Biennial
Everything Was Forever, Until it Was No More

This is the title of Riga first Biennial. Borrowed from Alexei Yurchak’s book, the headline is a declaration of intents. As the volume discusses the collapse of the Soviet Union, the biennale is willing to reflect on “change”.
The Soviet system was perceived as permanent, immutable and completely natural, but then people were thrusted into a new reality, same goes for what happened to Baltic States. But despite the topic seemly being rooted in past, the curator Katerina Gregos pointed out how this exposition wants to reflect on the present and near future of the human condition, how changes are entangled and interconnected, in attempt of giving a broad picture of these globally contextualised alterations.

Biennial
Photo by Elena Spasova. Courtesy Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art

Artists – mostly from the Baltic and Nordic region as well as international ones – will be the moderators attempting to answer the questions rising from innovation: how will they register the change perceived? How will they imagine the future?

While innovation seems entwined with the concept of metropolis, Riga Biennial wants to walk a different path: not an high performance metropolitan hub, but a human scale and liveable place, where people can start a close relationship with nature, re-focusing on important values such as slowness. It is important to pause and reflect upon the changing present and consider alternative ways of existing.
These are pressing issues and change the way we perceive the world: “topics like the “acceleration” experienced today in urban centres, the transformation of work – and social life-, the impossibility of privacy, the impact of rapid advancements in science and technology and the negotiation of constant crises – such as ecology, capitalism and democracy, will be the fil-rouge marking the exposition”.

Biennial
Photo by Elena Spasova, Courtesy of Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art

Our senses are overwhelmed by such never-ending increase in speed, hence the urge to focus on awareness: a part of the exhibition will be centred on the sensorium, trying to awake senses that have been put on the edge.

Hence the 1st Riga Biennial will both paint a political and a personal/existential portrait of the times we live in, characterised by epochal shifts, “summoning ghosts from the future and recalling prophets from the past”.

IBOCA1 will open to public on:
Saturday 2nd June (running until Sunday 28th October 2018)

Quotes from: the curatorial text by Katerina Gregos

 

 

tate

The art group SUPERFLEX, founded in 1993 by Danish artists Jakob Fenger, Rasmus Nielsen and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, is renowned for its playful, subversive analysis of our economic and social structures, the corpus of works consists of large-scale installations, films and long-term, process-based projects, all known as tools.

They see their work as something to be actively used. The tools are designed to affect or influence their social and economic context, often inviting the visitor to participate. The group’s work continues to confront issues of copyright, intellectual property and trademark infringement.

This one is the third annual Hyundai Commission, a series of specific works created for the Turbine Hall, made by renowned international artists, as part of the partnership between Tate and Hyundai Motor.

One Two Three Swing! a large-scale public space installation for the Tate Modern’s 2017 Hyundai Commission – is the first Turbine Hall commission to move beyond the gallery walls. Conceived to fight against apathy, and to stimulate production and movement, the work is as an orange, human-powered line from the Turbine Hall gallery and it extends into the Tate Modern’s south landscape, and around the world. To complete the installation, there are apsychedelic carpet and a pendulum on the ceiling.

Hyundai Commission: SUPERFLEX – One Two Three Swing! – Tate Modern, 3 October 2017 – 2 April 2018

SUPERFLEX engages the productive potential of the building itself, through the idea of extreme participation introduced in 2012 through the urban park project Superkilen in Copenhagen. Any visitor of the Turbine Hall and Tate Modern is invited to create a connection on the orange line, experiencing the potential of collective movement by swinging together on the count of three, action that gives the name to the installation. Inducing the visitors to swing together, Superflex wanted to stimulate social relations and cooperation, adding a little playful twist to the whole project. Everyone likes swings, even if you’re not five years old anymore.

The installation will be available from the 3rd October 2017 to the 2nd April 2018, free admission.

 

Art-Riot

What does it mean to be an artist in Russia today? On the 16th of November Saatchi Gallery and the Tsukanov Family Foundation will answer to this question presenting an exhibition, curated by Marat Guelman, dedicated to Post-Soviet Union art: Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism, featuring the work of prominent Russian and Ukrainian protest artists. This will be the first time that these artists will have an exhibition dedicated to their works.

The exhibition takes place exactly 100 years after the Russian Revolution, hence the artists decided to dig deeper and explore issues that still vex todays Russia, such the impossibility to have freedom, individually and expression-wise, both oppressed by political ideology and religion. There will not be an historical representation of it, but the Revolution will be there as a subtext, as a comparison, as a bitter remark. Responding to this crisis, to this limitation of freedom the exhibition will feature numerous works of varied genres/types of art, from performance, to videos and photography.

Art-Riot
© Pyotr Pavlensky, Stitching

Everybody for sure remember the extremely “visual” performance of Pyotr Pavlensky: Fixation had the artist nailing his scrotum to Red Square to denounce state power, or Stitch performed in front of Kazan Cathedral (St. Petersburg) had the man sewing his mouth to protest against the incarceration of Pussy Riot, whose members gained notoriety when they staged inside Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior in 2012.

This performance lead to the arrest of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, whom will perform at the opening of the exhbition. 
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Les Enfants Terribles (an innovative theatre company working with children literature in a creative way) will present Inside Pussy Riot, an immersive theatre experience, willing to revive Pussy Riot’s cathedral protest and imprisonment.
Another artist who will partecipate will be Oleg Kulik: his performances are characterised by his metamorphosis into an “animal-state”, hence the language barrier is erased thanks to the return to a feral and emotional vocabulary.

Art-Riot
© Oleg Kulik, Horses of Bretagne 1998

Other artists present at the exhibition: for example: Blue Noses Art Group, Arsen Savadov, AES + F, Vasily Slonov.

Previous shows result of the collaboration of Tsukanov Family Foundation and Saatchi Gallery:
Breaking the Ice: Moscow Art, 1960-80s (2012-2013);
Post-Pop: East Meets West (2014-2015);
Revelations (2016).

For more informations: here.

 

ss18

Venturing into her own custom prints this season, which Sara originally developed for her collaboration with BMW i8 electric car. Sara created print work using natural elements as inspiration finding a stone onyx pattern reminiscent of other natural beauties such as the Earth’s beautiful beaches, oceans, cloudy kies and sunsets. The pre-viewing party was actually held at BMW Park Lane store where you get to see the collection as well as the i8 cars. Very impressive!

The SS18 collection is very natural in colour, a lot beige, pale pink, white, brown and black. The designs of each outfit are very feminine and masculine at the same time. For example, you can see a pretty blouse and then boom a strong statemented jacket. Super fine tailored wool suiting worn with soft silk blouses, dressing and tunics. Sara has continued her signature use of bias cut layering of organic fluid fabrics juxtaposed with chic, clean and fitted leather shape biker jacket. Each piece from this collection can be worn for any occasion, very versatile collection!

The SS18 collection is also handcrafted from the finest materials by skilled artisans. Sara supports a system where garments are produced in keeping with all social responsibilities from manufacturing through to retail. For instance, the working conditions of the artisans producing the garments have set new standards of how a brand should uphold ethical and humanitarian values. I really like that Sara is acknowledging her team behind her collections.

Photos courtesy of HPR AGENCY (photos by Simon Armstrong)

nikki

Many people know Nikki Sixx as the bassist of Mötley Crüe, but he is not only a great musician. Nikki is also a great photographer and Leica Gallery in Los Angeles has dedicated a photographic exihibition from October 4 to November 5.

Conversation with Angels is a journey through the moments of people suffering from drug abuse and homelessness. Nikki calls them his angels and they remind him through interaction and comunication that life is based on the decisions we make in life. He looks for hope to make it out of a troubled life and to finally achieve their final desire: a clean and better life.

When I get home from shooting. I look at those photos for hours. I zoom in on their eyes, their lips, and their fingers and I look for some hope. If I can find that hope then I’ve done them justice in my photography.

Nikki Sixx’s collaboration with Leica Camera happens on the 10th Anniversary of his New York Times bestselling memoir “The Heroin Diaries” and “The Heroin Diaries” anniversary edition soundtrack album by his other band, SIXX:A.M. Not only, but the exihibtion will help raise funds for a photography room and program to benefit the Covenant House California, Los Angeles, the organisation with which Nikki has partnered in order to help the homeless youth who seek shelter at Covenant House with a music program, the most successful among its residents.

Life is about change. For me, photography is about capturing that moment in time before it changes. Afterwards, we can use it as a bookmark, or a timestamp, to remember the better and the worse times that have happened. We can also use it to create a new perspective and spark a change in people. I feel motivated to tell stories through photography and sometimes, if I’m lucky, discover things about myself. I’ve always said as I head out the door, camera in hand, that I am embarking on an unattainable journey, but, if I’m lucky, I might just stumble across and have a conversation with an angel.

To celebrate his dedication to photography, Leica Camera has decided to release a new camera, the Leica Q Nikki Sixx Edition, a limited edition release of the rock star’s own full-frame compact camera. This new model features a black snakeskin finish on leatherette with Nikki’s laser-engraved signature. The camera will be accompanied by a black leather wrist strap, an autographed copy of the 10th anniversary edition of Sixx’s memoir and a black DSPTCH braided shoulder strap, which has been able to withstand the tough photographic environments that Sixx found inspiration in and enjoyed shooting.

The Leica Q Nikki Sixx Edition will be available only in 28 units, a number which has special meaning for Sixx as he overdosed on heroin at that age and was clinically dead for several minutes which had provided the turning point that lead him to begin his recovery.

balloon

The Mondial Air Balloon takes place at the old NATO airbase in Chambley-Bussière, in the French department of Meurthe-et-Moselle. During ten days, around one thousand hot air balloons from approximately seventy different countries took off to invade the sky. This year the Mondial Air Balloon has set a new world record for the greatest mass hot air balloon ascent, with four hundred and fivety six balloons lining up and ready to launch.

In these pictures Boris tried to portray the magic of the Mondial Air Balloon, by showing the preparation of the pilots, main actors of this event, during the process of inflation and launch of the hot air balloons, and by showing their flight from an air view perspective around the airbase.
There are plenty of professional and amateur photographers milling around the take-off area, however, to get on board a flight in hot air balloons or helicopter (Boris scenario) to take pictures requires permission…and luck. A media gave him the golden pass.


The helicopter offers to Boris the possibility to have the point of view of a hot air balloons but without being in the mass of them, and to have another view on the process of inflation. Being on the ground, in the middle of the hot air balloons makes it possible to realize just how small people are. A balloon flight is an exceptional experience, it’s like being a bird, with no cockpit and in total silence (except when the burners are lit from time ti time), it’s really unique -and even more so, with hundreds of hot air balloons surrounding you.

About the author:

Boris Untereiner was born in 1980 in France. He lives in France and works in Luxemburg as chemist/biologist and photographer. He Graduate at Nancy University. He began photography in 2007.
He has been exhibited in France and Belgium with architectural and portraits series, and published by various magazines/e-magazines/websites around the world with a report on a world record hot air balloons flight in France and a double exposure series.

The Bora Aksu SS18’s collection is inspired by Lady Mihri Mushik, a brave and extraordinary woman who gave up a privileged life to pursue a passion for art and a bohemian existence. Musfik returned to Turkey in 1913 to become the nation’s first contemporary female artist.

Aksu created garments that reflects Mufik’s life and aristocratic roots were intertwined with a bohemian existence, mirrored in the ‘kutnu’ fabric – a hand-woven textile woven in the hand looms of Gaziantep, South Turkey. The combination of soft feminine fabrics and structured shapes adds a romantic, but bold silhouette. Much of the detailing is directly inspired by Musfik’s early wardrobe, with a layering effect created by recurring embroidery in graphic lines and shapes

The composition of silk and cotton dates back to the sixtieth century and the fabric was the symbol of nobility and power in the Ottoman Empire. It was mainly used in the kaftans of sultans and emperors, while today, it’s produced by a small group of craftsmen determined to keep the tradition alive. This kutnu fabric is deployed throughout the collection in shades of deep red, pink, blue and dark navy, utilised alongside with silk organzas, cotton and silk habotais – a fabric first pioneered in Japan.

Overall, the Bora Aksu SS18 is a very cute, classic and elegant collection. There are some pieces that I really like, especially those pussy-bow blouses and dresses, the colour range and those shoes! So, congratulations to a wonderful collection! Looking forward to the next collection by Aksu.

Photos courtesy of SPRING LONDON

bfi

The 61st BFI London Film Festival selection is always very interesting, ranging from British to international film, wich are introduced to a UK-wide audience. The event alternates glamourous red carpets to screen talks with famous directors, and it provides an  essential opportunity for films and filmmakers, searching for global success.

The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK and it has the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by. The festival champions emerging and world class filmmakers in the United Kingdom by investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work. It is also engaged in promoting British films and talent to the world and by growing the next generation of filmmakers and audiences. The BFI is a distributor of Lottery funds for film and it serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of filmmaking. It delivers this role as the UK-wide organisation for film, by providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK, and by working with partners to advance the position of British films.

Every year the festival is divided in different categories of competition: official, short films, first feature, documentary and a series of strands, in which all the films entered represent that exact strand, like love, dare, debate, thrill, laugh, family, cult, journey, create, experimenta. The awards for the films are The Best Film Award, The Sutherland Award, The Grierson Award, The Short Film Award. The selection for 2017 is rich and diverse, presenting 28 new films and many already awarded international films.

This edition has aroused many critics for the low percentage of female directors, percentage that is rising, says the festival director, Clare Stewart. As written on an article of The Guardian, only a quarter of the films are directed by women, which is considered “bad”, because they are moving towards equity and diversity. Not only London, but also Venice Film Festival was glared criticallly, because only one film out of 21 was directed by women, but this little slip wasn’t made on purpose, fortunately.

BFI London Film Festival’s director is Clare Stewart, who has a 21 year programming career, encompassed leadership roles as Festival Director, Sydney Film Festival (2006-2011) and the inaugural Head of Film Programs at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne (2002-2006) as well as various roles at the Australian Film Institute (1996-2001), including Exhibition Manager, and programmer and Committee Member of the Melbourne Cinémathèque (1995-2002). She has been BFI Head of Festivals and BFI London Film Festival Director since October 2011.

In the green prefecture-level city of Lishui, south-west China, since the 2004 a special festival has taken place: the Lishui Photography Festival is now at its 8th edition, but since its first appearance it immediately became one of the most important date in the agenda of photography practitioners and beginners from all-over the world.
From the 15th to the 19th November, the festival will take place in varied venues allover the city, including a petrol pump factory, a car repair workshop, a gym, in addition to traditional locations.

Lishui
© Jennifer B Thoreson

This year the already unique event decided to challenge even more its program, including a greater variety of events, from exhibitions to debates, from conferences to portfolio evaluations.
Certainly a chance to dig deeper in today photography world. Nevertheless without forgetting the past of “picture-taking” with an exhibition and auction of vintage cameras (from the 19th and 20th centuries), photographic artworks and a photo books fair.

Among the professionals invited this edition there are James Ramer artist, professor, exhibition curator and currently director of the Faculty of Photography at Parsons (the New School for Design, New York), Shiqiang Gao professor at the Fine Arts Academy of China Hangzhou and Yan Deng artist and currently professor at the School of Art at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

James Ramer curated the exhibition Where does the Future Get Made, presenting the creations of twenty artist-photographers, all from different cultural background and different countries.
While If Art Can Start A New Again is organised by Yan Deng: the exhibition examines new artistic forms generated by new technology and its development, influencing the way people consume images.

In addition, this year guest-of-honor will be the Musée de l’Elysée (Lausanne, Switzerland), presenting the exhibition reGeneration: launched in 2015, the project explores and discovers the emerging international photography scene.

Housewife

Janna is an Italian housewife that seems to come out of a Neorealist film of the 50s. She has spent all her life raising her 3 children and taking care of her husband. From when she gets up in the morning, she starts a busy routine of laundry, ironing, and cooking.

Always busy with household chores, she rarely leaves her place if not to visit the ice cream shop around the corner:

“Every Sunday my grandmother would give me some coins. With that change I used to buy an ice cream and go to the cinema to seen Laurel and Hardy’s movies. Now there are no more cinemas close to my house but there is a nice ice cream shop – that’s why I stopped watching movies but still eat ice cream!”

Janna is not well informed about the outside world. Big political issues rarely engage her, but she has a joyful spirit and a down-to-earth, wise attitude to life:

“Before I got married I didn’t know how to cook but with three kids and a husband I was forced to learn. Now I’m a really good cook. Throughout my life I’ve eaten a lot of vegetable soup because I was born at a time when the only things you could find to eat were bread and vegetables. Could this be the reason I’ve reached the age of 82?”

Her poetry of small things, as I like to call it, has always been a great inspiration to me: “You want some advice from me? Work, be honest and hope to stay healthy. Also… don’t forget – try not to fear anything, not even death.”


About the author:

Michela Carmazzi is a London based artist from Italy working as a documentary photographer, scriptwriter and filmmaker. Her work explores the relationship between memory and people. She is editing her first photo book: “Aunt Janna, an Italian housewife”. The photo project has been selected at the Renaissance Photography Prize 2017, MIFA2017, IPA2016 and it will be exhibited at the Getty Images Gallery in London 10-21 October 2017.