Monday, 22 October 2012

Liverpool Biennial 2012 The Cunnard: Nadia Kaabi-Linke

The first stop of the Biennial is the Cunnard Building, one of the three graces of Liverpool. It holds a lot of the work by many artist especially Mona Hatoum. The piece that strikes me in this building the most is Nadia Kaabi-Linke's film art which takes a new spin on film art. Where normally the spectator looks at the video screen or screens, in this piece that is not possible as the video screens are opposite each other and are communicating. This means the spectator must stand at the side and watch or stand in front of one screen and not see the other. On one screen there is a filled church with people from different ethnic backgrounds and the other screen is a pair of lips. The lips will ask a question and the people on the other screen will answer the question. The questions asked by these lips are the questions which would be asked when applying for a visa to enter the UK. This is playing very well with the theme of hospitality. The voice of the lips is very monotone and done in one breath which is quite effective as it shows the long dull process of trying to enter the UK. The reason for the different backgrounds on the large screen is due to the different minorities the UK has and also this piece shows a lot of the time the UK will presume guilty without a fair hearing. This shows the UK as not being as hospitable as it should. The piece is called NO, 2012. I could not get a photo of the lips as the lips are projected from behind so my camera could not pick them up as it is too bright.  

Thursday, 18 October 2012

FACT: Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present

I did not no much about Marina Abramovic before I saw this film but I had vaguely heard the name. I knew nothing of the work she had done but after watching this film I find her fascinating and her work also really interesting. The film, The Artist is Present, is based around the exhibition which she did at MOMA, New York, in 2012 and took place for 3 months. You learn about her life as an artist and a small bit about her past such as her parents who were in the army and saw that her life was very structural as a child which is a possibility to why she can probably do all these performance art for such long periods of time. The film goes through the forty years of her life which she has given to performance art. The pieces in which Marina cant be forgotten because they are all shocking and she has such a fun personality from what I saw of her in the monologues in the film. The film goes through when she met Ulay and shows all their work together which involves showing domestic violence such as Ulay slapping Marina and vice versa. The reason why we see all their works is because this exhibition in New York shows all these pieces but instead of Ulay and Marina doing them its up and coming artists which Marina has chosen and gotten to know so that she can trust them. She needs to be able to trust the artists because whilst they are doing her old projects she is doing her new project upstairs. The new piece is called The Artist is Present where she sits at a table and the audience one by one can come and join her. All she does is looks up and stares at the spectator. With the stare it creates a connection between the artist and the audience. This connection has many different effects on people, some feel nothing whilst others are overtaken with emotions and in the film there were a lot of tears. One was Marina when Ulay came and sat down. This was emotional for Marina because of the artwork, Nightsea Crossing 1981, which where the two artist sat opposite each other everyday for many days. Marina in this work however sat everyday from 10:30-17:30 for 3 months which takes a lot of self control. Overall Marina Abramovic is a Performance artist who not only wants performance art to be a serious form of art such as painting and she uses her body to push this style of art forwards.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Bodies Revealed: Liverpool One

The Bodies Revealed Exhibition is happening at Liverpool One till the 2nd of January 2013 and is an exhibition by Dan Thomas and shows real human bodies, people who gave there body to science once they passed on. It shows the spectator what is inside us and makes you want to find out more about how we move and what things do to us. It shocked me to see the effects of alcohol and cigarettes have on the body by placing healthy organs next to damaged ones. The exhibition isn't gruesome and actually makes it very artistic and pleasant to look at. My favourite part was a right arm from shoulder to fingers showing only the blood vessels with no bone, muscle or ligaments and skin just red veins and its so nice to look at and seems like something you could have on a mantle piece or centre of the table. The most shocking part of the exhibition was in a closed off room and was the embryos. There were four embryos each getting older as you moved along. the most shocking was the abortion limit embryo which looks like a fully formed baby and it makes you think. The exhibition was shocking and it was a learning process as it showed you every single part of the body from the brain to the sexual organs to the unborn babies. The exhibition was also art and Dan Thomas told the BBC that the exhibition is 'a unique fusion of anatony, science and art'. I could not load a photo of the exhibition as no cameras or phones were allowed.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Out Of Place: Leung Mee-ping

In the 4th Floor of the Copperas Hill Building, is a piece which i really enjoyed by the the Artist Leung Mee-ping. It is film art and the artist has been to five differnet places: Hong Kong, Tokyo, Smokey Mountain Manilla, Bangkok and Varanasi. What makes the art works interesting is that the artist has chosen someone to follow for 10 to 20 minutes around the city. the person has no fix place and they very through the different places such as in Bangkok the artist follows an old lady in the weekend market and in Varanasi he follows a cow. a poem called on the road, a wonderer is placed next to the five projections:

The words talk about how they will take there time and not worry about what everyone else is doing. The reason why I personally like this art work is that last year i went travelling the world and saw Varanasi and all the cows and went to the Weekend market in Bangkok. I know what its like to be a wanderer and feel lost in these huge cities like Bangkok, only keeping to myself and people I know. I love it how the artist took a cow to follow in Varanasi as the cow is as important as people in India. They are higher than people and they go perfectly with this poem as they wonderer the streets, no one gets in their way. 

Liverpool Biennial 2012: The Monro

Set in above a Pub and in an area which looks like a bed and breakfast or Hotel, you walk into a very basic looking room with a bed chair and desk with closed curtains suggesting its night time. The piece is by Markus Kahre and is is called No Title. At first you assume its just a standard room and you think is pretty dull and don't understand what your supposed to be looking at. Then you notice the wallpaper which has lots of the same repeated Venn Diagram saying in one ring 'Guest' and the other ring 'Host'. This is Marcel Duchamp's Equation 'A Guest + A Host = A Ghost'. So when you see this all over the wall you do get a little but creep out and the feeling of the supernatural pops up. Walking through the open door in the room you find your self in an identical looking room but the curtains are lighter so you feel like its daylight. When walking past the mirror you realise what this whole piece is about. looking straight into the mirror you can see a the reflection of the room your standing in except for the fact that you are not in the reflection! First off I ran off a little shocked and then came back and not only are you not there but you can see smoke coming through the door which you just came through. you swing round to check that your not in trouble and you just see the darkened room. What the artist is trying to achieve with this piece is the feeling of a haunting and plays along with hospitality as a haunted place is where most people will try to avoid. Making this hotel/inn/B&B a haunted place makes a hospitable environment inhospitable. I also wondered whether or not the artist is trying to put into your mind what life is like after death. You look in a mirror and you not there, so you assume he try to make me a ghost and then you look at the smoke in the mirror and you think to yourself, 'maybe this is how I died'. 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Liverpool Biennial 2012: Copperas Building: Unexpected Guest

The Copperas Building is the largest sorting postage building in Merseyside, so is a fairly impressive space. I love how they transformed the space into different countries such as Hong Kong, Taipei and St Petersburg. It fits well with the idea that your in a sorting room where mail has come from all over the world and they have now put the world into the space. However this is not the attraction i wanted to mention. The Unexpected Guest by Jorge Macchi is a very well done installation. Apparently what he tried to create was the feeling of the viewer being immersed in water, however when i walked in i just saw bent steel poles of different sizes and shapes. Wasn't until the Biennial Volunteer told us what to look out for did it suddenly click. The artist has has not just used the steel poles in his art but also the walls surrounding the poles have also been painted to create this water environment. He has painted a 1/6th of the wall from the floor upwards a darker white and at this point every pole is bent. the bent pole signifies a straw in a glass of water when it has been refracted. the pole is the straw and the dark white is the water. I like how the steel poles look like they could have come from the building its self as it is a very mechanical building. The picture above is the map they hand to you when you walk in to not get lost and show you when to go and shows all the place names on it which has places on it to make you feel more like you are travelling!

Liverpool Biennial 2012: The Bluecoat

The central hub of the Liverpool Biennial is held at the Bluecoat and one piece of work held there is film art. It is by John Akomfrah and is called The Unfinished Conversation. its around 45 minutes long and is filmed using archived photos and film from the mid to late 20th Century on Racism in the world. It is shown on three-channel video and the screens are large. The screens flick between film, photos and orange screens for breaks between each section. The film can at sometimes be shocking with violence and death and is based around Stuart Hall's memories. Stuart Hall was born in Jamaica and studied at Oxford where he received his MA. He worked for the New Left Review, one of the most influential political journals, and is more to the left on the political spectrum as the name suggests. During the film Stuart Halls voice is played over the film and he talks about his life. What Akomfrah was achieving in this art work was to show the theory that identity is not a being but instead becoming where peoples opinions are formed in real and fictive spaces. the Liverpool Biennial is running till the 25th November 2012 and is all about contemporary art and is all over Liverpool and from what I have seen so far is great and well worth a see!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Chinese Art at John Moore Painting Prize: Walker Gallery

The Photo-realist art work in the John Moores Painting Prize out of the Chinese art works is incredible. The art work is called Aphasia by Hu Wenlong. When first looking at the art work you straight away think to yourself its obviously a photograph. However only paintings are allowed to be entered into this competition and then you look closer and you discover that the ears do look highly finished but not from lack of artistic skill but because the artist made the nose the most highly finished part of the work so in photography terms is in focus and the further the parts of the face get from the nose the more out of focus it becomes. This work is incredible and reminds me a lot of Chuck Close's Big Self-Portrait, 1968, where he has a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. However where Close's photo makes him look relaxed and has an element of cool all over him, Wenlong shows us just him and in the photo you can see him and just him. You can tell theres something going on in his head though. When first saw this painting i found it utterly amazing and best thing i have seen in a long time.

Liverpool Biennial 2012: Open Eye Gallery

When Volunteering at the Biennial i had to cover a lunch time shift at the new Open Eye Gallery, which is a building which looks fantastic on the outside and at the moment is holding works which are fantastic but creepy at the same time. I walked in and a woman called Ellie thanked me for helping out and she shows me to where ill be seated. First Ellie hands me a torch and says take a look for yourself. The work is called Parks and I entered the pitch black room, with my torch being the only light. I assume its going to be film art until I face my torch to the nearest wall and capture a photograph. I wonder over to this photograph slowly and see what it shows. To my shock I suddenly see a man lying on top of a woman in also a dark scenery. i notice there's another one next to it and again the same subject matter, sex outdoors. i keep moving round the room and the photos change from you watching people have sex or you watching people watching people have sex. I really liked how the artist, Kohei Yoshiyuki had us in a black room with only at torch so we become one of the watchers. although there are no trees around you have the sense of feeling you are spying on people doing intimate things which brings a whole 3-dimensional element to photography. the photographs is what the photographer discovered when he went out night into the parks in Tokyo and saw the hidden side to the city!