View on Monaco from the Villa Paloma, photo- Jeanne Graff

For many, the south of France becomes a site of passage each summer, featuring a fabulous landscape, several motley cities, and a history rich in sojourning personalities– Man Ray, Diaghilev, de Chirico and Moholy-Nagy– all of which were once so many contexts for artistic creation. Today, the south is often considered with a nostalgia which is tinctured by its flamboyant past. Hyères, Nice, Saint-Paul de Vence, Arles. Marseille and Monaco. Urban poetry and chaos vs. upper class ghetto.

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ANARCHISTIC BOY SCOUTS – Squid, The Parallel Action (July to August 2011) at Kunsthall Oslo, Norway by Geir Haraldseth

Raft/Floating Island, Squid Week, From The Parallel Action Summer School, Kunsthall Oslo, August-September 2011 Courtesy of The Parallel Action

Alternative modes of education, dealing with strategies of dissemination when it comes to language, knowledge and power, often with an anarchistic tint have become staples of the artistic community since the late ’60s. The Norwegian collective the Parallel Action have offered marathon seminars, stretching over the 37 ½ hours of the weekly workload for a Norwegian worker, and high in the trees in make-shift tree forts. This summer the Parallel Action inhabited Kunsthall Oslo for three weeks with their summer school program, each week represented by a maritime theme. The aggressive shark, the drifting plankton and the far-reaching squid were the three mascots, all representing different tactics and modes of attack.

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R.H. QUAYTMAN’S SPINE by Alaina Claire Feldman

Spine. RH Quaytman. Courtesy of Miguel Abreu Gallery.

RH Quaytman’s work, in short, has been comprised of paintings since 2001. Silkscreened photographs and optical abstractions on plywood panels poetically interweave formal narrative, art history, the artist’s history and the history of each painting. These elements are organized then as whole “chapters” where individual works are considered within the context of their serial grouping. In doing this, these chapters seek to negate the objectness of the individual painting. Each chapter is structured around a specific event or image, expanding to explore the multitude of ways in which painting is understood. Throughout her practice, Quaytman asks us to consider the entire lifespan of a painting: from inception to a gallery to an apartment wall and then laid to rest in some dejected storage space. This consideration goes beyond institutional critique and questions the complex rules and history of medium and objectness.

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Event with Futurefarmers. photo: Al McElrath


As the recently inaugurated San Francisco outpost of Kadist foundation enters its second year of programming, its director Joseph del Pesco was kind enough to discuss the space’s intentions and modus operandi with me. 

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GONE WITH THE WIND at Raven Row, London (9.06 – 17.07.2011) by Anja Isabel Schneider

Max Eastley, Notebooks, 1968–81. photo: George Eksts


      An exhibition investigating sound art, curated by Ed Baxter, Gone with the Wind pays tribute to the pioneering work of Max Eastley, Takehisa Kosugi, and Walter Marchetti. Despite its overplayed title (here, alluding to one of Eastley’s sound installation employing nature’s forces of wind), the group show offers a compelling selection of recent and historical pieces, as well as Resonance104.4fm live broadcasts from the gallery. Installed on different floors in Raven Row’s succession of rooms (closed doors provide for a natural sound-isolation to some of the pieces) intimate spaces are created in which moments of listening and imagining are foregrounded.

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NOBODY CAN TELL THE WHY OF IT Curated by Esperanza Rosales at 1857, Oslo (27.05 – 14.08.2011) by Geir Haraldseth

Ken Okiishi - parapluis/paraplyer/'nobody can tell the why of it'/1857/oslo/2011



The artist run scene in Oslo has gone haywire during the past few years. New spaces have opened up on a monthly basis and spawned countless versions of a similar mold of the artist run aesthetic. Run-down, all about the party, and with a certain machismo. There’s always an exception and in this instance 1857 is the odd one out. Not that Steffen Håndlykken and Stian Eide Kluge, the two founders and directors of the space, don’t know how to enjoy themselves, but their programming since the opening has been ambitious and offered up something other than the local and the erratic. Most of the other spaces change exhibitions on a hectic, often weekly basis. Since opening last year, 1857 has presented a small number of shows that have introduced the Norwegian capital to the work of younger German artists, in particular the scene around Städelschule, but also American and British artists.

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MGM Grand interviewed by Chris Sharp

NUT at The Kitchen, April 2011 © Paula Court

On the eve of their upcoming performance at Detroit’s Museum of Contemporary art, two of the founding members of the itinerant dance company, MGM Grand– short for Modern Garage Movement– Biba Bell and Jmy Leary were kind enough to discuss their recent outing at New York’s The Kitchen, the development of NUT, and the method of their art making.

Chris Sharp: A large part MGM Grand’s program is taking dance out of traditional dance spaces, or even forgoing the division between stage and audience, and dancing directly among the audience. Your most recent production NUT is no exception. However its much anticipated run at the Kitchen, a traditional theater/dance venue in New York was received with some incomprehension. Do you think this was a consequence of presenting it outside of its, so to speak, native habitat? How did it feel to present NUT in a traditional dance venue?

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ANNA OSTOYA, Autopis I, II and III: Notes, Copies and Masterpieces at Galeria Foksal (Warsaw), tegenboschvanvreden (Amsterdam) and Silberkuppe (Berlin) by Martha Kirszenbaum

Anna Ostoya, Pseudomorphism of a Political Event, 2010-11


“Autopis: Notes, Copies and Masterpieces” is a multiform traveling exhibition by Polish, New York-based artist Anna Ostoya, presented in three parts and three locations over the past few months. In Warsaw, Amsterdam (curated by Michal Jachula) and more recently Berlin, the artist has developed a singular body of re-appropriated works, organized around a precise attention to avant-garde aesthetics and a specific interest in Polish modernism. The “Autopis” series, a title in the form of a neologism for self-footnotes or an anagram for autopsy and utopia, subtly distillates political discourses and actions from the past century to the present.

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STORYTIME by Melissa Marotto

Angry Girl by An Verstraete. credit: Tine Declerck


Brought to us by the culturally and financially rich community of Belgium’s Flemish sector in Brussels, an audience gathered at KaaiStudios for “Angry Girl”.  Presented by WorkSpaceBrussels with text/performance/concept by Anneke Verstraete (BE, 1976), the story-telling performance was a combination of video, voice, and images.  Scenography by Sven Roofthooft offered a reading nook/workspace setting that resembled a page from an interior design magazine.  Fresh flowers were arranged in a vase atop the desk; a blanket was folded in the event audience members felt inclined to curl up at the feet of their storyteller, Verstraete. The narrative was quite simple, and it digested easily into the minds of the audience as the story unrolled.

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LASER/DISC/SCRATCH/DESTRUCTION by Raphael Montañez Ortiz Curated by Pedro Reyes at Labor, Mexico City (05.04 to 27.05.2011) by Natalia Valencia

Henny Penny Piano Destruction (1967)


Unconscious integrity 

In this exhibition, artist Pedro Reyes stages a moving and coherent homage to Raphael Montañez Ortiz (Born in NYC in 1934, of Puerto Rican, Yaqui and Irish descent), artist, educator and writer, creator of the Destructivist Manifesto (1957) and founder of El Museo del Barrio, who originally became known for his outrageous piano destruction concerts in the ’60s New York avant-garde art scene. Reyes selected documentation and press from these performances as well as original hand-written early versions of the manifesto. These are presented along with five of RMO’s pieces of experimental video from the 1980’s.

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ROISIN BYRNE at The Goma, Madrid (26.05 to 15.07.2011) by Chris Sharp

It's Not You It's Me (ongoing), 2011 (detail) Dimensions Variable


For her first solo show at Madrid’s recently inaugurated galeria The Goma, the Irish London-based Roisin Byrne takes the break-up platitude, “It’s not you it’s me” and perversely stands it on its head. Indeed, the extent to which she perverts this classic, emotional stand-by of well-meaning bullshit is admirable. The opposite of a rupture, the show largely describes a conjunction, so to speak, so fervent that the subject comes to replace the object of obsession by symbolically becoming the object itself.

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LOVE & DEATH: The difficulty of having once loved Woody Allen by Christopher Silva


It’s hard to let go of one’s heroes. For a geeky teenager growing up in the 90s, contemporary society had little to offer in terms of role models. That is, with one exception: Woody Allen. For the wedgied and oppressed, the universe seemed a little fairer that a skinny kid with glasses and pipe-cleaner limbs could grow up to be attractive to a Diane Keaton and win the odd Oscar. Woody Allen allowed you to believe that the meek might inherit the earth after all. And so, like with anyone you look up to, it is a painful experience to watch one’s spiritual father slowly, artistically deteriorate to the point where you start guiltily wishing that he would just keel over and die.

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ONLINE WILEY by Aliina Astrova

The two minute clip, ‘Ju ju man advert’, created and uploaded by the celebrated UK grime producer Wiley onto his official youtube channel in March, gained over 10,000 views in two months. Half of the screen is occupied by what seems to be a massive pencil drawing of Wiley’s face. He appears in the other half and introduces five recent and upcoming releases as well as the masterpiece next to him. ‘Man just wanted to do a picture on the wall. Man draw a picture, still. Man can draw, innit?’ – he announces failing to hold back a giggle. Although equally as entertained, the viewer is left confused as Wiley flicks the picture revealing that ‘a drawing on the wall’ was a scrap of paper propped in front of his webcam.

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KALEIDOSCOPE MIXTAPE #1 by Francesco Tenaglia


HAROLD ANCART “Sous les palmiers, la plage” at La Chaussette, Brussels by Martha Kirszenbaum

installation view “Sous les palmiers, la plage”

There is an imperceptible breath of mystery floating in the air over Brussels’s La Chaussette, where New York-based Belgian artist Harold Ancart presents his first European solo exhibition “Sous les palmiers, la plage”.

The first element that catches the viewer’s eye in this exhibition is the chrome-mirrored floor, which deepens the white walled setting, reflecting every object therein with a blurred and pale replica: an immaterial floating diamond and a few elements directly taken from popular culture of leisure and tourism —a healthy yet abandoned palm-tree, and a large poster-size reproduction of a paradisiacal beach.

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Aids 3D interviewed by SIMON DENNY

Installation View, "Exotic Options ", 2011Courtesy, T293 Naples

Simon Denny: Part of your practice seems to be concerned with categorization. There is the obvious example of your website to draw on, which divides the material in the main menu by file format. What makes these kind of divisions a relevant point to enter your process?

Daniel Keller: I think early on, we organized our output on our website by its filetype as a little rib towards the convention of portfolio-style artist websites that have separate sections for their segments of output… like “Photography, Painting, Drawing”. So maybe, yeah it started as a bit of a naïve joke, but then I guess our work started moving past some of the easy issues of “online vs offline” and trying to get towards a more radical breakdown of ontological barriers into a totalitarian info-materialist “it/bit” world-view. The idea being that basically anything is convertible into anything else… of course with lots of room for noise and miscommunication.

Nik Kosmas: Yeah and we are slowly working on the transition to a blog, changing the format of the site completely. We’d like to integrate Facebook and try to get more traffic. But yeah, in the beginning we felt that all our content was experienced on the same level, via a laptop, and also saw web-inspiration and our documentation blurring together very smoothly, cyclically. So I guess we thought that file type was one of the best, ‘natural’ demarcations at the time.
Thinking about categorization in a different way I think that we’ve always been intrigued by market research and trend watching and there is an impossible project that we are been planning where we’ll use a program like Lexalytics to do semantic analysis on a database of art writing in order to create “meaningful” descriptions of artworks. Then we’ll work with someone to write algorithms that, based on those descriptions, create instructions for new artworks. And then finally we’ll exhibit the works and analyze the audiences opinion and behavior. In tune with the market, making the market… it’s some absurd attempt to make a cybernetic feedback loop which depends on reductive categories to find meaning.

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LE CIRQUE by Melissa Marotto

Claes/Soleil Rouge

It is time to talk about the circus.  It’s quite possible that you think circus still lies somewhere between Barnum and Bailey and Cirque du Soleil. As far as the tradition goes, there’s much that lies between, or better yet, outside that realm of circus altogether. More specifically, it is time to talk about contemporary circus. In a cataclysmic generalization, eliminate the animals, the gold medal winning finishes, and add a storyline, rather than displaying an abstract string of events to WOW and SURPRISE.  Keep the tent, the caravans, the “don’t stop ’til you get enough” attitude and behold how a young wave of talent is takes the circus arts by storm.
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SOCIAL SCULPTURE at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney (02.04 to 18.06.2011) by Anja Isabel Schneider

installation view from Social Sculpture Anna Schwartz Gallery

Social Sculpture cannot be dissociated from Joseph Beuys who originally coined the term and went on to inscribe it in a highly political and social context, beyond materiality, with a utopian vision for social transformation. It is also the title of Anna Schwartz Gallery’s current group exhibition in Sydney, curated by Charlotte Day, who selected process-based and performative practices, which are situated in an expanded field of sculpture. These call forth action and interaction in playful sense of subversion.

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STONE SOUP – Esther Kläs and Thomas Fougeirol at C L E A R I N G, New York (9.04 to 16.05.2011) by Lumi Tan

Installation View with Esther Klaes sculptures and Thomas Fougeirol (on the wall)

The folk tale of “stone soup” is a familiar one: a beggar comes to the door of a farm house, advertising a magical stone which can produce soup. He asks for just a few ingredients to activate it, and by the end of the story, the farmer’s wife has provided enough of her own goods to make a hearty soup, which they then enjoy together. Artist Olivier Babin applies this story to the second show at his former studio and now ad hoc art space, C L E A R I N G. Currently showing work by New York based sculptor Esther Kläs and mostly Paris based painter Thomas Fougeirol, the space provides ideal natural light, high ceilings and white walls. Beyond the neutrality of the room, one can view the gleaming, warped mirrored exterior of the former waste management center across the street (the functioning one is down the street) and the expansive sky above the industrial-studio landscape of Bushwick, Brooklyn.

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WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OTHER DOLLAR? Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City (06.04 to 28.05.2011) By Natalia Valencia

A Riddle Exhibition

I would argue that one can never know what happened to that missing dollar. This is due to the fact that the existence of that dollar lies in some mental interstice, and those are evasive, mutating spaces. They are conditioned by language, and in the particular case of this exhibition, by intensities of interpretation, mediated by information.

San Francisco-based curators Chris Fitzpatrick and Post Brothers stage an exhibition at Proyectos Monclova in Mexico City including works by 13 international artists. The project’s point of departure was the famous riddle of the missing dollar, where the missing element is implied by the content of the question, but doesn’t necessarily exist. Works featured in the exhibition refer to loss of information in space and language transactions, as well as information that is concealed from view and only tangentially evoked, inviting the spectator to fill in the missing part and sort out each piece’s riddle.

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