a tale of a few cities

Anish Kapoor Blows Off UK Now

Posted in Art, artists, boycott, China, London, Photography, politics, protests by petercombe on June 16, 2011

(Photo: Johnny Shand-Kydd)


LONDON. Anish Kapoor has cancelled plans to present his sculptures at the National Museum of China in Beijing, in protest against the continuing detention of Ai Weiwei. He had been asked by the British Council to consider a show at the newly renovated museum in Tiananmen Square as part the “UK Now” festival in China late next year.

Kapoor’s spokeswoman confirmed to The Art Newspaper that he had been invited to China, but “he is not going to proceed in view of the detention of Ai Weiwei.” Ai, an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, was arrested in Beijing in early April for alleged “economic crimes”.

Discussions began about a potential exhibition at the National Museum of China last October, when two directors of London’s Lisson Gallery (which represents Kapoor, stand 2.1/K12 at Art Basel) were in Beijing. Provisional plans were subsequently made for Kapoor to travel to Beijing this month to view the space and talk with the museum. The idea would have been to mount an exhibition with a major new work.

Kapoor has been outspoken in his criticism of the Chinese government’s treatment of Ai Weiwei, since his detention on 3 April. On 10 May, when he opened his Leviathan installation at the Grand Palais in Paris, he dedicated it to the Chinese artist, describing his detention as “barbaric”. Once Kapoor had spoken out, it was realised that his participation in the “UK Now” festival would be difficult. A British Council spokeswoman stressed that the exhibition proposal had been at “a very early stage, and until he had seen the space we could not have proceeded”.

British Council chief executive Martin Davidson believes in “freedom of cultural expression”, but is keen for the programme to go ahead. He commented: “It is through cultural exchange that we best demonstrate the benefits of free artistic expression and build supportive links between people in the UK and China.”

The Art Newspaper >
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Birth of Kapoor

Posted in Art, Birth of..., Installation, Photography, Sculpture by petercombe on March 19, 2011

Lothar Baumgarten, Tetrahedron, 1968

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Anish Kapoor, Mother as a Mountain, 1985

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Jennifer Allora, Guillermo Calzadilla, Untitled (ATM/Organ)

Posted in Uncategorized by petercombe on August 19, 2010

Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla’s Fourth Plinth submission needs to win. With an ATM at its base,  a cacophony of sound is heard throughout Trafalgar Square when the machine is in use. The artists’ concept is worthy to induce that particular cognitive experience known as the British sense of humor, all the while recognizing Britain’s rich theological history and the financial centrality of London.

Untitled (ATM/Organ) consists of installing an automated teller machine (ATM) in the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square, connected to a functioning pipe organ which will produce sound by driving pressurised air through pipes selected via the ATM machine keyboard.

Each time customers press the ATM keyboard to access bank accounts worldwide to make cash withdrawals, credit card cash advances, account balance inquiries and so on, it will trigger the pipe organ to produce a range of notes and chords at varying degrees of loudness which will reverberate throughout Trafalgar Square.

Artist biographies

Jennifer Allora, born in 1974 Philadelphia, USA and Guillermo Calzadilla born in 1971 in Havana, Cuba, live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Through sculpture, photography, performance, sound and video, their work explores mark making, traces, survival and the relationship between the human and the animal. Most recently, they have created a series of works that explore the interplay between militarism and sound in the context of today’s global state of war.

They have had solo shows at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2007), Serpentine Gallery (2007), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008), Haus der Kunst München, Munich (2008) and the Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin (2009) and have a forthcoming exhibition at the Lisson Gallery, London, UK in 2011.

Untitled (ATM/Organ)>

Blue

Posted in Art, Collage, cut & paste, Installation, London, Photography, Photomontage by petercombe on June 8, 2010

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Costa Vece, Why does my heart feel so bad?, 2010, collage cm 31,5 x 41,5
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Spencer Finch, Sky (Over Coney Island, November 26th, 2004, 12:47pm. Southwest view over the Cyclone.) 2004, balloons, helium and string. Installation at Miami Beach. Violet balloons inflated inside cobalt balloons to precisely match the color of the sky over Coney Island.


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