writing about another new gallery, this time in Mexico City, Claudia Arozqueta reviewed Andrea Geyer’s “Truly Spun Never” show at Parque Galería, “a theatrical show without being solemn or inviting the blues.”

j) Meanwhile in the West
There was also an extensive series of US-based exhibitions. From Los Angeles, Travis Diehl reviewed David Snyder’s “2THNDNL” exhibition at Michael Benevento, reflecting on how it echoes the US’s “present national discourse,” while in New York Sam Korman wrote a personal, engaging review of The Armory Show and Independent NY, reflecting about the ecology of the art world and its figures, and paying tribute to an influential Portland/New York gallery that recently closed its doors. Again in LA, Sabrina Tarasoff commented on Seth Price’s “Wrok Fmaily Freidns” show at 356 Mission Road observing how, despite being impossible “to critique someone who is not only completely aware of their critical shortcomings, but further includes those ideas in their practice,” the artist’s “ideologies, perhaps in failing to respond to the gradual onslaught of art super-stardom, seem to collapse under their own weight, leaving the work itself as little more than another empty embodiment of abstraction and value amassed.” Back to NY, writer and art-agenda’s Assistant Editor Tess Edmonson reviewed Jeanette Mundt’s “Heroin: Cape Cod, USA” exhibition at Off Vendome, reflecting on the artist’s divided imaginary between the “icons of nationhood or masculinity” and the representation of the feminine “body seeing itself.” Also in New York, this time from Michael Werner, Alan Gilbert wrote about the “Marcel Broodthaers: Écriture” exhibition, remarking the influence of Marcel Broodthaers’s “creative parroting” and observing his relation to avant-garde poetry’s “battle with hardened categories” beyond “language meaning-making.” Including some memorable personal insights, Kim Levin reviewed Ana Mendieta’s “Experimental and Interactive Films” exhibition at Galerie Lelong, also in New York, remarking how “the first full-scale gallery exhibition devoted to her films greatly expands the range of her work and places film at its heart, rather than at its periphery.”

To be continued

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