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Av Lars Vilks - 4 maj 2009 10:36

John Baldessari (b. 1931, USA)

John Baldessari is a well known veteran within conceptual art. His work often attempts to point out irony in contemporary art theory and practices or reduce it to absurdity. His art has been featured in more than 120 solo exhibitions in the US and Europe.


Much of Baldessari's work involves pointing, in which he tells the viewer not only what to look at but how to make selections and comparisons, often simply for the sake of doing so. Baldessari critiques formalist assessments of art.


Shore with Persons of Different Nationalities, Photo 2009


Av Lars Vilks - 3 maj 2009 10:53

Tamara Grcic (b. 1964, Germany)

In the last years, the artist has been working predominantly with natural objects. First, she studied and documented during the course of many months the various stages of decomposition of different fruits and vegetables. Arranged and formalised, and thus held at a distance, the still fresh, or already rotting, mouldy, running, or shrivelled objects demonstrated for a short period to the outside viewer as well a very own capacity for transference. Their material presence, the fact that actual changes can be seen and smelled, created an invisible context of emotions and associations, without allowing a reduction to one pattern of interpretation.

In a series of steps, each oriented towards a specific spatial, temporal, or situational context, Tamara Grcic has expanded the thematic space of her works and made their borders increasingly permeable. The hermetic grasp of natural cycles has transformed itself into a more playful dealing with the material which she places in other contexts and combines with formal elements. This leads to a creation of transitions between naturalness and artificiality, real conditions and imaginary possibilities.


In the biennial 700 oranges "visit" the art space and are spread across a large part of the room on irregular display-tables. Their actual reality lies in another cycle which here only for a short time intersects with art.
In the central market, these fruits circulate in daily and seasonal cycles in significantly larger quantities. Their organic existence is subject to exact time schedules and transport routes that are run through quickly in order to keep the fruits fresh until they reach their destination. Like an industrial product, they are part of a more or less homogeneously accessible offer of commodities. The short stay in the biennial interrupts this time schedule. What becomes important is how they are individually arranged, the tension they create in another space, their display, their colour, and the smell they emit. The displacement, the freeing from their normalised boxes, leads to an intensive physical charge that would under other circumstances remain concealed.

For Tamara Grcic, this reveals for a moment an imaginary reality existing between two otherwise separated worlds. But in the film three oranges escape for a short time. Its feedback, in the end, leads to an actual detour: it was originally intended to only borrow the oranges and then hand them back over to their usual cycle. As this was not possible for reasons of foodstuffs law, the project was enabled by the donation of a Ladonian wholesaler. I her video work Untitled (Escape of the three oranges) Grcic makes a humoristic comment on her work in Twelve Hour’s Exhibition in Portikus, Frankfurt (2008). Questions concerning the decay of natural objects, the logistics of the fruit market and gender are posed in an amusing way when mirroring Sergei Prokofiev’s opera The Love for Three Oranges
Av Lars Vilks - 2 maj 2009 12:39

Anya Zholud (b. 1981, Russia)
Anya Zholud is a very young artist that rapidly emerged on the Moscow art scene in 2008. Her interest in simple objects ("everything around us is so complicated that I want to make everything easier and clearer"), her intent gaze at them, and her attempt to uncover their essence ("anyone can draw, yet I want to make things look convincing and important and to turn them into art") along with her classical arts education and assured brush quickly attracted the attention of the international artworld. Zholuds sculptures are a kind of three dimensional drawings and a common subject is furniture.

Schematic Space of Elementary Happiness – Sofa, 2007, Installed on the shore opposite the entrance to Ladonia New Museum

Gynaecological Office – Table and Chair, 2008, Installed on Highway no. 1

Av Lars Vilks - 1 maj 2009 09:55

Spencer Finch's installations take form in a variety of different mediums, but he is probably best-known for his work with fluorescent lights. In some works, he attempts to recreate the exact color and intensity of light that existed at a specific place and time.

Sunlight in a Passing Cloud in Ladonia (1 Second, 24 Hours)

The artist recreates a moment in that visionary country’s sky also veers toward the overly clinical. Finch used a colorimeter — a device that measures the density of a color — to record the light in a passing cloud. To replicate it, he created a bank of fluorescent lights and a large cloudlike form made of blue, purple, yellow and gray lighting filters.

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.

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