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street daDa

October 1, 2009 Leave a comment

neo daDA on the streets of Paris.




Leo & Pipo, check

Categories: art, dada, street Tags: , , , ,

take a walk at the galleries

May 19, 2008 1 comment

Due to the nature of my trip to and business in Athens apart from attending EMW I paid a visit to a variety of artists and galleries. The following selection is of the most interesting ones

Nikos Lytras in National Gallery

A great exhibition showcasing and documenting the work of Nikos Lytras who unfortunately died at a young age and left only a small body of work. What lacks though in volume it makes up in importance. One of the greats that is frequently ignored. On the brink of Greek modernism Nikos Lytras was a daring pioneer. From his portraits and nudes to his land and seascapes you can admire his full, fluid brush stroke, bearing strength and emotion, his stroke that was rejected at the time as dirty and filthy. A rare event of great importance.

Until 2th of June

Dafni Rokou in Astrolavos Gallery

With studies in photography and cinema Dafni Rokou has created about 30 pieces [varying sizes] using mixed technique, for her exhibition in Astrolavos gallery. This part of her work [unfortunately I am unfamiliar with her other projects or activities] is simply amazing. Dark, dusted, surreal, disturbing at times visions staged and executed in first phase [I presume] photographically. Greatly influenced by the Russian avant garde of the 20s, Rokou does very little to hide the cinematic feel her work evokes. Witkin is there [even Alan Tex] along with a variety of references and influences all creatively filtered and combined to form the amalgam of Dafni’s work. The concept and main inspiration for this unit of pieces are the undelivered letters and packages trapped forever within four Post Offices scattered around the globe, that closed on the same day on exactly the same time. Stories left untold, wishes that never reached their destinations. Hopes, fears, events, places and faces. I actually bought a piece at the exhibition [shown below], I wish I could afford more. I will try to get in touch with Dafni Rokou and get back to you with more on her and her art.

Until 24th of May.

Also [worth mentioning]:

Nansi Sousoula also at Astrolavos [until 24th of May] and Stelios Faitakis at The Breeder [Eumorfopoulou 6, Psirri, until 30th of May]

mannequin of the closed shutters

May 13, 2008 Leave a comment

Out and about on city streets. New camera in hand.

Berlin museums + museum shops, part 1

May 6, 2008 Leave a comment

The title may sound a little strange but museum shop is in many cases the place to make some wonderful discoveries of special editions and more.

Starting and proceeding chronologically

Neue Nationalgalerie

Within the area of Kulturforum, close to Potsdamer Platz and Sony Center, Neue Nationalgalerie […the famous “temple of light and glass” designed by Mies van der Rohe…] was my first museum experience in Berlin, a city with dense museum network. Now on exhibition the new collection where everyone and everything in modern art from Kokoschka to contemporary abstract art, through the likes of Dix [his was some of the best pieces in the collection], Schwitters and others, has its place. Divided in art movements Neue galerie is a sure call for modern art lovers.

Museum shop: Alphabetically arranged monographs and a nice selection of art books plus the ordinary museum paraphernalia. Outside the main shop’s space there are two tables stocked with sale items, but be warned that some of these titles are available elsewhere even cheaper.

Pergamonmuseum [Museumsinsel, first take]

Inside Pergamonmuseum lies an amazing collection of antiquities [a part of this collection is housed in Altes Museum] many of them of Greek origin [finds from excavations in Olympia, Samos, Pergamon, Miletus, Priene, Magnesia, Cyprus and Didyma]. Inside museum’s halls visitor can admire the world renowned magnificently opulent structure of Pergamon Altar as well as a really big collection of Classic, Hellenistic, Roman and late Roman antiquities. Two more collections of great interest and importance found within Pergamonmuseum are the Islamic Art and the Ancient Near East one.

Museum shop: Many books covering the thematic of the museum and its collections can be found in its shop. Unfortunately the majority of them, including some not-permanent exhibitions’ catalogues, are only available in German. There is a rather big collection of jewelry also in the shop and here you can find the perfect gift for many occasions.

photos:

Medizinhistorisches

Housed in Charité [the largest university hospital in Europe] hospital complex, Medizinhistorisches museum is a thrilling and strange experience. More than one collections were on display, but I am unsure which of them where running exhibitions and which of them permanent. One that was [almost] for sure ongoing was a showcase of face casts presenting a variety of optical and dermatic [always concerning face] pathologies. Another that was quite haunting was a selection of medical cases spanning the last 3 or 4 centuries, presented in text along with any relating instruments of each time and a handful of personal belongings of the suffering person. Given the fact that all of them were tormented and dead, I couldn’t help but remember John Saul’s Blackstone Chronicles. The view from a nearby window was Psychiatric Clinic, as the label next to it read.

The core of the museum is the medical collection of deformities, curiosities, damaged internal organs, sick skin, dead foetuses and so on preserved in formaldehyde [?], exhibited in a big hall. Part of this collection is an awe-inspiring megacolon, stored in a huge jar. The day we visited the museum was bleak and rainy. Searching for the hospital bookstore [we didn’t find one, probably misinformed] we ended up taking a walk in the hospital gardens between and around buildings and clinics. Everything was unnaturally still and quiet, and probably somewhat unsettling.

This visit was a mind-altering experience highly recommended to anyone interested in medical history and/or medical curiosities. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Museum shop: Much to my disappointment [although probably expected] there was just a rudimentary [book]shop featuring a handful of titles, only in German. One or two seemed interesting to my non expert eyes. If anyone knows of any catalogue of this museum’s collection [or similar books, except from the Phantom Museum and a couple of editions on Mutter museum] please leave a comment or send an email.

flyers:

more on Berlin museums soon

dmtls reporting from Berlin part 2.

transgression, decay and the Avant-Garde

May 3, 2008 1 comment

Joel-Peter Witkin

History Of Beauty is an interesting book, while On Ugliness [both by the great Umberto Eco] is an excellent one, not it terms of ‘execution’ [see writing] but as a subject. Studying the ever-shifting and changing standards of beauty can prove useful and entertaining. Beauty and how we conceive it plays a key role in understanding society and art. This also applies to ugliness despite the fact that most of the times, ugliness is pushed out of focus and to the darkest corners. It is of critical importance to note that it is rather unsure whether beauty exists and is defined as the opposite of ugliness or vice versa [These thoughts are addressed also by Eco].

Depicting what is not visually or mentally [everything is in the brain(?)] attractive, not strictly as a means of threat or propaganda, is a barrier-smashing concept in art. Disturbance in art accounts for many powerful and of great depth masterpieces. Steadily avoiding the mainstream ‘evil’, ‘wicked’ and ‘ugly’ popster hype, difference, para-normal, perverseness, the displeasing mark a widely uncharted territory deep within human psyche capable of the next chef-d’oeuvre or a disgusting monstrosity. Appealing and appalling sound and spell conspicuously similar.

What lies beyond death [physically] is rot and decomposition. The ultimate transformation, the passage from life to death is one of the biggest taboos. But what about the literally ultimate transformation/passage, decomposition? Dealing with subjects like this probably categorizes as transgression but that is what avant-garde is all about. Avant-garde and ‘extreme’ [extreme here stands for all practices, art forms and expressions considered abnormal and/or over-provocative] meet again on the grounds of transgression. Greenaway deals extensively with decay in his Zed & Two Noughts, while also rot and putrefaction are returning themes in Cannibal Corpse‘s releases, both visually [artwork] and lyrically, while generally being a favourite concept of fellow death metal and grindcore bands.

Ravenous waves attack,
drawn by the scent of life
Fever for our blood

Instinct rules this mass, ruthless living sea
Devouring

Countless vermin gnashing at my face
Tear meat from my skull
Swarming, rabid, features are erased
Unrecognizable
Body covered, rat filled innards
Shred internal organs
Heart and lungs consumed from inside but my
pain doesn’t end
I have not died

Devour, cesspool of vermin
Devour, bloodthristy rabid
Devoured by vermin

Ruthless gnawing vermin – feed
Cleaning off my bones while I breathe
Stenching greasy rodents – swarm
My body is losing its form

[Lead – Owen]
[Lead – Barrett]

Devour, cesspool of vermin
Devour, bloodthristy rabid
Devoured by vermin

Lyrics of Devoured by Vermin, Vile [1996], see numerous other examples.

Decomposition is also the subject of Sam Taylor-Wood‘s work A Little Death.

It can be described as ‘meta-still life’ [sic] imagery, probably better classified as vanitas. Still life by convention, as it fails to meet the definition of …[a work of art] depicting inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which may be either natural (food, plants and natural substances like rocks) or man-made (drinking glasses, cigarettes, pipes and so on) in an artificial setting. In A Little Death subjects are certainly not inanimate. We witness a slow, almost ritualistic procedure [made frantic in order to fit in 4 and a half minutes of film] that ‘performs’ the final transmutation to the mortal body [Memento mori]. This is not Ars Moriendi, preceding death and the inevitable subsequent results are presented ‘as-are’, there is no ethos, like in nature, making our spectacle even more disturbing.

An alteration of forms is taking place in this video. A passage from form to deformity, resulting in an almost abstract and all-together different final outcome [the apple remains unaltered (plastic?), probably to work as a connecting factor between the phases] with a distinct artistic value per se [?].

Text and the Avant-Garde

April 28, 2008 1 comment

Found while searching for something slightly irrelevant. Not extensive but nonetheless interesting article to read.

Text and the Avant-Garde

experiments in typography

March 27, 2008 2 comments

From the early experiments in typography and plays with typefaces of dadaists to kinetic typography.

A standalone work of art [not kinetic typography but nonetheless experimental and interesting], the remake of a famous movie scene and the dramatization of political speech. Letters and only letters are used and the results are stunning.

Further reading : Kinetic Typography