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 […]

Too much world: A Hito Steyerl retrospective

My visit to Hito Steyerl’s first European mid-career museum retrospective at the Van Abbe museum in Eindhoven (curated by Annie Fletcher, 12 April 2014 – 22 June 2014) provided me with a plethora of impressions hard to summarise in a short review. As an artist making experimental film-essays and installations with webcam-generated found footage, I […]

‘Leviathan’: From sensory ethnography to gallery film

Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope? Can you put a cord through its nose or pierce its jaw with a hook? (Job 41) I entered the doors of the Whitney Biennial (7 March – 25 May 2014) with the specific aim of attending the 2pm screening […]

A spiritual journey in Bill Viola’s art

Exhibition: Bill Viola (Paris, Grand Palais, Galeries nationales, 5 March – 21 July 2014) Catalogue: Bill Viola (Paris: Éditions de la Rèunion des musées nationaux, 2014), sous la direction de Jérôme Neutres, http://www.grandpalais.fr/en/event/bill-viola From 5 March to 21 July 2014 the Grand Palais in Paris presented the largest retrospective ever dedicated to the American artist […]

Appropriation / Collaboration: Christian Marclay / Harrell Fletcher & Miranda July at the University of Michigan Museum of Art

On the University of Michigan Museum of Art’s (UMMA) website students have been spotted hugging a sculpture, conversing with a lifelike piece of clothing, or holding an inspirational banner encouraging others to love art. These uploads came out of a participatory art project the museum launched to promote and mirror its recent exhibition on new […]

The biennale as a device: 4th Athens Biennale

It is a cliché to say that times of crisis are good for art. For better or worse, this cliché seems to hold some truth for Greece during the past few years. It might be too early to evaluate the quality of art produced at this time. However, beyond any doubt, in the visual and […]

Fassbinder Frankfurt

The exhibition Fassbinder – NOW: Film and Video Art was installed at the Deutsches Filmmuseum Frankfurt from 30 October 2013 to 1 June 2014. It juxtaposed excerpts from films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945-1982) with works of contemporary film and video art by Tom Geens, Runa Islam, Maryam Jafri, Jesper Just, Jeroen de Rijke & Willem […]