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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 » »

Giulio Paolini ESSERE O NO ESSERE Macro - Roma a cura di Bartolo

Slipping out of the picture –- Giulio Paolini’s To Be Or Not To Be at the Whitechapel Gallery, London

[Katie delves into the magic and mathematical inspiration behind Giulio Paolini’s work, which tackles the role of the viewer, tongue firmly in cheek. — the artblog editors] Giulio Paolini’s retrospective show at the Whitechapel Gallery reads like a playful pursuit in a hall of mirrors; the viewer may hunt the artist all they like, but all they will find is their own gaze, reflected and deflected through a teasingly self-referential maze. Paolini’s work is a witty exploration of the encounter between the work and the viewer, his own role constantly questioned, upturned and visibly sliced out of the picture. Capturing ... More » »

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The Ukrainians at the DAAD Gallery, Berlin

[Andrea reports from Berlin on a group show centering around political unrest in Ukraine; though some works have a lighthearted touch, their undercurrent remains somber. — the artblog editors] The most compelling exhibition I saw last month in Berlin was at the gallery of DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst), the German Academic Exchange. The Ukrainians (May 24-June 21, 2014), curated by Bettina Klein, was art from the front lines by a group of artists well-aware of the possibilities and limits of art in the midst of serious, political unrest.   Symbolizing state rhetoric Many of the artists spent time protesting with the ... More » »

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University of Brighton Graduate Show 2014

[Our UK correspondent, Katie, reflects on the plight of the graduating art student; she discusses how these challenges are reflected in a show of matriculating students’ work. — the artblog editors] An institution like a university provides its students access to an extraordinary range of contacts, information, resources, and tools. One difficulty is that the culture residing within its walls can also tend to reinforce a belief that such structures are essential to facilitate, showcase, and validate cultural production. The yearly Graduate Show at the University of Brighton sees a crop of students just about to step outside of this ... More » »

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Books on new approaches to art and its institutions, part I

[Andrea recommends two books taking a different look at the way art is categorized, displayed, and interacted with, and looks at a similar process currently in action at the Netherlands’ Van Abbemuseum. — the artblog editors] Reclassifying artists This collection of essays is a welcome, clear-eyed, and clearly expressed examination of contemporary art’s production and reception. Ben Davis is committed to and involved in politics that support social change, and skeptical of much of the current rhetoric around art and politics–such as the assumption that collectivism assumes a radical, political stance. A seriously informed, progressive Marxist, Davis defines class according ... More » »

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Makers – Collaboration in the age of new technology

[Katie reports from the UK, where she gets a taste of the “maker movement” encouraging everyone to take a hands-on interest in the creation of products and technologies. — the artblog editors] Today’s world seems to be filled with brand-new technologies, invented and reinvented at lightning speeds by the youngest of experts. The maker movement can be broadly defined as a group taking a DIY approach to these new technologies, prioritising the asking of questions and free experimentation in a culture of very hands-on creation. Collaborative workshops known as “hackspaces” are popping up all over, filled with making equipment and ... More » »

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