Category Archives: Video 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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Filed under Art, Art festival, Art stroll, Curator, dOCUMENTA, Konsthopp, Photography, Political Art, Public space, Science, Sociopolitical art, Textile Art, Video Art

GRAPEFRUIT / YOKO ONO

On-going: 6th of June – 16th of September 2012, The Modern Museum (Stockholm)

Yoko Ono moved from Japan to the USA with her family in the 1940s, and soon became a leading voice in New York’s most interesting artist circles, which worked with happenings, sound art, poetry and film. Alongside colleagues including George Maciunas, Marcel Duchamp and John Cage and others, Yoko Ono developed totally new modes of expression that questioned the artworld’s increasingly commercial preoccupations, and which left heroic high modernism behind.

The Grapefruit exhibition includes a selection of Yoko Ono’s ‘instruction pieces’, which invite us into imaginative ways of looking at existence and at the making of art. A number of experimental films and pivotal early works show Yoko to be a pioneer of conceptual art and the international fluxus movement, and also reflect the artist’s lifelong struggle for peace and love.

— Moderna Museet

Sophie Koch — Konsthopp’s representative of the night, was armed with her camera at the opening of the exhibition. And she got some great shots to share with us. Thanks to Sophie and we hope you enjoy!

All photographs taken by Sophie Koch / for Konsthopp

On-going: 6th of June – 16th of September 2012

Artist: Yoko Ono

Curator: Cecilia Widenheim

Place: The Modern Museum, Stockholm

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Filed under Art, Collage/Clip Art, Drawings, Installation, Live art, Multimedia, Music, Performance, Photography, Solo exhibit, Video Art, Visual Art

THAT’S A SECRET

In his latest performance “Man against a wall”, Elias Björn invited the public to sit down on a stool beside him (if they were interested) and see his penis, which had a flower placed in his urine tube. Beside that he stood leaning against the wall for about 30 minutes.

This is what Elias says about his artistic goals:

“With my masculinity interest I wish to broaden the discussion of what a male is and should be”

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Photograph taken by Alvaro Campo

Even though his most memorable moment as an artist is a secret, Elias Björn was kind enough to share with us his thoughts on our questions in Konshopp´s latest artist talk. To read the whole interview, click here

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Filed under Art, Artist Talk, Favourite of the month, Live art, Performance, Photography, Sociopolitical art, Stockholm, Video Art, Visual Art

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

THE WEIRD GIRLS PROJECT

Net stroll: 7th of June 2012

“The Weird Girls Project” is an Icelandic art collective that brings girls together to participate in an unknown conceptual multimedia mission known as an “episode.” Each episode consists of a video set to music and a photo shoot, which can be seen on the net. Since 2007, the project has birthed fifteen episodes, including three “specials.” The project is a brain child of Kitty Von Sometime, a DJ and a concept artist, originally from the UK.

EPISODE 15: BEAUTY IS ONLY SKIN DEEP (2012)

… The performance was much harder and more brutal for the participating women and for Kitty herself as a director. The cast and crew consisted of 60 people and the location was an old fishmeal factory, extremely cold, foul smelling and damp. The women’s boundaries and self acceptance were pushed until they were raw so that the element of the piece could be accurately captured …

— Read the full description here

SPECIAL EPISODE: UN WOMAN (2011)

… UNIFEM Iceland approached Kitty to produce a piece to celebrate the organisation joining forces with other institutions to become UN Women. After discussing the issues encompassed in this work this special episode drew its visual focus from the themes ‘Women supporting women’, ‘Freedom’ and ‘Giving women a stronger voice’…

— Read the full description here

EPISODE 1: NEON FAME AND THE LAST SUPPER (2007)

… The first episode of The Weird Girls Project was somewhat of an experiment. At this stage there was no plan to make this into a series, it was concentrating on the event itself and the media produced was a record of the event …

— Read the full description here

About the project:

The Weird Girls Project is an ongoing art experiment created and produced concept artist Kitty Von-Sometime. It evolves ‘Episode’ by ‘Episode’ and the participants mix between those involved from the beginning and new members increasing with every event. Each Episode is planned for about three months with the participants knowing as little as possible. The main element of the project is ‘release to the unknown’.

Media is produced from each Episode but the project also focuses on the event itself and how the women react, improvise and morph within costume learning about their power of self combined with the strength of coming together as a group. The women are varying in ages, backgrounds and experience, and do not necessarily know each other before the day. The Project involves ordinary women rather than professional actresses or models and part of the inspiration was to encourage a gain in self confidence within women, especially focusing around body issues and a release of inhibitions.


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“ART IS AN AMAZING WAY TO DEAL WITH LIFE”

– Interview with Tessa Praun (Sweden)

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

Curator Tessa Praun with Ai Wei Wei at his ateljé in 2010/ Photo by Magasin 3

 I started curating for real on my current job, the private art foundation Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall. My background is in the Humanities Study Program and Art History at Stockholm University. I did my final internship at IASPIS (International Artists Studio Program in Sweden), an artist in residency program that really got me interested in contemporary art. From there I moved on to shorter experiences at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and as assistant curator at Kunstverein München, amongst others. In 2004 I started as assistant curator at Magasin 3 and became curator two years later. Since then I have curated exhibitions with artists such as Miroslav Tichy, Christian Boltanski, Annika von Hausswolff, Marijke van Warmerdam, Ai Weiwei, etc. and have done collaborative projects with other art institutions in Europe and been working with Magasin 3:s own collection.

What is your personal relationship with Ai Wei Wei and his work? How did it come about that you got to curate his show at Magasin 3?

I was very taken by Ai Weiwei’s project “Fairytale” that he did for Documenta XII, this impressive idea to invite 1001 Chinese people to come with him to Kassel in Germany in the summer of 2007. It is a fantastic social multi layered project that lives on through stories that are being told as well as through physical remaining parts with an amazing visual strength. Experiencing this work in Kassel made me read more about Ai Weiwei and follow the work he did after.

In 2010 I was in China and had the chance to visit Ai Weiwei in his combined home and studio in Beijing. This was in a time when he was already very pressed by the Chinese authorities and he had just been under a three days house arrest when we met. Meeting him in his own environment and under these pressing circumstances effected me strongly and coming back to Stockholm I invited him to have the exhibition here at Magasin 3 this spring.

Fairytale (dormitory) by Ai Wei Wei 

Tell us more about the Ai Wei Wei exhibition. What has been your main role as a curator of the show?

From the beginning I knew that I did not want to make a retrospective exhibition, instead I wanted a selection of works that focuses on China as synonymous to mass production and Ai Weiwei’s concern for the individual as a necessary part of the big mass. Ai Weiwei did the first selection of works that he and I then discussed and added to. Only a few months into working together, in the beginning of April 2011, he suddenly was arrested and kept detained on no legal grounds in an undisclosed location. Not knowing what was going to happen, if and when he would be released, me and my colleagues had to decide how to move on. Together with Ai Weiwei’s assistants we came to the conclusion that the best thing that we could do in that situation was to continue the preparations of the exhibition, it felt even more so important to show his work and make his voice heard. Despite my deep concerns for Ai Weiwei’s situation I had to focus as much as I could on completing the exhibition and do so in the most respectful way.

World Map by Ai Wei Wei

Can you explain the importance of the reading room being a part of the Ai Wei Wei exhibition? Why emphasize on all that information?

At the point when Ai Weiwei was detained and couldn’t be part of the preparations of the exhibition anymore, I felt it was important to give our visitors a deeper insight into Ai Weiwei’s situation, why he is on a collision course with the regime and consequently has become so known also outside the art world. So I developed a reading room. A physical one in the actual exhibition space, side by side with the artworks. It includes reading material, a sound archive where various people contributed with their stories and reflections on Ai Weiwei, interviews and documentaries on and by Ai Weiwei. But also a digital one, a special homepage gathering articles, documentaries, the sound archive, filmed documentation of all panel discussions that we have arranged in connection to the exhibition etc. in order for people to explore his work both as an artist, activist, blogger, architect. He himself does not really distinguish these roles. I found it interesting to bring this up through the reading room. Both the physical and digital reading room have proven very useful and much appreciated.

Video work by Ai Wei Wei 

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

Well yes, I think since these new media are part of society today it is only a natural development that also artists explore them and art institutions adapt them in communicating with the audience. In some cases art can be brought closer to the viewer through various new media and attract those who are hard to reach in a more traditional manner. In our part of the world we live in a time with a tremendous fast pace. It is important that art can both adapt to these new circumstances but also offer a brake from just that. The content has to be the driving force otherwise the experience will be lost completely. It is a challenge for both artist and curator to find the right balance.

Stool by Ai Wei Wei

Photographs by Konsthopp

What qualities do you think a good curator should have?  

A good curator knows how to both support and challenge an artist, is curious and open minded, dedicated to the project and flexible to deal with different characters and situations under time pressure : )

From your point of view, how does the future of professional curating look like? What are your personal wishes, hopes and perspectives on your future curatorial plans?

My main motivation for being a curator is to learn more about life. Being close to art is an amazing way to deal with life, to explore notions of the present, history and future, to be inspired to thoughts and feelings. If I can transmit this also to other people then I think I am doing something good.

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Filed under Ceramic Art, Conversation, Curator, Curator Talk, Documentary, Fine Art, Installation, Political Art, Sculptures, Sociopolitical art, Stockholm, Textile Art, Uncategorized, Video Art, Visual Art

AI WEI WEI

On-going: 3rd of February – 10th of June 2012, Magasin 3 (Stockholm)

“Creativity is the power to reject the past, to change the status quo, and to seek new potential. Simply put, aside from using one’s imagination — and perhaps more importantly — creativity is the power to act. Only through our actions can expectations for change become reality, and only then can our purported creativity build a new foundation, and only then is it possible to draw out human civilization.”

Ai Wei Wei

Ai WeiWei — a Chinese artist, activist, curator, blogger & architect — concerns for the individual as a necessary part of the big mass. The on-going exhibition at Magasin 3 shows a selection of his works, focusing on his monumental installations and political work — Chinese socialism, mass production and global trade. In his work, Ai Weiwei often refers to pre-revolutionary China and its cultural and craft traditions. He seeks out iconic objects with great cultural and symbolic value for the Chinese, and then deliberately treats them with complete disregard for its worth or intended function. The artworks can be seen as commentary on the disdain that Mao’s Cultural Revolution showed the past as well as a way for Ai Weiwei himself to dispatch with conventional notions about art and its value.

Ai Weiwei was born in 1957 in Beijing. He co-founded the avant-garde artists’ group Stars at the end of the 1970s before moving to New York in 1983. There he was a leading figure in the community of exiled Chinese artists, writers and musicians and became an active member of the American intellectual and artistic scene. In 1993 Ai Weiwei returned to China where he has worked not only as an artist, but also as a curator, architect and blogger. In recent years his activism for social change in China has increased, making him one of the most outspoken critics of the regime. In October 2011, he was named number one in the ArtReview annual Power 100 list but six months earlier he had been arrested by the Chinese government and held for over two months without any official charges being filed.

Photographs by Konsthopp

As you can imagine the preparation of the exhibition hasn’t been easy as only few months into working together with the artist, Tessa Praun, curator of the exhibition was told that Ai Wei Wei had suddenly been arrested and kept detained — and as she did not know what was going to happen, she had to decide how to move on. In a Konsthopp interview with the curator, this is what she had to say about the continue:

” Together with Ai Weiwei’s assistants we came to the conclusion that the best thing that we could do in that situation was to continue the preparations of the exhibition, it felt even more so important to show his work and make his voice heard. Despite my deep concerns for Ai Weiwei’s situation I had to focus as much as I could on completing the exhibition and do so in the most respectful way”.

-Tessa Praun

One of the way was to create a reading room, which is one of my favorite parts of the exhibition at Magasin 3. The reading room (which is both digital and physical) also includes documentary films, and really gives the visitors a chance to learn more about the artist and his multifaceted efforts to foster social change in China — an activism that has already put him on a collision course with the Chinese regime.

If you haven’t been at Magasin 3 yet — go this weekend! Tomorrow we’ll be publishing our monthly curator interview with Tessa Praun — who shares an informative view of Ai Wei Wei’s work with an inspiring insight of a young, successful curator.

Stay tuned, and happy weekend!

Date: 3rd of February – 10th of June 2012

Artist: Ai Wei Wei

Curator: Tessa Praun

Place: Magasin 3, Frihamnen (Stockholm)

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Filed under Art, Ceramic Art, Fine Art, Installation, Konsthopp, Political Art, Stockholm, Textile Art, Video Art