28 August, 2007
27 August, 2007
Vokieciu g. 2, LT-01130 Vilnius
T: +370 5 262 3476
F: +370 5 262 3954
Chicks on Speed:
07 09 - 28 10 2007 Curator: Simon Rees
Opening: Friday 7 September, 18.00
Artists’ talk: Friday 7 September, 15.00
Performance: Friday 7 September, 20.00
Long before anyone described ‘artists as deejays’ punk and its DIY [do-it-yourself] aesthetic ruled. DIY meant anything goes and punk was a mash of styles played hard, fast, and with an attitude. Many of the leading-edge punk bands came out of art school — including the New York Dolls, Talking Heads, Throbbing Gristle, and Sonic Youth — so record sleeves, costumes, stage sets, on-stage performance antics, and concert films were refracted through the prism of contemporary art. A number of glam-rockers also came out of the art school milieu (think, David Bowie, Brian Eno, and T-Rex) and their high-camp reflected their high-art sensibilities. Punk was also the movement and the moment when women started truly rocking for themselves, incorporating explicit post-feminist political and performance strategies into their stage-personas, costuming, and stage-productions; high among them being raw sexuality, nudity, inflammatory language and sloganeering. (A roll call would include Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Slits, Nina Hagen, and Martha and the Muffins). Now let’s hear it for the Chicks On Speed....
The Chicks On Speed are all that and more! An all girl band, performance ensemble, visual art ensemble, which also release and produce music made by women on their record label. For Shoe Fuck! their largest-scale solo exhibition — being presented at the Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius — are making a project that reprises the attitude of punk and combines it with strategies of 1960s women’s performance art — with a 21st century and late-capitalist twist. The artists are going to be living in the space of the gallery for three weeks while preparing the exhibition in a redeployment of the 1960s ‘live-ins’ and ‘love-ins’ made famous by Japanese Fluxus artists Yayoi Kusama and Yoko Ono. Kusama, who was one of the first artists to get naked and make fun of the exploitative practices of male artists like Yves Klein, is in good company with the Chicks On Speed. Their photographic performance collages are equally referential of the early work by Martha Rosler. There’ll also be slogans, fashion, and a listening lounge of the recent 3-CD Box Set Girl Monster of new music made by women that the Chicks On Speed have released on their label. There’s even a spaceship for the Chicks On Speed to blast their brand of new-millennial (or is it alien?) feminism way into the future. Not to mention accessories — undoubtedly the cast and characters of Desperate Housewives or Sex In The City never got as closely acquainted with a pair of classic Chanel Pumps as the Chicks On Speed do here. And as those boots are made for walking Shoe Fuck! will kick-start with an opening night performance — look out.
The reappraisal of feminism and feminist art has been a hot topic of 2007 in international academic, art, and publishing circles. The CAC is pleased to be lobbing into the discussion with its new season of exhibitions of art made by women:
Chicks On Speed: Shoe Fuck!
7 September - 28 October
Among Us: six Lithuanian women artists in their thirties
The Joy Is Not Mentioned: Egle Budvytyte, Goda Budvytyte, and Ieva Miseviciute
14 September - 28 October
Each of the exhibitions looks towards a different decade--the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s--for its conceptual impetus and considers its affects from a new millennial perspective. In their largest-scale gallery exhibition to date the all-girl band, performance ensemble and artist collective the Chicks On Speed reprise a number of strategies associated with art and music hailing from the 1970s and Punk. Punk was a movement and moment when women started rocking for themselves, incorporating explicit post-feminist political and performance strategies into their stage-personas, costuming, and stage-productions; high among them being raw sexuality, nudity, inflammatory language and sloganeering. It’s all on show in Shoe Fuck! including one of the symbols of late-capitalist women's empowerment--a classic Chanel pump--being put to the test in the exhibition's eponymous work. Part full-throttle commodity fetishism and part transgressive act the work, and the exhibition as a whole, questions whether space for political activism/resistance exists for women in the age of consumerism.
Music is also to the fore in The Joy Is Not Mentioned the latest installment of the CAC’s ongoing 'young Lithuanian artists' series. The three artists ask "what if the 1980s never happened?" And their answer is; "no Hip-Hop and no street-culture" (that entered mass culture during the decade). Or at least a national pop-culture having difficulty coming to grips with one of the world's dominant cultural and musical forms. This is the predicament of Lithuania--and of all the former soviet-states. To remedy the situation the artists will be re-staging the Hip-Hop and Street Dance 1980s in Vilnius for the duration of the exhibition. Two radio stations will be broadcasting special programs, and the artists, with the participation of members from the local street-culture community as well as trained dancers, will be turning up with boom-boxes, mics, and rolls of vinyl at street-corners and hang-out spots around the city. It’ll be the Bronx in the Baltic.
Among Us presents newly commissioned work by: Jurgita Remeikyte, Alma Skersyte, Irma Stanaityte, Laura Stasiulyte, Vilma Sileikiene and Kristina Inciuraite. The exhibition compares and contrasts coincidences and divergences in the artists' practice, set against prescient developments in Lithuanian art and society since the 1990s. It was at the end of the decade marked by independence from the USSR (1991) that a higher number of women started entering the field of contemporary art; as part of a broader entrance of women into public life--including the fields of business and politics. The exhibition's title, Among Us, was inspired by a series of discussions between the participating artists that identified the exhibition's salient and shared concerns; collective historical memory and the recent transformations of Lithuanian identity. The artists analyze visual codes that have come from the past and question whether they are still recognizable, if they are still b eing exploited or if they've already been forgotten? They study the influence of increasingly dynamic lifestyle on identity, and the collective unconscious in work that reflects upon their personal experience and environment.
Chicks on Speed will perform at the opening of their exhibition at 8.00pm on Friday 7 September
In association with The Joy Is Not Mentioned, dance floors will be formed on the streets of central Vilnius between 8.00pm-1.00am on Thursday 6 and Friday 7, September
Also at the CAC in autumn:
DIGITAL HERITAGE: Video Art in Germany >From 1963 to the Present, 12-21 October,
with a special lecture by Marcel Odenbach on Friday 19 October
Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas at the Lithuanian Pavilion at the 52nd International Art Exhibition -- La Biennale di Venezia, until 21 November, see: http://www.villalituania.lt
2007 Arc Biennial - Brisbane
Chicks on Speed
Documenta 12 - Photos
Venice Biennial - Photos
Documenta - review
Museum of Cycladic art
Villers-Bretonneux - photos
World War I art exhibition
self-censorship in the arts
Internet tutorials for the Arts
The Thin Green Line
Nik Semenoff's palm press
The Arc Biennial is back for 2007. Celebrating all things art, the 2007 Arc Biennial is a festival event held in Brisbane in October. An opportunity to change the way everyone thinks about visual art, design and craft, the Arc Biennial promises sustenance for the eyes, ears and mind and the opportunity for discussion, debate and discovery.
This year the Arc Biennial features something for everyone with art exhibitions, a three-day Symposium program, and special events.
The exhibition includes the works of Lincoln Austin, Jenni Baxter, Penny Byrne, Ray Cook, George Wu, Lily Hibberd, PJ Hickman, Alasdair MacIntyre, Archie Moore, Ben Quilty, Scott Redford, Victoria Reichelt, Aaryn Snowball, The General Will, The Upholstery, Judith Wright and more.
Speakers in the symposium program include: Lee Lin Chin (SBS Journalist and host of television program Fashionista), writer and trendspotter Dave Evans (The Coolhunter), Tony Ellwood (Director Queensland Art Gallery), Jason Dax Woodward (Street Artist), Andrew Frost (writer, The Art Life), Peter Boyd & Denise Sprynskyj (from fashion label Six) and more.
The 2007 Arc Biennial is to also feature special events with international artists is to be announced in the lead up to the event.
Interview opportunities are currently available with artists and speakers who are involved in the Biennial. Any enquiries about the Biennial are to be directed to Sofie Ham: 07 3215 0850 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Key Dates in the 2007 Arc Biennial Program include:
- 12-14 October, Symposium Program;
- 12 October, Arc Biennial and Arc Exhibition Launch Party;
- 6 October - 2 December 2007, Arc Biennial Exhibition, 'To be confirmed...';
- 12 October - 12 November 2007, Arc Biennial/10000 Steps, 'To the streets' exhibition program;
- 13 October, Special offsite evening event; and
- 14 October, Film screening and Event.
September 27 to November 4, 2007,
Wed - Sun 2-7 pm
Opening: September 26, 7 pm
FLUXUS NETWORKS IN
CENTRAL EASTERN EUROPE
Gábor Altorjay, Eric Andersen, Tamás St. Auby, Azorro, Robert Filliou, György Galántai, Geoffrey Hendricks, Dick Higgins, Tadeusz Kantor, Milan Knízák, Alison Knowles, Július Koller, Jaroslaw Kozlowski, Vytautas Landsbergis, George Maciunas, Jonas Mekas, Larry Miller, Ben Patterson, Mieko Shiomi, Slave Pianos, Endre Tót, Gábor Tóth, Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas, Jirí Valoch, Ben Vautier, Branko Vucicevic, Emmett Williams
curator: Petra Stegmann, exhibition architecture: Andrea Pichl
Fluxus is well-known as an (anti-)artistic, international network with centres in the USA, Western Europe and Japan. But what about this "intermedia" art -- art encompassing music, actions, poetry, objects and events -- beyond the "Iron Curtain"? What echo did Fluxus find in the states of the former Eastern Bloc, and what parallel developments existed there?
As a "programme of action", Fluxus -- according to its self-styled "chairman", the exiled Lithuanian George Maciunas in a letter supposedly to Nikita Chruscev -- was predestined to bring about unity between the "concretist" artists of the world and the "concretist" society of the USSR. Maciunas planned Fluxus as a collective based on the model of the Russian LEF (Leftist Arts Front). But these plans -- e. g. for a performance tour by the artists on the Trans-Siberian Railway --, developed with polished communist rhetoric in manifestos and letters, were to remain no more than a utopia.
After 1962, a different FLUXUS EAST developed through creative exchange between Fluxus artists and artists/musicians of the former Eastern Bloc, leading to events including Fluxus festivals in Vilnius (1966), Prague (1966), Budapest (1969), and Poznan (1977).
FLUXUS EAST represents a first stocktaking of the diverse Fluxus activities in the former Eastern Bloc; the exhibition shows parallel developments and artistic practices inspired by Fluxus, which are still adopted by some young artists today. Besides the "classic" Fluxus objects, the display will include photographs, films, correspondence, secret police files, interviews and recordings of music that document the presence of Fluxus in the former Eastern Bloc. As an interactive exhibition, FLUXUS EAST aims to facilitate a profound encounter with ideas, works and texts -- some presented as facsimiles to permit intense study. It is possible to play at FLUX PING PONG, and visitors are also invited to explore the POIPOIDROME by Robert Filliou.
Performances by Eric Andersen, Geoffrey Hendricks, Milan Knízák, Alison Knowles, Larry Miller, Ben Patterson, Tamás St. Auby, Ben Vautier and others will take place at the
opening on September, 26th.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue (German/English, ca 250 pages, ca 200
The exhibition at Künstlerhaus Bethanien and the catalogue are funded by the
German Federal Cultural Foundation.
From September 27-29, 2007 the conference FLUXUS. NETWORKS BETWEEN WEST AND EAST -- a joint event of Künstlerhaus Bethanien and House of World Cultures -- will take place at House of World Cultures and Art Forum Berlin. http://www.hkw.de/de/programm2007/new_york/veranstaltungen_14292/fluxus_14921/AlleVeranstaltungen.php
Further exhibition venues: Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius (November 30, 2007 - January 13, 2008), Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków (February 7 - March 30, 2008), Ludwig Múzeum, Budapest
(April 17 - June 1, 2008).
Network programme in Berlin:
Tschechisches Zentrum Czechpoint
Czech Action Art of the 1960s to the 1990s
Exhibition, September 14 - November 2, 2007
Collegium Hungaricum Berlin Portable Intelligence Increase Museum. Pop Art, Conceptual Art, and Actionism in Hungary during the 60s - 1956-1976 / The Near-East-European Criss-Cross (1956-1989)
Exhibition, September 26 - November 4, 2007
Polnisches Institut Berlin Galeria Akumulatory 2
Exhibition, September 28 - November 8, 2007
Art Forum Berlin Slave Pianos: Dissident Consonances
(The Flux-Labyrinth & the Iron Curtain at the Art Forum Berlin)
Concert, September 28, 2007
What kind of vandalism and disinformation have you found?
Without naming any names, I've found three common kinds of vandalism.
1. Wholesale removal of entire paragraphs of critical information. (common for both political figures and corporations)
2. White-washing -- replacing negative/neutral adjectives with positive adjectives that mean something similar. (common for political figures)
3. Adding negative information to a competitor's page. (common for corporations)
Wikipedia is neither accurate nor unbiased.
To use it as a reference source is unscholarly.
At best it could be used as source of links to further information or, as in this case, as an indicator of internet activity.
Visual arts of Africa, Asia, Latin America
within the context of international art processes
our extensive photo tour through the 52nd International Art Exhibition of
the Venice Biennial is ready now. You will find in it, photos and
information on 24 pavilions and exhibitions with works by 114
*Venice Biennial - Photo Tour*
You can directly go to particular exhibitions or follow the alphabetical
tour (Start top right):
UNIVERSES IN UNIVERSE - Worlds of Art
Visual arts of Africa, Asia, Latin America
within the context of international art processes
we have published now a Tour through Documenta 12, where you will find
photos and information on works by 33 participants from Africa, Asia,
Latin America, and on the exhibition venues, as well as the complete list
of artists with brief biographies, and some critical remarks about the
*Documenta 12 - Photo Tour*
"Despite occasional bright spots, this documenta leaves a rather weak impression – because of the diverse theoretical ambitions that are not fulfilled and in part because of major curatorial weaknesses. These are especially obvious in the wretched Aue Pavilion (see our tour). This twelfth edition in no way fulfills the claim, found again in the official statements, that the documenta is “an authoritative worldwide seismograph of contemporary art”."Website: www.documenta12.de
24 August, 2007
CENSORSHIP IN AN AGE OF UNCERTAINTY
If you missed out on The Big Chill seminar, download the summary of
On Friday 30 March 2007, Museums & Galleries NSW presented the first seminar in the Altered Perspectives: Re-examining Museum and Gallery Practices series. Chaired by Gary Corbett (Tweed Shire Council) The Big Chill: Self-Censorship in an age of uncertainty, addressed the issue of self-censorship in the arts community in Australia. Museum and gallery staff from across the country discussed some of the reasons why self-censorship may be on the increase, as well as possible responses.
Keynote speakers included: Paul Sheehan (The Sydney Morning Herald),
Sheona White (Art Gallery of New South Wales), Dr Peter Stanley (Centre
for Historical Research, National Museum of Australia).
Panellists included: Katherine Giles (Arts Law Centre of Australia), Kon
Gouriotis OAM - (Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre & Liverpool Regional
Museum), Alan Sisley (Director, Orange Regional Gallery)
To download the summary of proceedings go to: www.mgnsw.org.au
21 August, 2007
It's a four hour drive from Amsterdam to the Somme. We spent the weekend following the WWI Australian troops, from battle to battle.
What we discovered was - the Australians won WWI.
The old diggers were right.
In the First World War, on 24 April 1918, the small town of Villers-Bretonneux was the site of the world's first battle between two tank forces: three British Mark IVs against three German A7Vs. The Germans took the town, but that night and the next day it was recaptured by 4th and 5th Division of the AIF at a cost of over twelve hundred Australian lives. The people of Villers-Bretonneux remain indebted to Australia for this feat.
The town's mayor spoke of the Australian troops on 14 July 1919 when unveiling a memorial in their honour:
"The first inhabitants of Villers-Bretonneux to re-establish themselves in the ruins of what was once a flourishing little town have, by means of donations, shown a desire to thank the valorous Australian Armies, who with the spontaneous enthusiasm and characteristic dash of their race, in a few hours drove out an enemy ten times their number...They offer a memorial tablet, a gift which is but the least expression of their gratitude, compared with the brilliant feat which was accomplished by the sons of Australia...Soldiers of Australia, whose brothers lie here in French soil, be assured that your memory will always be kept alive, and that the burial places of your dead will always be respected and cared for..."
The Australian War Memorial in France is located in Villers-Bretonneux and in front of it lie the graves of over 770 Australian soldiers, as well as those of other British Empire soldiers involved in the campaign.
The school in Villers-Bretonneux was rebuilt using donations from school children of Victoria, Australia (many of whom had relatives perish in the town's liberation), and above every blackboard is the inscription "N'oublions jamais l'Australie" (Never forget Australia).
The annual ANZAC Day ceremony is held at this village on Anzac Day, 25 April, each year. Traditionally, Australian commemorations have focussed on Gallipoli. However, the 2008 ANZAC Day commemoration focussed on the Western Front, and a special dawn service marking the 90th anniversary of the battle of 24/25 April 1918 was held on Anzac Day itself at Villers-Bretonneux.
By early 1916, recruiting in Australia had made it possible to replace the ANZAC losses. The AIF in Egypt was expanded to four divisions with a fifth being raised in Australia. The overseas divisions were organised into I ANZAC Corps (1st and 2nd Australian Divisions, and the New Zealand Division) and II ANZAC Corps (4th and 5th Australian Divisions).
Beginning in March the troops were moved to France, and by July and August were heavily involved on the Western Front. The 5th Division was the first to engage the Germans on 5 July 1916 in a small but bloody engagement at Fromelles in northern France. Shortly after, the 1st, 2nd and 4th Divisions became embroiled in the first Somme offensive, at Pozieres and Moquet Farm.
3rd Division now entered the war and went on to perform extremely well under pressure.
In the following year, 1917, the Australians were again heavily engaged, in March at Bapaume, in May and June at Bullecourt and Messines, and from September to November in the great battles of the Ypres offensive - Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcapelle and Passchendaele.
In March and April 1918, the Australian Corps took a prominent part in preventing the capture of Amiens, Hazebrouck and Villers-Bretonneux, during the German 'Michael' offensive. During the final allied offensives of the war, it was engaged at Mont St Quentin and Albert, and in the penetration of the Hindenburg Line.
The AIF strength in France was maintained at some 117,000 men.
(source no longer online)
What you can't see in the photos is the bullet holes in the marble from the fighting in WWII when the fighting passed through the region again.
(the original images and website that this info comes from is no longer online so they have been replaced with new material. Ed)
Wars and nations are various, but the topics of the war propaganda are always the same ones: the own soldiers are heroes, the enemy soldiers are of the butchers. From this point of view the gallery of images can be visited in whichever order. Following the navigation indicated to the bottom of every page the way will be followed also with which the gallery it has been constructed in the time. In any case it can be chosen from the specific indices of every nation. Perhaps the visitor of the gallery will want to see also works of artists on the war and against the war.
The aim of this exhibition is not to review the facts of the war, but to show how they were portrayed by artists on either side of the front line, and indicating the difficulties involved. Amongst the millions of conscripts there were painters of every nationality and every school of painting. Those who were born around the year 1880 belonged to the generation that was called up immediately on the outbreak of war. The war held no secrets for men such as these – they were the ones who did the fighting. Boccioni, Macke, Marc, La Fresnaye and Gaudier-Brzeska died during, or as a consequence of, the war. Only the citizens of neutral countries (for example the Spanish nationals Picasso and Gris) were not called up. Many enlisted out of patriotism or because they could not bear to be away from the action. Until now, with very few exceptions, artists and writers had witnessed wars without actually becoming involved. In 1914, for the first time, they all had to take part: Germans, Britons, Italians, Austro-Hungarians and Frenchmen. Léger became a stretcher-bearer, Kokoschka a cavalryman, Beckmann a medic, Derain an artilleryman, Camoin a camoufleur, Dix a machine-gunner. Many of them drew and painted what they saw and lived through. From the sketchbooks of pencil drawings done at the front to the canvases painted on returning home, theirs is an intense and accurate testimony.
And yet, many of these works have been little researched, if not altogether forgotten. Because they recalled painful memories they were not much looked at once the war was over. Even the men who painted them - with the crucial exception of Otto Dix - had grown away from their work, and made no attempt to exhibit them. For example, Beckmann and Léger were no sooner demobbed than they set to work painting very different subjects, such as contemporary life and the city. Others went even further in making a fresh start. Among those who were called up were Braque and Derain, who left Avignon station together on August 2nd 1914 to join their regiments, accompanied by Picasso. Braque took part in the fighting during that autumn and winter. He was seriously wounded on May 11th 1915, was trepanned and, after a long convalescence, returned to his workshop a year later. He left not a single drawing or canvas alluding to what he had been through and no representation of the war is present in his work. Derain was attached to an artillery unit and served in the Champagne region, at Verdun, on the Somme, and on the Chemin des Dames until 1917. He was not demobilised until after the armistice. Of this five year period there remains no trace, apart from the title of one painting, the Cabaret on the Front seen by André Breton in Derain's studio in 1921, but which disappeared and was probably destroyed. Kirchner, Schmidt-Rottluff and Kokoschka also refrained from painting what they had seen and experienced.
15 August, 2007
Willmore, from Victoria, travelled around the world and returned with many hours of footage, but virtually no money.
Then a story about Willmore's adventure went to air on ABC TV's The 7.30 Report. It struck a chord with many viewers. And earlier this week The Thin Green Line finally had its premiere at Melbourne's Astor Theatre.
The documentary was also seen by 12,000 people in theatres and private homes across the globe.
Willmore says the night was the realisation of his dream, to document the often dangerous experiences of his fellow park rangers.
"Thank you. It's been a wonderful journey and it's quite amazing to be standing here in front of you all tonight," he said.
"Thank you for supporting it."
Willmore says he hopes to sell copies of the documentary to raise money for the families of rangers killed in the line of duty.
"I don't think I'd overstate it if I said that they're actually, probably, you know, my heroes as well," he said.
"They're unsung heroes and that's why we've done the film."
Brisbane man Pat Gerry saw The 7.30 Report piece about Willmore and decided to get on board.
"To witness an Australian who got off his backside and risked everything for the wildlife, to me and my family was one [project] where we just had to be involved," he said.
Mr Gerry donated $25,000 to the project.
"What that did was enable Sean to not need to go back to work," he said.
"And by not needing to go back to work, he could focus fulltime on getting [the documentary] up and running."
the art system. Our experiences as participants of the magazines
by Kati Morawek and Beat Weber
The opening of documenta12 in June was an event in many respects:
While new price records for art worksin auctions and art fairs were
the main topic of art journalism in recent years, reporting on
Documenta focused on artistic content only. The documenta positions
itself as a countermodel to the market dominated art world. Its main
claims are "education" and "emancipation" which was reflected in
reports about documenta. At the same time, there are no reports about
working conditions or internal economies of the event. Aesthetic
questions dominate - despite the fact that the economics of documenta
are a prime example for the functioning of the art system. As
participant of documenta magazines project, Malmoe got a glimpse of
how it works.
The documenta Magazines project invited around 90 independent and self
organized non-profit publications from the fields of culture and
political theory from around the world to come together and reflect on
the main topics of documenta.
Participating magazines were asked to publish and discuss articles
among them through an electronic platform provided by the institution,
on the topics proposed by the documenta team. The documenta would then
select the most interesting ones for their own three magazine issues,
which accompany the exhibition. In return, possibilities for
networking and exchange with other magazines would be provided as well
as the outlook of getting invited to workshops and conferences abroad.
But no money was offered for the work of the participating magazines,
except for the authors chosen for publication in documenta's own
On the one hand, this is an interesting project: Instead of
cooperating with established fancy elite art journals from the centers
of the global art world, documenta brought together marginal and
critical publications from all over the world and provides them with a
unique visibility and possibility for exchange.
On the other hand, the form and framing of this project are very
typical for the art field. They make the project a good example for
the functioning of the art system in general. Seven aspects come to
1. Outsourcing of idea scouting
The magazines project is designated as "research system" by the
documenta directro. It shall provide the curators with information to
be used in the exhibition. As remarked by participating magazine
Radical Philosophy, this is a form of outsourcing of innovation on
independent small players, which is typical for the cultural
industries. With this move, the institution gets their credibility on
board and cheaply procures information from decentral networks, which
would have required a major research effort for outsiders. Similar to
deals between majors and indie labels in the music business, the
question of balance of costs and benefits, giving and taking is key in
assessing this situation.
2. Casting show principle
The intellectual cooperation within the documenta magazines project
seems to represent the total opposite of commercialised events like
the casting shows of the "Pop Idols" variant. But on a structural
level there are striking parallels: A limited amount of participatns
is selected to take part in a kind of competition, where they are to
provide unpaid work containing performative aspects within a
prespecified framework involving special tasks. Among these, winners
are selected via a mixture of group processes and expert decisions.
This is nothing unusual in the art world, but the common model in most
exhibitions below the upper segment of the market.
3. The attraction of the promise of glamour
Why is this offer to work on assignments of an institution without
getting paid accepted by the cultural workers? Because taking part in
such a project promises social and symbolic capital which is valuable
in itself and might even be transformed into economic capital in the
All gate keeping systems in the art world like galleries, exhibitions
etc. work on the assumption that people are willing to work for
reputation, without expecting to get paid. This is especially visible
at documenta, where a legion of interns are working for 400 euros a
The only "real" payment documenta magazines project offers are rare
and sporadic fringe benefits like tickets for conferences, free issues
of magazines. The rest is the promise of social and symbolic capital:
Getting in contact with other magazines, profiting from the reputation
effect of participating in documenta.
Some of the participating magazines seemed to be satisfied with these
opportunities, and made documenta subject of their cover stories and
their promotional material. In other editiorial groups, doubts were
raised tot the point of internal conflict, centering around the
problem of taking part in a state-sponsored project under exploitative
4. Distribution of money according to the principle of maximum
One of the rules of the cultural field: Money is primarily used for
representation. The more distant the contributing work processes are,
the lesser the chances for them to getting paid (except if they are
indispensable for other reasons).
At the presentation party of the first documenta magazine edition in
Vienna, a rather opulent buffet was offered compared to local
standards. Everything which has representational value is being
financed generously. But people from publications participating in the
documenta magazines project do not get travel funds to visit the
exhibition, even if they have an official presentation - their
representational value is too small.
5. Maximum number of participants - minimum individual payout
Another characteristic feature is the minimisation of the payout for
individual participants as a result of the maximisation of the
Of course it would cost a lot of money to pay author's fees and travel
expenses etc. for the 90 participating magazines from around the
world. But why does it have to be that many? Which audience can
appreciate such a vast amount in a reasonable way? Who in the small
editorial team can handle such an enormous project in an appropriate
manner? Experience has shown: It is too much, and this leads to
mistakes, defects, discontent and overcharge among the participants.
This could have been foreseen, but it was not the decivise point in
the selection by the curators, because the attraction of big numbers
predominated their choice. They wanted to signal: Our project is
representative, and it is of unprecedented, gigantic, astonishing
dimensions. In exhibitions there are also usually too many artists
invited, so that the available budget does not allow the payout of any
meaningful sums for individual artists.
6. Personal relations make it hard to keep critical distance
At the documenta which is run mostly by people from our city (Vienna),
we experienced what is typical for local art scenes: One is acquainted
or even befriended with the people involved, one is part of the same
networks, appreciates each other, sometimes is even dependent from
each other. This involvement makes it hard from time to time to keep
up critical standards, which one would hold firmly onto in other
7. Star system and invidualising, anti-collective framework conditions
Despite the fact that he is heading the documenta together with Ruth
Noack, Roger Buergel officially functions as the artistic director,
because the rules of documenta enforce the appointment of an
individual. This is not an exception, it is characteristic of the
individualistic art system. This also shows in the way of dealing with
groups participating in the magazines project: There was only one
ticket available per editorial team for project conferences - forcing
editorial collectives to choose a representative among them, which is
sometimes in stark contrast to the working style of the magazine
concerned. The principle of individualisation is put aside only when
the collective itself gains a spectacular quality: For instance in Wei
Wei's project of bringing 1001 people from China to Kassel.
Dealing with the double role as on the one hand individual eager for
symbolic capital and on the other hand memeber of a collective,
sometimes leads to conflicts of interest which can be explosive for
This individualising pressure makes it difficult in most cases to
challenge the problematic distribution of resources in cultural
projects. Even more than in regular employment relationships, whrer
there are many regulatory protections, the collectivisation of
discussions about distribution of resources is absolutely necessary in
project work. Even more so in projects which claim to be critical. In
that respect, documenta is not worse, but also not better than the
usual exhibition project.
The participating magazines, scattered around the globe and mostly
unacquainted with each other outside the project, have failed to
collectively articulate their annoyance about the working conditions
offered to them, or organize. The exhibition guides in Kassel at least
have succeeded in negotiating about their salaries. How the artists
participating in the exhibition have fared still longs to be
researched by paid journalists in the art sections of commercial media.
MALMOE magazine - http://www.malmoe.org
Helena Smith, Athens
Sunday August 5, 2007
It was the first visible sign of a cultural earthquake. Last week 8,000 books - the entire literary heritage of the British Council in Greece - were carted off to the English department of Athens University. Many of them are works by British hellenists, including poets such as Byron, or celebrate those who forged the bond between Britain and Greece.
It is not just in Athens that the British Council is winding down. Across Europe, half a century of promoting British culture and values is slowly being wound down in favour of a huge increase in funding for activities in the Middle East and Muslim world.
It is a switch that has been greeted with horror by writers who had successfully campaigned to prevent the closure of the council's Athenian Library in 1997. That high-profile campaign prevented the council's European libraries being replaced with computerised 'informational centres' across the continent. But this time the British Council has been in no mood to back down - 2007 is not 1997, it says, despite mounting criticism over policies that have come to be seen as smacking of cultural imperialism and a catastrophic waste of UK taxpayers' money.
Instead, funding of EU countries is being reduced by £20 million - a tenth of the body's total government grant - which is being reallocated to the Middle East as the council attempts to bridge the 'widening gap of trust' between the UK and Muslim states.
Iraq, Afghanistan and Bangladesh are among 'high priority' regions that will also receive a 50 per cent boost in support for projects to steer Muslims away from extremism. And as the council's physical presence in Europe is cut back, public access buildings, some recently renovated at spectacular cost, will close.
'You cannot succeed unless you enter into risky areas and are prepared to deal with them,' Cathy Stephens, acting director of British Council operations, told The Observer. 'We are in transformational mood,' she said, acknowledging that, while security is an issue, the ultimate aim is to win over the hearts and minds of men and women in predominantly young populations across the Arab world.
'We will, of course, tailor our programmes ... and if it is felt we are doing something wrong in those countries, we will listen.'
Given the threat of terrorism, the British Council believes the overhaul is overdue. The new strategy will not only prove beneficial to Britain's long-term security and prosperity but perfectly upholds the council's mission of 'increasing appreciation of the UK's ideas and achievements overseas'.
'We want more impact, better results and interaction,' says Stephens. 'Books and buildings are inert resources that [entail] fixed costs and a lot of maintaining and staffing. And the internet has enabled much better access to books.'
But not all are convinced. Authors who have long viewed the council as a conduit to wider audiences in Europe, are appalled.
'This whole policy is misconstrued from top to bottom,' complains Charles Arnold-Baker, author of The Companion to British History. 'We are going somewhere where we can't succeed and neglecting our friends in Europe who wish us well. The only people who are going to read our books in Beirut or Baghdad are converts already.'
Failure to endear hostile Arab populations will be exacerbated, opponents claim, not only by the logistics of maintaining branches in danger zones but by the success the policy will have in cutting off the next generation of Anglophiles in Europe. The Institut Français and Goethe-Institut are both expanding and replenishing libraries Europe-wide.
Speaking from her home in Dorset, Fay Weldon, a vociferous supporter of the earlier campaign to prevent the closure of the council's libraries, and an author who has long toured with the council, argues that women fiction writers will be especially hard hit because they will not be read in those closed patriarchal societies with tiny educated elites. 'I hope the Islamic world is grateful,' she adds. 'I doubt that it will be.'
'What do they hope to do? Win hearts and minds by sending in rappers to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East?' she asked. 'We're trying to impose our culture and values on the culture of countries that don't share them, in the extraordinary conviction that we are right.
'All of this feels like somebody's bright idea that has not been properly thought out,' says Weldon. 'The British Council should examine its own motives, attitudes and indeed cultural imperialism, because what they are doing is totally short-sighted.'
4th June - 29th September 2007
MUSEUM OF CYCLADIC ART
4 Neofytou Douka Street
106 74 Athens
The Museum of Cycladic art is delighted to announce Her(his)tory, the first ever contemporary video exhibition in its premises, examining the notion of the subjective development of the 'historical condition'
11 August, 2007
Intute has just released eight new FREE Internet tutorials for the Arts
and Humanities in the Virtual Training Suite.
The tutorials, authored by university subject specialists, are designed
to help students develop Internet research skills for their university
or college work, and can be used by lecturers and librarians to support
1) Internet for Architecture
By Sarah Nicholas, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University
2) Internet for Art and Design
By Rosemary Shirley Birkbeck, University of London
3) Internet for Media and Communication
By Jez Conolly, University of Bristol
4) Internet for English
By Dr. James A J Wilson, University of Oxford
5) Internet for Fashion and Beauty
By Sara Hall, Manchester Metropolitan University
6) Internet for History and Philosophy of Science (HPS)
By Dr. David J Mossley et al, Leeds University
7) Internet for Learning Languages
By Dr. Shoshannah Holdom, University of Oxford
8) Internet for Music
By Sarah Taylor, Manchester Metropolitan University; formerly of the
Royal Northern College of Music
This is part of a major programme of change to update and revise all the
tutorials in the Virtual Training Suite in time for the new academic
To access all the tutorials visit:
09 August, 2007
Bicycle wheel printing.
Abner Preis at Katenbak printing on the wall, July 2007.
The text is a quote from Joplin "0h lord wont you buy me a mercedes benz "
When attached to a bicycle the text on the wheel prints itself onto the streets.
Its from Mebike, Amsterdam.
At the current time the name of the artist who constructed the wheel is unavailable. it was one of the mebike artists, more info will be provided when it is available. The copyright for the invention remains with the artist.
03 August, 2007
02 August, 2007
USING COMMON MATERIALS AVAILABLE IN EVERY COMMUNITY
My name is Nik Semenoff and you may have heard of the dry copier toner process for lithography that I perfected in 1985. I demonstrated it at the 1990 Tamarind Symposium in
The original website is now apparently offline, so here it is on internet archives
Making a Palm Press
Printing lithographs and monoprints without a press
Concept behind the Palm Press
Rubbing the back of a sheet of paper pressed to an inked surface has been used for centuries, but the Japanese have carried the technique to great heights in their woodcut prints by using a baren made from a bamboo leaf over a braided core. Wooden spoons and other items have been used by contemporary block printers to print their editions, but the Japanese baren is still the preferred choice of printing small woodcuts. It has been duplicated in plastic and assembly of metal balls, but the traditional bamboo baren cannot be beaten for delicacy in printing. Unfortunately this tool cannot produce enough pressure for any printing any media other than woodcuts. The Japanese technique of using thin waterleaf paper and waterbased ink allows for a softer gentler application of pressure to give complete control of transfer of ink to paper.
Using this innovation
My practice is not to patent any of my developments, but make them available to the printmaking community free of charge. By putting this innovation into public domain, I, nor anyone else can now patent the palm press. My daughter Sasha disclosed the palm press at the Southern Graphic Council conference in Miami in March of 2000. She demonstrated how it could be used in a high school art classes as another printmaking media. By using water-soluble ink and recycling of plates, waterless lithography's more direct approach to image making can have a major impact in teaching art.