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 Affaired├ętats. 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