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Taipei Dangdai Lowdown: Shows to See Ocula Report Taipei Dangdai Lowdown: Shows to See 11 Jan 2019 : Tessa Moldan for Ocula

Founded by the same team behind Art HK—Magnus Renfrew, Tim Etchells, Angus Montgomery, and Will Ramsay—Taipei Dangdai, opens to the public after much anticipation on 18 January 2019 at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center. Running until 20 January, the fair will feature 90 galleries from around the world, including David Zwirner, Esther...

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Magnus Renfrew Ocula Conversation Magnus Renfrew

Magnus Renfrew has twice been named by ArtReview as one of the 100 most influential figures in the international art world. In 2008, he came to prominence in Asia's art world and within the wider global scene when he was appointed founding director of Art HK. The fair was subsequently acquired by MCH Group and re-branded in 2013 under Renfrew's...

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Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho: News from Nowhere Ocula Report Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho: News from Nowhere 4 Jan 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

From around 2007, South Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho found that they were increasingly selected to participate in group shows alongside each other. As such, they regularly shared time and space, either in gallery installs or on journeys to or from them. On these and other occasions, they often found themselves chatting about their...

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Rayyane Tabet

b. 1983, Lebanon

Rayyane Tabet's practice focuses on the use of objects, often of a personal nature, as a starting point for the exploration of memory and individual narratives. Tabet's sculptural works, clearly influenced by his studies in architecture, act as a counterpoint to official histories; giving agency to subjective understandings of major socio-historical events. Despite their grounding in extensive research, his works usually manifest as stark, minimalist forms. Tabet's sculptures attest to the power of the object to articulate its own history, resulting in the frequent comparison of his methodology with that of an archaeologist.

For Dear Mr. Utzon, 2018, presented at the 21st Biennale of Sydney, Tabet uses a series of found objects as a means of accessing latent histories. Focusing on the connection between two disparate locations, Beirut and Sydney, Tabet presents a performance that looks at renowned architect Jørn Utzon's design for the Sydney Opera House alongside his unrealised plan to construct a subterranean theatre at Jeita Grotto, the limestone caves in Lebanon. Following the form of an open letter addressed to the architect on the eve of his 100th birthday, Dear Mr. Utzon provides the artist with a way to position himself in relation to the city, by way of Utzon's ties to Sydney and Beirut.

Inspired by an archival image of Utzon at home with his family, Tabet transforms the Utzon Room at the Sydney Opera House into a domestic interior. The artist has included a lounge suite from Utzon's 'A New Angle' furniture system, designed during the construction of the Opera House and acquired in 2006. Above the suite an original 'U336 Lamp' released by Artek in 1957 is suspended, alongside an 'Opera' pendant, launched in 2005. Other Utzon-designed objects, models, and archival material relating to both the Opera House and the Jeita Grotto project have been carefully placed in the room to construct an intimate space. The site of the performance is a significant location considering its interior design is the only one completed by Utzon in the building.

Tabet is particularly interested in disclosing a more informal portrait of the architect, focusing both on minor and major stories connected to both projects. Starting from the welcoming space of a domestic setting, Tabet's narrative gradually recovers lesser-known, obscured stories, either tenuously or directly associated with the Sydney Opera House or the Jeita Grotto.

The only physical remnant of the performance are reproduced leaflets, distributed at each venue of the 21st Biennale of Sydney, which read 'BRING UTZON BACK'. Designed and printed by a group of young architects during the controversy surrounding Utzon's dismissal from the Opera House project in 1966, the leaflet can be read as a metaphor for, and concise summation of, Tabet's project.

Tai Spruyt and Stephanie Berlangieri | Biennale of Sydney Exhibition Team | 2018
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In Ocula Magazine

Manifesta 12: Cultivating Coexistence Ocula Report Manifesta 12: Cultivating Coexistence 27 Jul 2018 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Palermo is one of many European cities undergoing major rebranding. The Sicilian capital is continually working toward shifting its reputation as a mafia stronghold and sex-trafficking hotspot to a more palatable business and tourist-friendly profile. The 1990s Primavera di Palermo social movement aimed at promoting a culture of legality,...

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Rayyane Tabet Ocula Conversation
in partnership with the 21st Biennale of Sydney
Rayyane Tabet Artist

Beirut-based artist Rayyane Tabet's practice exists at the intersection of storytelling, sculpture and architecture. Here, the physical material—be it found architectural objects or material drawn from personal archives—is revealed to contain unresolved histories or buried narratives that are then exposed through the act of...

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