Tuesday, February 24, 2015

exhibitions | The Self in the Practice and Space of Everyday Life (and Art)

What we need is not the Gesamtkunstwerk, alongside and separated from which life flows by, but a synthesis of all the vital impulses spontaneously forming itself into the all-embracing Gesamtwerk (life) which abolishes all isolation, in which all individual accomplishments proceed from a biological necessity and culminate in a universal necessity.  
László Moholy-Nagy

Three seemingly disconnected and unrelated art exhibitions are currently on view in New York: “On Kawara: Silence” at the Guggenheim Museum,  “In the Studio: Photographs” at Gagosian and “Self: Portrait of Artists in Their Absence" at the National Academy Museum. The exhibitions share instead a strong commonality about making art intersecting with living life: the studio is an experiential place and the artist is a maker of artwork impregnated with existential questioning and awareness of self image. Uncannily these three exhibitions are located a few blocks apart from each other in the Manhattan Upper East Side and seem to complement each other in terms of media: photography, video, sculpture, found objects, newspaper clips, installation. 
    The most compelling exhibition is probably the On Kawara retrospective: a recording of the conceptual artist's existence as art practice, explored in many different media, from paintings to mail art, artist books. The exhibition starts with work from 1964, produced in different places across the planet during the artist numerous travels and includes several series:
  • date paintings from Today
  • postcards from I Got Up
  • telegrams from I Am Still Alive
  • maps from I Went series; 
  • lists of names from I Met;
  • newspaper clips from I Read;
  • inventory of paintings from Journals
  • calendars from One Hundred Years and One Million Years.
Walking in the continuous six-floor ramp of the Guggenheim Museum feels like joining On Kawara on his  meditation on living in the awareness of space and time as recording of his existence. Life is recorded with the accuracy of a database. I feel particularly intrigued by this art practice which I experienced in a participatory mode in 2009, as one of the readers for reading for One Million Years 

The three exhibitions made me think of Michel de Certau "The Practice of Everyday Life": a welcomed diversion from many contemporary art exhibitions where often gimmicks camouflage the lack of contents.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

camminando & vernissage | In The Studio and Out in the Park

Even if not by choice,  I am once again enjoying snowscapes in the white ocean of the once green Central Park. The destination du jour is the vernissage of “In the Studio: Photographs”, the monumental exhibition curated by Peter Galassi  on view at Gagosian. 
The exhibition, presenting photographs, spanning over one hundred year, from the the late  to the late twentieth century is articulated in three sections."Pose and Persona" focuses on the artist as bodily presence and includes portraits by William Wegman, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Jeff Wall, Hannah Wilke, Eadward Muybridge,  Charles Ray.  “Four Studios” is abouth the studio as place or art creation; the selected studios  belonged to Constantin Brancusi, André Kertész (photographing Piet Mondrian's Paris studio), Lucas Samaras, and Josef Sudek. Finally“An Embarrassment of Images,” includes photographs by John O'Reilly, Robert Rauschenberg,  
This exhibition was particularly close to my heart, considering that I am currently modifying my living space to include a movement practice inside the icosahedron

Saturday, February 7, 2015

vernissages | NYC, Giulio Paolini at Marian Goodman

Of time, space, representing, representation, fragments, geometry, plaster, tautologies, glass, plexiglas, projections, chairs, parts, wholes, transparencies, revealing, signs, de-signs...

Friday, February 6, 2015

practice | 2 - Morning :: Octahedron in the Icosahedron

As the day unfolds, my movement practice —inspired by geometry in the dichotomy between inner visualization and physical constructions— transitions and evolves following the complexity of the Platonic solids. Below are a few snapshots from the "imaginary" octahedron inscribed in the built icosahedron. The movement sequence theme is the extension toward the four points of squares with vertices and edges coincident with an octahedron. The solid is defined by edges of the same length as the square.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

vernissages |NYC, Gesamtkunstwerk on January 30

Gesamtkunstwerk has become increasingly widespread in the past two decades with conceptual and installation art. Yet it was a quite unique experience to encounter three completely unrelated exhibitions, yet with a similar intent to bring work from several media and processes, sometimes with a multidisciplinary approach.

Generating sound, found objects and industrial material in the 1970 "Rainforest" by David Tudor
recreated by Composer Inside Electronics at Broadway 1602

Light and motion in László Moholy-Nagy photographs and camera in Production/Reproduction at Andrea Rosen

Pablo Helguera "Strange Oasis" at Kent Fine Arts