Archive: Issue No. 111, November 2006

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5.11.06 South African Artists in the Canary Islands Biennale
5.11.06 Candice Breitz in England
5.11.06 Kendell Geers in London
5.11.06 Mikhael Subotzky in Amsterdam

6.10.06 Ed Young in Cologne


5.11.06 South African artists at the Sao Paulo Biennale
5.11.06 Berni Searle in Florida

4.08.06 William Kentridge in Texas

7.07.06 'Body of Evidence' at the National Museum of African Art in the USA


5.05.06 'Off the Record' in Tokyo


Canary Islands Biennale

Los Lavaderos building in Tenerife where Ruth Sacks will be doing a site-specific installation

South African artists in the Canary Islands Biennale

The Canary Islands vice-ministry of culture has announced the '1st Architecture, Art and Landscape Biennial of the Canaries', a show of 70 artists' interventions spread across the seven-island archipelago off the coast of North Africa.

This Biennial is conceived as an event that intentionally reflects the specificities of this complex island territory, spread over the whole of the geography of the Canaries, occupying well-known centres and venues, as well as lesser known unconventional spaces in an event that highlights the discussion between the urban and natural, and the islands' own economic development and history in relation particularly to its adjacent African continent.

The South Africans involved are Ruth Sacks, Johan Thom and Kendell Geers.

Opens: November 27
Closes: February 10

Candice Breitz

Candice Breitz
Working Class Hero (A Portrait of John Lennon) 2006
video still

Candice Breitz in England

During a recent residency at BALTIC gallery, Candice Breitz invited a diverse community of dedicated John Lennon fans to pay tribute to their hero in a recording studio in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Each fan was given the opportunity to re-perform Lennon's first solo album Plastic Ono Band (1970), from beginning to end.

The resulting video, lasting 39 minutes and 55 seconds (to match the length of the original album), will be displayed on 25 plasma screens that are staggered around BALTIC's seven storey public stairway. Each plasma screen is dedicated to one fan's idiosyncratic re-performance of the howling and cathartic songs on Plastic Ono Band, an album that explores the traumas of Lennon's childhood and which was made while Lennon and Yoko Ono were undergoing intense Primal Therapy with Dr. Arthur Janov.

Working Class Hero (A Portrait of John Lennon) is the fourth in a series of portraits of musical icons by Breitz (preceded by portraits of Bob Marley, Michael Jackson and Madonna). Collectively, the portraits are an ongoing survey of the culture of the fan and the delicate mechanisms of projection, identification and consumption that characterise the relationship between an icon and his/her community of fans.

Opens: October 10
Closes: January 28

Kendell Geers

Kendell Geers
Fuckface 2005
spray paint on human skull
22 x 14 x 15cm

Kendell Geers in London

Stephen Friedman Gallery in London hosts an exhibition of new work by Kendell Geers this month.

In this exhibition Geers presents a wall painting, a selection of painted readymades, an installation of seven flourescent light sculptures and a video work. The wall painting, Post Pop Fuck 22, comprises an ornamental pattern of hardly decipherable gothic letters, in which the viewer eventually recognises the word 'fuck'. Also in the front gallery, Geers shows several iconic objects and artefacts that he has sourced in curiosity shops. Painted with a font design similar to that of the mural, the objects are 'desecrated' with what seems to be a provocative and cynical gesture, rejecting a cultural heritage that is perceived as oppressive.

Furthering his often aggressive use of text, Geers devotes the back space of the gallery to a group of seven ultra violet light sculptures, which spell out the names of The Seven Deadly Sins. In this work, Geers effectively questions moral authorities, investigating how concepts of vice and virtue have been inscribed into our cultural code. Bearing an uncanny proximity to the term 'ultra violent', the UV light creates an uneasy, hostile atmosphere.

The video piece,Exodus 20, concludes the exhibition. Assaulting many viewers' sensibilities, Geers superimposes a list of the Ten Commandments onto near-pornographic material. Here, the artist cynically examines the proximity of sexual fantasy and transgression while highlighting the artificiality of constructed moral imperatives.

Opens: October 10
Closes: November 11

Mikhael Subotzky

Mikhael Subotzky
Hermanus (parking garage), Cape Town, CBD 2005
archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper
46.5 x 126cm

Mikhael Subotzky in Amsterdam

Mikhael Subotzky is participating in the World Press Photo's prestigious Joop Swart Masterclass this November, for which he was selected earlier this year. This year's theme is 'Risk' with the participating young photographers each creating a photo story for the class and an exhibition at the Foam_Photography Museum inAmsterdam. Subotzsky's photo essay explores the people of Beaufort West.

Opens: November 10
Closes: January 7 Foam_Photography Museum
Keizersgracht 609, Amsterdam
Tel: +31 (0)20 551 6500
Hours: Mon - Wed 10am - 5pm , Thu - Fri 10am - 9pm

Ed Young in Cologne

Ed Young will be taking part in an exhibition at Figge von Rosen Galerie, Cologne, in the Raum für Video (Space for Video). Other artists include Tami Ben Tor, John Pilson, Christian Jankowski, Sarah Morris, Susi Jirkuff, Alex McQuilkin and Timothy Shearer.

Opens: October 18
Closes: November 16


Mustafa Maluka

Mustafa Maluka
The Great Quiet, 2005 oil on canvas
180 x 300cm

South African artists at the Sao Paulo Biennale

The 27th Bienal de Sao Paulo this year does away with so-called national representations, showing instead only individual projects. The exhibition, entitled 'How We Live Together' proposes a reflection on how shared and common spaces are constructed, questioning controversial issues such as difference, coexistence, rhythms of production and collaborative practices in an attempt to reach an ethical sense of living-together. Amongst the extensive list of artists are South Africans Jane Alexander, Guy Tillim, Mustafa Maluka and Pieter Hugo.

Opens: October 7
Closes: December 17

Berni Searle

Berni Searle
WAITING #3 2003
lithographs on BFK Rives watercolour paper

Berni Searle in Florida

Berni Searle's exhibition 'Approach' shows at the University of South Florida's Contemporary Art Centre this month. 'Approach' includes seminal video and print pieces such as her Colour Me and Waiting series.

As part of this exhibition, Searle will also work with the Graphicstudio, the distinguished artist workshop at the University of South Florida, to create a suite of prints.

Opens: October 27
Closes: December 16

William Kentridge

William Kentridge
from Weighing and Wanting 1997

William Kentridge in Texas

William Kentridge's well known 1997 piece, Weighing and Wanting is showing at the Austin Museum of Art in Texas. The film, and the drawings which accompany it on this exhibition, centre around Soho Eckstein, a broad-shouldered, white South African industrialist whose self-assured place in the world has been dismantled by the ascendancy of the African National Congress and the condemnation of apartheid. Eckstein's story is related through his personal meditations on a failed love affair, the Johannesburg landscape which stands as silent witness to the atrocities of the apartheid era, and his own internal psychic landscape, represented by images of MRI brain scans. The title of the exhibition refers to a biblical episode in which a disembodied hand appears before King Belshazzar of Babylon and writes a message on the wall, reading, 'You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting, for you have not humbled your heart before God, so your kingdom has come to an end.'

Opens: August 19
Closes: November 5

'Body of Evidence' at the National Museum of African Art in the USA

'Body of Evidence' is a new show at the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of African Art. The long running show is an exhibition of works by contemporary African artists from the museum's collection who deal with ideas of 'The Body' with varying levels of explicitness.

The artists use the human body, and its absence, as a site for issues of race, identity, gender and geography - all issues that are often integral to artists from this continent. South African artists Kay Hassan, Gavin Jantjes, Rudzani Nemasetoni, Georgie Papageorge, Johannes Phokela, Berni Searle, Sue Williamson and Jeremy Wafer are included.

Opens: June 14
Closes: April 6, 2007


Off the Record

An X-cube locker

'Off the Record' - Shibuya and other stations, Tokyo

Timed to coincide with the opening of 'Africa Remix' at the Mori, is a project much lighter in weight and more ephemeral in concept: 'Off the Record', devised by Belgian artist Eric van Hove, now based in Tokyo, will hi-jack X-Cube storage lockers found in subway stations in the city.

These lockers are opened not by a key but by utilising a cell phone number designated by the storer. Invited artists will make an artwork to fit into one of these lockers, which measures 30 x 30 x 60 cm. An SMS to a friend inviting him/her to come and view the artwork will set the process in motion. The invitee will then invite someone else in turn, setting the new cell phone number as the new code. 'Think of Chinese whispers', says Van Hove.

Participating artists include Lara Baladi (Egypt), Federico Herrero (Costa Rica), John di Stefano (New Zealand) and Sue Williamson (South Africa).

Will the artwork be stolen by a viewer? Will the next invited viewer take the trouble to pay a visit? Will an earthquake destroy Tokyo and all the artworks? The agenda is open.

More information?

May 2006 - until such time as the project ends itself.