Funkhaus Berlin- open studios

Tomorrow, Thursday the 30th of June, 18-22, there is a summer party, two exhibitions and the presentation of the "Funkhaus Artprize" in the place where I have my studio. There are also open studios so I will keep mine open too. So if you happen to find yourself in Berlin tomorrow evening then come by, although it is a bit far out it is a very special place well worth a visit! So come by if you can, my studio is on the fourth floor in the giant tower. More info here.


Booty Sale!

The Art Car Boot Sale is Sunday... Five Dials is running a wee booty something and their illustrators (like Emily and I) are going by to do some drawing and artistic tailgating.



I also forgot to mention that Jockum Nordström has an exhibition in Stockholm now, and as the fan of his that I am I would recomend all and everyone to go. And for those like myself that can't then atleast to look at the page of the gallery: http://www.gallerimagnuskarlsson.com/
ok. byebye

Venice Biennale 2011

So, I just got back from Venice and the cirkus known as the Biennale. Full of people, sounds, colours, sunshine and orange Aperol drinks. Not quite sure where to start telling about this adventure. At the beginning? We went to Venice because our friend Timo Grimmberg has designed a book called the "Romanian cultural resulution" that just recently got published by Hatje Cantz. The book is a sort of update on contemporary Romanian art and the starting point for it was made by CCP, Club Electro Putere, an artspace in Craoiva in Romania. We went to visit it last year to spend some time with Adrian Bojenoiu and Alexandru Niculescu, and now again to celebrate with them their space at the Venice Biennale, which is located on Nova Strada bang smack in the middle of Venice. So congratulations to them all as the book looks great! That was what brought about the idea to go to Venice, and the opening was the night that we arrived after a long, long trainjourney. The days afterwards we spent trying to see as much as possible, queing in lines and looking at all the others doing the same. Everyone trying to gather as many free bags from the pavillions as possible, getting the free champagne , being styled from head to toe and always trying to find out where the next party was. I had been in Venice once before to see the Biennale but that was end of the summer and the Giardini was almost empty, a much nicer way trying to actually see the art then now in this mess. So if I am going back then definitely when things are calmer. A few things managed to break through the barrier and for me stand out in all the chaos. The first favorite being Christian Marclay, here and here, and his video piece, "The clock", a 24 hour long film working as an accurate clock put together by filmclips constantly showing or commenting upon time, this piece was such a beauty and it was wonderful to sit down in the sofas and relax in the dark looking at the film and time go by. What an incredible amount of work! And the thing is that it was constantly interesting to watch because it was so beautifully cut and always held the tension, I thought this was absolutely brilliant.
The second favourite of my list is Denmark. Whereas the Swedish pavillion unfortunately to me seamed, I don't want to say it but..rather boring, the danish pavillion was full of life and questions of relevance. It was called Speech Matters, here, and offered plenty of opportunities to research yourself and interact with the pieces, looking at different samples and reading about the interesting work of american photographer Tary Simon and the funny and uncomfortable video piece by Han Hoogerbrugge and his three faced man. The Danes also managed to make the nicest party, atleast for us as we took the ferry out to the island San Servolo were they had placed a little bar on a float called Osloo, we danced there all night until our shoes looked like on the image and then walked for an hour trying to find the way home to our hostel that was up in the north in the old ghetto. A great place to stay since it was not so full of other tourists and seemed a lot calmer and maybe possibly as if some people actually lived there. We stayed there with friends from Bremen who were in Venice to launch there book "Look at me", although I missed the actual performance which was on a boat and a bit confusing as to which of the overfull vaporetto's it was going to be on, I hope to have a look at the book which deals with Celebrity culture at the Venice Biennale, something there was actually more of then art. The big curated show Illuminazioni, with 83 artists, I thought was a bit hard to follow, or, I didn't see the thread, I thought many of the rooms did not work with the pieces and I did not quite understand the selection. There were some things that stuck, like the small collages of Cyprien Gaillard, who recently did a pyramide made up of beerbottles in KW in Berlin, inviting the audience to come in, climb it and drink it. I also liked the 5000 stuffed pidgeons which were decorating the Giardini rooms by Maurizio Cattelan and ofcourse the massive wax sculptures by Urs Fischer slowly burning up. But I don't understand the selection, and there was so little information for each artist or piece available, only a short birthdate and lives and works, which was mainly in Berlin for some reason. I think a lot of the pieces would have been more approachable if there would have been some more information about them, now they were just stood there next to each other in one room after the other.
Of the big pavillions Denmark comes first for me, but I did also really like Germany and it's dark installation of Christoph Schlingensief "Eine Kirche der Angst vor dem Fremden in mir" stepping in from the sunshine into this dark and slightly smelly pavillion, turned dark church, worked very well and we ended up staying for a long time in the universe created by the films shown in this setting. Walking around Venice one afternoon later I came across this church, not sure if you can see it on the small image but there is a beautiful skull above the door and coloured lamps swinging infront of it. The British pavillion I went to see on the last day, there had been a one and a half hour queue infront of it for most of the time and people running int to see it at ten o'clock in the morning, it was artist Mike Nelson and the whole pavillion had been rebuilt over a period of three months into a labyrinthic space looking like the backrooms and courtyards in Istanbul, you had to search your way through it and came upon diffrent dark spaces, it seemed like a whole world in there, with a darkroom wih black and white photographs hanging to dry and dust covering everything, it was probably great fun to build but I don't quite see the point of it, and once again the British idea of Health and Safety stunned me, we got told at the door to please explore but be careful and mind the gaps and your head and bla bla bla. So that kind of took the excitment away.. I also liked the Israeli pavillion and the work of Sigalit Landau's, One man's floor is another man's feelings. Read about her here, I thought her work provided a careful and poetic insight into the drawing of borders and the passing of time, this was one pavillion were I wished I would have had some more peace and time to look at it, but all the people made it hard to focus. And something that irritates me incredibly was that I missed out on the polish pavillion, everytime we came there there seemed to be such a long queue and in the end I missed it. But please read about it here as it seams to have stirred up a lot of feelings in Poland and it sounds very interesting. There were a lot of off spaces aswell, I don't even know how many and I don't think we managed to see all of them, not sure if that is possible at all, you would have to run around like an art-out zombie to manage that. But we found one, thanks to Devon based artist Mat Chivers that we met late at night between parties on a square. He is participating in an exhibition called "The Knowledge" in the Gervasuti Foundation curated by James Putnam. The exhibition was crammed into a small darkspace but somehow that suited the works and apart from Chivers work I also liked the machine of opening and closing drawers with dangling keys by Nancy Fouts. And then Sophia, you wanted to hear about Karla Black, and I did go to see it! Ofcourse, having lived in Scotland and all. But I am not too sure what to say about it, I kind of like her work usually but this time it was very hard to take it in because I was overwhelmed and nauseated by the smell of Lush soap, that built up many of the sculptures, stinging in my nose and the rooms must have been 30 degrees warm..this together with art fatigue is maybe not the best way for forming an opinion so..well, have a look for yourself, here. I think that is it, maybe that is all I have to write about the Biennale. I can also write that after almost a week in Venice and many Aperol Spritz and late nights and boat rides (which made me rock from side to side even in my sleep)it was definitely time to leave. But me and Joachim went to see the cementry island, which is beatiful with all it's graves on top of each other like blocks of flats, the images on them with all the laughing or serious faces of the now dead also somehow appeal to me, especially those ones that had been there for a long time where the photograph was almost gone. Like this one which now just holds an echo of it's former function. I also many times wished that I could draw because all the boats on the Grande Canal are amazing and I think they would be much more brilliant as drawings then photographs, what a traffic! We spent an afternoon very tired lying next to a vaporetto station at one end of Venice were all the big/small boats and massive ferries were passing and it was incredible to see all these ships driving around like busy bees. Then it was leaving time and two friends from Buero Total in Leipzig had rented a car so we went with them to Trieste, a city north of Venice and it was beautiful to come to a "real" city after the fantasy land that is Venice, instead of crossing canals we now spent two days walking up and down the hills of Trieste, I'd love to go back there again, seemed like such a great place and was perfect after all this art, or im not even sure if it was that much the art that was overwhelming or rather all the people everywhere, having to stand in line to cross a bridge sometimes and being packed on to Vaporettos travelling down the Grand Canal. I liked walking around in Venice though, at the upper north and the south were it seemed like people maybe lived, but I suppose it is better to do that at another time of the year too. But it was exciting to see this whole massive old machine that is the Biennale Opening. Worst of all was the Italian pavillion, I have no idea what they had been thinking, everything just thrown in, artist on top of artist like a massive jumble sale where it was impossible to look at one thing without being overcrowded by the next. At the entrance of it a naked Eve in a high chair and opposite her a sort of Adam I guess, needless to say all the big black cameras of the press were focus on Eve's wellshaped boobies. tja..I suppose that to is art. After Trieste we spent another 23 hours travelling and now we are finally home, home to studio and focus and work. Which feels very good. I end with an image from the fishmarket near Rialto, that is a beautiful place. And from there one can take a gondol taxi to the other side for 50 cent, which seems a more reasonable prize then the 80 euros for 40 minutes that it otherwise costs..haha. ok, I will post this now and I hope there are not too many spelling mistakes and confusing statements. bye bye.


Fashion. Turn to the left

I highly recommend perusing Alexey Brodovitch's portfolio of work, especially his covers for Harper's Bazaar. Here he creates beautiful abstract shapes, graphic patterns from interesting crops and compositions that are to die for.