Friday, 25 April 2014

Interview with the Curator of Diverse Maniere: Piranesi, Fantasy and Excess at Sir John Soane’s Museum

Diverse Maniere: Piranesi, Fantasy and Excess
Sir John Soane’s Museum
7 March – 31 May 2014

Sir John Soane’s Museum was conceived as a place of inspiration, learning and provocation for “amateurs and students” working within the field of architecture. The current exhibition, Diverse Maniere: Piranesi, Fantasy and Excess, more than responds to this remit. Curator Jerzy Kierkuć-Bieliński speaks to Studio International about some of his favourite pieces on display, including a coffee pot shaped like a shell, standing on a tortoise; a decadent golden chair with swans’ neck arm rests; and a tripod with a helix spiral seeming to foresee the discovery of DNA. The items, never realised during Piranese’s lifetime, have been scanned from his often minute designs and 3D printed by a Madrid based company called Factum Arte, who have then carefully hand-finished the pieces in the materials Piranese would have intended.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Artist Profile: Imogen Crew

Artist Profile: Imogen Crew

Coming out again and again, having to answer inane questions about how you have sex – these are just a couple of the issues facing young lesbians and photographer Imogen Crew has had her fill of them.

In her stark but impactful black and white photographs, she portrays a teenage girl, faceless, bare chested, nipples taped over, questions and exclamations scrawled across her front. In some, she appears resigned, humiliated, uncertain maybe. In others, she scrubs frantically to erase the insults.

Taken when she was just 16 years old, as part of a project called Contrasts, these images were of particular personal relevance for the artist, who was, herself, asking these selfsame questions. The images reflect her own coming out.

“I wanted to explore the questions and labels lesbians face in society,” Crew says. “I started by thinking back to questions I had, and I asked friends of mine who had experienced different things while coming out.” The model is a friend who had recently been through the process as well.

The use of thick black tape crisscrossed over the nipples adds to the image in a number of ways. Crew wanted it to show how even though someone is ‘out’, the coming out process recurs daily. Additionally, it desexualises the image so that the message becomes the focus of attention.

Now 18 and studying photography at college in Leicester, Crew works with a Nikon D500 and enjoys “the look of film photographs, the little tricks you can do to transform a negative, and the technique of developing film and then enlarging your images.”

See Imogen Crew’s photographs on flickr:

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Review of Viennese Season: Feminism (VALIE EXPORT, Friedl Kubelka) at Richard Saltoun

Viennese Season: Feminism
VALIE EXPORT, Friedl Kubelka
Richard Saltoun
10 April – 23 May 2014

Following on from Viennese Season: Actionism, which showcased the self-destructive body art of four male Viennese artists in the 1960s, Viennese Season: Feminism turns to consider two female artists who began producing performance, photographic and filmic work towards the end of the same decade. VALIE EXPORT is fairly well known, not least for the reprise of her seminal piece, ‘Genitalpanik’ (1969), an image recording an Action in which EXPORT sits, legs apart, wearing crotchless trousers and holding a machine gun, by Marina Abramović in 2006. Friedl Kubelka, on the other hand, whose work, although still challenging, is far less ‘in your face’, remains less well known. Really, however, with 15 of the 18 works on display being hers, and with a film night (in the artist’s presence) in her honour, this ought better to be considered a solo show. Since she and EXPORT neither collaborated nor knowingly had anything much to do with one another, the latter’s inclusion in the exhibition is, seen positively, contextualising; seen cynically, perhaps just a name to attract visitors across the threshold.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Review of Stir! A Fans of Feminism production at Marsh Ruby

A Fans of Feminism production
Pop up Art Show
Marsh Ruby, 30 Lower Marsh, SE1 7RG
21 March – 23 May 2014

A year ago, a group of students at the Cass School of Art realised that, although a lot of them were making work in response to women artists of the past, many of their tutors were nevertheless still educating from a male historical art canon. The student society made a request for change in the references and reading lists, and the feedback and action was positive. This encouraged them to lay more ambitious plans, such as organising talks and crits with a feminist gaze. Out of this was then born an exhibition, Fans of Feminism, which was so well received, that the group has kept on going, attracting involvement both from tutors and artists external to the university. This spring sees their second exhibition, a pop up show at a café-restaurant in Waterloo, organised and curated by Caroline Halliday, Seana Wilson, Carla Cruz and Thessa Van Der Kuyp, and bringing together works by a range of female artists, all to some degree or other celebrating womanhood.

To read the rest of this review, please go to:!.aspx

Alex Florschutz
Divine Source - Inner Wisdom

Monday, 7 April 2014

Interview with Claudia Sola

Interview with Claudia Sola 
February 2014

Claudia Sola is an artist based in Amsterdam. In November 2013, she took part in the Jerwood Encounters exhibition ‘Family Politics’, curated by Photoworks, where she showed a number of portraits from her ongoing project Dynasty. Her work also appeared in the Photoworks annual of the same title, as a special commission.

I conducted an online conversation with Sola to discuss the project.

Anna McNay: Your project, Dynasty, is based on an exploration of your mitochondrial relatives, extending from having had your DNA charted and discovering that there is this particular DNA molecule, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is passed down only from our mothers.

Claudia Sola: Yes, I had my DNA charted because of a health related question. It’s very simple. You send off some cheek tissue, a few saliva samples, just like they do in the movies. When I got the raw data back, I noticed the word mtDNA and the letter I. I didn’t understand what that meant. I needed to know more about it, so I bought a few books and started researching.
mtDNA is small, ring-shaped DNA that is not part of the nucleus of a cell but is found in mitochondria in the cellular fluid. Mitochondria regulate the energy balance in the cell, the transformation of nutrients into suitable fuel and the use of oxygen in our metabolism. Not all cells have identical numbers of mitochondria. Male sperm cells, for example, have very few and these are in the tails. Since the tail falls off the moment the sperm enters the ovum, the embryo is completely dependent on the hereditary qualities of the female mitochondria for the energy balance in its cells, in boys and girls alike. As the mitochondria originate 100 percent from the mother, they form a trail of hereditary characteristics that go back through mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, right back to the very first woman, ‘Mitochondrial Eve’.

Once every 10,000 years, a minute mutation occurs in one woman. 36 different clan mothers have been discovered to date. The clan mother is at the head of a so-called haplogroup. These 36 haplogroups subsume all of the world’s population today. Each haplogroup is given a letter and each clan mother has a fictitious name. My clan is haplogroup I; my clan mother is called Iris. She lived approximately 25,000 years ago in the Middle East, probably in what we now call Iran.

To read the rest of this interview, please go to: