Category Archives: Political Art

dOCUMENTA (13)

Weekend breather: dOCUMENTA (13)

Big apologies about our absent lately! I’m hoping that a short brief through our photos from dOCUMENTA will cheer you up and give you a fresh air for the weekend.

We will be back on track sooner than you expect, so stay tuned!

/Ingunn & Írena

 

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“I LIKE ALL KIND OF TUBES. THE YOUTUBE AND THE WHITE CUBE”

– Interview with Jacopo Saltarelli (Norway)

When did you start curating? Tell us something about your educational background?

I was born in Firenze in 1459. I know this may sound strange, but it all makes perfect sense. You see, I started out as an apprentice goldsmith. Soon, however, I found that prostitution was something I felt comfortable with, and liberated by. Through my work, I befriended Leonardo da Vinci, and became a model for many of his masterpieces. At the age of seventeen, they payed to sodomize me in public, and I spent two month in jail together with da Vinci and three of his friends.This became a turning point for me. After we were released, I discovered a paradox in the space-time continuum, contained in Leonardo’s asshole. I traveled through it, and was catapulted forward in time to a small cabin by the Norwegian coastline. Some young artists from the city of Oslo happened to find me, and after a bit of small-talk, they invited me to be the curator of a new gallery space. So here I am, back from the past to talk about the future.

What is the artistic field of your curatorial practice?

This is a question of specifying some form of limit to curatorial practice, something which I believe contradicts the basic non-meaning of the term. If you’re a curator who only curates video art, or collage for that matter, you’re already a stuck up, pretentious kind of guy, who seeks artists who adapt to his or hers designated niché one way or the other, and the exhibitions you create will end up fetishistic at best.

I like to curate artists which relate to some of my personal perspectives. Including, but not exclusive to, sexuality, scientific negation, blasphemy, perfection, beauty, rebelliousness, time, space and immortality. And also, things. You could say I’m a bit of a fetishist myself.

Saltarelli Salong

Is there a difference in curating different field of arts, etc. paintings, videos, interactive works or a piece of net art?

There is no reason why we should separate these fields and exhibit them as different practices. This is artes vulgares thinking at its most anal, and I dont think the material should be considered superior to the idea and context of a given artwork. In my youth the church was the only place to rock. Today, I find strict categorization close to impossible with the new, transmutational practices in this android age.

What kind of qualities do you think a curator should have?

Sadly, a curators traits is of an obnoxious charater. Public relation and sale, contextualization through media, projections of personal insecurities and so on. Overly charismatic and slick. A demigod wannabe. I think the curator is something which has emerged through the artists need to be collaborative, while still standing like a lone ranger on an heroic cliff. The lonely artistic genius is exactly that, a lonely arrogant man. Nothing gives us a greater thrill than satisfying our sense of exhaustion and ennui by polishing the bars of our prison cell. As jail, the museum leads to isolation.

Do you think that new and digital media used in contemporary art has brought new aspects to arts and curating? Yes or no, explain why?

BWPWAP? Yes, for me, I prefer keyboards over sloppy handwriting. It’s a way of immortalizing our own monologues. #YOLO

Work by Frido Evers / Saltarelli Salong

In times of “You Tube” and the Internet, do you think a curator is still needed?

I like all kind of tubes.The YouTube and the White Cube. One doesn’t necessarily exclude the other.

What are your curatorial plans for the future? What are your personal wishes, hopes and perspectives in curating?

Exploring the depths and caveats of art through Saltarelli Salong I also wish to materialize myself in a 3D hologram, exhibit works in a church, and travel back to Italy to see the social change of the last 500 years and feel the salt of the earth once more. The intestinal wormhole of da Vinci has taught me that money is a means to and end, the end being death.

“The Man and the Tree” / In SALT’s latest exhibition, Geir Backe Altern plants an illegal tree outside of the gallery

Photographs belong to Saltarelli Salong

What is the future of professional curating from your point of view?

Why so serious? That is my biggest concern. Art should not be dull or afraid of its shortcomings. Let’s leave behind this slick, slimy, unreasonably complex sociolect which contemporary art personifies to the point of neurosis. Contemporary art as presented today is the tragedy of perfection. The curator is often blamed as the legitimatizing force for commoditizing an ostensibly unapproachable field of useless innovation. But this is of course not the curators fault.

SALT (Saltarelli Salong) operate through weekend exhibitions, happenings, screenings, concerts and workshops mainly focsed on exhibiting young artists based in Oslo.

SALT is named after Jacobo Saltarelli, an apprentice goldsmith and notorious male prostitute who lived in Firenze during the renaissance. In 1476 Leonardo Da Vinci was arrested, spending two months in jail, along with several young companions, on the charge of sodomy with the then 17-years-old Jacopo.

Jacopo Saltarelli is now the founder, curator and gallerist of SALT. He was in his own time accused of being ‘party to many wretched affairs and consents to please those persons who request such wickedness of him. SALT believes this to be much the same service delivered by the majority of contemporary art.

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WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Final words: The Icelandic Love Corporation

It’s the last day of June and time to move on. Before we continue onto the summer — keeping a lower profile on the country side — we are wrapping up the “flavor of the month“, closing June with an artistic work that touches upon existential and political issues, which is theatrically staged with a humorous angle — in a peculiar fusion of realism and surrealism…

Happy summer everyone!

The Icelandic Love Corporation — Eirún Sigurðardóttir, Jóní Jónsdóttir, Sigrún Hrólfsdóttir and Dóra Ísleifsdóttir (who left the group in 2001) — met in Reykjavík, at the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts. Their first big performance was “The Kiss”, featuring the artists kissing and was broadcasted on national TV in 1996.

The Kiss / Photo taken from ICL’s homepage

A kiss — they say — that was a little bit longer than a friends kiss but a little bit shorter than a lover’s kiss. In the end of the performance one of the artists kissed the camera lens and in the meantime, sent a kiss to every home in the whole country.

“With this performance we were trying to spread love and good feelings,” Sigrún says (in Grapewine 2007).

And since then — since that first kiss — the mission of the group has only expanded in line with their steadily growing career.

Women good enough to eat / Photo taken from ILC’s homepage

To The Icelandic Love Corporation, there are no rules — anything goes and nothing is irrelevant. Even though spreading love and good feeling is a part of their performances, The Icelandic Love Corporation has never been afraid to go all the way. Humour, femininity and carelessness is mixed with political thoughts and serious topics in their work, which is mostly performative — depending on time, place and “had-to-be-there” moments.  The group is enigmatic and their vibrant, life affirming work is both transient and anonymous. It’s not resistant to pin-pointing or analysing — and trying to do so is rather futile. Their work is honest — and refreshing — with a serious undertone that isn’t unwieldy. As is written in an interview with the group in the SiouxWire Annex from 2006:

“As a whole, their body of work is like an ornate diary, a window into their own personal journeys with the most incredible, enlightening outlook”.

“Where do we go from here?” / Photographer: Páll Stefánsson

Through performances and other mediums (including installations, prints, textile, sculptures, poetry, photography and videos), the group works to breakdown the distance between art and audience, and their projects often result in participatory events or public offerings. In one of their latest collaboration with Lilith Performance Studio in Malmö, the group created — in a living web of 5000 nylon pantyhose — a singular visual experience “Think Less, Feel more” that worked on irrational levels of the thinking process. The performance had its starting point in the visible and invisible contacts between people — conveying experiences of control and lack of control, conflict, sensitivity and elasticity …

… taking the performance artform just a one step further.

Think Less – Feel more / Photo taken from Lilith Performance Studio

The Icelandic Love Corporation (Gjörningaklúbburinn) was established by four Icelandic women in 1996 and since then, the group has gained a reputation both in Iceland and abroad. The fourth member (Dóra Ísleifsdóttir) left the group in 2001 but the three remaining members; Eirún Sigurðardóttir (1971), Jóní Jónsdóttir (1971) and Sigrún Hrólfsdóttir (1973), have kept on making artwork together, tour the world and surprise both audience and bypassers with innovative performances and lasting by-products including installations, sculptures, prints, textile, photographs, poetry and videos. Believing in the power of collaboration, the ILC’s history counts more than 200 exhibitions, as they’ve performed in small galleries and large museums, collaborated with renowned artists and musicians (f.ex. Björk) and invaded public spaces in major cities across the world. Their work can be found found in numerous public and private collections. 


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Filed under Art, Choreography, Documentary, Iceland, Installation, Live art, Media, Music, Performance, Photography, Political Art, Print, Reykjavík, Sculptures, Sociopolitical art, Sound Art, Textile Art, Video Art, Visual Art

WHAT CAME FIRST? THE WOMAN OR THE EGG?

Solo performance: 14th & 15th of June 2012, CCAP Studios (Stockholm)

“Vulnerability, beauty, innocence. The white and the clean. Eggs on the inside and on the outside. When did I become a woman? When will I become the woman I want to be?” A solo performance on restraining oneself and to be free.

Disa Krosness /  Tove Brunberg. (Translated by Konsthopp) 

Photographs by Disa Krosness & Írena Steindórsdóttir

The performance, What came first? – The woman or the egg? is a study of projected femininity and how it manifests itself in the body. The opening scene starts with a woman — clean, pure — sitting on a chair, dressed in white, red high heals, painting a face on an egg. Spread around her and attached to her spine are the fragile eggs, which she carefully handles and proceeds around with caution. The solo is performed without music or sounds, so Tove’s facial expressions — titters, smiles, eye-contacts — and movements, are powerful and portray a feeling of insecurity, self-consciousness and restrictions. Under the performance, the woman lose her balance, falls and an egg shatters… after that, there is no going back for her…

Tuve Brunberg said this about the process of the project:

 ”It was a partnership that really challenged me as a person, on a private level but also on an artistic level. It has been a deep dive into myself as a person and what is actually important in the job as a dancer. It has been demanding physically as I have been executing expression that I am not accustomed to perform, such as “facial choreography” or mime, and other movements that did force me to push my limits physically and mentally.”

(Translated by Konsthopp)

The idea first came from Disa Krosness (1985), a dancer and choreographer, and is a result of a month-long collaboration between Disa Krosness, Tove Brunberg and Anna Lo Engwald (costume designer) in a residency at CCAP Studios in Stockholm. The whole project is basically no budget but Stockholm City contributed 10 000 for the marketing, costumes and props and CCAP offered free studio. Disa Krosness says that ..” the wish is to put it up on a gallery, where I think it would fit well. I am also seeking ways to make it into a dance film”.

I really hope her wish comes true — and that more people can enjoy this outstanding performance!

Disa Krosness (idea & choreography) is born in 1985 and trained as a dancer at the Schools of Modern Dance in Copenhagen. In the spring of 2012 Disa initiated Friends, with Benefits, a platform to promote cooperation among female dancers. In line with her desire to highlight newly established choreographers and dancers, Disa is involved in organizing the dance festival MOVE TO BE MOVED and has recently started the dance group Lativ Super, were the vision is to raise the dancer and choreographers status in society. 

Contact info: disakrosness@gmail.com

Tove Brunberg (process & presentation) is born in 1986 and has worked as a freelance dancer since she graduated from the Royal Swedish Ballet School (modern line) in 2006. She has produced and participated in performances with the group ches: co, which she helped establish in 2006 and which has performed in various places in Stockholm. Tove has also done her own solos as well as working in sets with Susanne Jaresand, Lotta Melin, Carl Olof Berg, Dorte Olesen, Sebastian Lingserius, Ossi Niskala and SU-EN Butoh Dance Company.

Contact info: tove.brunberg@gmail.com

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FATAL FETISHISM

Online publication: KATALOG (Canada)

“Irony serves as an alibi for a fetish.” (Nathaniel Wing)

Fetish is one of my favorite words in the dictionary. There is something fascinating, disturbing and — well — disgusting about fetishism. My prospects about this perverted phenomenon; often makes me laugh.

And more people seems to be preoccupied by fetish.

The 6th issue of KATALOG — Fetish

A new issue of KATALOG was recently launched. For those who don´t know — Katalog is an e-magazine dedicated to the practice of performances and live arts around the world. The magazine is a free paperless performance publication, published quarterly by the Central Canadian Center for Performance. CCCP’s main aim is to create awareness and document performative and live arts.

Two Icelandic artists; Eva Ísleifsdóttir and Rakel McMahon presents their work in the latest issue.

 

Eva Ísleifsdóttir wrote the following words about her performance; “It´s a sign“:

… Walking around Cork city center with a big traffic symbol on my back. The by-passers offering their help but I politely said no. It was heavy and awkward. The Cul de sac is a traffic symbol that indicates a dead-end street. Using the symbol as a representation of reality, I walked the streets of Cork with a big traffic symbol on my back. Traffic symbols weight a lot in modern society, warning signs, indications, they are directing us, for our own safety. Older civilizations recognized the power of symbols and used them extensively in everything. What if the ´normal´ traffic signs and symbols are subliminally and cynically trying to tell us something? …

— Eva Ísleifsdóttir

“It´s a sign” by Eva Íslefsdóttir. Image/ Irene Murphy  

Rakel McMahon, which our readers should be familiar with, presents in the same issue her new work; “What is the purpose; it´s allreadmade.” Let´s see what the artist says about her artistic approach.

.. I´m interested in approaching and presenting my subject matter with reinterpretation, metaphors, and reevaluation of serious/humor and what is considered normal. The subject and issues I like working with are connected with gender, sexuality, stereotypes and normality.”

— Rakel McMahon

 “What is the purpose; it´s allreadmade.” by Rakel McMahon (2012) Image/Konsthopp

You can download Fetish, the 6th issue of KATALOG, here!

KATALOG is an online publication with video and sound capabilities which is dedicated to the practice of performance and live art.  Each issue deals with a different type of performance and in this issue we focus on artworks that deals with the object as an accompaniment or as the main focus of a performative work.  This call is open for artists from all disciplines from around the globe.  

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IN THE SAME CITY, UNDER THE SAME SKY…

Online public view: 19th of June – 1st of July 2012, MAP website (Sweden)

In the Same City, Under the Same Sky… is a series of short films made by the Polish artist Anna Konik. The artwork contains stories from seven women with foreign background living in Tensta, a suburb outside of Stockholm. These are tales of courage, regret, alienation and attempts to enter the Swedish society.

Photograph taken from MAP website

The women talk about their experiences of living in a forgotten part of Stockholm, when the reasons for coming there seldom were voluntary, but often traumatic. In the films we see seven women with Swedish origin in their homes in the city centre of Stockholm who retell the stories from the women in Tensta. The displacement of the narrative is a means for the artist to shed light on who’s stories we are ready to listen, who’s voice it is that counts.

Take a look at Anna Konik’s video here (without subtitle)

In the Same City, Under the Same Sky…is produced by MAP, Mobile Art Production in collaboration with the Polish Institute Stockholm, and with the support of Stockholm Municipality and Iaspis, where Konik was in residence during 2011.

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JOYFUL JUNE

Flavor of the month: Performance art

Over the past weeks I have been asking outsiders what they think about the visual art scene in Iceland. Is it different from the rest of Scandinavian scene? What stands out in the Icelandic art scene today?

The answer was clear.

Most people I spoke to, mentioned the active and very visible performance art scene. It did not surprise me. Our biggest stars in the visual art sectors today are performance artists — with Ragnar Kjartansson and Rúrí in the forefront.

Lord of the castle itch yes” by Leif Holmstrand (2009), CHRYSTAL

 “Back and Forth” by Gatëan Rusquet (2011), ANTI Festival

Mont Blanc” by Mimosa Pale (2011) Berlin. Image/Niina Braun

Peta loves Pollock” by Rakel McMahon (2009)

Dance Drawings” by Meghann Snow (2011), Young Art

Photographs by Konsthopp

Then again, some people might ask — what is performance art?
It is not easy to answer; but I hope the guidelines below might give you a tiny glimpse of what we are talking about when it comes to this specific art form.

THE SYMPTOMS OF PERFORMANCE ART

»Performance Art is live.

»Performance Art has no rules or guidelines. It is art because the artist says it is art. It is experimental.

»Performance Art is not for sale. It may, however, sell admission tickets and film rights.

»Performance Art may be comprise of painting or sculpture (or both), dialogue, poetry, music, dance, opera, film footage, turned on television sets, laser lights, live animals and fire. Or all of the above. There are as many variables as there are artists.

»Performance Art is a legitimate artistic movement. It has longevity (some performance artists, in fact, have rather large bodies of work) and is a degreed course of study in many post-secondary institutions.

»Dada, Futurism, the Bauhaus and the Black Mountain College all inspired and helped pave the way for Performance Art.

»Performance Art is closely related to Conceptual Art. Both Fluxus and Body Art are types of Performance Art.

»Performance Art may be entertaining, amusing, shocking or horrifying. No matter which adjective applies, it is meant to be memorable.

— By Shelley Eesak,  ArtHistoryAbout.com

This month we are going to dig deeper into the field of this ancient art form!

Related entries includes; “The weird girls project” and “I would like to set a trend.”

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