Saturday, August 26, 2006

Cai Guo-Qiang: Head On until 15.10. Guggeheim, Berlin

Throughout his career the Chinese-born, New York-based artist Cai Guo-Qiang has drawn on a wide variety of symbols, narratives, traditions, and materials such as feng shui, Chinese medicine, and gunpowder. For the Deutsche Guggenheim’s Cai Guo-Qiang: Head On, the artist’s first solo exhibition in Germany, he develops a concept that reflects the diversity of his oeuvre and establishes a unique link to the city of Berlin. Head On is a gigantic installation in which 99 stuffed wolves rush headlong toward the gallery’s eastern wall. Although the leader crashes into the wall, the pack still races after him. In a special performance prior to the show’s opening, Guo-Qiang will create a related nine-by-four-meter drawing using various sorts of gunpowder. This image, titled Vortex, shows thousands of wolves rushing across the paper, creating a swirling organic form that exudes energy, strength, and fierce resolution. These two pieces are supplemented by the video Illusion II, which documents a spectacular firework performance to be produced prior to the opening. Cai Guo-Qiang: Head On is part of an ongoing series of exhibitions drawn from the corporate collection of Deutsche Bank. In 2008, Deutsche Bank will be the main sponsor of the Cai Guo-Qiang retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Yael Bartana until 03.09. KUNSTVEREIN IN HAMBURG

Israeli artist Yael Bartana's films are observant and personal, and combine a detached documentary style with a barely perceptible subjective atmosphere. Bartana, who lives in Tel Aviv and Amsterdam, looks at the familiar with a gaze sharpened by distance; she is an involved outsider who shows the people of her homeland during typical celebrations and rituals. "Ceremonies organized by the state and military celebrations define this tradition and shape national identity," she has said. "I am interested in the dynamic of a state that dictates a certain viewpoint and of the individuals that accept this viewpoint." The video Trembling Time, 2001, for example, was filmed in Tel Aviv on the day that commemorates those who died in the Israeli wars; a moment of silence unexpectedly interrupts the flow of cars along a highway. In When Adar Enters, 2003, we see children and adults wearing fancy dress in the Orthodox districts of Jerusalem during the traditional Purim festivities. Low Relief II, 2004, depicts a joint demonstration of Israeli and Palestinian youth, accompanied by soldiers. It is the film's apparent casualness that captures the underlying aggression. Bartana shows individual identity subsumed by ritual action, and in doing so makes the viewer aware of how social power structures exercise a control as omnipresent as a shadow. Jens Asthoff

Sunday, August 13, 2006

New Acquisitions 2006 until 03.09 MCA Sydney

Collecting is a vital part of the MCA’s support for Australian artists, as crucial as exhibiting in terms of promoting the importance of Australian art for future generations. The MCA is the only museum in Australia dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art. It holds a significant collection of over 5,000 Australian and international art brought together since the late 1960s. This collection forms one of the core functions of the Museum’s activities, playing a major role in the MCA’s innovative exhibitions, touring projects, education and outreach programs, and high-quality publications. Following on from the acclaimed 2005 exhibition MCA Collection: New Acquisitions in Context, this exhibition will showcase the MCA’s recent acquisitions.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Age of Metamorphosis: European Art from the Pecci Collection MOCA Shanghai

The Age of Metamorphosis: European Art Highlights from the Centro Pecci Collection
From July 22nd to August 29th of 2006, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai will collaborate with the Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato (Italy) in hosting the highly anticipated exhibition "The Age of Metamorphosis: European Art Highlights from the Pecci Collection". Curated by the Permanent Collection Department of the Centro Pecci, the exhibition reflects the contemporary artistic expression not only of Italy, but of all Europe since the 1980s.

The history of the Permanent Collection of the Centro Pecci runs parallel to the program of the temporary exhibitions that have taken place during the 17 years since its foundation. The selection breathed the character of an age, an incarnation of European art in recent twenty years.

The theme behind the exhibition project is focused on the significant testimony of contemporary art in Europe. The works chosen come from the various movements in contemporary European art held by the artists from Italy, Russia, Austria, France, England, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands. The exhibition project probes their relationships and various expressions, giving a vision of European art since the 1980s.

The artworks chosen for "The Age of Metamorphosis" manifest themselves through the following themes: reflections on the body in the area of identity and otherness, the idea of multiplicity, the problem of representation in art, the relationship between materiality and spirituality, the narrative form in art and myth as poetic element. Some of these themes are tied to the discussions that arose around the values of Modernism, negating the idea of linear progress, and they constitute a point of arrival after the long voyage begun at the time of the historical Avant Garde at the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

By hosting this exhibition, MoCA Shanghai intends to bring the European contemporary art to the Chinese audience. The exhibition will also serve as a great opportunity to promote the contemporary art scene within the country.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Cosmic Wonder until 05.11 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,San Francisco (USA)

The infinite, the transcendental, the unseen—these are the artistic quests of Cosmic Wonder, an exhibition of metaphysical art that gives colorful expression to the mystical yearnings of a new generation. Guest curator Betty Nguyen identified key young artists who explore trance, “alternative” realities and the psyche, who tap into altered states of consciousness through exaggerated color, mind-altering patterns, morphing forms, and visions of the infinite. Their work is inspired by nature, by the cosmos, by the vastness of the Western landscape, and yet is rooted in an urban sensibility. Cosmic Wonder presents a range of young artists—including Jim Drain and Ara Peterson, alongside their avante-garde, 60s and 70s predecessors such as James Turrell. Call it New Tribalism with edge, or the 1960s refracted through a 21st century consciousness, Cosmic Wonder revels in the wondrous.Artist list:Doug Aitken Jose Alvarez Reed Anderson Hanna Fushihara Aron and David Aron Hisham Bharoocha Mark Borthwick Anna Sew Hoy Sam Gordon Yayoi Kusama Terence Koh Yukinori Maeda Richard Misrach Takeshi Murata Paperrad Mike Pare Erik Parker Ara Peterson and Jim Drain Arik Roper James Turrell Banks Violette Debora Warner