Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...
London's galleries and museums are gearing up for a lively October, with Frieze London and Frieze Masters running between 3 and 6 October 2019 at Regent's Park, along with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, taking place across the same dates at Somerset House; and the tenth anniversary of the Sunday Art Fair, showcasing new and emerging artists...
Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...
Exhibition view: Carsten Höller, Berlin Biennale (1998). Courtesy Berlin Biennale.
Many of the art spaces in early '90s Berlin were located in vacant, abandoned, often ruined buildings that artists had taken over. Artists were running studio collectives and co-ops, outfitting surprising storefronts, and creating nightclubs and music programs. One very influential artist for me was Daniel Pflumm, who was organizing the experimental club Elektro and at the same time working on his light sculptures, logos, and video works.
Olafur Eliasson is a Danish-Icelandic artist known for his sculptures and large-scale, immersive installations. Eliasson completed his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Art in 1995 and relocated to Berlin upon graduating where he established Studio Olafur Eliasson. Today it employs around seventy professionals working in various fields such as architecture, geometry, and art history.
Eliasson works across a diverse variety of media including sculpture, painting, photography, film, and installation, although it is his installations which have undoubtedly gathered the most attention. Audiences are able to actively engage with Eliasson’s installations which are immersive environments of colour, light, and movement that endeavour to prompt a greater understanding about the way people can engage with and interpret the world. Many of Eliasson’s works seek to inspire public action against climate change.
Eliasson led the Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments) for five years from 2009 during his time as a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts. The artist launched his solar products business at London’s Tate Modern in 2012 alongside engineer Frederik Ottesen. The organisation aims to promote sustainable global development and provides affordable light sources to communities that are without access to electricity.
Eliasson has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career including, most recently, a Crystal Award in 2016 for showing commitment to improving the state of the world. In particular praise was given to his works The New York City Waterfalls, Ice Watch, Riverbed, and The Weather Projects. Other awards granted to the artist have included the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT (2014); the Wolf Prize in Painting and Sculpture (2014); The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award - alongside Henning Larsen Architects and Batterid (2013); the Joan Miró Prize (2007); and the 3rd Benesse Prize (1999).In 2007, the first retrospective of Eliasson’s work, Take your time: Olafur Eliasson, was held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, before travelling to the Museum of Modern Art and PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York. Olafur Eliasson’s work is held in major public and private collections worldwide, including institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo; Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge.
Carsten Höller is an artist working in the realm of rapture. From carnival rides to flying machines, slides and otherworldly sculptures, Höller generates opportunities for his audiences to experience whimsy and delight. He is often associated with relational aesthetics—a style coined in 1996 by Nicolas Bourriaud that focuses on human exchange and social context over object-based art. Born in 1961 to German parents in Brussels, Höller holds a doctoral degree in agricultural science and worked as a research entomologist until 1994. He began to make art in the late 1980s, alongside other artists experimenting with space and experience such as Pierre Huyghe, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Philippe Parreno.
One of Höller's earliest works was Flugmaschine (Flying Machine) (1996), a large steel structure to which viewers are strapped with a paragliding harness and hoisted through the air by an electric motor. Yet Höller is perhaps best known for his enormous, tubular slides, the first of which were made for the 1998 Berlin Biennale. Interested in the temporary loss of control while descending a slide, Höller compares the slider's experience to a phrase describing vertigo by the French writer Roger Caillois: a 'voluptuous panic in an otherwise lucid mind.' Or, in the artist's words, it is 'an emotional state . . . somewhere between delight and madness.' In 2000, Höller installed a slide in the office of Miuccia Prada in Milan, and in 2006, he erected what came to be his most widely recognised project: Test Site—a set of five giant slides in the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall.
In the same year, Höller's carnival rides were exhibited at at MASS MoCA in North Adams. Titled Amusement Park, the machines moved at dramatically slowed speeds and were kinetic sculptures rather than functioning rides. As in his slides, Höller embraced novelty and play while welcoming the viewer's bewilderment upon encountering carnivalesque 'entertainment' in a museum setting. Similarly, in 2014, his Golden Mirror Carousel was installed in an open-air sculpture court at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. The spectacular carousel was a shining, gilded structure that also revolved at a slowed pace—approximately one rotation per five minutes. By extracting velocity from where it is expected, Höller asked viewers to contemplate the speed expected from both the entertainment industry and everyday life. Höller again dramatically transformed the museum environment for the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum's theanyspacewhatever exhibition in 2008, when he presented Revolving Hotel Room: an installation comprising large rotating glass disks that became fully operational hotel rooms at night.
The effect of Höller's scientific studies are still evident in the artworks of his that incorporate plants, birds, animals and insects. Singing Canaries Mobile (2009) is a gigantic mobile comprising seven birdcages housing live singing canaries—one of the many kinds of birds that the artist keeps in his Stockholm home. Höller has incorporated mushrooms into his work since 1994; in 2000, he fixed massive, whimsical fungi sculptures to the ceiling for Upside Down Mushroom Room at Fondazione Prada in Milan. Alice in Wonderland-like mushroom replicas (Giant Triple Mushrooms ) were seen in his aptly titled 2011 survey exhibition Experience at the New Museum in New York. Höller selected the species of mushrooms (often fly agaric) based on their psychotropic properties. Also seen in Experience were: Giant Psycho Tank (2000), a sensory-deprivation pool that invited viewers to feel temporarily bodiless; Experience Corridor, in which viewers were invited to undertake self-experiments; and Animal Group (2011), an assemblage of life-sized and surreally coloured replicas of creatures.
Höller often describes his art as experiments and likes to bring his work outside of museums. In late 2017, he opened a nine-storey site-specific slide at the entrance to a mall, titled Aventura Slide Tower (2017)—his first permanent slide tower in the United States.
Höller is currently based in Stockholm and shares a house in Ghana with Marcel Odenbach.
To those familiar with the work of artist and curator Gabi Ngcobo, it is not surprising that We don't need another hero, the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (9 June–9 September 2018), resisted the desire for a single heroic conclusion. As the exhibition's curator, Ngcobo sought to create a 'multi-layered referential space' with its own...
One of the pressing threads of curatorial thinking over the last decade has attempted to draw together the ideological stakes of technology with the political realities of globalisation and post-colonialism. These relationships have been articulated in compelling ways in the work of critics and curators like Omar Kholeif, Orit Gat, and Karen...
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