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Umbrella Online - Current Issue

umbrella on line

ISSN 0160-0699

Volume 29, No. 2, Jun 2006

News & Notes

MUSEUMS

For the first time, the Jewish Museum will stay open on the Jewish Sabbath. From 12 May through 17 September, the duration of its show “Eva Hesse: Sculpture,” it will not only be open on Saturdays but will also be free for all visitors on those days. The show features the work of the Minimalist sculptor, who died of a brain tumor at 34 in 1970, focusing on her large-scale latex and fiberglass sculptures. It is the first major show of Hesse’s sculpture in New York since 1972.

Quai Branly Museum is Paris’ new primitive art museum, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and tucked in a garden near the Eiffel Tower. It houses art from Africa, Aia, Oceania and the Americas.

FLUXUS

Alison Knowles: Time Samples, curated by Caterina Gualco at Archivio Emily Harvey in Venezia, Italy. 23 June - 5 August. Artist: Alison Knowles,Curator: Caterina Gualco.Artist and performer Alison Knowles presents new works in paper, entitled Time Samples. The prints of the series A Rake’s Progress, shown in the gallery’s first room, were made with a twisted garden rake employed like a pencil in wet pulp. Here this rake is displayed on a table. Knowles’ new book Time Samples (Granary Books, New York) opens out into a leporello, and here spills down the wall. Book Jacket, a shirt suspended from the ceiling, has the pages of two books embedded in its folds. Two Poets Tee and Emily Harvey’s Overalls are similarly displayed. The objects presented in the rear room of the gallery were appropriated in cities and natural settings all around the world, and the artist presents them for examination, one at time, to be held in the hand. Small tags offer clues to their identity. Curator Caterina Gualco writes: “You make me see things I was not able to see before, and that is the mystery of poetry.”

Knowles is a founding member of the Fluxus group and a Guggenheim fellow. She has received awards from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a residency grant from Germany’s DAAD. She has also resided in Kassel as a guest of Documenta. In 2003, she received the College Art Association Award for Lifetime Achievement, as well as an honorary doctorate from the Maine College of Art.

The exhibition’s catalogue, with an essay by George Quasha, is available online at www.aknowles.com

Memorials for Nam Jun Paik and Allan Kaprow were held in early June in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and two days later, a memorial for Allan Kaprow was held at UCSD, La Jolla.

Ben Patterson spent a good part of June in Los Angeles culminating in a series of performances at LACE in Hollywood, where sound pieces were shared by all. In addition, the LA Girls performed reconstructed Fluxus scores both at the Getty campus for a symposium on performance and at LACE during the opening. Patterson also performed with a large group of “friends” on Wilshire Blvd. outside the Solway Jones Gallery on 7 July. His show is called Dividing/Bridging: The Los Angeles River Concrete Poems. There is a DVD availale from Solway Jones, 377 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036. www.solwayjonesgallery.com Henri Chopin: Graphpoemachines at La Serra dei leoni, Villa Cernigliaro, Sordevolo BI, Italy, sponsored by Archivio F. Conz, Verona and Zero gravità from 17 June - 23 July 2006.

WILD ART

The Sydney Biennale has China’s superstar artist, Ai Weiwei, with a large map of the world made from layered, cotton sheets that takes up an entire room. The borders on the map are in all the wrong places. He says it means nothing.

The Korean artist U Sunok has taken 108 items from her home: a dirty lampshade, for example, and an old pair of spectacles, and put them on the floor, saying they are a “metaphor for the 108 carnal desires of the mind.”

Mexican artist Pablo Helguera, set out recently to drive from Alaska to Argentina, stopping to host events in more than 20 countries. Included are discussions, performances and screening–all offering alternative perspectives on the Americas. 100 artists and curators are involved in the project, and Helguera hopes they will begin collaborating across national borders. The 25,000-mile journey is the attempt of "what a guy in a van with a Web site can do this and that we can actually do much more than wait for institutions or governments to arrive and create programs." In cities, Helguera will assemble a collapsible one-room "schoolhouse" to host forums on topics from immigration to the influence of tourism on Mexican culture. He also intends to post daily blogs to the project Web site — " rel="external"> Henri Chopin: Graphpoemachines at La Serra dei leoni, Villa Cernigliaro, Sordevolo BI, Italy, sponsored by Archivio F. Conz, Verona and Zero gravità from 17 June - 23 July 2006.

WILD ART

The Sydney Biennale has China’s superstar artist, Ai Weiwei, with a large map of the world made from layered, cotton sheets that takes up an entire room. The borders on the map are in all the wrong places. He says it means nothing.

The Korean artist U Sunok has taken 108 items from her home: a dirty lampshade, for example, and an old pair of spectacles, and put them on the floor, saying they are a “metaphor for the 108 carnal desires of the mind.”

Mexican artist Pablo Helguera, set out recently to drive from Alaska to Argentina, stopping to host events in more than 20 countries. Included are discussions, performances and screening–all offering alternative perspectives on the Americas. 100 artists and curators are involved in the project, and Helguera hopes they will begin collaborating across national borders. The 25,000-mile journey is the attempt of “what a guy in a van with a Web site can do this and that we can actually do much more than wait for institutions or governments to arrive and create programs.” In cities, Helguera will assemble a collapsible one-room “schoolhouse” to host forums on topics from immigration to the influence of tourism on Mexican culture. He also intends to post daily blogs to the project Web site — www.panamericanismo.org — and film material for a documentary. The project is called “The School of Panamerican Unrest”.

The 10th Art Moscow fair included in May “Happy Hour,” in which young women dressed in red bikinis sit behind a glass wall and stare back at visitors. The living artwork was conceived by a Russian artist who goes by the name Ananta Dasa and lives in India.

Canada’s official entry for the architecture portion of this year’s Venice Biennale is SweaterLodge, an enormous tent in the shape of a pullover made from 350 square metres of bright orange polar fleece. The multimedia exhibit is a big, bold, warm and witty commentary on urban culture–the only problem is that the government does not recognize architecture as a mandate for support. So it may or may not appear in Venezia, because it cost $400,000 (Canadian) to build the SweaterLodge and take it to Venice in September.

A “human zoo” is a big attraction in Shanghai this summer with four Australian men living in a 65-square-meter glass capsule in the Xintiandi area, for two weeks. This is the Urban Dream Capsule (UDC) group, where the capsule contains a small aprtment with a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. Visitors will be able to watch them eat, wash, cook, sleep and entertain. The bathroom has non-transparent glass, so even though the lights are never turned off, no one will see personal hygiene in process. The four have taken intensive language lessons in Australia so they can interact with the audience outside of the capsule.

GRANTS TO LIBRARIES

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given $12.2 million to communities along the Gulf Coast that lost public libraries in the hurricanes last year, giving 22 bookmobiles or temporary library buildings. In addition, the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund has given $5 million for repairs and reconstruction,

SOUND ART

Bill Fontana has orchestrated Millennium Bridge in London near Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern, where sound literally fills the space.

Steve Roden of the Los Angeles area is creating a sound piece for the plaza in front of the Acropolis in Athens which will be up for 2½ months this summer. He uses very low tech, but his work is very poetic and of course, you must listen to hear the art.

“Breath” is a $200,000 public art piece by Indianapolis artist Greg Hull for the atrium of the mammoth new parking garage at Indianapolis International Airport. He created a floating work with a suspended row of 11 red fabric shapes that appear to inflate and deflate. Hull said his pulsating piece speaks to how airports are often seen as places of stress and activity. The art is meant to mimic a human being’s pulse and put passers-by into a more relaxed mindset. It is “pretty close to human respiration.”

LOST & FOUND

Found: Artwork and letters including manuscripts including the original notes and sketches from Kimon Nicolaides’ ground-breaking book, “The Natural Way to Draw.” Since its first publication in 1941, the book has become the guidepost for generations of artists. It all came from a trunk owned by Aunt Mamie, better known as Mamie Harmon, Nicolaides’ faithful student in the 1930s. 1,000 paintings by Harmon and four suitcaes full of letters, sketches, poetry, manuscripts and an unpublished book.