Swiss musical documentaries

This report from the Wroclaw film festival appeared on the Sight & Sound blog: Inland (2001) If the words ‘Swiss’ and ‘musical’ make you think of Alpine meadows and hills alive with the sound of music, think again. Made between 1989 and 2012, the 14 films in this year’s Musical Documentaries from Switzerland strand at Wroclaw’s New Horizons film festival – which has made films about music and contemporary art its signature since it was established in 2001 – attempted to steer clear of stereotypes by showing the different guises of what’s evidently a flourishing documentary genre in Switzerland, judging … Continue reading Swiss musical documentaries

Up in the Air

This report from the Sokolovsko ephemeral art festival appeared on Joanna Rajkowska, Forcing a Miracle, 2012, at the Contexts 2013 Festival in Sokolovsko, Poland. Photo: Marcin Polak. THE AIR, this year’s chosen theme for Contexts 2013, the third Sokolovsko Festival of Ephemeral Art, could not be more appropriate. Set amid the wooded hills of the Stone Mountains, close to the Polish-Czech border, the health resort of Sokolovsko boasts a microclimate uniquely suited for the treatment of lung diseases. Consumptive patients have been employed over the years to carve out the unusual, childlike motifs adorning the concrete grey facades of … Continue reading Up in the Air

Oscar Murillo

This review appeared in frieze: Oscar Murillo, ‘Dinner at the members club? Yes! i’ll have a black americano first pls’, installation views, 2013 The title of Oscar Murillo’s first London solo show was a mouthful: ‘Dinner at the members club? Yes! i’ll have a black americano first pls’. The titular ‘black americano’ in this case was – by his own admission – none other than the young London-based artist himself, whose Colombian origins are often emphasized in his painterly and performance-based practice (though there were also packs of ground coffee at the gallery, which visitors were welcome to take home). … Continue reading Oscar Murillo

Moyra Davey

This piece appeared on Moyra Davey, Copperheads 101–200, 2013, C-print adhesive tape, stamps, ink, 20 x 12”. The outcome of a reconnaissance-cum-research trip to Liverpool and Manchester earlier this year, this exhibition takes its somewhat macabre title, “Hangmen of England,” from a scholarly volume Moyra Davey discovered while taking photographs at the Liverpool Central Library. Focused on small-scale photographic works, which are pinned to the walls and showcased in two antique walnut-framed vitrines (the only adornment in an otherwise bare room), this beautifully spare solo show styles itself as an archival display. The exhibition’s centerpiece is a new iteration … Continue reading Moyra Davey

Artur Zmijewski

This review appeared in frieze: Artur Żmijewski, ‘Democracies’, 2009–12, video installation ‘Working’, Artur Z˙mijewski’s first show since the much-maligned 7th Berlin Biennale he co-curated in 2012, saw the artist revert to a more traditional exhibition format, which he not long ago claimed to have lost interest in. (This is perhaps understandable, given the biennial’s less than enthusiastic reception.) Yet, judging by the results, this kind of straight­forward presentation is what most benefits his work. Consisting of two series of short documentary films made between 2007 and 2012 as part of his ‘Selected Works’ and ‘Democracies’ cycles (made up of 18 … Continue reading Artur Zmijewski