In a daring undertaking, MoMA’s curator Klaus Biesenbach has pulled together an immersive exhibition concentrating on the last twenty years of Björk’s musical career, her eight full length albums and also features the launch of her new video Black Lake. Taken from her new album Vulnicura (2015), and filmed in Iceland in the summer of 2014, the 11 minute long video uncharacteristically explores the personal life of Björk and her break up with long time romantic partner Matthew Barney. The video was commissioned by the gallery and gave Björk another chance to work creatively with director Andrew Thomas Huang, whom she teamed up with on her previous video Mutual Core. For Black Lake, she also worked with the talented Erna Ómarsdóttir – a choreographer who gave life to Björk’s emotional journey through the break up. The video moves through the different stages of separation, including grieving, processing, and reincarnation.
The exhibition also features a retrospective of her music videos, from Debut (1993) to Biophilia (2011) across from the screening of Black Lake. In the lobby of the gallery, there is a showcase of the instruments used on Biophilia: a gameleste, a pipe organ, gravity harp and a Tesla coil. And to compete the experience,
…Songlines presents an interactive, location-based audio experience through Björk’s albums, with a biographical narrative that is both personal and poetic, written by the acclaimed Icelandic writer Sjón, along with many visuals, objects, and costumes, including the robots designed by Chris Cunningham for the “All Is Full of Love” music video, Marjan Pejoski’s Swan Dress (2001), and Iris van Herpen’s Biophilia tour dress (2013), among many others. (Source)
Since the internet, the never-ending evolution of words and phrases changes like the blink of an eye. These neon signs were created from the messy scrawl of Seattle-based artist Dylan Neuwirth. Plucking from modern day “web speak,” Dylan has made a collection of glowing emblems that mark our point in history, almost to the second. There’s nothing more attention grabbing than a neon sign, and this installation illuminates the oddities of modern day speech in a playful way. The universal appeal of this work is enhanced by the statelessness of it; words and phrases not directly from any one region or culture, but drifting out from the collective voice of the internet.
Neuwirth describes where he fits into it: “I see myself not as a regional artist or attached to any one place… I want to be everywhere. Make work that looks like it could be anywhere. To be singular and be synonymous at the same time. Like a totally underground electronic artist who infiltrates the top charts only to return to the murky depths again.”
You can’t help but think: what slang will we be using five years from now, one year from now, or even a month from now?
In her work, Isabel Samaras takes us on a tour through Art History populated with characters from Modern Mythology (20th century television characters and narratives.) Referencing timeless themes, Renaissance Art, Dutch genre painting, Persian Miniatures and Victorian Ethnographic photography, Samaras compresses space and time to create alternative narratives for the familiar characters we grew up watching on TV. Painting beloved and known characters from “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Gilligan’s Island” and “Planet of the Apes,” Samaras at times constructs classical tableaus, referencing the Renaissance masters’ use of people, places and stories from Classical Antiquity. She at other times makes references to the intimacy of Dutch genre painting, giving them another chance at a life that could still yet be. Universes collide to create an alternate reality where our favorite characters from different programs co-exist in a world that is at once hilarious and bittersweet. Samaras opens an alternate dimension to address the what if.
I want to do the visual equivalent of whispering in your ear. – Isabel Samaras
See Samaras’ work on view at Varnish Fine Art In SF from November 3rd – December 22nd.
Nicholas Alan Cope is a photographer based in Los Angeles. Aside from heavy commercial engagements, he creates wonderful, stark pictures that turn the mundane into extraordinarily arresting figures of motion and texture. He’s recently collaborated with Dustin Edward Arnold (see above image), and the results are mind-blowing. See Cope’s personal work and more Arnold collabs after the jump.
Arguably the most low-brow of all popular artists of the mid 2000’s, Porous Walker is sorely missed. Now existing as a torrent of blog posts and a flickr, Porous’ rapid-fire drawings and punchlines remain as appropriately inappropriate as ever. His untimely ‘demise’ in 2007 can only remind us that… well, maybe we shouldn’t take art so seriously.
Love these book alterations and rearrangements by New York based artist Kent Rogowski. Make sure to also check out his puzzle manipulations and inverted stuffed animals also featured on his site. (via)
“Everything that I wish I could be is an exploration of language, emotions and the desire to change and improve one’s self. There is a self-help book for almost every moment and problem in life; from relationship advice to dealing with the inevitability of death. Each large format photograph, pictures an arrangement of title pages and spines, from up to 100 self-help books that are based around a central theme. Together, the titles create larger narratives, which become portraits of emotions, people and events in life.
Because of the ubiquity of the books, an entire lifetime of events can be outlined and made to unfold using the books that were written to sooth those transitions and moments. Since advice often differs, the narratives in the images can change depending on which direction the viewer’s eye moves through the image. Some images have linear narratives (e.g.: From Birth to Death or Side by Side) while others look at patterns in language and resemble the random connections inherent in the thought process (e.g.: You and Me and Am I the only one?).
I am interested in the larger questions of how we communicate and deal with moments of pain and change and the commonalities of those experiences, as well as, the patterns and contradictions that are often inherent in language, advice and differing philosophies.”
I’m into anything called Safari Disco Club and you should be too. There’s people dancing in retro safari outfits, girls with their heads stuck in the ground, and weird french robot dancing courtesy of Yelle and backup dancers! There’s a few parts that look a little too much like a Lady Gaga video but I can look past that. Watch the full video after the jump!