Exhibitions – Part 4

Phoenix Brighton – Present Tense

PB 1  Kiki Stickl

University of Brighton – Cathie Pilkington

CP 4

 

CP 5

 

CP 6

 

CP 7

 

CP 8

 

CP 9

 

CP 11

Fabrica, Brighton – THEY

An exhibition by respected Turkish artist Ipek Duben comes to Brighton this Spring. THEY/ONLAR, a multi-screen video installation, previously seen at SALT, Istanbul, Turkey, will be presented at Fabrica for its UK premiere.

THEY/ONLAR focuses on how Turkish society views They or the Other. Through the stories of several individuals the artist goes behind the scene in Turkish society, allowing us to glimpse her country’s diversity of ethnic, religious and gender positions, the perceptions of members of the Sunni majority, and the everyday discrimination and resistance that it engenders.

In Turkey They covers many ethnic, and religious groups: Kurds, Alevis, Armenians, Jews, Rum (Greek) and Romanis. They also refers to LGBT people, women, covered women, women subjected to domestic violence.

Through their personal testimonies Duben’s subjects discuss their histories, attitudes, prejudices, hear-say and personal experiences concerning each other. But in portraying Turkish society Ipek Duben ultimately invites us to examine ourselves in our context: to listen; to learn; to understand; to be generous to, rather than threatened by the Other.

Co-produced with Brighton Festival and with the generous support of SAHA Foundation

Fabrica  images

 

 

 

 

 

Part 3 -Exhibitions 3

Rauschenberg – Tate Modern

I finally got to the Tate Modern to see the Rauschenberg exhibition. What struck me was how to look at the work that has become the iconic 60s images specifically the Combines and silkscreen paintings from the viewpoint of these being “new” and inventive departures from what was going on at the time.  In fact I found all these less impact -full than some of his very early  “scatole personali” (awkwardly physical).  These tiny disintegrating memorabilia reminded me of some of Susan Hiller’s boxes.   Heaped in meaning and significance.

But what I hadn’t known about were his collaborations with actors, composers and dancers and the creation of multi-layered theatre pieces. Some of the stage detail and running order scripts are themselves works of art.   I have collected a number of snippets from these:-

30 Large Desert Turtles with Torches Strapped to Their Backs

Spring Training 1965

Rauschenberg and Paxton took turns carrying each other like planks

People were carried around on brightly coloured boards reading out a newspaper backwards – Urban Round

Rauschenberg carried a sack containing a singer who sang an old Spanish song  – Open Score 1966

There is something about these suggestions of the live action that bring very strong images to mind.

Transfer Drawings

rauchenberg dante 2   rauchenberg dante 3 rauchenberg dante

Rauschenberg’s discovered technique of transferring images onto paper using lighter fluid led to his development of multi-layered series of images of Dante’s Inferno.  These amazingly detailed and delicate creations moved me more than anything else in the exhibition.   Probably coming across something so very different from the expected was part of it.   Also they encapsulate a depth of thought and vision which I didn’t find in the other work.  After these I find the silkscreens rather crude and something of the “factory” similar to Warhol’s output.  The transfer drawings are intensely personal and the introduction of different materials and techniques intriguing.

 

 

 

Part 3 – Exhibitions

William Kentridge – Whitechapel Gallery

The Refusal of Time

kentridge-1

The initial work encompasses many of Kentridge’s themes and working methods:-

“This work explores how the measurement and control of time, space and light have led not only to greater scientific understanding, but also to the exploitation of global resources and peoples.” (exhibition handout )

He utilises the depiction through complex made up machinery as above which reminded me of different mechanised textile machinery, early computers, depicting useless actions repeated again and again.

The room was surrounded by screens upon which an ongoing carnival of silhouettes of actors and dancers act out another repeating procession.   Screens also show early scientists engaged in experimentation.  You are surrounded by action, movement, engagement on what it is not clear.

kentridge-3

It is interesting to have so much happening in one space and it is difficult to “watch” any of the action for any length of time without being diverted by another action elsewhere in the room.   It is both distracting and attracting at the same time.

The Tapestry Library

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“The Streets of the City a horse gallops across two ancient maps, of southern Europe and of Italy’s Abruzzo region, These detached aerial views contrast with the drama of the animal collaged from slogans, emblematic of the street as a site of protest”. (exhibition handout)

Having come from a tapestry training I often find the work of artists translated into tapestry very disappointing because the images do not work well in the medium.   However this very strong image and its 2 other neighbours, are surprisingly strong and engaging.   Kentridge has used his collage technique to advantage in contrast to the details of the maps.   I also like the inclusion of the working lines, overlapping of what looks like photocopying and stray treads etc.

Right Into Her Arms

kentridge-6

Drawing from musical scores by Alban Berg and Kurt Schwitters’ sound poem Kentridge create a theatrical piece projected onto 3 moving theatre flats.   The flats move in and out turn and the images  influenced by the woodcut prints of Otto Dix, George Grosz etc intertwine around the “stage”.

This is an engaging piece using a variety of materials and methods intermingled onto the staged canvas that he has created.   I was inspired by this to buy a copy of Lulu an opera that he directed and designed in 2015. (more notes to follow when I have watched the opera).

O Sentimental Machine

kentridge-7

“A cast of megaphones, typewriters and movie cameras represent the 20th century technologies that drove progress and social change dramatised by Philip Miller’s score….Behind closed doors we see futurism become history as the gestures and props of revolution sink under water” (exhibition handout)

Conclusions

Kentridge’s extremely enjoyable and complex works defy my immediate analysis.   I was drawn to the variety that he uses in terms of method and image and the way he has confined this over time to produce very strong and thoughtful pieces.

Following the exhibition I have spent time watching many interviews and films on his work on YouTube – which I will refer to later.(see Bibliography).