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4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life Ocula Report 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life 15 Feb 2019 : Natalie King for Ocula

'Poems are like sentences that have taken their clothes off.' Marlene Dumas' poetic and sensual refrain accompanies her figurative watercolours on view in Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) in the southern state of Kerala, India (12 December 2018–29 March 2019).Dumas' new series...

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Ellen Altfest Ocula Conversation Ellen Altfest

The paintings of Ellen Altfest are ethereal in their detail. Fields of minutiae come together as pulsating images; small brushstrokes of oil paint accumulate over a series of months to single out seemingly innocuous subjects, such as a hand resting atop patterned fabric (The Hand, 2011) or a deep green cactus reaching upwards from beneath a bed of...

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Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance Ocula Report Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance 8 Feb 2019 : Nada Raza for Ocula

On the rooftop of the former Rio Hotel complex in Colombo, it was hard to ignore the high-rise buildings, still under construction, blocking all but a sliver of what used to be an open view over Slave Island, once an island on Beira Lake that housed slaves in the 19th century, and now a downtown suburb. The hotel was set alight during the...

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Ellen Altfest Ocula Conversation Ellen Altfest

The paintings of Ellen Altfest are ethereal in their detail. Fields of minutiae come together as pulsating images; small brushstrokes of oil paint accumulate over a series of months to single out seemingly innocuous subjects, such as a hand resting atop patterned fabric (The Hand, 2011) or a deep green cactus reaching upwards from beneath a bed of...

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Maryam Jafri Ocula Conversation Maryam Jafri

Maryam Jafri's series 'Product Recall: An Index of Innovation' (2014–2015) will be shown for the first time in its entirety in the United States at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, between 10 February and 23 June 2019. The exhibition's title, I Drank the Kool-Aid But I Didn't Inhale, references Bill Clinton's admission to (not fully)...

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Bob Monk Ocula Conversation Bob Monk

Born in 1923 to European immigrants in Washington D.C., Richard Artschwager is a sculptor and painter known for his enigmatic and idiosyncratic style that straddles various movements, yet belongs to none. He studied biology and mathematics at Cornell University and, after a stint in the army in World War II, pursued art as an interest while...

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Xiao Lu Ocula Conversation
In partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
Xiao Lu

In the hot heat of the moment, history is sometimes only recorded in snippets. In the flurry to understand, information is conflated, building a historical account that never quite captures the reality of the moment. In 1989, Chinese artist Xiao Lu fired a handgun into her installation Dialogue displayed in the China/Avant-Garde exhibition, the...

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Ellen Pau Ocula Conversation Ellen Pau Artist

A radiographer by training, Ellen Pau is a self-taught artist who emerged from Hong Kong's fledgling contemporary art scene of the late 1980s, when video was a comparatively nascent medium. In 1986, Pau co-founded Videotage—a non-profit organisation that specialises in the promotion and preservation of video and new media art. Pau has an...

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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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Victoria Sin Ocula Conversation Victoria Sin

If a multiplicity of being can be truly embodied, Victoria Sin comes close. Sin's practice spans performance, moving image and writing, with the artist adopting personas in their work that are multiple, and thematics that are intersectional. With a master's in Print from the Royal College of Art, a programme that examines the digital circulation of...

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Christine Tohmé Ocula Conversation Christine Tohmé Curator and founding director, Ashkal Alwan

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Ashkal Alwan – The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts. Since then, the Association has been central in shaping the cultural and artistic landscape of Beirut, fostering and supporting the work of local and regional artists, and facilitating and organising important artistic productions and exhibitions...

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Axel Vervoordt Ocula Conversation Axel Vervoordt Gallerist

The booth of Axel Vervoordt Company at Frieze Masters in 2018 was hard to miss. Ancient Egyptian, Roman, and Near Eastern sculptures were placed in subtle yet mind-tickling dialogue with works by Niki De Saint Phalle, Takis, and Kazuo Shiraga, among others. Such groupings are not unusual for the Company, which comprises an art and antiques business...

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Ingrid Schaffner Ocula Conversation Ingrid Schaffner Curator, 57th Carnegie International

Founded by industrialist Andrew Carnegie as part of the Carnegie Institute in 1895, Carnegie Museum sought to 'bring the world' to the city with a grand building housing a natural history museum, a library, and an art museum operating as a fluid space for knowledge exchange. In its 123-year history, the institution has built up a world-class...

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Anita Dube Ocula Conversation Anita Dube Curator, 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale

On 12 December 2018, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), referred to as 'the people's Biennale', will open its fourth edition to the public. Considered one of the most significant large-scale exhibitions in South Asia, and by far one of the most attended art events in the subcontinent, this edition is curated by the New Delhi-based artist and critic...

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Lu Xun Ocula Conversation
In collaboration with Delfina Foundation, London
Lu Xun Museum founder, China

Launched by Chinese collector Lu Xun and his father, Lu Jun, in 2003, the China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture (CIPEA) was an invitation to 11 Chinese and 13 international architects to create buildings in the Pearl Spring area in Nanjing, China. The real estate developing duo intended to showcase exemplary contemporary...

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Cuauhtémoc Medina Ocula Conversation Cuauhtémoc Medina Curator, 12th Shanghai Biennale

Launched in 1996 and now in its twelfth edition, the Shanghai Biennale is the longest-running biennial in China, presented at the Power Station of Art, China's only government-funded art space in a landscape dominated by private museums. This year's edition (10 November 2018–10 March 2019), curated by Mexican-born Cuauhtémoc Medina, brings together...

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Patricia Piccinini & Victoria Lynn Ocula Conversation
In collaboration with TarraWarra Museum of Art
Patricia Piccinini & Victoria Lynn

Patricia Piccinini & Joy Hester: Through love ... at TarraWarra Museum of Art (24 November 2018–11 March 2019) is an exhibition that reveals shared explorations of love, intimacy, and relationships in the work of two of Australia's leading artists. This is the first exhibition to explore the conceptual links between the works of Patricia...

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Simon Wang Ocula Conversation Simon Wang Gallerist

In 2013, Simon Wang founded Antenna Space in Shanghai's M50 art district in response to a growing interest in contemporary art in his city. The diverse artists on the gallery's roster include Guan Xiao (known for her conceptual videos and installations), conceptual artist Nadim Abbas, and painters Allison Katz, Xinyi Cheng, and Cui Jie, among...

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Vincent Namatjira Ocula Conversation Vincent Namatjira Artist

Vincent Namatjira relishes painting famous people who are humorously redeployed across vivid canvases and depicted in his community in remote Indulkana in South Australia. His powerful paintings are part portraiture and part caricature, in which politicians are placed side by side in wryly preposterous juxtapositions, such as Donald Trump and Kim...

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Cao Fei Ocula Conversation Cao Fei Artist

Cao Fei's first large-scale institutional exhibition in Asia, A hollow in a world too full (8 September 2018–4 January 2019), is taking place at Tai Kwun Contemporary in Hong Kong, the city's new non-profit art centre housed in a former colonial police and prison complex in Central. Organised in collaboration with Ullens Center for Contemporary Art...

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Charwei Tsai Ocula Conversation Charwei Tsai Artist

Taiwanese artist Charwei Tsai's memorising and compulsive writing of the Heart Sutra—a Buddhist scripture that distills the wisdom of impermanence—is at the heart of her practice. Over the past ten years, Tsai has moved from writing to drawing, photography, and film—a selection of which is being presented at the Centre for Chinese...

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