Contemporary Culture Carousel

EscapeIntoLife_CMarclay_Carousel1Christian Marclay’s Manga Scroll at  Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo


Looking Back: The Week that Was

The Week in Culture (NYT)  A broad ranging round-up that includes film and theatre, not limited to contemporary art.

The Week’s Art Shows in Pictures (The Guardian) Art Shows from round Britain, also not limited to contemporary work and including art film and performance art. If you’re in London, or headed there, take note of  The Mystery of Appearance at Haunch of Venison, opening on Wednesday 7 December and featuring “the cream of postwar British painters: Francis Bacon and Frank Auerbach among them.”

Best Fashion at Art Miami 2011 (ArtInfo)  Different and fun round-up of the big event just ended, for the style conscious art lover!

Looking Back: The Year Now Ending

Best Books of 2011 (npr) Even more difficult than listing the 100 (or the 50 or the 20) best books of 2011, Heller McAlpin lists a mere handful, choosing just 5 books “that stay with you”. Well, with the post script, it ends up being 7 books, despite best intentions!

Best Films of 2011 (The Guardian) There will be many lists of The Best of 2011 still to come. Here for starters are those of The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw, who lists not only the best movies, but also his best directors, actors, screenplays and documentaries, drawn from a wide international range of films. Always fun to see if you agree, and there’s bound to be some here that you don’t (yet) know.

Wish I could see

EscapeIntoLife_Carousel2Double Carousel with Zöllner Stripes, Carlsten Höller

Carsten Höller’s Carousels at MACRO, Rome, Italy  You can find more information about this great looking installation here. This is only a couple of hours’ train ride away from me, and it’s showing until February 26th, so I must try to get to it in the new year!

Christian Marclay’s Scrolls at Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo  I saw (some of) his much praised 24 hour video montage The Clock  in London and wish, wish, I could see this too, the  collage work in the top image of this post.  Tokyo Arts Beat describes the work as a “series of new collages… inspired by the artist’s recent interest in Japanese onomatopoeic sound words. Working with English translations of these onomatopoeias taken from foreign language versions of Japanese manga comics, Marclay extracts the dynamism of these sounds and converts them into a two-dimensional form. The highlight of the show is a 20 meter long “Manga Scroll” that features curved sequences of flowing onomatopoeic words.” It has 17 days more to run and you can read a description of the Premier Performance by Makigami Kiochi  here. Twenty metres long, can you imagine?

New German Art at Saatchi Gallery, London (ends April 30th 2012) After Charles Saatchi’s outburst against the art world this week, this show is likely to get more knocks than usual. But I have enjoyed previous Saatchi shows, and like that they now focus on paintings and wallworks, since I prefer installations on a mega-large scale. A show I’ll try to get to, though it’s a question of plane rather than train for this one, hmmm…


EscapeIntoLife_Carousel3Dots, Dorte Østergaard Jakobsen’s Installation, just opened in Copenhagen, Denmark

One I’m not likely to see in the flesh is the magical looking Dots installation at the Danish Design Museum in Copenhagen. The work, by textile artist Dorte Østergaard Jakobsen (b.1984), “displays six acrylic light panels designed as decorations and […] as a [dividing] wall. The plates are decorated in a motif of bored and machined dots to evoke snow. illuminated by the city’s street lamps, fall[ing] into darkness, the wind whirling snowflakes up in patterns. To emphasize the mood There Is Nothing So Quiet As Snow is [accompanied by] a small specially composed piano music piece by the composer Nigel Goulding, who Dorte Østergaard Jakobsen has previously worked with.” (Mutual Art)

Round the World

Pae White at 1301PE, Los Angeles  (ends December 22nd 2011) Fly me to LA! Really love the look of this, the colour, the installations. Please go in my place if you’re anywhere near, promise?

 EscapeIntoLife_Carousel4Granite Mining in Angola, 2011, photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Showcasing the work of African photographic artists, the theme of the 9th African Photography Biennial Bamako Rencontres 2011, held in Mali, is “reflection on the quest for a sustainable world”. There’s a review by Jelle Bouwhuis, Head of Stedelijk Museum Bureau in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, here at NAFAS.

Bloomberg New Contemporaries at ICA, London (ends January 15th 2012) Subtitled In the Presence, the show “opens a window onto the future of contemporary art, bringing together some of the best work currently emerging from the UK’s art schools by 40 recent graduates.” A good opportunity for spotting new young artists to follow.

Looking Forward: New & Upcoming Art Shows and Events

Envisioning Buildings: Reflecting Architecture in Contemporary Art Photography, opens December 6th at Vienna’s MAK  “includes work by a number of the most influential contemporary artists working with camera-based images, who, in recent years, have changed thinking about art photography.”

The second edition of Digital Arts Marrakech runs 9th to 11th December. The event “focusses on trends and practices in the fields of digital film & video, multimedia performances, video installations, 3D projection mapping and digital cinema, films and documentaries.” Most of the activities and workshops take place in the old Medina – cool place for a cool event! Below is a little sample of what’s on show.


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