(noun) nonchalant absurdity with a dash of embarrassment.

(verb) to be shark bitten.

(adverb) in a manner that is nonchalantly absurd and embarrassing.

27 October 2011

A Very Nosferatu Halloween to You & Yours

This Halloween remember the creepiest vampire of all: Vampire Count Orlok.

26 October 2011

LIVE VIDEO @ OgilvyArt: An Exhibition of contemporary video art

Ogilvy & Mather New York is pleased to announce the opening of Live Video, an exhibition of contemporary video art co-curated by Jun Lee and the founders of the Moving Image Art Fair, Edward Winkleman and Murat Orozobekov.

Live Video will feature work by Broersen & Lukacs, Rob Carter, Oskar Dawicki, Jonathan Ehrenberg, Kristen Geisler, Claudia Hart, Hisao Ihara, Mary Lucier, Jacco Olivier, Hiraki Sawa, and Leslie Thornton.

Throughout human history, nature has held a special place in the hearts and minds of artists and audiences. Indeed, when viewing a completely abstract painting, many people still tend to describe the painting as a landscape. Live Video takes this as its launching point. Where previous generations would carry palettes and easels into nature to capture inspiration, today’s generation of artists frequently carry video cameras. Live Video brings together an international selection of artists working in video who have used its technical capabilities to capture nature and interpret it in amazing new ways.

In commenting on the show, Jun Lee said, “Video art has evolved into a unique tool for artists. In the wake of the video art of the past emerges work that has a new relationship to life and to aesthetics. Live Video presents a selection of works that feature technology as it touches life.”

“This is the fifth exhibition curated specifically for our office. It serves as a continuing reminder to our company of the ways in which creativity is forever changing and being expressed,” said Steve Simpson, Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy & Mather North America.

Questions regarding the show and the artists can be addressed to: Jun Lee, Art Curator at jun.lee@ogilvy.com

Collective from Hisao Ihara on Vimeo.

25 October 2011

Metropolitan Museum to Open Renovated Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia

Text & Image via THE MET
[PRESS RELEASE]The grand reopening of a suite of 15 dramatic New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia will take place at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on November 1. The greatly enlarged, freshly conceived, and completely renovated galleries house the Metropolitan’s renowned collection of Islamic art—one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of this material in the world. Design features within the new space highlight both the diversity and the interconnectedness of the numerous cultures represented here; multiple entryways allow visitors to approach the new galleries—and the art displayed within—from different perspectives.

“The opening of these extraordinary new galleries underscores our mission as an encyclopedic museum and provides a unique opportunity to convey the grandeur and complexity of Islamic art and culture at a pivotal moment in world history,” stated Thomas P. Campbell, Director of the Metropolitan Museum. “In sequence, the 15 new galleries trace the course of Islamic civilization, over a span of 13 centuries, from the Middle East to North Africa, Europe, and Central and South Asia. This new geographic orientation signals a revised perspective on this important collection, recognizing that the monumentality of Islam did not create a single, monolithic artistic expression, but instead connected a vast geographic expanse through centuries of change and cultural influence. The public will find galleries filled with magnificent works of art that evoke the plurality of the Islamic tradition and the vast cross-fertilization of ideas and artistic forms that has shaped our shared cultural heritage.”

Sheila Canby, the Patti Cadby Birch Curator in Charge of the Department of Islamic Art, said: “Although our galleries represent a vast territory over a long period of time, the diverse artworks shown here are nonetheless unified in several distinctive ways. Primary among these is the extensive use of Arabic script, which resulted in exceptional examples of calligraphy—often in conventional media, such as metalwork or architectural elements—and virtuosic achievements in the arts of the book. A profound love of embellishment is often expressed through intricately interlaced, complex geometric forms that are most familiar to us in textiles, woodwork, and tilework. There are many examples of luxury materials, due to royal patronage. And technical expertise of the highest level is always evident, no matter what the medium. Because the objects in our galleries are primarily secular in nature, they can easily be appreciated both for their innate utility and for their astonishing beauty, whatever the viewer’s background may be.”

The collection comprises more than 12,000 works of art drawn from an area that extends from Spain in the west to India in the east. Some 1,200 works of art in all media will be on view at any time, representing all major regions and artistic styles, from the seventh century onward. Important loans from the Hispanic Society of America will also be shown. (Displays of textiles and works on paper will change frequently due to the sensitivity of these materials to light.)

As part of the reinstallation of the galleries, a team of conservators and scientists has engaged in extensive study and conservation of the major objects within the collection, from the Museum’s remarkable collection of manuscripts to fragile glass objects and rare and precious carpets.

Highlights of the Museum’s collection include: the sumptuously ornamented Damascus Room, built in A.H.1119/ 1707 A.D. and one of the finest examples of Syrian Ottoman reception rooms from the house of an important and affluent family; glass, metalwork, and ceramics from Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Iran; some of the finest classical carpets in existence from the 16th and 17th centuries, including the recently restored, celebrated Emperor’s Carpet, an exceptional classical Persian carpet of the 16th century that was presented to Hapsburg Emperor Leopold I by Peter the Great of Russia; notable early and medieval Qur’ans; pages from the sumptuous copy of the Shahnama, or Book of Kings, created for Shah Tahmasp (1514–76) of Iran, and outstanding royal miniatures from the courts of the Arab World, Ottoman Turkey, Persia, and Mughal India, including paintings from the imperial “Shah Jahan Album,” compiled for the builder of the Taj Mahal; and architectural elements including a 14th-century mihrab, or prayer niche, from Isfahan decorated with glazed ceramic tiles, which would have served in a Muslim house of worship to indicate the direction to Mecca.

The Dark Room: Curated by Lori Zimmer and Jonathan Grassi

[PRESS RELEASE]The Dark Room is an installation operated by the visitor's imagination. In a world bombarded with violent imagery we have become numb. Nothing we physically create can compare to the images of our mind. The Dark Room will ask the visitor to question what they are afraid of.

Visitors to the Dark Room are invited to travel through a pitch-black maze. With their sense of sight removed, they must place their trust in only the rope to guide them along. Visitors will use their remaining heightened senses to travel throughout the room, encountering obstacles that both disorient and challenge the participant. When the journey ends, the visitors are guided out, and handed a token to remind them of the power of their own mind.

Visitors can experience the Dark Room for three nights only!
Monday, October 31st, 5-9pm
Tuesday November 1st, 6-9pm
Wednesday November 2nd, 6-9pm

217 East 42nd Street, ground floor.

For more info:
Jonathan Grassi (e) jonathan@jonathangrassi.com or Lori Zimmer (e) Lori.Zimmer@gmail.com
See what develops at

24 October 2011

PMC Magazine Interview

Read full interview here at PMC Mag

Geographies of Power: Art & Text by Mauricio Herrero

"Geographies of Power", 2011, 6 inkjet prints, 34 by 72 inches each

Divisions between categories, between concepts, between territories are unstable. I explore those places where boundaries blur and look into the way symbols can be transferred from one space to another, converted and abstracted,only to be created anew. I generate new associations from displaced elements,exploring relations which transcend their initial context, into larger systems.

Money, Currency and the Unification of Value Across the Globe

Money is an abstraction, a digitized system, which like language allows us to structure the world and map it out into an autonomous whole. It allows us to compare and equate things yet only within the system. Their relative value is always deferred to the system itself. Currency is the regional representation of money, acting both as its materiality and abstract quantification, from which it can be converted and equated to any currency. It is embedded in a global order which transcends its local specificity and symbolism. Value is assigned to a piece of paper yet it is in constant motion. It is dependent on the changing market and economic structures. This value is never intrinsic, nor is it exclusive to one nation or geographic zone. Representations within currencies stand as symbols within specific cultural contexts. These symbolic representations disappear as they are converted from one currency to another. Capital moves across nations fluidly where it can, always willing to change its face, to convert itself.

Currency into Art Object

Despite its carefully thought out design, currency is treated exclusively for its utilitarian value. As a piece of paper it is exactly the same as toilet paper, in the sense that it is exclusively used for what its meant to do. Currency is meant to circulate, to be reused and recycled as many times as possible. Even though everyone touches it, it belongs to no one. Money is owned by people as an abstraction, its material form is only borrowed from the state. In the United States defacing currency to the point that it is put out of circulation is a federal offense. The system acts as currency’s pimp, protecting it while lending it to all. In Geographies of Power, money which is dirty and promiscuous by nature, passed around from hand to hand, becomes a fine art object. The representations
extracted from bills escape their local currencies, escape their use value and they migrate to a different context in order to reclaim their aesthetic value.

Digitized Conversion

Money transcends local currencies, as they can all be converted to each other in the same way that words can be translated from one language to another through arbitrary, interchangeable tokens. They converge into a common stream from which they cannot escape. The global market economy is a global digitalization of value. By converting currencies to informational matter by scanning them, they become unified abstractions, codes with assigned values, within a system in the computer, which has a structural similarity to the system of money.

Printmaking and the Digital Surface

In printmaking, a matrix for a print no longer needs to be physical. The mold can exist as embedded code on the computer, rather than as engraved incisions on a material. The basic concept is the same: to register or record a form on an indirect or mediating surface in order to produce and multiply an image as output. Its final form can be multiple yet it exists as an original, not a reproduction. Currency operates similarly yet on a massive level within an open, unlimited edition. The fact that it is counterfit proof and that it does not exist in any other form, is direct evidence that it is an original as well as the unique serial number in every printed bill.

Eurozone - Bridges to Nowhere

The bridges and arches represented in euro bank notes are fictional. They do not exist anywhere outside of currency. They are generic abstractions, each one a stylistic synthesis of a different historical period. They show a history which never existed. Bridges are meant to connect, to join, to cover gaps, to reconcile, to unite. In this sense the bridge is a symbol. However, in the euro there is no specificity over what is being crossed, and from where to where. At the level of representation, this symbolic unity is a farce. These imaginary bridges covers no gaps, they lead to nowhere and are floating in space. The space in which they float is none but the very materiality of the money object that contains them. They are like the bridges on Piranesi’s Prisons which connect at impossible angles or which lead to an unavoidable fall. Their beginning and their end is marked by the piece of paper that circumscribes them. They can however, be converted and exchanged. In this sense they operate as bridges to the system, transcending their own materiality. In Geographies of Power I disassemble these fictional structures block by block and recombine them to form other fictional structures. These new imaginary bridges do not need to be functional. They do not need to pretend to connect anything. They do not need to be a synthesis of historical styles because they are ahistorical to begin with. They do not need to cover
gaps. In fact, they can be impossible to build because they have never existed and never will.

Shark Doggy, Do-owww-ohhhh-oggg

More ridiculous dog costumes here: via THE GOTHAMIST

Subway Sharkbite by Gabrielle

Nazi-Looted Old Master Returned

[via Bloomberg]A German casino will return a Dutch Old Master to the heirs of a Jewish art dealer persecuted by the Nazis and forced to flee Germany more than 70 years ago.

“The Masters of the Goldsmith Guild in Amsterdam in 1701,” by Juriaen Pool II, was in the Dusseldorf art gallery of Max Stern until 1937 -- the year Stern was forced to liquidate his gallery and flee Germany, according to Stern’s estate. The painting moved to a gallery in Wiesbaden and was bought by Spielbank Bad Neuenahr GmbH, located in a spa town south of Bonn, after World War II.

The estate is managed by three universities: Concordia and McGill in Montreal and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Pool painting is only the ninth of about 400 missing works to be recovered. The handover will take place in a ceremony tomorrow at the Amsterdam Museum in the Dutch capital.

“We are in ongoing discussions with a number of other German organizations, including some major museums who also possess Stern works, and remain hopeful that more good news will follow,” Frederick Lowry, president and vice-chancellor of Concordia University, said in the statement sent by e-mail.

Stern, the proprietor of the Dusseldorf Galerie Julius Stern, was forced by the Nazis to liquidate his gallery and auction the contents -- more than 200 paintings, many of them Old Masters -- in a sale managed by the Cologne auction house Lempertz in 1937. Though the Pool painting was still in Stern’s possession in 1937, it wasn’t part of that sale.

Sale Under Duress

The exact details of Stern’s transaction with the Galerie Heinemann in Wiesbaden aren’t known, Clarence Epstein, director of special projects and cultural affairs at Concordia University, wrote in an e-mail.

“The evidence suggests that Stern sold the painting to Heinemann as part of his liquidation efforts, hence in a sale made under duress,” Epstein wrote.

Stern fled Germany shortly after the Lempertz auction and reached Paris in December 1937 with nothing but a suitcase. He set up a new art dealership, first in Britain and then later in Montreal. He died in 1987 without children, leaving the bulk of his estate to the universities.

In 2002, the colleges began a campaign to recover the lost art, creating the Max Stern Art Restitution Project, administered by Concordia. The Dutch government returned an oil painting by Jan Brueghel the Younger, “Allegory of Life and Water,” to the Max Stern estate last November.

Pool (1665-1745) was a portrait artist who became court painter to the Elector of Palatinate Johann Wilhelm.

The things they don't teach you in art school by Douglas Fogle

As I live through the third recession to take place during my career in the art world I’ve been reflecting on the value of an education in the arts. In his 1762 novel, Emile, Jean Jacques Rousseau sought to design the perfect educational programme for the raising of universal citizens. Does such a thing exist in art education? Let me suggest some rules for young artists and curators to live by that are not taught in art school. Take them or leave them. Use them or abuse them.

1. Art hurts
By this I am not thinking about Chris Burden’s self-crucifixion on the hood of a Volkswagen, Ron Athey performances, or the dramaturgy of professional wrestling. It is possible to have a career in the art world but the odds of making a killing financially are low. Of course this isn’t the reason why people become infatuated with the arts but it is clear that not everyone becomes Andy Warhol, Bono or Andy Kaufman. Upon learning that I had decided against going to law school, my mother (an artist) asked me: ‘How will you support yourself in the manner to which you’re accustomed?’ As I grew up wearing hand-me-downs from my older brothers, a career in the arts was exactly what I needed to support myself in the manner to which I was accustomed. Sometimes it hurts getting there though. The corollary to this rule is the following: learn to wait tables. You will hone your social skills and make some easy cash. In the end those among you who are serious will work your asses off to make it happen. If you can’t wait tables you can always teach. More important artists than you can imagine spent their early years working as guards in world-class museums.

2. Kill your parents
While Sophocles teaches us that killing your parents is a far from productive endeavour, the same cannot be said within the world of culture. A younger generation should be willing and able to overturn the accepted canon, be it curatorial or aesthetic. You should also want my job and be doing everything that you can to get it one day. I would suggest refraining from the tactics of Eve Harrington in the film All About Eve (1950), or Elizabeth Berkeley’s character in Showgirls (1995). No pushing your elders down a flight of stairs please. Killing your parents is just an admonition to get your shit together and take over the world from the complacent generations that came before you.

3. You can learn more in the world than you can in school
I’m sorry if this is disappointing to hear for those of you who are spending tens of thousand of dollars on a graduate education. The point is: your years studying are a luxurious time to read, absorb, obsess, get jaded, experiment with hallucinogens, work on your Twitter feed and so on. However, after spending four years in college and seven on a doctorate and teaching, I learned more about art in one year working at the Walker Art Center than in any school. Working directly with art and artists in institutions is the real art world. Or in galleries. Or in a booth on the Venice boardwalk. Artists: get a job installing art. Art history or curatorial studies grads: beg, borrow, volunteer, or steal your way into a great contemporary art institution. Don’t be shy. Say you’ll do anything (but not in a creepy casting couch kind of way). You have no idea how much we need you but don’t know it yet.

4. Don’t wait for the ‘man’ to come to you
Take Damien Hirst’s first show. The now legendary ‘Freeze’ exhibition was a watershed moment in the emergence of an new generation of British artists in 1988. Hirst and his friends got someone to give them a warehouse space in south-east London. They installed their work with a professionalism that belied their status as art students. They found a way to get the London art world’s movers and shakers to visit their exhibition and in so doing made a small dent in art history. Make your own exhibition, start your own magazine, record or mime company. The end of this trajectory does not have to be multi-million dollar skulls encrusted with jewels. I’m just saying, don’t wait for someone to hand you something.

5. Don’t spend more time networking than making work.
By networking I mean schmoozing, partying, getting in fashion magazines and so on. Cool does not make good work. Hard work makes good work. I recently asked an artist who I was working with whether he was going to take a holiday after our exhibition opened. He told me that he had always felt so fortunate that society allows him to make a living dreaming in his studio that he had a hard time imagining a traditional vacation. The best artists that I’ve ever worked with are so obsessed with their work that the studio is their home and their refuge. Make good work and the rest will come.

6. Have fun
If you’re not having fun doing what you’re doing don’t spend thousands on therapy to figure it out. Take a risk and follow another path. The time you have now is precious. Use it wisely.

7. Live wrong
Repeat this mantra: ‘If that’s wrong then I don’t want to be right.’ Don’t do what is expected of you, do what makes a difference. Ask more questions than you get answers. Plato suggested kicking the poets out of society in The Republic (c.360 bce) because they were too dangerous. There is far too little of the anger of the Sex Pistols, the absurdist outrage of Dada, or the devastating irony of writers like Thomas Pynchon around today. As the world falls apart around us we need young artists, curators, writers, filmmakers and musicians to illuminate our culture as we turn and twist in the widening gyre.

With fond affection while awaiting your act of patricide.

Douglas Fogle

Douglas Fogle is a contributing editor of frieze, and Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA.

23 October 2011

Urs Fischer @ Gavin Brown Enterprise

[PRESS RELEASE]Beneath our feet is an inverted pyramid of excavated earth. It is the cup. The martini glass that will hold our DNA. Hovering over that mythic cup is a horizontal plane of our invention. Together with the chair, the table is a first sculpture. Not a tool or a weapon, but an object autonomously itself while simultaneously integrated into our lived experience. Just like your dog, your table has evolved and entwined with us. It has run alongside, becoming indistinguishable and invisible.

The table is part of the family, it is the stage on which we act. The small personal universe over which we talk, eat, plan our future, pay our bills and raise our children. We see that she's got clean clothes. We put on her little red shoes. We show our pictures on the wall. We sit at the table and look past each other to see the pictures on the walls around us. We look down at plates of food below us on the table, look into each others eyes and we raise a glass. You get up from the table to close the window to the cold and wind. Just then a sparrow flies swiftly in the room, circles round us at the table for a moment, and just as suddenly flies out through the window on the other side.

When we create this new flat space, the earth is lifted up to float 30 inches above the globe. We defy physical reality, make a mockery of gravity and discover ourselves and our imagination. This imaginary plane is the site of an original collective unconscious - spread out flat before us as we gathered around it. A psychic space that was midwife in the birth of our first terrors and the comforts we seek in each other. Above us was an indifferent and infinite dome. Time and death became our intimates.

We are sweet landfill, our own dusty molecules borrowed from the earth. But these objects here now are the feral forms of our unconcious, the aliens. Unmoored from our endless cycle they are lifting off into other dimensions. They are holograms, only resembling 3 dimensions, their imagery like pools of water at night, reflecting us back on our selves. They are our beautiful excess and accumulation. They sit in anticipation of our love and hunger, our nourishment and conversation. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Gavin Brown’s enterprise
620 Greenwich Street, New York
212 627 5258
T – Sa, 10AM – 6PM

Josh Keyes: Migration @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery

[PRESS RELEASE]On the subject of his show title, in the artist’s words, “Migration and displacement were ideas that continued to surface in my mind while I was painting these images. I was thinking about the effects of climate change and the way some ecosystems that thrive in a specific range of temperatures—like polar or tropical climates—are experiencing a shrinking of their boundaries. Ecosystems that were separate are now slowly merging and overlapping one another, causing disruptions in the food web and increased competition for food and space among species. Some become displaced and are forced to migrate, in order to survive.”

AJ Fosik: Time Kills All Gods @ Jonathan Levine Gallery

[PRESS RELEASE]In Time Kills All Gods, Portland based artist, AJ Fosik explores the powerful medium of language and metaphor to emphasize narrative and interpretation. Using wood and found materials, he creates figural, eclectic and intricately designed three-dimensional works that intrigue and provoke. Fosik’s animal subjects and anthropomorphized beings are built using a complex process in which each form is carefully handcrafted by arranging hundreds of pieces of individually cut and varnished wood, which the artist paints in vibrant colors and patterns. Sharp teeth, claws, and eyes emerge once the creatures are completed—some are constructed as freestanding forms while others are wall-mounted, referencing modern taxidermy practices.

All works in this exhibition are made from 100% locally sourced, sustainably grown Oregon lumber and parts manufactured in the USA. On the subject of his creative process, Fosik says, “every piece undergoes full woodshop gestation. I build an entire wooden skeleton from 2x4’s and framing nails, on top of that goes plywood and gold screws forming muscle and sinew, another layer of wooden flesh over that and finally I skin the beast with luan chips.”

GAIA in Amsterdam

Photo courtesy of the artist.