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Bani Abidi: ‘What you see in my films is what I know’ Ocula Conversation Bani Abidi: ‘What you see in my films is what I know’

A group of voices accompanies me in the exhibition. They are singing words I cannot comprehend, yet the warm tunes are familiar: folk songs, love songs, songs of longing. There are letters, too. They speak of the quotidian details of a soldier's life: the hardness of the war, sending money to the family, and longing for familiar landscapes, food,...

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Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future Ocula Report Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future 11 Oct 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Chiho Aoshima

b. 1974, Japan

In her most recent works, Aoshima looks past the disasters, past the end of the world. Reviving the premodern concept of history as cyclical (rather than linear and progressive), her imagery moves through the phases of urbanism or decadent civilization and the apocalypse to the rebirth of a fresh and innocent planet. In Graveheads, 2005, dark clouds converge on a crowded conglomeration of gravestones that resembles a city skyline and rain down blood; the clouds then disappear, leaving a rainbow behind. Less harsh in tone, the lovely animation City Glow, 2005 describes a city, its skyscrapers imagined as sinuous female figures twinkilng with lights, overtaken by a lush, primordial jungle. In an interview, Aoshima described a similar romantic vision: "To imagine (the city) all rotted away, overgrown with trees and weeds, is also really fun! For example, being in Shibuya at dawn when there are no people reminds me of a world where humans have perished. Like cities that met their downfalls in the past, our city shall too sometime be gone. Thinking of this makes me feel like a part of cosmic history. No matter how selfishly we live this life, we are still in the end part of nature, and no matter how we resist, we are still powerless."

Casting the collapse of present civlization as natural, part of an inevitable cycle that underlines the passive quality of contemporay identity identity that Murakami and others have noted. It seems to remove the political quality of current conditions like global warming, leaving the individual resigned to what must come. The distanced, cool effect of some of Aoshima's works seem to endorse the aestheticization of disaster, the idea that it is there for contemplation and even appreciation; as Aoshima puts it, "I would at least like to see with my own eyes what this society will look like as it crumbles away."

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In Related Press

'Juxtapoz x Superflat', curated by Takashi Murakami, Juxtapoz and Toilet Paper Magazine at Vancouver Art Gallery Related Press 'Juxtapoz x Superflat', curated by Takashi Murakami, Juxtapoz and Toilet Paper Magazine at Vancouver Art Gallery Art Radar Journal : 12 January 2017

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s artistic practice is expansive – spilling into fashion, film and other commercial areas. The artist turned to curating in the early 2000s, producing several projects, including Superflat (an exhibition that toured Nagoya Parco Gallery, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Walker Art Center and Henry Art...

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