Sunday, 27 December 2015

chance meeting on a dissecting table...

This one comes from the latest issue of WIRE magazine, a drawing by Matthew Avignone. By the way, we have listened to a lot of gorgeous new music this year: Julia Holter, Holly Herndon, Ian William Craig, Joanna Newsom, Jenny Hval, S. Araw Trio, Micachu & the Shapes, Circuit des Yeux, Matana Roberts, Heather Leigh, Grimes, Joan Shelley, Natalie Prass, Hieroglyphic Being, Oneothrix Point Never, U.S. Girls and loads more. It's been a rich and generous year, at least when it comes to the soundscape. 

Monday, 14 December 2015

hasior's photonotes

Two excerpts from the legendary Władysław Hasior’s Photo Notebooks - the series Matter, 1970s. Hundreds more will be uploaded tomorrow at the Warsaw Museum of Modern Art's website

Sunday, 15 November 2015

An unidentified object (styrofoam, moss, soil, ants) in Zakopane, Poland. 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

the sheep, goose and rainbow in the dark)

The children book Fåret, Gåsen och regnbågen i mörkret (The Sheep, Goose and Rainbow in the Dark) accompanies the exhibition Rainbow in the Dark: On the Joy and Torment of Faith at Malmö Konstmuseum. It's quite a gloomy and psychedelic set of conversations between the Black Sheep and Wild Goose, two main protagonists, who muse over religion, miracles, mythical beasts, psychoactive mushrooms and marble balls. The book was illustrated by Magdalena Karpińska. 

Friday, 23 October 2015

mirage at the national museum in warsaw

Today at the National Museum in Warsaw, with Łukasz Jastrubczak, we will be presenting Mirage. In Order of Appearance. The film is an adaptation of the book, which the full, self-explanatory title is: MIRAGE. A book of travel and social observation consisting of 50 text chapters and 50 photographs describing the adventures of a group of artists whose works allude to such historical trends of the late sixties and early seventies as conceptualism, minimalism, and land art, as well as fictitious ones (green conceptualism or the Lafayette Hills School), who are in complicated professional and personal relations (such as the romantic, torrid relationship of J. L. and A. T. Z.) and spend their time cooking, meditating, and tracing the vestiges of the work of such predecessors as the mythical figure R. (a writer, sculptor, and artist of textual interventions in the landscape) whose texts comprise the foundations of an actual book, interspersed with the hard-to-verify story of the hitchhiker M. who is going blind, and a description of the fate of the L. family, accompanied by “intermissions” in the form of excerpts from folk and country songs and instructions for works of art that can be made by the reader to accentuate the visual modules of the book, based on meticulously selected evidential material collected during a journey around the United States during the winter of 2011, 27 years after the opening of the neon installation in the Chronos and Coatlicue Hotel.
The screening, 90-minute long will be accompanied by a presentation of selected objects from the CENTRUM collection - they are to hidden in the exhibition Hoplites. On the art of war of ancient Greece.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

armageddon – the end, a topographical survey

One more work from the Rainbow in the Dark. On the Joy and Torment of Faith exhibition: the series Armageddon – The End, A Topographical Survey, 2013 by Carl Johan Erikson. For two decades Erikson has worked on the conceptual documentation of practices and artefacts in the Pentecostal Church’s contexts and environments. The project’s physical point of departure is the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel and Palestine, which is believed by some to be Armageddon, where the Antichrist will gather his troops for the final battle between good and evil. The valley is strategically important to the region and more than thirty bloody historical battles have been fought there over the course of four thousand years. Erikson grew up as a member of the Pentecostal Church, and the great fear of not being ready when Jesus returns to Earth, and being left behind, continues to influence the artist even to the present day. Erikson spent three weeks in Armageddon on a number of occasions in recent years. 

Thursday, 15 October 2015

amulet survival kit for placebo life disorders

One of the works shown in the Rainbow in the Dark. On the Joy and Torment of Faith at Malmö Art Museum - an object from Michael Kessus Gedalyovich' ongoing series Amulet Survival Kit for Placebo Life Disorders, 2014-2015. 
In 2014, Gedalyovich embarked on a journey in order to meet healers, muslim mystics, practical kabbalists, shamans, and amulet-makers who might have knowledge unknown or unrecognized outside their communities. He hopes to thereby find ways to recapture the mysterious and magical power of art – a capacity that was put aside during modern times. During and after his journey he creates magical talismans from his own prescription medical pills and objects that collected along the way. 
The exhibition preview opens tonight, at 7 pm.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Rainbow in the Dark: On the Joy and Torment of Faith

This Saturday, at Konstmuseum Malmö, we are opening Rainbow in the Dark: On the Joy and Torment of Faith is an exhibition on art, religious rituals, mysticism, spirituality and faith - a sequel to the project first presented at SALT Galata in Istanbul, which referred to the socio-political and religious context of Turkey. For the project at Malmö Konstmuseum, a new constellation of works accentuates the context and image of Sweden as a secularised society and its contemporary challenges related to religious and ethnic conflicts.
The term ‘post-secular society’ has been used lately in reference to the adaptation of European political consciousness to the increased visibility of immigrant communities and the heightened profile of faith in public debates. The broad perception of global conflicts in terms of religious strife also strengthens the general consensus that the return of religion has emerged as one of the most important factors in global politics and culture today.

Late modern and contemporary art are considered fortresses of secular values in society, and the twentieth century introduced us to new art media and forms that aligned themselves with progressive technology, secularity and radical subjectivity. The ideas that have fed into art come from modern philosophy, liberal politics, psychology and popular culture rather than religion or theology. Yet, the return of religious power, or the entry of religion from the marginal to the mainstream of cultural and political awareness, also applies to the visual arts, hitherto considered fortresses of secular values in society.

The artists in the show are: Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa, Tamar Guimarães & Kasper Akhøj, Mirosław Bałka, Yael Bartana, Magnus Bärtås, Carl Johan Erikson, Etcetera, Michael Kessus Gedalyovich, Nilbar Güreş, Michal Heiman, Jonathan Horowitz, Hristina Ivanoska & Yane Calovski, Gülsün Karamustafa, Köken Ergun, Paweł Kwiek, Honorata Martin, Jumana Manna & Sille Storihle, Virginia de Medeiros, Teresa Murak, Nira Pereg, Lene Adler Petersen & Bjørn Nørgaard, Wael Shawky, Slavs and Tatars, Zbigniew Warpechowski, Nahum Zenil and Artur Żmijewski.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Hollow Blocks in a Windowless Room

If you happen to be in Vienna this week, please come to see our exhibition Hollow Blocks in a Windowless Room - a solo show by Łukasz Jastrubczak, with special guests: Robert Barry, Susanne Kriemann (the image above is taken from her Ray series), Paweł Kruk, Małgorzata Mazur, and Agnieszka Polska. The exhibition revolves around excerpts from Minus Twelve, Robert Smithson’s notes on the qualities of minimal art (1968). All the displayed objects – artworks, documents and found objects - are related to the Mirage project (2011- ongoing). It consisted of correspondence between the authors, in the form of a game or “duel” of images and text. The book was reinterpreted in a series of staged lectures, concerts, public readings, and finally the film Mirage: In Order of Appearance. The film was shot in the summer of 2014, when the authors decided to go on an American journey in the footsteps of theirs protagonists: the pioneer of green conceptualism John G. Lee, his partner Anna Zaloon and the teenage hitchhiker Mia.
Some elements in the exhibitions are cameo appearances by guest artists (including the legendary conceptual artist, Robert Barry), works interwoven into the somehow cinematic sequence of events. 

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

40°52'32¨N 28°58'18¨E

Waters around Sivriada, a small island in the Marmara Sea. Down there at the bottom of the sea a stage was bulit. It's a work by Pierre Huyghe which consists of concrete, marine life and some man-made objects. It will grow over the years and evolve. 

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

after year zero

The book accompanies the two exhibitions After Year Zero organised at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.  The project takes as its starting point the realignment of global relationships after the Second World War—Europe’s “hour zero.” However, After Year Zero does not recount the post-1945 confrontation of the ideological blocs of the Cold War. Rather, the project focuses on the world-historical caesura of decolonization and the associated attempt to fundamentally challenge and transform the framework conditions of the era of colonial modernity. Its central point of reference is the first Afro-African conference, held in 1955 in Bandung, Indonesia, at which some 600 delegates from 29 nations and liberation movements drafted a model for collaboration by the global South under the banner of an anti-colonial modernity. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

view. the return of landscape

The new issue of the fantastic contemporary theory and research journal Widok (View) is out now and ready to be read in its entirity online. The editors introduce the content of the issue, which is titled The Return of Landscape: "Many of the images presented here use distance (and sometimes also a change of vantage point) as a means of recognizing the mechanisms of seeing, as a starting point for reflection and action. Such is the work of Belgian artist Mishka Henner, analyzed by Alicia Guzman – Henner's photographs expose the scale of the American meat and oil industries and their dire effects on the environment, but also offer the viewer an intriguing aesthetic experience, by creating images simultaneously alluring and unnerving. The representation of rapidly changing natural landscapes becomes an especially pertinent topic in the age of the Anthropocene – examined by Sidsel Nelund in her review of Haus der Kulturen der Welt's Anthropocene Project and by Susan Schuppli in the essay Can the Sun Lie? In his essay devoted to representations of war in the works of Sophie Ristelhueber and Werner Herzog, Krzysztof Pijarski asks whether the traditional genre of aerial photography may hold a subversive potential. However, not all of the presented landscapes are as directly political as the work of Henner, Ristelhueber, Herzog, and the creators of the film Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change. Although often naturalized, they often call for political and philosophical questions. And so Łukasz Zaremba writes about the process of radical commercialization of Polish landscapes after 1989 and the recently passed “landscape bill,” constructed with the aim of "cleaning up" and "aestheticizing" contemporary urban and suburban views. In the essays by Max Symuleski and Piotr Schollenberger, the distance necessarily involved in the production of images of the Earth from outer space has a profoundly destabilizing effect on the viewer's subjectivity. We also examine the archive of Polish artist Teresa Murak (with Sebastian Cichocki's commentary); as well as the work and thought of Jan Gwalbert Pawlikowski, the first proponent of landscape preservation in Poland (in an essay by Mateusz Salwa). Lastly, the photographs of Dutch artist Awoiska van der Molen are analyzed by Ernst van Alphen and the diverse art projects of Francis Alÿs is discussed with the artist in conversation with Magda Szcześniak."
(photograph above: Teresa Murak, Sculpture for the Earth, Ubbeboda, 1974)

Sunday, 12 July 2015

art in the shadow of war

This book was published to accompany the small but very important exhibition of the same title, Konsten i skuggan av kriget, curated by Cecilia Widenheim at Malm
ö Konstmuseum. It brings back one of the little known art history chapters, shadows of the XXthe official museum histories. For six months in 1945 the museum in Malmö served as a refugee camp and quarantine centre for the former concentration camp prisoners. It was a decision taken by the museum director Ernst Fisher, who decided to close the museum fo the public and change completely its function, beliving strongly in the crucial role of art institutions might play in civil society. The picture above is an altar, compiled of the the exhibits found by the refugees in the museum, an assamblage serving as a place of worship - an amazing example of a spiritual reciprocal readymade.

Monday, 6 July 2015

god the ape

The sculpture by Honorata Martin, God the Ape (2015), hidden in the Bródnowski Park, Warsaw - the only visible trace of her exhaustive three-week long performance, which ended up yesterday. 

Saturday, 4 July 2015

art vs. history

From the gorgeous Ad Reinhardt’s Art vs. History exhibition at Malmö Konsthall. This highly entartaining and complex show comprises around 300 of his original political cartoons, satirical art comics and collages. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, his cartoons appeared in a wide range of American publications, such as the Marxist periodical New Masses

Monday, 22 June 2015

something is here nothing is here (horror)

Annika Eriksson’s Something is here nothing is here (horror), 2015. The work is a lightbox placed in a pedestrian tunnel in the city center of Novosibirsk, Russia. The light of the sign is slowly fading in and out. The work was realised in the framework of the nomadic Site Residency (with its homebase on the island of Gotland, once the Baltic pirates's den), obviously rebelling against the anti-production character of the programme. To break the rules imposed by the curatorial is sometimes a good thing. We love the work, Annika, and bear no grudge! 

Friday, 19 June 2015

honorata martin at sculpture park in bródno

Honorata Martin’s art unfolds in real time and on a scale of 1:1. In her works, the logic of the event yields to the need to maintain continuity and to (with)stand. Martin is a radical performer who works with an “unradical” matter: the world around her (people, animals, buildings, streets, river, etc.) as well as with her own emotions and experiences. So far, her art has materialised for instance as a hike across the secluded areas of provincial Poland, and a renewal project in a worn tenement house. Many of Honorata Martin’s activities require the artist to overcome the constraints of her own body and social taboos – her projects have seen her hanging down from the balcony of a residential block, immersing herself in a filthy river of sewage in winter, or allowing strangers to come into her house and take her personal belongings with them. For Martin, art is a natural extension of basic life functions: eating, sleeping, walking, and sometimes mourning or fear. Most of her works escape the frames of exhibition displays or art events. An inherent aspect of her art is the risk of testing your artistic competence (not only manual skills but also the ability to build temporary communities or confront the viewers with their own repressed desires) far away from art institutions and the security and legitimisation that they offer.
The artist’s most renowned project, Going out into Poland, consisted in a solitary roam that the artist began in the summer of 2013 in Gdańsk without any specified plan. After two months Martin reached the town of Dzierżoniów in Lower Silesia on foot. The project highlights the characteristic edge of the artist’s practice, which develops between the artist and a random viewer without institutions and their rituals as a go-between. At the same time, Martin builds temporary enclaves of communication, acceptance, and exchange. Documentation is of secondary importance and functions as a “report” from mundane worlds, a mere shift of the everyday. Akin to the art practices of Paweł Althamer, the initiator of the Bródno Sculpture Park, in Martin’s work fundamental experiences do not necessarily arise from journeys to far-off lands, quite the opposite, they most often emerge from the artist’s immersion in the exoticism of the local environment.
Honorata Martin’s practice reveals a “post-institutional” dimension. Her activities echo the art of the 1970s, founded on going beyond the limits of the body and the passage of time, blurring the boundaries between artistic practice and everyday life, as it was the case in performances by Tehching Hsieh, Lee Lozano, and Bas Jan Ader, among other artists. Still, Martin’s art is immersed in the specific here and now – Poland in the 21st century, an environment that the artist addresses with a heavy load of personal fears and fantasies.The artist camps out in the Bródno Park, making use of the green enclave in the Targówek area as her temporary home. The idea to dwell in an urban park inevitably brings to mind the question of displacement and the necessity to develop new forms of communication in a world that shakes in its political and economic foundations. Honorata Martin’s performance at the Bródno Sculpture Park confronts the problems of survival, exchange and hospitality, as well as escapism. The artist’s activity is founded on a sequence of developments, interactions, events that take place when the audience is not there, occurrences that relate to and involve accidental witnesses.

Thursday, 28 May 2015


Our beloved collaborators, Centrum (The Center) art space has just appropriated a bizzare collection of, apparently extinct, dinosaurs. It includes also some humanoids and a giant squid. The Centre operates from a remote gardening plot in Szczecin, Poland.

Monday, 25 May 2015

annika eriksson in novosibirsk

The Site 
Residency has been initiated in 2013 on the island of Gotland, Sweden. Now the programme has begun its journey to conceptually linked locations in other countries or continents, chosen for their special features: oddness, remoteness, “exoticism”, seclusion, harshness, or unique architectural values. The Site Residency programme is a tribute to the artistic strategies from the 60s and 70s – an escape from rigid institutional structures and gallery/studio-based production – and all references to land- and conceptual art tactics are obvious and intentional. The program, is oriented towards “the secret world of doing nothing” and its consequences. It is structured to reduce the stimuli and thereby motivate a new artistic approach towards the place/work system – which is always an equation with two unknowns. The character of this residency specifically implies that the artist is to refrain from production – or at least attempt to live his or her artistic practice in a somewhat different way during the residency period.
The Berlin-based Swedish artist Annika Eriksson is the third artist-participant of The Site Residency (after Agnieszka Polska and Susanne Kriemann). Over the years, Eriksson has produced a number of works in which the perception of time, structures of power, and once acclaimed social visions are called into question. Strategically Eriksson plays with duration, repetition and looping revealing how this is subject to unexpected political appropriations and inversions.