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Banu Cennetoğlu. 1 January 1970 – 21 March 2018 · H O W B E I T · Guilty feet have got no rhythm · Keçiboynuzu · AS IS · MurMur · I measure every grief I meet · Taq u Raq · A piercing Comfort it affords · Stitch · Made in Fall · Yes. But. We had a golden heart. · One day soon I’m gonna tell the moon about the crying game (2018). Installation view, Chisenhale Gallery, 2018. Commissioned and produced by Chisenhale Gallery, London. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Andy Keate. …mages we create of ourselves and other people by HATTY NESTOR  The refugee crisis increasingly raises questions of protection, vulnerability and citizenship. From the large camp in Calais, and reports from the camps in Greece and the detention centres at the Mexican border with the United States, societally we are always reminded of those who are not bound to a particular time and place, and whose whereabouts are often unknown. As Charlotte McDonald-Gibson writes in her recent book Cast Away: Stories of Survival from Europe’s Refugee Crisis: “It is all too easy for the government and public to turn away.” Can art bear witness to these complex political questions of citizenship, belonging? [image3] Banu Cennetoğlu’s recent exhibition at the Chisenhale gallery, comprised of 13 titles, beginning with HOWBEIT, conceptualised these questions through a myriad of thoughtful, politically charged works. The inherent violence of border control politics and policies and how they…
Tabita Rezaire. Inner Fire: Inner Fire Bow Down, 2017. Disc print, 170 x 100 cm. © the artist. …, and empowering artists to have self-respect By HATTY NESTOR Tabita Rezaire is a French artist of Guyanese and Danish descent, who challenges the legacy of colonisation and patriarchy through healing, activism, art and film. She was born in Paris in 1989 and now lives in Cayenne in French Guiana. She describes herself as a health-tech-politics practitioner and is a teacher of kemetic/kundalini yoga: her practice extends far beyond the realm of art. She graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2013 with a master’s in moving image. Technological, spiritual and organic themes run throughout her artwork, both on- and offline. She is also concerned with intersectional politics and Afro-feminism. [image2] The combination of acute, bright visceral colours in her work, and its poignant exploration of sexuality, gender and technology, renders Rezaire’s work unusual. This was perhaps most apparent in her first solo show, last year’s Exotic Trade at The Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, …
Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings. UK Gay Bar Directory, 2016, film still. © the artists. …on Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity by HATTY NESTOR Artistic duo Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings assembled footage of more than 100 gay bars across the UK for their 2016 video UK Gay Bar Directory. The five-and-a-half-hour film methodically documents these spaces – including gay bars that have now closed, such as the Hoist in London. The importance of their directory lies in its ability to function as a public resource, which is part of the artists’ intention for the work: to consider the future of how we archive and rematerialise LGBTQ+ histories. The film has now been acquired by the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, where it will serve as a tool to revisit the effects of the current government’s austerity cuts, as well as to examine queer histories, asking poignant questions of who is and isn’t given institutional space societally. I met Quinlan and Hastings in Liverpool, where the UK Gay Bar Directory is exhibited in the Walker Art Gallery’s current exhibiti…
Dawn Mellor. Detective Superintendent Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman), 2016. Oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in. © the artist. …social media and satirising identity politics by HATTY NESTOR Dawn Mellor (b1970, Manchester, UK) is predominantly a painter. Her work – which mainly takes the form of portraiture – often deals with sexuality and violence: her parodic paintings of celebrities and iconic figures demonstrate the intricacies of fame, identity and politics. Of note is her Dorothy Cycle (2007-2008), a series of paintings depicting Dorothy Gale from the Wizard of Oz. In this series, Mellor constructs a confrontational reality in which Dorothy is reimagined as a lesbian terrorist and activist, in cycles in which she switches between victim and perpetrator or both in parallel. She seems absent and lost – much like in the story itself – yet often in the presence of other figures and characters, blurring the boundaries of the fictional story. [image2] Mellor’s most recent show, Sirens, at New York’s Team Gallery in 2017, was a new body of paintings, each depicting a British actress portraying a p…
You’re Surrounded By Me, 2017. Installation view at Turf Projects, Croydon. Image courtesy of Tim Bowditch. …hange, protest and the subversion of heraldry by HATTY NESTOR How do we undermine dominant political and cultural narratives? Or rather, what circumstances enable platforms to reimagine how we question our placement within society through artistic practice? The exploration of political and societal issues is apparent in curator and artist Chris Alton’s group show You’re Surrounded by Me, funded by Arts Council England, and currently at Turf Projects, an artist-led space in Croydon, south London. Since graduating from Middlesex University in 2014, Alton has undertaken a series of artistic projects, most notably English Disco Lovers (2013), a satirical protest group that he founded, which subverted the meaning of the English Defence League’s abbreviation, as well as the etymology of the word disco, which derives from “discotheque”, a French word meaning “record library”. [image2] I meet Alton at Turf Projects, where an assemblage of video, installation and sculpture wor…
Sanja Iveković. Lady Rosa of Luxemborg, 2001. Sculpture gilded polyester, wood, inkjet print, installation view at the 38th EVA International 2018. Photograph: Deirdre Power, courtesy of the artist. …ion have shaped his thinking behind the event by HATTY NESTOR Inti Guerrero is the man behind this year’s curatorial vision of EVA International, Ireland’s biennial. On 14 April, 12 weeks of events began in Limerick for this year’s event, which seeks to explore questions of identity and politics and includes 56 international artists working in a wide range of mediums and forms. Guerrero, who was born in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1983, is currently Estrellita B Brodsky adjunct curator of Latin American Art at Tate London. For this 38th EVA International, he has drawn inspiration from Irish artist Seán Keating’s painting Night’s Candles Are Burnt Out (1927). The painting presents an allegory of the Irish psyche at the start of the construction that year of Ardnacrusha, a hydroelectric power station that led to the rapid industrialisation of Ireland. Against the backdrop of the construction site, with a businessman in a suit and hat centre stage, are a group of characters, whose …
Alison Wilding. Floodlight, 2001. Cast acrylic. Courtesy of
the artist and Karsten Schubert Gallery, London. …exhill, the artists talk about their practice by HATTY NESTOR Situated in Bexhill, East Sussex, the De La Warr Pavilion embodies an aura of calm, tranquillity and mystery. Its setting on the town’s marina has a significant bearing on the gallery-goer’s viewing experience. Gazing out of the rear window to the English Channel, one has a profound sense of expansiveness, possibility and openness that is often lacking in more enclosed, city-based institutions and galleries. Opened in 1935 and named after the ninth Earl De La Warr, who was the driving force behind its creation, the pavilion was designed by Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff. Its rich history and location make for an unusual visitor experience. The gallery is currently home to Alison Wilding’s solo show Right Here and Out There and Florence Peake’s exhibition RITE: On This Pliant Body We Slip Our WOW!, which came out of a performance there, on 6 May, that Peake devised and choreographed, in which a host of dance…
Gregory Crewdson. Mother and Daughter, 2014. Digital pigment prints, 37 ½ × 50 in (95.25 × 127 cm). © Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. …that sprang from a difficult time in his life by HATTY NESTOR Photography has the capability to capture our most ephemeral experiences, especially those we encounter as strangers to the wilderness, resonating as material traces of hidden pasts and memories. Inexplicable and distant, the photographs in Gregory Crewdson’s exhibition Cathedral of the Pines, at the Photographers’ Gallery in London, transform mundane reality into something else – often captured in the majestic hours of twilight. We see figures occupying settings where they seem displaced; scenes where their gesture and expression reflect the atmosphere of an environment, rendering it uncanny, otherworldly. Crewdson’s practice is one of contrasting entanglements. He sets the psychological and emotional isolation of his subjects against the vast expanse of the natural world, resulting in opaque, uncanny photographs. He was born in Brooklyn in 1962 and, after graduating in 1988 from Yale University School of Art –…
Modigliani in his studio, photograph by Paul Guillaume, c1915. © RMN-Grand Palais (musée de l’Orangerie) I Archives Alain Bouret, image Dominique Couto. …ern, London 23 November 2017 – 2 April 2018 by HATTY NESTOR Amedeo Modigliani’s alluring, visceral figures are some of the most celebrated portraits of the 20th century, and this major retrospective at Tate Modern, curated by Nancy Ireson, includes the largest collection of his nude paintings ever shown together in the UK. The exhibition attempts to illustrate the breadth of his practice, with his less famous sculptures and drawings shown alongside the nudes. And, in a first for Tate Modern, it is using virtual reality to enable visitors to imagine themselves in the painter’s final studio at 8 Rue de la Grande-Chaumière in Montparnasse. It seeks to give viewers an intimate window into Modigliani’s environment in early 20th-century Paris. [image8] The exhibition is an elegant archive of Modigliani’s short career (he died in 1920 at the age of 35, from tubercular meningitis), displaying 100 works, nearly 40 of which have never been shown before in the UK, and most of which…
Robert Irwin. Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles, January 23 - April 21, 2018. Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers. Photograph: Robert Wedemeyer. …ers, Los Angeles 23 January – 21 April 2018 by HATTY NESTOR Through using natural landscapes, installation, paintings and the medium of light, Californian artist Robert Irwin (b1928) has experimented with perception since the 1950s. His abstract expressionist works, his more rigorous and optical dot paintings in the early 60s, and the elusive Disc Paintings (1967-69) all present a painterly concern with perceptual phenomena. Irwin was a member of the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, where, in the 1960s, alongside artists such as James Turrell and John Baldessari, he shared a fascination with the west coast light and space movement. Irwin’s treatment of the transcendental or subliminal aspects of light continually invites the viewer to reconsider their ownperceptual encounters and orientation. He asks us to envision our own mediations of what internal and external art might be. It is these concerns with light, experience and immersion that are acutely apparent in his most recent exhi…
Bethlem Gallery, with cardboard sculpture by Mr X in the foreground, 1 September 2017. Photograph: Ed Watts, courtesy Bethlem Gallery. …al, Beckenham 2 September – 28 October 2017 by HATTY NESTOR In 1997, a remarkable gallery was opened at the Bethlem Royal Hospital in Beckenham, Kent, as part of its occupational therapy department. The hospital, founded in 1247, was the first institution in the UK to care for people with mental illness and, nearly 800 years later, as part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, it is still providing a range of mental health services. Two years ago, the Bethlem Gallery, along with the Bethlem Museum of the Mind, moved into a newly refurbished art deco building in the hospital grounds. Grayson Perry, who formally opened the space, said at the time: “Art is the greatest asset to mental health that I have.” [image10] The Bethlem Museum provides a resource for the history of mental health with a collection of archives, art and historic objects, and records the lives and achievements of people with mental health issues. The Bethlem Gallery, with which it collaborate…
Jenny Holzer. On War, 2017. Text: A Scream From Underground, from Building The Barricade by Anna Swirszczynska, translated by Piotr Florczyk. Translation copyright © 2016. Published by Tavern Books. Used by permission of Ludmila Adamska-Orłowska and the translator. © 2017 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Photograph: Samuel Keyte. …ace, Oxford 28 September – 31 December 2017 by HATTY NESTOR Jenny Holzer has artistically employed language for decades to question the origin of truth in society. Her famous public series Inflammatory Essays (1979-92), comprising more than 300 aphoristic texts, redefined the limits of language as a meditation on violence, vulnerability, political trends and the media. Aesthetically, these essays entangle larger societal issues with phrases such as “Fear is the most elegant weapon” and “Raise boys and girls the same way” with more ephemeral, emotive phrases such as “Protect me from what I want” and “You are a victim of the rules you live by.” Holzer’s work opens a trajectory that allows language to become embodied, visceral and lived. [image12] It is perhaps Holzer’s ability to use language to reflect the current political climate, aligned with the personal made political, that renders these pieces so temporal and infinitely relevant. The American artist’s c…
Doug Aitken. Migration (empire), 2008. Video installation with one channel of video (colour, sound), one projection, steel and PVC screen billboard sculpture, 24:28 minutes/loop, dimensions variable. Production still. Courtesy of the artist; 303 Gallery, New York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Regen Projects, Los Angeles. … Fe, New Mexico 7 October 2017 – 1 May 2018 by HATTY NESTOR After a year of modernisation, Site Santa Fe has reopened its doors with a seven-month-long exhibition, Future Shock. The building, now renovated and expanded, is an old beer warehouse with concrete floors, high ceilings and startling light throughout. The exhibition imagines futures in which different geological, political and scientific terrains could be inhabited and poses complex questions about how our right to privacy is negotiated in wider society. It takes its title from Alvin Toffler’s prophetic 1970 book, an intricate study of individuals’ behavioural and psychological reactions to hyperfast technological and environmental changes. Future Shock is an appropriate name for the exhibition, which offers multiple artistic reflections on the past, present and future development of collective and individual experience. [image3] Future Shock is a group exhibition comprising work from 11 international artists, who p…


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