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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
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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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Melati Suryodarmo

b. 1969, Indonesia

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Tom Mouna ArtAsiaPacific 4 July 2018

Melati Suryodarmo, I Love You (2007). Performance. Five hours. Exhibition view: I Love You, ShanghArt Gallery, Beijing (18 April–14 May 2018). Courtesy ShanghArt Gallery, Shanghai/Beijing/Singapore.

For acclaimed Indonesian performance artist Melati Suryodarmo’s first comprehensive solo exhibition in China, hosted at ShanghArt Beijing, she offered a group of works that represent her two-pronged practice, which comprises photography and durational performance art—the latter being her key pursuit, and the main focus of the show.

The exhibition was split across four areas. Behind the gallery’s reception desk was a triptych of large photographs. In each of these images, Suryodarmo is seen crouching and twisting, while in one, she seems to be shouting. The actions are blurred together in the individual shots, emphasising her movement—the result of the artist’s use of an extended shutter speed. The nondescript, photography studio backdrop to Suryodarmo’s gestures reference the classical portrait genre. In this way, she uses the medium of photography to expand her exploration of performance art; for one, asking: how do sequences of movement communicate and engage? As viewers, we are also left with the question of how her practice can or cannot be situated in Western narratives of art and its history.

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