I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Looking out over Lake Zurich, artist Christian Jankowski discusses his Joint Ventures curatorial concept for Manifesta11. The 11th edition of the 'European biennial' Manifesta will be on display until 18 September 2016.
In one thematic body of work, Jankowski explores the unique relationship between the artist, the gallery as "institution" and the viewer, which he refers to as a "magic circle".
Presented as a trilogy of video pieces comprising My Life As A Dove, Director Poodle, and Flock, each piece uses magic to transform various human participants into animals.
For My Life as a Dove, Jankowski collaborated with a magician who transformed him into a dove for a duration of three weeks. The message from the magician to the audience was "You're standing in front of Christian's transformation into a dove...be kind to him...and remember that a real artist may sometimes be inscrutable, but a true person as well." Visitors to the exhibition responded to Jankowski as dove, feeding him, taking his photograph, making video documentation, and keeping an ongoing journal of his activities.
In Director Poodle, Jankowski convinces a museum director to subject himself to his magic, allowing the curator to choose the kind of animal he would like to become. The result is his miraculous transformation into a boisterous white poodle.
And Flock (2002), where 12 gallery visitors were turned into sheep and remained in this state while they viewed the other artworks on display.
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