Posts Tagged ‘ecology

23
Jun
13

Exhibition: ‘Joan Ross: Touching Other People’s Shopping’ at Bett Gallery, Hobart

Exhibition dates: 7th June – 28th June 2013

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The claiming of things
The touching of things
The digging of land
The tagging of place
The taking over of the world

Tag and capture.
Tag and capture.
Shop, dig, spray, destroy.

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An ironic critique of the pastoral, neo/colonial world, tagged and captured in the 21st century.
Excellent work. The construction, sensibility and humour of the videos is outstanding. I also responded to the two works Tag and capture and Shopping for butterfly (both 2013, below).

Marcus

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Many thankx to Bett Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs and videos in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Joan Ross
The claiming of things
2012
digital animation
7 min 20 sec
edition of 10

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Joan Ross
Touching other people’s butterflies
2013
digital animation
2 min 45 sec
edition of 6

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Joan Ross. 'Mine' 2013

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Joan Ross
Mine
2013
hand painted pigment print on cotton rag paper
40 x 60 cm (image size)
edition of 3

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Joan Ross. 'I dig your land' 2013

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Joan Ross
I dig your land
2013
hand painted pigment print on cotton rag paper
31 x 50 cm (image size)
edition of 3

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Joan Ross. 'Lassie come home' 2013

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Joan Ross
Lassie come home
2013
hand painted pigment print on cotton rag paper
32 x 50 cm (image size)
edition of 3

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Joan Ross. 'Tagging' 2013

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Joan Ross
Tagging
2013
hand painted pigment print on cotton rag paper
33.5 x 60 cm (image size)
edition of 3

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Joan Ross. 'Shopping for butterfly' 2013

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Joan Ross
Shopping for butterfly
2013
hand painted pigment print on cotton rag paper
51.5 x 50 cm (image size)
edition of 3

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Joan Ross. 'Tag and capture' 2013

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Joan Ross
Tag and capture
2013
hand painted pigment print on cotton rag paper
50 x 47 cm (image size)
edition of 3

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Joan Ross. 'The naming of things' 2013

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Joan Ross
The naming of things
2013
hand painted pigment print on cotton rag paper
40 x 70 cm (image size)
edition of 3

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Joan Ross. 'Together we can take over the world' 2012

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Joan Ross
Together we can take over the world
2012
found ceramic and fluorescent reflector tape
50 x 24 x 20 cm (overall size)
$2,200

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Bett Galllery
369 Elizabeth Street
North Hobart Tasmania 7000
Australia
T: +61 (0) 3 6231 6511

Opening hours:
10am – 6pm Monday – Saturday
12noon – 6pm Sunday

Bett Gallery website

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14
Aug
12

Exhibition: ‘Naoya Hatakeyama: Natural Stories’ at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA)

Exhibition dates: 28th July – 4th November 2012

 

Many thankx to SFMoMA for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Naoya Hatakeyama. 'Lime Hills #12801' 1986

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
Lime Hills #12801
1986
Chromogenic print
11 13/16 in. x 14 15/16 in (30 cm x 38cm)
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photograph
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

Naoya Hatakeyama. 'Lime Hills #22916' 1988

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
Lime Hills #22916
1988
Chromogenic print
11 13/16 in. x 14 15/16 in (30 cm x 38cm)
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

Naoya Hatakeyama. 'Lime Hills #23514' 1988

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
Lime Hills #23514
1988
Chromogenic print
11 13/16 in. x 14 15/16 in (30 cm x 38cm)
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

Naoya Hatakeyama. 'Lime Hills #27403' 1989

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
Lime Hills #27403
1989
Chromogenic print
11 13/16 in. x 14 15/16 in (30 cm x 38cm)
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

Naoya Hatakeyama. 'Lime Hills #29211' 1990

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
Lime Hills #29211
1990
Chromogenic print
11 13/16 in. x 14 15/16 in (30 cm x 38cm)
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

 

Lime Hills (Quarry Series), 1986-1991

Each year nearly two hundred million tons of limestone – virtually the only natural resource in Japan – are cut to produce the cement necessary to build the nation’s many cities, as well as to make additives used in paper, medicine, and food products. Hatakeyama was drawn to this industrial subject from a young age; his first artistic explorations took the form of paintings of the cement factory that he passed each day as a child. For Lime Hills, his earliest photographic series, Hatakeyama returned to the area near his hometown on the northeastern coast of Japan to investigate the nearby limestone quarries and their corresponding factories. Over the next five years he broadened his scope to include mines throughout Japan, from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south. Reflecting on the physical connection between these sites and civilisation, the artist later noted: “If the concrete buildings and highways that stretch to the horizon are all made from limestone dug from the hills, and if they should all be ground to dust and this vast quantity of calcium carbonate returned to its precise points of origin, why then, with the last spoonful, the ridge lines of the hills would be restored to their original dimensions.”

These small-scale photographs offer visions of the excavated land that at first glance seem idyllic. Often shooting in the golden evening light with a large-format camera, Hatakeyama captured the sculptural contours of the processed earth, infusing it with the luminous glow seen in many Romantic landscape paintings of the nineteenth century. Yet the Romantic tradition, which highlighted the awesome terror of nature, is upended in Hatakeyama’s pictures, which instead uncover unexpected pleasures in the tamed and built environment, ultimately suggesting the artificiality of conventional notions of beauty.

Wall text from the exhibition

 

Naoya Hatakeyama. 'Sollac Méditerranée, Fos-sur-Mer, #06709' 2003

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
Sollac Méditerranée, Fos-sur-Mer, #06709
2003
From the series Atmos
Chromogenic print
27 9/16 in. x 35 7/16 in (70 cm x 90cm)
Courtesy the artist
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

Naoya Hatakeyama. 'Sollac Méditerranée, Fos-sur-Mer, #06709' 2003

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
Sollac Méditerranée, Fos-sur-Mer, #06709
2003
From the series Atmos
Chromogenic print
27 9/16 in. x 35 7/16 in (70 cm x 90cm)
Courtesy the artist
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

 

Atmos, 2003

In 2003 Hatakeyama was invited to the Camargue, near Fos-sur-Mer, France, to photograph the landscape surrounding a steel factory located on the eastern edge of the Rhône delta. He worked from two perspectives, shooting on the factory grounds as well as from the surrounding landscape, much of which is conserved as a nature park. His photographs contrast the idyllic serenity of the flat plains where the Rhône river meets the Mediterranean Sea with the dramatic clouds of steam – formed when the coke used in steel making is doused in cool water – that often rise above this terrain.

Upon discovering this impressive phenomenon the artist reflected: “The etymology of ‘atmosphere’ is the ancient Greek words for vapor (atmos) and sphere (sphaira). Once I learned this, the air that filled the Camargue and the steam from the factory seemed to fuse into one before my eyes. It no longer felt strange to see signs of humanity in the sky and the land, or to sense nature in the cloud of steam from the factory. And I began to feel that it would no longer be possible to draw a clear line at the border between nature and the artificial.” Through Hatakeyama’s lens, the factory seems at once tranquil and volatile, surrounded by the golden light, billowing pastel clouds, and thick atmosphere found in many early twentieth-century paintings of industrial sites. Like the Impressionists, who embraced modern life by finding their subjects in new technologies, Hatakeyama presents new landscapes that complicate the conventional boundaries between nature and industry.”

Wall text from the exhibition

 

 

From July 28 through November 4, 2012, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will present the work of one of Japan’s most important contemporary photographers in the exhibition Naoya Hatakeyama: Natural Stories. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in a U.S. museum and the first presentation of his work on the West Coast.

Organised by the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in association with SFMOMA, the exhibition gathers work spanning Naoya Hatakeyama’s entire career, including more than 100 photographs and two video installations, offering viewers new insight into the artist’s practice and place in the rich history of Japanese photography. The presentation at SFMOMA, the sole U.S. venue for this internationally traveling retrospective, is overseen by Lisa J. Sutcliffe, assistant curator of photography.

Hatakeyama is known for austere and beautiful large-scale color pictures that capture the extraordinary powers routinely deployed to shape nature to our will – and, in the case of his photographs made after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the equally powerful impact of natural forces on human activities. Whether photographing factories, quarries, mines, or tsunami-swept landscapes, Hatakeyama has developed a thorough and analytical method for observing the ways in which the human and natural worlds have both coexisted and clashed. “For the past 25 years Naoya Hatakeyama has made pictures that focus on the complicated relationship between man and nature,” says Sutcliffe. “Approaching his subjects from diverse perspectives and across time, he redefines the ways in which we visualize the natural world.”

Hatakeyama has long been interested in the relationship between human industry and the natural environment. His early series of photographs of limestone quarries, Lime Hills (1986-91), references the Romantic painterly tradition of the sublime, but links it to the relentless pursuit of raw materials for modern development. After observing that “the quarries and the cities are like negative and positive images of a single photograph,” Hatakeyama began to investigate urban centers built from limestone and concrete. In Underground (1999), he explores the pitch-black depths of Tokyo’s underbelly from the tunnels of the Shibuya River, revealing the ecosystems of the city’s sewer network that often go unseen. Nearly a decade later he returned to the subject, photographing the remnants of decaying limestone quarries underneath Paris in Ciel Tombé (2007).

Several of Hatakeyama’s photographic series capture scenes of destruction with calm precision. Contemplating the abandoned structures surrounding a disused coal mine, Zeche Westfalen I/II Ahlen (2003/2004) includes images of a German factory hall seemingly suspended in midair at the moment of its demolition. For the Blast series (2005), the photographer used a high-speed motor-driven camera to document explosions in an open-cast limestone mine, framing the instant of impact in a series of still photographs. The exhibition will present the U.S. debut of Twenty-Four Blasts (2011), a video installation of his still photographs from Blast that transforms these explosions into a found sculptural event.

Hatakeyama has applied his measured and unsentimental method of observation to landscapes in transition around the world. In the series Atmos (2003), his representations of tranquil French landscapes include steam clouds generated by steelworks. Also made in France, the series Terrils (2009-10) pictures the massive conical hills created by coal mining, documenting landscapes transformed by the human exploitation of natural resources. Considering a different type of human impact on the natural world, Hatakeyama observes the conquest of the Swiss Alps by tourism in Another Mountain (2005), invoking the sublime both through choice of subject matter and through the contrast in scale between man and nature.

The most recent series in the exhibition, Rikuzentakata (2011), records the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan. For Hatakeyama, the disaster struck very close to home: his hometown of Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture was left in ruins, his mother was killed, and the house he grew up in was destroyed. Although these are some of the most personal photographs the artist has ever exhibited, they are remarkably unsentimental, displaying the same clarity and refinement that mark the rest of his work. The video installation Kesengawa (2002-10), named after the river that flows through Rikuzentakata, presents his personal photographs of the area made before the tsunami, creating a poignant dialogue with the 2011 series.

Press release from the SFMOMA website

 

Naoya Hatakeyama. 'A BIRD/Blast #130' 2006

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
A BIRD/Blast #130
2006
#7 from a series of 17 chromogenic prints
8 in. x 10 in (20.32 cm x 25.4cm)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, promised gift of Kurenboh
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

Naoya Hatakeyama. 'A BIRD/Blast #130' 2006

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
A BIRD/Blast #130
2006
#15 from a series of 17 chromogenic prints
8 in. x 10 in (20.32 cm x 25.4cm)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, promised gift of Kurenboh
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

Naoya Hatakeyama. Still from 'Twenty-Four Blasts' 2011

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
Still from Twenty-Four Blasts
2011
HD video installation from a sequence of 35 mm film
Courtesy the artist
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

 

Blast, 1995
Zeche Westfalen I/II, Ahlen, 2003-2004

While photographing Japanese quarries and factories for Lime Hills, Hatakeyama became intrigued by the regular explosions designed to free limestone from the cliffs. He was interested in the violence and force of the blasts as well as in the engineers’ deep understanding of the “nature” of the rock. Working with these experts, he was able to calculate exactly how close he could place his remote controlled, motorised camera to the blast to capture the explosion in still frames. The striking large-scale photographs this method produced dramatise the tension between the slow geologic formation of the rocks and the split-second detonation that destroys them. Distilling his study to a series of frozen moments of intense scrutiny, Hatakeyama emphasises the volatile character of the blast, offering a perspective that cannot be seen by the naked eye. In the video projection Twenty-Four Blasts, presented in the next room, these explosions are set to motion, serving as documentation of the mining process while also reflecting an understanding of the blast as a sculptural event.

In Zeche Westfalen I/II, Ahlen, a series taken in Germany, Hatakeyama used a remote-controlled camera shutter to photograph the destruction of the Zeche Westfalen coal plant at the time of detonation. An industrial centre since the mid-nineteenth century, the area is experiencing new development as mines are destroyed to make way for commercial and residential growth. These pictures serve as a record of one such transition, trapping the building as it hovers in midair in the moments just before its destruction. Although photography is often used to capture an image of something before it is gone, these pictures reveal Hatakeyama’s interest in documenting destruction analytically and in real time, as a celebration of the future rather than an elegy to the past.

 

Naoya Hatakeyama. 'Underground #7109' 1999

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
Underground #7109
1999
Chromogenic print
19 5/16 in. x 19 5/16 in (49 cm x 49cm)
Collection of Michael and Jeanne Klein
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

Naoya Hatakeyama. 'Underground #6302' 1999

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
Underground #6302
1999
Chromogenic print
19 5/16 in. x 19 5/16 in (49 cm x 49cm)
Collection of Michael and Jeanne Klein
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

Naoya Hatakeyama. 'Underground #7001' 1999

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
Underground #7001
1999
Chromogenic print
19 5/16 in. x 19 5/16 in (49 cm x 49cm)
Collection of Michael and Jeanne Klein
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

 

Underground, 1999 / Ciel Tombé, 2007

After photographing the limestone quarries around Japan, Hatakeyama realised that the urban fabric of Tokyo resembles a mirror image of the excavated earth when viewed from above. As he later wrote, “the quarries and the cities are like negative and positive images of a single photograph.” This revelation led him to photograph the city from great heights and, later, to document the tunnels snaking beneath it. The Shibuya River, diverted beneath Tokyo like a sewer, echoes the chambers Hatakeyama observed within the quarries, yet it is shrouded in darkness and mystery. His abstract and often theatrically lit pictures of the underground river, illuminated by a strobe at the centre of each composition, investigate the process of photographing complete darkness.

Long interested in exploring the subterranean landscapes of France, where limestone was quarried in the carrières below Paris beginning in the thirteenth century, Hatakeyama followed his Tokyo pictures with a Parisian series. For Ciel Tombé he photographed the tunnels beneath the Bois de Vincennes, a wooded park to the east of the city. The series title, which translates literally as “fallen sky,” is a term often used to describe the collapsed ceilings in Parisian underground tunnels. The resulting pictures, which share the dramatic lighting of his Shibuya River series, emphasise the fragility of a built environment exposed to the ravages of time. Hatakeyama has remarked that in these tunnels, “the sky has now become an ancient layer of earth permeating below the city [in which] we live.”

 

Naoya Hatakeyama. 'Noyelles-sous-Lens, #07729' 2009

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
Noyelles-sous-Lens, #07729
2009
From the series Terrils
Chromogenic print
23 5/8 in. x 29 1/2 in (60 cm x 75cm)
Courtesy the artist
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958) 'Loos-en-Gohelle, #02607' 2009

 

Naoya Hatakeyama (Japan, b. 1958)
Loos-en-Gohelle, #02607
2009
From the series Terrils
Chromogenic print
23 5/8 in. x 29 1/2 in (60 cm x 75cm)
Courtesy the artist
© Naoya Hatakeyama, courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery

 

 

Terrils, 2009-2010

During 2009 and 2010 Hatakeyama was a photographer in residence in the Nord-Pas de Calais, a region in northern France along the Belgian border. A historically contested area often in the path of wars between France and its neighbours, the Nord became a major centre for industry in the nineteenth century due to its wealth of coal mines, steel mills, and textile factories. Today the landscape is marked by terrils, slag heaps composed of waste products from the mining process, which in the context of the region’s current economic troubles serve as monumental reminders of a prosperous industrial past.

Hatakeyama’s photographs explore the terrain from different perspectives, with conical towers of slag looming in nearly every picture. While some of the pictures expose the burnt orange soil just beneath the earth’s surface, others soften the mining site with a wintry, atmospheric haze. By transforming this man-made wasteland to the point that the viewer can no longer determine its contours, Hatakeyama reveals a complex natural environment that incorporates human developments. According to the artist, “history is not simply a list of events, but a human narrative which weaves together time and memory. The interweaving of passing time and the memory of events creates the fabric where History appears as a pattern from which each individual perceives his own personal story.” In these pictures Hatakeyama maps the traces of one such story on the landscape through the conical forms of the mining deposits. These “hills” not only serve as reminders of the ways in which the land has been used but also evoke the long-established cultural role of mountains as mythological symbols.

Wall text from the exhibition

 

 

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Opening hours:
Friday – Tuesday 10am – 6pm
Wednesday 10am – 5pm
Thursday 10am – 9.30pm

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art website

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21
Sep
11

Exhibition: ‘Juan Davila: The Moral Meaning of Wilderness’ at the Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Caulfield

Exhibition dates: 4th August – 1st October 2011

 

Juan Davila. 'Wilderness' 2010

 

Juan Davila (Chilean b. 1946, emigrated Australia 1974)
Wilderness
2010
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

 

 

“The ‘Moral Meaning of Wilderness’ exhibition is a tour of the various approaches to the landscape: ‘plein air’ painting, studio landscape work, sublime landscape, historical evocation of landscape, modernity and the landscape, natural disaster, childhood memory of a landscape, woman in the wilderness. The ‘After Image’ works seem to refer to fantasies, inner space, unnameable objects, microcosm and immense space. Within the representation of “the land” one easily forgets that we are dealing with complexity and a field of projections. The political, the sublime, the moral stance, corporate destruction and the future of our environment come to mind.”

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Juan Davila 1

 

“In a state of grace, one sometimes perceives the deep beauty, hitherto unattainable, of another person. And everything acquires a kind of halo which is not imaginary: it comes from the splendour of the almost mathematical light emanating from people and things. One starts to feel that everything in existence – whether people or things – breathes and exhales the subtle light of energy. The world’s truth is impalpable.”

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Clarice Lispector 2

 

 

Simply put, this is the best exhibition I have seen in Melbourne this year.

Feminine jouissance is critical to an understanding of the work of Juan Davila (see quotation below). It is the jouissance of the Other: ineffable, incapable of being expressed, indescribable, unutterable. Also critical is an understanding of the meaning of ‘wilderness’ and ‘after image’.

Wilderness “is a relative term suggesting the perspective of a visitor or interloper for whom the landscape is wild and Other – for the landscape was neither wild nor foreign to its original inhabitants, at least not until its transformation through colonising, farming and displacement.”“An after image … is an optical illusion that refers to an image continuing to appear in one’s vision after the exposure to the original image has ceased.”4

The most powerful works are the Wilderness and After Image paintings. Grouped together in a room at the far end of the gallery, the effect of these paintings is to be physically surrounded by the nebula of the unconscious mind. The feeling is not dissimilar to being consumed by the abstract, elemental quality of Monet’s Nymphéas (Water Lilies) at the Orangerie in Paris. Pair to more earthly landscapes (see images 2 and 3 below) the paintings are the closest experience in approaching the divine that I have felt in a long time. Their visual and noumenal ‘energy’ is superlative.

Robert Nelson observes that, “The after-image is a momentary body-memory – not intellectual but bizarrely willed – perhaps a bit like the recollection of a dream or the instant slip that uncannily reveals the unconscious. In monumentalising this trace, Davila delivers us to another ethereal zone: the breath of libido, buffeted by clouds of repression and misty internalised myths. As portraits of evanescent memory, they are wantonly memorable.”5

Indeed, they are memorable. I had a spiritual experience with this work for the paintings promote in the human a state of grace. The non-material, the unconceptualisable, things which are outside all possibility of time and space are made visible. This happens very rarely but when it does you remember, eternally, the time and space of occurrence. I hope you have the same experience.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

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Many thankx to MUMA for allowing me to publish the images in the posting. Please click on the images for a larger version.

 

“The term jouissance, in French, denotes “pleasure” or “enjoyment.” The term has a sexual connotation (i.e., orgasm) lacking in the English word “enjoyment”, and is therefore left untranslated in English editions of the works of Jacques Lacan. In his Seminar “The Ethics of Psychoanalysis” (1959-1960) Lacan develops his concept of the opposition of jouissance and pleasure. The pleasure principle, according to Lacan, functions as a limit to enjoyment: it is the law that commands the subject to ‘enjoy as little as possible’. At the same time the subject constantly attempts to transgress the prohibitions imposed on his enjoyment, to go beyond the pleasure principle. Yet the result of transgressing the pleasure principle, according to Lacan, is not more pleasure but pain, since there is only a certain amount of pleasure that the subject can bear. Beyond this limit, pleasure becomes pain, and this ‘painful principle’ is what Lacan calls jouissance.

In his Seminar “Encore” (1972-1973) Lacan states that jouissance is essentially phallic. That is, insofar as jouissance is sexual it is phallic, meaning that it does not relate to the Other as such. Lacan admits, however, that there is a specifically feminine jouissance, a supplementary jouissance, which is beyond the phallus, a jouissance of the Other. This feminine jouissance is ineffable, for both women and men may experience it but know nothing about it.”6

 

Footnotes

  1. Davila, Juan quoted in “After Image: A conversation between Juan Davila and Kate Briggs,” in Juan Davila: The Moral Meaning of Wilderness catalogue. Canberra: ANU Drill Hall Gallery, 2011, p. 53.
  2. Lispector, Clarice. Discovering the World. Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1992, p. 122 quoted in Briggs, Kate. “Painting, an act of faith: Moments in the work of Juan Davila,” in Juan Davila: The Moral Meaning of Wilderness catalogue. Canberra: ANU Drill Hall Gallery, 2011, p. 8.
  3. Delany, Max. Introductory speech for “Contemporary Visions & Critiques of the Landscape.” Video of session. The Festival of Ideas, The Pursuit of Identity: Landscape, History and Genetics. The University of Melbourne [Online] Cited 21/09/2011. No longer available online
  4. Anon. “Afterimage” on Wikipedia. [Online] Cited 21/09/2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afterimage
  5. Nelson, Robert. “Exhibition does not take air lightly,” in The Age newspaper. Wednesday, September 21st, 2011, p. 17.
  6. Anon. “Jouissance” on Wikipedia. [Online] Cited 21/09/2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jouissance

 

Juan Davila (Chilean b. 1946, emigrated Australia 1974) 'A Man is Born Without Fear' 2010

 

Juan Davila (Chilean b. 1946, emigrated Australia 1974)
A Man is Born Without Fear
2010
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

 

Juan Davila. 'After Image. A Man is Born Without Fear' 2010

 

Juan Davila (Chilean b. 1946, emigrated Australia 1974)
After Image. A Man is Born Without Fear
2010
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

 

Juan Davila. 'Churchill National Park' 2009

 

Juan Davila (Chilean b. 1946, emigrated Australia 1974)
Churchill National Park
2009
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

 

 

“The Moral Meaning of Wilderness features recent work by Juan Davila, one of Australia’s most distinguished artists. The exhibition sees Davila turn to the genres of landscape and history painting, at a time when the environment is as much a political as a cultural consideration. With technical virtuosity, Davila’s striking representations of nature achieve monumental significance, depicting beauty and emotion while addressing modern society’s ambivalence to nature and increasing consumerism.

The Moral Meaning of Wilderness represents a radical shift in Davila’s practice, whilst continuing to explore art’s relationship to nature, politics, identity and subjectivity in our post-industrial age. Davila pursues his exploration of the role of art as a means of social, cultural and political analysis.

While many contemporary artists turned away from representation of the landscape, due to its perceived allegiance to outmoded forms of national identity and representation, Davila has recently sought to revisit and reconsider our surroundings au natural.

His paintings are, at first view, striking representations of nature. The paintings, created since 2003, are undertaken en plain air, a pre-modern technique based on speed of execution in situ, and the use of large scale canvases characteristic of history painting. He has also employed other techniques such as studio painting and representations of the landscape with reference to the sublime, the historical, memory and modernity.”

Text from the MUMA website

 

Juan Davila. 'The Painter's Studio' 2006

 

Juan Davila (Chilean b. 1946, emigrated Australia 1974)
The Painter’s Studio
2006
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

 

Juan Davila. '761 Wattletree Road' 2008

 

Juan Davila (Chilean b. 1946, emigrated Australia 1974)
761 Wattletree Road
2008
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

 

Juan Davila. 'What About my Desire?' 2009

 

Juan Davila (Chilean b. 1946, emigrated Australia 1974)
What About my Desire?
2009
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

 

Juan Davila. 'Australia: Nuclear Waste Dumping Ground' 2007

 

Juan Davila (Chilean b. 1946, emigrated Australia 1974)
Australia: Nuclear Waste Dumping Ground
2007
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

 

 

Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA)
Ground Floor, Building F.
Monash University Caulfield campus
900 Dandenong Road
Caulfield East, VIC 3145
Phone: 61 3 9905 4217

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm
Saturday 12 – 5pm

Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) website

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19
Aug
10

Exhibition: ‘Climate Capsules: Means of Surviving Disaster’ at Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

Exhibition dates: 28th May – 12th September 2010

 

Many thankx to Michaela Hille and Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Haus-Rucker-Co (Laurids Ortner, Günter Zamp Kelp, Klaus Pinter) 'Flyhead (Environment Transformer)', Vienna, 1968

 

Haus-Rucker-Co (Laurids Ortner, Gunter Zamp Kelp, Klaus Pinter)
Flyhead (Environment Transformer)
Vienna, 1968
Helmet consisting of two transparent green, symmetrical, hemispherical plastic fragments partially covered with foil. Inside the helmet, with the aid of a metal construction, audio-visual filters are arranged by means of which the normality of the surroundings is acoustically distorted and visually faceted.
Photo: Ben Rose, New York

 

Ingo Vetter. 'Adaptation Laboratory' 2004

 

Ingo Vetter
Adaptation Laboratory
2004
Exhaust-operated greenhouse with tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Ingo Vetter
© Ingo Vetter for the Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop, 2004

 

Lawrence Malstaf. 'Shrink' 1995

 

Lawrence Malstaf (Belgian, b. 1972)
Shrink
1995
Performative Installation
© Lawrence Malstaf/Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (B)

 

 

In view of the advancing climate change, the exhibition Climate Capsules: Means of Surviving Disaster at the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg poses the question: “How do we want to live in the future?” and draws attention to the socio-political consequences of coexistence under new climatic conditions. In view of the fact that the politicians are hesitant to enforce strict measures for climate protection and the citizens very sluggish about changing their habits, the change appears inevitable. The world community is accordingly confronted with the challenge of investigating various possible means of adapting to the climate change. This exhibition is the first to bring together historical and current climate-related models, concepts, strategies, experiments and utopias from the areas of design, art, architecture and urban development – pursuing not the aim of stopping the climate change, but envisioning means of surviving after disaster has struck. More than twenty-five mobile, temporary and urban capsules intended to make human life possible independently of the surrounding climatic conditions will be on view – from floating cities and body capsules to concepts for fertilising sea water or injecting the stratosphere with sulphur. A symposium, film programme, readings, performances and workshops will revolve around the interplay between design processes and political factors such as migration, border politics and resource conflicts, and investigate the consequences for social and cultural partitioning and exclusion.

The public discussion on the climate change concentrates primarily on preventing change by reducing climate damaging emissions. This reduction is to be achieved through new means of obtaining energy as well as the optimisation of energy consumption. The consumption-oriented lifestyle of the industrial nations is also to become more “environmentally friendly”; the citizens are called upon to change their habits. Emerging nations are admonished to avoid the mistakes made by the West from the start. There is not the slightest guarantee, however, that enough nations and enough people around the world will participate in such reductions, and that a “low-carbon culture” will become the globally predominant lifestyle. Nor does anyone know for sure whether the reduction goals presently being discussed will suffice to delay or stop the climate change, which is already measurable today. In the search for alternative solutions, there is a category discussed substantially less often in public: adaptation. Here strategies are developed which aim not to slow or stop the climate change but to adapt to its expected consequences. They include protective measures against flooding and overheating as well as geo-engineering, i.e. large-scale interventions in the global climate.

These technologies are usually subjected only to critical discussion with regard to their technical feasibility. Until now, their possible socio-political effects have for the most part been ignored. Their impact on the structure of the global society, however, can hardly be overestimated: in the endeavour to make life possible independently of outward climatic conditions, these strategies encourage spatial, social and political isolation. Ostensibly motivated by climate-related considerations, they could well lead to inclusion and exclusion on all levels of life, from the interpersonal to the global. They create the conditions for social segregation and global polarisation.

The exhibition Climate Capsules: Means of Surviving Disaster will focus primarily on application-oriented projects for climatological capsules from the areas of design, art, architecture, urban development and geoengineering. The show will reflect on the (political, cultural, socio-spatial) impact of these current adaptation strategies on society by means of contemporary artistic approaches and avant-garde concepts of the twentieth century. Historical projects in the context of the climate change will thus assume new meaning. The current artistic projects question the positivist perspective of their counterparts of the past, and offer the exhibition visitor a further level of sensory experience. The exhibition objects can be divided into five types: body capsules, living capsules, urban capsules, nature capsules and atmosphere capsules …

 

Pablo Reinoso. 'La Parole' 1998

 

Pablo Reinoso (Argentine-French, b. 1955)
La Parole
1998
Fabric and electrically powered ventilators
length. 620 cm, diam. 200 cm
Pablo Reinoso
© Pablo Reinoso Studio

 

Lucy Orta. 'Refuge Wear – Habitent' 1992

 

Lucy Orta (English, b. 1966)
Refuge Wear – Habitent
1992
Polyamide encased in aluminium, polar fleece, aluminium tent poles, whistle, lantern, compass
125 x 125 x 125 cm
Galleria Continua
Photo: Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Courtesy Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing / Le Moulin

 

 

Body capsules

The exhibition begins with the interactive installation La Parole by Pablo Reinoso. Two visitors at a time can poke their heads into the inflatable textile construction and share the air they breathe as well as a common visual and audio space. The experience of this work raises the question as to how people can protect their bodies from contaminated air, pollutants, storms and aggressive solar radiation. Again and again in the course of the show, the visitor encounters “body capsules” addressing the topic of clothing as bodily protection from climatic conditions.

Living capsules

The objects belonging to this group extend the encapsulated space from the body encasement to the immediate living space. Utopian designs for mobile capsules of the 1960s such as the Walking City by Ron Herron (Archigram) still figured in the discussion emphasising temporary and mobile structures as experimental free spaces after ideas introduced by such architects as Constant or Yona Friedman. Today mobility is no longer just a question of freedom – the counterpart to voluntary mobility is flight, the spatial equivalent the temporary camp. The visitor thus stumbles across Michael Rokowitz’s paraSITE, for example, an inflatable tent which the artist developed in collaboration with the homeless person Bill Stone. Like the other tents in the series, it is designed for use in an exhaust air shaft. It can dock onto a building as a temporary parasite. In this context of precarious modi vivendi – brought about not least of all by global inequality (which is further aggravated by the climate change) and the resulting mass migration – what were once visionary temporary living concepts appear in a new light. They are not spaces of liberation, but of isolation.

Urban capsules

Cities are the largest energy consumers, and urbanisation continues to increase worldwide. Zero waste, zero emission, zero energy are the creeds of the present. Already in the 1950s, Richard Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao sketched the utopia of a climatically self-sufficient reorganisation of the city with their Dome over Manhattan. In this vision, a huge dome covers a large proportion of the island. Today, these encapsulations from the outside are already being realised in conjunction with the design of internal climate worlds, whether on the scale of large building complexes or energy-self-sufficient cities such as Masdar by Norman Foster. Other concepts show that, against the background of imminent climate disasters, the urban system is conceived of increasingly as an autarchic unit, sealed from the outside world, and confronted with the need for the self-contained management of its ecological resources. This debate is carried to the furthest extreme by Vincent Callebaut’s conception for a floating city – Lilypad – intended as a haven for climate refugees.

Nature capsules

Just as the city is to be protected from the climatologically changing environment, nature is also to be elevated into a sphere of safe artificiality and preserved in nature capsules. Ecosystems are replicated by human hand on the micro level and sealed off from the outside. A concept which initially presents itself as a protective mechanism robs the flora and fauna assembled within it of their connection to the macrolevel ecosystem: Earth. The question arises: can that which is being protected inside such a capsule still be thought of as nature? Or is it a deceptively genuine human artefact? These considerations are made very vivid in Ilkka Halso’s photo series Museum of Nature, consisting of digital montages which insert forests, lakes and rivers into imaginary museum buildings.

Atmosphere capsules

The maximum scale of adaptive design strategies is reached with geo-engineering. With chemical or physical interventions, attempts are made to control climatological, geochemical and biochemical systems actively on the global level, and thus to moderate the climate. The historical forerunners of this development are psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich’s para-scientific Cloudbusters and the U.S. Army’s Project Cirrus, both of which sought to influence the weather technically by different means. Today, various well-known scientists and research institutes are working on large-scale interventions aiming to protect the global climate from negative influences. Utopian proposals are juxtaposed with feasible projects such as endeavours to reduce global warming through the use of reflective white paint on roofs and streets. To date it is impossible to calculate the consequences of such far-reaching interventions, and they are nowhere near realisation. Yet the fact that they are discussed seriously indicates how close climatological developments have already come to the point where emission-reduction strategies become obsolete.

Participating artists, designers and architects: Anderson Anderson Architecture (US), Ant Farm (US), Richard Buckminster Fuller (US), Vincent Callebaut (B), Juan Downey (US), David Greene (GB), Tue Greenfort (DK), Ilkka Halso (FI), Haus-Rucker-Co (AT), Ron Herron (GB), Kouji Hikawa (JP), Christoph Keller (D), Lawrence Malstaf (B), Gustav Metzger (D), N55 (DK), Lucy Orta (GB), Michael Rakowitz (US), Pablo Reinoso (ARG/F), Shoji Sadao (US), Tomás Saraceno (planet earth), Werner Sobek (D), Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag (D), Matti Suuronen (FI), Ingo Vetter (D).”

Press release from the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe website [Online] Cited 17/08/2010 no longer available online

 

Vincent Callebaut. 'Lilypad, A Floating Ecopolis for Climate Refugees' 2008

 

Vincent Callebaut (Belgium, c. 1977)
Lilypad, A Floating Ecopolis for Climate Refugees
2008
Digital rendering, dimensions variable
© Vincent Callebaut Architectures

 

Richard Buckminster Fuller, Shoji Sadao. 'Dome over Manhattan' c. 1960

 

Richard Buckminster Fuller, Shoji Sadao
Dome over Manhattan
c. 1960
Silver gelatine print
34.9 x 46.7 cm
Courtesy the Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller

 

Ilkka Halso. 'Museum I' 2003

 

Ilkka Halso (Finnish, b. 1965)
Museum I
2003
from the work Museum of Nature

 

 

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Steintorplatz, 20099 Hamburg

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Wednesday and Thursday 10 am – 9 pm

Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg website

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18
Jun
09

Opening 2: ‘In-Sight’ by Lisa Roet at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 17th June – 11th July 2009

Opening 17th June, 2009

 

Another excellent opening this time of the work of the delightful Lisa Roet. If you visit the gallery don’t forget the upstairs exhibition space with further work by the artist including a marvellous large bronze Orangutan Foot.

Marcus

.
Many thankx to Karen Woodbury Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

'In-Sight' by Lisa Roet opening at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

'In-Sight' by Lisa Roet opening at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

'In-Sight' by Lisa Roet opening at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

 

Opening night crowd in front of the work In-Sight (2009) by Lisa Roet at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

 

Lisa Roet. 'In-Sight 1' 2009

 

Lisa Roet
In-Sight 1
2009
Polyurethane & Neon/LED
60.0 x 60.0 cm
Edition: 3

 

Lisa Roet. 'In-Sight 4' 2009

 

Lisa Roet
In-Sight 4
2009
Polyurethane & Neon/LED
120.0 x 120.0 cm
Edition: 3

 

roet-c

'In-Sight' by Lisa Roet opening at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

 

'In-Sight' by Lisa Roet opening at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

'In-Sight' by Lisa Roet opening at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

 

The artist Lisa Roet in front of one of her works Cross Bones (2009)

 

Lisa Roet. 'Cross Bones' 2009

 

Lisa Roet
Cross Bones
2009
Led, Perspex, Polyurethane
95cm x70cm x30cm

 

'Orangutan Foot' (2007/08) by Lisa Roet at the opening of 'In-Sight' exhibition at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

 

Installation view of the work Orangutan Foot (2007/08) by Lisa Roet at the opening of In-Sight exhibition at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

 

roet-i

 

 

Karen Woodbury Gallery

This gallery is now closed.




Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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