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Ocula ReportFrieze Week 2018: London, Masters and 1-5412 Oct 2018 : Amah-Rose McKnight-Abrams for Ocula{{document.location.href}}
A rush of politics kicked off Frieze Week this year, with a talk between Chelsea Manning and James Bridle organised by the Institute of Contemporary Arts at the Royal Institution, three days ahead of the opening of Frieze London, Frieze Masters and 1-54 (4–7 October 2018). The event felt more like a press conference, with attendees seemingly...
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Ocula ConversationCristina Ricupero and Jörg HeiserCurators, Busan Biennale{{document.location.href}}
Divided We Stand, the tongue-in-cheek title of the 9th Busan Biennale (8 September–1 November 2018), speaks to the psychological effects of borders on individual and collective social consciousness. Co-curated by artistic directors Cristina Ricupero and Jörg Heiser, with guest curator Gahee Park, the exhibition explores the divisions haunting...
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Ocula ReportAnni Albers: In Focus6 Oct 2018 : Inga Lace for Ocula{{document.location.href}}
Walking through the Anni Albers exhibition at the K20, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, in Düsseldorf this summer (9 June–9 September 2018), I couldn't help thinking about the 1944 poem by American dancer and artist Raymond Duncan, 'I Sing the Weaver'. The poem talks about weaving as a practice linking a weaver's body to the world; a view that...
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Contemporary artist Alex Israel examines through his work the culture of film and media industries in his native Los Angeles. He works across a range of media including painting, film, and sculpture. Israel received a Bachelor of Arts at Yale University in 2003 and then went on to complete a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Fine Arts in 2010.

Reflecting on his home town with both a sense of sentimentality and curiosity, Israel’s body of work serves as an anthropological study of celebrity culture and the idealised American dream. His works are an homage to LA, rather than a critique, and offer an insight on an obsession shared by many, about Hollywood and all it represents. His 2015 work Casting, a replica of the mould from which Oscar awards are made, is yet another reflection of the infatuation with celebrity.

Among Israel’s most notable works is his talk show As It Lays, a series of 33 televisual portraits of iconic celebrities who have contributed to Los Angeles’ cultural history. Guests, who have included such names as Molly Ringwald, Quincy Jones, Marilyn Manson, and Bret Easton Ellis, are asked a series of mundane questions read from note cards and are tasked with determining their own portrait.

The artist’s recent solo exhibitions have included #AlexIsrael at Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo (2016); Summer at Almine Rech gallery, Paris (2015); The Los Angeles Project at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2014); and Alex Israel: Self-Portraits at Peres Projects, Berlin (2013).

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