Last week's events weren't about seeing as many as possible like the week before, but they did keep some of the festive glow. From the posh L40 to the happy-go-geeky LEAP, each one was packed and full of positive energy. People were talkative and friendly, especially in places where the glasses were refilled for little or no money. Besides Dionysus, we should also thank the generous amount of sunshine for that. The lovely weather was the only accceptable excuse to miss some of the great openings, and for those of you who commited themselves to staring at the sun - here's what you've missed.
Studio / Audience @ Import Projects
As one door closes, another one opens. However, it doesn’t matter how many doors open if you can’t find the right door. Above is the door to Import Projects; I hope this saves you the thirty minutes I spent wandering up and down the street trying to figure out how to get in.
Once inside, there are a handful of pieces by Constant Dullaart. Working around issues of space, security, and the crisis of the internet, Dullaart’s mixed media work exemplifies the mission statement of Import Projects: “exploring the intersection of technology, personal identity, and community”. The mural-esque image of a woman on a beach also offers a welcome break from the cold and groggy outdoors.
For Studio / Audience, Ikono TV commissioned a series of video portraits of artists working in their workplaces. As the artists themselves created their portraits, the work dealt cheekily with ideas of identity, construction, and representation of art and artists. I was able to catch two videos: Jaakko Pallasvuo split his time between showing clips of him laying in bed cuddling with his Macbook and a chocolate bar, as well as screen-captures of his Photoshop painting progress; Helga Wretman made a mockumentary of her team filming a video, full of dramatic orchestra music, intense jogging scenes, and (very) drunken karaoke singing. +25 for the artists’ sense of humor. (N)
Foster Huntington - Choices & Dialogues @ L40
After visiting about 20 openings I had the feeling that the dress code is not too important. Those places are full of artists or people somehow connected to the art and they are in many cases considered to be weird anyway. Shortly: usually no one cares. This time, after the whole day out I didn’t turn back home to change into something appropriate.
I have suspected something after being asked for name and searched on guest list so on my way upstairs I put a sweater on and hoped no one would look down at my dirty yellow trainers. I was right about the dress code this time but I was not the only one that did not fit in.
“I am glad I am not the only one in trainers here...”
“Yeah, I even put a shirt on a T-shirt when I was coming in.”
Foster Huntington kind of joined me in my inappropriate moment and that would give him at least 10 points. Not that he would need them. The exhibition was actually very enjoyable.
Road-trip storytelling photos on one side presented in different forms and enhanced with road trip subjects. Short movies about him meeting with different artists during the trip completed with photos of their favourite things on the other side and then a short “whole trip” movie behind. And, of course, many points to the free wine and snacks. (E)
Trinity @ Neurotitan
I wasn't really connected to the three artists in any way besides the fact that we shared more-less the same geographical area before I moved here. And possibly some common friends; it's a small small world. Yet I still feel that I might have appreciated it more that I normally would just because those were "my people". I was corrupted by a feeling called Yugonostalgia and felt pretty much like a real Gastarbeiter who excessively appreciates everything about his home country only after he moves as far as possible. Whatever it was, it made me content.
The feel-good started already in the nice bookshop that you have to go through to reach the gallery space (which is a great art and hangout space by the way - white but not cube, spatious in right amount and just enough shabby for a relaxed atmosphere; +5 for good and loud music; the bar could be cheaper though). Artwork was just the type I could look at forever - mostly the illustrations that employ humor, cuteness, right color combos and cool aesthetic tricks. The fabrics reminded me of my grandma's house and of Vivienne Westwood - I'm sure the two of them would love this show.
The most popular thing there, though, was the cosy tent where you could crawl in and escape the bright lights and awkward small talks.
All in all, an enthusiastic Balkan recommendation (our Bpigs team member Cyrus would agree - plus points for him too). (A)
Claude Horstmann - The Darker @ Laura Mars Grp.
“Minimalist” is the easiest way to describe Claude Horstmann’s solo exhibition at Laura Mars Grp. Her abstract ink drawings are dichromatic, with sparse black markings set against white canvases. Likewise, her photographs of Marseille were equally calm and cool, detached from sentimental feelings, nostalgia, anger, or any other emotion. Maybe it was the clean white walls, interrupted only by the few paintings and photographs hung on the walls, but the entire experience was incredibly sterile, and reminded me of the time I got lost while wandering through a hospital. This could also have had to do with my late arrival—everyone was outside working on their third or fourth beer by the time I walked in, so the gallery itself was completely empty and almost silent. -6 for the almost creepy atmosphere, but +10 for cleanliness! (N)
Art Hack Day @ LEAP
This show had a lot of unexpected humor going on; I could easily relate with mocking of the technology and society shaped by it
My favorite presentation/performance was the fun bidding where the artist / master of ceremony Jeremy Bailey threw confetti, plush animals and french fries on candidates in front the most beautiful screen with glittery unicorns, rainbows and clouds. He made people laugh out loud, which you don't see all that often in the art world, especially in the new media art that can be extremely boring and superficial with the "techy for the sake of techy and therefore seemingly intelligent" concepts. Check out his website, this guy is awesome.
+17 for the joke - selfie typography on the mirror in women's toilet
The most crowded event of the week; probably the most interesting one as well. (A)