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>>> Instinctive Interpretations: An Interview with Alicia Frankovich on 29/09/2011

Alicia Frankovich, ‘Volution’, 2011, Courtesy of the Artist

LILIANA RODRIGUES: Your 2011 film ‘Volution’ is loosely inspired by a scene from Charlie Chaplin’s ‘City of Lights’ (1931), while ‘Genet Piece’ (2010) freely re-enacts a scene from ‘Un Chant d’Amour’ by Jean Genet (1950). Why this interest in the re-enactment of choreographies taken from historical film footage?

ALICIA FRANKOVICH: In a way by coming so close to other works you can actually divert further from them than if you were not to look to them at all. There is a sense of a skeleton that you can build on and divert into a new language. You can kind of insert yourself into an old text and do something to it and come out of it, pushing it somewhere else. I also like the idea of making a kind of (feminist) modern day interpretation from works of the past. How do actions/ gestures from 1930 or 1950 read today? What if the actions are misused or if they are such a brittle vein in the final piece… The earlier works allow for layers of texts/ readings from the original text to the new one. There is also a politics in the way that you see the piece in terms of media, from Chaplin’s blackand white films (which I have seen on TV and on Youtube) through todays technology. Really I think that you are initially interested in a specific concept or a specific history and then it becomes entirely new … it adds context.


October 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm Leave a comment

A Funny Turbulence. An Interview with Assaf Gruber on 28/09/2011

Assaf Gruber, 'Joseph', 2011, Courtesy of the Artist

LILIANA RODRIGUES: Adam Budak has already referenced how your artistic practice “deploys and simultaneously deconstructs a variety of formal languages”, and how “it is gestural as it is performative”. Your most recent installation, titled ‘A Great Big Joke’ (2011), is no exception. It joins a two-dimensional historical painting, moving image, and sculptural elements with a performative aspect to them. Why do you feel the necessity of working a multiplicity of vocabularies within the same piece?

ASSAF GRUBER: Because comedy happens in threes.
A Great Big Joke‘ is consists of three elements: a highly pixelized cellular phone photograph of a painting by the French Caravaggisti Nicolas Tournier. It belongs to the ‘club’ of iconic crucifixion images, but it is not one that we can easily identify. The second is a short looped extract from the film ‘The Swimmer’ (Frank Perry, 1968). The loop shows a man climbing up a mountain, an image associated with the cinematic representation of the myth of Sisyphus, which recurs throughout many films. The last is the different sculptural elements made from photosensitive paper and steel, which I call ‘Isomorphs’ due to their ‘repetitive energy’.
This ensemble of familiar/non-familiar imageries and forms attempts to achieve a peculiar déjà vu experience where the viewer is being held somewhere in between awkwardness and ‘terrible beauty’.

LR: You used the expression “crime scene” in reference to ‘Great Big Joke’. Can you explain?

AG: Maybe because there is something transgressive in it, which leads to a feeling that something bad is about to happen or already did. But then, the overcharged use of imageries neutralizes the drama and the whole remains a great big joke.


October 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm Leave a comment

One-day visit to the office: Interview with artist Carole Müecke

Read It Here >>

July 26, 2011 at 11:12 pm Leave a comment

June 5, 2011 at 6:24 pm Leave a comment

Life with Picasso by Francoise Gilot and Carlton Lake

Described by critics as “the drama of a woman who after ten years of living together with a genious couldn’t take any more“, this book “testefies that art is a deadly dangerous region, for which you pay with your life” (Karl Korn, Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung).

When sixty-two year old Picasso met twenty-one year old student painter Francoise Guilot, he made it very clear to her that “when love begins, it is already recorded somewhere, as it is its duration and content“. The book gives great inside to Picasso’s personality and how he was in his intimacy, with his boosts in temperament and manipulative character.
Though a bitter report by Gilot of ten years of living together, the book also allows a bit of insight into Picasso’s way of thinking, his art drive and all the people that populated his life. Especially interesting is the remark that in the ten years of their relationship Picasso and Guillot never really shared a social life, as Picasso was obcessed with his art.

April 18, 2011 at 12:32 am 1 comment

Fool for Love and Other Plays by Sam Shepard

Cowboy Mouth
Slim: Cut the shit, baby. You never knew that guy; he’s a million years old. Just tell the story.
Cavale: I do so, I do know him, Slim. He hung himself on my birthday. My birthday. And some lady tole my mom I was made from a hanged man. Poor bastard. And, Slim, he had a crow too. Just like Raymond. I read this dream book Baudelaire writ, and he said Nerval came to him half-crow, half-half-half-ass. Nah. I’m just teasing. I’m sorry Nerval, Slim. I don’t wanna’tell this story. It’s stupid. I’m sick of telling about people killing themselves, it makes me jealous.
Slim: Okay! Okay! Then don’t tell me a story! Don’t never tell me a story! Don’t never tell me another fucking story! See if I care! Nobody gives a rat’s ass anyway! I’m gonna’ play rock-and-roll! I’m gonna’ play some mean, shitkickin’ rock-and-roll!”


Fool for Love, From left, Larry Lamb, Juliette Lewis and Martin Henderson in “Fool for Love” in London.
Eddie: May, I’m trying to take care of you. All right?
May: No, you’re not. You’re just guilty. Gutless and guilty.
Eddie: Great.
(He moves down left to table, sticking close to the wall. Pause)
May: (quietly, staying in the corner) I’m gonna’ kill her ya’ know.
Eddie: Who?
May: Who?
Eddie: Don’t talk like that.
(May slowly begins to move downstage right as Eddie simultaneously moves up left. Both of them press the walls as they move)
May: I am, I’m gonna’ kill her and then I’m gonna’ kill you. Systematically. With sharp knives. Two separate knives. One for her and one for you. (she slamms wall with her elbows. Wall resonates) So the blood doesn’t mix. I’m gonna’ torture her first though. Not you. I’m just gonna’ let you have it. Probably in the midst of a kiss. Right when you think everything’s been healed up. Right in the moment when you’re sure you’ve got me buffaloed. That’s when you’ll die.
(She arrives extreme down right at the very limits of the set. Eddie in the extreme up left corner. Pause.)
Eddie: You know how many miles I went outa’ my way just to come here and see you? You got any idea?
May: Nobody asked you to come.
Eddie: Two thousand, four hundred and eighty.
May: Yeah? Where were you, Katmandu or something?
Eddie: Two thousand, four hundred and eighty miles.
May: So what!
(He drops his head, stares at the floor. Pause. She stares at him. He begins to move slowly down left, sticking close to wall as he speaks.)
Eddie: I missed you. I did. I missed you more than anything I ever missed inmy whole life. I kept think’ about you the whole time I was driving. Kept seeing you. Sometimes just a part of you.
May: Which part?
Eddie: Your neck.
May: My neck?
Eddie: Yeah.
May: You missed my neck?
Eddie: I missed all of you but your neck kept coming up for some reason. I kept crying about your neck.
May: Crying?
Eddie: (he stops by stage-left door. She stays down right) Yeah. Weeping. Like a baby. Uncontrollabe. It would just start up and stop and then start up all over again. For miles. I couldn’t stop it. Cars would pass me on the road. People would stare at me. My face was all twisted up. I couldn’t stop my face.”

April 17, 2011 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Street Art, Street Life: From the 1950s to Now

“Street Art, Street Life: From the 1950s to Now” was an exhibition curated by guest curator Lydia Yee at the Bronx Museum in New York from September 14, 2008 to January 25, 2009.

Usually associated with graffiti, the label “street art” actually embodies a wider range of practices brilliantly covered by this exhibition.
From street photography, to documentation of performances and ephemeral actions, videos, and art objects made from found materials, the show included works by Robert Frank, William Klein, Jacques de la Villeglé, Yoko Ono, Vito Acconci, Martha Rosler, Sophie Calle, Nikki S. Lee, Francis Alÿs among others.
I especially appreciated the work of Francis Alÿs, the information on the Fluxus tours in New York and Robin Rhode’s piece.

My greatest discovery was Tehching Hsieh‘s performance work, for its hardship, invisibility strategies, integrity and radicality.
Tehching Hsieh accomplished several one year performances (Cage Piece, Time Clock Piece, Outdoor Piece, Rope Piece and No Art Piece), meticulously cataloguing and recording the entire process.
In the Outdoor Piece, 1981/82, he lived one year in New York without ever entering an enclosed space or a city building, with exception for one night spent in jail. In the Rope Piece, he tied himself to another person with a 2,4 meter rope and stayed in the same room, unallowed to touch each other for a whole year.

“Street Art, Street Life: From the 1950s to Now” joins works which directly address street struggle, the indistinguishibility from art and daily life, the blurring distinctions between art and non-art, artist and audience, at the same time offering a ground for the critique of the institutions of art.

April 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

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