Watch This Space

On 20 July 2018, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst welcomed the legendary electronic band Kraftwerk and 7500 visitors to the Jazz Open Festival on Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz – live from the International Space Station, where he will live and work until mid-December 2018.

Watch them perform live. In real-time. In direct line. With space.

Alexander Gerst: […”The ISS is a Man-Machine. The most complex and valuable machine humankind has ever built. Here, in the European Columbus Laboratory, the successor to the Spacelab, the European Space Agency (ESA) is researching things that will improve the daily life on Earth. More than a 100 different nations work together peacefully here and achieve things that a single nation could never achieve”…]

∞ °•° 

Paired with the reflective, illusionary, upside down, spacey architecture by Samara Golden.

The Meat Grinder’s Iron Clothes, 2017 was a site-specific installation using insulation foamboard, extruded polystryrene, epoxy resin, carpet, vinyl, fabric, acrylic paint, spray paint, nail polish, plastic, altered found objects and mirror.

The 2017 Whitney Biennial

June 10th, 2017

The Art of the In-Between

1/KAYA (Kerstin Brätsch and Debo Eilers), founded 2010, installation view of SERENE, 2017

3/Kaari Upson (b. 1972), In Search of the Perfect Double II, 2016 (detail). Urethane, pigment and aluminium

4/Asad Raza (b. 1974), detail of Root sequence. Mother tongue, 2017

5/Elsie Driggs (1895–1992), Pittsburgh, 1927. Oil on canvas

8/Richmond Barthé (1901–1989), African Dancer, 1933. Plaster

9/View (partial) of Larry Bell’s Pacific Red II, 2017 – also seen in previous post

The 2017 Whitney Biennial

June 10th, 2017

Red Velvet Fudge & Hot Pink Candy

In Greece, the expression “piase kokkino” (“touch red”) is said when two people say the same thing at the same time. It is believed that such an occurrence is an omen that the two will have an argument in the future, which can only be broken when the two touch the closest thing that is red.

Larry Bell
Born 1939 in Chicago, IL
Lives in Taos, NM, and Los Angeles, CA

Blending into the red candy palette of Larry Bell’s Pacific Red II, a work consisting of six laminated glass cubes installed in one of the Whitney’s terraces. Each box enclosed another, their multiple surfaces reflecting warm shades of red and pink light which – inevitably – made it an instant hit with photographers and other urban species of instagram.

PS: there were no arguments that day – or the next!

The 2017 Whitney Biennial

June 10th, 2017

High-protein diet

Pope.L aka William Pope.L
Born 1955 in Newark, NJ
Lives in Chicago, IL

For Claim (Whitney Version), Pope.L created a grid of 2,755 slices of bologna, each affixed with a black-and-white photocopied snapshot of a person. A text mounted within the work “claims” that the number of slices corresponds to a percentage of New York’s population of 1,086,000 Jewish residents.

Pope.L’s numbers are, in his words, “a bit off.” The total number of slices indicated is off by two, and several slices have been removed. Moreover, the so-called portraits “representing” Jews were made without regard for their subjects’ cultural identities. Pope.L has previously made multiple versions within this family of works, many focusing on Black subjects. Claim (Whitney Version) plays with our tendency to project ourselves onto numbers and stokes our awareness that such counting often lays the groundwork for systematic acts of discrimination. The anxiety provoked by the work’s calculated absurdity questions the power of “big data,” raising the specter of its use for nefarious ends—from controlling whose votes are valuable, to who can enter and leave the country freely.

Note (sticker on the bologna covered wall): The varied appearance of the gutters is the result of a miscommunication among Museum staff. Pope.L has requested that the mistake not be rectified because he believes that the ensuing condition is in keeping with the overall character of the work.

Paired with:

Jon Kessler
Born 1957 in Yonkers, NY
Lives in New York, NY

Jon Kessler makes what he calls “performative sculptures,” whose humor and kitsch belie their serious critique. The two works on view in the 2017 Biennial, Exodus and Evolution, are part of a larger in-process project, The Floating World, which addresses the social and environmental impacts of climate change. In Exodus, the series of eBay-sourced figurines that rotate around a screen in an endless march are evocative of mass migrations of people, whether from natural disasters or political situations such as the Syrian refugee crisis. Evolution focuses attention on rising sea levels; two figures in snorkel gear take pictures, apparently indifferent to or ignorant of any impending danger. 

The 2017 Whitney Biennial

June 10th, 2017

The grim brothers

Ajay Kurian (b. 1984), details of Childermass, 2017.
Plaster, sulfur, goldstone, steel, epoxy resin, polyurethane resin, custom clothing, screen printed T-shirt, sneakers, spray paint, LEDS and duct tape, dimensions variable.

Childermass, or ”The grim brothers” as I dubbed it because that was the first thing that came to mind, was an installation of haunting figures – children, animals, some of them merged into both, some not human at all, eerily hanging from floor to ceiling in the Whitney’s stairwell during the 2017 Biennial.

June 10th, 2017

 

See || Purr || Listen

Su-Mei Tse (b. 1973) in collaboration with Jean-Lou Majerus
Sound for Insomniacs, 2007

5 Lambda digital prints on semi-glossy photo paper, two stools with integrated MP3 players, screens, and headphones.

For Su-Mei Tse, photographs alone are not enough to capture a cat’s unique personality. Here she presents large close-ups of five different cats, each with an expressive presence similar to traditional painted portraits, along with recordings of each cat purring. 

Because every cat’s purr is unique but they all sooth, relax and may act as natural sleeping pills. Works for me, anytime!

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

May 4th, 2017