artB

the status of artists

Notes on the Symposium/ Residency ‘Dysfunctionalities in contemporary art II

Notes on the Symposium/ Residency ‘Dysfunctionalities in contemporary art II

Limassol – Cyprus
30 November to 4 December 2016
organised by the Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts (E.KA.TE.)
with the support of Cultural Services of Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture, the Department of Fine Arts of the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) and the International Association of Arts (IAA).

The symposium was as inconclusive as art itself is, a fact that I consider a great success.

During the five days of the event, we immersed into an array of meals interrupted by lectures and workshops. We ate and talked, then listened and acted/reacted; then ate and talked again. Whatever was the plan at the beginning, or our proposal if you wish, passed through the sieve of the exchanged thoughts and the physical presence of each one of us. What came out as result is a version of the initial thought plus a momentum.

My proposal in brief was this: The blog post as prose – a workshop for performing documentary texts.
Abstract: The workshop is based on texts published on the blog ‘artB-the status of artists’ which is part of the artistic practice of the author. The aim is to exercise association and empathy to the artists’ status. Both professionals in the field (visual artists, performers) and amateurs (general audience) will be asked to read/ perform a blog post as a monologue; the participants convey the text in variable expressions, according to their position towards the artists and their practice.  The read outs/ performances will be registered on video and/or sound recording equipment. The result will be presented online through the blog.

The symposium part of the gathering served me as a loose workshop. It allowed me to study the brain waves of my interlocutors, rather than present my idea or explain what I would want from them. When the time came to execute the idea, we were sufficiently aligned so to have the work done in a few hours.

In the meantime, and in-between it all, I filmed with my handy-cam (a little Sony wonder); on came the sea front of Limassol, the square where we mostly gathered, the museum (Lanitis Centre), the workshop of Katerina Neofytidou at the Limassol Centre of Letters and Arts, and more. I also used separately the other miniscule machine, my sound recorder; on here I captured the sound of the bars at the old centre (our room was right above them), the silence in the museum, and of course the read-outs.

The initial editing was done sitting on the bed of our room, on a laptop/ notebook, using MovieMaker. I reached an acceptable result at 2 a.m., right on time when the bars turned the music off and everyone could eventually sleep. The three videos were presented the next day at the basement of Iroon Monument, in a hasty last gathering. We, K_Van, MJ, and I, had to run right after to catch the bus to the airport of Larnaca. Later, back home, I slightly re-edited the videos to their published form.

Though there has been no conclusion, let me note this (underlying?) thought:

All what passes the gates to society is functional. There is no use in looking for dysfunctionality in successful art.

Yet, why to look for anything dysfunctional, in art for that matters? Would it be because functionality presupposes an acknowledgement of rules and beliefs, even as a reaction to them? Or, other way around, because society aborts whatever can not be assimilated in its structures? Isn’t the dysfunctional the only possible free field for the intellect?

I left the symposium with new thoughts, and gratitude for this ultra temporary intellectual spread.

P.S. This post is another view of the symposium, by K_Van.

‘From Lausanne To Beijing’ 9th International Fiber Art Biennale

‘From Lausanne To Beijing’ 9th International Fiber Art Biennale

While I was drafting in my mind posts about historians who love to tell stories, and families who loved printing books, and poets who were actually earning money, all somewhere in the far past, the message from the organizers of the 9th International Fiber Art Biennale ‘From Lausanne To Beijing’ arrived. My submission has been honoured; four works belonging to the series ‘continents’ will be part of this fantastic exhibition. This is part of the announcement:

“221 excellent artworks (104 from China and 117 from overseas), which make approx 23% of the entire entry, are juried in for display at the upcoming Exhibition. (入选作品221件(中国104件,国外117件),总入选率约为23%)”

It is the third time that I participate with my textile works in this biennale. The first time, in 2012, I took the trip too, to Nantong, some hundred kilometers from Shanghai. It was a bliss to see the exhibition, but also to be treated with real honour and abundant hospitality. Of course meeting so many artists busy with textile was also a mind opener. This time the exhibition will take place in Shenzhen, a dreamtime modern city. It is close to Hong Kong; does this make the trip easier, I wonder. Anyhow, I am tempted to go, but then I need to find a sponsor very soon.

In the meantime, I will pack and send the works within the coming days. Updates will be coming here and on Atelier Kapnos fb page.

fiber_shenzen_2016

 

 

 

The layers of a master thesis

To say that two subjects overlap, when you think about – or in – art is not slightly close to what is really happening. The same goes for writing. And then comes academic writing with the dispassionate voice, the precise language, and the rigorous documentation. The overlapping subjects, the layers, for example of a master thesis must be laid out in the light and left there to dry. Nothing must show affection, though you are advised to choose a theme that intrigues you, at the least. (no footnotes here)

So, here I am: before sorting out my notes for the SAR conference, or the Flusser symposium, I threw myself into this new set of layers, my master thesis. My theme (no title yet) includes research about a woman whose only voice left is her friends’ book, and a note in the similar album belonging to her sister. She is the daughter, wife, and friend, of historical figures, these being artists, writers, publishers, etc. Clues: she was Dutch, from Haarlem, lived from 1846 to 1930.

Starting from the Leiden University Library, which preserves her album amicorum, I then started looking in archives, first in the online ones in order to see what is there. Some of them, like the RKD (Netherlands Institute for Art History), provide download and print options; as example, look at this image of a painting by Anna Veegens. Others, like the Leiden Archive (Erfgoed Leiden en Omstreken), provide a detailed online inventory, which you can then physically access without complicated procedures. There, I found a photograph of my ‘Dora’, which I still have to double-check, as it is not sure it is really her picture. Yesterday, I found online her signature, on the wedding act of her daughter (in 1906). Further, I have planned a visit to the Haarlem archive, next week Tuesday. Today, I continue writing, and in the same time looking for, or requesting information. The thrill is growing.

In the meantime, I did appreciate a lot the keynote speech of Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes, at the SAR conference, and her thoughts about the ‘humility of the footnote’ in opposition to the ‘posturing’ of the footnote; this, among many other interesting thoughts and statements. It was a full and exciting speech this one. (footnote: illustration 2)

The forum, about ‘writing and the art school’, somehow focused on master thesis writing by art students, was equally interesting. I appreciated the simplicity of their conversation language, and the sense of inclusiveness in their approach to academic writing. Now, I go exercise my ‘voices’. (footnote: illustration 1)

[for the period of writing about the thesis, I am thinking of making the blog reach more private, by limiting authomatic publishing to my fb atelier page only]

Forum: Writing and the Art School, with Kate Briggs and Daniela Cascella
Illustration 1: ‘Forum: Writing and the Art School’ with Kate Briggs and Daniela Cascella

 

Artists' (Academic) 'Writings in Academic, Artistic and Societal Force Fields' by Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes
Illustration 2: ‘Artists’ (Academic) ‘Writings in Academic, Artistic and Societal Force Fields’ by Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes

Writing and/in/about Art

International Conference on Artistic Research, The Hague 28-29 April 2016, University of the Arts The Hague & Leiden University, Venues: Royal Conservatoire and Royal Academy of Art, by SAR: Society for Artistic Research

It is more lexical than I thought.

The discussion is about writing and art, with the ‘in’ and ‘about’ art prevailing. Art described as a disruption to the organisation of the human life was a good start. Only the disruptions presented were surprisingly orderly. The ‘f***-up’ suggested (Alva Noe), and warmly embraced, as defining better the nature of disruption, was scarcely represented in the workshops; for example, as a rumour (Dean Hughes), and in the performative talks that followed, as sound-scapes (Salome Voegelin).

OK, more notes to decipher.

(And then day-2 to go through)

 

'Art and Philosophy' by Alvo Noe
‘Art and Philosophy: Taking Aim at the Invention of Writing’ by Alva Noe
'Writing about the Sound of Unicorns' by Salome Voegelin
‘Writing about the Sound of Unicorns’ by Salome Voegelin
'A Column of Air' by Redell Olsen
‘A Column of Air: Flickers/Writing/Painting’ by Redell Olsen
'Exposion Writing: Radical Epistemology' by Michael Schwab
‘Exposion Writing: Radical Epistemology’ by Michael Schwab

 

Notebook from the symposium ‘Transcoding Flusser: Synthetic Thinking’

[only the notebook pages with both text and image]

No better way to pick it up where I left it: at the academy of visual arts in The Hague (KABK). It’s been some time since I posted anything on this blog; life is full, or the mind is empty. Whatever it is, or was, writing and drawing come to the surface, pinching me to go further. Am I not lucky?

What was discussed at the symposium could fill a number of posts. But I first want to see the exhibition at West (the gallery was also the organiser of the symposium in The Hague). Already on their website there is a lot of interesting material from the Flusser archive (Berlin) and from the symposium.

Only one note for now: Yes, it would help a lot the non-experts in philosophical terms, if the ‘model for energetic dialogue’ would include a walking-in-room kind of aspect. The openness about this of the initiators, who also convened & moderated the discussions, Dr. phil. Baruch Gottlieb & Steffi Winkler, is highly appreciated. Thanks!

Transcoding Flusser: Synthetic Thinking
International symposium: Friday 15 April 10.00-18.00h + Saturday 16 April 11.00-16.00h | Auditorium, Royal Academy of Art The Hague

01_flusser_symp_notes_web 06_flusser_symp_notes_web 02_flusser_symp_notes_web 03_flusser_symp_notes_web 04_flusser_symp_notes_web 05_flusser_symp_notes_web

Art and Science at KABK (Royal Academy of Visual Arts)

Art & Science is the most popular programme of the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague (KABK). Students get busy with sounds and images generated by analogue or electronic devices.

For those who are interested but also for those who don’t have a feel for such things, the fact is that there is a new generation out there acquainted with this concept; and backed up by the usual mentors too.

During the open day, last Saturday, I made this short video; the impression is characteristic of the field “art & science” as it is also seen in big art events.

P.S. The use of old machines and cutlery in order to make sounds referring to the noise of the humans has a sense of an ending. Maybe they have found what we all have been searching for as meaning, concluded in absurdity.

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Vive la République!

I believe in the peaceful anarchism of art.

To all those who dream of “armed resistance” within states that have learned to tolerate: where saying your opinion/ exclaiming your positions does not jeopardise your safety; where possible expressions of state oppression is in the critical discussion. When your opinion fires out violence by a mafia, be it economical, religious or dogmatic in any way, democracy has mechanisms and services to which you, we together, can appeal. Advocating for armed fight in such a state means that we are asked to put our destiny in the hands of persons who cannot be persuasive by using words and images, should they ever try.

Indeed, our Democracies fail to provide substantial education equal for all its members, or equal opportunities, yet do stand for it as principle. There is people’s blood shed (Vive la République!) for this principle and we consider it irreversible. Provocation by the pen and the imaginative image sided by a good laughter are meant to shake all parties brains in order to think; in present tense. What in life’s name haunts such killers?

P.S. Urgently: art and philosophy as main subjects in all schools

"we'll meet again", 100x150cm, S.K.
“we’ll meet again”, 100x150cm, S.Kapnissi, #jesuischarlie

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#PAnarchism

 

The art of painting as role model

We call a role model a person that inspires the younger, mostly, with his or her positioning in life. Behaviour and success are considered the key points, but the historical moment and the trends that go with it allow this positioning to come out as success and as likeable behaviour, or not. Outside everyday life, role models are easy to identify in films, as well as in books; in a description so to say. But what if we would remove the descriptive part and offer the values of a role model in pure art.

A painter would suggest this:

Painting has an important role to play in our society despite of what people and the art world itself proclaim with frequent judgements. Painting – the act of and the responsiveness to – is a role-model to the following:

  1. Self-sufficiency, to the extent possible
  2. Non-consumerism
  3. A sense of devotion outside religions
  4. A measurable ability for concentration
  5. A chance for contemplation with result to non-navigated thoughts
  6. A movement of the brain in connection to the intelligent movements of the hands
  7. A sense that time and space expand, shrink and take forms in respond to our disposition
  8. A counter balance to art as entertainment
  9. A living connecting point to tradition and history
  10. A dimmer of human created noise

Thoughts by a a devoted painter and resilient advocate of the special quality that painting offers to the arts and to the community.

#wijn&kunst
@wijn&kunst, setting up the exhibition “the taste of light”

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4 hours in Zurich: art and coffee on tight budget

Zurich is a fantastic place to be stranded for a few hours, but you must make a plan before you go off into town, especially if your budget is tight. I had decided not to spend more than forty euro, which is the same amount in Swiss francs; but did want to see some art…

The cancellation of my connecting flight and its replacement with an evening flight left me with a frown at first; then I picked up my 3 hour sleep energy, put my hand luggage in a locker and went out to see Zurich. It was a winter’s day with dry cold and grey light, but no wind nor rain, perfect for walkers. From the airport I took the train to the city, a little ten minute ride. I was most kindly informed at the airport desk to buy a day ticket that would serve for the train and for all public transport into town: ticket about 14 francs, locker 6 francs for 12 hours storage; half of my budget was spent before making a move.

Once off the train and walking with a tram map in my hands, I had to orient myself: tower at the left, man on scooter, stoplight, Christmas market, train rails; I should cross and be at the other side. Not sure of distances, I took the first tram that would bring me to the Kalkbreite building complex which opened a few months ago. They advertise it as an urban experiment; this was enough to attract me, a 100% city person. The complex has an elevated common central yard with a playground and stairs that lead to a higher level with view to the city and to the complex itself. There are community places (with common dining room with chef), cluster houses (with some shared rooms), office and cultural spaces. Connecting requirements include keeping energy consumption low and not owning a car. It was too early in the  morning even for a coffee at the Houdini film house, so I took the tram towards the other side of the river Limmat.

Kalkbreite urban experiment - Zurich
Kalkbreite urban experiment – #Zurich

I had to choose fast between contemporary art from Japan in “Logical Emotion” and the exhibition “Egon Schiele-Jenny Saville” at Kunsthaus. I went for the second; Schiele could not fail me. The ticket was 16 francs, with reduction, and free audio-guide which I switched off after the first two works. Schiele’s paintings and drawings deserved some active response from my side; a real painter this one, color and line with accuracy. Seen as a total, the exhibition makes once more obvious what a difficult art painting is and even more how easy it is to fall into lies and effects. Artists have been too eager to give away painting… After this, I walked upstairs to the permanent collection, the “classic illustrated” as I call them. What can one feel walking among Giacometti’s, Dubuffet’s, Rothko’s, Matisse’s, etc. and then further deep into history through Canaletto’s, Rubens’s, van Dyck’s, etc. The rooms were too stuffy and the walk too long for my strengths. On the ground floor there were those dark rooms with a presentation by the Venezuelan artist Javier Téllez called “Shadow Play”. I entered without expectations but stayed, legs resting on a bench, to watch two lengthy films. This is an extract from “Artaud’s cave”, one of his art films included in this presentation:

Taking the way back to the train station and the airport, I had to find the place where the dadaists were gathering in the ’10’s of our 20th century. I went by tram, found it and photographed it; what else could I do, make up an instant poem? However, they seem to organize poetic evenings in that same building; there is also a shop with dadaist objects in the semi-basement. It was just afternoon; the evening would offer a different view I suppose.

Cabaret Voltaire, the dadaists house - Zurich
Cabaret Voltaire, the dadaists house – #Zurich

My time was up, my money too; I had to go back to collect my stuff and wait for the flight. Zurich is a good stroll; not a luxurious city, despite the high prices; quiet though busy, safe too. Not to worry if you get stranded for a few hours.

P.S. a kindest young man at the museum café gave me a cup of coffee though my last coins did not make the full 4 francs. Thanks again! #Zurich @Zurich

Walking In the old center of Zurich
Walking in the old center of Zurich

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