In two single-channel video installations — “Postcard from Bexhill-on-Sea” and “La Providence” — Montréal-based artist Emmanuelle Léonard visited two aging communities: Montréal’s Grey Nuns and a British seaside retirement community. As individuals in both works talk about their expectations for the future, a stark difference in attitude becomes clear. We sat down with Léonard at Tuesday’s press preview to discuss the works.
In the Air – Art News & Gossip
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With just over a week before it opens on November 1, the second Istanbul Design Biennial has announced its list of participants. Curated by Zoë Ryan and Meredith Carruthers, with support from the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), this year’s edition is titled “The Future is Not What it Used to Be”; its 53 projects will be housed in the Galata Greek Primary School for the biennial’s six-week duration. Designers and their works have been divided into five sections (or “departments”): Personal, Norms and Standards, Resource, Civic Relations, and Broadcast. See below for the full list.
Three text pieces by Lawrence Weiner are the only works in the biennial not created in the past few years. Conceived in 1969, when Weiner was living and working Montréal, they arose from a trip he took to the Canadian Arctic with Lucy Lippard. The actions in the texts (“An Abridgement Of An Abutment To On Near Or About The Arctic Circle”; “A Natural Water Course Diverted Reduced Or Replaced”; “The Arctic Circle Shattered”) were actually enacted by Weiner on his trip. Weiner’s works are spread across three sites in the city: The Fonderie Darling (above), the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, and 1 Place Ville Marie.
On the final leg of its Smithsonian-organized, cross-country tour, Annie Leibovitz’s “Pilgrimage” exhibition will land at the New-York Historical Society from November 21 through February 22, 2015. While Leibovitz may be best known as a portraitist to the stars, this collection of images contains nary a celebrity portrait — at least not in the traditional sense.
To create the multi-part piece “Courtroom Drawings (Steubenville Rape Case, Text Messages Entered As Evidence, 2013),” 2014, LA-based artist Andrea Bowers transcribed the texts by hand as they were read aloud in a Steubenville courtroom last year. Although, as the title indicates, they were used as evidence in the case against the Ohio football star rapists, Bowers’s piece remains the only place that they are available en masse for the public to read. (“Why wouldn’t you try and help me,” reads one of the text messages from Jane Doe.) Large rectangular drawings painstakingly created with thousands of tiny blue marker hatches, they were inspired by the virtual space of cell phones. “This project is particularly personal for me because I’m from Ohio,” Bowers told Artinfo during the show’s installation yesterday. “This project is my wanting to have a document of what rape culture is.”
Though the age-old vacationing adage bemoans going somewhere and returning with only a lousy t-shirt, visitors to this year’s NADA Miami Beach may well change their tune. Thanks to “NADA x PAOM,” a collaboration between the fair and online design platform Print All Over Me, visitors to the NADA Shop on December 4 to 7 will find a limited edition series of shirts created by three artists represented at the fair: José Lerma, Amy Yao, and Sarah Braman. The shirts will also be available for purchase at the Print All Over Me site. Check out one of the designs below, courtesy of Lerma:
When Kentucky-based collectors Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown opened the first 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville in 2006, few could have anticipated that such a novel idea would spread across the midwest like wildfire. In the past eight years, the couple has opened locations in Cincinnati and Bentonville, Arkansas (home of the Crystal Bridges Museum) — and they have quite a few more in the pipeline. Early next year a Deborah Berke-designed property is set to debut in Durham, North Carolina (other locations are in the works in Lexington, Oklahoma City, Nashville, and Kansas City). With the North Carolina opening just months away, we called up 21c director Alice Gray Stites to see what guests (and art lovers) can expect to see in Durham.
Journalists, ready your cat puns: Rhonda Lieberman’s “Cats in Residence” is back. Those up on their kitty news will remember the installation’s inaugural appearance in Lieberman’s wildly popular “Cat Show” at White Columns in June of 2013 — a feline-themed group exhibition that featured over 50 artists, including Cory Arcangel, Mike Kelley, Barbara Kruger, and Marilyn Minter. The centerpiece of the show, however, was the live “purr-formance” piece “Cats in Residence,” in which actual, adoptable cats played in a structure specially designed by Freecell (a.k.a., John Hartmann and Lauren Crahan) and Gia Wolff; following the show’s initial run, 25 of the esteemed “purr-formers” found new homes. Now, Lieberman plans to bring the project to Hartford’s Real Art Ways on November 1 and L.A.’s 356 Mission on a date to be determined this December.
The description, at best, was vague. Or, well, not “vague” — in fact, the program text for “Mortal Kombat” was littered with specific referents, from krumping to Romulus and Remus to Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” and of course, a shout-out to the infamous early-90s arcade game from which it takes its name. The vagueness, then, lies in trying to imagine how exactly these elements might all come together in a single two-person performance piece. And so, at 11:45 pm on a Thursday, hoards of asymmetrically-coiffed onlookers flooded the Whitney basement to see what might transpire in the “mismatched physical confrontation” between poet/performer Ariana Reines and actor/writer Jim Fletcher, who conceived the piece together this past year during a residency at Toronto’s Gallery TPW.
Art and fashion are increasingly intertwined these days — they go together like John Baldessari and Rodarte, after all — but Crown Heights, Brooklyn-based German artist Kai Althoff put a distinctly different spin on highbrow couture during Frieze week. His debut exhibition with Michael Werner Gallery, on view through November 15, includes an array of mannequins; walls and floors covered with beige fabric; and a series of wool jumpers (with extravagantly flouncy sleeves and shoulders) that Althoff designed and fabricated. These leftfield fashion elements complement the artist’s eccentrically captivating paintings: beguiling, murky compositions that are occasionally tough to fully decipher in the low-lit room. The show’s press release, with delightful run-on sentences penned by the artist himself, is also a classic: “Having turned into a heavily opinionated and high-strung personality, which seems to brood with anger that unloads fast, Kai Althoff wishes to create an antidote to this state of mind, by work that aesthetically calms the soul and seeks to feed a notion of shelter in an elegant reflecting the utilization of art in the homes of people with good taste and intellectual brilliance in times long passed.”