Ekki Múkk

This piece appeared on the Sight & Sound blog. Named after the second track on Sigur Rós’s Valtari album, Nick Abrahams’ award-winning short film Ekki Múkk, as eerie as the music and lyrics that inspired it, was made for the valtari mystery film experiment. To promote their sixth studio album, the Icelandic band Sigur Rós gave a dozen filmmakers and directors a small budget and free reign to make whatever they pleased by way of visual accompaniment to any song off the album. The resulting videos, made by directors who are artists in their own right or have collaborated with … Continue reading Ekki Múkk

London Waterworks

This review appeared in PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art. London comes as something of an afterthought in Roger Deakin’s Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey through Britain (1999), inspired by John Cheever’s short story “The Swimmer” and its film adaptation starring Burt Lancaster. By his own admission, urban swimming is not high on Deakin’s agenda, and the capital of Britain has little to offer an advocate of wild, freshwater swimming. Deakin notes in passing that the Port of London Authority strictly forbids swimming in the Thames. “Apart from the danger from constant river traffic,” he writes, tacitly condoning this state … Continue reading London Waterworks

Sideways festival

This report from Sideways festival was posted on the Walking Artists Network site. On August 22nd, day 3 of the first leg of the Sideways festival (Menen to Herzele), I let myself be tied for almost a day to Russian artist Yana Kraeva or Yana K.M, the name she officially goes by. Almost but not quite. When Yana, in response to my somewhat alarmed query, answered by saying that ideally we would remain tied to each other for 24 hours, I didn’t waste any time telling her that it would remain an ideal. I draw the line at staying tied … Continue reading Sideways festival

Maurizio Cattelan: Amen

This review appeared on artforum.com. Maurizio Cattelan, Untitled, 2007. Maurizio Cattelan’s 2011 retrospective at the Guggenheim, emphatically titled “All,” was meant to be his last show. But with “Amen” at the Center for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, he appears to have risen from his ashes. Although none of the pieces on view had been made specifically for this show (all were featured in the Guggenheim retrospective), the particular context into which they have been inserted—that of a still predominantly Catholic Poland struggling to come to terms with the traumas of the past century—gives these familiar works a new … Continue reading Maurizio Cattelan: Amen

Postcard from the Belfort Film Festival

This report appeared on the frieze blog. Une vraie jeune fille (Catherine Breillat, 1975) Programmed alongside features and shorts shown in the international competition at the ‘EntreVues’ film festival in Belfort, now in its 27th year, retrospectives and themed sections have long been a staple of a festival that prides itself in linking emerging filmmakers to the rich history of auteur cinema which has shaped them. One of the themed sections in the 2012 festival, which took place from 24 November to 2 December – ‘Art press: 40 ans de regard’ – was exceptionally curated by art press editor-in-chief Catherine … Continue reading Postcard from the Belfort Film Festival

Vlatka Horvat

This interview appeared in the ‘Brand New’ section of Flash Art. From left: Vlatka Horvat, Or Some Other Time, 2009. Installation view at The Kitchen, New York; Hammered Out, 2011. Installation view from “Vlatka Horvat: As Opposed to the Front, Back, Top and Bottom,” Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen. Broken double-pane window, chair, tape. All courtesy the artist.   AGNIESZKA GRATZA: Am I right in thinking that there has been a shift away from the representation of the human body in your recent work? Your own body has become less present in it, at any rate. Vlatka Horvat: That’s absolutely right. Coming … Continue reading Vlatka Horvat

Frances Stark: Osservate, Leggete con me

This review of Frances Stark’s show at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York, appeared in ArtReview. If there’s an art to virtual conversation, as there used to be an art to letter writing, Frances Stark is a past master at it. The latest of her shows to probe the format’s conventions, Osservate, Leggete con Me comes hot on the heels of the artist’s critically acclaimed digital animation My Best Thing (2011), in which she turned the modalities of sex-chatroom exchanges into artistic gold. The new works keep the episodic structure but dispense with the plastic Playmobil dolls clad in fig leaves … Continue reading Frances Stark: Osservate, Leggete con me

Conversation Pieces

This account of taking part in Tino Sehgal’s These associations appeared in frieze. Tino Sehgal, These associations, 2012, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London, illustration by courtroom artist Priscilla Coleman Four weeks into Tino Sehgal’s These associations at Tate Modern, a man came up to me in front of Liverpool Street Station in London and said: ‘Haven’t we talked together in the Turbine Hall?’ He looked vaguely familiar. ‘It’s not impossible,’ I replied. ‘Shall we pursue our conversation?’ he asked, playfully. Before I could think of an answer, he was gone. As one of the participants in Sehgal’s piece – the … Continue reading Conversation Pieces