Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Jo Coupe: "Tatton Park Biennial 2008" UK

Image: Jo Coupe 'Rarefied (Phalaenopsis lobii)', 18ct rose, 15 x 10cm

Tatton Park Biennial 3 May - 28 September 2008

Tatton Park Biennial is a new contemporary art event for the UK supported by The Northwest Regional Development Agency; Arts Council England, Northwest; Cheshire County Council; Cheshire's Year of Gardens 08; The National Trust; Manchester Airport; The Tatton Park Trust and Tatton Park. The Biennial will be staged from May to September 2008 and presented in association with Cheshire’s Year of Gardens 08.

Curated by Danielle Arnaud and Jordan Kaplan from commissioning group Parabola, the 2008 Biennial theme is Botanical Collections and Collectors. Over 30 artists, performers and writers will develop new work in response to Tatton Park's gardens, investigating the legacy of collections, collectors and the designed landscape amid current issues of climate change and globalisation.

Jo Coupe’s work for the Biennial focuses on the value and collectability of objects; their value as things bought and sold, traded, catalogued and displayed. She has worked with Tatton’s Orchid collection, which, like any botanic assemblage is prone to decay. It is also of extreme monetary worth, with some specimens fetching thousands of pounds when made available for sale. It is this sense of the ‘worth’ and ‘value’ of Tatton’s collections that has caught the artist’s imagination and has spurred her on to produce a solid gold cast of a rare orchid. Its placement, in the Orchid House, is deliberately problematic – how can the work of art be viewed when the glasshouse that contains it is not opened to the public most of the time? How can these specimens afforded titles of exceptionality be anything but rarefied?
Corruptibility is part and parcel of a valuable collection: it suggests both issues of decay and, more pertinent to this work, perhaps, issues of conscience. The Orchid House is normally only open to the public when staffed because of the precocity and delicate nature of its contents and the need to interpret these unusual plants. Coupe’s cast challenges this perception, tossed to one side in the gravel alongside its living relatives, it invites theft, but, as it is contained within a ‘safe’ environment (literally and figuratively – the living orchid has been cut, killed and preserved as a gold-encrusted corpse), little harm can come to it.
Part of the joy of the work is the knowledge that many of the plants that sit near to it are much more ‘valuable’ than the object itself. The artist asks which one is most precious? When all known signifiers of status are removed, can we see the inherent value the connoisseur dedicates a lifetime to perfecting their understanding of?

contact Tatton Park
Tatton Park, Knutsford,
Cheshire, WA16 6QN
Tel +44 (0) 1625 374400

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Matt Stokes: "I desired what you were, I need what you are" MAZE Gallery, Turin, Italy

I desired what you were, I need what you are
Curated by Ilaria Gianni

April 23 – June 15, 2008
Turin , Maze Gallery
Opening: Wednesday April 23 April, from 6 pm

Marcelline Delbecq, Patrizio Di Massimo, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Cyprien Galliard, Ryan Gander, Mario Garcia Torres, Olivia Plender, Jamie Shovlin, Matt Stokes

I desired what you were, I need what you are, is a group show that reflects upon the re-elaboration and interpretation of residual cultural elements and symbols that have remained in front line as issues or as myths in dominant cultural practices such as cinema, art and music and which have been used, interpreted and desired by a generation that has lived a lack of ideologies, but which has had the scent of them through a second hand experience.

I desired what you were, I need what you are, aims to concretize the discourse that many times has been superficially approached, concerning how the generation born between the 1970s and 1980s has grown up deprived of the possibility of believing in a present certainty, disillusioned after having experienced the social, political and cultural failures of the time they lived. Their attempt of revolutionary élan has been suffocated by the massive productivism of an era in which everything is englobed by the dominant systems and transformed in industrial mechanisms. I desired what you were, I need what you are focuses on the 'attitudes' of a time that gives no possibility of utopian thinking, no space to be heroic.

I desired what you were, I need what you are reflects upon the loss and lack of absolute ideals in the present age, through the use of past cultural products and ideologies, adopted, appropriated and inherited by generations. It is the gap between what 'has been' and 'what is', that I desired what you were, I need what you are positions itself.

It is not the myth of art, cinema and music in their essence that the show aims to explore but a particular legend that has been legitimized by its presence in these macro cultural products that create our system, and that has resisted through time, taking the form of the 'residual'. This last concept is intended as sociologist Raymond Williams explains: as something that "has been effectively formed in the past, but is still active in the cultural process, not only and often not at all, as an element of the past, but as an effective element of the present". The notion of myth seems to explain what the residual has become.

Patrizio Di Massimo, Cyprien Galliard, Mario Garcia Torres, rethink artistic practices, especially those from the 1960s and 1970s, considered, by many artists, the last cultural art movement that brought idea, criticality, provocation, experimentation and courage in front line, a period seen as mythical, whose figures have become sacred monsters. Residual elements are also evident in the music system, surviving as living legends. Bands, movements and events from the past become spaces in which memory gathers and emotions conceal. Certain events, figures and experimentations, so far away but still so close, continue to play a key role in society as underlined by Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Jamie Shovlin and Matt Stokes. The element of illusion created by the overlapping of fact and fiction, which constitutes cinema's essence and haunts our approach towards its reading, has also been analysed in its stratifications through time. The tangible and profound myth of cinema isn't in its figures or in its films but primarily in its revolutionary capacity of 'illusion'. The works by Marcelline Delbecq, Ryan Gander, Jamie Shovlin, Olivia Plender are looking at this substantial moment.

I desired what you were, I need what you are, shows how art is attempting to produce a device that serves secret desires: a way of making mythologies, issues and legends come true, an attempt to get closer to the desire for the authentic. The show positions itself precisely where the revolution of our time seems to lay: fulfilling a dream of authenticity where the 'residual' becomes 'emergent'.

A catalogue in limited edition, expanding on the ideas raised in I desired what you were, I need what you are, edited by Ilaria Gianni with contributions by Stephanie Bertrand, Cecilia Canziani, Isobel Harbison, Luca Lo Pinto, Filipa Ramos, Francesco Pedraglio, Cally Spooner, Caterina Riva and Ilaria Gianni, will be presented the day of the opening.
I desired what you were, I need what you are, is a project elaborated in the framework of Goldsmiths College University of London , MFA Curating, 2006-2007.

The show is opened until June 15; Tuesday to Saturday, from 3.30 pm to 7.30 pm, except for holidays

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Eric Bainbridge: "OPEN SPACE" Art Cologne 2008

Eric Bainbridge
Das Rheingold (No. 2), 2008
Melamine, Glasses
122 x 120 x 20 cms
Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery


PARTICIPANTS international galleries with a current program of contemporary art are invited to present a singular artistic position and/or work of art. Participants will be expressly invited and selected by the independent committee for OPEN SPACE. All participants and presentations will be part of an unique, spacious setting to overcome common booth separations towards a joint experience.

COMMITTEE Tobias Berger (Hong Kong), Jörn Bötnagel (Köln), Sorcha Dallas (Glasgow), Daniel Hug (Los Angeles), Stefan Kalmár (München), Beatrix Ruf (Zürich), Gabriele Senn (Wien)

OPEN SPACE 2008 galleries A–Z
Adamski, Aachen / Berlin • BQ, Cologne • Lena Brüning, Berlin • Sandra Bürgel, Berlin • Charim Galerie, Vienna • Galerie Crone, Berlin • croy nielsen, Berlin • Figge von Rosen, Cologne • Carl Freedman Gallery, London • Vera Gliem, Cologne • Hammelehle und Ahrens, Cologne • The Happy Lion, Los Angeles • Hauser & Wirth, Zurich • Kai Hölzner, Berlin • Hohenlohe, Vienna • Daniel Hug, Los Angeles • Johnen + Schöttle, Cologne • Iris Kadel, Karlsruhe • Galerie Kamm, Berlin • Ben Kaufmann, Berlin • Anton Kern, New York • Dennis Kimmerich, Dusseldorf • Johann König, Berlin • Kontainer Gallery, Los Angeles • David Kordansky, Los Angeles • Krobath Wimmer, Vienna • Layr Wüstenhagen, Vienna • Stella Lohaus, Antwerp • Linn Lühn, Cologne • Madonna Fust Galerie, Bern • Mirko Mayer, Cologne • Mezzanin, Vienna • Francesca Minini, Milano • Mot International Ltd., London • Christian Nagel, Cologne / Berlin • Neue Alte Brücke, Frankfurt • Nosbaum & Reding, Luxembourg • Maureen Paley, London • Thomas Rehbein, Cologne • Rental Gallery, New York shows: Andrew Kreps, New York / Sister Gallery, Los Angeles / Ritter Zamet, London • Jette Rudolph, Berlin • Schmidt & Maczollek, Cologne • Schnittraum / Lutz Becker, Cologne • Gabriele Senn, Vienna • September, Berlin • Solway Jones, Los Angeles • Vartai, Vilnius • Michael Wiesehöfer, Cologne • Eva Winkeler, Frankfurt • Workplace Gallery, Gateshead

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Rachel Lancaster & Laura Lancaster: "Harker Herald" Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Rachel and Laura Lancaster

Billboard Commission during APRIL 2008

Waygood Gallery & Studios
548-560 Shields Road, Byker,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 2UT

This image is a still from a found cine film, and is the first collaborative work by Rachel and Laura Lancaster.

Both artists are primarily painters but have used this project to explore their mutual interest in re-contextualisation of found imagery and the selection/editing processes involved in their practice.

“Through the selection process and the increase in scale to billboard size, this potentially overlooked mundane image becomes painterly and mysterious and highlights a crossover of Rachel's interest in the tension created by ambiguity, and Laura's interest in the re-use of strangers discarded memories.”

Rachel and Laura Lancaster

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Marcus Coates, Jo Coupe, and Laura Lancaster: "101 Tokyo Art Fair", Tokyo, Japan

For 101 Tokyo Workplace Gallery presents works by Marcus Coates, Jo Coupe, and Laura Lancaster that examine themes of spirituality, death, and nostalgia.

Marcus Coates HD Video 'Kamikuchi' (‘mouth of god’) 2006 was staged in Ikebukero a district of Tokyo as part of a larger festival produced by Ikebukero Arts Festival in 2006. Coates working both as shaman and artist invited the festival organisers to come up with a question that was important for this district of Tokyo (the question came from a meeting between the festival organisers and the regional city council) The question, put ‘live’ to Coates without prior knowledge, is "What can we do about illegal cycle parking?". Dressed as Marilyn Monroe in kitten heels and a necklace of money Coates takes his question through a shamanic ritual (backed by bird song and Drum & Bass!) where he communicates with animal spirits who he hopes will provide an interpretation.

Jo Coupe examines degenerative transformations and the fantastical, often using pseudo-scientific experiments and materials to investigate mystery and rationalism.
Heavily influenced by still life painting, transformation and mortality epitomized in 'Enough Rope' a sculptural piece which developed from an exploration into the processes of decay. A pile of decaying fruit, studded with electrodes, is generating its own electricity. This arrangement is placed on an ornate round table. The still life is wired to a clutch of buzzing cutting devices that over time, cut into the leg of the table supporting the fruit.

Embedded firmly within a tradition of figurative painting and portraiture Laura Lancaster’s subject matter is gleaned from abandoned memories to form an archive of the intimate and the banal. Through the act of painting and drawing Lancaster elevates those commonplace and overlooked moments of humanity that come to pass. Though intimate, sentimentalism is circumvented by the distancing effect of the mechanised formality of her process. The selected photograph is copied in one sitting in oil or acrylic to canvas or board of appropriate size, then catalogued and dated by day, month, and year, and indexed numerically within that day. All works are Untitled. Her choice of images can be unnerving: a wedding photo with the groom’s face cropped off by amateur camera work, under exposed interiors, a blurred Donald Duck, a faded formal group photograph, or the thousand yard stare of the young and the elderly. En masse Lancaster’s works form ambiguous and dislocated narratives of loss and melancholy. All becomes generic under Lancaster’s touch, her figures maintaining a slippery anonymity owing as much to the tactics of minimalism as to traditional technique.