29 Mar 2010

We Felt the Art with ArtFeelers

First of all, apologies are due to artfeelers crew! (We really did not mean to make that rhyme).
So we finally got round to going on an Art Feelers tour with the lovely Miss Flannery and it has taken us forever to write up about it but here it is and we promise to do you justice!

ArtFeelers was set up by Claire Flannery, a former animations student, come history of art whizz, and finally cultural & creative industries post grad. The woman really is a Jack of all trades and has a real flair for discovering new art and art venues. Flannery is so enthusiastic about this she wishes to spread the knowledge. Several months back she set up ArtFeelers with the aim, as her website states, to remove the barriers that supposedly separate non-creative people from creative people. Its about everyone joining in, and everyone learning to appreciate the art. Needless to say we were more than keen to check what this was all about.  

On Sunday last week we decided to become ArtFeelers and met up with our tour guide Claire at The Museum of Childhood. There we  took a quick peak at Martino Gamper's chair arch in the gorgeous Victorian interior of the Museum of Childhood which I thoroughly recommend that you go to and give itan hour or so - the dolls' houses are really cool and there are loadsof interesting things for both gender sterotypes.

This was followed by an introduction to our next stop, Vyner Street. Claire explained the significance of Vyner Street as the heart of theeast end contemporary art scene and with anything between 50 - 100galleries at any one time, the most per capita than anywhere else inthe world and 10,000 artists according to possibly Olympic plansurveys, it is argubly the most important 'art scene' in Europe. Youcan imagine that Vyner street is very important indeed!

Our first stop was Wilkinson Gallery to see the last day of A K Dolven's 'When the sky became my ground'. Ella spoke to us about the work and the practicalities of selling work like film and video art.

Leaving Wilkinson Gallery we popped in to Vegas Gallery next to see Peeping Tom curated by Keith Coventry which included work by Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk, Jamie Shovlin, Oliver Clegg and Sebastian Horsley (the famous Soho Dandy painted ever so accurately by portrait painter Ian Bruce).

Next was Kate MacGarry, one of the most important art dealers in London. Last was Madder 139, which like Vegas had just recently relocated to Vyner Street. Fran Young's Song of Farewell is a wonderful video (you can watch it again
here if you like although it suffers for not being projected large) that for me is not just about the beauty of the scene but about the beauty that can be found quite unexpectedly. It will defintely remind you of Hitchcocks Birds, a brilliant film.

Lastly Claire spoke to us about Regents studios which houses a number of galleries and also Yinka Shonibare's Guest Projects space beside it and his soon to be Fourth Plinth project - which will look like this - and will be unveiled on 24th of May, I can't wait.

Fox&Squirrel really recommend you go on an ArtFeelers tour. With no cliche intended, there is so much waiting to be discovered. Oh and spread that artfeeling loving to all your friends, family and colleagues!

Image 1: Claire Flannery; Image 2: Vyner Street; Image 3: Interiors of Wilkinson Gallery; Image 4: Video by A.K Dolven; Image 5: Vegas Gallery- ArtFeeler feeling the art!
Images for this blog post were provided by  Kat Brudnicka, for more please click here

Ways Of Eating at Apotheke 2-4 April

Ways of Eating: A performance; an installation; a consumption.

Ways of Eating takes the form of a dinner party carried out as a durational and disintegrating installation over five hours on three consecutive nights.

The performance is a theoretical and literal consumption of John Berger's seminal text, , Ways of Seeing, exploring how and why we consume art and images and what factors dictate and manipulate the form of that consumption.

Each evening eight new performers are invited to eat at the gallery where, transformed into the exhibit, their own roles, rituals and assumptions are scrutinized by the transient audience passing by.

Each of the six courses served is a physical essay on one or more aspects of the Berger text, examining how the meaning of art and images in general is manipulated through the context in which we encounter them, the male and female gaze as played out in the form of the traditional nude and how advertising, art (and perhaps pornography) address the viewer.

Expanding from the text the form and presentation of the performance aspires to draw from and dissect Performance Theory (Peggy Phelan), Scopophilia & feminist criticism (Laura Mulvey, Grizelda Pollock, Tessa de Lauretis etc), Fluxus and Relational Aesthetics (Bourriaud).

Charlotte Jarvis has exhibited at Madder139 and The Atlantis Gallery in London, The Big Shed in Suffolk and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and as part of the Edinburgh International Festival. Charlotte is part of the ShowFlat collective and is now studying an MA at the Royal College of Art. She will be exhibiting and performing at The Barbican, The BAC, Bristol Old Vic, Edinburgh Forest Fringe and for the 5 x 15 lecture series across London this year.

James Read is a journalist, photographer and visual technician with a fierce sense of gluttony and a desire to provoke overconsumption in others.

Charlotte and James met after a casual sexual encounter and have since been collaborating through the medium of their ArtForEating projects (www.artforeating.com).

Ways Of Eating is co-commissioned by APOTHEKE and Penelope  Sacorafos.

To have a sneaky peak at the trailor for 'Ways of Eating' directed by James Read click here.

25 Mar 2010

Sunci's Diary Post No1

For all you Fox&Squirrel readers I hope you have taken notice of my residency exchange programme in Croatia. If not please have a look here and apply apply apply!

Ever since I first posted the residency I decided to keep a diary to update readers and let them into my world, my mind and my lovely studio. So here is the first diary entry. I hope you find it inspiring and that you look forward to reading more of it.

As the keen travellers that we all are the first steps we take to move back to our native country and resettle are always difficult; We find it hard to depart from the enchanting lands we saw and explored. I lived and worked in London where I bounced off the city's vibrant art scene; upon graduation I moved to Rome for a few years, a period in my life that had a massive impact on my work. Moving back to Croatia was a decision I took whole heartedly, and despite being apart from like minded colleagues: artists, curators, writters and architects that are all willing to help realise one another's work TODAY I intend not to pine over my days abroad. It is my mission to utilise all the life lessons, influences and inspiration I had and inject them into my home country's surroundings in such a way that will keep me sane, benefit Croatia, and artists who are wishing to explore this region and be enchanted by the new.

Since moving back to Croatia I have noticed that the art scene somewhat lacks the knowledge and liberty in its way of thought, art works produced, and concepts, it even lacks the playfulness of the materials used that I became so accustomed to abroad. There are reasons for this.

17 Mar 2010

Ida Hajdari Introduces Adrian Paçi

The title of the first episode of the 2009 edition of the Tirana Biennale was The Symbolic Efficiency of the Frame. Helpfully, the curators of this first episode provided a definition:

A “frame” is something we use in order to define, discern or cut off in order to highlight…

Adrian Paçi’s film installation Per Speculum is so well-suited to the theme of this first episode of the biennale that one could be forgiven for thinking that it was created especially for it. As a matter of fact, Per Speculum was commissioned and created in 2006 and has since been exhibited widely. The video accompanying this text is from the 2009 Lyon Biennale.

Per Speculum investigates the significance of the frame/framing in film. To be more precise, this work problematizes the relationship between film and reality by demonstrating that what we see through the lens of a camera depends on the camera’s position in relation to that which it is filming. This is achieved in two ways.

During the first part of the film, there is the revelation that what initially appears to be an objective, solid reality, when the image of the children fills up the entire screen, is in fact nothing more than a reflection, something ephemeral and fragile that a little boy with a slingshot can shatter at any moment, as he indeed does.

In the second part of the film, this is achieved by exploiting the dynamic that exists between presence, absence and light in film in a way that is both very subtle and very powerful. During this second part, Paçi juxtaposes a number of close-ups of children seated on the branches of a tree holding what are presumably pieces of the mirror that was shattered in the first part of the film, with a long-shot of the tree. During the close-ups, when the camera should be able to reveal us the children, the reflected light actually swallows them up, rendering them invisible. As we move from close-up to long-shot, however, the effect of the reflected light is to make the children’s presence known, a presence that we would otherwise not know about since the camera is simply too far away from the children for us to be able to see them.

What has all this got to do with the frame? Simply put, Paçi’s work demonstrates that film, which for a long time was believed to be the medium best suited to documenting reality, operates primarily by what it withdraws from the visible, or, put in other words, by what it does not show. Paçi is hardly the first artist who has tackled this issue in his work. Harun Farocki’s Videograms of a Revolution comes to mind. What makes Paçi’s work so refreshing, however, is that he tackles this issue on a formal level. The mirror in Paçi’s work, which represents both a faithful image (the children are indeed there, in front of the mirror) and an illusory one (what we see on the screen is an image of an image), is a great metaphor for the screen itself and the (refelcted) light emanating from the sun, which hides the children when it should reveal them and reveals them when it should not be able to, is a metaphor for the light of the projector.

If you want to see a clip from Adrian Paçi's Per Speculum please follow this link.

Adrian Paçi has been shortlisted for the 4th Artes Mundi Prize. The work of Adrian Paçi and the other seven contenders for the prize is now on display at National Museum Cardiff. Do check it out if you can!

For more information about the Artes Mundi Prize please follow.

10 Mar 2010

Want to star in a music video?

To all those out there who have at one point in their lives dreamed about starring in a music video this is your chance! Fox&Squirrel are spreading the call out for extras to come and feature in the 'Popes of Chilitown's' new video. It is being shot this weekend in West London, in Shepherds Bush's number one live music venue, GINGLIK.

The song is called 'I See Dub People' have a listen to it here.

Sentinel Productions are looking for extras who would like to come and be part of the 'gig' crowd during the sequence that is being shot Saturday March 13th 12pm to 6pm at the latest. It will be a fun afternoon and is an important section of the two-day shoot.

Sentinel Productions have requested we inform you that it is important you bring monochrome clothing with you, everything needs to be in shades of blacks, grey and whites. We do not mean everything in the same colour, just no colour!

If you would like to come down and join that would be great!

Drop Fox&Squirrel an email at penelope@foxandsquirrel.com for further information and to confirm your attendance!

Fox&Squirrel will be there- we hope you will be to!

To find out more about Sentinel Productions click here.

To listen to 'Popes of Chilitown's' click here.

4 Mar 2010

Interview with Aura Satz by Ida Hajdari

Aura Satz is talking to our correspondent Ida Hadjari about what inspires her work, her fascination with technology and her upcoming Sound Seam show that premieres this coming Friday at the Great North Museum in Newcastle.

Ida Hajdari. You seem to be very interested in the uncanny aspect of technologies of mechanical reproduction, especially of the mechanical reproduction of sound. In your recent work, this technological uncanny has been addressed and even invoked in a number of ways, such as through the juxtaposition of musical automata and floating musical instruments played by invisible hands in Automamusic. My question is two-fold: firstly, why this fascination? And, secondly, is this an interest that you can trace back to the early days of your artistic production, or even to your days as an art student?

Aura Satz. Yes, I have always been interested in the inanimate appearing animate, and ways in which objects appear imbued with presence. I like the idea of mediated agency, of a porosity between states of animation and de-animation. In my early days as a student I did a lot of research into icons and relics, which led to an interest in articulated puppets, ventriloquism and prosthesis. That led to a fascination with automata, and more recently, mechanical music. One of the things that I was exploring was the displacement of authorship, the way in which movement and agency trickle down into and through the object. In the puppet the connection remains attached, a dilution of energy, whereas in the automata it is wound up, folded into the machine, and then a button is pressed and it unfolds, moving autonomously of its own accord. I love the idea of secondary bodies we can project into, or be inhabited by, almost like some kind of possession. For the same reason I am intrigued by costumes and bodily sculptures that alter anatomy, forming an alienating second skin of sorts (much like certain acting techniques), connected yet separate to its wearer. Spiritualism provided a rich source of inspiration in the way it manifested presence as inanimate objects moving by themselves, in its proliferation of disembodied voices, its diffusion of authorship, and its use of a rhetoric of proof which relied so heavily on material evidence. This is when I started to focus more on sound, not just movement, as an indication of presence. I wanted to explore the way sound looks. I was trying to inhabit the tension of sounds that are pried apart from their source through reproduction, but somehow remain latched onto a material body of sorts. After honing in on mechanical music in Automamusic, I started to think about ways of scoring, notating, writing and reading music. Inevitably I felt drawn to make a piece about the phonograph, which opened up to the idea of sound writing, parallel to automatic writing. That has formed the basis for Sound Seam.

I.H. What I find particularly interesting is your 'preference', so to speak, for 'outdated' technologies of mechanical reproduction, i.e. the gramophone. I understand your predilection for these early technologies of mechanical reproduction in terms of their being representative of a time in history when 'our' senses had yet to adjust to them, thus allowing the uncanny elements in them to come to the forefront, elements to which we are putatively immune today given the abundance of such technologies. However, for your latest project, Sound Seam, you have used both very old technological equipment as well as very modern technological equipment. Obviously, I have yet to see the work, but there does seem to be a tension between these technologies. My question is then, how does this tension play out in terms of the element of the uncanny?