Tina Girouard, Carol Goodden and Gordon Matta-Clark in front of Food, 1971; Photo: Richard Landry with alteration by Gordon Matta-Clark. Courtesy Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark / David Zwirner, New York
The second edition of Frieze New York (10 – 13 May) will organize a special tribute to FOOD, the legendary restaurant opened in October 1971 by Gordon Matta-Clark and Carol Goodden in collaboration with other artists. This is a part of Frieze Projects paying homage to artist-run spaces and initiatives that have defined and transformed the cultural and artistic history of New York City. Below is an excerpt from Joan Simon’s interview with Carol Goodden in the exhibition catalogue “Gordon Matta-Clark: A Retrospective”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1985.*
Hiraki Sawa, Lineament, 2012. Video still. Courtesy the artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York
In May of 2012, London based Japanese artist Hiraki Sawa was invited for the artist-in-residence at The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in Toronto. During his stay, M-KOS attended his talk and met him at his studio at AGO. A few audio notes were recorded in the course of our visits, and from these the following texts were gathered, to encapsulate some of the highlight of this exchange, which trace his artistic journey from early work to the more recent “Lineament” (2012), currently on view at James Cohan Gallery in New York (through 27 April)
Marcel Dzama, The Queen’s Ghost Vanish’d From Our Sight, 2013. Ink, gouache, and graphite on piano paper (2 scrolls) Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner Gallery, NY/London
To underline Marcel Dzama’s current exhibition “Puppets, Pawns, and Prophets“ at David Zwirner in London until 11 May, M-KOS is posting once more its interview recorded with Dzama in 2011, when he visited Montreal for the screenings of his “A Game of Chess” (2011) and “Death Disco Dance” (2011) videos at POP festival. For this latest exhibition at Zwirner, Dzama shows new drawings, sculptures and videos that include “Death Disco Dance” as well as the more recent “Sister Squares” (2012), considered the sequel to his “A Game of Chess” video. In the following interview, although already one and a half years old, Dzama talks about how the making of Death Disco Dance, and the influence of Marcel Duchamp that is undoubtedly manifested in many of his work.
Maria Stenfors with the work by Julia Pfeiffer, Animal Vessel (Figure of the Thinkable), 2013. Photo: M-KOS
Maria Stenfors inaugurated in April 2010 her eponymous gallery in East Central London, and for the last three years, her space has steadily grown to present an innovative program of artists. Her gallery has now been chosen by ArtInfo as one of the Top 10 space of the Art13 London art fair, which launched its first edition last March. During our recent visit to London, M-KOS took the opportunity to interview Maria Stenfors herself.
M-KOS [MKOS]: Can you tell us about your current exhibition?
Maria Stenfors [MS]: We are currently showing works by a Berlin based artist, Julia Pfeiffer, entitled “Figures of the Thinkable”. The show has to do with ‘possibilities’, exploring what has happened, what could have and what should have, happened. Clay or ceramics is the material for her investigations. At every stage, when the clay is wet, dried, fired and glazed, each reveals different possibilities. She has a symbiotic practice of ceramics and photography. In these black and white photographs, she sets a mise-en-scène to arrange the ceramics in different stages. Opposite of these photographs, there are a set of ceramic relief, fired and grazed. On the other side, there is a wall of clay. The clay was delivered dry from the artist’s studio in Berlin, soaked in water, applied onto the wall, then again it became dry and even cracked. The one wall presents a refined quality, the other is totally raw and the photographs show the different stages that create interesting dialogues between the three walls. Julia is one of our core gallery artists that has been with us from the beginning, and this is her second solo exhibition with us.
Yannick Desranleau and Chloe Lum in their studio in Mile End, Montréal, 2013. Photo by M-KOS
Montréal based artist duo Séripop (Chloe Lum and Yannick Desranleau) are known for their printed paper-based artwork, often assembled from loud and colourful posters into the large installations, as well as for their noise band AIDS Wolf and unique fashion style. Although they have been around for nearly a decade, they recently popped out as a breath of fresh air on Montréal’s art scene for the Quebec Triennial in 2011. M-KOS visited their studio in Mile End, the city’s main artist quarter.
MKOS: Can you tell us how Séripop started out?
Yannick Desranleau [YB]: We initially got together as a couple in 1999 and both were doing art and music on the side, but really it was the music that brought us together.
Chloe Lum [CL]: We decided to start a band playing music together and ended up merging our art practices. We were both doing videos and performances at the time.
YB: We didn’t start collaborating full-time until 2002.
CL: When we dropped out the school, we really became a collaborative unit. Because we were playing music, in a DIY noise band, and it seemed natural for us to start making posters for our shows. We started seeing posters as a place we could experiment formally and realize some possibilities by looking at them on the streets.
Yann Pocreau and Claudine Khelil with installation “LINX” by Patrick Martinez at Centre Clark. Photo by M-KOS
Montreal/Brooklyn is the project title for a visual art exchange between two North American cities of the same name, initiated by artist-run centre Clark. Their first public event kicked off in October from Montreal to then reach Brooklyn in January 2013 and altogether showcase 40 artist works within 16 institutions. More than two years in the making, the painstaking efforts to make this project happen have finally paid off with excitement from the public as well as the press. M-KOS interviewed Clark coordinators Claudine Khelil and Yann Pocreau, to grasp an insider’s view of Montreal/Brooklyn.
M-KOS [MKOS]: A few weeks have passed already since the start of Montreal/Brooklyn in October. How was the public’s reaction so far?
Yann Pocreau [YP]: It’s been great. We had a lot of media coverage and people are passing on the buzz. We didn’t really expect that. We even had some coverage in France.
MKOS: That’s fantastic. Can you tell us how this project started out?
Claudine Khelil [CK]: We were in New York visiting some galleries, and we approached one of them whose work we really liked. First we proposed the gallery director of Parker’s Box to do some exchanges with Clark. Then after a long discussion we started talking about possibilities and decided to go bigger, to do an exchange project with a substantial amount of structure.
Jeffery Shaw, The Legible City, 1989. Computergraphic Installation. Collection of ZKM-Medienmuseum, Karlsruhe, Germany.
Digital archiving has lately become a much-discussed topic. The illusion of “everlasting” files, advocated at the beginning of the digital revolution started crumbling away, giving way to a perception of digital formats as one of the most ephemeral documents. “We ought to have a very good strategy for digital archiving” says Hiroko Myokan, former curator at Inter Communication Center (ICC), Tokyo and currently working on archiving the very first media art festival in Japan between 1986–1999, for the Agency for Culture in Japan. On a recent visit to Montreal for BIAN 2012, Mutek and Elektra festivals, Myokan and M-KOS resident editor and digital artist Oli Sorenson freely discuss digital archiving as a key phenomenon to our contemporary condition.
Oli Sorenson [OS]: When we first met in Japan two years ago, we had an interesting talked about digital archiving. You were also in a transition period from working as a curator for ICC to going back to studying. Are you still studying now?
Hiroko Myokan [HM]: Yes, I’m still studying archiving and preservation of media art in
Linz Krems, Austria but I’m also doing research for the Agency for Cultural Affairs in Tokyo about the first video and media art festival that happened in Japan between 1985 and 1999, in the Fukui prefecture.
OS: Were these well archived?
HM: Actually, yes. It’s a very rare case. They don’t have any video documentation but only printed materials as well as some broadcasting archives from the local TV broadcast company.
Posted in Archiving, Digital Arts, Interview, Visual Arts
Tagged Daniel Langlois Foundation, Digital archiving, DOCAM, Elektra, Fluxus, Hiroko Myokan, ICC, International Digital Arts Biennale, Moment Factory, Montréal, MUTEK, Vox
Exhibition view from “Art Hisotires” at VOX. Courtesy of VOX.
VOX is a Montreal-based artist-run centre founded in 1985. After relocating many times within different areas over the years, VOX settled in March 2012 to its permanent home, in the brand new culture complex building 2-22, situated at the heart of downtown Montreal. The inaugural exhibition of their new space entitled “Art Histories” was curated by VOX artistic director Marie-Josée Jean and showcases a total of 16 international artists which all in their own way attempt to deconstruct art history and challenge this great institution. Jean talked to M-KOS of the history of VOX and their inaugural exhibition.
M-KOS [MKOS]: Can you start by introducing VOX, its mandate and its decision to move to the most central location of Montréal?
Marie-Josée Jean [MJJ]: The history of VOX is quite long because this is a group that was formed in 1985, and it’s interesting to know that at the onset the original name was Vox Populi. It was a communications collective predominantly using photography as one of many means of communications, but also radio. The origins of VOX were socially quite active, notably to the extent that VOX gave itself the mandate to defend the rights of youths. Over the years the group specialized into an exhibition space for photography. Nonetheless, our origins are clearly associated with social activism. In fact, the son of the founders of VOX, Marcel Blouin and Lucie Bureau, is now one of the key leaders of Québec’s current student protest (Leo Bureau-Blouin) [laugh].
Posted in Interview, Visual Arts
Tagged Artexte, Artist-run centre, IRWIN, Kazimir Malevich, Kazimir Malevich (Belgrade), Marcel Duchamp, Marie-Josée Jean, Montréal, RCAAQ, Vox
Janet Werner in front of her painting “Crying Eyes” (2011). Photo by M-KOS
Montreal based painter Janet Werner is currently showing a new body of work within Parisian Laundry’s main space. Throughout her painting career, Werner has been engaged with the genre of portraiture, focusing primarily on female figures. She collages and transforms images from fashion magazines, popular culture and naïve painting, to invent altered personalities with these source materials, in addition to creating new narratives. Werner plays out a tension between fiction and reality to question notions of beauty, often by distorting and messing up the posing women. The resulting paintings not only astound by their sense of scale, composition and color, but also draw the viewer into the inner psyche of Werner’s counterfeit characters. Werner talks to M-KOS about her new exhibition, and of the ways she produced her latest body of work.
M-KOS [MKOS]: Can you tell us about your choice of title “Earthling” for this exhibition at Parisian Laundry?
Janet Werner [JW]: [laugh] The reason I’m laughing is because it was so hard for me to come up with a title, I really struggled. It was one of the first titles I thought of, but I kept looking and looking. Titles are extremely difficult for me. But in the end I went with it. What was your question, why did I use the title?
MKOS: Yes, does it have to do with the people in the paintings?
JW: Well, I feel like the work is existential in nature and when you take an existential position you usually think of it in terms of: I’m here right now, on earth, at this moment. But to call it Earthling is like taking a different perspective of that same experience. It was as if they were aliens but in fact, it’s us, if you looked at us as though we were aliens. I was just thinking of the beings who are cast here, in these paintings.
Haig Aivazian, Collapsing Foundations, 2010-Ongoing. Courtesy the artist and Parisian Laundry
Beirut-born, NY-based artist and curator Haig Aivazian is now showing his ongoing project at Parisian Laundry’s bunker space. “Collapsing Foundations” is a multi-part project comprised of written text, sculpture, drawing, video and a lecture performance, all of which seek to answer the following question: Can one erect a monument to an individual who has already erased the traces of his life’s work? Initiated from the CAD drawings of the artist’s late architect father, Aivazian here evaluates the potentials of languages and materiality, examines the notion of legacy and explores the relationships between private and public, through a wider body of research and various forms of presentations. M-KOS interviewed Aivazian during the opening of his exhibition.
M-KOS [MKOS]: How did “Collapsing Foundations” start off?
Haig Aivazian [HA]: I’ve been thinking about this project for several years now. Initially it was a fairly academic paper that I wrote. I had these drawings my father had done that I needed to do something with. I knew there was a potential in them but I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. I wanted to explore the lines, explore them almost formally. I was thinking about drawing parallels between the collapse of a building and the collapse of a body, but mostly I was interested in the collapse of language in these moments: At the approach of death, what happens to language? What happens when we speak? What is our relationship to death as we speak? So I got interested in this idea of the very act of speaking, as an effort to ward off death. But the more we spoke, the more we are approaching death. So those are some of the ideas at the beginning point.