Archive

Tag Archives: biennale

City Among Nations: Los Angeles at the Venice Biennale

8_Biennale_di_Venezia_2015_Walead_Beshty.jpg
The Propeller Group, The AK-47 vs M16, 2015. AK-47 and M16 bullets fused and encased in ballistic gel, on metal support and LWS platform, 128 x 43 x 17 cm; single-channel HD video, color, no sound, c. 12'. 56th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia, All the World's Futures. | Photo: Alessandra Chemollo. | Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia.

The Propeller Group, The AK-47 vs M16, 2015. AK-47 and M16 bullets fused and encased in ballistic gel, on metal support and LWS platform, 128 x 43 x 17 cm; single-channel HD video, color, no sound, c. 12′. 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, All the World’s Futures. | Photo: Alessandra Chemollo. | Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia.

What’s notable about “We Must Risk Delight” is precisely that none of the artists included are international luminaries, of which Los Angeles undoubtedly has its share. Rather, the exhibition presents the city’s immeasurably talented working-artists, ranging in age from 30-70 and representing a broad range of ethnicities, as well as a slight majority of female artists. “Our participation in art conversations on an international level can not be reserved only for superstar names: not if our interests as a community are to keep growing and keep relevant,” curator Elizabeta Betinski explains. “Too few of us get the kind of opportunity we just experienced at the Venice Biennale and I truly hope to see that change for Los Angeles artists within my lifetime. ‘We Must Risk Delight’ was created in an effort to affect that change.” The exhibition has been a labor of love for the curator and the artists, who continue to seek financial support for their endeavor. “Democratization is, to me, an issue that needs to be addressed,” says Betinski. “We can either complain about — and thus contend with — the ‘art market’ and its inherent elitism, or we can give effort to expanding the playing field and creating opportunities for more than just a select few.” She continues, “L.A. has one of the most vibrant and exciting contemporary art scenes in the world — yet, our perspective on being a part of a larger world is still very myopic and out-of-sync with the amount of creative talent and diversity L.A. has to offer.” Such diversity, while not the cause of the show’s success, is important because it reflects the progressive values of a city that is increasingly hailed as a crucible for working artists, as well as being notable for its multicultural and gender-balanced community and presence of multiple generations of artists all supporting one another.

Walead Beshty, 56th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia, All the World's Futures.  | Photo: Alessandra Chemollo.  | Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia.

Walead Beshty, 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, All the World’s Futures. | Photo: Alessandra Chemollo. | Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia.

Thematically, the exhibition’s focus is transcendence of real-world limitations, and the art on view speaks to the possibilities of fantasy and imagination to lift us above our daily challenges. That utopian spirit is also typical of Los Angeles, a city that is in many ways an impossibility, wrested from the desert that perpetually threatens to reclaim it. The artworks on view take a variety of forms, from Tanya Batura’s surreal ceramics suggesting organic growths made of eyes, to Robbie Conal‘s nostalgic portraits of 1960s pop icons Bob Marley, John Lennon, and Jimi Hendrix. Kenturah Davis’ contribution, four large-scale drawings depicting African-American subjects whose images are comprised of written text describing their aspirations, speaks to both the challenges and the ambitions of L.A.’s creative class.

"We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles." Collateral Event of the 56th la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015. Curated by Elizabeta Betinski. Presented by bardoLA in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Panorama view of installation with works by (L-R) Ben Jackel, Frank Ryan, Tony de los Reyes, Jamison Carter, Amir H. Fallah, Sherin Gurguis, Alexis Zoto, Carolyn Castaño.

“We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles.” Collateral Event of the 56th la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015. Curated by Elizabeta Betinski. Presented by bardoLA in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Panorama view of installation with works by (L-R) Ben Jackel, Frank Ryan, Tony de los Reyes, Jamison Carter, Amir H. Fallah, Sherin Gurguis, Alexis Zoto, Carolyn Castaño.

Painting is everywhere, most of it boldly colorful. Amir H. Fallah exhibits two paintings from a recent series in which he reconstructed the lives of a married couple based on diaries and objects procured from an estate sale in East Los Angeles. Alexandra Grant and Sherin Gurguis, two artists currently featured in the COLA award exhibition at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, are represented with exuberant works on paper that dazzle against the brick walls of the magazzini space. Grant shows two works from her “Century of the Self”series, proclaiming “I was born to love not to hate,” and Gurguis contributes intricately patterned cut-paper works that riff on traditional Islamic screen work. Gurguis also contributes a large, ornamental cut-out sculpture alongside sculptural works by Ben Jackel, Margaret Griffith, Rebecca Niederlander, and Jamison Carter. Carole Silverstein, Mark Licari, and Shizu Saldamando also dazzle with color, though on a smaller scale. These three artists each embody a distinct Los Angeles vernacular in their very different bodies of work: Silverstein working with pattern and landscape, Saldamando in figuration to describe local archetypes, and Licari bringing the psychedelic perspective.

"We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles." Collateral Event of the 56th la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015. Curated by Elizabeta Betinski. Presented by bardoLA in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Works by Kenturah Davis, Carole Silverstein, Margaret Griffith, and Shizu Saldamando.

“We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles.” Collateral Event of the 56th la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015. Curated by Elizabeta Betinski. Presented by bardoLA in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Works by Kenturah Davis, Carole Silverstein, Margaret Griffith, and Shizu Saldamando.

Despite L.A.’s international stature as a film capital, the moving image is less prominent in the show, although animations by Stas Orlovski and Carolyn Castaño, and Natasha Prosenc Stearns’ sculpture and video installation, ensure it is not left out of the discussion. Photography is also less visible, though well-represented by Brandy Eve Allen’s intimate portraits. Alexis Zoto is the only artist to respond directly to Venice as a site, creating an installation in dazzling gold around a large chandelier that evokes the ersatz Baroque aesthetic of Venice’s many palazzos, while incorporating pre-Columbian geometries that speak to the contemporary hybridization of culture across place.

Charles Gaines, "Notes on Social Justice: Dey's All Put on De Blue," (1880), 2013. Each 86.4 x 71.3 cm. Detail. | Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery.

Charles Gaines, “Notes on Social Justice: Dey’s All Put on De Blue,” (1880), 2013. Each 86.4 x 71.3 cm. Detail. | Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery.

Reflecting that hybrid reality and the broadest possible scope of geographies, the 2015 Biennale encompasses pavilions from 87 countries as well as 42 collateral exhibitions. Still, no other city occupies a footprint comparable to L.A.’s this time around. In addition to “We Must Risk Delight,” L.A. artists figure prominently in Okwui Enwezor’s main exhibition. The Giardini’s Central Pavilion features legendary Angeleno artist and CalArts faculty mainstay, Charles Gaines, with an installation of his recent “Notes on Social Justice” and plexiglas ‘Librettos’ works (the latter also on view at Leimert Park’s Art + Practice until May 30). The Biennale’s live program – one of three key thematic areas or “filters” – also features monthly live performances of Gaines’ master composition based on five “Notes on Social Justice” texts. The first of these featured a male and female vocalist in duet, accompanied by a string quartet. Future performances over the course of the exhibition will layer and multiply texts and compositions from the five source texts. Both the installation and the live performance use canonical documents from the history of social justice movements as their basis, building on a body of work that has incorporated the words of Susan B. Anthony, Stokely Carmichael, and Malcolm X. By appropriating these texts whole and treating them with visual and auditory lyricism, Gaines defuses the oft-leveled criticism of political art as aggressive or alienating, instead drawing viewers in with beauty and warmth while allowing the eloquence and commitment of the original speakers to come through with clarity.

Charles Gaines, "Notes on Social Justice: Dey's All Put on De Blue," (1880), 2013. Each 86.4 x 71.3 cm. Detail. | Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery.

Charles Gaines, “Notes on Social Justice: Dey’s All Put on De Blue,” (1880), 2013. Each 86.4 x 71.3 cm. Detail. | Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery.

Adjacent to the Gaines installation is a gallery of recent works by L.A.-based Walead Beshty, whose works include a number of “Aggregate” sculptures (2013) constructed from production discards from Guadalajara’s Cerámica Suro, a long-established industrial ceramics producer and exporter. The sculptures, covered in thick, drippy paint, are as vulgar and chaotic as Cerámica Suro’s wares are precise. These works, accompanied by collaged sculptures made from cut-up Guadalajara tabloid newspapers draped over metal poles, respond to the official and unofficial economies of globalization by foregrounding the commoditization of human bodies and folk cultural traditions for casual consumption by Mexico’s elites and their wealthier neighbors to the north.

Additionally, CalArts graduates Matt Lucero and Tuan Andrew Nguyen are included at the Arsenale with their collective, The Propeller Group, whom Angelenos may remember from their humorous video installation commenting on global corporate culture at 2012’s Made in L.A. Biennial at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. In Venice, they are represented by a block of ballistic gel containing an AK-47 bullet and an M-16 bullet shot at one another, which upon fusing come to represent a merger of American and Soviet military histories in the aftermath of the Cold War — think Afghanistan or Syria for some real-world examples of how this plays out. The AK-47 vs M16 (2015) also includes a slow-motion animation of the bullets passing through the gel, which creates an abstracted forensic map of contemporary global conflict.

Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia. Walead Beshty, "¡La Voz de Jalisco El Periodico Que Dice Lo Que Otros Callan Más Noticias Más Deportes! (Miércoles, 7 Agosto 2013: Metro, La Prensa Jalisco, Express Guadalajara)," 2013. Daily newspapers, dimensions variable.

Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia. Walead Beshty, “¡La Voz de Jalisco El Periodico Que Dice Lo Que Otros Callan Más Noticias Más Deportes! (Miércoles, 7 Agosto 2013: Metro, La Prensa Jalisco, Express Guadalajara),” 2013. Daily newspapers, dimensions variable.

Another notable Angeleno at the Biennale is Vanessa Beecroft, an Italian-born artist whose installation “phantom limb stone garden” at the Italian Pavilion made up of figurative sculptures in bronze and shades of stone reminiscent of the range of human skin tones. One of her most ambitious and successful sculptural installations, the work cannot be viewed in its entirety as it is intentionally blockaded by large, rough-sided marble slabs. The fragmented viewpoint of the observer and the truncated female bodies within make reference to Marcel Duchamp’s final work, Étant Donnés (1946-66), a Surrealist-inspired tableau referencing both theater and early cinema, which prefigures Beecroft’s more than twenty years of work responding to the tropes of contemporary high fashion.

Los Angeles’ emergence within the international contemporary art landscape speaks to the city’s position at the forefront of worldwide trends. While the Biennale’s pavilions appear to celebrate nationalism, increasingly one finds within them artists from many countries (Spain and Belgium being notable examples this time). Los Angeles exemplifies a future in which metropolitan areas are in direct dialogue with one another, around the globe, through cultural as well as commercial exchange. Comprised of residents from all parts of the planet, Los Angeles boasts a majority-minority demographic that other European and American cities are destined to share. The city is shaped by its national context, but also shapes it, and acts as a hub for international cultural exchange. L.A. is uniquely positioned to serve as a model for the world’s cities going forward, being already invested in seeking ways to develop more equitable, sustainable, and liveable conditions for its citizens. Given how the city’s contemporary artists reflect and promote those concerns, it’s no surprise that they are so prominently represented at a global exhibition focused on the future.

"We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles." Collateral Event of the 56th la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015. Curated by Elizabeta Betinski. Presented by bardoLA in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Installation view.

“We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles.” Collateral Event of the 56th la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015. Curated by Elizabeta Betinski. Presented by bardoLA in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Installation view.

Top Image: Walead Beshty, 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, All the World’s Futures. | Photo: Alessandra Chemollo. 

Anuradha Vikram is a curator, critic, educator, and Director of Residency Programs at 18th Street Arts Center.
Advertisements

Jeremy Deller + Warp records collaborate for Late at Tate Britain

November 13, 2013 Art News No Comments

Jeremy Deller to be joined by Oneohtrix Point Never, Hudson Mohawke and Rustie to soundtrack a series of audio/visual pieces at Tate Britain this December.

Late at Tate Britain and Warp Records are to host an evening of live performances and audio installations which will see producers from the label collaborate alongside Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller in response to the artist’s iconic 1998 piece The History Of The World.

Taking over Tate Britain’s grand Duveen hall which will use Deller’s bandstand as its focal point, Warp will transform the adjacent galleries into immersive installation spaces. Lots more Info and images over at The Vinyl Factory

Warp x Tate is free to visit on 6th December and will run from 6.30pm til 10pm.
More INfo: warp-x-tate.net

imagesWOAH today sees the launch of The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale, the concept and outcome is pretty incredible with such diverse works being shown and with such a broad spectrum of artists.

The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale

WELCOME
The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale opens its “online” doors, here at http://thewrong.org/ , and in a more relaxed pace, its “AFK” doors in more than ten different cities around the world.

What is The Wrong’s mission? To create, promote and push positive forward-thinking contemporary digital art to a wider audience worldwide through a biennial event that gathers the best selected by the best, while embraces the young talents of today’s digital art scene.

A team of 30 top curators/artists have been working for more than 6 months to feature what they like best in the new digital art world. The biennial is divided into pavilions; virtual spaces in which selected works are exhibited. In total, there are 30 online pavilions, including an “unlimited” pavilion open to public participation and a “meta” pavilion exclusively featuring exclusively the artwork of the curators. More than 300 artists have been invited officially, and have their work featured in the pavilions, and several hundreds are still applying to until the end of the event to participate of the “unlimited” open pavilion. The Wrong is the only free biennial that is fully accessible both to participate and to attend, and everything just one click away.

The Wrong has no theme. Each of the official pavilions has a curator responsible to select its artists. The curators leading pavilions are Jodi, Yoshi Sodeoka, Anthony Antonellis, Rollin Leonard, Lorna Mills, Curt Cloninger, Emilio Gomariz, Eric Mast, Chiara Passa, Max Hattler, A.Bill Miller, Helena Acosta, Peter Rahul, Miyö Van Stenis, Andrew Benson, Emilie Gervais, Rick Silva, Michaël Borras, Sara Ludy, Ellectra Radikal, Giselle Zatonyl, Protey Temen, Johann Velit, Michael Staniak, Gerhardt Rubio Swaneck, Rosa Menkman, Joseph Yølk Chiocchi, Cristina Ghetti, Julia Borges Araña, Guilherme Brandão e David Quiles Guilló.

The open public unlimited pavilion (aka Homeostasis Lab) displays a selection of artwork submissions that artists and general public interested in participating in the event, but who were not invited by any curator, can submit to the two curators assigned specifically to this space . An open call was released early April 2013, and will run until the last day of the event, allowing everyone interested to have a chance to submit their work also during the event. The content of this pavilion will be curated by Julia Borges Araña + Guilherme Brandão and renewed everyday until last day of the biennial.

The curators pavilion (aka META) will open its doors later this month, and displays exclusively artworks generated by the curators. The curators’s pavilion curator, David Quiles Guilló, is also the creative director of the The Wrong, and found guilty of selecting the 30 curators of the biennial. He is the founder and creative director of ROJO®, the art joint responsible for putting this biennale together, from initial ideas to getting everyone on board, to design, production and full media communication of the event, until its last consequences.

In addition, and for everyone who really needs to share a drink AFK (away from keyboard) with their friends, The Wrong curators have selected several art spaces in cities around the world to host The Wrong Embassies, temporary AFK projects, where the physical experience of the digital biennale will take place, featuring live performances, workshops and exhibitions.

At the very end of the biennial, The Wrong Book will be launched, compiling a selection of the best digital artwork submitted by all participants to specifically appear printed in this book. Due to the very nature of the event, we had to think of something amazing, so The Wrong Book’s binding will be done in “random mode”, meaning that each and every copy will be unique. It will be available for orders online on January 2014. More news on this very soon.

The Wrong is, as David Quiles Guilló puts it; “A large gathering of creative individuals, inside a virtual enviroment, speaking the highest form of human communication; ART”.

Please join us like if it was your very first time at;

The Wrong
New digital Art Biennale.

November 1st to December 31st, 2013
http://thewrong.org/