|Fritz Balthaus: More, 2015 - bike lock|
|Sofia Hultén This, That, Other, 2015|
Where to Put that Stuff?
Fritz Balthaus: Reisekonstructivismus, 2010 - window frames, security tape
|Unititled tape work by Monika Grzymala, 2015|
|Bella drops an unsuccessful hint|
Where is the Fun Zone?
|Tilman Hornig: The love life of the Neanderthals|
What's in the Language of Gaps?
‘Is there concealed beauty behind the everyday news of the world of finance and economy?’ asked German artist Anke Becker at Berlin's Manière Noire at the Positions fair. Becker, who follows several strands of cunning collage, has recently been revealing the more personal and lyrical news hidden in clippings from the Financial Times by painting over most of them. The technique of her Economic Words is far from new (Tom Phillips’ A Humament may be the most famous example), but Becker proves particularly adept in choosing which words to keep so as to trigger both verbal poignancy and visual pattern. ‘In the far distance mist all around us', 'crazy days for free' and 'the sound of the black close to the white' don't sound very like the FT. Back at abc, Yngve Holen at Galerie Neu may not have provided the perfect psychological preparation for my flight to Venice, but Extended Operations XWB did make for possibly the most striking exhibit: on the wall, unsettling behind-the-scenes tales from an air pilot; on the floor, a set of flat forms resembling a plane’s inter-seat corridor, complete with carpet top and emergency escape indicators; on top of those forms, 3D prints of joints of meat, fashioned from stone unlikely to fly. We the onlookers, soon to be similar chunks of meat hurtling through space. The sound of the black, perhaps, close to the white.
|Yngve Holen – Extended Operations XWB, (2014), Installation view, 2015|
How's the Alternative Scene?
|Philipp Fürhofer: Under the Skin, 2015|
|Alex Hudson: White Noise, 2015 at Kremanski|
How Do You Tell Memory Cards from Lorries?
|Dennis Loesch installation|
|Gedi Sibony installation - Berlin|
|Gedi Sibony installation - Venice|
|Kay Hassan at the Arsenale|
|Jiří David in his installation|
|One of Ivan Grubenov's ten piles of flags|
|Christian Boltanski: still from The Man Who Coughs, 1969|
|Christian Boltanski: still from Animatas, 2014|
|Jean-Luc Moulène La Toupie (Spinning Top)|
|Danh Vo: Your Mother sucks cocks in Hell (several of Vo's titles are quotations from The Exorcist, which had a big impact on him aged seven - and may flag parallel profanities in the film and in cutting Madonnas in half).|
|from Paul Huxley's installation 'Where do we come from? Where are we going?', 2015|
The Triple Baijani may sound like an ice-skating manoeuvre, but Azerbaijanis seemed to have spent the most in Venice, renting three very large and central Palazzos. One, oddly, showed easily the most British-based artists on view in Venice, more than a third of an international cast of 35 on themes of environmental concern. Noemi Goodall, Gordon Cheung, Julian Perry, Stephanie Quayle, Bill Woodrow, Rose Wylie, Tania Kovats, Laura Ford etc all had excellent work here, and Paul Huxley had painted directly onto the walls of one room with his characteristic abstract motifs... which turned out to represent trends in sea levels, greenhouse gasses and – as above – changes in the planet’s biomass: the rise of human population (red), the growth of animal farming (blue) and the resulting decline of natural wildlife (yellow) are plotting by the vertical dimension of mass The volume of humans and their domestically bred animals has doubling in the last fifty years , at the expense of the reduction in wildlife (there were 3bn of us in 1950, 7bn now. And differently disturbing was Chris Jordan's film of how albatrosses are killed by ingesting the plastic which he extracts from the corpses .
|Still from Chris Jordan: 'Midway: Message from the Gyre', 2009 - ongoing|
Second, Azerbajan had a similarly immodest space providing what looked a faintly full history of its own modern art, one figure in which – Javad Mirjavadov (1923-92) – had some visceral appeal along expressionist Picasso lines with what other paintings in the show suggested was a pretty typical national colour sense.
|Javad Mirjavadov: Nest, 1982|
|Rashad Alakbarov's staircases|
Which Artist had the Best and Worst of Times?
I wasn’t particularly surprised – though the quantity did impress me - by how fresh and imaginative the pop-tinged French artist Martial Raysse’s 1960’s work was in his 200 work retrospective at Pinault’s other venue, the Palazzo Grassi: How about his short cut to a Bird of Paradise, or a face with a paint-brush stuck on to apply her make-up with, a spring morning with a corner of green neon, the visions of hygiene formed by a portrait in a towel hung in a fake bathroom, or his trademark negatively coloured films,.. But I was amazed by the later works mixed in with all that zing: paintings, often heroic in scale, which attempt to update allegorical and carnivalesque modes from classical to modern times and fall remorselessly flat, both as paintings and as content, whatever the symbolism means. I suppose it’s admirable that Raysse hasn’t kept on churning out his sixties mode, but I couldn’t find anything after 1972 that wasn’t pretty dreadful!
|Minjung Kim: Red Mountain, 2014|
|Ursula von Rydingsvard: Scratch, 2013-14|