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Photograph

Word, image, and collective memory at Tomoko Yoneda’s Beyond Memory

[Our U.K. correspondent, Katie, visits a show demonstrating how knowledge of history can change our perception of an image or imbue it with meaning. — the artblog editors] Gazing at a photograph in Tomoko Yoneda’s Beyond Memory at the Grimaldi Gavin in Piccadilly, what I see is a beautifully composed, though desolate, image. A rough dirt path reaches up through sharply-defined undergrowth and bare black twigs to a singing sapphire sky, a sparse scene with a delicious stillness to it. But after a glance at the caption, the scene is irrevocably changed; the short note tells me that what I ... More » »

Video still

A postcard from Dublin

[Susan reports on her travels through several Irish museums, discovering the depth and variety of Irish contemporary art and the fascinating preservation of the country’s natural history. — the artblog editors] Dear Philadelphia: great news! This spring it was my good luck to have an extended stay in Ireland–in beautiful and rustic Ballycastle, County Mayo–thanks to a generous fellowship from the Ballinglen Arts Foundation. I made a short visit to Dublin after one week and, later, when my residency was over, I decided to stay on in Ireland (eking out my limited studio wardrobe) to get to know the contemporary ... More » »

Cup on photographs

Facing feminist art in Montreal and beyond

[Noreen comes face-to-face with feminist art’s progress, or potential progress, at an installation in Canada. — the artblog editors] This month, I paid my first visit to Montreal, the largest city in the Canadian province of Quebec. The city is home to approximately 1.6 million people, mostly French-speaking, yet many of its residents come from Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, China, and other countries. I decided to pay a visit to a gallery in East Montreal, which hosted Face, an installation by Korean-born artist Insoon Ha. In light of the city’s cultural patchwork, both the installation–deeply embedded in racial and feminist ... More » »

Installation view

Boomerang — Pascale Marthine Tayou’s vibrant, difficult world at Serpentine Sackler Gallery

[Our U.K. correspondent Katie brings us a review of a thought-provoking show that at first glance might seem cheerful and colorful, but which addresses complicated topics without casting final judgment. — the artblog editors] Pascale Martine Tayou’s first solo London show, Boomerang, is utterly compelling: a global-minded and generous show that takes on some of humanity’s biggest difficulties, both among ourselves, and in our relationship with nature and the environment. The self-taught artist has filled Serpentine Sackler Gallery to its brim with strong colours, visceral textures, and broad-visioned comments on our international community. Born in Cameroon, Tayou works between Yaoundé, Cameroon ... More » »

Store front

The language of evil — The Chapman Brothers at Jerwood Gallery, Hastings

[Our U.K. correspondent Katie reviews a show by a pair of artists determined to shock, who are well aware of their own potential place in art history. — the artblog editors] Jake and Dinos Chapman have long been known as the bad boys of the Young British Artists, catapulted to notoriety by their decision to buy a set of very valuable mints of works by Goya, indisputable progenitor to their bodyshock horror-filled works, and paint their own horrifying additions onto the scenes. Now, they have brought their disturbing work to a sleepy seaside town in Sussex, the place where they ... More » »

Building

Alex Chinneck’s A Pound of Flesh for 50p –- Planning permission for the unexpected

[Our U.K. correspondent Katie keeps an eye out for Alex Chinneck’s latest architectural art pieces, and reviews one piece that is taking longer than expected to resolve itself. — the artblog editors] If you notice a building doing something strange in the streets of the U.K., there’s a good chance that Alex Chinneck is somehow involved. Twitter is full of exclamations from Londoners who had walked past “Under the Weather But Over the Moon” a thousand times before noticing that the building was upside-down; his other architectural creations slide off the face of houses and hover in mid-air. These large-scale ... More » »

Figurines

Neon city built on a backbone of tradition — Seoul, South Korea

[Our U.K. correspondent Katie takes her first trip to South Korea, and gives her account of the country’s lively, welcoming culture. — the artblog editors] Almost a fifth of the population of the vibrant and fascinating country of South Korea lives in its technologically advanced capital, Seoul, whose rich and complex culture has been formed by a long and sometimes troubled history. I was lucky enough to spend a few weeks in this surprising city, and though I learnt a lot about enthusiastic Korean hospitality and the many facets of its winding backstreets, I have the feeling that I barely ... More » »

Artwork installation

Strange worlds collide in Matrix: Mathematics_Heart of Gold and the Abyss

[Our U.K. correspondent, Katie, takes a trip to Seoul and reviews a show combining calculation and contemporary art. — the artblog editors] To most people, mathematics is something of an unknown world. At worst, it can be intimidating; at best, filled with secrets that can’t be accessed without a significant amount of education. Conceived as a look at the artist’s take on mathematics, Matrix: Mathematics_Heart of Gold and the Abyss at Seoul’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art was timed to coincide with the International Congress of Mathematicians, taking place in the same city. The “Heart of Gold,” explains ... More » »

Packaged wigs for sale

Visual culture on the streets of Japan

[Evan travels to Japan, and takes us with him, discussing culture shock, overwhelming visuals, and what it’s like to be a “gaijin“. — the artblog editors] Japan, like any other country, has its share of contradictions embedded in the fabric of everyday life–the clash of old and new in its architecture, or the impulse toward both secrecy and openness in its people, for example. And as a foreigner (gaijin) visiting my sister and traveling from Tokyo to Miyazaki City, I experienced those contradictions firsthand, feeling, by turns, both incredibly welcomed and politely excluded by the people I encountered. Despite this, ... More » »

The Treachery of Sanctuary, Chris Milk.

Shaping the Digital Revolution at the Barbican, London

[Our London correspondent, Katie, takes us through a group exhibition focusing on the progression of digital art since its inception; she also offers thoughts about where the medium will take us next. – the artblog editors] Any exciting new trend or tendency in the art world will find itself, sooner or later, the subject of a large, high-profile show hoping to act as the herald for the next big thing. Such shows often become the focal point around which lively debates and controversies play themselves out. The Digital Revolution show at the Barbican Centre, London, is just such an exhibition. ... More » »

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