The international jury of the 55th annual World Press Photo Contest has selected a picture by Samuel Aranda from Spain as the World Press Photo of the Year 2011. The picture shows a woman holding her wounded son in her arms, inside a mosque used as a field hospital by demonstrators against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, during clashes in Sanaa, Yemen on 15 October 2011. Samuel Aranda was working in Yemen on assignment for The New York Times
Comments on the winning photo by the jury;
Koyo Kouoh: ‘It is a photo that speaks for the entire region. It stands for Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, for all that happened in the Arab Spring. But it shows a private, intimate side of what went on. And it shows the role that women played, not only as care-givers, but as active people in the movement.’
Nina Berman: ‘In the Western media, we seldom see veiled women in this way, at such an intimate moment. It is as if all of the events of the Arab Spring resulted in this single moment, in moments like this.’
Thomas Ruff 3D_ma.r.s.04, 2012, Nudes, Installation view and jpeg tj01, 2007
Thomas Ruff, Ma.r.s., March 8-April 21, 2012
Gagosian GalleryBritannia Street and Nudes, Davies Street
Gagosian Gallery presented two exhibitions of new and recent photographs by Thomas Ruff. This is his first exhibition with the gallery.
“The difference between my predecessors and me is that they believed to have captured reality and I believe to have created a picture. We all lost, bit by bit, the belief in this so-called objective capturing of real reality. Each of my series has a visual idea behind it, which I develop during my research. Sometimes the development follows a straight line from A to B; sometimes something completely new and interesting shows up, which makes me leave the straight path and follow a more indirect one with new rules”.
Thomas Ruff’s body of work testifies to the wealth of practices, objects and forms available to photographers today. He has been testing the limits of his medium for more than two decades, producing photographs in series with subjects that range from domestic interiors to the planets, from modernist architecture to abstract psychedelia, from specific portraits to generic internet pornography. The tools and techniques that he has investigated thus far include a composite picture-making apparatus, star light system for night-vision, hand-tinting, stereoscopy, digital retouching, and photomontage. He has appropriated images from various sources including scientific archives, newspapers, and, more recently, the internet.
Thomas Ruff was born in 1958. Lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Isa Genzken, Halleluja, 14 April-19 May 2012, Hauser & Wirth Zürich, Hubertus Exhibitions, Zurich
Isa Genzken’s work is a cacophonous riot of colour, material and form. She pulls from the geometries of modernist architecture, the aesthetic of Robert Rauschenberg’s combines and the stark and severe ethos of minimalism and corrals these elements in to her own world, rearranging them according to her distinct set of rules. For Hauser & Wirth’s final show at the gallery’s temporary space at Hubertus Exhibitions, Genzken will present new sculptures and collages. These works reference the individuality of the real world, exploring the works’ more human qualities of fragility and haphazardness.
Genzken’s new sculptures echo the architectural dimensions of the high-rise buildings and skyscrapers abounding in New York, the artist’s favourite city. Each work consists of a fantastical melee of objects, such as stacked shipping crates, potted plants, overturned designer chairs, and paintings of Disney characters. These elements are all perched precariously upon high plinths, seemingly held together only by sprays of paint and a few dots of glue.
Like a tourist wandering wide-eyed through a sprawling metropolis, the sculptures invite the visitor to first gaze up at the fabricated skyline, and then to look closer at the ‘eye level’. At this level, Genzken takes the viewer inside the sculpture, transforming her spiralling towers of miscellany into anthropomorphic forms, a surprising humanity residing in their instability.
Photography, sculpture and painting overlap in Genzken’s new collages and with these works, Genzken activates all surfaces of the gallery, not just the walls. One new installation spans the floor of the space, like a sidewalk down the hectic streets of New York City. Each collage contains a mixture of imagery: snapshots from the artist’s personal life, self-portraits, works from her oeuvre, reproductions of Renaissance paintings, kitsch greeting cards, adverts from glossy magazines and an assortment of gaudy patterned papers sprayed with paint. Installed as if they had been forcibly flung upon the walls and on to the floor, Genzken lends these two-dimensional works the same tactility, movement and momentum seen in her sculptures.
Michaël Borremans, Shades of Doubt, It is not something of beauty underneath, 2012
When Belgian artist Michaël Borremans first presented his paintings to the world at the tender age of 37, he immediately caused a stir in the art scene. His realistic yet mysterious figurative images subtly draw one to the centre of a question which remains permanently unspoken. Through the combination of his immaculate painting techniques, using muted tones and classic compositions, and the puzzling scenarios that are at the heart of his work, the artist brings together both:
melancholy and humour.
Signed by the prestigious David Zwirner gallery in New York, Borremans represents the modern reincarnation of the classic painter, in the same league as his colleague and friend Neo Rauch. Recently, Borremans also started translating his mysterious scenarios into abstract short films, which have been shown at Berlin Biennial 2006, among others. He lives and works in Ghent.
With mono.kultur, Michaël Borremans talked about the mystery at the heart of painting and life in general, his commission for the Belgian Queen, and why he needs to wear his Sunday suit when he goes to work.
The issue features a whopping 20 plates of Michaël Borremans’ paintings, all printed in lifesize scale, allowing you to examine the technical mastery behind his work in breathtaking detail.
Saâdane Afif plays with notions of displacement, collusion and contrast. He uses objects, scale models and installations, sounds and writing to mirror in the work of art itself the dialogue arising between the artist and the viewer. This dialogue makes allusions to psychological, historical, social and cultural elements.
Thanks to this extended formal vocabulary, borrowed as easily from the history of art as from the world of the media and music, Afif creates installations made up of unexpected encounters between objects and disciplines. Power Chords, produced for the Lyon Biennial in 2004, and for which he won the International Prize for Contemporary Art from the Fondation Prince Pierre in Monaco, is a sound installation for eleven electric guitars controlled by informatics. Each guitar emits its own note at random, in order to compose “key” harmonies from Rock history that are the musical transcription of mathematical harmonies played by artist André Cadéré with the drumsticks.
Blue Time vs. Suspense is especially produced for the Xavier Hufkens Gallery. It makes a synthesis between two older projects: Blue Time and Suspense. Blue Time vs. Suspense comprises three guitars/black clocks hung like suspension points, attached to three amplifiers via audio cables. The sound produced is similar to that of three out-of-tempo metronomes.
“To produce a musical instrument related to time, is to recall that the mastering of the latter lies at the heart of an artist’s preoccupations”.
The lyrics of the two songs about the older pieces, from which this new work originates, are stuck on the walls in adhesive letters. They accompany a text created for the occasion referring to the new work. Playing alone, the musician Vale Poher performs these texts, accompanying the songs on electric guitar. This is broadcast via headphones placed on a stand upon which the visitor can sit.
The style of music and the instrument perfectly match the project.
A screen-printed poster features the titles of the album and by extension, the titles of the works. It is a kind of exhibition ‘credits’.
A CD, also produced for the occasion, is a recording of the exhibition in words and music.