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.


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