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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Tragedy of the Twentieth Century

To the Serpentine Gallery in London this evening for the Opening Night of the long awaited Gustav Metzger Exhibition (extraordinarily the first one person show in the UK for this 83 year old artist). The works on display reveal his range of preoccupations from torture of the human soul caught up in war and violent situations (drawing on his own experience during the second world war as a Jewish child in Nuremberg, when he lost both his parents in the Holocaust and was exiled to Britain travelling as part of the Kindertransport). His foundation in the late 50s of the Auto-Destructive Art Movement, his organisation of the Destruction in Art Symposium, involvement with the Committee of 100 anti-nuclear movement with Bertrand Russell and others, combined with his work as Secretary of  the then fledging Computer Art Society, makes Metzger an antecedent figure whose influence on many key members of the generation of artists who followed has been immense.  Acknowledgement in the form of this major exhibition in a leading London is greatly overdue.

The title of the show, Decades 1959-2009, seems ill-fitting though. This is primarily an exhibition that reminds one starkly of Merzger's childhood in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and early 40s and demonstrates the extent to which this trauma shaped and formed him.  His later preoccupations with environmental damage, the ruination of nature, the terror of the car, the damage caused by capitalism and the temporarility of media are linked in his work to an industrial and machine aesthetic that together achieve terrifying effect - reminding us all of our own role in (hu)man's self destruction and his annihilation of the world. Metzger's vision and voice are from the third and fourth decades of the 20th century - its deprivations, conflicts and its tragedies which are still playing out today and which are echoing in many ways on a number of different levels, the legacy of which have locked this new century in a tight fist. This is a charged and strange exhibition, a room full of liquid crystals is disturbingly beautiful, immersive and stilling - other pieces rip apart any sense of comfort and deny any ease.

5:51 pm edt 

Sunday, September 13, 2009

More and More
It's the season of events before leaffalls. On Tuesday I will do a ten minute presentation on future possibilities for collaborative research in arts and humanities related fields in  the UK and Brazil at an event at the Department of Innovation and Skills in London which will see the launch of a long awaited Memorandum of Understanding between Research Funding Agencies in the two countries. I will talk about the recent Paralelo event in Sao Paulo which brought together around forty designers, artists, media researchers and others working in the spaces between in Brazil, the Netherlands and the UK and how the simple act of meeting has led to numerous unforeseen developments which simply required the spark of being together to generate results.  I will also talk about bricolabs and how it grew from nothing and runs on nothing apart from language (citing Octavio Paz on Breton, that nature is language and language for its part is nothing but a double of nature). I will also recall that Paralelo was about nature and language and the languages that connect us, months after the initial talking ceased. The reverberation of networks that grow through autopoiesis is something that perhaps the new research memorandum can help supprt us to explain. Or perhaps we just need to keep jamming. I also spent an evening last week addressing the topic of 'art, science and beyond' for a meeting as part of the British Science Festival held in a nearby art college, advertised for both artists and scientists but predominantly attended by artists (and three scientists) and numerous who said they were from the 'beyond'. My conclusion was this event was that all we need to consider are the three 'e's: education, empathy and environment - showing some great pics by North American photographer Berenice Abbott whose evocative works say more than a thousand textbooks and citing Naum Gabo, the great constructivist engineer and sculptor, - 'art acts, art asserts'....whilst science, dear old science, simply 'explores, apprehends, inform and proves' ..
12:34 pm edt 


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At Alpbach Forum, August 17 2014

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Artist Susan Aldworth with Brain Donated to Art

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CS Lewis Book Bench

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Karen Eliot (by Stewart Home)

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Stewart Home
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Cloud: Yellow Lining series. Artist: Helen Couchman
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Gorillaz
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David Rosenberg outside Jewish Synagogue Whitechapel London (picture Bronac Ferran)
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Senate House, London
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SILK ROAD - WIND POWER
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Coal Store China - two power plants every week
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Full Dome Festival UK (programmed by Gaianova and I-DAT)
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'How scientific research & technological innovation are becoming key to 21stc
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Jorgen Leth
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Thomas Heatherwick's Seed Cathedral - Seeds
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Photo: Giselle Beiguelman

Next Nature - Koert Van Mensvoort

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http://www.nextnature.net

http://www.gear-up.info
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photo: Tiego Rodriguez

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Photo: Tiego Rodriguez

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Photo: Tigeo Rodriguez

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Fibonacci Patterns
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Suely Rolnik and Felix Guattari, Molecular Revolution in Brazil
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London Calling: by Barry Miles
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The front of Maggs Rare Books 50 Berkeley Square
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Maggs has some resident ghosts.....
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Minimaforms
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From Memory Cloud
New book by Sarah Cook & Beryl Graham
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The Heraclitus
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Wapke Feenstra & My Villages/Former Farmland
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Landelion (The Kitchen Budapest)
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Edward Ihnatowicz work at Kinetica
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(c) Nadav Kander - Mountains and Mist, from 'Yangtze the Long River'
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Nyehaus
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Henry S. Rzepa
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Liliane Lijn's party installation
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Station House Opera - A Split Second of Paradise
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Station House Opera at Salisbury Festival

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Kohi Village at Night, credit Allan Kasin)

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Ancestral Objects - composition, credit Juan Nieves;

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Mamo Luis - Credit Allan Kasin

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Tairona Mascaras

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Hiperface Panorama

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Greenland credit London Fieldworks

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Plans for Outlandia treehouses - London Fieldworks

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Fernando Rabelo
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Low Tech VJ Control
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Berenice Abbott
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Infinite Cube - Rejane Cantoni & Leonardo Crescentti

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One of the amazing outdoor works by Usman Haque
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Minimaforms: MemoryCloud

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Kohnen Base with Diamond Dust (Hannes Grobe, AWI)
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INFECTIOUS - STAY AWAY Dublin Science Gallery

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Stephane Mallarme
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...dissolving form.....pretext hypertext

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Edouard Manet - Le Corbeau

http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/schema/
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Dan Graham, «Poem Schema», 1966 1969 Schema (March, 1966) | © Dan Graham

 
 

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