What We Learned This Week
Anish Kapoor has created a “Brexit artwork” for the Guardian entitled A Brexit, A Broxit, We All Fall Down. According to the newspaper’s art critic Jonathan Jones, the image—like much of Kapoor’s work—uses colour to suggest “infinite voids”. He continues: “Kapoor suggests the damage [of Brexit] is even visible from space. His artwork might serve as a warning to any passing flying saucers: avoid this riven nightmare of a nation… Kapoor has captured our morbid obsession with the futile chasm of Brexit, the perverse character of a nation that wants, in some sad corner of itself, to be back in the trenches. A bigger trench this time, where meaning ends and reality dissolves.”
New research has shown that art venues are offered just half the budget of science museums for temporary exhibitions. According to UK-based startup Vastari, which connects museums to private collectors and commercial exhibition producers, the average museum budget for hosting a three-month exhibition at a “sobering” $58,000 (split between $44,750 for art and $80,000 for science), the Art Newspaper reports. The Exhibition Finance Report: Market Size Analysis is based on online and telephone surveys of around 500 museums on Vastari’s database between August 2017 and July 2018—62% art institutions and 38% science, largely from Europe (50%) and North America (41%).
French New Wave filmmaker Agnès Varda died last week, aged ninety. Known for her mastery across personal and essay cinema, as well as drama, satire, documentary and romance, her early films have been noted as preempting many of the concerns of the Nouvelle Vague movement that shortly followed in France. Varda’s 2017 documentary Faces Places, about her work with artist JR, earned her the accolade of being the oldest ever Oscar nominee. She sent along several cardboard cutouts of herself to attend the nominees lunch, since she couldn’t make it.
The ICA has announced the artists and writers participating in its forthcoming show I, I, I, I, I, I, I, Kathy Acker, which will take the form of a programme of performance, spoken word, talks and screenings including a newly commissioned performance based on Kathy Acker’s 1982 script Desire, facilitated by Kate Valk of The Wooster Group. Contemporary artists in the show include Caspar Heinemann, Ghislaine Leung and Bhanu Kapil, alongside those from Acker’s generation such as Jimmy DeSana, Coleen Fitzgibbon and David Wojnarowicz. According to the ICA, the show “addresses ‘Kathy Acker’ as a still-unfolding cultural force, focusing on the uniquely diverse and disruptive character of the author’s work and persona” and “presents key aspects of Acker’s work, while also highlighting her influence on artists and writers working today—particularly those occupying an area of contemporary practice that traverses performance and the written and spoken word—who share deep connections to Acker’s methodologies and her politics of literature.”
Massive massive hands in the air emoji for the good people of online radio station Know Wave, which has just published an in-depth look at the work of bonkers and brilliant band Black Dice. Mixing art, performance, sound and a broad sense of WTF for the past two decades, the band has consistently been like no other. This comprehensive history traces the very beginnings of Black Dice, spanning 1997-2000. The band will perform at MoMA PS1 in New York on 15 April.
Exhibition of the Week
Heidi Bucher, The Site of Memory, Lehmann Maupin, New York, 25 April to 15 June
Swiss artist Heidi Bucher was a sculptor and performance artist whose practise focused on ideas around women, the body and home. In the 1960s she developed her “skinning” process, in which she pressed gauze against the surface of a building, object or person; smoothing liquid latex onto the gauze and then peeling it off to create huge molds that bore the dirt and grime of the objects they’d been pressed against. The pieces hung like weird fleshy skins that, according to Lehmann Maupin, looked to reflect the ways that trauma and memory enter the body. This exhibition features work from the mid-1970s through the 1980s including 1976 sculpture Borg, which was created from a latex casting of the artist’s studio cellar.
Quote of the Week
“There’s a sense of tender introspection in being alone with our bodies; it’s an intimate and complex relationship”
—Ellie MacGarry discusses our complicated negotiations with our physicality, celebrating tan lines and a full bush.
Instagram Account of the Week
Soo Jin Lee is a brilliant graphic designer and illustrator with a punchy use of colour and and even punchier sense of wit and humour in her work. “A former baby, current graphic designer, future skeleton, and a distant future pile of dust” is how the South Korean creative describes herself on Instagram. If her work somehow doesn’t really make ya think, that bio surely does.