Week in Review: Flamingo Power

November 10, 2013 · Print This Article

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This week on the podcast: Duncan, Richard, and Jason Dunda talk to a cast of thousands led by Jen Delos Reyes!
Jen Delos Reyes is an artist originally from Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Her research interests include the history of socially engaged art, group work, band dynamics, folk music, and artists’ social roles. Hear it all right here.

If you want to revisit costume convos again, Jeriah Hildwine discusses the dress of personas in every day (art) life:

Of course Halloween has just come and gone, and that is the first thing most people think of when they hear the word “costume.” Costume, though, plays an important role in many aspects of life, including art. The word costume can be used to refer to any article of clothing or manner of dress. Usually, though, it implies something outside of the everyday. Depictions of historical costume is an important aspect of art history, whether it is the significance of the color of the Virgin Mary’s dress in an icon, the meaning of the steel gorget in a Rembrandt portrait (e.g. the one hanging in the Art Institute), or the absolutely pippin’ fur collar in Albrecht Durer’s later self portrait (as well as that prison striped number with the lace on sleeves in his earlier one).

Best Use of Your Arm as a Prop Award

Best Use of Your Arm as a Prop Award

Get the skinny on art happenings of late via Edition #18 of Dana Bassett’s “What’s the T?” with costume awards and much much more…. 

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New dispatch from Bloomington, Indiana courtesy of August Evans. Evans writes about  Bobcat Goldthwait‘s recent visit to IA, and the connections between Goldwait’s film, God Bless America, and Lolita:

I was reminded of this particular exchange during the Q&A session following the film, when Goldthwait, in response to a question as to his rationale behind casting Barr as Roxy, said, “When she came in to read, she didn’t play it too vampy. Other actresses were sexy, coquettish, doing the Lolita thing. Tara was wearing overalls.”

"Talk to the Wall,"  Work by Chiara Galimberti at Julius Caesar.

“Talk to the Wall,”
Work by Chiara Galimberti at Julius Caesar.

Stephanie Burke’s Top 5!

Tacita Dean, The Life and Death of St Bruno, from The Russian Ending, 2001.

Tacita Dean, The Life and Death of St Bruno, from The Russian Ending, 2001.

Monica Westin interviewed Dieter Roelstraete about his latest curatorial project; it opened this Friday at the MCA:

Only the second exhibition at the MCA organized by Senior Curator Dieter Roelstraete, The Way of the Shovel, opening tomorrow, takes as its basis Roelstraete’s ongoing observations about the centrality of the language of archaeology, archive, and history to art discourse over recent years. Spanning a wide grouping of artists and mediums (though, not surprisingly, focused in particular on photography and video), the show is ambitious conceptually as well, attempting to cover work that challenges histories, creates its own alternate histories (with starting points ranging from Robert Smithson to histories of Chicago), and takes up the tools and practices of archaeology both metaphorically and literally. I spoke with Roelstraete the week before the show opened about the archaeological imaginary, artistic research, Freud, and 9/11. 

(c) Joe Lovelock

(c) Joe Lovelock

Mark Sheering wrote about where Fish Mongery and contemporary art intersect:

To respond to the art world with a fish may be a surrealist gesture. But to respond with an entire fish counter, complete with fishmongers in white boots, ice and creative displays of the seafood itself, is surely pushing the 20th century genre to breaking point. Such is the effect of the so-called Centre for Innovative and Radical Fishmongery, spotted in public at Sluice Art Fair, London, late October. Amidst the plentiful art for sale, the wares at CIRF included a scrambling pile of langoustine and a sinister-looking hake chewing on a lemon. The artist behind the project is Sam Curtis who came to fishmongery by chance in 2006. A part time MFA at prestigious art school Goldsmiths necessitated finding work. By strange twist of fate, he found an opening on the fish counter at luxury department store Harrods.

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We closed the week out with a list of endless opportunities — this one leaned heavy on teaching positions, though there is also a travel grant and a call for papers about European culture.

 

Endless Opportunities : Jobs, Papers and Travel Grants

November 9, 2013 · Print This Article

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1. School Director and Professor of Art, Art History, or Graphic Design at Portland State University. Review of applications begins December 1, 2013; position is open until finalists are identified. 

The School of Art and Design in the College of the Arts at Portland State University invites applications for a Director of the School and Professor in any one of the fields of Art Practices, Art History, or Graphic Design. This is a tenured, 1.0 FTE, 12-month position, commencing fall 2014. The Director will provide creative leadership and vision as well as administrative oversight for a burgeoning School of 20 full-time and 70 part-time faculty, 32 M.F.A. students, and approximately 1100 undergraduate majors, while supervising 4 full-time and 7 part-time support staff and administering a budget of over $4 million. Comprised of Art Practices, Art History, and Graphic Design, the School seeks a dynamic Director to build cohesion among these areas; spearhead program assessment and strategic long-term planning initiatives; manage resources and, working with the Dean of the College of the Arts, help obtain additional resources; enhance facilities and/or improve ways to utilize current facilities; and represent the School energetically within the larger cultural community. Recently grown from a Department of Art, the School is poised to expand the unique potential of its interdisciplinary opportunities as well as possibilities for continuing community engagement. more info here. 

2a/2b. Colgate University seeks Art Historian and Studio Art, Photography Professor:

a. Art Historian—Kindler Chair in Global Contemporary Art: Full-time, Associate or Full Professor, tenure track

Develop and teach an array of undergraduate courses in transnational and global art and art institutions since 1970 in a coordinated art history and studio department. The candidate’s research focus should be relevant to the shifting terrain of contemporary art and in particular to the interaction of aesthetic and cultural ideals across boundaries. Regular teaching contributions include an annual course in the development of art and theory since 1960 as well as participation in all levels of the curriculum. Responsibilities also include senior thesis advising and participation in Colgate’s interdisciplinary programs, including the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum. Five-course load. Colgate’s planned Center for Art and Culture will offer important opportunities for pedagogical, curatorial, and scholarly collaboration…go here for details

b. Studio Art, Photographer. Full-time tenure-track position at the assistant professor level in the Department of Art & Art History, beginning fall term 2014.

Teach beginning and advanced courses in photography as a studio practice within a joint studio and art history department equipped with both analog and digital facilities. Additional responsibilities include annual participation in the introductory studio course that spans theory and practice across artistic media, annual supervision of senior projects, periodic supervision of the department’s senior project sequence in studio art, and regular contributions to Colgate’s interdisciplinary programs, including the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum. The candidate is responsible for oversight of the photography facilities. Completion of the MFA is expected prior to or shortly after the date of hire. Five course load. Information here.

3. Open Books Seeks Teaching Artists for ReadThenWrite: 

We’re looking for experienced educators to join our team as Teaching Artists for our ReadThenWrite program in the winter and spring of 2014. Teaching Artists will facilitate 8-12 week reading, writing, and publishing instruction for teens at schools across Chicago. Interested candidates should view the job descriptionand RSVP for the December 5th info session.

4.  Journal of European Popular Culture 6.1 (late 2014) : Call for Papers on Gender and Sexuality in European Popular Culture

The field of gender and sexuality studies in European popular culture is, unsurprisingly, vast, yet research is often focused on Anglophone culture, encompassing the UK and North America, rather than taking a more trans-European approach. In an increasingly globalised society we consider that there is a need for discussion of Anglophone and non-Anglophone European popular texts to be infiltrated into British academic work.

This special issue of the Journal of European Popular Culture, due to be published in late 2014, will provide a timely snapshot of the rigorous and exciting scholarship currently being undertaken in Europe which deals with the widely relevant and popular field of gender and sexuality.

We invite articles (max 6000 words) exploring any aspect of gender and sexuality in any form of European popular culture, including but not limited to:

  • Queerness in popular culture
  • Transgenderism in popular culture
  • Sexualisation in popular culture
  • The body in popular culture
  • Historical approaches to popular gender and sexuality
  • Masculinity in popular culture
  • European sex media
  • Sex education in popular culture
  • Religious approaches to gender and sexuality
  • Gender, sexuality and race/ethnicity
  • Sexuality on the internet
  • Feminism in/and popular culture
  • Gender, sexuality and language
  • Gender, sexuality and power

Please send 100-200 word abstracts to genderandsex.jpec@gmail.com by 15 December. Ensure you include your full name and affiliation (if relevant), along with a brief (100-200 word) biography. Full chapters will be due by 1 March 2014.

5. Word Riot: Travel Grant Applications - 

Word Riot Inc. will award travel grants ranging from $100 to $500 to small press writers on a quarterly basis.
The number of grants and the amount awarded each quarter will depend on the quality and thoroughness of the applications received. A minimum of one grant of at least $100 will be awarded each quarter. Preference will be given to applicants who extend the reach of the arts to under-served populations by participating in readings or literary events in those communities. Deadline: Nov. 15, 2013 go here for details

The Centre For Innovative and Radical Fishmongery

November 8, 2013 · Print This Article

(c) Joe Lovelock

(c) Joe Lovelock

To respond to the art world with a fish may be a surrealist gesture. But to respond with an entire fish counter, complete with fishmongers in white boots, ice and creative displays of the seafood itself, is surely pushing the 20th century genre to breaking point.

Such is the effect of the so-called Centre for Innovative and Radical Fishmongery, spotted in public at Sluice Art Fair, London, late October. Amidst the plentiful art for sale, the wares at CIRF included a scrambling pile of langoustine and a sinister-looking hake chewing on a lemon.

The artist behind the project is Sam Curtis who came to fishmongery by chance in 2006. A part time MFA at prestigious art school Goldsmiths necessitated finding work. By strange twist of fate, he found an opening on the fish counter at luxury department store Harrods.

“I decided to kill two birds with one stone,” he tells me when we catch up via phone. “I was under a lot of pressure to make work and earn at the same time, so I turned the day job into a studio, into a springboard, a platform for creating new projects.”

Curtis took his fishmongery skills back to successful crits at Goldsmiths. “I called it working in stealth mode, an undercover residency where my employer and my colleagues weren’t aware of the things that I was doing, what I was taking from the job, until the end,” he says.

After leaving this post, the artist blew his cover. “It was hard for them to grasp, in a way,” he says of his erstwhile colleagues, and equally hard to get their heads round was the film Curtis went on to make about them, “about their creativity and how they potentially see themselves as artists”.

“There’s a performative aspect to it,” says the artist of his former trade, and, “There is a lot of theatre there,” he says of his former workplace. But he now sees his installation at Sluice as a conceptual piece, and one he hopes to be able to tour.

“Fish are different all round the country,” he explains, adding that he hopes to collaborate with more fishmongers and artists alike. Pre CIRF, in 2011 he completed a residency in a fish shop in Penzance, Cornwall. There are clearly openings for artists working with fish.

But his new project is nothing if not inclusive. For the London art fair, Curtis invited half a dozen visiting artists to make their own displays. He can now add their ideas to the ever growing repertoire: “They created displays that I would never have done,” he admits.

And with an art fair audience already primed for excitement, Curtis can claim reactions of genuine surprise towards his intervention at Sluice. With plenty of conversation about fish, there was also an interest in day jobs in general and ways in which they can be creative.

Curtis says that artists and creative types are highly prone to disappointment in the realities of working life: “Your expectations aren’t really fulfilled quite often, because you might have more glamorous ideals about what being an artist is.”

By contrast, the fish-loving artist also says: “I’m interested in treating life as an artwork. Hence the turning of day job into a residency. I think if you can inject creativity into the more banal parts of your life, you’re more likely to become fulfilled.”

“I’ve always played on the fact you can insert your practice into your day job, no matter how far detached away from art that job is.” But even Curtis has his moments of doubt, having recently taken on a new full time job, he admits to being “slightly scared” about losing time for his art.

“As to what the best day jobs are, I don’t know,” he says, having tried working in a gallery and not liking the experience. “I prefer being quite far away from the art world.”

The trick is surely to become Innovative and Radical in everything you do, be that showing fish alongside video or giving away seafood at an art fair. “In terms of fishmongery and the radicalization of fishmongery I don’t think we’ve reached that point yet,” says Curtis. CIRF is clearly going after the big, ocean-going game.

Sam Curtis and the Centre for Innovative and Radical Fishmongery are represented by Division of Labour and were seen at Sluice Art Fair.

The Archaeological Imaginary: an interview with Dieter Roelstraete

November 7, 2013 · Print This Article

Only the second exhibition at the MCA organized by Senior Curator Dieter Roelstraete, The Way of the Shovel, opening tomorrow, takes as its basis Roelstraete’s ongoing observations about the centrality of the language of archaeology, archive, and history to art discourse over recent years. Spanning a wide grouping of artists and mediums (though, not surprisingly, focused in particular on photography and video), the show is ambitious conceptually as well, attempting to cover work that challenges histories, creates its own alternate histories (with starting points ranging from Robert Smithson to histories of Chicago), and takes up the tools and practices of archaeology both metaphorically and literally. I spoke with Roelstraete the week before the show opened about the archaeological imaginary, artistic research, Freud, and 9/11. 

 

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Derek Brunen, Plot (production still), 2007.

The Way of the Shovel brings together a few different academic disciplines and methodologies that the artists in this exhibition either participate in or explicitly challenge, particularly history and archaeology. How literally or metaphorically are you thinking about archaeology here in theory and practice? What is the “archaeological imaginary” that guides the show?  

DR: Well, first of all, I’m using archaeology in both senses, because it would be extremely dull to consider archaeology only in a literal way. The roots of the project lie in an essay I wrote in 2009 called “The Way of the Shovel” in e-flux, which is the basis for the catalog essay for the show. It was a piece I wrote when I was still living and working in Europe, so it is a little determined by the European context, but when I came here (not to my surprise) I discovered this was not just a European affliction, but a global phenomenon. My observation was that there is a quite persuasive interest in history – historiography, archival research, returning, recycling, and so forth– among a growing population of contemporary artists; and that many artists use the language of digging for explaining their work. Excavating, uncovering, discovering, digging, mining– these terms also mined geological vocabulary. My theories for why this metaphor was in intense use in a fairly substantial number of artists is in the essay. By “archaeological imaginary,” I mean this phenomenon of the dig, which covers the whole gamut of uses of the language of archaeological in artistic practice, from the most metaphorical to the most literal and scientific. Mark Dion is an example of an artist in the show who collapses those two terms.

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Tacita Dean, The Life and Death of St Bruno, from The Russian Ending, 2001.

I’ve observed increased attention being paid to the concept of “artistic research” recently in many different scenes: in arts writing/criticism, in the increased number and types of publications for artists presenting research, and in funding for artists who explicitly understand their practice to be research-based, particularly those artists who collaborate with different kinds of academics. What is your sense of the current place of “artistic research” as a concept? When does an artistic practice “count” as a research practice, particularly a historical research practice as in this exhibition? How can artists perform research in ways that other researchers (like archaeologists and historians) cannot? 

DR: It’s relevant here that I am a philosopher by training, not an art historian, so I’m quite sympathetic to idea that art is some kind of an embodied form of theorizing. I’m interested in that access, and in tandem with this interest in history, I’ve also observed that in the last ten to fifteen years the rhetoric of art has been rephrased in broad terms using the language of research. And of course an awful lot of things are being done under the name of research. I really appreciate the ambition of artists to think of themselves as not just working with forms and ornaments, but also with information. I also have a strong attachment to the notion of the avant-garde and the idea that art is some kind of “other” research, an alternative knowledge, not in the spiritual sense of a fifth dimension or something like that, but really the knowledge of the marginalized, the overlooked, forgotten, and downtrodden. But while I’m interested in the critical charge of art’s claim to be some kind of research, the whole discussion of artistic research is a huge one that is also based in the academization of art in recent years. There’s increasing pressure on students to present what they do as some kind of intellectual enterprise, which has its own advantages and disadvantages.

 

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Steve Rowell, Points of Presence, 2010-ongoing.

Speaking of “other” research: the archive, as a collection of capillary, primary, everyday documents, is often understood to be a powerful institution for disrupting or destabilizing dominant narratives. How does the archive function in The Way of the Shovel?

DR: Well, the archive itself is a kind of excavation site, one of the many kinds of things that serve as an excavation site in this show. One of the smaller exhibitions within the exhibition is devoted to Freud, who collected antiquities and always thought of psychoanalysis in archaeological terms– for example, the excavation of trauma. Along these lines, we can think of the archive as site of mining… another site that in the last ten years has become hugely appealing to artists of all types and backgrounds. Again, the reasons for this phenomenon are manifold. One of the theories that underlies the show is the notion that the present has been so depressing that it’s actually interesting to dwell in the past. In the last ten years there has been a huge upsurge of interest in the history of artistic modernism, not just modernist forms but also modernist ideals. That also figures deeply in the show.

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Stan Douglas, MacLeod’s, 2006.

 

You’ve spoken a lot about the last decade of artistic production. 9/11 seems to be an important historical anchor for the show. Do you see 9/11 as the end of a particular era, as some theorists do? Is this date important because you think ideology has changed since then– or art, or both? The concept of the “end of history” seems relevant here.

DR: I don’t want the dates to be too historically present here, but the milestones of the chronology of the show is first, the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989, and the events of 9/11 at the other end. The fall of the Wall and the subsequent collapse of the USSR created a mythology that we were living at the end of history, as in Fukuyama’s essay celebrating the triumph of liberal democracy and putting forth the idea that we would all consequently live in some state of ahistorical bliss. This was the dominant mood of the 1990s in the West until 9/11, the day we woke up and realized that history has not come to an end, and that we are always going to be its subjects and subjected to it. The results of that particular moment continue to this day and created a dark period in world history. I’m thinking of the moment back in 2003 when around the world millions and millions of people took to the streets to protest impending invasion of Iraq, and the invasion happened within a few weeks nonetheless. Right then and there maybe a lot of artists thought to themselves, “I don’t want to live in this present.” They might rather look back, though not necessarily to any kind of golden age. This is completely hypothesis on my part, but it provides a bit core argument of the show in terms of explaining the return to history among artists. This wasn’t an intense interest in the dominant artists of the 1990s; for Matthew Barney, the relational aesthetics artists, and so forth, history was not such a big deal. Today it is much more so, and this has to do in part with the realization that the past is not such a distant country.

Top 5 Weekend Picks! (11/8-11/10)

November 7, 2013 · Print This Article

1. PH://Dungeon_Mix_[vol.1]://The_Human_Cafe_[vol.1]_[2013]_Clone.Ed.x2013 at Queer Thoughts

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Work by Jason Benson.

Queer Thoughts is located at 1640 W. 18th St. #3. Reception Friday, 7-10pm.

2. Talk to the Wall at Julius Caesar

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Work by Chiara Galimberti.

Julius Caesar is located at 3311 W. Carroll Ave. Reception Sunday, 2-5pm.

3. Don’t Breathe Too Much at Kirk’s Apartment

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Work by Erin Washington.

Kirk’s Apartment is located at 2251 W. Cornelia #2. Reception Saturday, 6-9pm.

4. Kantan An Libe Tavleau at Forever & Always

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Work by Erin Jane Nelson, Carmen Price, and Claire Valdez.

Forever & Always is located at 1905 W. 21st Pl. Reception Saturday, 7-10pm.

5. Albinos at Catherine Edelman Gallery

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Work by Gustavo Lacerda.

Catherine Edelman Gallery is located at 300 W. Superior St. Reception Friday, 5-7pm.