Tuesday, February 28, 2012


enrica berselli
antietherea, 2010,
olio su tela, cm 100 x 150,

Monday, February 27, 2012

she waited so long

adriano persiani
she waited so long, 2012,
abito, metallo, sangue,
cm 42 x 113

Sunday, February 26, 2012

christian rainer

christian rainer
"uomo che dorme seduto con scarafaggio sulla testa", 2012
stampa fotografica,
cm 50 x 40

l'immagine qui fotografata è caratterizzata dalla stessa
imprevedibilità e apparente casualità del sogno. una
scena che si è costruita senza alcuna premeditazione, una
visione ad occhi aperti avuta al primissimo albeggiare e in
uno stato di dormiveglia.
aprendo gli occhi l'autore dello scatto, ha gradualmente
riconosciuto la propria ombra in posizione seduta e leggermente ranicchiata, con in più il sigolare dettaglio di un insetto che gli camminava sulla testa; ma l'ombra, in vero, è solo la proiezione dei vestiti lasciati sulla
sedia la notte prima. l'oscurità e l'inquadratura non studiata "disturbano" la percezione dell'evento testimoniando la contingente necessità di dover fissare quell'attimo casuale ed effimero che un solo momento di distratto ritardo avrebbe per sempre annullato. ne consegue la testimonianza visiva di quello che è di fatto un sogno ad occhi aperti, un presagio oscuro e fugace che solo la combinazione fortuita di oggetti, luce, posizione del letto, ha reso possibile. un'illuminazione resa paradossalmente possibile dal buio stesso

Saturday, February 25, 2012

demere sollicitudinem

gilda scaglioni, francesco petroni,
demere sollicitudinem, 2012
seta, piume, ferro, gesso,
dimensioni variabili.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

la dama che dorme

At midnight, in the month of June,
I stand beneath the mystic moon.
An opiate vapour, dewy, dim,
Exhales from out her golden rim,
And, softly dripping, drop by drop,
Upon the quiet mountain top,
Steal drowsily and musically
Into the universal valley.
The rosemary nods upon the grave;
The lily lolls upon the wave;
Wrapping the fog about its breast,
The ruin moulders into rest;
Looking like Lethe, see! the lake
A conscious slumber seems to take,
And would not, for the world, awake.
All beauty sleeps! - and lo! where lies
Irene, with her Destinies!
Oh, lady bright! can it be right-
The window open to the night?
The wanton airs, from the tree-top,
Laughingly through the lattice drop -
The bodiless airs, a wizard rout,
Flit through thy chamber in and out,
And wave the curtain canopy
So fitfully - so fearfully -
Above the closed and fringéd lid
'Neath which thy slumb'ring soul lies hid,
That, o'er the floor and down the wall,
Like ghosts the shadows rise and fall!
Oh, lady dear, hast thou no fear?
Why and what art thou dreaming here?
Sure thou art come o'er far-off seas
A wonder to these garden trees!
Strange is thy pallor! strange thy dress!
Strange, above all, thy length of tress,
And this all solemn silentness!

The lady sleeps! Oh, may her sleep,
Which is enduring, so be deep!
Heaven have her in its sacred keep!
This chamber changed for one more holy,
This bed for one more melancholy,
I pray to God that she may lie
Forever with unopened eye,
While the pale sheeted ghosts go by!
My love, she sleeps! Oh, may her sleep,
As it is lasting, so be deep!
Soft may the worms about her creep!
Far in the forest, dim and old,
For her may some tall vault unfold -
Some vault that oft hath flung its black
And wingéd panels fluttering back,
Triumphant, o'er the crested palls,
Of her grand family funerals -
Some sepulchre, remote, alone,
Against whose portal she hath thrown,
In childhood, many an idle stone -
Some tomb from out whose sounding door
She ne'er shall force an echo more,
Thrilling to think, poor child of sin!
It was the dead who groaned within.
edgar allan poe (the Sleeper,1831)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

dead unicorns: apocalyptic anxiety in canadian art

david altmejd’s enchanted forest (installation for the Canada pavilion at the 2007 venice biennale) was symptomatic of a rising interest in myth and magic among contemporary Canadian artists that we can relate to the anxieties of climate change and environmental degradation. Counter to one’s expectations, the trend’s cast of monsters, mutants, fairies and witches aren’t starring in escapist fantasies, but in disturbing visions that articulate our collective sadness and fear.
Artists have long turned to nature for comfort and inspiration in troubling times. The Romantics resisted the dehumanising effects of the Industrial Revolution by taking a renewed interest in the landscape, and the modernists rejected venerated Enlightenment values in the wake of the First World War by exploring the aesthetic traditions of so-called ‘primitive’ cultures, which were considered to live in prehistoric communion with the land. Today’s troubling blend of global conflict, civil unrest and economic collapse surely heralds another retreat to Arcadia; however, as Canadian artists have been quick to realise, nature is no longer the safe port in a storm.
In 2011 Canadians have already seen record-breaking seasonal floods in Manitoba, historic firestorms in Alberta and deadly heatwaves in Ontario and Quebec. In February, we held our breath as our neighbours to the south prepared for what’s now referred to as the 2011 Megastorm, and in April we mourned when a freak tornado outbreak killed more than 300 Americans. These extreme weather patterns are due in large part to our changing climate. The severe spring forest fires in Alberta, for example, were caused in part by the pine beetle outbreak, which was triggered by a series of unusually mild winters followed by hot, dry summers. Normally the pine beetle is an integral part of the regional ecosystem, eating dead or dying trees in order to make way for new growth. However, their rampant numbers and the expansion of their habitable area resulted in huge areas of forest being ravaged. The affected trees lit like matchsticks, and it took no fewer than 1,400 firefighters to tackle the blaze. To add insult to injury, the firestorm released an enormous store of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and the ecosystem’s capacity to process the warming gas has been severely compromised by the loss of green space.
These signs of crisis weigh heavily on the Canadian consciousness, which is tied irrevocably to the country’s vast stretches of untamed land. Canada is the world’s second largest country and over seventy per cent of the population lives within 150km of the US border, leaving an expanse of unpopulated wilderness to the north that continues to the magnetic pole. The power of that space is evident in the Canadian art tradition, which is itself dominated by the landscape genre. Our quintessential export is The Group of Seven, a band of plein-air painters who sought out dramatic natural vistas in canoes loaded with canvases. Fringe member Tom Thompson gained legendary status after disappearing in Algonquin Park during the summer of 1917. The artist’s mysterious death strengthens our romantic attachment to the Group’s works. The most uninhabitable region of Canada is the Arctic, and still we sing out our reverence for ‘the true north strong and free’ in our anthem, revealing the tie between our national identity and our natural heritage. The Arctic is currently experiencing the most extreme and visible effects of climate change. For Canadians, environmental ruin is immediate and personal; in these times of crippling chaos, we’re also mourning our swelling rivers, burning trees and melting glaciers. With the human and natural worlds in disarray, we turn inward to our respective dream worlds, which are also, unexpectedly, plagued by disease, death and disorder.

reading Vanessa Nicholas

Christy Langer, Heavy Head (2010) courtesy Magic Pony

Saturday, February 4, 2012

marcel broodthaers

Dal 26 gennaio al 6 maggio 2012 il MAMbo - Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna è lieto di presentare Marcel Broodthaers. L’espace de l’écriture, la prima retrospettiva completa in Italia dedicata all’artista belga, a cura di Gloria Moure.
Marcel Broodthaers è una delle figure più rivoluzionarie ed influenti nell’arte del Novecento, ancora oggi imprescindibile per comprendere lo sviluppo delle ricerche artistiche e teoriche degli ultimi decenni. La sua critica costruttiva e ironica verso il sistema dell’arte come specifico sistema ideologico e il ruolo politico dell’artista nella società ha posto questioni sempre più centrali nel dibattito critico internazionale, rivelando l’attualità stringente delle sue sperimentazioni tese ad esplorare e ridefinire il significato della creazione artistica.
La mostra con cui il MAMbo rende omaggio al genio di Marcel Broodthaers valorizza nella sua complessità e nella sua estensione un percorso artistico sviluppatosi nel corso di una straordinaria carriera durata soli 12 anni dal 1964 al 1976. L’espace de l’écriture introduce per la prima volta al pubblico italiano un’ampia selezione di circa cinquanta lavori provenienti da prestigiosi istituzioni internazionali, tra cui l’Hamburger Bahnhof Museum di Berlino, lo SMAK di Gand e il MACBA Museo di Arte Contemporanea di Barcellona, che documentano i temi principali della poetica dell’artista: il rapporto tra arte e linguaggio, lo status dell’opera d’arte, la critica del museo come dispositivo e idea.
Il progetto curatoriale dell’esposizione intende verificare come la relazione tra immagine, oggetto e parola costituisca il tema centrale e costante della ricerca di Marcel Broodthaers e ne abbia fortemente condizionato tutto il processo creativo.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


The reputation of French filmmaker Jean Vigo is built on the slightest of canons, with the young director making just four films – only one feature-length – and dying aged 29 from rheumatoid septicaemia contracted during filming. L’Atalante (1934), the film that emerged, was mutilated and rendered unrecognisable by paranoid producers, and closed within two weeks of release, presumably to sink without trace. However, decades later, Vigo is hailed as a visionary and pivotal member of the cinematic avant-garde, and L’Atalante ranks highly on innumerable “best film” lists, with homage paid in the works of Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and the Nouvelle Vague movement as a whole. Now, at last returned to the form its director intended, L’Atalante is showing at the BFI Southbank, bidding to feature on Sight and Sound’s “Greatest Films of All Time” poll for 2012.

"Bridging the gap between 1920s surrealism and 1930s poetic realism, L’Atalante has a delicate simplicity rarely seen in modern cinema"

Bridging the gap between 1920s surrealism and 1930s poetic realism, L’Atalante has a delicate simplicity rarely seen in modern cinema. Set on a grubby barge traversing the canals of Northern France, it stars Jean Dasté and Dita Parlo as Jean and Juliette – a sea captain and his new wife – who, innocent, inexperienced and barely knowing each other, are embarking tentatively on their married life, accompanied by drunken barge-hand Père Jules, a cabin boy and innumerable cats. As the boat chuggs along the Seine, Vigo tracks the clumsiness, the ecstasies, the anxieties and tenderness of a very human love affair, without once having recourse to high flown rhetoric or melodrama. Instead, the awkward pleasures of a wedding night, Juliette’s irritation at being cooped up, Jean’s jealous rages, the lovers’ separation and eventual rapprochement are all captured with a masterful lightness of touch, rendered against the claustrophobia of the barge, the bright lights of Paris and the quizzical gaze of le Père Jules, who, with a belly full of wine and a kitten on his shoulder, works to reunite the couple in the end.
This is a film about the most prosaic of subjects, yet one that sings with the poetry of human truth, playing on tiny details that speak volumes more than the most grandiose dialogue. Jean and Juliette are a lowly pair, country folk bowled over by their desperate love for each other, and this desperation is shown in petty squabbles, stubbornness and impotent rages rather than verbose speeches. When his young wife runs off to see Paris, Jean calls her bluff and sets sail for Le Havre, leaving her to fend for herself. Rage cooled, their mutual agonies of separation are exquisitely portrayed: in a dreamlike underwater scene, a miserable Jean sees his wife’s figure swirling before his eyes, and, in a sequence of breathless eroticism, Vigo runs parallel shots of Jean and Juliette each dreaming of the other in their separate beds. This provincial pair are raised to the sublime by the purity of their feelings and actions, irrespective of their modest surroundings. At the end when, reunited, they fall to the floor in a joyous clumsy embrace, it is a timeless reminder that the picturesque Hollywood ending is not as romantic as a truthful, heartfelt depiction of what people really do.
L’Atalante is at the BFI Southbank until March 1 2012, and at selected cinemas nationwide until March 16.
(reading Tish Wrigley at anothermag.com)