Oceans: The Forgotten Habitat

This interview-based piece appeared in Chinese translation in the Conference Room section of LEAP magazine (issue 44): Hosted by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21), The Current Convening #2 took place in Fort Kochi, Kerala on 13-15 December, 2016, coinciding with the opening of the third Kochi-Muziris Biennale which was dedicated to, among other, water and hidden rivers. Set up by TBA21 founder Francesca von Habsburg together with artistic director Markus Reymann, The Current is a three-year exploratory fellowship program dedicated to research on the ocean–and specifically the Pacific Ocean and its archipelagoes. In addition to The Current fellows and expedition leaders … Continue reading Oceans: The Forgotten Habitat

Miroslaw Balka

This review of Miroslaw Balka’s “CROSSOVER/S” at HangarBicocca in Milan is featured in issue 57 of Mousse magazine: “The end is in the beginning and yet you go on,” says Samuel Beckett. Placed at the outset and the close of Miroslaw Balka’s retrospective at HangarBicocca, spanning the last three decades of the Polish artist’s career, two yellow lines – one horizontal, one vertical – frame the exhibition and, taken together, beautifully illustrate the titular “CROSSOVER/S”. Both are fragile and unstable objects. To see the first, a video piece featuring a rectangular yellow bar shifting ever so slightly against a black … Continue reading Miroslaw Balka

The Green Ray

This essay appeared in the November online issue of The White Review: I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven. (Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass) AURORA CHASING IS A FAVOURITE SPORT UP IN ICELAND, one of the main draws for visitors. Northern Lights come in all sorts of hues, apparently, but more often than not they are a glowing green – the colour of the equally elusive meteorological phenomenon that gives its title to a lesser-known Jules Verne novel and to Eric Rohmer´s 1986 film Le rayon vert. The dreamy final sequence … Continue reading The Green Ray

Rehearsals for an Island

A version of this article appeared in issue 114 of PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art: Aural Lighthouses festival, Santozeum, Thira, Santorini, May 18–23, 2015; and The violent No! of the sun burns the forehead of hills. Sand fleas arrive from salt lake and most of the theatres close, staged as part of the 14th Istanbul Biennial Public Program, various venues on the island Kastellorizo, Greece, September 7–13, 2015. Two Greek islands – Santorini and Kastellorizo – located respectively in the Cycladic and the Dodecanese archipelagos of the southern Aegean Sea, each became the stage for shared activities, workshops, … Continue reading Rehearsals for an Island

Raphael Hefti: Project 1049

This feature appeared in Dutch translation in the October issue of Metropolis M: The streets of Gstaad might as well be paved with gold. The main promenade of the exclusive alpine ski resort, which plays host to the international jet set, is lined with designer boutiques and luxury hotels. For a period of three weeks this summer, Swiss artist Raphael Hefti had the pavements of Gstaad and the neighboring Saanen village spray-painted with pulverized Swarovski ‘diamonds’ – to dazzling and quite uncanny effect. Unveiled on the final weekend of July, this somewhat elusive work was presented as part of the … Continue reading Raphael Hefti: Project 1049

Collecting the uncollectable

A version of this essay appeared in the current issue of Frieze Week magazine: ‘Ownership is the most intimate relationship that one can have to objects. Not that they come alive in [the collector]; it is he who lives in them’, wrote Walter Benjamin in his 1931 essay titled ‘Unpacking My Library – A Talk on Collecting’. Speaking at an event dedicated to ‘collecting performance’ hosted by the London non-profit Delfina Foundation, Marseille-based psychiatrists and collectors Marc and Josée Gensollen related Benjamin’s claim concerning books to their own experience of collecting live art. For them, ‘the most intimate relationship to … Continue reading Collecting the uncollectable

Finnish Landscape

This Critics’ Pick appeared on artforum.com: Kader Attia, Mimesis as Resistance, 2013–16, HD video, color, sound, 16 minutes 7 seconds. Installation view. This open-air museum, like all others, is an elaborate fiction. Confined to an island and only accessible by a footbridge, the place—with its traditional wooden buildings, original furnishings, and costumed interpreters—appears to be caught in a time warp. Commissioned by the nonprofit Checkpoint Helsinki and curated by Joanna Warsza, “Finnish Landscape” features ten local and international artists subjecting this bucolic yet artificial landscape to critical scrutiny.An outline of Seurasaari looks like an elongated leaf in Erik Bruun’s arresting … Continue reading Finnish Landscape

Experimental Education Protocol

This piece appeared on artforum.com: Participants in the Experimental Education Protocol. (Except where noted, all photos: Agnieszka Gratza) CAN EDUCATION BE SEXY? I didn’t used to think so. Twelve days in the company of twelve near-strangers on the volcanic Dodecanese island of Nisyros made me reconsider. What brought us there—from Athens, Stockholm, Berlin, Brussels, Kassel, Hamburg, and Vancouver—was the Experimental Education Protocol, admittedly not the sexiest of banners. Drafted by artist Angelo Plessas, EEP or #exedupro—in its snappier, Instagrammable version—proposes “an alternative educational model” based on “experiential and communal learning.” For Plessas, whose Eternal Internet Brotherhood has been meeting every … Continue reading Experimental Education Protocol

Double Take: Izolyatsia and Pinchuk Art Centre

This feature on the Pinchuk Art Centre and Izolyatsia, two Kyiv-based non-profits, appeared in The Calvert Journal: Izolyatsia in its new Kiev Shipyards site. Image: Dima Sergeev No one has done more in recent years to put Ukrainian contemporary art on the map than the PinchukArtCentre and IZOLYATSIA. On the face of it, these two private institutions established by well-connected and generally well-liked industrialists – Victor Pinchuk and Luba Michailova – have a lot in common. Built around their founders’ personal collections, each in its own way nurtures the local art scene and attempts to build an audience for contemporary … Continue reading Double Take: Izolyatsia and Pinchuk Art Centre