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58th Venice Biennale: May You Live In Interesting Times Ocula Report 58th Venice Biennale: May You Live In Interesting Times 24 May 2019 : Mohammad Salemy for Ocula

The 58th Venice Biennale, May You Live In Interesting Times (11 May–24 November 2019), certainly benefitted from low expectations, given the lacklustre curatorial of the previous edition, when different segments of the show were conceptually framed with titles like 'Pavilion of Joys and Fears' and 'Pavilion of Colours'. Add to this the...

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Zheng Bo Ocula Conversation Zheng Bo

Hong Kong-based artist Zheng Bo's social, ecological, and community-engaged art practice has, in recent years, focused on moving beyond a human-centred perspective to an all-inclusive, multi-species approach. He takes up marginalised plants and communities of people as subjects in his large-scale interventions, which reintroduce wildness into...

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Auckland Art Fair 2019: Conversations Extended Ocula Report Auckland Art Fair 2019: Conversations Extended 24 May 2019 : Sherry Paik for Ocula

The weather was clement for the annual Auckland Art Fair (2–5 May 2019), which was again at The Cloud on Queens Wharf. This year's edition was a get-together of 41 galleries, mostly from around Auckland and across New Zealand, with 5 spaces hailing from Sydney and the rest from Cook Islands (Bergman Gallery), Hobart (Michael Bugelli Gallery),...

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Related Press

Fitting the entire universe into an art gallery

Melanie Vandenbrouck Apollo First published on 26 May 2016

Totality (2016), Katie Paterson. © Katie Paterson.

07757 001122. Visitors entering the upper gallery at the Lowry in Salford are greeted by a neon mobile phone number that was once connected to the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland. Nearby headphones play the trickling sounds of melting ice and creaking noises that reveal the strain and tension in the heart of the glacier. A vitrine conserves the archive of this 2008 project, including photographs and a printed record of every time a caller connected to the phone-line, and the length of their hanging on to some of the purest sounds one can find in nature.

As her solo exhibition shows, Katie Paterson talks people into doing the most extraordinary things, be it convincing a telephone company to link a glacier to callers across the world, sending a meteorite back into space, or growing a forest to supply paper for an anthology of books in a hundred years' time. The title of the show, 'Syzygy' – an alignment of celestial bodies – can be read as a metaphor for what happens when minds meet. Collaboration – with scientists, engineers, technologists or literary authors – is central to Paterson's practice. Her deceptively simple ideas, often using relatively modest media, are ambitious in their scope and deep in their meaning. They evoke forces that span inconceivable times and infinite distances, beyond our control and the limits of human knowledge.

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