Art:21 Blog’s In-Depth Exploration of William Kentridge

December 8, 2010 · Print This Article

I’ve mentioned art:21′s current film William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible a few times already, but I wanted to bring art:21′s project to your attention once again in order to point out the website that accompanies the film, which offers a range of educational resources that help flesh out the film’s explorations.  I’ve contributed an essay to the site, too – I tried my hand at writing about opera – Kentridge’s production of The Magic Flute, to be exact. It was really hard to write! But satisfying. There are a bunch of really fantastic pieces on the site that address Kentridge’s prints, his tapestry projections, his production of Shostakovich’s opera The Nose, and the proverbial much, much, more, including an essay providing background on the making of the film Anything Is Possible itself. You can also watch the full, feature-length film in its entirety on the website.

As always, don’t forget to check out Bad at Sports’ ongoing column Centerfield: Art in the Middle with Bad at Sports on art:21 blog. We post on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month.

William Kentridge. The Magic Flute, 2005. Performance at Le Théatre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels. Opera with back and front projection. Photo by and © Johan Jacobs.




Monday Links and Musings

December 6, 2010 · Print This Article

Just popping in for a moment to bring two significant facts to your attention:

1) The Green Lantern Gallery–which has long been led by Caroline Picard, who is also BAS’ newest blogger–is winding down as an exhibition space (but lives on as a publishing venture); this and next week’s slate of events offer some of your last chances to visit the space and hang out. In addition to the group show Isolated Fictions (which opened last Friday and features works by Deb Sokolow, Carmen Price, Jason Dunda, Amanda Browder, Nadine Nakanishi, Rebecca Mir and Nick Butcher), a reading by Adam Levin, a performance evening centered around world-based art, a screening curated by Eric Fleischauer and Jesse McLean, and the third installment of the Now It’s Dark experimental film and music series are all on the agenda. Click here for full schedule details.

2) Artist Damien James, who writes for New City and occasionally for this blog, is the latest Guest Blogger on art:21. His first post is up–in it, the Redmoon Theater’s production of The Cabinet, a puppetry-driven performance based on The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, becomes a springboard for musings on art’s ability to transport us back to the past and deep into our own consciousness.  Several more essays by Mr. James will follow in the coming days and weeks, so be sure and check them out!

Adam Levin reads at The Green Lantern Gallery

from Redmoon Theater's puppet production of 'The Cabinet'




As Deep Throat once said: Follow the Money

October 29, 2010 · Print This Article

Capitalism

Capitalism, 2009, 4 video loops, 1'19'' by Istvan Laszlo

Versailles art show hit by injunction bid
From the wet dreams of the marketing people behind Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami’s show at Versailles a descendant of the man who built the Versailles Palace in France is seeking an injunction to prevent modern works by Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami from being shown there. The legal battle is fronted by Sixte Henri de Bourbon-Parme in defence of “respecting the chateau and ancestors.” The ultra-conservative royalist has united with a group, the Versailles Defence Coordination, to file the suit, in which they stake a claim for the “right to access to heritage.” Read more here

Prince Charles offers to oversee London architectural planning
This week in “What could possibly go wrong?” Prince Charles offers to take on key architectural planning role in the vaccum created by the quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation that had its funding axed in the comprehensive spending review. The offer, announced by the foundation’s chief executive, Hank Dittmar, has been met with dismay by leading modernist architects who fear Prince Charles may use the role to advance his own traditional tastes in design. Read more here

Studio Manager Anne McIlleron talks about her boss William Kentridge
William Kentridge who is the focus of Art:21′s first feature length documentary (recently reviewed here and just broadcast on PBS this week) let his Studio Manager Anne McIlleron speak on what looks to be B-roll of the Art:21 documentary, its interesting but I am still of the opinion that William Kentridge wasn’t the best subject in the world to get this kind of treatment, just me I am sure. See more here

Kronos Quartet Interviewed
I cant get enough of Art Babble I admit and  double so for the Kronos Quartet (which Duncan & I caught in concert last time they were in Chicago and were amazing) so when you merge the two together it’s PB&J perfection. See More Here

Chagall’s America Stained-Glass Windows are Back on View in Chicago
What more do you need to say then that, everyone just needs to bring their significant other and get to kissing. Read more here

New Yorker cartoonist Leo Cullum died
Leo Cullum, whose cartoons kept readers of The New Yorker laughing for 33 years, has died. He was 68. Read more here

The art world’s own Bernie Madoff
Lawrence Salander Read more here

Google DemoSlam is previewed
Google has previewed a new site called demoslam built to encourage the creation and rank the best tech demonstrations on the net, part of me has long thought this was something the art world should have created a long time ago, free idea (hey get what you pay for) to whoever has the time and wants to put the work into it, Youtube was built for the Art world and a project like this (even though we all wish it looked like Vimeo). Have at it and God bless at this point I just want a life for a while lol. Read more here




Center Field on art:21 blog: Interview with Derek Chan

October 26, 2010 · Print This Article

Our latest post for our Center Field column on art:21 blog is up! This week, Martine Syms talks to Derek Chan, whose 12 x 12 exhibition at the  Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago opens on November 6th. A brief excerpt:

Derek Chan and I have been friends for a little over four years. We both moved from Los Angeles to Chicago in the Fall of 2005. We had several mutual friends and emailed back and forth a few times but never met up. I spent that summer in Los Angeles and unknowingly started talking to Derek at a party. Inevitably, our conversation turned to Chicago and I laughed when I realized that this was the guy I’d had so much trouble making time for. Since then we’ve stayed close, meeting often to check in with each other, share food, and hang out.

One of Derek’s large abstract landscapes, Eclipse, was stored at my house for a year. I was happy to look at it every day. While works like Eclipse captured autobiographical moments with grand gestures, Derek has since focused his attention on the quotidian. During his residency at Theaster Gates’ Dorchester Project in South Chicago, Derek began making daily ink drawings to document his thoughts and share them with his fellow residents. All 260 images are available for download on Derek’s website. As part of the Whitney Biennial, Derek presented Being/Becoming, a durational performance that included ink drawings and temporary interventions to the Whitney’s courtyard. Derek developed a system of marks, influenced by Tibetan rituals, to record the passage of time and his interactions with museum visitors.

Derek Chan, “Being/Becoming” at the Whitney Biennial, 2010. Courtesy the artist.

Cries and Whispers from the Salt Song Trail is a continuation of this practice. This forthcoming book chronicles his recent journey to the Four Corners region of Arizona through drawings and writings about the sacred places he visited. Golden Age, the project space I run in Chicago, is publishing Cries and Whispers in conjunction with Derek’s upcoming exhibition Derek Chan: A Way of Life at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (November 6 – 28, 2010). Continue reading.




William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible Premieres This Week on PBS Stations

October 21, 2010 · Print This Article

Art21′s feature film documentary William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible premieres on PBS this week. The national broadcast premiere is scheduled for October 21 at 10:00 p.m., though broadcast times will vary by region -  check your local listings to find out when the program will air. Also make sure to dig into all the extra content Art21 has organized in conjunction with the film: slide shows, video clips, and special essays commissioned from Art21′s regular writers. You can keep up with this material by subscribing to Art21′s special William Kentridge website’s RSS feed, by signing up for Art21′s email newsletter or hookin’ up with them on Facebook and Twitter.

William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible gives viewers an intimate look into the mind and creative process of William Kentridge, the South African artist whose acclaimed charcoal drawings, animations, video installations, shadow plays, mechanical puppets, tapestries, sculptures, live performance pieces, and operas have made him one of the most dynamic and exciting contemporary artists working today. With its rich historical references and undertones of political and social commentary, Kentridge’s work has earned him inclusion in Time magazine’s 2009 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

This documentary features exclusive interviews with Kentridge as he works in his studio and discusses his artistic philosophy and techniques. In the film, Kentridge talks about how his personal history as a white South African of Jewish heritage has informed recurring themes in his work—including violent oppression, class struggle, and social and political hierarchies. Additionally, Kentridge discusses his experiments with “machines that tell you what it is to look” and how the very mechanism of vision is a metaphor for “the agency we have, whether we like it or not, to make sense of the world.” We see Kentridge in his studio as he creates animations, music, video, and projection pieces for his various projects, including Breathe (2008); I am not me, the horse is not mine (2008); and the opera The Nose (2010), which premiered earlier this year at New York’s Metropolitan Opera to rave reviews.

With its playful bending of reality and observations on hierarchical systems, the world of The Nose provides an ideal vehicle for Kentridge. The absurdism, he explains in the documentary’s closing, “…is in fact an accurate and a productive way of understanding the world. Why should we be interested in a clearly impossible story? Because, as Gogol says, in fact the impossible is what happens all the time.”