Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Trisha Baga & NO BROW

Benjamin Hirte | Lisa Holzer | David Jourdan | Nick Parker | Philipp Timischl | Nicole Wermers | Westphalie
curated by Katharina Zimmer

12 Apr - 1 Jun 2013

Installation views / Ausstellungsansichten:

Trisha Baga, Werner Eats His Shoe, 2013, One 2D projection on glow-in-the-dark-paint and 3D projection on foam panel with spackle, paint and half disco ball, format variable, installation detail, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2013

Trisha Baga, Werner Eats His Shoe, 2013, One 2D projection on glow-in-the-dark-paint and 3D projection on foam panel with spackle, paint and half disco ball, format variable, installation detail, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2013

Trisha Baga, Werner Eats His Shoe, 2013, One 2D projection on glow-in-the-dark-paint and 3D projection on foam panel with spackle, paint and half disco ball, format variable, installation detail, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2013

David Jourdan, Untitled (Neighborhood details, and others you may twitter), 2013, silkscreen on paper, 100 x 70 cm

Philipp Timischl, “Untitled (Full Motion/London)”, 2013, mixed media, 134 x 95 x 5 cm

Nick Parker, Untitled, 2013, dyed cement, epoxy resin, foil, 19 x 14 cm

Installation view, NO BROW: Benjamin Hirte | Lisa Holzer | David Jourdan | Nick Parker | Philipp Timischl | Nicole Wermers | Westphalie, curated by Katharina Zimmer, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2013

Lisa Holzer, Chanel 539 JUNE passing under Carrot Juice, 2013, pigment print on cotton paper, 88 x 68 cm

right: Nicole Wermers, Müsliregal (Eigenmischung), 2013, powdercoated steel, Müsli, Fixings, 2.5 x 42 x 280 cm
Benjamin Hirte, o.T. (the method board pattern), 2013, inkjet print on paper, 420 x 105 cm; Lisa Holzer Chanel 505 PARTICULIÈRE passing under Cocoa, 2013, pigment print on cotton paper, 88 x 68 cm

Benjamin Hirte, o.T., 2013, Wick cough sirup, Sinupret drops, plinth, 25 x 165 cm

Trisha Baga, Hercules, 2013, Blue ray 3D video projection onto piece of paper and 3D glasses, format variable, Galerie Emanuel Layr, 2013

Westphalie, Trisha Baga & No Brow (Der Popper-Knigge), edited by Katharina Zimmer, 2013, invitation cards and B&W photocopies (Der Popper-Knigge, Hamburg, 1979), stapled; song (ABC, The Look of Love, 1982).

Trisha Baga & NO BROW
Benjamin Hirte | Lisa Holzer | David Jourdan | Nick Parker | Philipp Timischl | Nicole Wermers | Westphalie curated by Katharina Zimmer
11.04.2013 – 01.06.2013
Aesthetic has long become a commodity of the twenty-first century, has already been internalized by mass culture and has been implemented by the market as a functioning construct of values, lifestyles and experiences.
Trisha Baga & NO BROW is a trial version of two separate shows interlacing and corresponding with each other. It takes as its point of departure the interest of young artists in the appearance and design of the everyday and its free circulation through visual circuits of distribution. By regurgitating styles of their surroundings, the artistic positions in Trisha Baga & NO BROW not only reflect the re-calibrated relation between applied and autonomous art, but also probe the currency of design as a diagnostic tool to uncover the hidden ecologies of the things that fill the lifeworld. However utopian current approaches to design may be, this show focusses on artistic strategies of re-staging and reiterating designed networks, activities and services. Doing so, the artists that come together in the show explore anew the modernist promise of universality and democracy in today’s era, in which the modern dualisms of subject and object have irrevocably proven obsolete.
After all, as Bruno Latour would have it, only a conception of a democracy expanded by a non-hierarchical inclusion of things, or non-human beings and networks can meet the challenges of the present. The mode of distraction here acts as the show’s undercurrent to parallel today’s shifting relation between the tangible, the virtual and the detached flows of information. This mode is reflected in the show’s format that resembles a one-armed bandit. Trisha Baga’s solo installation shall hereby act as the initiating coin – an activating stream of consciousness, surfacing various strings of thought and different layers of questioning the possibilities of being and making today. By staging comments and works of Benjamin Hirte, Lisa Holzer, David Jourdan, Philipp Timischl, and Nicole Wermers in the gallery spaces next to Baga’s installation, NO BROW will showcase the contemporary nexus of production and consumption and the role of visual encodings and unfixing circulation within it. All artists are invited to contribute to this investigation of contemporary strategies of marketing and the “universal merging with the universality of the commodity form in the amnesic code of exchange value.”1
1Egenhofer, Sebastian, Abstraktion, Kapitalismus, Subjektivität: Die Wahrheitsfunktion des Werks in der Moderne, München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2008.
Galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna

Upcoming Art Fairs:
LISTE 18, Basel 11 - 16 June 2013 (Lisa Holzer)
Frieze Art Fair, London Frame 11 - 14 Oct 2013 (Benjamin Hirte)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Close Approximations: a new international translation contest

From Asymptote
One promise Asymptote made during our Indiegogo campaign was "to hold a new international translation contest." Well, here it is. Our first post-campaign venture, born from your amazing support, is to give our support to emerging translators the world over. Ready for your big break?


"Close Approximations," our new international contest, will be judged by two translators we greatly admire, Eliot Weinberger (poetry) and Howard Goldblatt (fiction), and we're offering 1,000 USD to the winner in each category, as well as publication in Asymptote. The winners and shortlist will be announced in our January 2014 issue.

Continue Reading

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blood on Everyone’s Neck

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Blood on the Cat’s Neck presented by Torn Space Theater is an erratic labyrinth of unresolved psychological problems, explosive emotions and unspoken desires that is so overpowering it looks nothing less than surreal. At the same time however, there isn’t a single line in the winding dialogues which is not genuinely human and thus close to our own experiences and thoughts.

This is precisely what makes Fassbinder one of the greatest ideologues of contemporary cinema and theater – the ability to bring together so many different facets of reality and come up with a work that seems to be out of this world. In Blood on the Cat’s Neck this ethereal atmosphere is enhanced by the presence of a member of another planet, Phoebe Zeitgeist, who is sent to the Earth in order to report on the state of democracy.

The play, under Dan Shanahan’s direction, can be roughly divided into two parts – the first one, in which the action is driven by the eight earthlings, four women and four men, who converse with each other in series of changing pairs, and a second one in which Phoebe herself takes over the scene and carries out her mission.

As Dan Shanahan himself remarked after the end of the performance, Fassbinder has left no specific stage directions in his script, so the entire concept of the stage and costume design has been created by the Torn Space Theater production crew. The set designer, Kristina Siegel, talks about the “clinical white” of the stage and the white costumes of the eight humans merging with the surrounding space. In sharp contrast to them, Phoebe is dressed in black, to separate herself not just from the appearance of the human beings but also from their moral and emotional weaknesses and sensibilities.

Indeed, the spatial construction of the stage induces associations with the lens of a camera, the camera through which Phoebe inspects the life of the humans. Instead of the proverbial fourth wall, here Fassbinder breaks the first wall, the barrier between front stage and back stage, opening up the space between the voyeuristic alien and her observees and hence between them and the audience who feels somewhat uneasy, or perhaps on the contrary – a bit more relaxed – knowing it is not the only one watching what is going on on the stage.

Phoebe is by far not just a voyeur, at least not a conventional one, for she is not concerned so much with the actual actors she is observing, with their specific characters and traits, as she is with their interactions. The figures themselves matter to her to the extent to which she is able to learn to copy them perfectly in order to use their own weapons against them. And their weapons are precisely what they use to harm and humiliate each other – their words. Soon, it becomes clear that the suffering they cause each other through them is, despite the way it may actually appear, not deliberate; that perhaps the exchange of deeply-penetrating, emotionally-condensed phrases each pair utilizes is in actuality a monologue derived not from the desire to inflict pain on the other but rather to get rid of the pain inside one’s own soul and conscience.

In this sense, even the harshest insults we hear from the ruthless Lover or the hotshot Model, the sadomasochistic Teacher or the coarse Policeman, are not meant so much to crush their opponents, as they are to help the speaker express the pressing psychological issues within them. Relatively early on it becomes evident that the topics regarding material difficulties such as the need for money, secure accommodation, a reliable job or a stable partner are really just the surface of a much deeper matter – of the sense of security and love whose lack leads to disastrous instances of miscommunication and emotional (self-)abuse.

What the entangled paths of the verbal expression of these problems ultimately lead to is by itself a catastrophe whose external executor becomes Phoebe Zeitgeist. In the second part of the play, when she takes the reigns of the action in her own hands, it is as if she embarks on a bloody crusade to free the world (hers or ours?) from the presence of the poor losers whose helpless tirades she’s been listening thus far. What makes the scenes to follow even gloomier is the feeling that such a tragic fate can hypothetically be reserved not just for Fassbinder’s characters but basically for every one of us, since we are, in our suppressed desires and fears, not too much different than the people in the play.

As was already pointed out, Phoebe is not just a voyeur. But she isn’t a mere witness of the verbal and moral crimes of the eight protagonists either. She is the council of the jury at a trial personified, and not just that – she get to be the judge, executing the sentence, too. In a way however, she is also the convict committing a crime after she has already been brought to the trial organized by the audience. It has embraced her out-of-this-world look and presence on stage, has taken it for granted and has assumed throughout the play what she might do in the end. She does not disappoint us and fulfills her share of the deal. Should we be proud of ourselves for correctly predicting what she is about to do? Or should we be ashamed of ourselves, of the protagonists, of humanity in general, for letting itself fall prey to an alien vampire because of its irreversible vices and weaknesses? Is that all we can pass on to an extraterrestrial visitor to our planet – violence and cruelty?

Torn Space Theater’s production and the amazing play of the actors will make you think about these and many more issues, whether you like it or not. Because, as a character in the play says, “You can’t avoid suffering.” But, as another one exclaims, “When you’re unhappy, you have to talk about it.” And that’s exactly what Blood on the Cat’s Neck does and why it is still so important today, more than three decades after it was first written.                      

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Celebrating the Historic Poster Collection of Hans Sachs

RARE Exhibit of Posters Stolen by Nazi's
By: Teresa R.

sample of posters stolen by Nazi Propagandist, Goebbels
 Universally declared "the most significant collection of its type in existence"

Rare posters seized by the Nazis in 1938 from a Jewish dentist on the orders of Hitler's Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, then held behind the Iron Curtain in Communist East Berlin, are here in Western New York to be on display and available for purchase one night only Friday, May 24, 2013 from 6-9 pm at Urban Design, LLC located at 21 Elm St. First Floor, East Aurora, NY.

"That we were able to obtain these rare works of art is a miracle and honor in and of itself. We feel so fortunate to be a part of their journey and to share them with the people of Buffalo, " says Lisa DeCarlo, of Urban Design, LLC. “We obtained approximately 30 of these rare posters through what I can only describe as divine providence. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time!” The posters made their nationally celebrated arrival into New York the same time that Hurricane Sandy did, and well...the rest is history.

Universally declared, the 'most significant collection of its kind in existence', over 12,000 of them were seized by Goebbels who wanted them for a museum of his own, on Kristallnacht Nov. 9, 1938. Hans Sachs, the owner of the poster collection was taken away to a concentration camp never to see his prized collection again. Hans Sachs managed to escape from the concentration camp a few weeks later through the help of his wife who managed to obtain British visas for him and his family.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, 4300 of the posters were found in Berlin's German Historical museum. Hans Sachs son, Peter Sachs fought for seven years to get them returned to the family. Peter Sachs decided to auction off the posters so they could finally be enjoyed by the people who loved them like his father did. The value of the poster collection is estimated between 6 and 21 million dollars, and include works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Lucian Bernhard, Ludwig Hohlwein, Wassily Kandinsky, Käthe Kollwitz, Max Pechstein, Otto Dix, and Jules Cheret.

The posters were made to last an average of six weeks, because they were designed to be posted up on a wall, to advertise a club or an event. The fact that they are still in existence and in some cases looking as bright and vibrant as the day they were printed is miraculous.

After the war, Hans Sachs assumed the collection had been destroyed and accepted compensation of about 225,000 German marks (then worth about $50,000) from West Germany in 1961. He learned five years later, however, that part of the collection had survived the war and been turned over to an East Berlin museum. It's not known what happened to the other posters.

Sachs wrote the communist authorities about seeing the posters or even bringing an exhibit to the West to no avail. He died in 1974 without ever seeing them again. Peter Sachs only learned of the existence of the collection in 2005, and began fighting then for their return.

Legal battles went all the way to Germany's top federal appeals court, which ruled last March in favor of Sachs, saying that if the museum kept the posters it would be akin to perpetuating the crimes of the Nazis.

This ONE NIGHT ONLY event is FREE and open to the public. Private showing for members of the press, holocaust survivors and their families or art collectors will be Thursday, May 23, 2013 from 6-9 pm. RESERVATIONS for private showings can be obtained by calling (716) 714-5861 or (716) 491-1637
About Urban Design, LLC:

Founded by Lisa B. DeCarlo, interior designer recently featured at this year’s Junior League Decorators’ Show House, with command central at 21 Elm St. First floor East Aurora, NY, the showroom can be likened more to a museum than that of a workshop. According to Lisa, Urban Design is about the team and the integral part within each of them that strives to be different and innovative.
Second, it's about the shared appreciation for reinterpretation...incorporating industrial and architectural antiques made by innovators of another time in every original Urban Design.

Third, simply put, the commitment to the "Three Rs"...we RECYCLE, we REPURPOSE, we RETHINK.

If it can be imagined...it can be created!

Visit Urban Designs at http://www.urbandesignreclaimed.com/ or call (716) 714-5861 to schedule a consultation.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Truth and Circumstance

By Ela Bittencourt
From Artforum

Tinatin Gurchiani, The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear, 2012, digital video, color, sound, 97 minutes.

“MEMORY IS WHAT WE RECORD IT TO BE,” filmmaker Peter Wintonick said at the conference of the eighteenth “It’s All True” (IAT) documentary festival. No one understood this better than Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov, whose montages extolled the Bolshevik revolution. In collaboration with the Austrian Film Museum, the festival, with over eighty titles reaching five Brazilian cities, staged a Vertov retrospective, comprising early newsreels, shorts, and seven full-length films.
From reverse to stop-motion and concealed camera positions, Vertov embraced cinema’s ability to awe and to estrange. In A Sixth Part of the World (1926), his kaleidoscopic vision spans modernizing cities and the Siberian taiga, with machinists, huntsmen, and shamans made to embody the Soviet nation’s latent energies. At the end of his first feature not made of found footage, Kino-Eye (1924), Vertov cuts away from young pioneers to a circus elephant in Moscow. His digressive art later influenced Chris Marker and Jan Švankmajer, among others.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Writing Freedom

The Biannual PEN International WiPC Conference & ICORN Network Meeting, Krakow 14-17 May 2013 

On the eve of the third Czesław Miłosz Literary Festival, the Biannual PEN International WiPC Conference & ICORN Network Meeting – the most important international institutions bringing together writers from all over the world and promoting human rights – will take place in Krakow. 

The conference will be held under a title Writing Freedom and will gather nearly 200 guests from all over the world, including Belarus, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, the Philippines, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Nigeria, Netherlands, Norway, Polish, Russia, South Africa, Slovakia, Slovenia, the United States, Switzerland, Sweden, Great Britain, Hungary, will participate. This is the most important event of its kind in the world.

Read more

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

European Night of Museums: After-dinner art

From CNN Travel


Hundreds of museums to put on events and exhibits for free, to attract nocturnal art and history hounds 
Hergé museum in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Hergé museum in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, where you can find a Tintin flea market. Achluophiliacs with a cultural bent, there's a night of the year made specially for you.

The European Night of Museums on May 18 will see hundreds of museums across Europe offer after-hours visits.

Organized by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, the European Night of Museums is in its eighth year and coincides with the International Day of Museums.

Many museums, mostly across Europe, will be putting on performances, events and installations specially for the event and for free to the public.
Continue Reading