Sunday, April 29, 2007

Looking through canvas. Małgorzata Ata Warias

This is definitely too gray, too melancholy, too self-abandoning. Looking from left to right, into the end, curving himself from somewhere where the beginning hasn't even started - straight into the blue, self-effacing space. And look at his look. A sight that has more shadow than seeing.
I like it.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Contemporary art could be described as the look-out for presence. There are very pragmatic ways in which presence can be experienced. If anything can be art when given the right focus, we need to look for ways of better focusing. So when we get it, we get it. Thus, it is a constant game between what we know and what we think we might have known, had it been a slightly different setting. Darren Harvey-Regan is a beautiful example of finding what is already there, of creating what had already been there and just giving it that delicate push which makes us grow our of here and into the work.
And if you think you know exactly what it is, it might just mean you need to look more carefully, and take the time to see the landscape he has found.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Off topic: Playboy celebrates 31 years in Brasil

Cowscapes by Rachael Sudlow

You can spare yourself the trouble of reading the artist's statement. These landscapes speak for themselves. See the online gallery here. I labeled this post as 'funny', though I don't consider it just a joke. It has real beauty (come on, stop chuckling...). Somehow, though, I didn't label it as land art.

Simply enjoying design

The two lowest steps of this staircase are used as shoe drawers. Found here.

This is what this chest sounds like. Unfortunately the people that make them seem to think children are the only ones who would enjoy this type of furniture. Found here. This rings a bell - I remember discovering an amazing installation, a table where one would hear sounds through the vibrations going through your body. Does anyone have a clue?

There is a pleasure in the usable object that is simply magical. This glovy feeling - it fits like a glove, and it feels like a glove, and it can be the most exquisite thing. Some sort of harmony, I guess. As if design gave us the world as we had imagined it ought to be, though only now does it live up to expectations. Artsy art rarely seems to head that way. (If we insist on distinguishing the two).

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pretty science

And now for something completely unrelated.

Rent a Wife

What the hell is going on?
Wives for rent? For an unlimited time? Chose your preferred category?
Of course, Rent-a-Wife is a joke. But is it an artistic joke? A provocation joke? A silly joke? A horribly sexist joke? Or is it?
If it is an ironic look at the way women are seen by today's society (not only male), than why does it seem strange?
Because there is a catch. (Duhh...) And it is not about feminism. It is about renting DVDs. As what we have here is an ad for DVD rental.
How far is this from Vanessa Beecroft installing her objectified women in a shoe-shelf, to sell shoes?

Could I be accused of the same hypocrisy, exposing something by exposing it?

Oh, and if you think it's getting pretty much impossible to look at gender issues in a witty way without being accused of this or that, the desert is for you:

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Thickening light: Emilia Bergmark - Jiménez

There is a melancholy light in Emilia Bergmark-Jiménez's work that makes one want to stay there.
By «there», I don't mean the place that is being photographed, but rather, the space of the photography itself. The picture seems not so much to portray something, but rather, to use it for its own means, as if the image had a goal of its own, quite separate from the object matter, or even the photographer herself.
What is left of the person? What form can a person have if light goes through her and plays with her seeming irrelevance? Maybe, the person becomes distant. Translucent.
Yet there is something about that form that appeals precisely because it is being put so close to forgetting.

This may well be what remains of memory, when what is left to oblivion, is rescued by thickening the nearly empty space, the traces gaining contours that are not what was left behind, but are some ambiguous form we vaguely recognize as ours, as belonging to us, as representing this left-over area that is neither the object we knew, or the eye of the beholder. It is this lovely, strange in-between.(via)

Friday, April 06, 2007

2 addictions

1 and 2

What you see

If the previous post made you think of how powerful not-so-free association can be, then you might like Logo.Hallucination. Its author, Christophe Bruno, used a pattern-recognition software to analyze images on the net and discover similarities with known brand logos.
And our dear Courbet can apparently be associated to Corus:

Now, here is the crazy part: after discovering the image, Bruno sends an e-mail to its owner:
Madam, Sir,

We inform you that our automated monitoring spiderbot has detected a potential infringement of Intellectual Property Law in the digital image located at the address […]. Indeed this image includes a total or partial representation of the logotype of the brand XXX. Since you are responsible for the diffusion of this image on the Internet, we would like to remind you that such unauthorized use of copyrighted work could be liable for statutory damages. Moreover, it may have violated other US federal laws, including (among others) the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and the Consumer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Accordingly, we hereby suggest that you should contact immediately, and possibly through our agency, the company XXX so that we negotiate with them a friendly contract which would allow a regularization of this situation, according to the following possibilities:

Case 1: You might be financially rewarded by company XXX insofar as this situation constitutes advertising and promotion for the brand XXX. In this case you must explicitly indicate the reference to the company XXX by adding its logo to the aforesaid image and insert a link towards the site of this company.

Case 2: You wish to continue the exploitation and diffusion of your image without mentioning the company and in this case you will have to settle reproduction rights with this company insofar as the latter authorizes you to further exploit and diffuse your image.

If you fail to comply with these requests, the company XXX will have no choice but to proceed in a manner appropriate to protect its valuable intellectual property rights.

Sincerely yours


Scary? Funny? Ironic? Insofar as this is an artistic project, it sounds hilarious (especially if we were to try and find the author of the Origin of the World)(pun intended). But if internet cafés started off as an artistic project, why can't a ruthless fight over image rights start off as a funny piece of software?


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The virginal origin of the world

Needless to say, this work by Tanja Ostojic is a reference to Courbet's Origin of the World:

Produced by the 25Peaces collective, it was supposed to be a promotion of Europe, and from what I understand, to participate in the campaign in favor of the European Constitution (in 2005, if I am not mistaken). As the image was posted on huge billboards, it was considered too radical and was taken off. And the Constitution lost the referendum.
But what is the actual message? Is it 'the origin of a new world'? It seems more like the beginning of something that can never be born. Instead of the origin, instead of the troubling, but real, thing, we get... panties with stars. Thank you very much. Where exactly is this Europe supposed to originate? Oh, and the retouched skin, the pure atmosphere of soap commercials and soft porn... It reminds me of Jeff Koons. And I'm not sure that's where I would like to see my Europe. Then again, I'm not sure Orlan's earlier variation on the Origin of the World motive would be convincing in a political debate:

Any other alternatives?

Tanja Ostojic's work was accused of misogyny. After writing the above words, I found a fascinating interview with the artist, who clearly states that the objective of the work was not to promote the EU ideals, etc., but it was created beforehand, namely as a comment on the EU's politics of (non)intergration. Now it makes sense. Ostojic actually seems quite upset about the context the work was shown in and the idiotic way it was treated by the Austrian media. Her site also made me discover another, impressive work by Ostojic: Looking For a Husband with an EU Passport (2003):

Wow. This hurts. I would call this a hard core artistic attitude. In that it doesn't have any problems with exploring what is too intimate to be shared. Nudity is a common, though not at all necessary element. It is really about exposure. Maybe, about making us feel uncomfortable. Do I like it? Is there any way one can like it?

(partly via)


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