Archive for October, 2008
‘Tornado Warning’ will be a new five-channel video work installed throughout the gallery space that will explore the juxtaposition between chaos and order arising from Atlas’ early memories of tornado warnings in his childhood town of St Louis, Missouri. Creating two rooms that contrast in appearance, form, content and atmosphere Atlas draws
upon his past use of montage in film to create a large scale installation that delves into the powers of perception, triggering memory and submerging the viewer in his dream like world. ‘Plato’s Alley’, a single channel video work, is installed within one area of the gallery, creating a formal space inhabited by numbers and grids. The space evokes
Atlas’ childhood dreams of order, inevitability and impossible precision. ‘Institute for Turbulence Research’, installed in the second space, is comprised of omnidirectional projections displaying four channels of video images – a combi- nation of found images cut from old films and news footage, shots of ordinary objects flying around an empty room,
swirling abstractions, distorted dancing bodies, radio waves, and current images from the internet. Seemingly in motion the space appears unruly, alarming, violent and relentless.
Charles Atlas is an artist and filmmaker who has worked primarily in film and video since the mid-1970s. His pio- neering media/dance works, multi-channel video installations, feature-length documentaries and video art works for television have often taken dance and performance as their point of departure. Initiating his artistic practice within
the orbit of Merce Cunningham, John Cage and Robert Rauschenberg, Atlas has developed a highly personalized approach to collaboration that transforms the performance documentary genre into a provocative, strongly ironic interaction between narrative and fictional modes. Since 2003 he has been increasingly devoted to real-time video,
sometimes as stand-alone, on-stage or live electronic improvisations. With this new body of work Atlas uses his experience with the spontaneity of live video and his abiding interest in precision of form to create visually arresting
and challenging new environments.
Charles Atlas was born in St. Louis, Missouri, USA and lives and works in New York City. He had a survey of his film and video work at Tate Modern, London in 2006 and has also had several solo presentations including Institute for
Contemporary Art, Boston (2005), Magazin 4, Bregenz (2000) and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1997). His 2002 film, ‘The Legend of Leigh Bowery’, a documentary feature about the London-based performance artist and art/fashion icon and his multi channel video installation “Dizzy Remix” are currently showing as part of the ‘Leigh Bowery: Beautified Provocation’ exhibition at the Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover.
Humorously minimalistic on the one hand and high-strung apocalyptic on the other: Jonas Hvid Søndergaard’s paintings borrow from the treasury chamber of abstraction to throw open the gate to compelling new visions. Hvid’s paintings are like a look into our childhood’s kaleidoscope. Yet what are twisted around in Hvid’s kaleidoscope are not coloured pieces of glass. It is the surrounding world that is turned into a new recognizability.
Jonas Hvid Søndergaard is known for his precise confrontations between the vocabulary of abstraction and the shapes of our everyday surroundings. Ladders, balconies and walls have meticulously been transformed into abstract structures on Hvid’s canvases. In addition, Hvid is known for his orchestration of abstract shapes to form apocalyptic scenarios in which whirlwinds pull us into the chaotic universe of seeming nightmares.
In this – his second solo show at bendixen contemporary art – Hvid expands the range of his painterly expression. The precise abstract interpretations of our surroundings take on a larger degree of complexity with motifs such as an orange scaffolding. The paintings featuring more chaotic scenarios are to the contrary enhanced by free flowing lava streams of changing colours and expressive markings, only just held in check by singular stabile structures. In several of his new works, abstraction completely consumes the canvas leaving no trace of a recognizable world, as if we are looking into the childhood kaleidoscope with its glass pieces still twirling around, having yet to locate their position.
In addition to new paintings, the exhibition features a number of works on paper that demonstrates the same expansion of Jonas Hvid Søndergaard’s painterly expression towards a freer formal flow.
Jonas Hvid Søndergaard (b. 1977) graduated from The Royal Danish Academy in 2005. In August 2008 he co-curated the exhibition ”Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks”: an international painting exhibition focusing on the formal aspects of contemporary painting. In May 2009 Randers Kunstmuseum presents his solo show ”Transit”.
Jonas Hvid Søndergaard was recently awarded Niels Wessel Bagges Award.
MOGADISHNI proudly presents the third solo exhibition by the American artist Benji Whalen (b. 1968), who lives and works in San Francisco. For the exhibition Whalen will be presenting his famous and intriguing polymer clay sculptures.
For Whalen the title “Music for my funeral” sums up the great power of human vanity. The vanity becomes apparent when focusing at the music for ones own funeral, as this would be the event one would never attend. As always, he feels conflicting urges in everything, and finds that good and bad flow from the same source, that the eternal (music) mixes with the ephemeral (his own funeral) in a way that continues to agonize and intrigue him.
A man sleeping on a pile of skulls and bones, a king weighed down by his crown or a man in a tub trying to wash of his sins. They are all lonely figures in existential situations but Whalen also created the opposite such as crammed piles of devils fighting angels on top of a skull or people in all different situations whose limbs are sticking out everywhere.
The polymer clay sculptures are absurd piles of human beings in fights with body parts sticking out. We both crave and fear the company of others, as the exhibition title CLAUSTROTOPIA from his last solo exhibition suggests. The entangled bodies in the sculptures are physically close to such a degree that it borders on claustrophobia and causes aggression, and the notion of togetherness and peaceful coexistence therefore becomes a utopia. As always in Whalen’s work, optimism and pessimism, faith and dejection, adoration and disgust, and most importantly humour and sadness are always simultaneously present.
Whalen puts it like this: ”A pile of humans” is for me the best way of visualizing how people relate to each other. Either we dominate or we are dominated by someone or something. We are always grappling with each other and with ourselves.”
Whalen is well-known for his stuffed fabric arms embroidered with colourful tattoo imagery which shows a variety of themes connected to life, death, sexuality and religion. The embroideries also fuse both the masculine and the feminine in a number of ways and in Whalen’s own words he wants to create an art work that is at the same time rough and vulnerable. A hyper masculine work created out of one of the most delicate and feminine handicrafts.
Whalen has participated at the exhibition “Pricked: Extreme Embroidery” at The Museum of Arts & Design, New York, USA and is among others represented in collections at Museum of Modern Art, New York (NY), Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu (HI) and Microsoft Corporation, Redmond (WA)
SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS is a multifunctional gallery space promoting diverse forms of art while providing a forum for contemporary dialogue.
SUBLIMINAL, was originally created by Shepard Fairey and Blaze Blouin as an artist collective in 1995. The group played an integral part in introducing skateboarding culture and design to the art world, showcasing artists such as Phil Frost, Thomas Campbell, Mike Mills, Dave Aaron, and Mark Gonzales.
Shepard and Amanda Fairey continued to host and curate exhibitions that featured artists such as Ryan McGinness, HunterGatherer, David Ellis, Doze Green, Aesthetic Apparatus, Space Invader, Jim Houser and Andrew Jeffery Wright. In 2003, the Subliminal Projects gallery was officially opened in the Los Angeles officesof Studio Number One. The scope of the gallery remained true to its roots while embracing new forms of graphic art, illustration, photography and time-based media.
Now located in the historic Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park, Subliminal Projects continues to offer a platform for artistic exploration and innovation. The 2008 schedule includes art exhibitions by established and emerging artists, as well as a lecture series, workshops and artist publications.