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Tag: art

We want Jobs

Jocelyn Herbert, the British theatre designer who designed for the Royal Court and the National Theatre had a critical roll in transforming theatre for much of the last century. Working with directors such as Samuel Beckett and poet, Tony Harrison, she concentrated on conveying mood and atmosphere rather than literal place and time.
Last year, her life’s design work was acquired by The University of the Arts. This small exhibition, which I am curating, is the first of its kind. Having spent a day in the archive sifting through over 5000 pieces of work, Jocelyn’s keen fascination for the downtrodden and desperate became apparent.
This exhibition consists of 20 drawings and collages as well as three pieces of work made by third-year students at Wimbledon College of Art in response to the archive material, focusing on the subject of desperation in the city.
The private view is next Thursday. 5pm. All welcome.

POSTED 18.04.09 BY: paulabbott | Comments (2)

Affluenza Exhibition.

Until Sat Mar 28

Based on psychologist Oliver James’s definition of affleunza as ‘a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more’, this timely exhibition (held in a temporary gallery space in Farringdon) features work by 30 multidisciplinary artists, plus a series of talks on subjects such as ‘How to de-brand your life’. The exhibition is the brainchild of photographer and Samaritans volunteer Hege Sæbjørnsen, who reached burn-out in 2007 due to excessive working and other challenging life events.

Affluenza, was a subject we touched upon at moot last year. I have not yet seen the exhibition so if anyone is interested in going, let me know.

Ironically, this is one of the few exhibitions in London that has an entry fee. Good thing it’s only £2

There is an interesting event happening tomorrow evening called Happy Designs for the Future. Designers from different fields will talk about how they incorporate emotional well-being into their work, followed by a discussion about the future of design in the context of Affluenza.

http://www.theaffluenzaexhibition.org/home.html

POSTED 23.03.09 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)

Altermodern

I’ve mentioned before that it seems as though modernism is making a big resurgence, and there have been some interesting discussions around this subject before.

Well now proof if proof were needed – the TATE gallery has organised a show called “Altermodern” around that very subject. Altermodern defined as “Modernism re-loaded” if you will or neo-Modernism if you won’t. Whilst I personally find this trend extremely alarming, artists have a knack of being prophetic about movements and shifts, recognising what is happening, and reflecting the times – and it looks like these times are no exception.

On the TATE’s website is the manifesto for “altermodernism”, which I reproduce verbatim for your perusal:

Altermodern
Manifesto

POSTMODERNISM IS DEAD

A new modernity is emerging, reconfigured to an age of globalisation – understood in its economic, political and cultural aspects: an altermodern culture

Increased communication, travel and migration are affecting the way we live

Our daily lives consist of journeys in a chaotic and teeming universe

Multiculturalism and identity is being overtaken by creolisation: Artists are now starting from a globalised state of culture

This new universalism is based on translations, subtitling and generalised dubbing

Today’s art explores the bonds that text and image, time and space, weave between themselves

Artists are responding to a new globalised perception. They traverse a cultural landscape saturated with signs and create new pathways between multiple formats of expression and communication.

The Tate Triennial 2009 at Tate Britain presents a collective discussion around this premise that postmodernism is coming to an end, and we are experiencing the emergence of a global altermodernity.

Nicolas Bourriaud
Altermodern – Tate Triennial 2009
at Tate Britain
4 February – 26 April 2009

POSTED 03.02.09 BY: paulabbott | Comments (39)

Superfex, South London Gallery


If you have ever been sat in a McDonald’s and wondered what would happen if the whole place was flooded out, wonder no more.

Superflex were commissioned by the South London Gallery to make this 20 minute film. They have painstakingly recreated the entire restaurant including all the packaging and signage, then gradually flooded it all out.
It would be really interesting to hear what anybody else thinks about the film. I’m not so sure it’s entirely about McDonals – perhaps its more about what they represent. Maybe they are used here as a representative of our ridiculously wasteful age. On fist impression it would be easy to see the piece as overtly cynical or preachy, but in fact I found it to be incredibly hopeful.

POSTED 02.02.09 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)

PAX on Earth

Those of you who follow my blog may or may not know that I set myself a project over the summer.

Right at the beginning of the summer, I witnessed a rather horrific occurrence outside my window. I wasn’t at all sure how to respond, or indeed if I could respond, so I decided to do what I know I could do well – make paintings. With the advent of the summer holidays, I felt pretty sure that there were going to be lots of kids hanging around with nothing to do, pretty bored, so I hit upon an idea.

There’s a website of artists’ work called Free Art Friday. Basically the idea is that you leave out a piece of work on the street on a Friday, for anyone to just pick up and take home to put on their wall at no cost. It’s a great idea on many levels – art for the masses, etc., So I decided, where time permitted, to leave some work out on the waste ground outside my flat every Friday. In the end, I made 4 works out of old boards and any other stuff I could find that had been left out on our estate as rubbish.

PAX Trinity. Put out Friday. Various kids came and looked and commented all good comments. They were shuffled about from time to time, and finally disappeared the following Wednesday.

Ethiopian PAX. Put out on the Friday. Mostly stayed where it was for the weekend. On the following Monday night, it was attacked by two kids with bricks, and then was thrown about for the rest of the week. It’s made from pretty rigid materials so, it wasn’t really easy to break up, so it floated around the estate for most of the summer.



Evolution of PAX This lasted most of the weekend and I overheard lots of good comments, then it disappeared for couple of days before it re-appeared in small bits later in the week.

PAX Target. This lasted the shortest amount of time. It was put out at 6am on the Friday, and by the time I came home at 4pm it was also smashed up.

So, what did I learn from this? If you’re not careful, something like this can just re-inforce your worst fears and beliefs about a situation or a group of people. Our media has spent a lot of time demonising kids, but in a situation where funding for youth clubs have been cut to nothing, kids are bored and having options for expressing themselves reduced by the minute.

It’s a sad state of affairs that for some, they feel that the only responses open to them are violence and destruction, but it’s important not to forget that a lot of good comments were made by many kids, and people did come and sit and just look.

The subject matter of PAX or peace was a deliberate choice, and was a prayer of hope from me. It was helpful to think that in some way I am able to contribute to my environment, and frankly I’d rather they hurled rocks at my artwork instead of cars, windows or people (all of which I have witnessed on occasion). But I shudder to think what will happen when these people grow up and find their options limited further still. This generation is not being looked after properly, and the consequences may well prove disastrous. As moot looks to move to an area that has its own share of socio-economic deprivation, I am still pondering the possible implications, if any, and whether creatively, we can model something positive and Christian for people.

POSTED 18.09.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (7)

Victoria Rise


I’m convinced

POSTED 15.07.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Victoria Rise

slowing meditation

Alison Jacques Gallery is showing artist/photographer Uta Barth‘s Sundial until 28 June 2008. Some blurb from the press release for the New York showing:


‘Conceived as pictures of light, the photographs that make up Sundial trace the effect of the sun’s movement as natural light falls and moves across the interior spaces of the artist’s home over the course of the day, on different days throughout the year. These photographs were primarily taken at dusk, when the last play of light begins to erase itself and the illuminated world is put to rest, when objects are caught in beams of light and cast their quickly fading shadows on walls, ceilings and floors. The resulting images are still, silent and slow…’


POSTED 18.06.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on slowing meditation

You Dig the Tunnel, I’ll Hide the Soil

This morning I had the good fortune to be invited to the White Cube Gallery to hear an introduction of the current exhibition (as above) by the Director of the Gallery.

They currently have a group exhibition in the gallery and the new basement of Shoreditch Town Hall. The exhbition draws on the work of Edgar Poe – who I remember from my teens. His writings are very dark, drawing on mythic imagery of the shadow-side of life.

The Gallery exhibition had this to say….


Poe is now recognised as an artist far ahead of his time, particularly for the charged psychological facets of his work, which seemed to foretell psychoanalysis, pre-dating Freud by more than half a century. His famous detective, Dupin, became the blueprint for many future detectives, including Sherlock Holmes, Poirot and Miss Marple, and he is also a pioneer of what we now know as science fiction, influencing such writers as Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. However, Miller felt that Poe had become synonymous with whatever is merely gothic or dark, a misconception that he wanted to address by curating this exhibition. ‘There’s a real distinction here’, says Miller. ‘It was really telling when we’d approach people and they’d say, “Oh yeah, I’ve got this painting which is nearly all black!” That was really disappointing.’ Miller sought to address this glib association by selecting a dozen of Poe’s stories that seemed to lend themselves most to a more contemporary interpretation. Wherever he noticed a connection to an artist’s existing work, life or practice, he approached them to read the stories and asked them to respond in any manner they saw fit and to interpret the story with a new work.

This exhibition has got me thinking, and I love the new labyrinth rooms in the town hall.


POSTED 30.04.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)

You Dig the Tunnel, I'll Hide the Soil

This morning I had the good fortune to be invited to the White Cube Gallery to hear an introduction of the current exhibition (as above) by the Director of the Gallery.

They currently have a group exhibition in the gallery and the new basement of Shoreditch Town Hall. The exhbition draws on the work of Edgar Poe – who I remember from my teens. His writings are very dark, drawing on mythic imagery of the shadow-side of life.

The Gallery exhibition had this to say….


Poe is now recognised as an artist far ahead of his time, particularly for the charged psychological facets of his work, which seemed to foretell psychoanalysis, pre-dating Freud by more than half a century. His famous detective, Dupin, became the blueprint for many future detectives, including Sherlock Holmes, Poirot and Miss Marple, and he is also a pioneer of what we now know as science fiction, influencing such writers as Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. However, Miller felt that Poe had become synonymous with whatever is merely gothic or dark, a misconception that he wanted to address by curating this exhibition. ‘There’s a real distinction here’, says Miller. ‘It was really telling when we’d approach people and they’d say, “Oh yeah, I’ve got this painting which is nearly all black!” That was really disappointing.’ Miller sought to address this glib association by selecting a dozen of Poe’s stories that seemed to lend themselves most to a more contemporary interpretation. Wherever he noticed a connection to an artist’s existing work, life or practice, he approached them to read the stories and asked them to respond in any manner they saw fit and to interpret the story with a new work.

This exhibition has got me thinking, and I love the new labyrinth rooms in the town hall.


POSTED 30.04.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)

Breathing Space St Lukes

Some Mooters will remember that a while ago, I was on placement with St Lukes Church in North London, where I worked with Dave Tomlinson and others, to get their vision going for ‘breathing space’, for the church space to be used to promote Christian Spirituality.

Both Moot at Breathing Space are trying to address the issue of promoting Christian Spirituality to a post-Christian culture that is interested in spirituality rather than religion. I am really pleased to hear that things are progressing at Breathing Space.

As part of their events, Rob Pepper is running a monthly spirituality and art session as a form of meditation – at the cost of £5. So if you are in North London and around on the 16th April at 7.30pm to 9.30pm, look them up. Mooters please note this clashes with our preparations for the Mind Body & Spirit Festival where we need all hands on deck. I am posting this more for those who read this blog not connected to Moot. For more info on the Drawing Space event click the picture below

POSTED 07.04.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)