Tag Archives: Visual Art

On Visual Arts: The Infinite Mix

Last week we were invited to see The Infinite Mix in Central London, here’s what we made of it.

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The Infinite Mix brought a sense of space, spectacle and wonder to London. A much needed injection of  creative ambition, ideas and energy to a city in dire need of colour and fun in the post-truth “age of anxiety”.

A collection of works by blockbuster film and moving image artists, the show took place in the middle of a building site – dust and rubble was around many corners.

The Infinite Mix was a Hayward offsite exhibition, organised in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory. Here’s a few of our highlights:

Ugo Rondinone, THANX 4 NOTHING, 2015, film still. Courtesy: the artist, Galerie Eva Presenhuber and Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York/ Brussels © Ugo Rondinone

THANX 4 NOTHING, 2015 © Ugo Rondinone

Ugo Rondinone’s immersive video installation features legendary beat poet John Giorno performing THANX 4 NOTHING. In this poem written on his 70th birthday, Giorno looks back at his life – and the people and events that shaped it – with humour and compassion. Performing in a tuxedo and bare feet on an empty stage in the Palais des Glaces theatre in Paris, as well as in a brightly-lit TV studio, Giorno gives thanks to ‘everyone for everything,’ before speaking frankly on the death of friends and lovers, sex, betrayal and his frequent periods of depression.

This installation was funny, warm and full of love. The artist’s admiration for another artist is clear, the stories and humour leaping from stage to screen and enveloping the viewer. A beautiful piece that is impossible to forget.

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Work No. 1701, 2013 © the artist.  c/o the artist, Hauser & Wirth

Martin Creed’s work often focuses on a single movement or gesture. In Work No. 1701a range of individuals cross a New York street, accompanied by a jubilant pop song written and performed by the artist. Talking about the film, Creed has commented that ‘doing things in life, living and working, is always using your body’, and that ‘life can look like a dance’. Work No. 1701 is a celebration of the act of getting from A to B, as well as the different ways in which people move through the world.

Creed, who has been writing songs and leading a band for over 20 years, describes his music and his visual work as an ‘attempt to make something for the world’. As he explains, they both stem from the same place: the desire to ‘say hello, to try to communicate somehow.’

Martin Creed’s piece was about movement and place – taking the viewer out of themselves and asking people to understand different location, dance and what makes people people.

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© DACS, 2016. Courtesy the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin

In the holographic illusion OPERA (QM.15) Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster appears in the guise of legendary soprano Maria Callas (1923–77). Dressed in the singer’s signature red dress and dramatic makeup, the artist lip-syncs to arias from Cherubini’s Medea, Verdi’s La Traviata and Ponchielli’s La Gioconda. Situated at the end of a derelict corridor, and encountered from a distance of 30 metres, the luminous figure is at first startlingly life-like – an impression reinforced by the strength of Callas’s voice.

OPERA (QM.15) is influenced by the development of photography, early cinema and the interest in the uncanny shared by many 19th-century artists and writers. It is related to a larger body of work that Gonzalez-Foerster began in 2012: an ever-expanding ‘fragmented opera’ consisting of live and recorded performances in which she appears as a range of fictional or historical figures. To Gonzalez-Foerster, each performance – including her turn as Maria Callas – is not theatre, but rather ‘a kind of séance.’

The technical quality of the Gonzalez-Foerster installation was superb, capturing attention and imagination as people explored the building. The haunting sounds and beautiful holographic colours prove to mash together sound, space and time together. A unique experience that questions the nature of both art and performance. Wonderful.

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We’re limited by time what we can say about The Infinite Mix. First of all, it was a pleasure and a privilege to see large scale art and video in Central London. Let’s hope for more in 2017!

Secondly, we came away thinking about the title and the grouping of artists. What is really infinite? I think it’s modern culture, with its remixes, reinventions and technology opening up ever more outlandish ideas and ways to tell stories. And of course, these are mixed across countries and across cultures. But this “Infinite Mix” means we have a challenge, we only have finite time and an even smaller attention span – where does the great work go in The Infinite Mix?

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On Art: The Waldorf Project’s Remarkable Journey Through Time, Taste & Touch

The CultureJukebox team have been fans of The Waldorf Project since day one, writing about it a few times. We were invited to Chapter Three last week, and the third instalment is in our opinion the most powerful work yet.

It’s a journey through time, taste and touch and is unlike anything else. It invites people to really feel.


Image credit: Lee Arucci (Waldorf Project Ch 3, Futuro)

Stepping into the show (taking place at HereEast – the Olympic Park / Hackney Wick) you step into somewhere other from the very first moment. The room is dark, and the atmosphere is dark too.

You’re dragged backwards, forwards, and manhandled by a series of beautiful and strong performers. The Waldorf Project is part dance, part immersive theatre, and part experimental food & drink experience.

It’s the drinks that really focus the mind. The first involves balloons and some sort of chemistry experiment. Later, the audience kneels at an altar as a warm, sweet drink is aggressively poured down your mouth.

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Image credit: Lee Arucci (Waldorf Project Ch 3, Futuro)

Things get weirder throughout the show. You’re bundled through tunnels, you have to grasp strangers, and you do things in-between large sheets of plastic. It’s just brilliantly imaginative.

The production is based around the Japanese emotion of AMAE, a temporary surrender. And that’s what you have to do.

The audience has to surrender their comforts, surrender their conceptions of taste and also disconnect. This disconnection from technology and the usual sounds and distractions of everyday life has a huge impact on the feeling around the performance.

There’s strictly no phones, which means you’re focused on the music, the flavours and the people. I was dreaming of lost nights in warehouses in East London, the sounds making me reconsider what these nights meant and what the future holds.

We often don’t consider these things, or how other people consider us. But surrendering to The Waldorf Project’s spell allowed new connections to be born, and started a new way of looking at things.

The superb lighting design helps focus these unconnected thoughts, and drives a loose structure that holds the experience together – illuminating the space and the spaces within ourselves too.

8c9f562d035436ae00adf81253e93d13Image credit: Lee Arucci (Waldorf Project Ch 3, Futuro)

Everyone is separated, but brought together by the light, by the characters living in this remarkable place, and by the sound and structure as you experience this unique show. You’re never really alone.

And maybe that’s the truth. Maybe we do have more in common, and maybe we are more connected than we first thought? Perhaps, by tasting, trying and touching new things we can grow and see things differently?

We thought the show was truly amazing, well done Sean Rogg. It’s open until December 4th, tickets and more details are here.

On Art: Meng Zhou’s 0.064g – an exploration of silk and cocoon

The CultureJukebox team are looking forward to 0.064g – an exhibition of new work by Chinese artist Meng Zhou.

Curated by Yusi Xiong, this is the artist’s first solo exhibition in London. Featuring sculpture, painting, mixed-media work and video installation, the show presents alternative concepts for thinking about the individual’s relationship with both social and ecological environments, striking a balance between private and public, micro and macro – through the intriguing exploration of silk and cocoon.

(It’s an interesting time for Chinese cultural connections in the UK, as we’ve heard the British Council’s Creative Economy team are currently looking for UK maker spaces to host Shenzen talent. More information on that here.)

Here’s what the 0.064g  show preview has to say:

Zhou is of a generation that has formed its personalities and beliefs during a period of shifting social and economic circumstances, and through a boom in the availability of information and technology. Deeply engaged in the process of artistic creation, the contested notion of metamorphosis, and the becoming of oneself within a social environment, the artist consistently presents his distinct poetic and imaginative sensibility towards introspective concerns – which he has described as “being incubated and oppressed at the same time.”

0.064g collects these viewpoints and theories, on one hand presenting the artist’s personal narratives, mythologies and specific phenomenology, on the other representing the exploration of individual choices and potential within society through the notion of cocoon.

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The show is taking place at the Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9PH. It is open from October 26th to November 6th. More information is here.