Bjarne Melgaard, From the Exhibition, A House to Die In, 2012
A House to Die In, 25 September – 18 November, 2012
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
A House to Die In is New York based Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard’s first solo exhibition in the UK. The Lower and Upper Galleries feature two of his collaborative projects, which investigate the dynamics of creative and collaborative relationships.
The architectural facade in the Lower Gallery realises a key stage in Melgaard’s ongoing collaboration with award-winning architectural firm Snøhetta, who have exchanged architectural drawings, models and documents with the artist since 2011 as they work closely towards the construction of a purpose-built house where Melgaard will live and work. In the exhibition, Melgaard and Snøhetta present a 1:1 facade of the building’s exterior, alongside a wider body of shared research that demonstrates the positive struggle experienced by both parties as they continually challenge the conventions of their respective practices.
The Upper Galleries house an installation of paintings and sculptures that imagine the interior spaces of Melgaard’s proposed residence, alongside bespoke furniture and ephemera from the artist’s studio. Melgaard created the paintings and sculptures in partnership with a group of artists who have no formal art education and little or no connection to the art world (several of whom are in recovery, face mental or emotional challenges, or suffer from schizophrenia). In these works, their layered conversations are made visible as the artists respond to and expand upon his visual lexicon.
Jeff Koones, Metallic Venus, 2010-2012. Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating and live flowering plants
Jeff Koons is reaching back into art history with his new series “Antiquity,” exploring the goddess of love in huge glossy metallic sculptures such as the turquoise Metallic Venus.
Jeff Koons:The Painter and Sculptor was showing at two venues in Germany’s banking capital (20 June-23September 2012). Sculptures towering over ancient figures in Frankfurt’s Liebieghaus museum, where Koons’s work was interspersed among sculptures from antiquity to the 19th century.
Jeff Koons plays with ideas of taste, pleasure, celebrity, and commerce. “I believe in advertisement and media completely,” he says. “My art and my personal life are based in it.” Working with seductive commercial materials (such as the high chromium stainless steel of his “Balloon Dog” sculptures or his vinyl “Inflatables”), shifts of scale, and an elaborate studio system involving many technicians, Koons turns banal objects into high art icons. His paintings and sculptures borrow widely from art-historical techniques and styles; although often seen as ironic or tongue-in-cheek, Koons insists his practice is earnest and optimistic. “I’ve always loved Surrealism and Dada and Pop, so I just follow my interests and focus on them,” he says. “When you do that, things become very metaphysical.” The “Banality” series that brought him fame in the 1980s included pseudo-Baroque sculptures of subjects like Michael Jackson with his pet ape, while his monumental topiaries, like the floral Puppy (1992), reference 17th-century French garden design.
Dag Nordbrenden, Presentation of the book, Rub With Ashes, 2012
Dag Nordbrenden is a Norwegian artist working with photography. His work explores different concepts and genres of the medium. His book Rub with Ashes is a compilation of photographs of recent years, and reflects Nordbrenden’s nomadic lifestyle.
The photographs are rooted in a documentary tradition, and the book combines snapshot observations with more loaded, still life-oriented scenes. A diversity of themes are being played out where motifs are mixed together; landscapes, details of interiors, scenes from after a fire, museums and monuments, and some of his meetings with stray cats in Istanbul. Many images show milieus from different parts of the world, social gatherings and local events, which can be viewed in global perspective.
The book dwells at the individual, more autonomous photograph, and how these images influence each other in combinations. By interweaving the lyrical with the more political, Nordbrenden creates a space where different subject matters start communicating with each other.
Lutz Becker, Installation view, Cinema Notes, 1975. 16mm Black and White, 45 mins
For many years lost and recently found, Kino Beleške was produced in 1975 in collaboration with the group of artists, curators and critics gathered around the Student Cultural Centre, Belgrade. The film includes verbal statements and performative gestures of the numerous protagonists of the New artistic practice in former Yugoslavia, referring to the role of art in society and re-thinking the concepts of form, autonomy, economy, politicality and institutionalization of contemporary art.
Bruce Nauman, Good Boy Bad Boy,1985 and Video Against AIDS, Curated by John Greyson and Bill Horrigan, produced by Kate Horsefield, 1989
UbuWeb is an independent online resource educational resource for avant-garde material. UbuWeb does not distribute commercially viable works but rather resurrects avant-garde sound art, video and textual works through their translation into a digital art web environment, re-contextualising them with current academic commentary and contemporary practice
All materials on UbuWeb are being made available for noncommercial and educational use and the service is completely free.
Radenko Milak, What Else Did You See? I Couldn’t See Everything! (No. 5), 2010–2012 and Installation view of the Exhibition
Image Counter Image, 10 June – 16 September, 2012
Hause der Kunst,Prinzregentenstraße 1, Munich
The exhibition Image Counter Image at Hause der Kunst, presents artistic positions that focus on the critical analysis of violent conflicts in the media, beginning with the First Gulf War of 1990-1991 to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, and ending with the events of the Arab Spring of 2011.
Media coverage has changed significantly in the last two decades. While the media image of the First Gulf War was based on a memorandum that advised units of the United States military to channel information flow to serve the military operation’s political objectives, the images of the attacks on the New York World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, were transmitted on all possible channels. They showed a worldwide audience its own, and global, vulnerability. Through the Internet and, more recently, via Web 2.0’s social media, communication channels have been expanded to include opportunities for direct peer-to-peer exchange. Because of their decentralized structures, these channels are difficult to control and are used as an alternative source of reporting on political events.
The question remains who, in this changing media landscape, tries to secure control of both the production and interpretation of the content, and what purpose it serves.
Histories in Conflict: Haus der Kunst and the Ideological Uses of Art, 1937-1955, 10 June 2012-13 January 2013
Hause der Kunst, Prinzregentenstraße 1, Munich
“This year Haus der Kunst marks the 75th anniversary of its public opening. This anniversary gives us the opportunity to reflect on the historical legacy of the museum, especially on the building as an icon of ideological power; on the various positions of art through its history and the stories of what it is today”. Okwui Enwezor.
In 2012, Haus der Kunst opens its doors for its 75th year. At the same time, it looks back upon its 20-year existence as Stiftung Haus der Kunst München GmbH. Aware of its history and its legacy as a Nazi instrument of power, the exhibition Histories in Conflict: Haus der Kunst and the Ideological Use of Art 1937-1955 investigates the institution’s international connections; the relationships between the Great German Art Exhibition and the vilifying exhibition Degenerate Art, or, for example, between Albert Speer’s German pavilion for the 1937 Paris World’s Fair, in which a model of the House of German Art was exhibited, and the Spanish pavilion, in which Picasso’s Guernica, an icon of anti-war art, was on view.
Histories in Conflict covers the important period from 1937, in which the fate of the European avant-garde was still in abeyance, to the period of its condemnation until 1955, when it regained respect. Both the exhibition Picasso in Haus der Kunst, which presented the painting Guernica for the first time in Germany, and Arnold Bode’s documenta 1 took place in 1955. By exhibiting works by artists who had been condemned in the Degenerate Art exhibition in 1937, Haus der Kunst aimed to reconnect with international modernism.
As part of the programs marking its 75th anniversary, Haus der Kunst also shows the exhibition Image Counter Image. Occupying the vectors where global media industries, artistic reflexivity, and ideological power intersect, the two exhibitions undertake to explore the complex zones of mediatized image regimes and artistic propaganda in organizing public opinion.