Archive for May, 2009

Isa Genzken: Open, Sesame

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Whitechapel Gallery, London
5 April to 21 June 2009

This is the first retrospective of a major European artist whose fusion of photography, paint, architecture and found objects into the realm of sculpture has influenced generations of younger artists. The show commences with early floor works from the 1970s and continues with a sequence of windows, rooms and buildings cast from plaster and concrete in the 1980s.

Short Circuit: A Taste of Sonar

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

15 May 2009  Roundhouse, London

The line-up of A Taste of Sónar provides a preview of some of the artists who will be present at Sónar 2009 in Barcelona, such as Erol Alkan (with his Disco 3000 project), the robotic performance Soundclusters, devised by Roland Olbeter (with Tim Exile and Jon Hopkins as composers and co-performers) and the German audiovisual project Moderat
(Modeselektor + Apparat + Pfadfinderei).

Other highlights include a special set by Jeff Mills, “The Trip”, in which he will perform a live mix of hundreds of images; Mary Anne Hobbs, who will be introducing four of the interesting representatives of today’s urban beats; and several Spanish artists, such as Internet2 or Angel Molina.

Encounters at the End of the World by W.Herzog

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

The set of Herzog’s latest movie, the Oscar-nominated documentary Encounters at the End of the World, was one of the most inhospitable locations he has worked on. Previously, he has scaled volcanoes, suffered calamities in jungles on three continents and filmed in war zones; even so, there was something elementally terrifying about the reality of a working day in Antarctica.

He was invited to film on the southern icecap by the US agency the National Science Foundation, which offers a limited number of grants to artists. Herzog proposed using a two-man crew – a cinematographer, plus himself as soundman – which meant he saw off a rival proposal from Titanic director James Cameron, who wanted to take a crew of 36. “You have to understand that to maintain one person for one single day in Antarctica costs roughly $10,000,” Herzog says. “Every drop of water requires desalination. One leaf of salad has to be flown eight hours from New Zealand. Cameron would have absorbed so many resources that he was not invited.”

Herzog’s Encounters is an alternately mordant and ecstatic portrait of a harsh environment and the people who live there; not oddballs, Herzog insists, but research scientists, philosophers and vulcanologists, who we see peering into viciously active lava fields. There are the expert divers who drill 30ft vertical holes through the icecap to access its frigid, sci-fi underside, and then dive below to film. “These people only seem odd because when you look at the media and magazines, there is this kind of uniformity of people. Down there, you have characters who do not fit into magazines.”

Full article @

Le Corbusier – The Art of Architecture

Monday, May 4th, 2009

19 February 2009 – 24 May 2009
Barbican Art Gallery

Le Corbusier (1887-1965), widely acclaimed as the most influential architect of the 20th century, was also a celebrated thinker, writer and artist – a multi-faceted ‘renaissance man’. His architecture and radical ideas for reinventing modern living, from private villas to large scale social housing to utopian urban plans, still resonate today.

The exhibition charts how Le Corbusier’s work changed dramatically over the years; from his early houses inspired by the regional vernacular of his native Switzerland, the iconic Purist architecture and interiors for which he is best known, his master plan for Paris in the 1920s, the shift to organic forms in the 1930s, and the dynamic synthesis achieved between his art and architecture.

PJ Harvey and John Parish

Monday, May 4th, 2009

I have been to this intimate gig at Shepherd Bush Empire in London.

They were promoting their second studio album
A Woman A Man Walked By

Luke Fowler @ Serpentine Gallery

Monday, May 4th, 2009

7 May – 14 June

A central figure in Glasgow’s vibrant art scene, Luke Fowler creates cinematic collages that break down conventional approaches to biographical and documentary film-making.

Fowler’s films have often been linked to British Free Cinema of the 1950s, whose distinctive aesthetic came out of a conscious decision to engage with the reality of British society. Fowler uses similarly impressionistic sound and editing, and avoids didactic voice-over commentaries and narrative continuity. However, the artist moves beyond simply referencing the work of his predecessors. He intuitively applies the logic, aesthetics and politics of his subjects to the films he constructs about them.
The results are atmospheric, sampled histories that reverberate with the vitality of the people he studies.