Sunday, 28 November 2010

Little White Lies Feature: Nam June Paik at Tate Liverpool

Here's an article I wrote ahead of a major retrospective of Nam June Paik coming up at Tate and FACT in Liverpool this winter, can't wait to see it. The article appears in the latest Little White Lies magazine.


If you were watching TV in 1963 you’d have witnessed Kennedy’s demise, got to know an English fop in a Tardis and seen your favourite band lip-sync for their lives on Ready Steady Go! The chunky box in the corner of the living room stood for comfort and familiarity – at least, in most places it did. In Wuppertal, Germany, something quite new was happening.

It was here that Nam June Paik installed his ‘Exposition of Music Electronic Television’, where TV sets absorbed audio feeds from cassette recorders, live broadcasts were warped with magnets, and TVs screened a horizontal line. The materiality of television was being scrambled in a German art gallery, and its repercussions would reverberate around the world.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

ArtSlant Blog: Cineast at The Nunnery

After the kicking it has taken from recent government cuts, it’s a surprise that the UK film industry hasn’t just crawled off, put on a suit and got a ‘proper job’.

But no, it’s still here, and if anything this climate of minimal budgets has given those filmmakers and artists used to making glorious moving images from peanuts a chance to seize some attention of their own.

Granted, nobody knows how it’s going to pan out until, over the next few years, we begin to see the fruits of any labour that’s happened following these constrictions. But for now things seem positive, especially within the world of artists’ film, with Clio Barnard buckling under the weight of critical love for The Arbor, Gillian Wearing at the London Film Festival, Frieze hosting its own cinema – it’s a time to reformulate our approach rather than panic.

Maybe I’m too optimistic, but it’s the only way forward for me. So when I went to the inaugural Cineast in London, a new film salon set up as a platform for the screening and discussion of contemporary moving image, I wasn’t surprised to have to elbow my way to a seat. Screening the work of Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor, Cineast offered the audience a chance to see extracts from their Civic Life series followed by a discussion with Molloy... (read more)

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

ArtSlant Review: David Maljkovic at Spruth Magers

Being in the gallery space of Spruth Magers London is much like being on exhibition yourself; its floor-to-ceiling windows look onto the street, where passers by peer in at people viewing the art. Apt really for David Maljkovic’s exhibition, which takes as its formal springboard the process of framing and containing that film enacts on the people, places, and time it captures.

In the windowed room in question, Maljkovic has set up a whirring 16mm projector which throws out flickering white images alongside the soundtrack of a scene from Orson Welles’ The Trail (1962), the film at the heart of the deconstructive exhibition. The piece relies on the suggestive powers of cinema to conjure up a scene or at least a controlled atmosphere to its gallery audience... (read more)

ArtSlant Review: Urs Fischer at Sadie Coles

Adjacent to the festive consumerist glitz of Regent Street, the Sadie Coles gallery is inaugurating a brand new space with an exhibition of Urs Fischer mirror sculptures as dazzling as any designer shop window.

Fischer has littered the space with a variety of giant mirrored boxes with views (front, back, sides and top) of everyday objects screen printed onto each side in hyper-real digital detail. Giant cigarette packets, high heeled shoes and oversized chairs dwarf viewers like a Pop Art hall of mirrors throwing around its imagery while incorporating the reflection of the viewer in a labyrinthine mash-up of hard fake veneers and reflected real-world depths... (read more)
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