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Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds Ocula Conversation Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds

Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...

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Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger Ocula Conversation Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger

In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...

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Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City Ocula Report Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City 15 Nov 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Under the direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of...

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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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Doug Aitken

b. 1968, USA

The practice of Doug Aitken is most widely recognised as immersive, collaborative and engaged with both the art world and the wider world. This approach results in works in a variety of media such as video, sculpture and photography.

Aitken is perhaps best known for his 'nomadic happening', Station to Station (2013) in which he invited artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Patti Smith and Urs Fischer, amongst others, to participate in a cross-country nine-carriage train ride from New York to California, spontaneously collaborating to create art, food and music along the way. There were nine stops, and a 'happening' (an art-related performance event) occurred at each stop. The train was covered in LED screens; along the way a visual light installation continuously played. The project was intended as an alternative art experience. Instead of being held in a gallery or institution, the art travelled, grew and became a presence in every moment of the artist's life. In 2015, this event recreated itself at the Barbican Centre in the form of Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening. Described as a 'living exhibition', over its month-long existence it played host to more than 100 contemporary artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers and designers.

In late 2016, during his solo exhibition Doug Aitken: Electric Earth (10 September 2016–15 January 2017) at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Aitken installed Underwater Pavilions off the coast of Catalina Island, California. Underwater Pavilions consisted of three hexagon-shaped spheres submerged between five and 50 feet underwater. Viewers had to dive to view the work and could swim both in and around the spheres. The spheres contained panels sculpted from artificial rock and mirror. The mirrored surfaces induced a kaleidoscopic effect; in an interview with The New York Times Aitken remarked on the experience of this effect, 'I could see the ocean floor above me and the sun below me'. The objects' shiny and multifarious surfaces cause them to seem continuously in flux—affected by tides, sunlight, sun, fish and divers. Rather than sculptures or monuments, they are living things. The work is based on Aitken's philosophy that to make art living, one should immerse it in the real world and allow it to experience the flux of nature.

In 2017, Aitken participated in Desert X—the art biennial of Palm Springs, California, featuring 16 artists including Gabriel Kuri, Claudia Comte and Armando Lerma. For the event, Aitken created Mirage—a ranch-style home in Coachella Valley covered on every surface by mirrors. The ranch style of architecture was developed in the 1920s and 1930s by combining Frank Lloyd Wright's modernist architecture and traditional western ranches. After World War II, the style boomed and became a fixture of the Californian landscape. By turning the quintessential Californian architecture into a house of mirrors, Mirage may change with its surrounding nature—blending in but perhaps standing out even more so in the process. In the struggle between the natural and the artificial, the house plays on both sides. Aitken works with the materiality of the suburban west, illustrating the vast power of the landscape and the history of architecture's attempted encroachment upon it.

Biography by Casey Carsel | Ocula | 2017
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Featured Artworks

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Inside Out (chimes/medium) by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug AitkenInside Out (chimes/medium), 2019 Mirrored metal and silent motor
Victoria Miro
Shock and Awe (two chairs and pool) by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug AitkenShock and Awe (two chairs and pool), 2019 Chromogenic transparency on acrylic in aluminium lightbox with LEDs
172 x 316 x 18 cm
Victoria Miro
Inside Out by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug AitkenInside Out, 2019 Zebrino marble, stainless steel
178 x 117 x 122 cm
Victoria Miro
All doors open by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug AitkenAll doors open, 2019 Acrylic, LED, wood
95 x 305 x 213 cm
Victoria Miro
inflection by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug Aitkeninflection, 1992 Single-channel video (colour, silent); 14 min 2 sec
303 Gallery
Inside me by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug AitkenInside me, 2018 Aluminium, high density foam, resin, auto paint, acrylic mirror, variation of 4
143.5 x 161.3 x 104.1 cm
303 Gallery
NIGHT by Doug Aitken contemporary artwork
Doug AitkenNIGHT, 2017 Aluminium, polished stainless steel, paint, high-density foam
80.6 x 252.7 x 43.2 cm
303 Gallery

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Doug Aitken, Return to the Real at Victoria Miro, London
Open Now
2 October–20 December 2019 Doug Aitken Return to the Real Victoria Miro, Wharf Road, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, 303 Gallery: 35 Years at 303 Gallery, New York
Closed
18 July–16 August 2019 Group Exhibition 303 Gallery: 35 Years 303 Gallery, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Doug Aitken, New Era at 303 Gallery, New York
Closed
13 April–25 May 2018 Doug Aitken New Era 303 Gallery, New York

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Ocula Conversation Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Founder, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo started collecting contemporary art in 1992, after graduating from Torino University, where she studied business and economics. She began her collection with four works from the late-1950s and early-1960s by Italian artists: Carla Accardi, Tano Festa, Mario Merz and Salvatore Scarpitta. 'I enjoyed the idea of...

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The Lowdown: shows to see during Frieze week Ocula Report The Lowdown: shows to see during Frieze week 27 Apr 2018 : Robert Ayers for Ocula

With Frieze New York returning to Randall's Island Park from 4 to 6 May 2018, Ocula is on hand to offer a selection of exhibitions around the city, from Bushwick and the LES to Chelsea, Midtown and the Upper East Side.Exhibition view: Before the Fall: German and Austrian Art of the 1930s, Neue Galerie New York (8 March–28 May 2018). Courtesy Neue...

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In Related Press

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Doug Aitken’s new show embraces real time Related Press Doug Aitken’s new show embraces real time Wallpaper* : 1 October 2019

The very American art of Doug Aitken is, most of it anyway, at once transcendent and dangerously of the now. He is in that sense a pop artist proper. He is also able and agile in many medium and an assembler of performances (he has fantastic taste in musical collaborators) and creative happenings.

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Doug Aitken takes the scenic route across Massachusetts with mirrored hot air balloon Related Press Doug Aitken takes the scenic route across Massachusetts with mirrored hot air balloon Wallpaper* : 18 July 2019

For two weeks in July, a mirrored sphere is taking flight above the eastern US coastline and western Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. Reflecting back the sun, clouds, and natural surroundings, the nomadic piece of public art is Doug Aitken's response to many of the most beautiful places in Massachusetts protected by The Trustees of...

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Fluxus in the air: Doug Aitken's hot air balloon sails above Massachusetts Related Press Fluxus in the air: Doug Aitken's hot air balloon sails above Massachusetts The Art Newspaper : 11 July 2019

The project, called New Horizon, lifts off on 12 July at Long Point beach on Martha's Vineyard. Over the following 16 days, it will alight at the Farm Institute in Edgartown, the Holmes Reservation in Plymouth, the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, the Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich, the Naumkeag in Stockbridge and the...

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Preview Art Basel 2019 Related Press Preview Art Basel 2019 ARTnews : 7 June 2019

Art Basel 2019 opens to the public on Thursday, June 13, with two preview days, on June 11 and 12. Some 290 galleries from 34 countries will show work at the Swiss fair, which runs through June 16.

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In Video & Audio

Doug Aitken at Victoria Miro Mayfair Related Video & Audio Doug Aitken at Victoria Miro Mayfair 10 June 2015

This specific constellation of five key works has been conceived for Victoria Miro Mayfair by Doug Aitken and deals with contemporary ideas of time through the use of sound, touch, light and reflectivity, with each work existing in a zone between abstraction and representation. At the core of the exhibition is Eyes closed, wide awake...

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