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Friday, 7 May 2010

freshfacedandwildeyed2010 at The Photographers' Gallery

Every year around May my phone doesn’t stop ringing and my inbox is brimming with press releases about this year's new cohort of graduate artists. With all the graduate shows coming up and showcases like Free Range and Catlin Art Prize, this time of year, I get completely inundated with graduate work. Some of it is the same, and then once in a while you find a few gems. And this is why I love going to graduate shows, everyone is so excited and optimistic, and you know what, so they should be! I am most certainly not going to drone on about the economy, current political situation, I mean if you were to concentrate solely on that, well, frankly you’d never do a thing.

I was delighted to find out about how The Photographers’ Gallery is contributing. This year marks their third graduate exhibition, entitled freshfacedandwildeyed2010, I thought it was perfectly titled. Showcasing innovative new photographers from across the UK, the show provides a well-needed platform for young photographers to get exposure. Presenting and engaging with the best of UK student photography by graduate and postgraduate students who have completed their studies in the past year, freshfacedandwildeyed2010 looks at both the subject and the object, also demonstrating The Gallery’s commitment to the next generation.

Twenty-eight photographers were selected by a panel of photography experts to have their work exhibited at The Photographers’ Gallery in May and June. This year’s panel included: Kitty Anderson, The Common Guild, Glasgow; Stephen Gill, artist; Sean O’Hagan, writer on photography, The Observer and The Guardian Online; and Brett Rogers, Director, The Photographers’ Gallery.

The selected photographers have graduated from courses across the UK, including University of the Arts London, Swansea Metropolitan University and UCCA Farnham and demonstrate the quality and range of new photography practice. Their work will also be part of an online gallery to be viewed by those unable to visit The Photographers’ Gallery during the exhibition dates and will remain online once the exhibition ends, to view visit www.photonet.org.uk.

Submissions were accepted from students on any visual arts course across the UK whose primary practice is photography and who graduated in the past year. The Photographers’ Gallery has always actively supported emerging photographic talent, also presenting The Photographers’ Gallery Graduate Award (1998 – ongoing), an annual award for students from the MA Course in Photography at the Royal College of Art. Building on the Gallery’s commitment to supporting new talent and in recognition of the remarkable quality and breadth of new and established photographic courses across the UK, freshfacedandwildeyed2010 provides a platform for those photographers and artists who are producing particularly innovative and creative work.

freshfacedandwildeyed2010 opens 14 May and continues until 6 June 2010. Admission Free. www.photonet.org.uk

Why not see what opportunities are available with Aesthetica for photographers? Visit our Creative Works page.


Steven Barritt
Jonathan from the series Anachronisms, March 2009
(c) Steven Barritt

Anna Linderstam
The Lack of Sequence, 2008
(c) Anna Linderstam

Thi Bui
Untitled, 2009 from the series Here
(c) Thi Bui

Özant Kamacı
Pause, January 2009
(c) Özant Kamacı

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Tell Us How You See It - We Want to Know

Are you a cultural enthusiast? Do you visit exhibitions; attend the theatre and other various performances?

We are looking to expand our network on the popular Aesthetica Blog and get you, the readers involved. The Aesthetica Blog is a well-visited site that posts information from around the world regarding the latest in contemporary arts. We are looking to expand our network, and are inviting you the chance to become one of our regular contributors – acting as a correspondent from your local area. Are you in London, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, Oxford, or anywhere in between? Maybe a bit further a field? Dublin, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Beijing? Where ever you are, if you’d like the chance to contribute to the blog please get in touch.

Please send your CV and a cover letter to bloggers@aestheticamagazine.com demonstrating why you feel your style and approach would be suitable for the Aesthetica Blog, moreover the Aesthetica brand. It might be a good idea to check out not only the blog, but the magazine before applying.

We will be accepting up to 10 lucky people to take part in this unique project. Contributors will receive a complimentary Aesthetica subscription.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Marina Abramović: Personal Archaeology

Marina Abramović (born in 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia), is without question one of the most important artists of our time. She was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale for her extraordinary video installation/performance piece Balkan Baroque. I was fortunate enough to have a lengthy conversation with the artist, just days before she began her latest ongoing performance, The Artist Is Present at MoMa in NYC. She is an incredibly fascinating woman, dedicated to her craft but always in pursuit of taking her work, moreover, herself to the next level pushing all boundaries aside.

Personal Archaeology a new show opening at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City, is an intimate look into the development of Abramović as a seminal artist, beginning with her historic performance work of the 1970s through to her most recent work from 2010. Private Archaeology, a sculpture exhibited in the first gallery, has not been shown before in the US. This highly personal work from 1997-99 consists of a large wooden cabinet containing numerous drawers in which artefacts from Abramović's life are displayed. The public is encouraged to look through the drawers to view the variety of revealing objects and mementos that Abramović has collected, including photographs, handwritten notes and other material that has influenced her work.

The exhibition also includes an entire gallery dedicated to photographs from one of Abramović's earliest performances, Rhythm 10, in which she stabbed a knife between her splayed fingers in rapid motion, changing the knife each time she cut her finger. She repeated this process twice; tape recording it on the first occasion so that she could mimic the movements on the second.

A selection of Abramović's iconic photographs is installed in the main gallery, providing a visual time line of the evolution of this pioneering performance artist. Works such as Rhythm O, Lips of Thomas, Carrying the Skeleton and Cleaning the House chart the trajectory of her career over the last 40-plus years. The main gallery also includes one of her newest videos, which is a startling image of Abramović, her face covered in gold leaf, staring out at the viewer. The faint ruffling of the gold leaf is the only motion in the video and draws the viewer in close for further inspection, whereby they ultimately find themselves meeting Abramović's direct gaze.

Her work is included in many major public collections worldwide including: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland; the Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven, Holland; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Tate Modern, London.

Personal Archaeology is running concurrently with the major MoMA exhibition, Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present, on view at the museum until 31May. During the MoMA's first-ever retrospective of a performance artist, Abramović is performing daily during the entire run of the exhibition, for a total of over 700 hours, in her longest solo piece to date. Abramović sits in silence in the museum's atrium during public hours, inviting visitors to take the seat across from her for as long as they choose within the time frame of the museum's hours of operation.

Personal Archaeology opens May 8 and continues until 19 June at the Sean Kelly Gallery, NYC www.skny.com

To read more about Abramović, read the current issue of Aesthetica – for an in-depth interview with the artist.

Image (c) Marina Abramović
Golden Mask (2009) courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery.

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