Tania Bruguera, Cuba’s future president?

The Cuban artist, controversial for her artistic activities and her desire to test the limits of the country’s political regime announced — during Hans Ulrich Obrist’s keynote address at the Creative Time Summit in Washington DC, gathering creative folk involved in social justice from 14 to 16 October — her candidacy for the 2018 presidential elections. Tania Bruguera also called on her Cuban compatriots to do the same. The video, published on the artist’s Youtube page, is a performance by a woman who wishes to point to her country’s political troubles and to urge Cubans to rise up against the totalitarian regime in order to bring their customs and culture forward — in order to “occupy the...

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The Samstag Museum of Art presents an installation by Daniel Boyd

From 4 October to 5 December 2015, The Samstaf Museum of Art, situated in Adelaide in Australia, welcomes the installation of the artist Daniel Boyd, titled “A Darker Shade of Dark #1-4”, in association with the Adelaide Film Festival. “A Darker Shade of Dark #1-4”  is an immersive video installation placing the viewer in a sensory experience. Daniel Boyd is known mostly as a painter working around the theme of heritage and lost stories of the colonial period. His family heritage gave him with a certain narrative that takes him to specific historical moments. His technique is inspired by Matisse, Picasso and primitivism in the modernist aesthetic. He uses “dots” characteristic of the Aboriginal painting movement of 1970s, Papunya Tula, which undoubtedly recalls the optical Impressionist and Pointillist research of the 19th century. This creates an ambiguous, partially inaccessible narrative. These dots also symbolise the alteration owed to time and memory. The installation turns here towards the mysteries of physics, astrophysics and the cosmology. The groups of dots converge becoming a black expanse (dark matter), from the floor to ceiling. Daniel Boyd was born in 1982 in Cairns, Australia, and has exhibited his work internationally since 2005. He lives and works in Sydney. His work is found in different Australian institutions and private...

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Ian Cheng’s first solo exhibition at the Pilar Corrias Gallery

The Pilar Corrias Gallery, in London, is hosting Ian Cheng’s first solo exhibition “Emissary Forks At Perfection” in the United Kingdom, starting on 13 October until 14 November 2015. The exhibition is a live video simulation of Cheng’s second episode of a series of works which explores the history of cognitive evolution, past and future. In his live simulations, familiar objects are programmed with basic properties, but are left to influence each other without authorial control or end. In his second episode, Cheng has composed two opposing forms: a recreation of a Darwinian playground disturbed by an ancestral human; and a deterministic story of an emissary’s emerging consciousness. These two forms are merged together in the same landscape and each form threatens to weaken and mutate the other. The results are often unpredictable emergent behaviours that ceaselessly combine and disassemble. Cheng sees his simulations as a kind of neurological gym in which art becomes a means to deliberately exercise the feelings of confusion, anxiety, and disagreement. From Los Angeles, Ian Cheng lives and works in New York. His first episode of this series was “Emissary in the Squat of Gods” which started earlier in the year and finished just before the second episode started in...

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Relive your Dreams with Romina de Novellis

Living in Paris since 2008, the Italian artist Romina de Novellis is performing and showing videos of her performances at the Galerie Laure Roynette (Paris) from 16 October to 29 November 2015. The exhibition “To be, or not to be” is showing both her series Fase Rem in which she relives the dreams she had while pregnant, and her series Augurii, revisiting her performance with vultures, accompanied by the video Silent Life (1979) by Bill Viola. Art Media Agency went to meet this explorer of present darkness. You chose the title “To be, or not to be”—a saying drenched in symbolism, even more when you’re dealing with the pregnancy of a human being. For this exhibition, we decided to start with a cliché. Everyone knows this quote, but not everyone fully realizes its significance. In fact, we’re not saying anything apart from about life and death: in Hamlet, everyone dies. For me, it’s quite similar to the Latin “Hic et nunc” (here and now). It’s about knowing if I live or if I die; if I would live like someone who’s dead or someone who’s alive. In other words, whether I would live in Utopia or a short life. We live in a Utopian cycle, as if in a cage. You French had great thinkers telling you that: Foucault, Levi-Strauss etc. For us, authors like Pasolini had the same thoughts, but expressed them in a more instinctive, aesthetic way. In any case, we’re not getting out of the cage. I’m an artist and I live like an artist: my profession corresponds to my place in society. But that doesn’t allow me to be. Would you say that performance lets you be? In its very nature, yes. It requires technique, as with painting or music. We learn a language to...

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Video projections from Southeast Asia at Art Paris Art Fair

As part of the programme of video projections from Southeast Asia put together by Iola Lenzi, a series of films realised by Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Singaporean artists were screened in the Grand Palais’ Auditorium MK2 on 26 March. As Iola Lenzi has not failed to point out, the region’s artistic practices are often conceptual, whilst simultaneously tackling an important social issue. It is therefore with poetic charm that Srey Bandaul, a Cambodian artist, uncoils infinite strips of fabric throughout the landscape of the Thai refugee camp where he grew up. Nevertheless, he is attached to this place, which he would not describe as beautiful. His filmed performance, Site 2 (2014), sensitively evokes the themes of loss, memory, and migration, which are particularly pertinent to the region. This proposal, which traces the contours of a transregional identity shaped by contemporary history, successfully presents the common issues through The Cloud of Unknowing (2011), realised by Ho Tzu Nyen, an Singapore-born artist. In a contemplative way, he also presents the personal experiences of ancient figures in a space to which they must adapt; each one of them being challenged by their environment and bearing the burden of their physical existence. The emergence of a cloud of smoke, impalpable and transitional, unites them in their confrontation of human limits, which amounts to a revelation, terrible or radiant. This work, inspired by the theories discussed by Hubert Damisch in his Theory of /Cloud/: Toward a History of Painting, is interspersed with references to Western art, by Andrea Mantegna in Caravaggio, thus highlighting the links that implicitly unite the European and Asian continents through...

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