Thursday, 30 August 2012

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

New website

Have spent the last few days fighting with the complexities of website design and publishing - finally got something to work.

Also see some imovie films from my digital camera and recent super 8 filming.

I quite like this one

Friday, 24 August 2012

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Drawing of the week

Drawing done by eldest son, when young, for his Grandmother who was recovering from a knee replacement operation

Nana Bell finally released with her new knee.
She could reach New York 3 minutes before Concorde.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

dOCUMENTA (13) - Final thoughts and some trends

Going home today - did some Super 8 filming on platform 13 of the Haubsbahnhof - could turn out well.

Key trends from the exhibition for me were

The rise and rise of the female artist

My favourite works were by Tacita Dean, Susan Hiller, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Susan Philipsz, Lara Favaretto, Mika Taanila and Cevdet Erek - more women than men. More humour and emotion in the female pieces of work.

Sound Installations can work

Up until now, I haven't really been moved by many sound installations - this all changed with Susan Philipsz's piece, probably because it was so well linked to location and the specific history of the place. The Cevdet Erek installation in a vacant floor of C & A again worked really well, as its location within a modern retail store was also a comment on modern consumerism.

Use of technology

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Millers Alter Bahnhof video walk was even more effective after listening to the Susan Philipsz sound piece in the same location.

Mixing a Situationist walk with an Ipod and headphones, including reality with the traumatic history of the location and adding dream sequences along with some humour was riveting and hugely thought provoking - it has led me back to the station to film and plan my own Super 8 film piece.

Why do all Germans wear rucksacks ?

Are they planning to pitch camp at a moments notice? Are they all on their way to a music festival ? What is it they carry in their sacks?
I don't think they are carrying "How to queue" instruction books...

Video installations are hard work

Apart from Willie Doherty's 20 minute piece Secretion, beautifully filmed with an initially intriguing story line and Mika Taanila's excellently presented and filmed 15 minute piece, The Most Electrified Town in Finland, the many other video offerings were difficult to engage with - I feel the artist/curator has to do more to help the viewer settle down for what seems like a long time when there is so much else to see.

Humour works

Susan Hiller's five jukeboxes and the 102 songs chosen to reflect the human spirit and history of protest, fighting for our rights to be individuals, used a subtle level of humour and I enjoyed the hunt for all five - what if there was a hidden sixth jukebox ?

Books and Swiss Chard

Why is it now ok to deface, mistreat and damage books - I thought we had decided that was a bad idea, even in the name of art.

Best new material was the use of Swiss Chard - best when using all 63 varieties ...

So I went to dOCUMENTA (13) and all I came back with was this image of a lousy T-shirt

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

dOCUMENTA (13) - Day Three, Part One

Started early to get in-line for the Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller Alter Bahnhof video walk at the train station. Armed with an ipod and headphones, you are taken through the station and as events unfold on screen you get increasingly confused as to what is real and what is not.

Taken to the memorial for the Jews who were sent from this station to the concentration camps - completely missed this the previous day.

Just to make it even more confusing I started to video my walk.

I also liked that it wasn't a purely a linear walk - a couple of dream sequences took you to Kassel's forest and its bunkers, both of which were locations for the exhibition, at one point the batteries on the ipod warned they were near to the end but it turns out these were the artists video camera batteries and you go through a black screen while these are changed, and also a challenge by the cinema security guard as to whether you'd taken his image, leading to rewinding the film.
My next video is when I thought I had turned my camera off but it has a nice 'in the spirit of the artists' feel about it.

A fellow walker in a one of those back exits you only find in the cinema/theatre.

Last of my videos following a virtual brass band , watching the virtual ballerina be attacked by the virtual dog ... or was it all real ?

Ipod returning centre where they are recharged ready for the next art enthusiast.

Really enjoyed the 12 Ballads for the Huguenot House by Theaster Gates - great name - he has activated an old dilapidated hotel into a venue and permanent sculpture. He employed a number of development in-training builders from Chicago and Kassel and has in making this work at the same time mended some of the damage done from the bombings in the war.

Opposite to this, was a room full of books on walls by Paul Chan.

Also in a nearby vacated bakery were some small paintings by Francis Alys - liked the building more than the work, which was a shame as I normall love his stuff, full of humour and observation.

Stopped for a coffee and the chance to tick off number 3 on the Susan Hiller jukebox trail - Frank Zappa duly selected.

The Neue Galerie had a few exciting pieces - not sure if this was one of them.

Leaves of Grass by Geoffrey Farmer, is almost 40 metres long and comprises cut out images from Life magazine, from 1935 to 1985, on sticks.

More books, this time blocking up the library door ...

Found number 4 on the Susan Hiller jukebox hunt, this time complete with lyrics of all the songs, including Frank's.