Issue 20
200.00 USD

Issue 20

You Give Us Peace Through Your Work

Curated projects by:

Benjamin Donaldson/Lisa Kereszi “Priority”

Christine Y Kim and Mark Bradford “What’s the Use of the Truth If You Can’t Tell a Lie Sometimes”

Dennis and Debra Scholl “Metamorphosis”

Eric Laignel, Romain Coulombe, and Let Me Drive/Jessica Boukris “Listen! Can’t You Hear This Music Out There?”

James Hyde “Ghost Story”

Jenny Holzer/Melanie Flood “Declassified”

Jonathan Horowitz & Rob Pruitt “A Peacock Hill Family Album”
Lawrence Seward, John T Koga with the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art “Hale Kapu”

Luis Miguel Suro & Rodolfo Riviera “Flowers Painting Project”

Marcel Dzama “Homeless”

Matt Murphy “Intersections”

Michael Scott King “Too Much Fun”

Sebastiaan Bremer “Andrea (fear) Loirinha Surf”

Ukawa Naohiro “Ukawarks Nos. 1-4”

Reviews by:

Emma Wilcox, Erica Firpo, Andrew Weinstein, Despina Zeykili, Grace Kim, Elwyin Palmerton, John Giglio, Germaine Keller, Ryan Holmberg, Berin Golonu, Sari Carel, Ronald Delegge

Issue 19
200.00 USD

Issue 19

Curated projects by:

Andrew Kuo “Stadium”

Christian Schumann “Selections from the Hall of Records”

George Philip/Oneil Edwards “Architecture Has Nothing to Do With the ‘Styles’”

Gerardo Mosquera/Adrienne Samos “ciudadMULTIPLEcity”

Giasco Bertoli “30 All”

Harrison Haynes “Mobile Acres”

Siri Kuptamethee “Indigo People”

James Fuentes/AFA “American Fine Arts: If Culture Means Anything”

Jay Stuckey “Airplanes and Mummies”

Karin Davie “Pushed, Pulled, Depleted, & Duplicated”

Lawrence Seward “Drawings Bad Good”

Marisa Aragona “Sunday”

Max Ruback “Monsters” (fiction)

Rainer Ganahl “Iraq Dialogs” (painted on ceramic tiles)

Wim Delvoye “Gothic”

Reviews by:
Sabine Heinlein, Patrick Billard, Toby Zinman, Joseph Nechvatal, Efi Strousa, Roy Exley, Kim Hodge, Aaron Reed, Jon Wagner, Lee Stoetzel

Issue 18
200.00 USD

Issue 18

La Fiesta Grande

Curated projects by:

Ana Finel Honigman “Fulsome Chattiness/Biting Cattiness” (satire after William Hogarth)

Andrew Coulter Enright/Tynt Press “Life Like a Mixtape”

Antelman/Drivas “GPS (Global Positioning System)” (sincerely, your car)

Drazen Bosnjak “Sustained Vinyl Mutation”

Faile “Faile”

Jovi Schnell “Drift”

Madeleine Hoffman/Rainer Judd “101 Spring Street”

Matt Murphy “Portfolio: drawings, photos, ideation, and product” (zingmagazine’s 1st edition bag designed by Matt Murphy comes with the special edition of issue #18)

Oneil Edwards/Satoru Eguchi “Off-Ramp”

Paul Ramirez Jonas “A-M-N-E-S-I-A”

The Royal Art Lodge “A Christmas Story”

Simon Watson/Scenic “The German Connection” (the Hort’s collection)

Valentin Valhonrat “The Face of Love”

Zac Posen/Mary Barone “Paper Dolls”

Reviews by:

James Westcott, AS Bessa, Ryan Holmberg, Despina Zeykili, Sari Carel, Nicole Rudick, Shelley F Marlow, Emily Kuger, Laura Richard Janku

Issue 17
200.00 USD

Issue 17

The Installation of Digital TV

Curated projects by:

Angus Hood “Now Known as 15th, 1st, 2nd”

Brian Alfred “Why I Don’t Leave the House”

Dr Ben Satterfield “America’s Game” (dissecting Wheel of Fortune)

General Assembly zingmagazine’s 3rd CD

Giasco Bertoli “In a Year of 13 Moons”

Lee Stoetzel “Accidental Tourism”

Luis Macias “Blue Rage”

Ester Partegas “Detours (some days I feel so worthless)” zingmagazine’s 3rd Poster

Mike Lohr “Semiliquid”

Omar Lopez-Chahoud “French Cooking” with James Yamada, Adam Putnam, Jill Henderson, John Espinosa, Laura Watt, and more

Sam Hecht/Mary Barone “Fashion Computations” (a computer you could use like a torch, and others)

Serge Onnen “Sanitary Park” (where everything is clean and perfect)

Steven Severance “Antigone” zingmagazine’s 5th book

Todd Hido/Melanie Flood “Roaming”

Reviews by:

Ben Lefebvre, Ana Honigman, Joao Paulo-Ribas, Adrian George, Alison Green, Eric Susyne, Joseph Nechvatal, Roy Exley, Dan Adler, Tito Ortiz

Issue 16
200.00 USD

Issue 16

Curated projects by:

Aesthetics zingmagazine’s first music CD

David Brady/Mark Sink “Victoria’s Secret”

James Fuentes with text by Carlo McCormick “History of Alleged Galleries”

Kenny Schachter/Vito Acconci “Preliminary Proposal for Kenny Schachter Gallery” (latest rants and raves)

Lisa Kereszi “Night Light” (roadtripping it)

Patricia Cronin “Classified”

Paul Ramírez Jonas “Magellan’s Itinerary”

Serge Onnen “Volume” 3rd zingmagazine book

Sico Carlier & Ben Laloua “Persistence of Memory” (Amanda Lear bares all)

Vik Muniz “Pictures of Air”

William Pope L “The Martin Luther King Distribution Project”

Yeondoo Jung “Evergreen Tower” (family portraits from Korea)

Reviews:

Lockwood Smith, John Richey, Jade Doskow, AS Bessa, Laurel Broughton, Sari Carel, Liz Deschenes, Gregory Volk, Matthew Ritchie, Emily Tsingou, Sabine Russ, Judith Findlay, Spencer Finch

Issue 15
200.00 USD

Issue 15

Arbiters of Taste

Curated Projects by:

Amy Gartrell “Alive and Dead” (so much easier to admire)

Avikal Alexander Gebhard “Kumbha-Mela”

Giasco Bertoli second in the zingmagazine poster series

Hans Winkler “Forgotten Architecture of Hunting Stands in Bavaria” (things to kill ducks with)

Jane Hart “Hollywood 101: Deconstructing Tinseltown”

Momoyo Torimitsu “Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable” (dead bunnies)

Rainer Ganahl “Seminars/Lectures (s/l)”

Sam Hecht/Mary Barone “Under a Fiver” (cheap products as picked by design impresario)

Sarah Staton “A Sample from the ‘Tru Blue Jeans’ Series”

Thomas Rayfiel Lutwidge Finch: The Conclusion

Reviews by:

Gilbert Alter-Gilbert (aka someone in the Royal Art Lodge), Traj 1, Sari Carel, Laurel Broughton, Duncan McLaren, Carl Skelton, Brian McDonald

Issue 14
200.00 USD

Issue 14

The Fact That It Is Indomitable

Curated projects by:

AsFOUR the first in zingmagazine’s poster series

CODA Chuihua Judy Chung & Sze Tsung Leoong (Three Houses)

Dave Hickey spills all with Sari Carel

Ester Partegas “No Se Si Tu Sientes Lo Mismo Pero”

Giasco Bertoli “15 Love”

Lawrence Seward “Drawing from a Meandering Pencil”

Paul Ramirez Jonas “100”

Pauline Daly “Fashion Turn to the Right”

Richard Agerbeek, Alex Kress, Leja Kress “Sweden”

Simon Henwood/Mary Barone “Billboard Portraits”

Thomas Rayfiel Lutwidge Finch: Part 10 (the continuing saga)

Olav Westphalen “Play, Play I Say” and other drawings

Reviews by:

Jeanne Siegel, Brian McDonald, Joseph Nechvatal, AS Bessa, Ana Honigman, Angus Ivy, Christoper Ho, AF Robbins, Laurel Broughton

Issue 13
200.00 USD

Issue 13

AsFOUR “Puppen Couture”

Ben Satterfield “Big Brother Doesn’t Want You (But Maybe You Can Fool Him)”

Brian Degraw “Hopelessly Impaired”

Dan Asher “Daniella Somers vs Corrine Geeris”

Jacqui Millar & Mark Bromhead “Idealogue”

Kenny Schachter “10 Fucking Years”

Leon Fuller “TV Drawings”

Oneil Edwards “Coming into Being”

Orfi “III Wolfpac / Shadow Army” selection from Angel Meadow, the 2nd zingmagazine book

RETinevitable & James Fuentes “Essential Cinema”

Sari Carel “Follies”

Thomas Rayfiel Lutwidge Finch: Part 9

Reviews by:

Stuart Wright, David Gibson, Chloe Piene, Stuart Nicholson, Heather Felty, Karen Kersten, Jane Gang, AS Bessa

Issue 12
200.00 USD

Issue 12

AF Robbins “Meadowland: Symbiosis at Its Best” (their knowledge of cows is based on personal profit)

Argus Ivy “4/4” interviews

Jane Gang “Live Drawings: 1998-1999”

Mark Tribe / Marisa Newman “Email Performance” (latter-day mail art)

Orfi “Endless Horizon”

Thomas Rayfiel Lutwidge Finch: Part 8

SD Katz “Sensory Overload” (light-shows of the ‘60s before Nixon bid us farewell)

Simon Periton / Pauline Daly “What’s Mine Is Yours and What’s Yours Is Mine”

Sylvain Flanagan “Winter Rage”

Tracy Nakayama

Reviews by:

AS Bessa, Christopher K Ho, Alex McGregor, Daniele Balice Milan, Kai Bauer, Matthew Hoyt, Laurel Broughton, Brian Glick

Issue 11
200.00 USD

Issue 11

Very Special Dreams

Curated projects by:

AsFOUR “Ignore This”

Bob Seng “Exit”

Grant Watson “Haptics: Great Moments in Performance Art Drawn by Nuno Miquel Duarte Branco Lopes”

Josephine Soughan & Simon Pentleton “I Don’t Understand What All the Fuss Is About”

Kenneth Goldsmith & AS Bessa “6799” (exchanging email)

Luis Macias “First World Member” produced by Noe Suro, Mexico, ‘94

Sebastiaan Bremer & Pieter Woudt “3D” with Fia Backstrom, Saeri Kiritani, Kelly Lamb, Rob de Mar, Serge Onnen, and more

Sputnik “Thoughtscape: Inspire.Inform.Evolve”

The Royal Art Lodge “Christmas Story”

Thomas Rayfiel Lutwidge Finch: Part 7

Review by:
Luis Macias, Spencer Finch, Kenny Schachter, Jeanne Marie Wasilik, Jeanne Siegel, Brian Glick, Paul Steketee, Skyler Moore

VIRAL ATTACKS: THE WORK OF JOSEPH NECHVATAL

While some artists seek precision and control with their work, Joseph Nechvatal unleashes a virus on his computer-based imagery—part of his philosophical approach to making art. His work embodies both biological and technological elements, drawing metaphors between the two. While his production utilizes a set of rules similar to those of the Abstract Expressionists (whose aesthetics are built upon a collection of defined parameters, and more concerned with process), Nechvatal deviates by allowing the computer virus influence the outcome of the image.  At times beautiful and others disconcerting, his work challenges the viewer to go beyond the surface.

Nechvatal received his PhD in the Philosophy of Art at the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts, The University of Wales in 1999. However, since 1986 he has incorporated the use of computers and computer-robotics into his work.

An example of an early work is HYPER-BODY II (1988), an emotionally charged large scale work that utilizes a dominant blue monochromatic-like color scheme, where after close observation one can make out a weakened form with its head and shoulders slouched. During this time of production, Nechvatal had known many people who were inflicted with the AIDS virus. In an email interview with this author, Nechvatal writes, “The AIDS virus was impacting on me emotionally at the time, so it made sense to move in that direction. I wanted to overcome the fear I was feeling and mark the impossibility of going further in the direction of complete spontaneous sexual freedom.”(1)

From 1991 to 1993, Nechvatal was as an artist-in-residence at the Louis Pasteur Atelier and the Saline Royale/Ledoux Foundation’s computer lab in Arbois, France where he developed the Computer Virus Project with the assistance of Jean-Philippe Massonie. In an email interview with Tom Barbalet for Biota.org, Nechvatal writes, “At that time I would launch a viral attack into the host—which was my body of visual work accomplished up to that time. However, there was nothing to see as the computer virus went through its procedures, until I would check to what had happened overnight.”(2) It wasn’t until 2002 when he began collaborating with Stéphane Sikora, that he began to see the viral results in real time. In an email interview, he writes, “we launched into a collaboration intended on extending my previous exploration with computer software modeled on the viral. Instead of waiting to see what had happened in the computer overnight, as with the Jean-Philippe Massonie software, I could see what was occurring in real time on the screen. That was a major advance.”(3)

VOLUPTUARY DROID DECOLLETAGE (2002) is an example of a viral attacked computer-based image “painted” onto a large canvas. The piece, which utilizes a bright and colorful palette, is divided into three parts that has been morphed or transformed by the viral attack. A yellow band looks as though it is in the process of smothering or transforming the central part of the image depicting a collection of close-up views of microscopic organisms. The right part of the canvas features the backside of a Rubenesque nude woman laying face down. The multilayered pixilated imagery abstracts the form. Semi-transparent code is layered on top of the woman. Overall, the technological virus looks as though it has been eating away at the images transforming and manipulating the once possibly crisp-like images. Nechvatal writes, “I think that the life/non-life idea inherent in the viral situation is mesmerizing. Most all viruses have the same general behavior characteristics (a virus invades the host and draws existence from it; wildly reproducing itself, thus killing the host) and I designed my computer virus to follow those characteristics.”(4)

ANDROPATHOLOGYNITE CONTAGIO (2003) is a beautiful and colorful diptych. Yet upon closer examination, the beautiful work becomes disturbing. On the upper part of the canvas are two large egg-like objects. On the bottom half a multilayered collage of imagery includes what appears to be a woman’s mid-area from the bottom of her rib cage to the top of her pelvic region with the tips of her knees slightly exposed. On top of this base image are translucent and repeated medical drawings of the female reproductive system. Nevertheless, the elements look as though viral organisms are eating away at the imagery—consuming or ingesting the woman’s reproductive biological matter—connotating cancer or some other disease.

Nechvatal’s COMPUTER VIRUS PROJECT 2.0 (PORTRAIT ATTACK SERIES) (2005) is a time-based immersive environment where the viewer is surrounded by large-scale projections of portraits on all four walls. At times the disconcerting sound within the installation becomes loud and overwhelming which mixes well with the imagery. The projected moving imagery is being constructed and deconstructed in conjunction with the sound by the computer-based virus, so it is an ever-evolving piece with no beginning, middle or end.  The participant watches virus-like elements slowly eating away at the multilayered portraits of such “new media” notables as Cory Arcangel, Tina LaPorta, Mark Tribe and G H Hovagimyan. Nechvatal writes, “The emotional punch of seeing the virus gnawing away at the faces of prominent people in the cyber arena was impossible to resist.”(5)

Nechvatal’s work offers much more than simply drawing a parallel between a computer and biological virus. His work is the sign of the times. We live in a time of AIDS, cancer, war, and computer viruses that are invading our cultural and biological sanctity. Nechtaval’s body of work abstractly and philosophically addresses these issues as we search for a remedy.

DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE: KIT LAWRENCE IN CONVERSATION WITH SALLY ANN MCINTYRE

SM: Kit, you've done many things since moving from London to New Zealand two years ago. You started two bands (House of Dolls and Pig Out) and made some significant leaps in the local art community. You’ve also recently started a project space. What was your main aim with Wednesdays?

KL: To illustrate how you can change the landscape of a place if you’re not satisfied with what it has to offer, and to show video works that would never get shown here.

SM: How did it work with your other projects?

KL: It’s an expansion of my practice. I like to avoid accepted exhibition structures. Having openings every Wednesday for a month at 9pm was a change for the city. We tied in the openings with other events like Pig Out’s first show and my painting show at The Bicycle Thief, a bar where everyone was going after openings. I thought I’d cut out the gallery entirely on that one.

SM: A distinct picture of contemporary London came through in Mark Leckey's Londonatella, with its bricolage of culled media representations of the city, sashayed by a duo of beautiful, detached actors, and the drift, amid the banality and entropy of contemporary London, of Oliver Payne and Nick Relph's 'Driftwood', whose poetic narration states "Nobody knows London. There is no knowledge which can understand it.” Can you describe what led you to choose these works?

KL: They both describe London in a way that is literal as well as romantic. At the same time as celebrating its infamy and opportunity, they’re totally pessimistic. I mean London’s a shit hole you know?! But that’s what makes it so fun. Centuries of bad planning and wrong choices piled on top and it kind of leaks out in people’s attitude. Londoners are products of the city’s history. Like it has this warped sense of history and self-promotion, but it just doesn’t know what it represents anymore. Leckey’s vision is a true and honest representation of the feel of the place because my friends and I spent our time hanging out, drinking, and posing in Soho but also wishing destruction on the place!

SM: Your curatorial strategy with Wednesdays was an artist's strategy in the sense that it was about getting something done with the resources available. Also, rather than trying to find major sponsorship, you chose to put these works in an impermanent exhibition with an emphasis on socialisation, late-night opening times, and tie-ins with music events. On top of creating an entirely new, non-historically-loaded space for the apprehension of the work, many of which were being encountered by a New Zealand audience for the first time, this method of exhibition also rather appropriately framed the work. I'm thinking of 'Driftwood's’ portrayal of skateboarders using urban space for their own purposes, to "navigate [their] city by alternative means". Can you talk a little about what 'alternative means' might be in terms of the artist-as-curator?

KL: When you’re too skint for the bus, walking or skating opens you up to the opportunity to discover your city. Walking is the poor person’s mode of transport, that’s why he’s the richer man than the guy in the chauffer-driven car.

SM: With the rise of Biennials promoting a homogenisation and decontextualisation of work the decision to show a group of young New Zealand video artists alongside the British work made Wednesdays’ programming quite unique.

KL: Go Wild in the Country [a survey of young NZ video art that opened the series] provided a context the audience could relate to and was a good starting point. Many NZ video artists are still working within the accepted boundaries of recent video work, work that was big in the 90’s. Chris Cudby stood out for me and he’s a musician and curator. Whenever you get people who are not involved solely in visual art, you get freer, more resonant work, in my opinion. Nathan Pohio, who closed the series, was cool because he had a local following and falls between the two camps. He’s dealing with issues that have local and international resonance. He’s an astute and undervalued NZ artist.

SM: Are you hoping to extend Wednesdays?

KL: Between touring and making work, sure! The idea is to present it in conjunction with a club night afterwards.

SM: Would you ever think of taking work from New Zealand back to England?

KL: I think it needs addressing. NZ is a unique mix of historic cultural baggage. It necessitates an impartial view because if it’s done badly it could cause a ten-year setback in the perception of what is going on here. Ideally a gallery abroad would offer me the opportunity of doing it. Somewhere hot! I’d take Pig Out and Golden Axe, Chris Cudby’s band, and we’d tear the place apart!

SM: Oliver Payne and Nick Relph are not media-shy about the fact that they were 'expelled from' and 'failed' art school. You knew them around that time—what year did you get up to?

KL: The media likes to market people rather than dealing with a layered truth. They were initially cast as rebels, like they were marched from the gates! Neither I, nor Oliver, placed much interest in school at that point. One Sunday, he said ‘I’ve got a project due Monday’ so I helped him put together a film from all the funny stuff he’d shot and made a soundtrack with broken acoustic guitars recorded onto a Dictaphone, like a skate video without the skating, but really beautiful. I left my degree after two years. I didn’t feel they could teach me anything more and it was expensive to study so I went to work in a clothes shop in Soho. Nick wasn’t really a part of that circle when I met all those guys, Ol, Timo, Ash [Lange] and [Nicky] Verber [Herald Street directors, representing Nick Relph and Oliver Payne]. We took advantage of our superior social skills and made the most of what was happening at that time in London. Those guys looked very sharp and raised my appreciation for clothes to the point it almost bankrupted me! We were all so skint. I remember Ol living on onion sandwiches for a while! I met Relph later, after they had started making films together. Nick is a very sharp guy with a lot of style and really into The Fall.

SM: In your own work, there seems to be an intricate exchange between your artistic and musical identities. Sometimes watching you live on stage it appears as though the atmosphere of your paintings has been animated! In your recent show at Room 103, [artist run space in Auckland] you place your own image as another iconic symbol within your pantheon of motifs: the artist as his own ultimate work of art, but one tempered with an appropriate degree of fashion-mag flatness, with references to a more primitive design era, say, a Face magazine photo-shoot from the mid '80s.

KL: I’m interested in the cyclic movement of fashion and the way it reflects social aspirations. Looking back, it’s easier to dissemble what was being emoted and it gives you a clue about where you come from and that informs our contemporary situation. The collages were a way of celebrating my own collection of Casual-era clothes, not a self-portrait exactly but a character that is part of my upbringing. I would also relate it to an interest in layout techniques rather than anything to do with the status of portraiture. I like the possibilities and personal history associated with collage and it’s nice to use your own body sometimes.

SM: You often draw on autobiographical material for your work, but the world you present is not diaristic, it's a complex symbolic universe that has included the Hacienda club in Manchester, Factory records, references to Constructivism in 80s design, northern English industrial architecture, bad civic murals, rave culture, prismatic shapes, painterly-ness and trompe-l'oeil, combined with a highly convincing articulation and consistency, as opposed a glib accumulation of pop-junk cultural iconography. Musical cultures are often critical of wider culture and I get the sense—and other people have talked about it, too—that you want to make art that has the same sensibility, and the same level of personal substance, as music does.

KL: I relate to the purity of its communication. I’m not interested in art world esoterica. I grew up in the north of England during the recession when the local TV news was always, “This factory is closing,” or, “That mine is closed.” At the same time there was energy in the music and style coming out of the place. I was the only person from my year who went to art school to study fine art. There was an exciting dichotomy I was aware of, the idea that leisure pursuits could be more beneficial than working in a traditional industry and I think about my old school and how I grew up all the time. It haunts me. I write about it in my songs and make paintings of empty factories!

SM: Every time I visit your apartment there seems to be a new series of work on the walls. We could call you prolific! What are you working on at the moment?

KL: Paintings and collages for a show at Michael Lett in Auckland, provisionally titled ‘Work it!’ They deal with industrial product branding and its similarity to club flyers. I’m making an album of 4/4 house tracks out of factory and office noise to play over the top of the show and a video where I play a character who goes off to work at a factory in club gear. But the factory turns into my studio and then into a club, and it’s surrounded by a field full of horses so it will look pretty strange. It’s about the decline of mechanised employment and the rural fantasy of leisure time. Pig Out is playing the opening. It’s going to be a ball!

wednesdays gallery can be contacted at the following email: wednesdaysgallery@hotmail.com

IF IT DIDN'T EXIST YOU'D HAVE TO INVENT IT: A PARTIAL SHOWROOM HISTORY: THE SHOWROOM GALLERY • London, England

When I go to a gallery I always have expectations about what I’m going to see, even if I don’t know the artist or group of artists. The invitation card, preview notices, or a friend’s description enhance your impression of knowing what’s coming, but it’s never quite how you imagine it to be. A recent case in point is a show at the Showroom Gallery—the last before the gallery closes for refurbishment—“If it didn’t exist you’d have to invent it: a partial Showroom history.” The exhibition looks back over the gallery’s prolifically successful 16-year history, showcasing a few of the many artists it has championed. The eclectic mix of artwork ranges from paintings to video installations and assemblages to digital projects.

I was expecting to see both old and new work from the artists listed in the press release, but was pleased to find only recent works on display. Within the exhibition’s context a divide appeared between those pieces that worked and those that didn’t, but there was something for everyone. As I moved through the space, it became apparent that there was an overwhelming amount of work. Nothing was labelled, so I navigated the exhibition with a rather tricky information sheet provided by the gallery. Although each piece was numbered on the diagram of the space, placed thoughtfully within the gallery’s two rooms, and never cramped or over-crowded, it took a while to figure out which work related to which artist. This became part of the fun and led to some interesting and unexpected discoveries.

Two photographic works by Karen Knorr from the Fables series, THE GREEN BEDROOM LOUIS XV (2004) and THE BLUE ROOM LOUIS XIV (2005) engage the idea of childhood stories, where animals play their part as much as humans. Pigeons fly around or perch on an ornate bed. Three foxes sit in a blue dining room, their warm rust-colored fur making them stand out against the cool blue surroundings. They look incongruous while complementing the scene. Were the animals real? Did Knorr let a flock of pigeons loose in a room full of antique and precious objects? Were they stuffed animals perfectly placed to create a pleasing but naturalistic composition? Or simply some form of post-production trickery? The contrast harks back to fairy tales and fables, those fabrications we stop believing in as we grow older.

Of the many screen and video pieces that were on view, two stood out. Sam Taylor-Wood’s THE LAST CENTURY (2005) easily lured its audience despite—or perhaps as a result—of the fact that very little actually happens. At first glance, the scene from a traditional English pub appeared to be a still photograph. Closer inspection of the varied modern characters gave the game away. A plume of smoke from a man’s cigarette curls upward. A woman, her head thrown back as she laughs, blinks. You realize that you are looking at a video of a scene where characters are holding their poses, as though frozen in time. Is it a comment on the disappearance of the “traditional”? Or perhaps a comment on the UK government’s imminent smoking ban? This video piece was surely the most outstanding piece in the whole exhibition.

Desperate Optimist’s LEISURE CENTRE (2006) is a video piece with a more traditional narrative. The key characters, with their soft Irish accents, made this simple tale engaging. Set in a municipal leisure center, the piece seemed to be filmed in one tracking shot. It starts with a young father’s uncertain yet proud interaction with work colleagues congratulating him on the birth of his first child. This segued neatly to a dialogue between the father and mother, revealing the father’s fear of failure, on to a rather dreamy monologue by the mother about their future, and lastly a slow motion track of the couple walking around a swimming pool. This charming story is a pleasing contrast to some of the more abstract video works on show.

Of the few paintings on display, Fergal Stapleton’s FIVE COINS (2004) stood out as a simple but beautiful work in the chiaroscuro tradition. It contrasted well against the more contemporary painting techniques on show. Curiously, the curators directed such a strong and direct light on the painting that the five coins could only be seen at an angle and not head on. Was this deliberate? It was hard to tell.

When I stumbled upon the attractive or humorous in unusual places, I couldn’t help but consider the discoveries a metaphor for out-of-the-way The Showroom Gallery itself, situated as it is on a residential street in East London. The first of these hidden gems was Hayley Tompkins’ NO TITLE (2006), which looked like the result of a sloppy “get-out” from the previous exhibition. Three scraps of paper, not more than an inch high, under this title were dotted on the walls of the gallery. They reminded me of the pop group posters I so lovingly hung in my bedroom as a teenager and then unceremoniously tore down when the infatuation ended. Always, a scrap of poster remained where the tape attached to the wall. Tompkins simple pieces of paper evoked so many memories, it was amazing how easily I might have missed it.

I nearly missed Gerard Williams’ FICTIONAL NEIGHBOURS NO 1 (2006), a small frosted window in a frame with striped fabric behind it, because of its high position and because it looked like part of the building’s structure. The intervention worked on many levels: it made one think about people living next to the gallery, about privacy, and about the act of looking. Too high to look at properly and impossible to see through: was it a taunt to the gallery goer? You can look but you can’t see?

Two works displayed in a similar way did not compare well. The first HENS E-PROJECT by Antonio Ortega (1999-2006) was a printout of e-mail correspondence; it concerns a project that aimed to give hens (chickens) freedom in public parks. I was disappointed by the means of display: it at once removed it from it’s original medium (like showing a photograph of a painting) and filtered what the visitor could see – images apparently attached to the original e-mails were not in the print out. By contrast Elin Wilkstrom’s DOES A BELIEVE THAT B REJECTS AN EQUAL SPLIT? (2006) is a simple description of the dialogue between the artist and two people participating in the Conceptual work about the division of a sum of money within set parameters. It was brief and amusing and it made sense to present the work as written documentation.

Though there were bound to be a few “misses” in an exhibition of this breadth, the diversity of talent made “If it didn’t exist you’d have to invent it: a partial Showroom history“ an exceptional “last” show for the Showroom Gallery before it closes for eight months. Many of the pieces raised more questions than answers, enough to make even the most jaded gallery-goer happy and the exhibition as a whole proves thought-provoking, diverse, and engaging.

Emma Quinn
London, England
2006

Issue 10
200.00 USD

Issue 10

Harkening the Oddity

Nuar Alsadir “8 Poets Making It New” with Elizabeth Hildreth, Jonah Winter, Nancy Nalven, Rebecca Wolff, Greg Fuchs, Kathryn Maris, Mark Bibbins, Walid Bitar

Olaf Nicolai “Samples”

Chris Brick & Alex Gloor “Smylonylon” (the ‘90s were coming into perspective for us)

Juan Gomez “Share”

Kerry Kugelman “Caveat” (a trope for the litigious ambiance of public life)

Klaus Biesenbach, Alanna Heiss, Barbara Vanderlinden (PS1) “Generation Z” with Anna Gaskell, Koo Jeong-a, Elke Krystufek, Stephen Hendee, Lionel Esteve, Brett Cook-Dizney, and more

Ellen Jong “BLT”

Thomas Rayfiel Lutwidge Finch: Part 6

ANP “This Flight Is Tonight” with Scott Hug, Lisa Beck, Lucky DeBellevue, Victor & Rolf, Janine Gordon, Jimi Dams, and more

Mel Mendelsohn “That Mysterious Land Beyond the Passes of the North . . . the Back of the Beyond” from Kim (1901)

Reviews by:
Maura Reilly, Sergio Bessa, Laurel Broughton, Stuart Nicholson, Christopher Ho, Roy Exley

Issue 9
200.00 USD

Issue 9

Catching All the Art Thieves

Curated projects by:

Alexis Vaillant “Seeking Answers to the Documentary” Tendency with Jeremy Deller, Mathieu Laurette, Joe Scanlan, Pierre Hutghe, and Hinrich Sachs

Cecilia de Medeiros “Love for Sale”

Thomas Rayfiel Lutwidge Finch: Part 5

Adriaan van der Have & Rafael von Uslar “Evil Camouflage” (yet another example of the abuse of warlike techniques for peacetime pastime activities)

Marcel Dzama “Untitled Drawings” 1998 Root Beer ink + white paper

Lisa Kereszi “Drinking”

Alex Gloor “Flyers Blah Blah Gloor” (Palladium Palladium)

Review by:

Ronald DeLegge, Roy Exley, Paul O’Kane, Layla Lozano, Paolina Weber, Laurel Broughton, Kenny Schachter, Sergio Bessa