Monday, December 29, 2008

Jonathan Swain - Holed Up

Holed Up mirrors the vain attempts by high street banks to plug gaps left in their buidings by the ad hoc removal of redundant ATMs. Jonathan Swain uses current art world trends to highlight evidence of contemporary urban decay and commercial deception. The exhibition at The Grey Area in Brighton, was accompanied by a series of discussions and tours of cash machines throughout the city.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tai Shani - Tetragrammatton's Home In The Abyss Reduced To 6

With over twenty performers and music by Guapo, Tai Shani’s fantastical and dreamlike installation, Tetragrammatton's Home in the Abyss: Reduced to 6, is a Busby Berkeley-style extravaganza exploring the glitches and folds of the universe’s multiple realities.
21st December 2008
7.30pm - 10pm
6 Burlington Gardens
Royal Academy Of Arts

Friday, December 19, 2008

Event Horizon - GSK Contemporary

Event Horizon - GSK Contemporary Season At The RA continues with Event Horizon, curated by Temporarycontempory, Anthony Gross and Jen Wu, a dynamic programme of new commissions by major London-based artists. Event Horizon traces a British avant-garde as sculpture transforms into social experience with new sculptural installations, and a social club infrastructure housing over 30 nights of live events.

: Environments by Marc Camille Chaimowicz, David Medalla, Georgina Starr, Brian Griffiths, Plastique Fantastique (David Burrows and Simon O'Sullivan), temporarycontemporary.

BEYOND THE HORIZON : Installation, social events, and performance by Spartacus Chetwynd (Helmut Newton Ladies Nights), Bob & Roberta Smith with Le Suisse Marocain and Leonardo Ulian (kiosk & piano bar), Mark Titchner (artist residency acid test), Gail Pickering (convention centre), Tai Shani (tableau performance feat. Guapo), Reza Aramesh (street occupation), Alexander Hidalgo (fashion/music event), Lindsay Seers (cinema performance), Pil and Galia Kollectiv (banquet), Anthony Gross (LED eyes), Luke Oxley (shop), Adam Nankervis (performance), Paul O’Neill (General Idea films and DJ set), David Burrows and Kit Poulson (contacting angels), David Blamey and Craig Richards (sound).

: Live music by the Apathy Band, the Readers, the No No Band, Victor Mount, ‘Sawing off the Branch I’m Sitting on’: Selection by John Millar with Ruby Pester & Nadia Rossi, Hysteria On Film (films by Carol Morley and Richard Squires), Cara Ball Tolmie, Omnivore Demon, Let Me Feel Your Finger First, Ming Ming and the Ching Chings and Colin Miller & David James Grinly. Mark Pearson, Jason Underhill (karaoke), Evel Gazebo play Hawkwind's 'Space Ritual’. Young UK fashion show, Poker All Stars, Bistrotheque Monday Cabaret with Bourgeois & Maurice and Jonny Woo, and more...

About GSK Contemporary
31 October 2008 – 19 January 2009
This year marks the beginning of a season of contemporary art at 6 Burlington Gardens. GSK Contemporary features more than 20 art exhibitions, 40 live events and 100 film screenings.

The season sees East End restaurant Bistrotheque set up as FLASH, a temporary restaurant designed especially for GSK Contemporary. There is also a cafe and late-night art bar in an installation by temporarycontemporary.

The programme is divided into two main parts; Part 1, Molten States, explores the links between art, performance and experimental theatre. Part 2, Collision Course, reveals an apocalyptic vision, including a tribute to the artistic legacy of William Burroughs.

Also launching during the season is Event Horizon, a programme of new commissions by major London-based artists.

Event Horizon
31 Oct 2008 — 19 Jan 2009
6 Burlington Gardens
Royal Academy Of Arts

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mark Waugh - Come

The ear is an open vein. Knowledge is a drug.To start the story now when batteries are so low. As the Winter closes in and the books come out.
Every horizon is obsolete.
This story would not be easier to tell if I hadn't already tampered with the text. Like a lover I worked with the words until their meaning was mined and gushed it's lubricant into fecundity. The dirt on the disk has consumed passion. Time seals the tombs of Pharoahs. The crimes of the future are taught in the past. Love is a corpse wrapped in transparent plastic.
So now you know nothing of the story that hides behind this fog in an ocean on translucent words..
So now you read the letters c-o-m-e with cruel indifference and who knows what special effects raise the machine from the dead.
So know you now both coda and tail?
Words are mnemonic equations that derail the senses as they track a world that disappears before them. In books words convey cultural traffic across invisible borders. Words are signs that lead us astray.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tatsumi Orimoto

Punishment - When communication is wasted

DNA Gallery
Auguststraße 20
10117 Berlin
29. October - 20. December 2008

DNA is proud to present for the first time in Europe Tatsumi Orimoto's Punishment. Following in the footsteps of the artist's "Communication Art", this performance also features bread as its main element. Orimoto often uses bread because of its fundamental and basic nature. However, he does not only use it as a symbol for universal communication - something to which everybody can relate - but also as an allegory for Western culture. In the occidental context bread does not only take on meaning as part of the diet of the population but also because of its symbolism in Christianity, where it represents the body par excellence.

With this background Tatsumi becomes in Breadman a sort of living sculpture, his head twined with a bundle of baguettes, who brings art to the people. Nevertheless, bread and its former mentioned function as a tool for communication take on in Punishment a more tragic nuance. Twenty-six blindfolded people, tied to a mast, are carrying a box full of bread. One after the other, each of them falls over, spilling the bread on the floor.

Tatsumi's performance may be referring to Japanese history. On the 5th of February 1597, during the Azuchi-Momoyama Period, the government crucified 26 Christian missionaries in Nagasaki. At the time, Christian missionaries, who initially had been accepted in Japan in order to restrain the influence of Buddhist monks and to consolidate commercial relationships with Europe, were perceived by Toyotomi Hideyoshi as a destabilizing force and therefore were persecuted. However, Orimoto seeks to disconnect himself from historical references in order to stress the universal and recurrent: the bread bearer, a prophet who carries a different message, is seen as a threat against the establishment and is repudiated and martyred. Thus his message spills, the box is empty, and communication fails. The message, as well as the bread, putrefies.

At the same time Punishment could also refer to Orimoto's private situation, especially to the lack of recognition his works has received in his own country, about which Tatsumi often complains. It is not new that the artist makes from his private issues a public matter. This is most evident in his project Art Mama, through which Tatsumi publicly documents the physical and mental decline of his mother, Odei, who has the Alzeimer disease and whom he takes care of since 1996. Through the bread that stays on the floor in Punishment we are witnesses from another decadence as well: the one from a wasted communication.

Tatsumi Orimoto (Kawasaki, 1946) studied at the Institute of Art, California. In 1971 he moved to New York, where he assisted Nam June Paik and was introduced to Fluxus. He returned to Kawasaki in 1977, where he currently lives and works, and takes care of his mother. His performance Breadman was shown in several countries in public as well as institutional contexts, such as the Biennales of Sydney, Sao Pablo and Venice.

A panel Discussion was held on 2nd November at the Goethe Institut Berlin The dilemma of collecting art in times of dematerialization Organized by Galerie DNA and Valeria Schwarz.

Speakers: David Elliot, artistic director of the Sydney Biennial 2010, Jan Hoet, director of MARTa Herford museum in Herford, Fumio Nanjo, director of Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Berta Sichel director of audiovisuals at Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sophia in Madrid, Mark Waugh exective director of the A Foundation in London and Liverpool. The panel was chaired by Mark Gisbourne, who is based in Berlin and is part of the editorial board at ART.ES.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mark Leckey

"With wit and originality, Leckey has found a variety of forms to communicate his fascination with visual culture."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Artists Anonymous - Communication & Association

On Friday 19th September 2008, a huge party overtook an industrial area near central Liverpool. Within the masses of people wanting their free drinks and overpriced Paella were three exhibitions. Yet one of these, by the ego free ‘Artists Anonymous' had been removed. Over two weeks of intensive installation, a team of assistants helped the Berlin based art collective build a huge warren of rooms within The Furnace space of the A Foundation. Each room was decorated, and in the end resembled some sort of dilapidated yet hip house putting on an art exhibitionfor themselves.

Of course, were this to be the end, that would be fine, people may walk round with intrigue or excitement, but no. Rather than be rational, Artists Anonymous decided on Thursday that the work wasn't right and they were to remove everything. All objectsfrom the rooms were taken out, all patterns stripped from the walls before they were painted white.

So rushed was this operation before the Biennial party that some of the walls were still wet with fresh paint. Walking around for the first time, I felt like this was no mans land, like I didn't belong there. I experienced that feeling you get when walking somewhere you know you shouldn't be, trying to find something you know you shouldn't be looking for.

In each room was a small photograph on the wall showing what the space had looked like only hours before. Why would they be showing us what the space looked like, could they not have saved some time and effort for us to see the real thing? The aftermath, something that only works in the most remarkable of situations, is prevalent here. With the aftermath as the art rather than as remnants of the art, nobody misses out, everybody is allowed to visit the space and stumble across rooms, write their name in the wet paint on the walls (or complain about the wet paint that has unwittingly covered their clothes).

The piece felt politically charged too - thinking about the lines of refugees carrying trailers full of all their belongings. I imagine a ghost town of stark, empty houses, and with signs of living removed, memories and history within that town will fade as the photos do.

This is art as an event and as spectacle, an odd attraction that bewilders people as much as it arouses them. Will the work still feel as fresh in one month, or even one weeks time, when the paint has dried and the smell of alcohol and sweat has left? I can't be sure, but seeing it on day one allows it to stand out in a fantastic year for the Biennial.
© Carl Delver 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Orion Maxted & Nadege Derderian - Thoughts on Made Up

"On reflection then, during the weekend, it was impossible to settle on a single section of solid ground from which to absorb the many different points of view expressed, yet as the dust settles, it feels like the unchanging locus of the event was an open-minded and open-hearted refusal. A refusal to seal-off or insulate the boundaries of artistic epistemological and personal enquiry, to make a decision about where art ends, and religion, sex, meditation, illogic etc-etc, begins. Or perhaps if there was a locus it was a pit-bull's snapping teeth, merrily tearing into the clean edges of that ordinarily considered separate and perceptually distinct.

We definitely enjoyed the range of feelings, experiences and connections. The talks worked well in the mix, not repeating or trying to explain away the magic of the performances, but bringing in more understanding around the 'periphery' and a chance to distance from the immediacy of the live work, enough for alternative reflections. Cosey and Andrew's talk was a good example of a related aspect, as they talked not just about their work and the theoretical background of it, but also the everyday life around / intermingled with the work. There were all sorts of questions about the boundaries of art, and the art of boundaries, or lack of.

Only a few thought then…

So once again, thanks it was a pleasure for us both to work with you, and everyone at A Foundation. For myself, Nadege, in particular to give me the possibility to engage on a curatorial level , it has certainly stimulated and open my understanding and enthusiasm about (Live) art events.
And for me, Orion, it was of course a very rich experience to have my own work put into parallel or counter-position with such a divergent range of related artistic approaches in such a carefully considered context."- © Orion Maxted & Nadege Derderian 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ben Rivers - On Overgrown Paths - The Permanent Gallery.

On Overgrown Paths

Saturday 15 November - Sunday 15 December 2008
In association with MEASURE
The Permanent Gallery
20 Bedford Place
Brighton BN1 2PT
T. 07919 184417
The Regency Town House
Brunswick Square

This two site exhibition features three film-works by Ben Rivers projected within self-built huts made of reclaimed wood.

Within each hut is screened a unique film, two of which portray the lives of individuals who have made the isolated pockets of Northern Europe their home. Living self-sufficiently off the land, the subjects of the films are independently evolving a way of life that quietly, but resolutely, refuses to submit to the demands of conventional living. The third, shown at Permanent Gallery, was made of a film-set in Hamoroy, Norway.

The title of the exhibition refers to the name of a book by Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun. Hamsun held a deep mistrust for civilisation and believed a life’s fulfillment was only to be found through the soil. ‘On Overgrown Paths’ came about as a final defense following Hamsun’s condemnation by fellow Norwegians for sympathising with the Romantic ‘Volk’ elements of the Third Reich. Hamsun embodies the principles that the characters within these films adhere to, whilst his life-story demonstrates the political misappropriation that the return to nature has suffered.

Mimicking the cluttered liberty these recluses seek, Ben’s camera moves with a sensitive and inquisitive abandon. Using experimental processing techniques and utilising the fragmenting effect of the 30sec longest continuous shot of a wind-up Bolex, the films emphasise the incomplete nature of the cinematic portrait, while preserving a sense of the private. What emerges is a richly textured and intimate ode to the patterns of the lives portrayed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

George Chakravarthi

What name would you like to be known as in this interview? The image is from an archive of untitled self-portraits from the late 80’s early 90’s. A small collection of them are being reproduced on DVD. I have undergone too many transformations to remember since and have used so many pseudonyms, from Maxx Shurley to Anoushka Arya and currently Johnny Shekontai. But here, now, today, it’s George Chakravarthi.

What did you dream about last night, if at all? What colour is the room where you sleep? My room is a nicotine shade of white.
I actually had a nightmare last night and it was so bizarre and vivid that I had to write some of what I could remember down at 4:30am. These are just a few of my notes:

I am in at a party in an old house in Morocco. (never been to Morocco!)
There is a mural of a huge cloud on one of the walls.
I smash a glass and my face begins to strangely deteriorate and turn to dust.
I run up some stairs.
The glass is somehow in mouth now and I furiously try and spit it out.
I arrive at another staircase going down towards two men playing cards.
The rest of me begins to turn to dust.
I panic.
I wake up.

How does the metaphysic or esoteric influence your work or creativity – if it at all? I think they both influence and affect the work in some ways. A visual mind exists on both of these planes. The process of imagination brings it forward and onto another place. The transition between the two is what requires immense skill.

When last did you cook?
On Saturday afternoon. I try and cook as often as possible but only usually have time to commit to it on weekends. You can’t hurry love!

When recently have you sung? Today, rehearsing ‘Stop in the name of love!’ for a party next week.

Do you wear scent? Yes. Issey Miyake for the last 15 years, the original one. It’s particularly good after 6 hours on the skin.

What question would you like to ask the next interviewee?
What do you make of my dream? What’s your favourite Supremes song?

George Chakravarthi considers much of his work to be a series of self portraits. He has performed and exhibited nationally and internationally and is 'Thinker in Residence’ at The Live Art Development Agency. He participated in a discussion with Lois Keidan at the A Foundation, as part of the Liverpool Biennial 2008.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


What name would you like to be known as in this interview?
What name - this is a good question, because at the moment I am dealing in multiple personalities – this is not a question of hiding rather creating a total chaos so that nobody can recognize me. The definitive name I have and which cannot trigger a (Verwechslung) is Lena-Franziska Christine Matthia Wicke-Aengenheyster. In google you can find me under Lena Wicke, Lena-Franziska Wicke, Mouche Mouche, Theatercombinat, STAATSAFFAIRE and Runter Kommen alle... I am part of God´s Entertainment, Super Nase & Co and in the future I will be also Affairedétats. This a question of economy, politics and strategies. It is a question about how to deal with the market, of liberty, being everywhere and nowhere, ways the most interesting part of it. Theatre is communication, the space of communication and it is one of the greatest pleasure to use it and to built up in this space different kinds of communication or better said to look for different ways to communicate, to look for and to deal with different kinds of strategies to communicate – with another performer, with another medium, with an object, with the audience, the spectator, another person you did not know before. The energy is part of this process.

When last did you cook?
I do not know, in my every day life I do not proceed with cooking as a ritual or something comparable. It is more the moment to put some carrots, potatoes, onions, other legumes and alot of garlic – my most favourite vegetable - into a pot for very quick way to have some food. Garlic has to be involved. (citation: This is not Herman Nitsch) I am a person who has the great chance to be with a man who does this job.

When recently have you sung? Yesterday during the day. The sun was shining and I went with some colleagues to get many coins, I could not get the song out of my head: "This is not America“ by David Bowie.

Do you wear scent? In general I do not like scent, it creates a scent which is not yours. I like smelling people. I like the individual scent of a body. Every person has their own natural perfume. I like to smell it, it is part of meeting somebody, of making someones acquaintance. That's why I use very little shampoo for example and shower gel I do not use. Sometimes, if I feel like changing myself for a moment, I will use a very little scent, just as much as you need to give another touch to your body or personality. But it must not be pushy, I must not push myself, it just has to be an invisible accompaniment.

What question would you like to ask the next interviewee? Do you eat bread or rolls? Do you like garlic and what does it mean for you? What is the most amazing thing that you saw in Liverpool? How did you perceive Liverpool? Did you meet Suzan J. Curtis? What would you ask with the question "This is not .... ?“

Conchita is a member of Viennese art projects Super Nase & Co and Gods Entertainment. She performed in The Love Club at the A Foundation as part of the Liverpool Biennial 2008.

Cochita was interviewed and photographed by Julia Waugh.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Makarevich and Elagina Mushrooms of the Russian Avant-Garde

Makarevich and Elagina Mushrooms of the Russian Avant-Garde
5-22 November 2008

Presented by Articulate Contemporary Art Fund. For further information visit

Monday 3 November, 7-9pm
Tradition of Mysticism and the Russian Avant-Garde

This panel discussion will explore the mystical aspect of Russian avant-garde artistic production and its relation to the practice of contemporary artists from the ‘Moscow Conceptualist’ school.

Josef Bakstein (Commissioner, Moscow Biennale)
Dr Sarah Wilson (Reader, Courtauld Institute of Art)
Dr Andrew Spira (Course Director, Christie’s Education; Author The Avant-Garde Icon)
Igor Makarevich (Artist)
Elena Elagina (Artist)
Nadim Samman (Curator, Mushrooms of the Russian Avant-Garde

ARTiculate is a private, London-based contemporary art fund established in 2007 by a group of collectors with Russian backgrounds.

ARTiculate's founders, united by friendship, share the belief that contemporary art is inspirational and life-changing.

ARTiculate is created to foster and promote this vision, to reflect the modern world and to broaden cultural dialogue.

ARTiculate is building an international contemporary art collection, supports emerging artists and organizes exhibitions and educational events.

Rochelle School
Gallery Open
Tuesday - Saturday
11am - 6pm
Admission Free

Patricide - Ulf Langheirich

Patricide 2008


Ulf Langheirich 2007

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Made Up

The A FOUNDATION at Greenland Street hosted a weekend of talks, performance and film to tie in with the ongoing Liverpool Biennial 2008.

The Made Up Weekend, named after the theme of the Biennial itself, was from Thursday until Saturday and explored all kinds of interpretations of the phrase, the power of the imagination and art’s capacity to transport us, to suspend disbelief and generate alternative realities.

Challenging the idea that rationality and enchantment are incommensurable. Made Up weekend invokes the spectres that haunt not only the artistic imagination. A vision of the world familiar yet often disturbed by occultural visions, scientific anomalies, magic or sublime irrationality. Unbound by critical orthodoxies, Made Up's aporia will entertain many and exasperate some, no doubt encouraged by the multitude of explanations resonating with the city itself.

Performances included the UK premiere of Love Club, by acclaimed European artists God’s Entertainment and a rare opportunity to hear the Theremin, one of the earliest electronic musical instruments, played live by Dorit Chrysler.

A Foundation’s executive director Mark Waugh said: “The Made Up weekend goes behind the vernacular phrase to explore why we make things up and how artists use the imagination as a tool to communicate the way they see the world."

“It will be a stimulating weekend remixing science, critical debate and conversation, performance art, film making, music and pyrotechnics.
Guests include Richard Wilson, whose Turning the Place over has captured the imagination of Liverpool and other artists, including Gods Entertainment from Vienna, Mingering Mike and Tai Shani."

The programme of events ran from 12 noon until 10.30pm, where artist Tai Shani performed the work Parallax Sci-Fi Hypnosis – CCTV to parallel universes, hypnosis, black holes and time travel and Banana by Orion Maxted.

On Friday, highlights included Art Beyond ScienceTomas Saraceno in conversation with Rob La Frenais and Tony White; Ulf Langheinrich spoke with Fact director Mike Stubbs and other talks throughout the day including Cosey Fanni Tutti, Manuel Vason and George Chakravarthi ending with The Amazing Careers of Imaginary Soul Superstars, where Bluecoat artistic director Bryan Biggs was in chatted with David Blandy, the Barefoot Lone Pilgrim, and Mingering Mike, before a DJ set by the latter.

At 10pm, there was the UK premiere of Love Club, a performance by Austrian artists Gods Entertainment.
On Saturday Anne Bean was in conversation with artist Richard Wilson.

There was a chance for a Face-to-Face encounter with SJ Curtis and to experience Super Nase & Co throughout the day. Chila Kumari Burman, Yeondoo Jung in conversation as well as a panel discussion with Jim Holland, James Lawler and Gary Everett followed by an evenings entertainment that included a presentation by Stewart Home and Sally O'Reilly. Patricide punctuated the event, after film screenings that included Artists Anonymous.

Participating Artists, Theorists and Thinkers
Orion Maxted, S J Curtis, Daniel Odier, Cecille Gravensen, Fritz Stolberg, Stuart Comer, Super Nase & Co, Tai Shani, Tomas Saraceno, Rob La Frenais, Tony White, Ulf Langheinrich, Mike Stubbs, Manuel Vason, Amelia Jones, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Andrew Wheatley, George Chakravarthi, Lois Keidan, David Blandy, Mingering Mike, Barefoot Lone Pilgrim, Dori Hader, Brian Biggs, Dorit Chrysler, Gods Entertainment, Anne Bean, Richard Wilson, Rachel Withers, Chila Kumari Burman, Courtney Martin, Jiyoon Lee, Yeondoo Jung, Jim Holland, Gary Everett, James Lawler, Paul Domela, Mark Bennett, Mark Waugh, Sally O'Reilly, Stewart Home, Artists Anonymous, Patricide.

photos by Julia Waugh.

The Liverpool Biennial on Flickr.

Rob La Frenaise'blog

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Far West Metro

20 September - 30 November 2008

Greenland Street

During the period of the Liverpool Biennial, A Foundation will become a franchise store for Far West, a major cross-art form project exploring the new consumer and cultural relationships that are emerging as the economic centre of the world shifts towards the East. The Far West Metro franchise store stocks a number of products designed by artists that address the relationship between consumer and producer, drawing on the contemporary shift away from focus on the commodity, to focus on the experience of shopping.

In practice, this results in a more participatory experience within the store, with consumers actively producing, or part producing, the product they wish to buy. In SOI Project’s work, visitors are invited to construct a piece of paper fruit using the templates provided. They may then add their construction to a fake fruit stand, in exchange for a piece of real fruit, or simply buy what they’ve made and take it away.

Also available at the store are comics, toys, music, wallpaper and more. In the process of participating, visitors/shoppers will gain an insight into the experience economy; the commodification of ethnicity; the intertwining of economics, consumerism and culture; and the process of production. Through this new model for cultural/commodity consumption, Far West Metro ask visitors/shoppers whether this level of open participation is a form of consumer emancipation, or whether it is simply the next stage in corporate appropriation.

Far West is curated by Nav Haq, Curator and Tom Trevor, Director of Arnolfini, Bristol. Far West is the first in the CONCEPT STORE series of projects at Arnolfini, exploring the interlinked notions of marketing, design, and experience economy.

Far West has been funded by The Arts Council England - Grants for The Arts, China Now and The British Council - Connections Through Culture, with support from Merlio Retail Systems.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Young and The Restless

“Where the hell is it?” screamed the Scouse taxi driver struggling to find the opening party the Friday before last for the Liverpool Biennial in the Old Port area of the city. Warehouse after warehouse passed by until I spotted a beacon in the dark: a stream of silver-haired men (eminent European curators, no doubt) and young artists with big beards and tweed jackets moving toward the A Foundation’s complex for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2008 show. The trickle of partygoers quickly grew into, if not a flood, at least a tributary, with London dealer Anthony Reynolds, Letter to Brezhnev director Chris Bernard, and Ed Linse of Artists Anonymous spilling out into the beanbag-chair-strewn street. Inside, the warren of galleries (the place takes the warehouse-chic aesthetic to a whole new level) were flush with what can only be described as Liverpool’s “team youth”: bright-eyed young things who’ve produced some of the best new work I’ve seen in ages.

New Contemporaries board chair Sacha Craddock grabbed me and scrambled over Joe Doldon’s intricate cardboard Untitled (Floor) sculpture to rally the artists. The trio summoned—Raakhee Lakhtaria, Paul Bratt, and Haroon Mirza—seemed pleased but dazed (no doubt at the thought of taking those first tentative steps into the shark-infested waters of the art market) by the first-night jamboree. Indeed, work by fellow artist Steve Bishop was already being snapped up. His taxidermied fox shot through with fluorescent light tubes (Suspension of Disbelief)—one onlooker cheekily remarked that “taxidermy is a bit 2007”—obviously found favor with a Norwegian collector, who bagged the piece. The Scandinavian follows in the footsteps of Charles Saatchi, who bought two works by Bishop at his recent Royal College of Art MA show in London. Meanwhile, two soberly suited men from sponsor Bloomberg pored over video work by another young artist, Beth Collar.

After a mad dash for some air and alcohol at the alfresco bar, I spotted artist David Altmejd and his London dealer, Stuart Shave, chatting by the nearby paella stand. The Canadian artist, known for his disquieting, fantastic creations (who else has made werewolf heads such a hot topic?), continues to be one of the art world’s most prolific practitioners. Already on the plate are a solo show linked to the opera Doctor Atomic, at the Metropolitan Opera’s gallery in New York; an exhibition of works at Shave’s gallery in October (which Altmejd claims will be “very sexual”); and a stint at the Art Gallery Ontario.

Soon the action moved to a second retrofitted factory space across the road, where the primary “Made Up” biennial bash was kicking off. Artist Sarah Sze and museum directors Simon Groom and Reyahn King were spotted en route, as were Laurence Sillars, curator at Tate Liverpool, and Branwen Jones, director of Andrea Rosen Gallery.

Perhaps it was the lower lighting (sex-shop red) or the presence of local personalities such as drag queen Mandy Romero that prompted an upbeat change in the evening’s tempo. Guests were ready to let their hair down, including biennial director Lewis Biggs, who danced with artist Lisa Milroy while sporting what looked like a blue garter wrapped around his upper arm. Curator Adrian George, looking dapper, encircled the pool of manic dancers. But it was performance artists Corinne Mynatt and Angus Braithwaite who proved to be the most stylish movers on the floor, closely followed by Cedric Christie, who is showing his two “art cars” in the city. The motors, which will eventually be crushed and displayed as paintings, were a big hit with the Liverpudlians. As Christie noted, “Artists Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler even showed me a photograph of their dealer perched on the hood.”
© Gareth Harris 2008

All Photos © The Liverpool Biennial

The Liverpool Biennial

The A Foundation welcomes its guests; Artists Anonymous, Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2008, Far West Metro, Fantasy Studio Project and Manuel Vason and extends it's welcome to our audience for whom all this has been orchestrated.

Like Artists Anonymous, we are archeologists of surface information and believe in the power of spaces to locate communication. In the words of Jeremy Hillary Boop Ph.D, as we juggle a few theories of the existential type about blackholes and the economics of representation, "Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo. So little time - so much to know."

So on we go - treading a radical margin between inside and outside; following the purloined line of letters escaped from copied manifestos. The mantra of participation we hold close can be found in the Situationist Manifesto as a weapon that mobilises us against the spectacle. We'll leave it for you to decide if that's an ironic position to occupy in 2008 as Liverpool celebrates its year as Capital of Culture.



We are hosting a number of events during the biennial including REALISING OurSpace- The Digital Future and Visual Arts organised by VAGA on the 26th September.

Fantasy Studio Project

Kyungwoo Chun, Yeondoo Jung, Young In Hong, Yongbaek Lee, Junebum Park, Sookyung Yee and Hyun-Mi Yoo
Fantasy Studio Project

20 September - 30 November 2008

Fantasy Studio Project presents the work of seven Korean contemporary artists, who will each be provided with a studio within A Foundation’s complex of converted factory and warehouse spaces for the period of the Liverpool Biennial. Rather than literally reconstruct the individual artists’ permanent studio, each will create a ‘fantasy studio’, which attempts to re-interpret the exhibition space as a location where practice ‘bleeds and blends’ with the venue itself.

Combining elements of a number of traditional exposition formats: the group show, the residency, the performance, the national showcase; Fantasy Studio Project attempts to explode the confinements of each, generating a new set of problems and intricacies. Through this process, Fantasy Studio Project explores the changing nature of the studio within artistic practice, and addresses the alienating effect on audiences of transposing ideas generated in one culture onto another.

Kyungwoo Chun will present his Thousands project. Three years in the making, this work brings together one thousand photographic portraits of individuals from the Chinese mainland, all of whom share the same surname as the artist, which literally translates as “a thousand”. Chu will also show a new participatory work, A Thousand Answers.

Yeondoo Jung’s work explores ideas around urban dislocation, memory and fantasy. The video he is exhibiting in Liverpool, Nostalgia, depicts a series of imagined idyllic landscapes, constructed in a studio. Alongside this work, Jung will show documentary footage revealing the making process.

Yongbaek Lee will show stage props and costumes from the production of his video Angel Soldier, which explores a variety of both seen and unseen conflicts in the world. Lee’s other works include mirrors that appear to crack when the view stares into them.

Junebum Park’s
video, Hypermarket 4, is viewed from the artist’s eye perspective, as he makes architectural alterations to a static shot of Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof museum, transforming it into a supermarket. For Fantasy Studio Project, Park will make a new video work, in which A Foundation’s Furnace gallery space will receive a similar makeover.

Hyun-Mi Yoo
injects doubt into our reading of three-dimensional space in a two-dimensional image. Yoo paints directly onto domestic space, adding objects and shadows, and then presents the work as a photograph. In Liverpool, the artist will make new work that makes explicit the production process.

Young In Hong’s
work attempts to reinterpret the cityscape - monolithic architecture, statues of historical and contemporary figures, and so on. Hong’s newly commissioned embroidery work will incorporate a number of cultural and political icons from the city.

Sookyung Yee
will produce a life-size sculpture entitled Very Best Statue. Yee canvassed over 100 people in Liverpool, asking them to complete forms that offered choices from a range of physical attributes. Yee has combined the most popular results to produce the city’s ideal figure sculpture.

Fantasy Studio Project is curated by independent curator and Director of SUUM Contemporary Art Project, Jiyoon Lee; with Jungwon Gu and Tomas Harold.

For further information please see SUUM Contemporary Art Project's website

Supported by The Arts Council of Korea and Samsung Electronics.

Manuel Vason

Manuel Vason

20 September - 30 November 2008

Since first photographing Franco B’s performance, I Miss You! in 1999, Manuel Vason has worked with an impressive roll call of performance and live artists, including Ron Athey, Stuart Brisley, Alastair MacLennan, Kira O’Reilly and Guillermo Gomez-Pena. Describing his photographs as collaborations, the artists perform exclusively for Vason, shooting in locations and conditions that allow the performer the opportunity to experiment with new relationships with the site and body.

Vason operates within the contentious space, or moment, in which a performance is documented on camera. Encouraging the artists he works with to channel their performance towards one climatic moment – the instant the camera’s shutter clicks – Vason’s practice dramatically alters the relationship between the performance and its document; no longer are they distant and separate, but rather in conversation with each other.

At A Foundation, Manuel Vason will show a selection of works from his series, Encounters, including two new works never shown before. The exhibition is accompanied by a full colour publication of the same name published by Arnolfini and edited by Dominic Johnson. The book provides an overview of the artist’s practice and includes essays by Rebecca Schneider, Tracey Warr and Kate Random Love as well as a series of commissioned artist writings on the collaborative process by Ernst Fischer, Helen Spackman, Richard Hancock and Traci Kelly, Anne Seagrave, and other performance practitioners.

For further information please see

Artists Anonymous

Artists Anonymous

Communication and Association

20 September - 30 November 2008

Within their complex and often disorientating installations, Berlin based collective Artists Anonymous explicitly acknowledge the means by which art is created, and the whirl of social events and intellectual debates that accompany it. In Communication & Association, the artists play on A Foundation’s role within the Liverpool Biennial as host of the official opening party as well as a series of discussions, social events and performances, by creating a labyrinthine installation specifically designed to have a disruptive influence on the proceedings.

Communication & Association consists of seven interconnected, freestanding rooms each representing an extreme environment for experiencing art. Inside the construction, paintings and scientific texts can be viewed amid a variety of uncomfortable conditions such as wild temperature fluctuations; a room in negative; low ceilings and mirrored surfaces. The exterior, clad with found and recycled materials and marooned on a sandy beach in the centre of A Foundation’s 700m2 Furnace gallery, acts as a performance space and open platform over the period of the Biennial. Local people are invited to contribute unwanted household items, furniture, waste building materials and manpower to help create the structure.

Communication & Association follows Artists Anonymous’s current show Perception & Sensation at Magazin 4 Kunstverein Bregenz, Austria and will run simultaneously with their show at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Germany’s foremost Museum for Contemporary Art in Berlin.

The public discussion, Raising The Curtain, between Biennial directors, Artists Anonymous and the International Curators Forum will take place within the exhibition on 20th September, the day after the opening party. The participants will question the role of the Biennial and the Capital of Culture and provide an open forum for discussion with the public.

For further information visit

Artists Anonymous: The Gunslinger September 2007


Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2008

20 September - 22 November 2008

Unique in the firmament of International Biennials, a survey of the brightest stars in the new cosmology, exceptional new works by artists who might burn bright or twinkle for a day. We are pleased to host Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2008, selected by Richard Billingham, Ceal Floyer and Ken Lum. This year is the largest show ever occupying the ground floor of the Blade Factory and the Coach Shed, showing the work of 57 artists from a submission of over 1400.

Artists 2008:
Pio Abad, Adam Ajina, Allsopp & Weir, Guler Ates, Steve Bishop, Paul Bratt, Stewart Cliff, Beth Collar, Alexia de Ville de Goyet, Joe Doldon, Jeremy Evans, Anwen Handmer, Chris Hanlon, Gabriel Hartley, Gerd Hasler, Neil Hedger,Tyler Bright Hilton, Sam Holden, Alex Hudson, Peter Joslyn, Emmanuel Kazi Kakai, Eva Kalpadaki, Katharina Kiebacher, Rinat Kotler, Raakhee Lakhtaria, Andrew Larkin, Ian Law, littlewhitehead, Joseph Long, Jo Longhurst, Ellen Macdonald, Allison Maletz, Jane Maughan, Sarah Michael, Haroon Mirza, Yoca Muta, Gemma Nelson, Sachiyo Nishimura, Yo Okada, Joep Overtoom, Heather Phillipson, Patricia Pinsker, Giles Ripley, Constance Slaughter, Rita Soromenho, Naomi St Clair-Clarke, David Stearn, Nicholas Tayler, Esther Teichmann, David Theobald, Jason Underhill, Manuel Vazquez, Lara Viana, Jane Ward, Anita Wernstrom, Paul Westcombe, Jeanine Woollard.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gelitin - Le Gun - Port Cities - Summer 2008

Issue #4 of the narrative art annual LE GUNwill be distributed worldwide from September 2008. The launch will coincide with an exhibition and temporary arts club taking place at the Rochelle School in Arnold Circus, Shoreditch titled
LE GUN The Family

Dear patrons, please charge your glasses and drink heartily 
for tomorrow you may die�

In the exhibition, the warped collective imagination of LE GUN presents a dysfunctional family of many generations, including a man with a crab on his head, the leopard walking heiress Marchesa Casati, and the original fat boy actor Joe Cobb. Raised on the the streets of parallel metropolis Legundon, an eccentrically Anglo-Saxon place of loose women, gin and cream cakes, and Francis Bacon�s butchers shop, they are an unusual dynasty. LE GUN�s gigantic black and white ink drawings record the families journey from their home cities murky streets and dens of vice, across a wild unchartered ocean to an outlandish Interzone of mind bending intoxicants and bordellos, and the jungle funeral of unloved street urchin Caliper Boy.

Simultananeously the new LE GUN publication will be launched.The net has been cast far and wide; LE GUN #4 promises a rich and slippery harvest of pictures and words, a catch that includes Polish artist-crustacean Andrzej Klimowski, Will Sweeney, creator of Tales of Green Fuzz, visionary draughtsman Paul Noble, and writing from beat generation expert Barry Miles and dandy of the underworld Sebastian Horsley, as well as fresh fruit from young novelist Richard Milward, ethnographic writer Iain Sinclair and the Hunter S Thompson of Hartlepool Michael Smith.

Added to these afore-mentioned are the less well known but equally delectable new voices that have been chosen for fullness of flavour 
and keenness of eye...

The result is a vivid story of stories and stands as an independent work in its own right; somewhere between pulp fiction and an 
artist�s edition. Undigestible in one sitting, this confection asks to be treasured and revisited...

LE GUN / Nomad 2008

* * *

Gelitin - The Movie

Gelitin Paint on Trampolines
The Viennese art collective perform Yes OK Ex at the A Foundation Rochelle School.

On Friday night, Gelitin performed Yes OK Ex at the Rochelle School in Shoreditch, presented by Grizedale Arts and A Foundation as part of Agrifashionista. Gelitin are four male artists from Vienna, Austria. They are currently showing their boating lake Normally, Proceeding and Unrestricted With Without Title at the Hayward show Psycho Buildings.

On arrival at the Rochelle School we had to sign a waver. We were then invited inside to find four half-naked men bouncing on two huge trampolines, paint-brushes in hand.

The wall and ceiling opposite the audience was the prepared canvas. They jumped with their rears to the audience, floaty chiffon skirts revealing all. We may have felt excluded until we realised that they were painting us. We were the subject of their work.

Whether it's digging a hole for seven days, knitting a monster bunny in the Hills, or fitting a balcony to the World Trade Center, Gelitin produce work which invites everyone to participate.

- © Morgan O'Donovan 2008


Port City: on mobility and exchange - A Summer at Greenland Street

26 June - 24 August 2008

Yto Barrada, Ursula Biemann, Mary Evans, Meschac Gaba, Melanie Jackson, Erik van Lieshout, William Pope.L, Zineb Sedira and Magreb Connection Screening Programme

Port City is an international cross-artform touring project, addressing issues of global migration, trade and contemporary slavery.

Traditionally ports have been seen as gateways to a wider world, representing a point of contact and exchange with different countries and cultures, facilitating the movement of people as well as goods and ideas. However in an era of globalisation, port cities have ceased to have such territorial allegiances, becoming simply trading points on a worldwide network. The works by the artists in this exhibition explore the idea idea of a port city as a symbolic site of cultural exchange.

Several works in the exhibition and screening programme draw attention to the experience of migration, in particular between North Africa and the Mediterranean. Ursula Biemann presents Sahara Chronicle a video installation focusing on migration routes and also curates a screening programme of artists’ moving image works and documentary films that will be shown throughout the exhibition.

The exhibition also includes a video presented in a giant pillbox by Erik van Lieshout, an installation made in response to the media and looting frenzy that resulted from the wreck of the MSC Napoli by Melanie Jackson, and a vast model of a global cityscape made from sugar by Meschac Gaba, to which an iconic Liverpool building will be added during the course of the exhibition.

Sweetest Building
Thank you for voting for which building you wanted to see added to Meschac Gaba's Sweetness cityscape. The winning building is the Liver Building, which has been added to to the sculpture and will be on display until the exhibition closes on 23 August.

Saturday 2 August 2pm-4pm

A special event to unveil Liverpool's sweetest building with artist Meschac Gaba

Saturday 23rd August, 2-4pm

Port City Symposium
Join Paul Domela (Programme Director of Liverpool Biennial), Mary Evans (Artist), Tom Trevor, (Director of Arnolfini),Mark Waugh (Director of The A Foundation) and Claudia Zanfi (Director of MAST - Museo di Arte Sociale e Territoriale) for a discussion around the themes and issues raised by Port City, commemorating UNESCO's International Day for the Rememberance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

DaDaFest - 22 August to 7 September 2008 - Simparch 2007 - Richard Wilson 2007

The annual festival for deaf and disabled artists has a particularly strong collection of visual art exhibitions this year which is also the first time DadaFest has gone International. Taking place in the A Foundation galleries Ju Gosling’s ‘Abnormal’ is a fantastic mixed media exhibition musing on the medical profession’s definitions of normality and proposing a new “Scientific Model of Disability” – a fabulously challenging and confrontational work. Tanya Raabe presents ‘Who'S Who - Defining the Faces of an Arts Movement’, a collection of portraits challenging the notion of portraiture using disability aesthetics and visual language.
There are videos by Wolfgang Temmell and Alison Jones presents a sound installation produced from a series of audio-interpretations of selected work including erotic drawings by Gustav Klimt at Tate Liverpool.

DASH, a rural arts project based in Shrewsbury features Jenny Brown an artist maker using found objects to create art works about her vision of the world. David King is a digital artist using 3D computer graphics and digital photography, concentrating on anatomical form and the metamorphosis of mathematics for DaDaFest Exhibitions.

The annual festival for deaf and disabled artists has a particularly strong collection of visual art exhibitions this year which is also the first time DadaFest has gone International. Taking place in the A Foundation galleries Ju Gosling’s ‘Abnormal’ is a fantastic mixed media exhibition musing on the medical profession’s definitions of normality and proposing a new “Scientific Model of Disability” – a fabulously challenging and confrontational work. Tanya Raabe presents ‘Who'S WhO - Defining the Faces of an Arts Movement’, a collection of portraits challenging the notion of portraiture using disability aesthetics and visual language.

There are videos by Wolfgang Temmell and Alison Jones presents a sound installation produced from a series of audio-interpretations of selected work including erotic drawings by Gustav Klimt at Tate Liverpool.

DASH, a rural arts project based in Shrewsbury features Jenny Brown an artist maker using found objects to create art works about her vision of the world. David King is a digital artist using 3D computer graphics and digital photography, concentrating on anatomical form and the metamorphosis of mathematics for his images. Joy Tudor has a background in textiles and uses her love of colour, texture and form to move and manipulate in a digital world. Gus Cummins presents his short film – Ictal about the invisible condition of epilepsy.

Venture Arts - is a small visual arts centre in Hulme, Manchester. The idea of ‘Globe’ is to show a world of different textures and subtleties through an art piece. This piece will rotate and be touchable by the general public and will challenge the senses.

Also, Martin Bauch - Window / three movements and Kevin Connolly who is a photographer who has no legs and uses a skateboard for transportation. He has recorded people’s reaction to him across 15 countries, 31 cities, with 32,000 photos that result in 1 stare.
is images. Joy Tudor has a background in textiles and uses her love of colour, texture and form to move and manipulate in a digital world. Gus Cummins presents his short film – Ictal about the invisible condition of epilepsy.

Venture Arts - is a small visual arts centre in Hulme, Manchester. The idea of ‘Globe’ is to show a world of different textures and subtleties through an art piece. This piece will rotate and be touchable by the general public and will challenge the senses.

Also, Martin Bauch - Window / three movements and Kevin Connolly who is a photographer who has no legs and uses a skateboard for transportation. He has recorded people’s reaction to him across 15 countries, 31 cities, with 32,000 photos that result in 1 stare.


Simparch 07

Richard Wilson 07


A glimpse of Liverpool's new cultural foundations

A Foundation's transformation of Liverpool's Greenland Street building into a vast exhibition space bodes well for the next European City of Culture.

The press fraternity aboard the coach collectively gasp as the vehicle passes SIMPARCH's wooden tunnel just visible through the open doors of A Foundation's vast Greenland Street building at Liverpool's old port. A net fixed to the back of this element of the US collective's two-part Drum and Basin sculpture might serve to lessen the risk faced by the troupe of skater boys riding its curves or simply just the terror of their captive audience. The kidney bowl shaped vessel set in a false floor behind offers a similar spectacle: "I'm just here for the weekend down from Scotland," comments one game albeit bruised rider as he heads down once more into its boat-like midst.

It might not offer such a "rad" municipal proposition as the graffitied bowels of London's South Bank, but this temporary installation - as impeccably crafted as a Richard Deacon and arguably more locally embedded than a Carsten Höller - goes a long way to bridging the gap between art and the public. A sensible move, then, to position this work (one of three new commissions for the organisation's second autumn programme) front of house given the way it neatly connects the area's industrial past and gritty urban present while hinting at the regenerative options of the future.

One cannot fail to be impressed by the scale and redesign of this former boatyard site into a 2,500sqm exhibition space. The spotlight is on Liverpool as host for this year's Turner Prize in the lead up to becoming European City of Culture 2008, and this tightly curated, well-suited group of projects is certainly raising the bar on what the city has to offer.

But this is no MDF-panelled box. For an artist, the unique creative and funding possibilities afforded by the project space (financially assisted by A Foundation through the Nigel Moores Family Charitable Foundation, the Arts Council and a clutch of private supporters) must be exciting and daunting in equal measure.

Brian Griffiths, though, is an expert at colonising odd-shaped public spaces, as anyone who witnessed his Life is a Laugh at Gloucester Road tube station earlier this year will likely testify. The Furnace space at Greenland Street is no exception.

Griffiths has divided the former heart of this post-industrial beast into chambers with a motley assortment of large-scale architectural props and subtly doctored tarpaulins. The resulting sideshow oriented homage to bric-a-brac is a joy to negotiate. Neither monuments nor functional structures, these works appear to make physical the process of experiencing a recycled joke.

Upstairs in the Blade Factory, above the elegantly sickly photorealist paintings of fruit and flora on the ground floor by Mustafa Halusi (currently representing Cyprus at the Venice Biennale), Catherine Sullivan's epic film installation Triangle of Need poses a very different spatial proposition. Sullivan is known for her interest in performative and behavioural conventions. While this ambitious, visually stunning work provides fertile ground for discussion on the appropriation of filmic technique as a means of questioning historical "truth", the socio-political narrative is overly complex. An exhausting array of geographical locations, cinematic references and human ticks and quirks from evolution to the present make the extraordinary moments of action and composition difficult to digest. Simply navigating the moving image in this eerily portentous space is filmic reality enough.

Through the dusky tinted windows at the top of the building cranes appear to be rising from every direction across the city's skyline. The sense of possibility is palpable. With plans for a temporary takeover of a derelict warehouse in Stanley Dock next year, A Foundation is well positioned as a leading cultural player within this regenerative story about to unfold.

The Guardian
© Rebecca Geldard 2007
read article here