BALTIC artists pick apart the human experience

5 weeks, 10 projects and 18 artists – if you have not thought about it then now is your last chance to make your way down to Newcastle to the spin-off of the main BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art to see the last week of BALTIC 39 | FIGURE TWO.

One cannot thank BALTIC enough for making brilliant films about every single exhibition that takes place in the two gallery spaces. Personally, I think they should get a medal for keeping the arts alive in the minds of 9-5 workers who cannot stroll in the galleries all the time and who might completely forget about doing it at all, even on a day off. The important thing is that BALTIC videos are not just event coverage. Instead, the exhibiting artists talk about life itself and how it is reflected in their work. Something very fundamental and essential to human experience shines through the work of all the artists who are or have exhibited in the BALTIC and BALTIC 39… maybe they are just asked the right questions on camera?

I would like to draw your attention to the third week of BALTIC 39 | FIGURE TWO. The exhibition is subtitled as Through the Gap Increasing, but what it really seems to be about it transcoding the world as a human being. In the work of Sarah Bayliss, Amelia Bywater & Rebecca Wilcox, Rachel Gay, Maria Angelica Madero, Ninna Bohn Pedersen and Nicola Singh language is dissolved, sight is deconstructed, mother & child relationship fractured into sense memories and flowing water compared to flickering screens of modern day. Explore and be inspired by the video below…

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Text by Kati Jägel

The making of dance, the uncrowned Gesamtkunstwerk.

Before I start, I must admit that as a former dance and choreographer the author of this post is somewhat biased… but enthusiasm is positive!

Rambert Dance have shared with us some of the most inspirational videos ever. Have you heard of Rooster, Christopher Bruce’s masterpiece set to the music of The Rolling Stones, an electrifying celebration of the Sixties? Have you seen it? If not, they are on stage again! First up on 20-24 May in Sadler’s Wells. The truly inspirational stuff, however, can be found in the rehearsal clips. The dancers’ relationship with the choreographer  is flavoured with admiration, obedience, dedication, worship and love. Love shines through the whole process during which both the choreographer and dancers forget about the rest of the world and perhaps even forget about the rules of gravity and their own mortality while they work and work and work to achieve divine perfection. The results bring together grace, movement, music, expression, poetry, visual art, performance, story…. dance has got everything in it. It is perfect. Start the transforming journey right here and finish at Sadler’s Wells for a cathartic experience.

image_4 (5)image_5 (2)       The making of Rooster                                     Rooster rehearsal

 

Really, it gets even better. On 15th of May we can enjoy live discussion between Rooster’s author and three other great dance artists from the comfort of our own homes. A total of four giants of contemporary choreography from both sides of the Atlantic are represented in Rambert’s forthcoming programme for Sadler’s Wells: Richard Alston and Christopher Bruce from the UK, and Lucinda Childs and Merce Cunningham from the US. With contrasting approaches and styles, they have made some of the most influential and acclaimed dance works of the past 50 years.
Ahead of the Sadler’s Wells performances, Alston, Bruce and Childs come together for one night only to discuss their lives in dance. They will be joined by former Cunningham dancer Jeannie Steele, who staged the late choreographer’s work for Rambert, and the panel will be chaired by dance writer and critic David Jays.
This unique event is an opportunity to gain first-hand insight from some of the artists who shaped contemporary dance as we know it today. Viewers can join in the conversation, posting questions online for the choreographers.
Watch it live here from 7pm.

 

Now, if you are really getting into dance or Rambert in particular then there is the Rambert Event in their own new space on three dates starting from the 28th of June. It is an extraordinary feast of dance featuring sequences, excerpts and complete dances in various spaces between which you may move as you please. Become part of the total artwork!

 

Text by Kati Jagel

The art of printmaking and your chance to take part

To those who are not familiar with printmaking and assume that it is just artless mechanic mass (re)production – and I used to be one of these people – the following videos could be real eyeopeners. To those who appreciate prints, the following videos will be… well, beautiful!

There are many different printmaking techniques, all executed manually and with great craftsmanship – discover them here. The artist is not always involved in the actual application of the ink to the canvas but is always the author of the artwork in terms of having drawn the image and it’s colour schemes. It is a rather unique process compared to painting or sculpting or any other traditional fine arts. The results can look like drawings, paintings or even photographs depending on the style and detail. Collecting modern prints has become very popular and some can be worth thousands of pounds as some of the keen TV viewers might have discovered on  tonight’s BBC2 ‘Collectaholics‘ programme 🙂

Printmaking workshops are getting ever more popular all around the UK. In Cumbria the next Printfest is soon about to take place – on 3rd and 4th of May – and there are always opportunities for the guests to get involved there! Not to mention the over 40 national and international artists exhibting… At the same time down south in Exeter, Spacex gallery offers printmaking workshops for children which you can read more about on their webpage.

To get you inspired have a look at the two print exhibitions at gallery/ten in Wales and if you are a true fan and considering going to Printfest then check out what a weekend in this UK’s only artist led print festival might look like.

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gallery/ten print exhibition February/March

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gallery/ten exhibition March

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Printfest weekend

 

Text by Kati Jagel

 

 

Remix Review: video within video = new narratives

The multitude of audiovisual media around us means that we often engage with more than one screen image at once. Most people are familiar with the situation when a family gathers around the TV but everybody are on their phones, tablets and laptops at the same time, dividing attention between the film or TV show and social media or even a YouTube video. An interesting phenomenon may emerge in the process as two narratives (a Facebook news thread could also be seen as a narrative) get mixed into a new one.

This is similar to what happens in artplayer’s Remix Review films. The multiple videos from different organisations on the site are brought together to generate a new perspective on the individual videos as well as to link them into a thought-provoking narrative.

Many of you have already seen the first Remix Review which brought together music and gaming technology, viewed through the eyes of young people. We are proud to publish the second Remix Review by video artist Anton Hecht, a YouTube phenomenon know best for Bus Station Sonata. This latest remix called Passing BY is an experiment that takes the term “moving image” to the next level. The film consists of various videos by Axisweb and a-n The Artists Information Company played back on a tablet device which is passed on in a circle while the device is also being rotated with random frequency. Sounds confusing? Interestingly the effect is quite the opposite and it is likely that you find yourself listening to the interviews and discussions in the original videos with much greater attention than you would if they were just presented on their own. At the same time the film tells the story of our lives in the present day. What does this effect say about the future of sense perception in the multi-screen era? Is linear communication on a single screen becoming thing of the past? Experience it yourself right here:

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Text by Kati Jagel

Presentation changes everything

Susanne Kriemann is given the prime wall of the main gallery space at Arnolfini for her first solo exhibition in the UK – and she paints it yellow. The yellow wall serves the purpose to reflect light on the real (or the other) works on display, that is, the archive photographs set up in a metal construct inspired by the Construction School in Brisbane. In addition to reflecting light, the yellow paint actually casts a ghostly shade of colour on the photographs which are thus, effectively, colour-graded but only in certain moments of time (daylight hours) and only for the duration of the exhbition in that space. Through such play with light and colour – which is, as Kriemann herself points out, the central element of photography in general –  the exhibition becomes a performance that changes in time. Presentation is immensely important to Kriemann as she uses the playful elements such as the wall and the metal structure to suggest certain kinds of readings that link the documentary photographs from early photo history to surveillance cameras to the present moment of reception.

There is so much more to discover about Kriemann’s work in the video, such as the beautiful abstract compositions consisting of overexposed film strips which have been photographed and become double, or even triple photographs of the original subject.

Be prepared to be enchanted…

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“Susanne Kriemann: Modelling (Construction School)” runs at Arnolfini from Saturday 04 May 2013 to Sunday 07 July 2013, 11:00 to 18:00. More information at: http://www.arnolfini.org.uk/whatson/susanne-kriemann-modelling-construction-school

Text by Kati Jägel

Make music by waving your hand – now this is magic!

There is a fair chance that anybody who has read or watched Harry Potter – or other stories of wizards – has at least once in his life secretly tried out whether he has magic powers in his hands. Most likely the result was dissatisfying. Well… have you heard of Soundbeam? It is an award-winning ‘touch free’ device which uses sensor technology to translate body movement into music and sound. Making music in such a way certainly looks magical – have a look at yourself in the Pyramid of Arts video about their Beam Team!

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Beam Team is made up of six trainees, three learning disabled people under 25, and three young arts professionals. The team work alongside experienced Pyramid of Arts groups to design and build stimulating, interactive environments and games based on Soundbeam for touring to community groups and inclusive learning centres. The trainees are challenged to reach creative excellence, technical control and personal and social competence, while being supported individually to overcome any difficulties.

The video shows the group in different stages of the learning and practicing process which demonstrates the carefully planned and synchronized work of the Beam Team. Just like with magic, where a shaky hand movement can make the spell go horribly wrong, creating music with Soundbeam is more than just waving hands to the microphone. There seems to be a true art to it, but the kind of art everyone would be able to learn! The greatest moments of the video are the comments from the non-professional participants who are oozing with feelings of achievement and excitement.

Music is, of course, only one of the many ways to use sound. What about rolling out the whole continent of Africa on the floor, setting up some lions, elephants and gorillas, and attaching sound devices behind them to produce loud roars in response to visitors’ hand movements? ‘Beamentary’ is well worth watching to discover how creative we can really be!

Text by Kati Jägel

A message from the Arts Council

The Arts Council’s Lucy Dusgate on the launch of artplayer:

Arts Council England is delighted to have been the major investment partner in the development of artplayer. We know that the public already use online in their everyday lives. People choose to watch and explore online content as part of their daily routine through video and social media.

Within this, artplayer has the potential to be a pivotal place for cultural organisations and audiences to come together. A place to show and watch videos about art, share information and link to other websites in an easy-to-use way. We would encourage arts organisations to use multiple online platforms to reach audiences, and artplayer is one of these in terms of being a central place to find out about art and artists.

The project was developed at FACT. An important element of the project is that artplayer team is able to help artists and cultural organisations to create video content. The expertise at FACT brings a whole package of support to assist the cultural sector in gaining a stronger connection with the public through online video. FACT is an important and significant digital-lead organisation in the UK, and Arts Council England support this through our National Portfolio funding (NPO) annually. FACT continues to produce high quality critically acclaimed artistic programme, and collaborate with other cultural organisations and the creative industries to bring the a rich programme of creativity to online and real-world audiences.