Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Text curated by Hlynur Hallsson 15. Oktober -17. Dezember 2011 Kuckei+Kuckei Linienstraße 158 10115 Berlin, DE.by craniv boyd.

Text curated by Hlynur Hallsson 15. Oktober -17. Dezember 2011 Kuckei+Kuckei  with Birgir Andrésson, Dieter Roth, Guðný Rósa Ingimarsdóttir, Haraldur Jónsson, Hlynur Hallsson, Hreinn Freðfinnsson, Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir, Jón Laxdal Halldórsson, Karin Sander, Karlotta Blöndal, Knut Eckstein, Kristján Guðmundsson, Lawrence Weiner, Libia Castro/ Ólafur Ólafsson, Margarét Blöndal, Roni Horn, Sigurður Guðmundsson, Unnar Örn Auðarson. Linienstraße 158 10115 Berlin, DE.by craniv boyd

For a taste of the cold north of Iceland, in Berlin center city,Text, an exhibition curated by Icelandic artist, Hlynur Hallsson, provided the goods. Art by artists with some connexion to Iceland, either through citizenship or professional affiliation, was put on view in an intimate ground floor gallery space on Linien street. 

Hlynur Hallsson, curated an exhibition, and with his Text, as with many times when artists curate an exposition of art, they seldom forget to exclude themselves from the show. Lawrence Weiner, the American painter who switched early on in his art career to the written word, painted on a wall, is here. the late Birgir Andrésson is also represented with a trypthic of, serigraphs, that are descriptive prose paragraph as portraiture. 

Icelandic artist Haraldur Jónsson, has an artwork made from vulcanized rubber gloves used in fish processing plants, hanging on a nail with white words written on them. Adjectives and a word soup, cover the functional gloving, that would normally guard working hands, from aquatic entrails. His art is evocative of daydreaming or woolgathering, associated with tedious, seasonal work. Haraldur Jónsson, is perhaps a member of one of the last generations of Icelander, who as teenagers, worked in the fish factories, because the fish were still close off the shore line.  

Quirky presentations of type written text on blue paper, stained with oil, hung up with pink tape are, Margarét Blöndal's contribution, and all-tough many artists working today, and self describing themselves as contemporary artists work with the written word, printed on an A4 sheet of paper, in short, on a text piece, Margarét Blöndal, has art that is mysteriously Icelandic, in the additive combination, of oil+paper+pink,tape that equals strange. The anti retinal or work under the influence of fluxus, is somehow subverted by a minor attention to materials.

Like Birgir Andrésson , and Kristján Guðmundsson , Libia Castro/ Ólafur Ólafsson, are additional artists participating in a showing of contemporary art in a smaller gallery, who are alumni of the Venice Biennial. Artist who have all represented their nation at the national pavilion, in Venice Italy. Iceland, with its position as a small nation, makes the likelihood of when a survey exhibition, of selected current art occurs, that participating artist would also be, artists who, were at the Venice biennial. Libia Castro/ Ólafur Ólafsson have a Text artwork, originally displayed in Istanbul, titled ...ITNARAGON... of 2003, that spells the name of a prominent Turkish bank backwards with the small two letter word "NO" in front of it. The ephemeral nature of high risk venture capital and investment banking is underscored in the banner or large letter-forms, by Libia Castro/ Ólafur Ólafsson, that are comprised of post it notes placed directly on the edifice of Kuckei + Kuckei, out of doors. The post it stationary, perhaps much used in corporate office work, for minor decisions, and endless to do lists, bespeak shaky foundations in the finance sector, and personal accountability, of the investment banking personnel. The adroit social commentary of Libia Castro/ Ólafur Ólafsson , from the year of 2003, is now more poignant in light of the tremors, in the Global economy in recent years and Bankruptcy of the Nation of Iceland, in 2008.


The weakest art, and therefore, the most visually unpleasant, in the exhibition of text based art, is the work of German artist Karin Sander. A hodgepodge scatter or random hanging of framed drawings, that looked like automatic writing authored by a lazy surrealist armed with a set of Swahili, Sanskrit and Hebrew dictionaries. Words in an ad hock, loose associative jumble in a shaky penmanship. Karin Sander's contribution was an unfortunate selection, because it is a bad art work that offers little in the way of inspiration. One thing that could have helped Text curated by Hlynur Hallsson, would have been, had he left the wall where she showed her work blank. For a blank wall might have loosened up the at times, visually cramped gallery space on Linien street. by craniv boyd. 

PEREDVIZJINIKI 29 september 2011- 22 januari 2012 Nationalmuseum Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2, 111 48 Stockholm, SE. by craniv boyd.

PEREDVIZJINIKI 29 september 2011- 22 januari 2012 Nationalmuseum Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2, 111 48 Stockholm, SE. by craniv boyd. 

On a posh and tidy street that faces the water, Södra Blasieholmshamnen, stands the national Museum of Stockholm. On the top level, within, for the moment, is a spectacular exhibition of paintings from Russia. Peredvizjniki, is the title and it takes it's name from a Russian realist movement, realism that was contemporaneous with French impressionism. the realist painters placed their emphasis on sympathetic portrayals of so called little people, farmers, school children or barge haulers, working poor and impoverished people. All of the work on view in Stockholm's National Museum is there in lieu of, loan agreement with prominent state Museums in Moscow or St. Petersburg. Peredvizjniki, offers a unique viewing experience of impressive oil paintings, that excel in showing the drama of everyday living in Tsarist Russia. 

The exhibition occupies two fifths of the old master painting galleries at Nationalmuseum. the works are organized in categories relevant to the subject matter, and content of what they portray, land scape of Lake Baikal, or a Siberian winter are in On room, Paintings of Leo Tolstoy, by Ilja Repin, bare foot in the woods are in the same room, as Tolstoy at work in his writing study, portraits of debauched aristocracy in their Tsarist finery and lap dog as accessory are also in the portraiture section. History paintings of a camp of jovial warlords writing some provocative letters to a Turkish Sultan, are grouped with an Equestrian Portrait of a warrior, at the crossroads.   

On the whole, the realist paintings of the, Peredvizjiniki, group are stunning both in their technical finesse, but also for the exotic vista, and clearly alternate vista of culture that they offer. A Tsarina taking a tour of a convent, before her immanent confinement in that institution. A face on portrait of a bearded farmer, where each ragged whisker of his burly beard is crisp, looking like they were painted on with a single haired brush. 

Notable are tiny moments, happening at a local courthouse or the first day of school. They are micro-dramas, that clearly evoke, the anxiety of childhood. For instance Nikolaj Bogdanov-Belskij, with his in the school door,of 1897, a peasant child, dressed in rags, looks, hesitating at the threshold of the class room where he is certain to embark on the journey of learning how to read. Anglo-Russian Painter, Emily Shanks, has a stunning painting of a girl's first day at school. The timid new arrival, peers bashfully at a grouping of three girls, who appear more confident, skeptical and aggressive towards the new arrival. There is considerable emotive power, within this small scaled depiction of a moment, by Emily Shanks. The painting is of a moment short in duration for the girls involved, yet nevertheless, one instance that left a lasting impression. Shanks expresses the body posture of the new arrival, with her foil, in triplicate of established classmates, so effectively that the situation, that of, newbie in school, is plain to see.

One hopes for exposure of this wonderful exhibit of underrepresented, yet accomplished realism, with humane representations, to a North American public. These works, by Peredvizjiniki, were unfortunately, co-opted as heritage pieces, or roots, for the movement of Soviet state supported realism that verges, for many towards propagandised kitsch. What viewers can gather from Peredvizjniki, at Nationalmuseum, in Stockholm, is a wealth of cultural exchange, via paintings, with a not too distant neighbor. by craniv boyd.        

Monday, December 19, 2011

Moment - Ynglingagatan 1: Moderna Museet Stockholm 25 november 2011, 22 januari 2012. Exercisplan 4, 111 49, Stockholm SE. by craniv boyd.

Moment - Ynglingagatan 1:  Anders Edström, Ann-Sofie Back,Anna Kindgren, Bella Rune, Bill Wurtz, Bjarne Melgaard, Bo Melin, Carina Gunnars, Carsten Höller, Cary S. Leibowitz, Charlotte Enström, Chris Burden, Christine Ödlund, D. Gonzalez-Foerster, Edward Ruscha, Elin Wikström, Erla S. Haraldsdóttir, Glenn Sorensen, Gunilla Klingberg, Hardy Strid, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Ingrid Eriksson, Jane & Louise Wilson, Jeffrey Vallance, Jeremy Deller, Jessica Diamond, Jim Isermann, Joachim Koester, Johan Zetterquist, Johanna Billing, Karen Kilimnik, Karin Johnson, Karl Holmqvist, Katarina Andersson, Larry Clark,Lauren Szold, Lily van der Stokker, M/M / atelier graphique, Maria Lindberg, Markus Degerman, Matts Leiderstam, Ola Åstrand, Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, Peter Geschwind, Peter Land, Peter Saul, Peter Wahlbeck, Philippe Parreno, Pierre Huyghe, Raymond Pettibon, Richard Hawkins, Sister Corita, Sture Johanneson, Swetlana Heger & Plamen Dejanov
Takashi Murakami, Tom Friedman, Tom Marioni, Ulla Wiggen, Vincent Fecteau
  Moderna Museet Stockholm: 25 november 2011, 22 januari 2012. Exercisplan 4, 111 49, Stockholm SE. by craniv boyd.

On plan tvo, a lower lever of the prestigious Moderna Museet, Sweden's Museum of Modern art on Skeppholmen island, is an exhibition, currently on view, of contemporary Swedish art of the mid to late 1990-s vintage. Moment - Ynglingagatan 1, is a retrospective project of a both artist initiated, and led, space that was on, Ynglingagatan 1, one street of many in the capital of Scandinavia. 

The exhibition features small scaled multiple editions work, from known and celebrated American artist Ed Ruscha, the German artist, Carsten Höller, is another notable participant, with an installed enclave, truly morbid, with dismembered children's toys, scattered on a flood painted a rich, or deep flamingo pink. 

The general exhibition design rubric, is one that parallels, an art fair scenario. Most visually present, are enclaves which resemble, individual Gallery booths, at art fairs: characteristic for their, mid scaled modular partitions: where current art, recently made, is placed in the white -half or three quarter- cube.  Beyond the cubicle compartments are the larger, actual walls, of the plan tvo room. The real museum walls as they are in, Moment - Ynglingagatan 1 ,  these walls, are adorned with, larger wall paintings, like one made with black paint, of a diagram showing the steps of "money having sex". 

The vast majority of the works are cerebral. Much of these thought heavy art has serious overtones of irony. A large and reflective plastic shining set of letters, announces: www.BMW.com. It is an artwork,  by, Swetlana Heger & Plamen Dejanov , could be read as an ready made in the Duchampian cannon or a clearly a veiled critique of automotive consumerism. One possible knee-jerk reaction could be, "BMW motors sponsored this exhibition, you can't be serious." It is an art work that makes a hard effort not to look like art.

The culture of global consumption, and its representations, are issues, addressed by the installation of Swedish artist Bo Melin. his, Blue lagoon, is a small illuminated blue  pool, looking closely, one reads brand name Banana companies like Dole or Chiquita on the brown cardboard boxes beneath the glowing pool. The boxes are used as bricks, or found materials, to build the idyllic blue pool. The water is held in place by a translucent plastic sheeting, the sheeting half obscures the quizzical building blocks for this ring-shaped pool. As such, a weakness, of the works of Melin or Swetlana Heger & Plamen Dejanov is that that require of the viewer: familiarity with either Marcel Duchamp, or the Pope of Pop artists Andy Warhol, to make themselves, more fully understood as art. The art works are in short, made by artists who profited from an art-school education, and therefor made artwork, in contrast to high modernism.  

A further proponent of art in dire need of consideration, and speculative contemplation, for its appreciation is the wall painting and installation of   Gunilla Klingberg, where the Seven Eleven logo and identity is warped into a whirlwind and painted true to colors on two walls of a corner. For those that know Stockholm or Copenhagen Seven Eleven, is a familiar sight, regardless if you are in Gamlastan or Norrebro. Klingberg compounds the wall painting with an equally strange and mysterious mirrored orb, resting on the floor. The preceiver of her art, can observe themselves, as a skewed being, caught together within the mysterious artwork. A strange neighbor to altered Convenience store emblem, housed in the reflective surface of the weird ball. The mystery and the sources of commonplace fast-food-franchise with the act of seeing, is brilliant, in post pop art method,   Gunilla Klingberg, illustrates that viewer-ship are part of a swirling consumer culture. 

In the red paint on white wall, painting: the future is so bright that you have to wear shades, by Swedish artist, Charlotte Enström, contour drawings of women from fashion advertisements, are layered atop of one another. It is a wall painting that is difficult to read immediately because, of the transparent, outlined, see-through women, that blur, blending into each other. The women are all scaled at approximately two times larger than life scale, making for a big totem of fashionable ladies. Or, the multitude of three quarter women become a wall, a veritable legion of stylishness.

Beautiful Landscape by the Icelandic artist  Erla S. Haraldsdóttir, is a series of four photographs, mounted on aluminum on the same museum wall, as Charlotte Enström's painting. A stunning waterfall, with black lava stones, is co populated by a toad, and a set of cigarette stubs. the highlands of central Iceland are the Launch site for a Space craft. Bald Eagles, not native to Iceland, fly in kitschy harmony with falling glacial water. The placement of all of these odd-ball characters: like a child skipping, with angel wings, for instance, are all done seamlessly. Nevertheless, these placements, of foreign bodies, in the bucolic environs of the arctic are willfully grating. Mrs. Haraldsdóttir's images, frustrate the conventional sense of what makes landscape, or rather  representations of landscapes, by artists, beautiful. The tongue in cheek arrangement of, non sequiturs of pollution, space exploration, spiritual children, or foreign amphibians makes for an artistic statement that is unreadable, and beyond the analytical irony that is the driving force of so much of the art work in Moment - Ynglingagatan 1, at Moderna Museet. 

Moment - Ynglingagatan 1 is a must see exhibition because it explores and makes apparent, what happens when artists, invite their, obscure, yet talented contemporaries living abroad, in London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, or Tokyo to present, their work, in the late 1990's of Stockholm. The capital which was, at that time more exclusively supportive of local heroes. The unknown talent, exhibiting in the  small artist run, and artist funded space, later becomes Super stars at the renowned Gagosian Gallery, like the case of Takashi Murakami, who is also participating in the exhibition. This only as further proof that artists, and their proclivities, are one step ahead, and true leaders of which ever art world, one desires to name.  by craniv boyd. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Helvete: 1 oktober 2011- 8 januari 2012 Liljevalchs Konsthall Djurgårdsvägen 60, Stockholm, SE. by craniv boyd.

Helvete: Dick Bengtsson, Glenn Brown, Ann Böttcher, Sten Eklund, Roj Friberg, Francisco de Goya, Jenny Holzer, Hans Jörgen Johansen, Marcus Larson, Maria Miesenberger, Tracey Moffatt, Ulrik Samuelson, Cindy Sherman, P O Ultvedt, Sun Xun, Petter Zennström  1 oktober 2011- 8 januari 2012 Liljevalchs Konsthall Djurgårdsvägen 60,  Stockholm, SE. by craniv boyd.

Helvete, Swedish for Hell, in English, is a group thematic exhibition, now taking place, in Stockholm's oldest independent museum, Liljevalchs Konsthall. Illustrations of hellish environs or, infernal situations interpreted in the broadest sense, by and large authored by artists living and working today, or in present times, with one notable exception: Francisco de Goya. Helvete, is an example of heavy handed exhibition organization, the guiding principle was, perhaps to select  artworks which possess overt sinister overtones. The majority of the art works, dark in nature are rendered darker, more brooding with the title of Helvete, this combined with the relative lack of day light of Stockholm's winter, makes for a trying viewing experience, so, do not go, if you are over sensitive to either: images of horror, or horrible imagery. 

Starting from the bottom up, in the lower-level of a truly special early twentieth Scandinavian modernist building by architect, Carl Bergsten, is one room near the wardrobe and washrooms, that is home, for the exhibition, to kinetic sculpture by Swedish artist P O Ultvedt. Black wooden geometric assemblages, are wall mounted, the move, wooden gears and black rubber bands, wooden sticks also painted black clack and clamor in jarring movement, disturbing long wires attached to both the wood, on the wall mounted mechanism, and "puppets" that are on the floor in nude, untreated wood. The floor bound puppets in-turn make a minor rhythmic din, they bear slight resemblance to, abstracted human anatomy statues, puppets that perhaps had, or still have use in art academies, for figure studies when a model is not present. The wooden figures on the floor, set in-motion by larger darker mechanisms that make noise in the distance above, look pathetic, broken fragmentary beings at the mercy of wires, and unrelenting slow moving machinery. One wall has an art work where no puppetry is involved. It is a horizontally oriented rectangle with black wooden planks at its shorter sides. These parallel sides frame a movement of a black sagging bag that heaves up and down slowly, it looks unattractive, what is essentially artwork that utilizes a  black bag for refuse, as its materials, in a way to make the bag appear like, it is, living, breathing, rubbish alive on the wall. 

In the first and most prominent room of Liljevalchs Konsthall, the American artist Jenny Holzer, is installed in what looks like it would be half, of an ambitious Art Gallery exposition in Chelsea of New York. She has on view, two of her much lauded, streaming text in Light emitting diode art works. In this instance Jenny Holzer has a Baroque minimal style. Identical rings evenly  spaced at regular intervals, reminiscent of the late ABC artist Donald Judd, Holzer's rings are with programmed text bars moving in opposite directions, one text panel per side of the metal ring.  What is to see is a times square, scroll text with written content, that would only very improbably appear in Times Square on one of the screens of either the Reuters or the Nasdaq buildings.  Email correspondence of the U.S. armed forces over seas in either Iraq or Afghanistan, amounts other written things. another set of rings, the larger of the two displays the "greatest hits" so to speak, of Jenny Holzer's truisms or aphorisms. On the other westward wall of the room, four paintings are hung. Each Jenny Holzer painting displayed, is of course not hand made, by the artists hand, despite the fact that every of the four paintings is of a hand print, or rather a hand scan. The works are black and white, overblown, and confrontational, they speak to an increased technological savvy of U.S. law enforcement. But big hand scans, as paintings give the impression of lazy, half thought product, by an internationally recognized artist who works chiefly with text. I am certain that die hard Jenny Holzer fans would be disappointed by these black and white paintings, like I was, since they come from an accomplished artist who makes images from primarily letters only.

Ugliest painting, and truly terrible art award could be bestowed on the late Swedish artist Dick Bengtsson, his sensitive and textural paintings of places, buildings, interiors and machines, have one glaring disturbing attribute in common that renders them highly problematic, to put it mildly. Dick Bengtsson, painted images that used a Swastika as a logo or emblem, no explanation, only random appropriation. One series of identically formatted paintings is an exercise in how an artist can take the steps from a classic Mondrian painting and abstract further to form a Crux Gammatta. Landscape paintings or paintings of farm houses, two paneled paintings in diptych form, reflected over a vertical line of symmetry, have a rather large black and white Swastika, in the corner. Swastika as signature? In the exhibition Helvete, the public is inoculated, by the titling of the exhibition as "hell" to expect the worst, Dick Bengtsson, provides it, by existing as the worst. Perchance Dick Bengtsson painted these images so that no body would look at them in public, because of their association with the Nazi insignia. Yet contrary to the intentional difficulty or in-saleability of the work, several of the Dick Bengtsson's paintings are on loan to Liljevalchs Konsthall, from the permanent collection of Moderna Musseet, in Stockholm. One is confused by the casual usage of a charged image of the Swastika that for most is synonymous with evil, and for widespread endemic disregard for humanity at the worst, most horrifying level. Did the late Dick Bengtsson, wish to implicate himself as a Nazi apologist? Or was he, as an artist more interested in, indicating larger unspoken evil, latent intolerance, or repressed xenophobia?

A more lighthearted, application of sinister content in art, or art work as infernal representation, is the video loop, projected big format cinema style, of Australian artist, Tracey Moffatt. her disasters are a splicing together of the big budget explosion scenes from Hollywood disaster film. Bringing to mind which is the greater disaster? The money which is poured into creating these ever increasingly obsolete looking Byzantine moments of cinematic horror, or the demand to watch these sensationalist panic inducing scenarios, or will this instance of Tracey Moffatt's art work still have relevance staying power given that more people go to the cinema on their individual smart phones? Visitors who are familiar with Concrete Television would doubtlessly find this piece by Tracey Moffatt, to be not only derivative, but perhaps also basic, or incomplete. However, the video-artwork is in many respects, original, furthermore in midst of the dreary neighbors in this Hell centric exhibition, Tracey Moffatt has accomplished a video artwork that works as anti depressant. Her work brings the focus back to some kind of stratified panicked present day art scape condition, and as it is the room before  Francisco de Goya's extant etching series, disasteros de la guerra, viewers are unable to escape hearing the high volume, and fast tempo, techno, synthesized soundtrack of Tracey Moffatt's video-artwork  whilst observing  Francisco de Goya, making for a way past hyper modern visitation of art. by craniv boyd 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Spiral and the Square: 24 August - 8 January Bonniers Konsthall Torsgatan 19, Stockholm SE. by craniv boyd.

The Spiral and the Square: Angela Detanico & Rafael Lain, Mauricio Dias & Walter Riedweg, Eugenio Dittborn, Öyvind Fahlström, Cao Guimarães, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Fredrik Ehlin, Andjeas Ejiksson & Oscar Mangione, Laura Lima, Arto Lindsay, Dora Longo Bahia, Renata Lucas, Marcos Lutyens & Raimundas Malasauskas, Cinthia Marcelle Rodrigo Matheus, Cildo Meireles, João Modé, Fabio Morais, Rivane Neuenschwander, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Haegue Yang Curated by Daniela Castro & Jochen Volz.  24 August - 8 January Bonniers Konsthall Torsgatan 19,  Stockholm SE. by craniv boyd.

The five year anniversary for a Art hall owned by an influential Swedish publishing house Bonniers, has arrived. This year. For the fall season of the posh looking, state of the art glass walled Konsthall, two curators, Daniela Castro & Jochen Volz, have been invited to make a project, curate an exhibition, for Torsgatan 19, in Stockholm. The starting point is Brazil, the largest Country in South America, and the claim of the curators is that The Spiral and the Square is an exercise in cross cultural translation. Never fear, what is on view in Bonniers Konsthall until 8th, of January 2012, is still art, and quite a lavish, meaty, spectrum as far as the current cannon of international art goes. Live performance, cheek by jowl, with sculpture. Limited edition silkscreens or installation, juxtaposed with air mail paintings, a lone Microscope: that sings a Sting song, softly to your ear, and plasma screen wall mounted videos across pavement stones, the C-print, or the Lambda print, the collage on paper, the colored pencil straight line on the white wall, are all current art objects; arraigned tastefully with poise and counterpoint, making for a heterogeneous anti linear white cube viewing experience, that proffers something for every one.

Nude anonymous Brazilian men, grapple sharing a herring bone patterned hood. As if both men in their artful conflict were conjoined twins with their weld at the head. The flesh of both men from Brazil is sagging, their feet chapped, one of the fighters on the day I went, was fatter and younger, his chubby legs were much the more so hairy than his older rival. This choreographed work is by the Brazilian artist Laura Lima, the title is Marra, 1996. And as an art work from the late nineteen nineties, is predates this choreography boom, in current art. The work is sensational, and perhaps labor intensive, there for costly. The implications, of having two disrobed men who are all bare, except for the common hood that binds them, for the viewing pleasure of the Konsthall public are big. Bonneirs positions itself as a risk taking or controversial institution by their choice of supporting an art work such as Laura Lima's. Clearly, the contemporary  gladiators in the theater of Torsgatan 19, are the highlight of the exhibition, for it adorns not only the newspaper and publication, but all the banners in the public fabric of central Stockholm. The chance to see the controversy surrounding naked performers, is perhaps a large driving factor, I surmise, for attendance to this winter season, at Bonniers Konsthall

Further moments in the sensationalist or fun house type, sensibility, that the curators thinly veil, is the video work, and Large sculpture, by Brazilian artist, Dora Longo Bahia. Her contribution is a self-conscious, set of time based art work. Women and men dressed like characters from Lewis Carroll's, Alice in Wonderland, dark and slow droning amplified guitar music, and a citation of Ulysses, the magnum opus, of Irish novelist James Joyce, are the elements and building blocks for Dora Longo Bahia's, Acordalice/wAkupaLice, 2006. It makes for heady fare, and no doubt, the Brazilian Portuguese mistranslation of an interior monologue of J. Joyce's character, Bloom's spouse, confers some kind of legitimacy to what is essentially, a grown woman, objectifying herself, and playing dress up with her friends, and lobbing it of as relevant art making. That being said the loud dimly lit room, with the floor to ceiling video projection, is in a room where, synthetic grass covers the wall. Staying long enough with the slow droning video, with a repetitive falling of a half naked woman wearing a black tulle cape and a pointed witches cap, failing at her attempted flight on, a visibly un-magical broomstick, one is transported, albeit painfully, to a world of half forgotten make believe. Once in this trance world, the exhibition public can follow a deliberately misleading sign, that states the exhibition continues. Suddenly, one is in a Twin Peaks, type room, with deep crimson velvet drapes that line the entire walls, if you suffer from either claustrophobia, or panic attacks, do not visit Dora Longo Bahia's, Acordalice/wAkupaLice, at Bonneirs Konsthall, the fear with being inside a strange dark room with only deep red curtains may be, perhaps overwhelming for some as experience, as art, decidedly in the circus hall of mirrors vein,  however, is it definitely, under-whelming. 

Two of the most rewarding moments, in the company of art occur when with the works of artists: Eugenio Dittborn, Öyvind Fahlström, both are installed in the same larger room, and both artists, have in common that they are represented in the collection of the prestigious, Moderna Museet, in Stockholm. Observing the works of both artists it is plain to see why their art is in Moderna's Collection. Eugenio Dittborn, is, represented in the Spiral and the Square with two moments from a series of Air Mail Paintings, a series which the artist began in Chile, sent per post, of a then totalitarian regime. Paintings that fold and fit into a standard cardboard postage box, work that is eclectic and generous in its collage and Smorgåsbord method, Dittborn, includes images of indigenous peoples of South America, seen from the lens of Euro-centric scientists. Mr Dittborn, makes formally tight visually appealing art that speaks to, and is an active outcry, against social injustice and inequalities.  Öyvind Fahlström, like wise has made highly wrought comic book illustrations, as screen prints, but of highly fraught subject matter, that of the Vietnam War and interrogation methods. The work of the Brazilian born Swedish artist, Öyvind Fahlström, who was in the scene of the 1960's New York Art world, is politically committed, and a strange amalgamation of: subtle choice in hue, with popular culture, in small scale, and density of, information that makes viewing Fahlström's screen prints, both an involved and exhausting experience. 

Terrible type, Angela Detanico & Rafael Lain, are represented by an art work that, is so "meta" that it can induce you to text messaging yourself WTF?? The work is a text piece in its most classic, conceptualized form, and it is no wonder that a Publishing house with a standing commitment to collecting contemporary, would be hot to have, an artwork that is celebratory of the overlooked foundation of what books are made of, letter-forms. New Roman Times reads a broad side poster hung outside Torsgatan 19, and it is new roman times, the font, if you will on display. Angela Detanico & Rafael Lain, have made a work that both is and is not what it purports to be. A advertisement with self reflexive content that is it's-self. Cryptic black words on white paper that are in-fact descriptive not of surrounding conditions, but of a style classification of the shapes that convey their meaning. New Roman Times, a bare bones poster with words only, placed simply, dovetails patly with the do it your own selves gift shop friendly Rirkrit Tiravanija, relational æsthetics work, across from the gift shop and ticket stand. Or more appropriately, the zone, blends into a com-modified space where, Fashion sensitive Stockholmers who are art enthusiasts, can screen print a text message length, saying, or status, in black, san-serif font, on a white cotton tee shirt. Visitors who can afford both the time and money to just do, a screen print and wait for it to dry and take it home, will have a blurred participatory experience via the work of Rirkrit Tiravanija, sayings such as fear eats the soul, are all artful and oh so well chosen, as if the phrases are byproduct, of focus grouping that occurred in Tiravanija's Office in Berlin, or Manhattan, on his land, the Land, in Thailand, or with his Ivy League Masters of Fine Arts students. Each of the hip and plucked statements exudes such a stayed, minimal cool, and therefore conceptual hipness, that: I have almost been converted to the brethren of an artist in residence. As a result I might have faith  that sporting one of Rirkrit Tiravanija shirts is the next must have accessory, to be hip and spoken with whilst attending the hypothetical choreographed project, taking place in some such warehouse in Redhook. A must for those desperately seeking to start an contemporary art centered conversation.  However, as art: it is super empty and flattened out, because it looks like so much other barely designed- design. The painter, Christopher Wool, should really sue Rirkrit Tiravanija, right now if he has not already commenced legal action, because this format dances so dangerously close to the territory of Wool's intellectual property(his early stencil paintings, such as, sell the car, sell the house, sell the kids, I'm not coming home). I digress, what the make them your selves T-shirts, do offer is some measure of conceptual art hipster-ism that you can wear over your torso, at a moderate price point, if you go in for that sort of a thing, showing your friends what exhibition you went to last month and all. by craniv boyd.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Andrea Zittel & Marijke van Warmerdam & Cosima von Bonin & Per Kerkeby & Tal R Magasin 3 Konsthall Stockholm, Frihamnsgatan 28, 115 56 Stockholm SE. b

Andrea Zittel Lay of My Land. Marijke van Warmerdam Virvel Presentationer från samlingen Cosima von Bonin Per Kerkeby samt Tal R.

Magasin 3 Konsthall Stockholm, Frihamnsgatan 28, 115 56 Stockholm SE. by: craniv boyd

At  Frihamn, or Freeport of Stockholm, there is a re:appropriated industrial space, now in use as an exhibition venue for cutting edge, current art. Magasin Tre, is in a dark maroon brick building, the Konsthall, which is billed, both in the citywide marketing campaign, and in the identity of the institutions ephemera, in English, as hard to find but easy to love, is best entered by a narrow elevator on the first level above ground. 

Currently on view at this sober micro museum, with pristine white walls, and brushed polished concrete floors, are three exhibitions, which display  artwork in spacious rooms, that retain, nevertheless an intimate viewing climate.

Dutch Experimental Filmmaker Marijke van Warmerdam, is represented by a triad of floor to ceiling film to video transfer projected on to screen, cinematic, non-narrative-artworks. A bowed human head, bearing a long main of blond hear with dark curly roots, is the subject of the first of these non narrative film art works. It is a loop, with one camera angle. In line with the format of a repeating sequence of Film, the filmed subject, or actor, blows their flowing blond locks up with a calm jet of air. On the middle screen is a vista of a grassy floral filled hill, with a Black horse that sweeps it's tail back and forth. The third screen displays a view with mobile camera, maneuvering in a post industrial, dilapidated warehouse type space, over grown with weeds. A strong wind shakes up the dust, debris and fallen leaves. The high quality of the images of the film bespeak, that of 35 millimeter cinema, and what is a poetic musing on a Ghost town by, Marijke van Warmerdam, is provocative for an experimental film. I suspect that, the casual following of the leaves in the wind, or the subjective camera work, ambling down an empty, defunct, industrial space, is bolstered at all, by the cinematic tradition of 35 millimeter film. Most feature films for entertainment are filmed with this format, yet as an experimental film where no "action" in the Hollywood scene of the word is taking place, a certain air of legitimacy is conferred on this time based artwork, simply because it looks presentable sleek in-terms of image resolution.  

Never did ærial photographs of sub-urban-sprawl in the Nevada desert look so psychedelic, as with the wall paper by, American Artist, Andrea Zittel. The entree saal is a lavish, or knock out digital mandala.  In her one person, she is the only artist honored with the distinction of a two floor exhibition at Stockholm's Konsthall, Magasin Tre. Symmetrical photographs manipulated in a tasteful means, with Adobe photo shop, for: what creative professional would dare to utilize any other program? The artworks that represent Andrea Zittel are a motley crew of purposeful art, semi functional woolen clothing, book shelving, design sketches for said utilitarian art works, scale, topographical models of sheds designed for living in the wilderness of sunny California.   Eight of the desert shacks, customized by a selected grouped few,  of Andrea Zittel's like minded creative friends, are exhibited on the lower level. A live streaming video, of one of the shacks in situ in California, on Mrs Zittel's land, is projected onto a screen, via the Internet,  in the exhibition, in real time. Exhibition attendees are permitted to enjoy the limited privilege of being seated, within one of the customized shacks. The exception, being that visitors to Magasin Tre can listen to a sound art work on the head sets in the cabins. The other modules of the cabins are, delegated into a realm of refined display craft. The cultural artifacts from a genus of, of a Green minded creative cast. Perhaps as a time capsule, for a distant future, these artworks, that are decorative arraignments will bear some interest. Otherwise, as installation art, perhaps they are most useful, and applicable, to magazine spread maker or interior decorators stylist's, hand book of inspiration.  

Art work from a Konsthall that collects art. The curated exhibition, with selections from the collection of Magasin Tre is the most instructive, in understanding the collecting habits of a smaller Northern European institution for current art production.  The three artists in the selections from the collection, exhibition are: two Danish painters who either were, or presently are, fine arts professors at German art Academies, and one younger emerged German talent, who just so happens to be a woman born in Africa.  The oldest and there fore most established Dane, is Per Kerkeby, his hermetic, tooled bronzes of, enclaves and formations that bear resemblance to rock formations, are about surfaces and texture. Kerkeby's bronzes in this exhibition date from the early to mid 1980's, and that flange of his art-practice: non figurative and visibly high Modernist, at a time when post-modernism was a dominant guiding light for artists, helps Per Kerkeby appear as if during the 1980's he lived in one of the caves he carved in clay, then casted in bronze. Sculpture, that are all about the hand of the "master" artist hacking away at a thick clay maquette, that at times looks like earth, at other times looks like cavernous female genitalia, seem vapid and isolated, in contrast with the colleagues of Kerkeby's generation, like A. Keifer, or J. Schnabel, or S. Chia, or T. Craigg , or D. Salle. The cultural isolation, continues in the more recent, color full abstracted landscape paintings that share the same room. All of Kerkeby's large canvasses, are consistently vertically oriented , reminiscent of some damp or sun filled season in Denmark. The thin paint, the sameness of format, the bigness of scale have a mass produced factory feel, like a poster of a 19th century naturalist Danish landscape painter, which ironically must be a cliché from which Per Kerkeby seeks to escape by painting with a big brush expressively. Tal R, a fellow Dane,  of, a subsequent generation, who just  like Kerkeby, is very active within the Art landscape in Germany, is also in the same hall with Kerkeby. To further underscore the similarity of these Danish artists, Tal R, is like wise represented by sculptures on small modernist pedestals on the floor, and big heavy handed expressive paintings on the wall. The selection of two Danish artists who both create sculptures and make big and fast paintings, is eloquent as far as exhibition design goes. the art is hung and placed well in the space and seems made for the sober white cube of Stockholm's Konsthall, Magasin 3. Tal R makes figurative paintings with paint straight from the oil tube, decidedly unfinished with nude canvas of Napoleonic warfare. Waterloo appears in delicate graphite on the nude canvass. The bigness of the paintings takes away the children's book or coloring book feel to Tal R's candy colored interpretation of the horrors of total warfare. I wonder why dose Tal R not pick battles like Stalingrad, or selected moments from the first or second world wars, to candy coat and paint like toy soldiers or Christmas nut crackers? I take it, it because Tal R, clearly has the same kind of fetish A. Brevik had for  the colors and elegance 19th century military uniforms. Who can fail to like a man in uniform?

Lastly but not in any way the least, is the sprawling big and bold sculpture of a German woman born in Kenya, Cosima von Bonin. Her work is eclectic and spontaneous, has the haphazard and funky feel that things collide and just come together. An knitted woolen stuffed octopus with brown glass talons. A chair with a sound installation that plays a snippet or a micro clip of a electronica cannon musical Track. Music that is activated, by motion sensor, played by an overhead by speaker that hangs like a chandelier. A large canoe, atop plaid upholstered carpenters saw horses, the boat itself, sheathed in a patchwork of "oh-so-random" flea-market handkerchiefs, one with dandy, fancy, soldiers and a script that reads "Waterloo". Then some "paintings" which are doubtlessly conceptual in some manor of the word or another. The self conscious quilts, of cotton Kenyan shawls all the fashionable rage in Berlin Germany, are sewn together and framed on a painting support. The painting has some needle work with words that although some art viewer, may find either poetic or evocative of some exotic vista of a Farm in Africa, are empty. Mrs. von Bonin's art, those works that Magasin 3 in Stockholm has collected, have the empty international place less-ness, and anathema  of both content and identity that I imagine is the mainstay of Art Basel, Miami Beach. Cosima von Bonin's spontaneous art work is short attention span friendly, and not adverse to a capitalist existential question that precedes a spilt second decision of: to buy or not to buy.  However one hopes that the conceptual foundation of: von Bonin's art, eventually matures, and the concerns of her subject matter, clarify themselves or solidify. One wants of her art, that deliberate intentions posing as humorous random action, take on claimed purposefulness, and there by meaningfulness. by craniv boyd.