Alla inlägg under april 2009

Av Lars Vilks - 29 april 2009 11:23

Falke Pisano (b. 1978, Holland)


Pisano is working with the relation between text, context, objects and time. In the Ladonia Biennial  she has made a video work on a subject that she has been engaged in earlier. The project E-1027 brings up topics like modernism, feminism and rivalry but also the relation between text and possible objects.


The Irish architect and designer Eileen Gray (1878-1976) built her house E-1027 with her lover and designer Jean Badovici in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin on the French Côte d’Azur between 1926–29. Her friend Le Corbusier was very impressed by this piece of modernist architecture and became obsessed with it. During a stay there he added rather ill fitting paintings on the wall and later he built a house of his own overlooking Gray’s villa. When Le Corbusier died in 1965 he was swimming in the sea directly in front of the house. The letters and numbers in E-1027 is a code for the builders: E = Eileen, 10 = J(ean) 2 = B(adovici), 7 = G(ray). Gray most well known piece is probably the Bibendum chair which can be seen in the film in the living-room of E-1027.


The film begins with a quotation from Jean-Luc Godard’s Band ā Part (1964) but not with the original music. The story of Gray and Le Corbusier is turned into a small soap opera which ends with one of Pisano’s text readings.

 E-1027 is shown in the New Museum in Ladonia.
Av Lars Vilks - 27 april 2009 19:11

Shozo Shimamoto, was born in Osaka, Japan in 1928, he is an authoritative member of the Gutai Group, which was formed in 1954 in the Kansai region.  Other important figures included in the group were the likes of Yoshihara Jiro, Kanayama Akira, Murakami Saburo and Shiraga Kazuo.  The activities of the group helped evolve western art for sixty years.

In 1957 the Gutai Group presented the "Gutai Stage Exhibition”, which for the first time in art history Shimamoto put together a stage like exhibition where he used a gun to fire colours.  Shimamoto also combined these activities with the audio of John Cage and the result were given to the Pompidou centre in Paris and the Museum of the City of Ashiya.  In 1993 it appeared in the Biennial in Venice with the Gutai Group. 

In one of his famous performances he was symbolically penetrating the sacrosanct picture plane of painting by throwing himself through several layers of rice paper, leaving traces of the event -- the hole surrounded by jagged shards of paper -- as the work of art."


More of Shimamoto’s work can be viewed at The Tate Modern alongside Jackson Pollock and Lucia Fontana.


Shozo Shimamoto died in 2008.


Untitled 2009

Av Lars Vilks - 27 april 2009 12:22

The two days seminar (April 25-26) in the Biennial had many highlights and created a lot of discussions about what goes on in the artworld beyond the surface as well as some general conclusion about the status of art in our society: 

Professor Boris Groys gave a speech about how politics have become aesthetic and a form of art. (extract on YouTube below)  

Jennifer Allen, critic living in Berlin, talked about secrets and gossips in the artworld: "I deal with facts only, albeit facts – I can’t believe I am writing these words – that cannot be reported. There are so many more questions, projections and possibilities, which have also been left out of the discussion as we whisper and worry about our own names being softly spoken to someone else. What lies beyond the state and the market? Can art still be considered a social good, distinct from other commodities? /.../Unfortunately – this sentence I am going to shout – I cannot really address these issues in relation to the events that are happening right now in the contemporary art realm because no one wants to be quoted." 

Allen showed this picture from 1964 of Margarette Lampkin telling Andy Warhol a secret at an art factory party.

Av Lars Vilks - 26 april 2009 12:53

Jan Håfström (b. 1937, Sweden) launched his artistic career during the 1960s with borrowings from comics and other media in the spirit of Pop Art. He has alternated between figurative and abstract painting, made films, sculptures and worked as an art critic.

In recent years he has been celebrated for a new form of figurative painting in which Walker, the alter ego of Fantomen (the Phantom) the comic hero, plays a prominent role. Walker is a critical depiction of the masculine role today – isolated and silent. At the same time he is a disrespectful observer who can see the shortcomings of society – by virtue of the distance he keeps from it. Both these qualities link him to Håfström himself. A development that began very early on in Håfström’s case and that his childhood drawings bear witness to.

Immersing oneself in Jan Håfström’s works can sometimes be like going astray in a visual hall of echoes, where a mass of images from different times, places and situations intermingle, collide, form new patterns and new meanings and dispatch us to the inner recesses of our memories. To our childhood. To our dreams and nightmares. But also to a multitude of magazines, books and movies. And to other art.

Av Lars Vilks - 25 april 2009 22:46

Rosa Barba, b. 1972, Italy


The cinematic works of Rosa Barba capture the moment before a crucial action. Describing an intermediate condition where the meaning for an instance dissolves to leave a view of incompleteness behind.  The works confront the public with the experience of possibilities and occasionally with its mere absence.  Barba works with film, sound, text and photography.  Many of the film and sound works are about incidents, which show signs to be on their way, but do not fulfil themselves. What exactly takes place remains open and will be the product of our fantasies, our memory and our assumptions. Established amongst invention, scientific analysis, volition and imagination the plots of Rosa Barba’s stories grow at the seams of the construction of fictitious and authentic realities.  The tension of duration and moment (extended time vis-a-vis a single instant), lined up events and minimal sensations create the imaginary paths of her network.

More about Rosa Barba's work in the Biennial in Herald News.

Av Lars Vilks - 25 april 2009 10:22

Sarat Maharaj, one of the three curators of the exhibition, made this statement at the opening of Biennial:

For the curatorial discourse of this Biennial, we propose to say ”Can You Keep A Secret?”. This represents the theoretical basis from which we hope to explore our critical vision. ”Can You Keep A Secret?” is not a denial of the importance and rewards of the intellectual tradition of hidden agendas; in the real world, the political conditions criticised by kept secrets have not receded, but in many ways are even further entrenched under the machinery of globalisation. However, as a leading discourse for art curatorial practice and criticism, kept secrets are showing its limitations in being increasingly institutionalised as an ideological concept. Not only is it losing its edge as a critical tool, it has generated its own restrictions that hinder the emergence of artistic creativity and fresh theoretical interface. To say ”Can You Keep A Secret?” is not simply a departure, but a re-visit and a re-start.
In this Biennial we wish to draw attention to the political correctness at large that is the result of the power play of multi-culturalism, identity politics and post-colonial discourse. Urgent issues facing curatorial practice today are: How do we establish an ethics of secrets within the framework of secrets in cultural production? How do we prevent a tyranny of the hidden agendas without sacrificing the grounds already gained against the power status quo?
For some years major international contemporary exhibitions around the world have worked towards building up discursive sites for a cacophony of voices and negotiated spaces of diverse values, emphasising correctness in cultural politics; these have inadvertently triumphed to the neglect of independent pursuit of artistic creativity and alternative imaginative worlds. Concepts of identity, multiplicity and difference are now slowly losing their edge to become new restrictions for artistic practice, succumbing to the phenomena of false representation and multi-cultural managerialism. In response to this, the curatorial project of the First Ladonia Biennial centres on mulling over multi-culturalism and its limits within the larger perspective of Can You Keep A Secret?.
The Can You Keep A Secret? calls for the renovation of the theoretical interface of contemporary art, in order to depart from its all pervasive socio-political discourse in an endeavour to work together with artists and critics to discover new modes of thinking and fresh analytical tools for today’s world. The curators hope this Biennial will be a process of discovery for ourselves, and not just the fleshing out and illustrating of readymade theories and preconceived ideas. In trying to explore what this Biennial is, we wish to carry out a parallel inquiry into what it should not be. In this sense, this Biennial may be understood as a locus of questions for all of us involved in the international art world, starting with an exercise in the hidden secrets of the artworld. We hope to uncover, with the help of artists and thinkers, elements of the paradoxical reality veiled by contemporary cultural discourse, to make contact with realms that slip through the cracks of well-worn concepts such as class, gender, tribe and hybridity – all of which are exclusively made for the artworld. We hope to think together with artists and critics, and investigate through their practices and projects to find what new modes and imaginative worlds are possible for art beyond those already heavily mapped out by socio-political discourses.

Av Lars Vilks - 24 april 2009 20:17

Sheela Gowda's (b. 1957, India) work occupies the spaces between painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation. Initially trained as a painter, Gowda underwent a profound transformation in the wake of fundamentalist Hindu violence and the Bombay riots of 1992. It was at this time that she abandoned conventional forms of painting and turned to sculpture and installation. She also made a dramatic shift in her choice of materials, incorporating into her work substances and processes from traditional Indian culture such as cow dung, which has sacred implications but is also used as a domestic cooking fuel and building material, and Kum Kum, a red dye used for body adornment and rituals. Consciously blurring the line between fine art and craft, and between creative, political, and domestic spaces, she makes formal investigations into the possibilities of contemporary art while also questioning the role of female subjectivity in the often volatile mix of religion, nationalism, and violence in contemporary Indian society. Works in the exhibition: 

Dancing (And...II) 2009 

Two Knots (Ground Shift) 2009

Av Lars Vilks - 24 april 2009 11:54

Chu Yun has remained in continual pursuit of obscuring pain and happiness and his work proves skeptical of dispositions that can be clearly defined by explicit suffering, joy, tragedy or anger. Chu Yun's pursuit of the hidden derives from his recognition of the real. This has, in turn, made him more and more willing to abandon the use of strong visual images to attract the viewer and has left him instead to tackle the question of how an artist can become a medium for transcending the visible stuff of everyday life. In this exhibition, This is Unspeakable, Chu Yun’s is inviting invite people to experience the invisible power hidden behind the external appearance of his artworks. About this, the artist states: "In the end, you will realize the disappearance of your imaginary works, which, however, return to the works eventually.”

 Chu Yun was born i Jiangxi, China, 1977. He lives and works in Beijing. 

This Is Unspeakable, 2009

The work of Chu Yun in the Biennial This Is Unspeakable is relational. People are seldom sleeping in Ladonia. But it happens and more often visitors take a small nap in the sunshine when visiting. During the biennial all sleeping will be a work by Chu Yun. Those sleepers who wants to become an official part of the project can report their sleep (name, date and length of sleep) to the Biennial Administration.

Chu Yun in Ladonia

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