The commandment “Thou shalt not kill” is a value deeply rooted in our culture. And yet murder and manslaughter are committed every day, everywhere in the world. Whether in the media, in films or in literature, we are continually confronted with descriptions of capital crimes, real or invented, which bring us face to face with taboo or extreme areas of human behavior. On the one hand, these stories satisfy a widespread morbid curiosity and craving for sensation. On the other, they encourage discussion within society about how to deal with murderers and other killers, and about the causes of the crime. On view now at the Historisches Museum Bern, an exhibition entitled Murder and Manslaughter. An Exhibition About Life – 15 separate display areas, you can learn more about the subject of murder and manslaughter: the topics range from the question of the value of human life via murderous gods, war, terrorism, killing sprees, and spectacular murders and murderers, to detection and the problems of punishment and prevention. Exhibits from the Historisches Museum Bern and from the collections of a number of very different institutions at home and abroad have been combined with photographs, excerpts from documentary and feature films, texts, audios, sounds and music, to encourage reflection. The exhibition “Murder and Manslaughter” illuminates the phenomenon of violent crime in its different dimensions, in history and today. The subtitle: “An Exhibition about Life” sets the tone: “Murder and Manslaughter” is life-affirming. In the face of testimony from the past and the present, you will become more aware of the value of life.
MURDER AND MANSLAUGHTER: AN EXHIBITION ABOUT LIFE
Hunky Dory Details
Details from Christopher Lusher’s solo art show “Hunky Dory” now on view at the Blank Gallery in Huntington, West Virginia. Photography by John Drake.
Glenn Ligon: AMERICA
Now on view at the LACMA in Los Angeles – Glenn Ligon: AMERICA is the first mid-career retrospective of Ligon’s work in the United States. The exhibition includes unknown early material and the reconstruction of seminal bodies of work such as the Door paintings, the coal dust Stranger canvases and the Coloring series. Ligon was born in the Bronx in 1960 and continues to live and work in New York. He has pursued an incisive exploration of American history, literature, and society across a body of work that builds on the legacies of modern painting and more recent conceptual art, working in a variety of media, including painting, neon, installation, video and print. In the late 80s and early 90s, Ligon became known for work that explores race, sexuality, representation and language. On view until January 22, 2012.
LOCK, STOCK, AND, TEARDROPS
DUVE Berlin is presents a two-person exhibition premiering new artworks by artists ALI KEPENEK and MAX SNOW. For this exhibition, entitled, Lock, Stock & Teardrops Kepenek and Snow have created work that calls an attention to the theme of pain, a theme so universal yet greatly personal. A constant duality exists in Ali Kepenek and Max Snow’s recent work of photography, installation, sculpture and collage. Under the theme of pain, both artists address their life experiences from physical existence, through installation and sculpture, as well as the internal and emotional realm, as depicted in their portrait photographs and collages. On view at Duve Berlin Gallery from October 29 to December 10.
The Artistic Vision of Shen Wei
On view tonight in Reggio Emilia, Italy, is a very special site specific dance performance by choreographer Shen Wei, held in the galleries of the Collezione Maramotti – a beautiful collection of art founded by the by the family of the Max Mara fashion house. Shen Wei, master of the art of total dance, miraculously balanced between East and West, is an accomplished choreographer, director, dancer, painter, photographer and artistic director of Shen Wei Dance Arts, one of the most interesting groups in the world of dance. In Shen Wei’s latest work, developed specifically for the Collezione Maramotti, Shen Wei presents (21 and 23 October) a new, site-specific creation, an original choreographed piece inspired by works in the permanent collection. In this new piece, the conventional perspective of the gallery visitor is redirected, spectators instead become witnesses and participants in a dialogue that feeds off the exchange of energies between the dancers and the works. Shen Wei’s intention is thus to reveal a different framework that might enable visitors to consider works of contemporary art from a new and personal point of view.
Erotic Da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian renaissance polymath, genius, is widely reported to be gay, but his portraits of the women in his lifetime have the subtly sexualized charge of a man infatuated. If you stare closely Da Vinci’s portrait of Cecilia Gallerani stroking an ermine, as part of series painted in the Court of Milan, is suggestive in and of its hinting of the ermine’s phallic symbolism, but also the thematic ambiguous grin of the girl herself. ‘Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan,’ now on view at the National Gallery in London, is the most complete display of Leonardo’s rare surviving paintings ever held. This unprecedented exhibition – the first of its kind anywhere in the world. On view from November 9 to February 5.
Ryan Trecartin & Lizzie Fitch: ANY EVER
Under the title Any Ever the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is presenting the first major exhibition in France by American artists Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch. For over five years now the duo’s videos, installations and sculptures have been blowing consumer culture and intergenerational relations up to absurd proportions. Any Ever will be on view until January 8, 2012.
It’s a Poor Sort of Memory that Only Works Backwards
S.M.A.K. presents the first Belgian retrospective by the filmmaker and artist Johan Grimonprez, entitledIt’s a Poor Sort of Memory that Only Works Backwards: On Zapping, Close encounters, and the Commercial Break. In the course of several sections, Grimonprez brings his works face to face with contemporary and historical counterparts, some taken from the Internet. He enters into dialogue with the artists Roy Villevoye and Jan Dietvorst and also with other makers of film and television including Adam Curtis, Brian Springer, the Yes Men, Dr. John Mack and Adbusters. His constantly expanding ‘vlogging installation’ runs through the exhibition like a referential thread and, as a sort of artistic sketchbook, it offers an insight into the way Grimonprez broaches new topics and develops visual associations. On view at S.M.A.K. (Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst) in Ghent, Belgium until January 29, 2012.
GEORGE CONDO: Mental States
Since his arrival on New York’s East Village art scene in the early 1980s, George Condo has developed a unique and provocative style of painting. But, for all its outlandish humour and outrageousness, his work is deeply engaged withthe memory of European and American traditions of painting. His ‘imaginary portraits’ conjure varied mental states with a mixture of comic absurdity and heart-rending pathos, and his larger abstract paintings re-imagine the work of modern Masters. On view now at the Southbank Center in London, a major retrospective, entitled George Condo: Mental States, offers a comprehensive survey of three decades of Condo’s art.
De Kooning at the MOMA