'landscape'

Anastasya Koshkin – Reliving and All Falling

21st October 2013 by michael
arts | audio | conceptual | experimental | landscape | light | observational | place | poetry | video



Reliving and All Falling (2012, 206 MB, 4:42 min)

Lyric moving image poetry that keeps on giving, in proportion to time
spent with. I particularly admire the carefully structured and evocative
soundtrack – there’s a moment towards the end where a deep rumble starts
to suggest the rhythm of the waves we have been watching but never quite
completely coheres and this specific ambiguity typifies the richness of
the use of sound in general.
Visually, the angled image makes us more carefully examine and really see,
drink in, the casual beauties – in delicious high contrast B&W – placed before us.
Lovely.

Anastasya Koshkin on Vimeo


Nicki Rolls – Dream Home & Don’t Know Y

25th March 2013 by michael
architecture | arts | conceptual | exhibition | experimental | landscape | light | memory | observational | place | poetry | video



Dream Home (2012, 61MB, 1:00 min)


Don’t Know Y (2010, 116MB, 2:23 min)

I first encountered Nikki Rolls’ work through Kerry Baldry’s splendid One Minutes series.( In fact we featured another piece by her in our very first post about that series)

As with so many of the artists included in that series she’s an amply justified curatorial choice;
her work is subtle, thought provoking and very beautiful.
She makes tiny ( or sometimes none, except to select) interventions into found (sometimes “found from herself”) images or footage which have a transformative effect and an expressive force much greater than one might have any right to predict. Beautiful.


David Askevold – Nova Scotia Fires

21st November 2012 by michael
arts | conceptual | exhibition | experimental | historical | landscape | nature


Nova Scotia Fires
Nova Scotia Fires (1969, 5MB, 3:00 min)

I hadn’t, to my shame, heard of the late David Askevold until the Camden Arts Centre
put on a beautifully put together and gripping retrospective last year*.
Here’s one of the pieces on show then. It’s not particularly great quality plus
it’s in a tiny window but it does conjure (perhaps an appropriately Askevoldian
choice of word) something of the impact -witty, smart and otherwordly – of his work.

* and there’s a good review of that here.


Mad King Thomas/Kevin Obsatz – Eat up, Little Pearl – trailer

26th September 2012 by michael
activism | arts | bliss | collaboration | dance | documentary arts | documentary odd | experimental | landscape | performance | video


eat up little pearl - trailer
Eat up, Little Pearl – trailer (2012, 42MB, 3:26min)

Absolutely wonderful promotional/performance video from US performance/dance
outfit Mad King Thomas (whom I know little about but would love to see),
the vid directed, apparently, by Kevin Obsatz who was behind the
video haikus we posted in July.
Video…&..er…troupe…all great, great.


Subversion at Cornerhouse

24th April 2012 by michael
arts | exhibition | historical | humor | identity | landscape | music video | narrative | performance | place | poetry | politics | portraiture | satire | trailer | video


Larissa Sansour: A Space Exodus
Larissa Sansour: A Space Exodus ( Clip) (2009, 7MB, 1:15 min)

Tarzan and Arab: Colourful Journey (Trailer)
Tarzan and Arab: Colourful Journey (Trailer) (2010, 11MB, 1:38 min)

Here are two clips from videos featured in the excellent Subversion show,
featuring artists from the Arabic speaking world, currently on (to 5th June) at
Manchester’s Cornerhouse.
It is carefully, elegantly and thoughtfully curated by Omar Kholeif, who writes:

“Like many of the artists I was looking at, I felt that collectively
curators and writers associated with the politically unstable Arab world were
being asked to step up and perform to an identity that the world wanted us to play.
With Subversion my aim was to do just the opposite. I worked with artists who
referenced this very language but who wanted to dissent, poke fun, critique
and re-define themselves as artists of the imagination, and not of any specific
social or political condition.”

It has to be said that this bending of the stick is eminently successful – none
of the works included has any taint of tokenism, they are rich with a poetry,
humour and humanity that cuts entirely across any notional cultural divide.
Where they do focus upon political subject matter (and one should not form the
impression that this is a show with, in any sense whatsoever, its political teeth pulled)
what delights is the richness and the playfulness with which this is done.
Larrisa Sansour’s “A Space Exodus” is both gentle and devastating.
Gentle, the Sansour persona (and we’ll have another piece of hers next week)
presented in the work, with the rather stylish space suit, the wistful smile and wave
towards the far away earth, having planted the Palestinian flag on the moon:
“That’s one small step for Palestinians, one giant leap for mankind”.

Devastating when one sets this gentleness by the side of what we know of the Apartheid
wall, the illegal settlements, punishment demolition of Palestinian homes &c.
(Anyone who doubts the piece’s political impact should take a look at the vile racism
of some of the comments on the YouTube posting of this clip
- “Send all the Palestinians to the moon” &c.)

The other piece featured here is from the Gazan twins Ahmed and Mohamed Abu Nasser,
known professionally as “Tarzan and Arab”.
Although (in a disarming interview in which they come across a bit like a smiley
and un-terminally-corroded-by-snotty-cynicism younger version of the Chapmans)
they assert the piece is in some sense about internecine Palestinian conflict,
to me it reads more like a balletic paean of love to the cinema, to the
moving image (including perhaps the video game too – what do you think?).
Until last year Tarzan and Arab had never been to a cinema and have largely
been unable to attend screenings of their own works abroad.
In fact their first works, also shown at Cornerhouse, were old style film posters
for non-existent movies
, all given titles from the names of Israeli military
operations: Defensive Shield, Cast Lead &c.(as, indeed, their film has too).

There is a great deal more to this show, which covers diverse geographical slices
of the Arabic speaking world and where therefore the interaction between life
and art has a different tempo and character to the works by the Palestinian
artists discussed here.

And it’s all great – I don’t have space here to properly do the whole thing justice.
In particular, though, I do want to mention Akram Zaatari’s two luminously beautiful
films set in the milieu of gay life in Beirut – though again to outline them thus,
in one line, in terms of “topic”, is to oversimplify – we must distinguish between
ostensible topics and the dense, lyric and dazzling poetry which they engender.
Also Khaled Hafez’s wonderful short “On Presidents and Superheroes”
(yet another political context, that of a staggeringly prescient augury of a victorious
but still contested Egyptian revolution) but I simply am going to just mention it as I
hope to write something a little bit more extended about it when I post a clip here (soon!).

If you possibly can, do yourself a big favour and go and see this show; give
yourself plenty of time, there’s a lot to see and some of the moving image work
is quite lengthy (and hats off to Omar Kholeif for achieving installations of
works that are appropriate, thought provoking and, somewhat banally but importantly at my age, comfortable.)
If you’re travelling from out of town (and I urge you so to do, dear reader, I urge you)
you can also catch the tremendous Roger Ballen show at the Manchester Art gallery,
which is a whole other story.

I’ll be returning to Subversion both here and in a somewhat more extended piece
of writing for MIRAJ next year.


Peter Scott - Death was the West

11th April 2012 by michael
arts | conceptual | drawing | experimental | fiction | landscape | movie making | narrative | new media art | text | video


Death was the West
Death was the West (2012, 221MB, 5:19 min)

A restrained, austere, smart and at the same time gripping piece from
Essex, UK, film-maker Peter Scott, still in his final months at art school.
I understand it to be a by product of a work in progress but it
has an integrity and presence entirely of its own.
I look forward to more.


2 from Patrick Lichty

9th April 2012 by michael
adaptation | arts | audio | collaboration | conceptual | experimental | gaming | humor | landscape | new media art | performance | remix/mashup | video


Explaining Conceptual Art to Bizarro
Explaining Conceptual Art to Bizarro (2012, 89MB, 1:36 min)

Danger Music #17
Danger Music #17 by Dick Higgins (2012, 19MB, 45 secs)

And to celebrate our resurrection (for which heartfelt thanks go to James Morris), two newish pieces from the redoubtable (I write so many of these things a nagging doubt enters my mind as to whether I’ve perhaps called Patrick redoubtable before, once, twice…more? But leave it – redoubtable he is) Patrick Lichty.

Both pieces take place in DC Universe Online, about which I know nothing so I won’t even begin to show myself up by attempting to expand, and both reference recent art history – one Beuys explaining pictures to a dead hare and the other Dick Higgins’s Danger Music.
Both are utterly splendid.


Tony Arnold – Foundation

16th January 2012 by michael
arts | experimental | landscape | light | observational | place | video


foundation
Foundation(2011, 153MB, 14:01 min)

Here’s a striking and very beautiful piece of work from
Mississippi based artist Tony Arnold.
There is clear evidence of his discovery and love affair
with the greats of the American experimental film tradition but
he’s obviously gifted and visionary and very much his own
person. (I love his choice of music, sounds a bit like Ornette
Coleman but I think it’s not…wonderful, anyway)
This is evidenced by his website* too –
with exhilaratingly edgy and engaging work, full of ideas –
I particularly like his altered fashion ads series.
Interesting, very interesting, to see how this work develops.

*I am uncomfortable, however, with the dangerously
naive & abstentionist defence of hate-speech there – well,
more than uncomfortable:- it’s stupid & wrong headed -
tell the family of the next racist murder victim that the
language that convicted and sentenced them was just a “series of grunts”.
I’m assuming though it comes from young artist hunger &
restlessness & in-your-faceness and nothing worse.


Merry

23rd December 2011 by michael
arts | documentary arts | landscape | observational | place | politics | seasonal | travelogue | video


a christmas medley from barnsley town centre
A Christmas Medley From Barnsley Town Centre (2011, 87MB, 1:29 min)

Normally we don’t post our own work here but I couldn’t resist this.
Also – it was a gift; no editing, just the take. (OK. I turned down the brightness
& jacked up the contrast a little.)
Barnsley is actually the friendliest of places, with a grumpy, wry, cheerfulness born of
generations of working-class solidarity, especially in the pits, though it’s now
ravaged by the cuts and closures of the past years.
From me & Doron, Happy Holidays and looking forward to a better world next year.
We’re taking a small holiday break & we’ll be back with something rather splendid
from Morrisa Maltz on January 2nd.


Ruth Catlow – overland

12th December 2011 by michael
activism | arts | community | documentary | landscape | observational | travelogue | video


overland
overland (2010, 131MB, 2:58 min)

And sadly, the last in our little season of movies by Ruth Catlow. This is another
train movie, no conceptual underpinnings to speak of this time, just a beautiful,
bleached out pastels, lo-fi ( mobile?) account of the Serbian section of a journey by train to Istanbul
last year when she was refusing ‘to fly for art’, something more people should do more often if
the results here are anything to go by.
More from Ruth, of course, as she produces it…