March 14, 2011 § Leave a Comment
JEAN GENET… THE COURTESY OF OBJECTS
A BOWLER HAT, a dressing table, a scrum of silver-painted shoes; a Roxy Musuc record, a movie poster, a school ofcarp in an indoor pond: Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s installatios are spaces in which the cultural unconscious becomes, however fleetingly, an embodied reality. As viewers wander through the artist’s immersive amalgams of sound, images and objects, they may encounter the sheen of high-modernist design or glitter of the 1970s London underground in which the artist began his career. Yet just as often, mirrored surfaces, pools of coloured light, flickering projections, and murmuring sound tracks undermine coherent readings, while surface decoration threatens to swallow the whole. Within the exploded Gesamtkunstwerk legibility dissolves into synesthetic scatter.
Dispersions and fusions likewise animate the seven collages on the pages that follow, which are part of a new body of work prompted by the writings of Jean Genet and debuting in April at the Gallery at Norwich University College of the Arts, UK. Commissioned by the Norwich & Norfolk arts festival in association wtih Nottingham Contemporary – which will host an expanded version of the exhibition in July – the show will include works on paper, theatrical propos, furniture, slide projections, documentation and an imaginary casting session for Genet’s 1947 play The Maids and videos charting Chaimowicz’s pilgrimages to the author’s childhood home in Burgundy, France, and to his grave on the Moroccan coast. Genet relics will find their place among these materials, and, in keeping with Chaimowicz’s practice of inviting ‘guests’ into his own exhibitions, the show’s expanded version in Nottingham will also play host to work by a number of other arists. Foremost among these is Alberto Giacometti, whom Genet, later in life, described as the only person he’d met for whom he had unreserved respect. Continuing the theme, a second section of the exhibition will be devoted to the poltical Genet. And as always, viewers will be enlisted as collaborators, both experiencing and contributing to the production of one of Chaimowicz’s dreamworlds. – Elizabeht Schambelan
Artforum, March 2011, Features, p.224 Jean Genet: The Courtsey of Objects, Marc Camille Chaimowicz
March 14, 2011 § Leave a Comment
WE is the ghost of the future of the left. To perform political speech, you have to say WE and we all know this WE will exist as a result of what I have said now – Slavoj Zizek
8pm, 8 April 2011, Institute of Contemporary Art, London
Book now at: http://www.ica.org.uk/28653/Live-Art/WE-Pil-Galia-Kollectiv.html
March 13, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Dave Beech on the counter-promise of ugliness
There has been an upsurge in talk of beauty, but no corresponding discussion of ugliness. Surely the socially ugly – the ugliness of resistance, with its oppositional stance against the status quo – is far more relevant than beauty in this time of protests? ‘The political opposition between beauty and ugliness is not felt as political at all, but as the self-evident, correct and natural affirmation of beauty and the equally self-evident rejection of ugliness. Beauty is good, ugliness is bad.
The nearest equivalent to Picabia we have today is John Russell. Art historians in the future will not look back incredulously at our judgement of Russell’s ‘orgiastic’ images as ugly. Jonothan Jones loves his work, which is usually a bad sign, but what he loves is his ‘hyperbolic overactive pop monstrosity’. These works will not suddenly reveal themselves to future generations as beautiful after all, once the limitations of our taste have been breached. No, these works are ugly with a purpose. Russell produces gruesome displays of horror like the Chapman brothers, whose work is also ugly in this critical sense that I am developing here. But Russell’s work is ugly twice over: once in the monstosity it depicts and twice in the monstrosity it acts out in its materiality. In other words, his works are ugly in the precise the sense that baffles Schjedahl. Russell is not taken in by Schjedahl’s common-sense advocacy of beauty. His works, in all their teeth clenching audacity, have taken sides with the counter-promise of ugliness.
Art Monthly, 344, March 2011 http://www.artmonthly.co.uk/magazine/site/issue/march-2011/