May 28, 2010

Next Week...

Next week is busy up north:
Mill24 is a two-part series of 24-hour exhibitions ready to set up stage for the second time this May 2010 at Islington Mill, Salford. Moving forward from the intense energy of April’s show, Part 2 this weekend will present a multitude of artists, ideas and practices; but offering a difference in pace with the new start time of 12 midday. The overarching focus of this month’s show is to highlight the normally unseen processes of idea generating and work making that normally occur prior to an exhibition. For those who dare to endure our 24-hour challenge, there will be live broadcasting, endurance open-studio projects and performance reenactments in abundance.
Mill24 will once again utilise all 5 floors of the mill’s space in its diverse 24-hour showcase of innovatively presented art: from a one-hour lecture series featuring talks and performances, to interactive sound art, to live painting, animation and more.

The Other Room
Wednesday 2nd June, 7.00 pm.
The Old Abbey Inn, 61 Pencroft Way, Manchester, M15 6AY.
Admission is free.
Readers: Susana Gardner, Peter Manson and Nicole Mauro.

Counting Backwards is a new series of text-sound-performance events. It takes place on the first Thursday of alternate months at Fuel cafe bar in Withington. The first event is on Thursday 3 June 2010. Entrance is free. Performing at the first event are Mike Cannell, THF Drenching and Holly Pester.

a place for everything and everything in its place
04.06 - 31.07.2010
A new gallery in Huddersfield curated by my friend Paul Bradley opens with a cracking first exhibition to integrate the new gallery into it’s environment with art and design works that involve materials and concepts not normally associated with either medium, but relate to some of the other retail and creative activities that already exist in the Arcade. I think that this is going to become an important space to keep an eye on.

And sadly, probably the last event of the Salford Concert Series/University arts programme for some time, …menu for murmur, at The Chapman Gallery, The University of Salford, Peel Park Campus, Salford, M5 4WT
Tuesday 1 June – Friday 25 June
Performance: Saturday 5 June, 5.00 – 7.00pm

The show features many of the programme’s previous exhibitors, (including me), Claus van Bebber, Berserker, Chop Shop, Seth Cluett, Matt Dalby, G. Fisher, Rob Gawthrop, Chris Gladwin, Adolfo Guevara, Ryu Hankil, Paul Haywood, Espen Jensen, Petri Kuljuntausta, Bob Levene, Urban Mäder, Jonathan Maj, Lee Patterson, Stan Pete, Kirsten Reese, Henning Schweichel, Hans Specht, Frans de Waard, Matt Wand, Hainer Wörmann, and Jason Zeh.
Curators Ben Gwilliam and Helmut Lemke have invited international sound artists to contribute individual pieces that will stand on their own but will also create a new collaborative piece …menu for murmur. The sound objects, which include electronic devices, rulers and even a desk fan, will consciously be arranged in one space far and near.

A performance event will be held on Saturday 5 June featuring sounding interventions and interaction with the exhibition by sound artists Mick Beck and Matt Wand.
Opening Times: Monday – Friday, 10.00am – 4.00pm
Admission: Free

Sadly I will miss most of these events because I am in Dortmund speaking at the City of Culture conference on culture and social inclusion

May 25, 2010

Geof Huth's Birthday

Happy Birthday to Geof. Nancy asked various people including me to send artworks to celebrate - you can see them at

May 20, 2010


Sue likes Michael Buble, so for her birthday (next week), I am taking her to Verona to see him perform in the Roman Amphitheatre this weekend.

We'll be staying at

May 19, 2010

The Absence of War

Seeing the exhibition of Goya's Disasters of War at Manchester Art Gallery is a dismal experience, strangely encapsulated by one label accompanying one of the etchings - "A group of people gather sadly around a corpse which is hidden from view". The display itself is as professionally shown, in dim light, nicely laid out, as you'd expect. It is strongly supplemented with Jake & Dinos Chapman's model version of the disasters, reinterpreted with nazi torturers. But to get into the gallery you have to go through an anteroom which features children's prints of war themes - as usual, children's art is only of interest to their parents. Interestingly, quotations from the children have also been mounted in vinyl on the wall; the first one seemed to recognise this problematic intervention: 'Katy' comments: " makes me uncomfortable as it is so far removed from my experience and I dont know whether it is right to make a comment on it." It is a mercy that the child-centred stuff hasnt bled into the Goya/Chapman space though children are endlessly present in the show because the noise of them shouting and screaming in a nearby 'education' space fills the air. So the small group of adults looking at the prints looked very much like a group of people gathered sadly around a corpse which is hidden from view.

May 15, 2010

Hans Ulrich Obrist

HUO: What are the conditions for dialogue in 2009? Is there a way out of this system of isolation?

TT: despite the taphonomic questioning the switchboard encourages apoptosis or an equivalent repetition not all directions are the same. Appropriate or. Recursive may be responsible for the concept of self. Remembering recursion qua: because it involves inserting a past mental state into the present one. As an intransitive relation a loop of preferences, perseveration infinite tuples.

HUO: What do you think of the current moment, in 2009? Jean-Pierre Page has just published Penser l'après crise [Thinking the After-Crisis]. For him, everything must be reinvented. He says that a new world is emerging now in which the attempt to establish a US-led globalization has been aborted.

TT: with the only revolution that mattered overturned in 200 years. Operant conditioning. So you if not simply mandarin the sort of eater who eats everything and nothing of our lowly divisions: [laughs] on food and football central dogma still holds. The conversations are important distractions from a vacuum. We smile we at something bigger we would like to be eaten by. The malign business model that procreate like a tube. Appropriate or. The progress of the subcontract works…

HUO: Can you tell us about it?

TT: reactance tunnelling between the probe and the surface. Autumn the practice of control groups that has changed now. Space the soldier who died for perspective laboured and lost time over the details.

HUO: And has that been published?

TT: in sunk cost fallacy.

HUO: So was the aim to make it generic?

TT: quorum sensing. There guard(,) to act as a witness forms analogues of all the known phases spontaneously appearing observers suffer from the ambiguity of taking ratios of infinite numbers, and [a vocalization akin to laughter] motion inside a given observer’s horizon to continue assuming we are typical a single point without volume.

HUO: In your recent books you discuss your existence and temporality. The homogenizing forces of globalization homogenize time, and vice versa. How does one break with this? Could you discuss the temporality of happiness, as a notion?

TT: transcription factors. Taken from our restricted vantage point without reward of priority, time is the effect of ignorance; maximizing and satisficing strategies on the tip at the tip add credence to the hotspot theory. New questions future asked without compromise to artists or their agency much richer is to than.

HUO: Did you appear on the artists list?

TT: a taxon can't remember poised to revolutionise classification. In a disordered state, looking at a particle gives no information about what others are doing. Autumn has changed now without distracted prospect of extraction.

HUO: So it involved a high degree of self-reflexivity?

TT: as poets say within the limits of experimental accuracy mirror neurons vocal learning when a bird listens.

HUO: Can I ask you one last question? There is one question that I ask in all the interviews and it's a question about un-built roads, about unrealized projects. Could you tell us about your favorite unrealized projects, and by that I mean projects which are utopic, projects which are maybe too big or too small to have been realized, forgotten, self-censored, censored by others?

TT: bridge. The sum, difference and product of narratives could produce such equal brightness higher, greater than about the total image complex. The prototype is the benchmark. At least we died trying the favoured design for the future a success-loaded schedule between breathers and catalysis an accretion of interacting snips between disordered and crystalline states perception and the amygdale, a plethora of shapes beyond simple symmetries to reduce it to something far simpler the beginning of a new infinite family of indivisible structures or crisp uniformed assistance.

(latest poem published in The Other Room Anthology no.2)

May 13, 2010

May 11, 2010

Walls Are Talking

If it hadn't been for showing our visiting Finnish curators around I probably wouldn't have seen the Whitworth Art Gallery wallpaper exhibition "Walls Are Talking"; when I walked in, I realised that I have been waiting for more than 40 years for this show. I imagine that kids still have wallpaper collaging images from cartoons or movies (I don't know any to verify that), but I remember the endless childhood fascination of laying in my bedroom surrounded by repeating images of the 60's colourful Adam West Batman. Before modern domestic interior design, UK houses of the 60's and 70's were pretty much fields of patterned wallpaper - my mother had (and still has) an obsession with wallpaper with huge expressionistically painted roses. Both the Batman paper and the roses are here: Walls Are Talking is dramatically more interesting than either of these but manages to make them (and other, what should be banalities) fascinating and in so being locates those historical domestic manifestations anew.
It is very interesting how the artists work with the form of wallpaper focuses nostalgia and animates memories of domestic life, fondly and humorously. There is great wit in many of the works - and this is the lasting impression from the show, its great fun. There are many things to enjoy; I particularly liked Virgil Marti's brilliantly bold repeat pattern of oversized sleeping pills in florescent ink and rayon on flock paper.

May 06, 2010

London Reviews

While in London last week I saw four exhibitions:

Eberhard Havekost: Guest
White Cube

The most interesting Havekost paintings were the Gast series (Guest) – quite convincingly 3 dimensional forest forms maybe seen at night, which are at the same time strangely out of focus as you approach them. The thing that is odd about the show is the unexplained interruptions in the flow of the display with canvases which are vaguely floating colour fields. Then there is one strong graphic piece, “Distanz” possibly representing the bottom of a door in a corridor and another painting called “H2O”, the torso of a swimmer – neither seeming to make sense in relation to the night forest paintings. The upper floor mainly features more of the colour field paintings – which in the majority work quite pleasantly. Apparently Havekost starts from a photo and “enacts a process of de-materialisation and re-materialisation, from thought to object.” I think the interchange of figuration to abstraction is an interesting effect but the absence of a connecting logic undermines the whole.

Jia Aili & Lu Chunsheng
iniva at Rivington Place
Jia Aili’s paintings are technically brilliant, though I would locate his iconography and forms with Bacon rather than (as curator David Thorpe suggests) Beckett. Unfortunately, I would say that when he takes the paint beyond the canvas onto the walls and floor they become inauthentic. The painting “Jia Aili, Good Morning” is a case in point: as the paint leaves the canvas at the bottom there is some dynamic spontaneous paint splashing but then other parts are overworked and remarkably clumsily done compared to the rest of the work. This exposed artifice is magnified by elements of broken glass or mirror on the floor which do not make the convincing transition from the image to the gallery spatial reality.
(Sadly I didn’t have time to see Lu Chunsheng’s video).

The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today
Saatchi Gallery
The impressive Saatchi Gallery has a very strong Indian Art exhibition.

Artists who stood out: Shezad Dawood and especially Chitra Ganesh.

Jannis Kounellis
ambika P3

P3 is quite a weird space to visit. I think part of the effect of the final installation is the process of getting to it, though the backside of the urban façade. The Kounellis installation is remarkable. Reading the exhibition notes doesn’t do the effects of this many favours, since it is one of those artistic acts that touches your being beyond language.

The Kounellis and Saatchi exhibitions are strongly recommended.

May 03, 2010

Dinner for the Finns

Arrived from Tampere (Finland) today, Laura Köönikkä, Chief Curator in the Tampere Art museum, Elina Bonelius, Moominvalley museum curator, and Taina Myllyharju, Tampere museum director (pictured with Barney). Sue created one of her legendary dinner parties for the guests:

Du Barry soup
Warm duck and orange salad
Pan-fried cod loin with a bean, potato and choizo broth
Assiette of chocolate coffee desserts

They'll spend tomorrow in Bury, looking at the Gallery-Museum and preparing future projects.

May 01, 2010


Bloom opened on Friday. I'm pleased with how it has come out - especially as there was a point where the fact that I am not interested in the environment made me wonder whether anything curatorially meaningful would coalesce. As I wrote in the last two books "ignore the gaps between cities"; but actually what has happened is that my indifference has let the subject breathe, allowed different ideas to reflect between the works, without the tiresomely worthy monotone that characterises most artistic dialogue related to climate change, etc. The process then has been much more of an investigation, a search of what this could be; and in that I am satisfied with the result. One of the themes that weaves through the show is the manifestation of human control as action in relation to the environment; with another key idea being the role of representation of the environment in-itself and qua representation. Lawrence Weiner's piece (pictured) acts as the nexus for both these ideas. The question of the relation of representation to reality is reflected in a number of works: from 17th Century oil on canvas "flowerpiece" by Ignace Henri Jean Theodore Fantin-Latour which simply looks like a sumptuous flower arrangement, until you know that at the time of painting the image is completely artificial because the different flowers could not be in bloom at the same time. Then there are the photographs of Andy Latham which might be described as the most‘realistic’ representations of nature ( ),but then Tony Tickle’s 1-metre high, new wave Bonsai tree is a real tree, but as the ultimate aesthetic distortion of nature, is it a real tree? Shaun Pickard's famous 'unnatural' neon reflects on this while his 'Common Buzzard Bueto (below) and unidentified raptor, Northwest England, May 1998' text cut into a park bench records Pickard's preoccupation with the doomed artifice of trying to describe nature at all. Sitting on the bench you can watch Tamás Waliczky's super real animation of rainfalling on a deserted village, wherein suddenly the rain drops are frozen and held up to intense scrutiny. I see this as a counterpoint to Magnus Quaife's large watercolour of a supercomputer floating in and sustaining a landscape called 'Time and Memory'. There are more works but this will just become a list.
The title of the show came from discussions around Bury's annual participation in the Britain in Bloom competition. Each spring and summer municipal Parks Departments bedeck public spaces with neat floral displays with a design history trapped in neo-classicism and Romantic notions of the garden as ordered paradise. These habitual displays offer a public aesthetic that is increasingly open to question in the context of climate change. So there is a selection of artists who deal with the idea of the garden - from Ian Hamiton Finlay to Paul Scott & Anne Linnemann - their contemporary blue and white Porcelain tree cup on a (Vegetable) Garden tray, which circles us back to Fantin-Latour.