This week, contemporary artists Alexandra Baumgartner, Beatriz Crespo, Florence Reidenbach and Su Ling Gyr are displaying their own personal confrontations with femininity at the GYNAECEUM exhibition in Berlin.
Curated by Tippi Ling, the installation is set in a 1920s apartment — a rather fitting location considering the exhibit’s questioning of female confinement to the domestic space.
Baumgartner’s collages will explore themes such as social constraints and the decay of the human body, whilst Crespo’s paintings examine the daily rituals in women’s lives. Reidenbach’s combination of folklore and fantasy delves into the creation of feminine identity, whereas Gyr analyses notions of beauty throughout history with her multimedia approach.
GYNAECEUM is not just a beautiful ode to the female artistic talent of today, but also an empowering retrospective on just how far we’ve come.
At times, Marianne Faithfull the Sixties legend has threatened to overshadow Marianne the real and living person. But after over thirty years in the spotlight, and the former pop ingénue has battled addiction to continue to put out records.
It’s fitting then that her curated exhibition at Tate Liverpool should be titled Innocence and Experience and nothing better sums up the show then a 1976 Mapplethorpe image of Faithfull, seemingly uneasy as she transitions from her Sixties naïveté to a dark awareness of life’s depths.
Having selected works from the Tate Collection, Innocence and Experience reflects upon Faithfull’s artistic influences, as well as those over her private life. Dark and romantic, the works in this exhibition are brought together by a curator whose life will be forever intertwined with art and performance.
Innocence and Experience curated by Marianne Faithfull is at Tate Liverpool 20 April – 2 September 2012 tateliverpool.org
Santorini is the latest super hot spot marked out for art domination. With the mission of promoting emerging and established artists, right now the Biennale is calling for artists to send in their material for consideration.
Working to the theme of The Past: Memory and Nostalgia, the exhibition will be a melange of everything from graphic design to sculpture and industrial design.
In particular, Curator of Illustration for the Santorini Biennale of Arts 2012 Nicky Peacock, has her eye casting out for fashion illustration. She says, “I will be living in Santorini for four months this summer during the biennale and this will no doubt be somewhat of a culture shock for a town-based girl like myself.
“With this in mind, I’m interested in works that are a little incongruous to a paradise island – a little discordant and out of place. As an artist and curator, this is the kind of thing that fascinates me and keeps me on my toes – something dark to contrast with all that sunshine!”
Santorini Biennale takes place form 01 July to 30 Sept 2012
Go to www.santorinibiennale.gr to submit your work
Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present is a powerful documentary which takes its viewer inside the mind of one of the Twentieth Century’s most provocative performance artists.
Directed by Matthew Akers, the film is an account of Abramović’s three decades and counting career, her both professional and personal relationship with Uwe Layseipen, and a behind the scenes look at the emotional journey leading up to her extensive 2010 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
At the three month-enduring retrospective, the Belgrade-born artist engaged her viewers in a performance piece which entailed a varying audience member sitting across from her at a table in silence, solely staring into the 65-year-old’s eyes in an attempt to question the concept of art becoming life.
Marina Abramović has always been a fascinating creative force, but this documentary will be the first opportunity to see the woman behind the legendary artwork. It might just be her most inspiring performance yet.
Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present is set for release on July 6. marinafilm.com
From portraits to reportage and award-winning advertisements to Pirelli calendars, the images of Brian Duffy are an iconic documentation of decades past. Now the Proud Chelsea gallery is making a tribute to the photography legend, who passed away in 2010, by displaying a rare collection of his signed prints.
Starting his career in the Fifties as a freelance photographer for Harper’s Bazaar, Duffy went on to photograph the likes of Jean Shrimpton, John Lennon and David Bowie, most memorably for the cover of his Aladdin Sane album.
Duffy, alongside David Bailey and Terence Donovan – nicknamed the Terrible Trio by British press – innovated the style of documentary fashion photography by capturing the zeitgeist of Swinging London in the Sixties.
After making the decision to abandon still photography, the English photographer and film producer famously attempted to burn all of his negatives in 1979. Fortunately, a few priceless artifacts remain, making this exhibition both a poignant photographic homage and an unmissable visual experience.
Duffy: The Lost Portraits is on display until May 13 at Proud Chelsea, 161 King’s Road London SW3 5XP.
The metamorphoses of Cindy Sherman knows no boundaries, so it makes sense that an exhibition honouring her work is in a place as vast and all-encompassing as the Museum of Modern Art gallery in New York.
Looking back at her three decades and counting career, the just opened showcase contains over 170 of Sherman’s iconic pieces and portraits, witnessing her take on roles from cinema noir actress to Jean Fouquet’s Madonna of Melun. But Sherman’s countless transformations are beyond pure dress up and trying on a new persona; they are a deep questioning of identity, representation and the role and placement of women in society.
Rather than being solely retrospective, the exhibit is also the first showing of Sherman’s photographic murals from 2010 in America, as well as Carte Blanche: Cindy Sherman, a screening of films made and curated by the conceptual artist, which is fitting considering the strong influence of the medium on her work. The movies will range from horror classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre to John Waters’ Desperate Living, whilst including Sherman’s short film Doll Clothes and feature film Office Killer.
The extensive display of her work shows that even under wigs, prosthetics and layers of makeup, the real Cindy Sherman is always unmistakably there.
Cindy Sherman is on display until June 11 at The Joan and Preston Robert Tisch Exhibition Gallery, MoMA, 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019 moma.org
There are many words to describe Claude Cahun: feminist, political activist, Surrealist artist, poet, writer, photographer, actress. However, the word thought-provoking seems to say it best.
Born in 1894 as Lucy Schwob in Nantes, she began practicing her most well-known form of creative expression, self portraits, at 18 years old. Produced under her pseudonym and playing between the extremes of androgyny and hyper-femininity, Cahun’s images express the idea that gender and sexuality perhaps aren’t always an A or B answer.
Involved in a life-long romantic and artistic partnership with her stepsister, and as a member of Georges Bataille’s left-wing organisation Contre-Attaque in Paris, Cahun was no stranger to controversy. In protest against the fascist regime of WWII, she distributed oppositional pamphlets combining governmental critic and poetic rhythm among the soldiers.
At a time where not even religious freedom was granted, Cahun’s defiance of political, gender, sexual and aesthetical conventions within society is remarkable. In her anti-realist, autobiographical work Aveux Nos Avenus, she wrote: “I will follow the wake in the air, the trail on the water, the mirage in the pupil … I wish to hunt myself down, to struggle with myself.”
This internal struggle, both emotionally and on the artistic surface, helped make Cahun not only an intriguing artist, but also an inspirational legend.
Entre Nous: The Art of Claude Cahun is on display from February 25 to June 3 at The Art Institute of Chicago. www.artic.edu
Ever since the likes of Salvador Dali and René Magritte began blurring the lines between the worlds of fantasy and reality, the creative arts have had a special relationship with surrealism.
Opening today, the Mythologies exhibition at Rivington Design house, curated by Marlo Kronberg and Christine Bílý, continues to explore this correlation through photography, sculpture and film. Featuring the work of artists Bek Andersen, Wendy Bevan, Stefan Milev, Jordan Sullivan, and Paulina Otylie Surys, the group show aims to explore a muse that exists in this duality of fantasy and reality, ancientness and modernism, masculinity and feminism.
Twin spoke to photographer Paulina Otylie Surys on the eve of the exhibition’s opening about the power of artistic collaborations, her muses and surrealism in the arts…
How would you describe your photography work in a few words? An expression of the most precious thoughts of a moment. The pursuit of old traditional techniques and a never ending experiment, a quest for perfection in the craft.
How does it feel to be exhibiting in a show of such diverse artistic talent? When Marlo Kronberg, the curator of the Mythologies exhibition, approached me, I really liked the idea of the show. I also admire a lot the other artists who are participating in the project together with me, I think that their works are great, really powerful. I appreciate any form of great art, all the artists in the exhibition have a similar sublime vibe of reverie. I believe it is going to be a really beautiful event.
The theme of the exhibition is magic realism. What does the term mean to you in regards to your work? I really enjoy creating surreal and unique situations in my works—merging the world of reality with that of imagination, illusion and hallucination. I have always been a big fan of the Lo Real Maravilloso [meaning marvelous reality in Spanish, the term was first coined by Alejo Carpentier in his 1949 novel The Kingdom Of This World] motif in film, literature and art.
The exhibit also explores the idea of paying tribute to the spirit of the muse in the ancient sense. Who or what is your muse?
I have been exposed to fine literature, films and paintings since I was a child. My mother would take care of these matters, it would always be a very important part of our life, so I was already attending operas and theatre at a young age. Even our home in Poland is filled up with books, we had to transfer the less precious ones to the basement because they literally filled up every inch of free space.
Looking towards the future, what projects do you have lined up? I am having an exhibition in London around April courtesy of Supperclub London. I will probably exhibit in Greece soon too, as I am doing a collaboration with an amazing artist, Pascale Pollier. I am also shooting for my monographic album which will be launched during PARIS PHOTO in November, where I will be showing my works in a group exhibition, but I will unveil more details about that within the next few months…
A multi-media exploration of the interaction between fashion, movement and appropriation, the House Of Yvonne exhibition showcases the work of Colin Self, Kenneth Anger, Sophie Macpherson and Clare Stephenson.
Self’s colourful pencil drawings of female subjects from the 1960s, addressing the zeitgeist of passivity and fear during the Cold War, as well as the escapism that entertainment offered during this period, will be on display.
Whilst Self’s work is a thoughtful reflection on the isolation of the individual, consumer culture and politics, the screening of American film artist Kenneth Anger’s 6-minute short film Puce Moment offers an exploration of Hollywood hedonism.
Glasgow-based creative Sophie Macpherson, known for her work on the formation of self-identity through communication, presents an archive of Barbara Hulanicki for Biba dresses for the exhibit, while sculpture artist Clare Stephenson has created digital cut-and-paste martini glass designs as a representation of decadence.
Showing in the Victorian-style interior of temporary arts space The Hidden Noise, House Of Yvonne is an interesting and eye-opening fusion of art and fashion.
House Of Yvonne is on display at The Hidden Noise, 1/1, 24 Hayburn Crescent, Glasgow, G11 5AY, until February 11. thehiddennoise.info
Hussein Chalayan is one of those elusive designers who manages to create things that, season after season, leave one flabbergasted. A wooden coffee table/skirt hybrid, LED-lit sheaths and self-transforming robot dresses are just a few examples of ideas that have blossomed in the Cyprus-native’s mind.
Now in its final days of display, Hussein Chalayan: Fashion Narratives at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris pays tribute to a true fashion visionary. Comprised of past collections, installations, fashion shows, projections and research, the exhibition is as multi-layered as the CSM graduate’s work itself.
Even having to book an overpriced, last-minute ticket on the Eurostar seems like a small price to pay when you have the opportunity to spend an afternoon inside the mind of Chalayan the Great.
Hussein Chalayan: Fashion Narratives is at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 107 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris until December 11th.