Banks Violette at Blum & Poe
Blum & Poe gallery in Los Angeles presents an exhibition of new work by Banks Violette, his first one-person exhibition in Los Angeles. Simultaneously rooted in Minimalist form and contemporary in its use of industrial materials, Violette’s artistic practice freely employs diverse media, such as neon tubing, powder-coated steel, glass, salt, resin, and aluminum. Violette draws inspiration from a variety of subcultural communities, including hardcore punk and drone metal bands like Sunn O))), political conspiracy theorists, both left and right-wing religious fanatics, and most recently NASCAR and the iconography which populates the sport’s predominantly southern fan base. As if arrested in time, Violette’s sculptural objects and installations function as elegant reminders of darker moments past and present. On view until February 11, Blum and Poe, 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Marble Sculpture from 350 B.C. to Last Week
Sperone Westwater gallery in New York presents an exhibition of white marble sculptures dating from 350 B.C. to the present day. This survey includes Greek and Roman antiquities, Neoclassical sculptures, and works by modern and contemporary European and American artists. The exhibition, entitled Marble Sculpture from 350 B.C. to Last Week, is on view until February 25, Sperone Westwater,257 Bowery, New York, NY.
Oliviero Toscani Launches New Calender
Italian shock photographer Oliviero Toscani has released a new calendar at an unveiling in Florence, Italy — a calendar featuring 12 penis close-ups in an ad for a group of companies that make naturally-tanned leather. The flamboyant photographer launched the calendar at an event in Florence also attended by famously well-endowed Italian porn star Rocco Siffredi, who said that people should “de-dramatise” sex and put an end to “bigotry”. Toscani last year focused on women’s genitalia for a calendar for the same Vera Pelle consortium, which brought censure from Italy’s advertising watchdog. Toscani is best known for his controversial ad campaigns for the Italian clothes maker Benetton, which itself courted controversy last year with a series of photo montages of rival world leaders kissing each other.
Ai Weiwei: Interlacing
Ai Weiwei – Interlacing is the first major exhibition of photographs and videos by Ai Weiwei. It foregrounds Ai Weiwei the communicator – the documenting, analyzing, interweaving artist who communicates via many channels. Ai Weiwei already used photography in his New York years, but especially since his return to Beijing, he has incessantly documented the everyday urban and social realities in China, discussing it over blogs and Twitter. Photographs of radical urban transformation, of the search for earthquake victims, and the destruction of his Shanghai studio are presented together with his art photography projects, the Documenta project Fairytale, the countless blog and cell phone photographs. A comprehensive book accompanies this exhibition. Ai Weiwei – Interlacing is on view at the Jeu de Paume in Paris from February 21, 2012 to April 29, 2012.
One of the coolest new publications of late–Collage Culture: Examining the 21st Century’s Identity Crisis is a new book written by Aaron Rose and Mandy Kahn and designed by Brian Roettinger. Sure to spark debate, a pair of writers examines our century’s identity crisis via two separate essays. In “The Death of Subculture,” Aaron Rose (director of Beautiful Losers and co-curator of MoCA’s record-smashing exhibit Art in the Streets) makes an impassioned call to arms, urging the next generation of artists to end the collage era by adopting a philosophy of creative innovation. And in her essay “Living in the Mess,” Mandy Kahn (columnist, Foam magazine) considers whether the collage of references that surrounds us might negatively affect the way we feel. A companion recording of this incendiary work of non-fiction contains readings of the book’s texts with an original score created by No Age. A box set edition of 100 is available which contains a cassette tape of a recording of a discuss between the two authors, books, postcards, an LP, and signed photographs by Autumne de Wilde. [Find a copy here]
Experimental Film in Los Angeles
Los Angeles Film Forum presents Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles 1945 – 1980, an exploration of the community of filmmakers, artists, curators and programmers who contributed to the creation and presentation of experimental film and video in Southern California in the postwar era. This website is the culmination of three years of research into the archives of film venues and organizations, the recording of 35 oral histories, and the creation of a database, the first of its kind, which catalogs the films, exhibitions, organization, and people active during this prolific era in experimental film and video making. Alternative Projections is part of Los Angeles’ sweeping exhibition of art in Los Angeles called Pacific Standard Time. Upcoming screenings of note include Strange Notes and Nervous Breakdowns: Punk and Media Art, 1974-1981, a collection of rarely screened performances by punk bands of the era, performance art, and D.I.Y. works by the Screamers, X, Suburban Lawns, Black Flag, Los Plugz, Johanna Went, and more (MOCA Ahmanson Theater, MOCA, 250 South Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90012) on view January 12 at 7 p.m.
Photo50 at London Art Fair
Found photograph by Julie Cockburn
London Art Fair presents Photo50, its annual showcase of contemporary photography at the Business Design Centre, Islington, from 18–22 January 2012. With the title The New Alchemists: contemporary photographers transcending the print, curator Sue Steward has selected 50 works by contemporary artists whose practice sees them adorn, transform, subvert or deface the photographic print. They are: Veronica Bailey, David Birkin, Aliki Braine, Julie Cockburn, Melinda Gibson, Noemie Goudal, Joy Gregory, Walter Hugo, Lesley Parkinson, Jorma Puranen, Esther Teichmann and Michael Wolf. This exhibition focuses on new techniques and approaches to re-presenting the photographic image and how artists are involving other media. Whether reclaiming traditional techniques, exploiting digital developments or employing other forms of craft and media, the work presented in Photo50 challenges our assumptions about what a photograph is, or can be. London Art Fair is on view at the Design Center in Islington, London, January 18 to January 22,
NORMA MARKLEY: Yes No
Y Gallery presents an exhibition of Norma Markley’s recent work—neon, silkscreen prints, and sewn drawings—inspired by the rhythm and language from literary sources and images from a film to explore the notions of sex, on the one hand, and the concept of answering questions with a yes or no, on the other hand. Yes, No is on view until February 5 2012.
A fashion film by Carrie and Carl entitled Film 02 about Twincest or twins who are in a physical incestuous relationship.
What song do you want played at your funeral? Daniel Mudie Cunningham has been asking that question of artists and art workers since 2007. Hundreds of people answered it in all manner of ways that ranged from the profound to the playful. The idea for Funeral Songs is based in personal experience. Weeks before the artist’s brother unexpectedly died in 2001, he’d mentioned what song should be played at his funeral. Amid the grief, the song choice was forgotten. Now recalled several years on, the song features in the Cunningham’s jukebox archive of music you can live or die to. Funeral Songs will be on view at the MONA (Museum of Old New Art) in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia,from January 13 to February 13, 2011 – the exhibition will also be a part of the annual MONA FOMA event (curated by Brian Ritchie, bass player for the Violent Femmes) which includes performances, art, and the like.