Viewing articles from 2020/06

Camden Art Centre, Arkwright Rd, London NW3 6DG

The Botanical Mind Online

O, you happy roots, branch and mediatrix (screen 1)

‘The Botanical Mind: Art, Mysticism and The Cosmic Tree’ was originally intended to be an in-house group exhibition at Camden Art Centre. Instead, the spread of COVID-19 and the closure of public gallery spaces saw the show move to the digital realm and become ‘The Botanical Mind Online’. The exhibition is hosted at botanicalmind.online, which serves as both the main space to read about the themes and topics of the show, and the central repository for a number of digital offerings, from videos, sound recordings, and podcasts to texts. Review by Aidan Kelly Murphy

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The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds LS10 1JQ

Taus Makhacheva: Hold Your Horses

Taus Makhacheva, ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) Spa, 2018.

When The Tetley gallery in Leeds opened Taus Makhacheva’s exhibition ‘Hold Your Horses’, the world was still aggressively galloping forward. No one knew that in a month’s time the pandemic stasis would impose the idiom’s meaning on life as we know it. Yet, the works included in the exhibition explore several themes that seem to be critical at this point. Review by Jaroslava Tomanova

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The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5DN

Backlit: On Visiting The National Gallery, London from Home

Room 11 at The National Gallery, London

Since the lockdown announcement on the 23rd March, galleries and museums across the UK have been emphasising the scope and availability of their digital collections, encouraging the public to engage with high-resolution reproductions of their artefacts online. Considering the work of art in the age of digital reproduction may not be a new phenomenon. And yet, the enthusiasm with which many institutions have been vocalising the accessibility of their archives on the Internet raises the volume on several important questions regarding the significance, if any, of the artwork as a physical, encounterable object, and the responsibility of museums to ensure that their collections are available online. Review by Rowland Bagnall

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Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Dionysiou Areopagitou, Athina 105 55, Greece

Dionisis Kavallieratos: Disoriented Dance / Misled Planet

Installation view Disoriented dance / Misled planet, Pitchers

Oh, it feels good to be back looking at art. Standing in the open air of this historic site, Dionisis Kavallieratos’s ‘Disoriented Dance / Misled Planet’ feels like exactly the right show to be seeing at this moment. It’s playful, gentle on the mind and easy on the eye, contemporary, but riffing on ancient themes, challenging, but not too much so. Review by William Summerfield

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Cruising the Dead River: David Wojnarowicz and New York’s Ruined Waterfront

Cover of Cruising the Dead River: David Wojnarowicz and New York's Ruined Waterfront, 2019

In Fiona Anderson’s ‘Cruising the Dead River: David Wojnarowicz and New York’s Ruined Waterfront’ she examines the dilapidated and abandoned piers and warehouses on the waterfront of 1970s/80s New York, considering these places not only as those of queer space but also of queer time; the cruising that occurred within them as preservationist, an activism against the demolishment of queer histories - an archiving of sorts. Review by Tess Charnley

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John Hansard Gallery, 142-144 Above Bar St, Southampton SO14 7DU

David Blandy: How to Fly | How to Live

David Blandy, How to Fly

The current Covid-19 pandemic has thrown the art world into a fight for relevancy that, as galleries and museums have had to close their doors, reveals the limits of their techie expertise. Many face new challenges, but the technophilic, literate, and adept are of course out there. David Blandy is one such case, and two new video works by Blandy, commissioned by John Hansard Gallery, reflect on the current crisis. Review by Stan Portus

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Lundahl & Seitl, online

Symphony of a Missing Room

Symphony of a Missing Room, 2020

The app 'Symphony of a Missing Room' attempts to frame the museum as a site of collective imagination, a palimpsest that stores the voices of its visitors past and present. Based on a guided tour artists Lundahl & Seitl have been staging in galleries for the past 10 years, it allows you to participate in an immersive artwork at home with a friend. Review by Kirsty White

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Galerie Lelong & Co. and P·P·O·W (online)

Irrigation Veins: Ana Mendieta and Carolee Schneemann, Selected Works 1966-1983

Ana Mendieta, Volcán , 1979. Colour photograph, 20.3 x 25.4 cm

Proposed by Carolee Schneemann in the last year of her life, ‘Irrigation Veins: Ana Mendieta & Carolee Schneemann, Selected Works 1966 – 1983’ is a compelling exhibition of two canonical artists who sought to explore their embodied relationship to the land and its history through the body as material. Considering their inclusions in influential essays by Lucy Lippard and Gloria Feman Orenstein, as well as exhibitions at A.I.R. Gallery, the first artist-run gallery for women artists in the United States, it is remarkable that Mendieta and Schneemann have never been placed in direct dialogue. Review by Aileen Dowling

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Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA

Cao Fei: Blueprints

Cao Fei, Nova, 2019, Video

On the wall of a lobby, against a deep red velvet backdrop, a prophetic message welcomes the visitor: ‘In our splendid universe, motion pictures mirror our reality’. In Cao Fei’s ‘Blueprints’, different worlds merge and flip. Combining theatrical sets, photography, moving images, and her first VR work, the artist traces patterns of reality, teleporting visitors through distant territories and histories. Focusing on the district of Jiuxianqiao in Beijing, where the first Chinese computer was invented, the exhibition offers local perspectives of contemporary technological developments in China, mapping feelings that resonate globally. Review by Giulia Civardi

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External Pages

Legacy Russell: BLACK MEME

BLACK MEME, video on website, Legacy Russell, External Pages - externalpages.org

You are browsing the internet at different speeds, across temporalities. You take a deep dive in the realm of ‘BLACK MEME’, encountering material you are surrounded by every day. A journey curated by Legacy Russell. Review by Clara Nissim

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Kerlin Gallery, Anne's Ln, Dublin 2, D02 A028, Ireland

Samuel Laurence Cunnane

Cunnane produces striking images of the built environment, brand new and abandoned buildings, plants, the sea, the lie of the land, a frosty morning, a cloud of mist, Siobhán sitting in the back seat of a car (her face half hidden behind clenched-up fists), a bruised arm and a burning truck. His pictures show that he possesses an extraordinary capacity to see the remarkable and the mundane in the things around him, as well as a knack for embodying such contradictory characteristics in his work. Review by John Gayer

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