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Friday, 17 July 2009

Bob and Roberta Smith and Wolfgang Tillmans Appointed Tate Trustees

This just in…

The Board of Trustees of Tate has announced today that the Prime Minister has appointed Bob and Roberta Smith and Wolfgang Tillmans as Tate Trustees. The terms of appointment will be for four and five years respectively, from 20 July 2009. By statute, at least three of Tate’s Trustees are practising artists and Bob and Roberta Smith and Wolfgang Tillmans will join artist Trustees Jeremy Deller and Anish Kapoor on the Board.

Bob and Roberta Smith (b. 1963, age 46) lives and works in London. He studied at the University of Reading and Goldsmiths College London. The artist invites us to question high art, and the role that aesthetic elitism has to play in society today. At the core of his practice Bob & Roberta Smith asserts that art can and should be an essential tool in the democratic process. He shows work internationally, with recent shows in Italy and the United States, and at Tate Britain. A major work entitled This Artist is Deeply Dangerous will be shown as part of the Edinburgh Arts Festival this summer. You can read about this show in the August/September issue of Aesthetica. We will also have the podcast ready shortly.

Wolfgang Tillmans (b. 1968, age 40) is a German artist who lives and works in London and Berlin. He studied at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design. He was first recognized in the early 1990s for his affecting and unconventional images of friends and other young people in his social circle. Since then Tillmans’s subject matter has broadened combining portraits, still-lifes and landscapes with abstract and sculptural photographic works hung in carefully considered wall installations. This fusion of different photographic practices and a continuous production of artist books is spurred by his personal experiences of life and a strong political engagement. He won the Turner prize in 2000.

Image Credit
Wolfgang Tillmans
Tate Trustee

Image Credit:
Bob and Roberta Smith
Tate Trustee

Courtesy Tate

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Be in a Zombie Movie

This is really funny, and I just love Noel Fielding – he’s just the kind of guy you’d want in your gang. I really wanted to flag this up to you because there’s also a chance for you to get involved and help to break a world record for the largest amount of zombies caught on camera! Not entirely my bag, maybe a bit lo-fi, but looks fun.

Noel Fielding, renowned as one half of the comedy duo The Mighty Boosh, will star as the Zombie King in Film4 and Warp Films’ upcoming production I Spit On Your Rave which will be filmed at this year’s Big Chill Festival.

The year is 2018. The apocalypse has happened. Zombies rule the world. Human beings are kept only for food (and sometimes entertainment). But old habits die hard, so once a year the zombies still hold a music festival and this year at The Big Chill Festival Warp Films and Film4 will be recreating this ghastly event. With the Zombie King Noel Fielding presiding over proceedings, its time to come and join the fundead!

The Might Boosh Band headlined the Big Chill Festival 2008 and Fielding is set to perform a solo set again this year in addition to his duties as Zombie King. A highly regarded comedian in his own right, Noel’s television work includes appearances in Nathan Barley, Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place and The IT Crowd. He also appears in Paul King’s debut feature ‘Bunny & The Bull’ produced by Warp Films and due for release later this year.

On Thursday 6th of August, Big Chill Festival and partners will be attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the largest amount of zombies caught on camera, when shooting begins on. In order to take part in these events wannabe zombies have to be a Big Chill Festival ticket holder and look like one of the undead. Whilst the festival would love for everyone to arrive as a zombie, if revellers don't have time to get make-up and gear together, the Big Chill Festival will provide Zombification Stations at the arena entrances and get undeaded!

Make-up stations will be open all-day, starting as soon as festival goers start to arrive and set up camp. Once the entertainment area opens at 3pm, revellers will only to be able to get into the Open Air Stage field if they are zombiefied. White face make-up and a bit of fake blood will do, but festival organisers would love it if participants could go the whole hog. There will be zombie-themed DJ sets and other entertainment to keep festival goers in the mood. More details can be found at www.ispitonyourrave.com.

Getting to the zombie extravaganza – The Zombie Bus
If prospective zombies are in London and don't know how they’re going to get to the festival, why not join fellow zombies at The Big Chill House (Pentonville Road, Kings Cross) or Big Chill Bar (Dray Walk, off Brick Lane) and get on the Zombie Bus? Revellers will be gathering at 11am on Thursday morning for breakfast and a drink, as well as the all important zombie makeover. Zombie bus packages cost £170 (includes festival ticket, bus travel to and from the festival, a zombie makeover, sandwiches / croissants, tea / coffees, beers n Bloody Marys, tunes on the bus and fun times had by all!) are available to book through www.nationalexpress.com/metrochill.

The record breaking attempt
At 7.00pm on Thursday 6th August Warp Films and Film4 will film the highlight of the zombie festival, 'The Running Feast'. This is where we need the biggest possible zombie crowd so we can beat that world record! The crowd will be greeted by their Zombie King, Noel Fielding. This will be staged as a live event, with music from Toddla T and other special guests. Think 'It's a Knockout' meets 'The Running Man', with specially 'captured' humans chased through an obstacle course by zombies hungry for brains... Gory fun for the whole post-nuclear family!

Further zombie entertainment
After this, zombies will be especially welcome at British Sea Power's live accompaniment of 'Man of Arran' ('Zombie of Arran'?) and 'Winged Migration'. Then there's more undead fun with zombie movies from from dusk till dawn in the Film4 Cinema Tent, featuring two of the '...Dead' films by zombie movie legend George A. Romero, John Carpenter's haunting 'The Fog' and Sam Raimi's cult horror-comedy classic, 'Evil Dead II'. And if zombies feel like strutting your undead stuff, they can shuffle over to the zombie disco in Big Chill Nights.

Throughout the weekend smaller events will be taking place, including a zombie battle of the bands, an undead fashion show, zombie weddings and a zombie rave. If potential zombies want to take part in any of these events let us know, either by emailing ispitonyourrave@warpfilms.com, or come and say hello at our Zombie HQ by the Film4 Cinema Tent.

Zombies will also be particularly welcome at the Dereliction Drive-In, a post-apocalyptic drive-in cinema where you can join graffiti gurus Pete Fowler and Kid 30 in pimping your undead ride. Chill out to mixes from beyond the grave from Monsterism, Hexstatic and Osymyso, or add your own ghoulish sounds to the mix with our AudioBoo crew. The culmination of the weekend's life and death antics with be the ceremonial burning of the zombie on Sunday night - a 20m wooden effigy of living death itself, brought to us by The World Famous, the pyrotechnic team behind last year's Big Warm finale.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

VIDEOKILLS International Video Arts Festival 2009 (V:InVAF)

Do we need any more AV festivals? Being in the throes of the multimedia/digital age, are they just getting started or will we continue to be challenged by AV? Let’s see.

VIDEOKILLS, a Berlin based video art collective, is hosting its first
International Video Arts festival, taking place in Berlin from 26 August - 30 2009. As it’s their first year, and I love Berlin, I thought it might be worth flagging this up to you in the even you might be there later this summer.

VIDEOKILLS hold the following philosophy “accessibility, open exchange of art and ideas, and a dedication to the preservation, invention and evolution of the medium of video art.” I'm open to that. I subscribe to that notion.

The festival will showcase works from international artists in the form of video installations, video art, experimental, narrative and documentary short films. In addition, VIDEOKILLS will host a SKYPE symposium series where scholars and video artists from around the world will lecture and participate in panel discussions on a wide range of topics from art to technology. There are also a series of Workshops scheduled to coincide with symposium topics, focusing on techniques and innovation. This reminds me a bit of Sally Potter’s new film “Rage”, which you can read all about in the next issue of Aesthetica. No swimming pools though...FYI – we’re re-branding and I’m bloody excited.

The festival will take place at STATTBAD-Wedding, which once served as an indoor swimming complex, and now acts as a versatile and dynamic space for concerts, festivals, and myriad other events. We will curate the festival with the unique possibilities of the space in mind. The swimming pools will act as projection spaces and viewing rooms, as will the basement spaces, utility areas, and underbelly of the Stattbad. Artists will create site-specific work, which utilizes the aesthetic layout of the space.

And here’s the plug for Berlin according to VIDEOKILLS “Berlin is a city of re-invention. Part of the importance and gravity of using an old space to display contemporary work allows for a dialogue to take place between past and present. By bringing together artists from around the world to share and view contemporary video art in a re-appropriated space, we hope to transcend and re-define the old, not by abandoning our history, but by fusing it with the new.” I buy that.

VIDEOKILLS International Video Arts Festival 2009 (V:InVAF) is curated by

Curators: JJ Hurvich, Emma Pike, and Tiphaine Shipman

All images courtesy of VIDEOKILLS © 2009

A few more images of the Vhils exhibition

After Monday's post, I received a rather lovely email from photographer, Ian Cox offering more images of Alexandre Farto's show at Lazarides. You can see why Lazarides is taking a chance on the 22-year old.

Any comments?

Images courtsey Ian Cox (c)2009

Monday, 13 July 2009

VHILS (AKA Alexandre Farto), Scratching The Surface at Lazarides this Summer

The first UK solo show from Vhils, AKA Alexandre Farto (b.1987), features a series of new works inspired by his native city of Lisbon at a time of revolution.

I love Lazarides Gallery. I feel that the gallery takes chances with artists, and shows the type of art that has momentum and a wider meaning. Being the first gallery to show Farto’s work in the UK, especially with Farto being only 22 is a risk, particularly in this economy when galleries need to be selling artwork. So – I am even more inspired and impressed with Lazarides. Outsiders, compiled by Steve Lazarides was a fantastic collection on urban art, have you picked up that book yet?

Farto’s show, entitled Scratching the Surface, reflects on revolution as a time when walls turn into instruments of communication and hope for the masses, and the remnants of which become a decaying playground for this young artist as he searches for his place and identity.

By re-contextualising the urban setting, Vhils explores and questions the many dimensions of cities and their inhabitants in a series of playful works. Focusing on the people that inhabit the artist’s multicultural environment Vhils draws attention to the layers that underlie it. A set of portraits of unknown faces use unconventional techniques and materials; acid and bleach eat into surfaces to expose the layers beneath, the act of destruction becoming an act of creation, posters that exemplify a consumer society are subtly converted into objects poignantly celebrating humankind.

In his street work he discards posters, metal and paper and comes face to face with the rawness of the naked wall. He continues his celebration of the humanity underlying the urban canvas, this time by scratching beautiful portraits directly onto its walls. Vhils has exhibited in major European cities as well as in the USA, and most recently he was invited to take part in the widely acclaimed ‘Tunnel 228’ show in London's Waterloo.

The exhibition will coincide with the launch of his new book: Scratching the Surface, the show continues until 1 August 2009. www.lazinc.com

Image credit: (c) Alexandre Farto

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