Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Auckland - Paris - Auckland

I leave for Paris today, back in Auckland mid June. This means my blog postings will have to mostly wait until I'm back in my studio. But lots to tell on my return. Watch this space!

Monday, May 16, 2011

John Baldessari - Your Name in Lights

The Stedelijk Museum, together with Holland Festival, the leading performing arts festival in the Netherlands—proudly present Your Name in Lights by renowned American artist John Baldessari. Which will run 1–26 June 2011, Museumplein in Amsterdam.
This extraordinary work, by one of the leading figures associated with Conceptual art, will be installed in Amsterdam's Museumplein, in front of the forthcoming annex of the Stedelijk Museum (currently under construction). Your Name in Lights will also be available to watch online, via a live stream on the dedicated website. With this dynamic and participatory public artwork, the Stedelijk Museum sets the stage for the Museumplein to be not only the gateway to the renewed museum, but also a major venue for the presentation of contemporary art.
Your Name in Lights gives people the opportunity to experience a glittering 15 seconds of fame by having their names on a giant illuminated sign. Inspired by traditional markers of celebrity, such as the neon lights on Broadway and the marquees of Hollywood cinemas, John Baldessari's work offers spectators from Amsterdam and all over the world the opportunity for what he has called "entry-level celebrity." Each registered name will be illuminated for 15 seconds on the 30-meter long L.E.D. sign that will be on view twenty-four hours a day during the exhibition period. People can register online at www.yournameinlights.nl and will be informed in advance of when their names will appear. Participants are also welcome to register up to four additional names of friends and family at the same time.

Your Name in Lights playfully and provocatively reflects the fixation with celebrity in contemporary culture and recalls Andy Warhol's oft-quoted statement from 1968, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes". "Warhol is so yesterday," says John Baldessari. "Be a celebrity for 15 seconds! Be a celebrity, a living legend and an idol. Experience the thrill of seeing your name in lights!"

John Baldessari is one of the most significant artists of our time. Throughout his remarkable career, which to date spans over five decades and includes a remarkable oeuvre of paintings, photographs, sculpture, films, video, books and texts, Baldessari has consistently explored the associative power of language. He continues to provocatively challenge the rules and codes of mass-media culture and insightfully illuminate how meaning is produced through visual and written language. A key figure associated with Conceptual art during the 1960s, Baldessari remains one of the most influential and dynamic artists working today.

To participate in Your Name in Lights, you can register online at www.yournameinlights.nl.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

MACK - A new publisher

The creation of a new publishing house is such a rare event that it must be announced. We have become so accustomed to hearing about publishing’s decline that this is an initiative worth talking about!

The presentation is simple: “MACK is an independent publishing house open to artists, writers, and curators who would like to create intellectually stimulating projects through books, from sumptuous avant-garde material objects to digital editions.”
Mack, from his name Mickael Mack, was a long-standing independent editor before becoming General Director of Steidl books. He will remain at the renowned German publishing house while launching the more experimental MACK books.

The first book was released in October, 2010: Nature’s Map, the catalogue for Thomas Demand’s exhibition at the villa Paloma in Monaco included a CD, and a mini book with unreleased texts by Luigi Ghirri.
So far this year several new works have been released including: Roe Etheridge (That’s Luxury), Lars Turnbjörk (L.A office), Taryn Simon (A Living Man Declared Dead and other Chapters), and Mark Dion with the Monaco based exhibition Oceanomania, and coming soon, Gerry Johansson, Andres Petersen or Dan Holdsworth.
A digital version of the V&A exhibition catalogue devoted to South African photography, Figures and Fictions, will also be released as well as several limited editions.

Patrick Rémy, Paris

More here: http://www.mackbooks.co.uk/

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Andy Warhol self-portrait US$38,442,500

Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
signed and dated 'Andy Warhol /64' (on the overlap of the upper left, upper right and lower left panels); signed again, inscribed and dated again 'To Mrs. B Andy 64' (on the overlap of the lower right panel), acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, in four parts, overall: 40 x 32 in. (101.6 x 81.3 cm.) Painted in 1963-1964.

NEW YORK (AFP) - A blue canvas self-portrait by Pop Art king Andy Warhol fetched a record $38.4 million in a tense two-way bidding war at Christie's in New York Wednesday. The 1963-1964 work, which shows Warhol wearing sunglasses in four panels, was the star of a brisk contemporary art sale that saw the auction power house leave arch-rival Sotheby's in its tracks.
Total sales hit $301.7 million, just over the high pre-sale total estimate of $299 million, and far above the $128 million netted at Sotheby's in its own contemporary art sale on Tuesday.

Christie's said the Warhol set a record for a self-portrait by the still hugely lucrative artist, who died in 1987. Pre-sale estimates for the work ranged between $20-30 million, but bidding burst those barriers in a dramatic contest between a phone bidder and a bidder present in the Manhattan auction room.
Bids shot up in increments of half a million dollars, then a quarter of a million and then, as the competitors dug in, by just $100,000 a time, drawing laughter from the well-heeled crowd. As the struggle limped on, passing the $30 million mark, Christie's auctioneer quipped: "Longest lot in history."

When the phone bidder finally prevailed, applause erupted.

Another Warhol self-portrait, this time showing the wild-haired artist in diabolical red against a dark background, sold for $27.5 million, a hefty but relatively disappointing performance that fell below the $30 million low pre-sale estimate.
Other big sellers included an untitled oil by Mark Rothko, selling for $33.7 million, well above the $22 million high pre-sale estimate.
"Three Studies for Self-Portrait" by Francis Bacon sold for $25.3 million.
The evening sale had a buzz distinctly lacking on Tuesday at rival Sotheby's contemporary art auction.
There, Andy Warhol canvas "Sixteen Jackies" sold for $20.4 million, at the low end of the pre-sale estimate.
Jeff Koons' "Pink Panther," a porcelain sculpture of a topless blonde hugging the famous cartoon character, sold for $16.8 million. That was far below the estimate of $20-30 million. Warhols also dominated the Sotheby's top sellers, with "Shadow - Red" selling for 4.8 million, far above the estimate of $700-900,000 and "Round Jackie" fetching $3.7 million, compared to the pre-sale estimate of $3-4 million.
Christie's had a much smoother ride, hitting the biggest haul for an evening sale since May 2008. Of 65 lots offered, 95 percent sold, with 38 lots selling for more than $1 million, five for more than $10 million and four for over $20 million.
The previous record for a self-portrait by Warhol, $32.6 million, dated to May 2010.

Brett Gorvy, international co-head of post-war and contemporary art at Christie's, said it was "one of the best sales we've ever had."
"After last night there was a certain degree of caution," he said. "Ultimately to see a sale so successful... is just indicative of a market that is really pursuing quality."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

STILL LOOKING FOR IT - new book work

This new bookwork continues the line of inquiry I developed in my set of four bookworks, AS IT IS? In Four Chapters, which I made last year. In STILL LOOKING FOR IT, I continue to question the nature and substance of the things I see and the idea of ITness itself.

This artist's book is 280 x 215 mm, 40 pages with 43 photographs and is printed on a 120 gsm stock with a board cover. The edition is limited to 75 copies, each signed and numbered.
Copies can be obtained directly from me: €30 / £25 / US$42 / NZ$52, this includes postage cost.

Jeff Wall, meet the artist

23.05.2011 - 19:30
Palais des Beaux-Arts,  rue Ravensteinstraat 23, Brussels

Before the opening of Jeff Wall. The Crooked Path, Canadian artist Jeff Wall will introduce the exhibition by talking on selected artworks and the concept behind it. He will be joined by curator Joël Benzakin and the catalogue’s editor Hans De Wolf.

The Thinker - 1986 - Transparency in lightbox - 221 x 229 cm

Jeff Wall, The Crooked Path. Friday 27.05 - Sunday 11.09.2011
Famous for his large photographic compositions installed in light boxes, Canadian artist Jeff Wall will present this summer an exhibition displaying his photographs along with those of historical and other contemporary artists. Since the end of the 1970’s, Jeff Wall has been striving to give photography a privileged position within the fine arts, drawing regularly his inspiration from paintings in order to give his compositions an iconographic dimension. His references to masterpieces from the History of art, such as La mort de Sardanapale by Eugène Delacroix, which have inspired him for The Destroyed Room of 1978, are very well known and documented.
Especially conceived for Bozar, this original exhibition intends to place the work of the artist within his cultural context and photographic creation. Jeff Wall has selected 25 of his photographs, produced between the 70’s and today, which he presents next to a careful selection of works by artists who have nurtured his thinking over the last 40 years. Rarely available to the public, these artworks from North-American and European collections are by artists like Duchamp, Arbus, Atget, Wols, Gursky, Claerbout, Struth, Stella, Smithson, Graham, Wallace and Weiner. This exhibition, organised into themes ranging from historical photography, film, literature and conceptual art, reveals the artist’s rich creative process.

The museum's site: http://www.bozar.be/

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Paul Graham: FILMS, book signing

Paul Graham: FILMS
Book signing, Dashwood Books, Thursday May 12th, 6-8 pm
33 Bond Street between Bowery and Lafayette. New York 10012

Films is Paul Graham's eulogy to the physical material of photography.

The 20th century's greatest medium has undergone a catastrophic decline over the past decade as digital cameras have swept aside the traditional process of taking photographs. Film has died: Kodacolor, Fujicolor, Tri-X, Kodachrome, Ektacolor – all evocative names for any photographer – are now gone or fading fast. Yet this magical material is a true product of both science: silver salts suspended in gelatin emulsion on celluloid base, and magical alchemy: it could capture light . Film became the defining material of 20th century creativity, and is ubiquitous to every great artist of photography and film making. While examining his past 30 years of work for the 2009 survey exhibition and book , Graham became enamoured with the material of his craft, and began to reflect upon the physical substance by which he, and all photographers, made their images. Besides scanning his images for the survey, he also scanned the blank film ends and unexposed frames from each body of work to gather an alternative survey, a 'negative retrospective' of his practice. What first appears to be abstract dots, blobs or colour forms, are in fact just greatly magnified images of the raw film emulsion– the color dyes clouds formed in the exposure and development of film. These images are not abstract at all, but extreme close-ups of the film's structure – the red, green and blue dyes that form film emulsion, which comprise each and every celluloid image in existence. Their beauteous complication, the wonder of their granular form, irrespective of what they describe, is given here for us to enjoy.

Graham presents us a timely tribute to the passing of film. The grains, color dyes and black and white crystals, make images of beauty, simplicity and scientific record. Part wistful homage, part farewell, part visual wonder, Films is a book for anyone who engaged with photographic material in the 20th century.

Design by Paul Graham
24 x 32 cm portrait, 64 pp, 4 colour
€35 / £30 / $45

New York Photography Festival - opens tomorrow

NYPH11 opens tomorrow and runs until May 15. The festival, curated by Enrico Bossan and Elisabeth Biondi has a range of shows, including, Under the Bridge: Projections of a Revolution, an extensive collection of photographs and videos documenting the revolutions in North Africa.
There is an extensive lecture programme including a presentation at 1pm on Saturday May 14, by Andy Adams publisher of FlakPhoto.com.
Andy will be talking about how the internet has changed the way the world sees photography and photographs. He'll explore the intersection of online publishing, social media and community collaboration. This talk alone should be worth the price of admission.

More here: http://www.newyorkphotofestival.com/site/
and on fb here: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=146997685368355

Monday, May 9, 2011

SOME OF JOHN'S FRIENDS - my latest bookwork

This book is about appropriation. Appropriation from the appropriator if you like. I won't say more, you will have to work it out for yourself.

The book is 260 x 200 mm, 48 pages, printed on a mat 120 gsm stock, saddle stitched.
A limited edition of 75 copies, each signed and numbered.
Copies can be obtained directly from me: €22 / £20 / US$32 / NZ$40, this includes postage cost.

Ed Ruscha: Road Tested

Who is not a fan of Ed Ruscha's larconic, laid-back and inventive "road works"? Here they all are in the wonderful catalogue to his show at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, which ran January 23 - April 17. My catalogue arrived today, with spreads of his book-works, Royal Road Test, Some Los Angeles Apartments, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, Twenty Six Gasoline Stations, they are all here plus paintings. There are texts by Michael Auping and Richard Prince, an interview with Ruscha and a road map identifying the sites where the works were made. Published by Hatje Canz, this has to be a must have book!

Auckland, some photographs.....

.... I made yesterday.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

JAPAN x 3 exhibitions well worth a look

Eikoh Hosoe, Kamaitachi #17, 1965

1. Eikoh Hosoe: Theatre of Memory opening at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
This exhibition brings together four seminal series by Eikoh Hosoe. The series Butterfly Dream (1960-2005), Kamaitachi (1965-68) and Ukiyo-e projections (2002-03) will be exhibited in their entirety in the form of photo-scrolls, suggesting a new way of ‘reading’ his series as a continuous narrative. These three series all driven by Hosoe’s longstanding fascination for butoh and for its charismatic founders, Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno. In addition to these photo-scrolls, original prints from the acclaimed Embrace (1969-70) series will also be presented. The exhibition will be showing at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia from 12 May to 7 August 2011.

Koji Onaka, Tokyo

2. Koji Onaka and Shigeichi Nagano exhibition opening at Photo4 Gallery, Paris
This exhibition presents a quietly beautiful and truthful portrait of an often forgotten face of Japan through the lenses of Koji Onaka and Shigeichi Nagano. Both wanderers, with the freedom that brings, these two photographers through their roamings have each captured Japan in his own individual way. Their works, which combine people and landscapes, come together to reveal a fuller picture of the real Japan. The exhibition will be held at the Photo4 gallery in Paris from 19 May to 15 June 2011.

3. Eikoh Hosoe opening at Clair Galerie, Munich
In collaboration with Clair Galerie, Studio Equis presents a solo exhibition of the work of Eikoh Hosoe including original silver-gelatin prints from three of the artist's best-known series Barakei (Ordeal by Roses) (1961), Kamaitachi (1965-68) and Man and Woman (1959-60). The exhibition will be held at Clair Galerie in Munich, Germany from 7 June to 16 July 2011.

POLANOID - A new site that celebrates the magic of POLAROID

With the arrival of the IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT and the availability of a range films for Polaroid Cameras along comes POLANOID, a crazy new site dedicated to the joys and pleasures of instant photography.
They have this to say: POLANOID was invented because the magic of Polaroid pictures, the thrilling Edwin Land story and the charme and touch of Polaroid cameras hit us like a sledge hammer. Hungry for real analog, good smelling pictures in a digital world, we decided to swim against the stream and to reset our focus and start the biggest, best and most instant online photo community ever. Stuffed with millions of Polaroids, collected and uploaded by Polaroid addicts all over the planet.

You can check POLANOID OUT HERE: http://www.polanoid.net/

Saturday, May 7, 2011

IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT - New instant colour film for Polaroid 600 Cameras

Impossible has just released the long awaited new Instant Colour Film for Polaroid 600 cameras. Discontinued in 2008, the legendary Polaroid 600 colour film is by now hard to find and sorely missed by millions of photographers. Impossible has now filled this colour-less gap with a new generation instant colour film. The PX 680 Color Shade FF works in all Polaroid 600 cameras as well as all Polaroid SX 70 cameras equipped with a neutral density filter.

Impossible have this to say: We are truly proud and very excited to release this long awaited, brand new color film for Polaroid 600 cameras. The First Flush Edition of the PX 680 Color Shade film fills the gap left by the legendary, by now hard to find Polaroid 600 film and introduces a magical new color palette within the classic white frame. Utilizing a completely new formula with all new components, this magnificent film delights with colorful images that are reminiscent of the finest characteristics of the legendary Polaroid materials.


Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation - conversations

The HCB Foundation, Paris, presents a series of conversations conducted bi-monthly by Quentin Bajac, chief curator of photography at the Centre Pompidou. These also involve various players in the photographic scene.

The next event is Wednesday, May 18 from 18:30 to 20h and the subject is amateur photography: definitions, practices, approaches With Emmanuelle Fructus, a historian specializing in anonymous photograph, Irene Jonas, independent sociologist and Sylvain Maresca, a professor of sociology at the University of Nantes.


Photographers whose work I like - No13/ Massimo Sordi

Massimo Sordi is another of my online photography friends and colleagues. He began working as a photographer at the end of the 80's with a special interest in reading the contemporary landscape. Since 2001, he has worked as a contract professor for the Alma Mater Studiorum of the University of Bologna, and lectures on the history and techniques of photography at the "Aldo Rossi" Faculty of Architecture in Cesena.
In 2009 and 2010 he curated with Stefania Rössl the project on emerging international photography Global Photography, published in two catalogues and exhibited in many cities. In 2010 was published his first monograph, Indian photographs.

Here is a selection of Mossimo's Indian photographs. He describes this work as "nothing to see in India" and writes:

I look
I look very, very hard
I do not want to retell any more
I just want to photograph

You can discover more here: http://www.massimosordi.com/