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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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Kiki Smith was born in 1954 in Nuremberg, Germany, the daughter of sculptor Tony Smith. Brought up in South Orange, New Jersey, she enrolled at Hartford Art School in Connecticut in 1974 but dropped out eighteen months later. Settling in New York in 1976, Smith earned her living over the next few years doing odd jobs. Around 1978, she joined Collaborative Projects, Inc. (Colab), an artists’ collective devoted to making art accessible through exhibitions outside commercial gallery settings. It was during this period that she made her first artworks, monotypes of everyday objects. Virtually self-taught, Smith describes herself as “a thing-maker.”

With the death of her father in 1980, Smith turned her attention to themes of mortality and decay, focusing on human corporeality. Hand in Jar (1983) consists of a latex hand covered in algae and submerged in a mason jar filled with water. Its clinical realism calls to mind a pathology lab or a dissecting studio. In 1985, propelled by an interest in obtaining practical knowledge about the body, Smith studied to become an emergency medical technician. The impact of this experience on her work was immediate and profound. Possession Is Nine-Tenths of the Law (1985) is a series of nine screenprints and monotypes of deadpan views of various internal organs. Its legalistic title alludes to the artist’s nascent feminist concerns regarding the body, particularly the female body, as a battleground for social and political ideologies. Smith offered similarly clinical treatments of human organs in her sculptures of the period, including Glass Stomach (1985), Untitled (Heart) (1986), and Second Choice (1987), a bowl of castoff lungs, liver, heart, and spleen.

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