Archives of the present − memory work in the making: ‘Transmission from the Liberated Zones’ (Filipa César, 2015)

National libraries, museums, and archives are potential sites for knowledge production and shared memory work, but they tend also to be monuments of state power, of selection and exclusion. Film and moving images have always played a formative role in cultural commemoration, and the resistance of cinematic counter-memories has also famously illuminated the critical potential […]

Confronting the screen. Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest at the New Museum

Today, with computers, TVs, and mobile phones, everything is flat and put behind glass – our feelings, histories, longings. We’re all separated from each other, for the human being that we are in contact with is always behind glass… But with art, we can jump out of our loneliness. – Pipilotti Rist Pipilotti Rist: Pixel […]

William Kentridge: Thick Time

William Kentridge: Thick Time, curated by Iwona Blazwick at Whitechapel Gallery (London), is a travelling survey exhibition by a major South African artist that brings together six large-scale multimedia installations produced between 2003 and 2016.[1] Images and sounds propel me visually, sonically, and spatially across time and continents. I walk through the exhibition for the […]

A place between desire and experience: Afterthoughts on Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting

‘I want the evocation of space, a place between desire and experience.’ This calls forth from a screen suspended in the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg on the occasion of the exhibition Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting. Playing onscreen is the footage of Carolee Schneemann’s performance Meat Joy (1964), in which Schneemann’s declaration forms part of the […]

‘Pierdom’ by Simon Roberts

Simon Roberts is a British photographer whose work centres on questions of people and place, particularly in regard to the construction and promotion of national identity. From 2011-2013 these interests fuelled a project titled Pierdom (http://pierdom.com), for which Roberts toured the British coastline capturing the country’s 58 surviving pleasure piers as well as a few […]

The milieu of poetry: Yuri An’s ‘The Unharvested Sea’ and ‘Sailing Words’

For the past couple of years South Korean artist Yuri An has been producing a compelling body of work which closely relates poetry, moving (and to a lesser extent still) images, and a series of self-published books which feature her writing. In 2015 she was a recipient of the Seoul Museum of Art award for […]

Re-enacting pre-existing image collections in Akram Zaatari’s ‘Unfolding’

Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari’s exhibition Unfolding at Moderna Museet in Stockholm (7 March – 16 August 2015) is what you may call a hybrid exhibition in the sense that it includes several different media and makes use of various exhibition formats.[1] The exhibition can be divided into two separate but interrelated parts. The first part […]

Ryoji Ikeda at ZKM

Under the title The New Art Event in the Digital Age, ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe’s GLOBALE program hosted and presented 300 days of exhibitions, cultural, and education events (April 2015 to January 2016) celebrating the 300th birthday of the city of Karlsruhe.[1] Given the dedication of ZKM to art and media technology […]

Theaters: Cinematic vintage magnified

The pictures gathered in the photographic series Theaters are the perfect attempt to exemplify the challenging task to find a crystallised form to cinematic duration. Analog in their technique, they not only represent the impressed trace of an instant in which the authors freeze an existing referential index, but they actually feed the rich debate […]

Hollis Frampton’s ‘other work’

Hollis Frampton, CEPA, 20 June – 5 September 2015, Buffalo, New York, with ancillary exhibitions at Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center, Dean Brownrout Modern Contemporary, and the Western New York Book Arts Center Hollis Frampton featured an excellent exhibition of photographs and other visual artifacts by the pioneering American filmmaker, artist, and writer. […]

Artists’ Film Biennial, ICA 2014

Over the last two decades a resurgence of interest in the cinematic has marked certain areas of the contemporary art world in what has come to be known as its ‘cinematic turn’.[1] Art institutions continue to reflect a growing interest in the moving image in its many forms, whether through the presence of moving image […]

Arab Pop: Whose Gaze is it Anyway?

How does the West view the Arab world? Edward Said described the guiding aim of the Western gaze as ‘corrective study’.[1] Later, Ella Shohat and Robert Stam would come to use the term ‘eurocentrism’ to refer to this hegemonic mode of ‘unthinking’ representation.[2] More recently, in the wake of countless attempts to dramatise the ‘violent […]

David Reeb: Traces of Things to Come

On 30 May 2014 the Tel Aviv Museum opened the exhibition Traces of Things to Come featuring the Israeli artist David Reeb.[1] On the heels of this opening came the 10th Tel Aviv International Colloquium of Cinema and Television Studies, titled Cinematic Traces of Things to Come and focused on the mediation of impossible pasts […]

Reaching out!: Activating space in the art of Olafur Eliasson

Heading for the exhibition’s main hall, I finally reach a series of rooms where the floors have been covered with rock and gravel. I am hesitant at first, lingering by the doorpost before I tentatively step out onto the otherwise empty riverbed landscape. The experience is bewildering in all its simplicity. Making my way through […]

McMansion of media excess: Ryan Trecartin’s and Lizzie Fitch’s SITE VISIT

Ryan Trecartin’s and Lizzie Fitch’s SITE VISIT (2014), curated by Ellen Blumenstein and Klaus Biesenbach at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, is an exaggerated, exhibitionistic orgy of media excess. Dozens of easy chairs are distributed throughout the multiple rooms of the installation space. Screens and speakers adorn walls and ceilings. Movies shot in the […]