Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Curators are just people too, and by people I mean...

I've been going to a lot of exhibitions lately and it's been a lot of fun since I never used to do that much before I came to England. I've gained a bit of interest in curation and I think my essay this semester will be about 'critical curation', even though I missed that lecture. I mised it for a good reason though. Yeah, partying in Norway ;)

Thinking more about curation and all the things it entails and all the things it is tied up in pisses me off a bit, I must admit. It's a lot like all other things in life, you start of thinking that if you just work really hard and make something good then somehow it will be picked up on and you'll get your work out there. But alas, the gallery is not an abstract all knowing entity that just senses your greatness and sends you a nice letter about how it would be delighted to give you an opportunity. First of all you have to do all the hard work yourself getting to know who to talk to and how to talk to them and all that smuck, and then after all that, no matter how good you are there is going to be one person or a group of them sitting there looking at your work discussing whether they think it will be relevant to society and the art world and their personal philosophy in two years time when they have their next vacant spot on the schedule.

And now I'm not even mentioning politics and inside dealins. And yeah, even if you get into the gallery they'll probably place it all stupid and right next to something you wouldn't even poke with a stick.

So when I saw this video couple of days ago it got me thinking about other possibilities.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dan Colen - Peanuts, at Astrup Fearnley Museum of mdern art in Oslo

As impressed as I got with Hlobo I got somewhat underwhelmed with Colen, it should be mentioned that I saw the Colen exhibition before the Hlobo one.

Maybe because this one was the piece that met me and it gave me serious expectations for similar things, things someting inside me really wanted to see more of. But alas, it was more like a visual cacophony. You can decide for yourself.

When I think about it this kind of reminds me of my initial reaction to Orozco, except it didn't fade. It's a bit difficult to say whether this is simply because I like the artist Orozco better than Colen or because when all came to all Tate is better at putting shit together than Astrup Fearnley.

Maybe it's like they said in Norwegain newspaper Aftenposten "You have to be a young man, living in New York, preferably with a lot of drug use behind you to exhibit at Astrup Fearnley". I mean, maybe there is a deep conection and a thoughtfullness I'm not trained enough to see, but then again maybe it's just a whole lot of shit that people bought because everybody else did? It all seems so superficial and uninvolved to me.

And maybe most of all because the man obviously has a talent when it comes to painting and it makes me wish he'd investigated it deeper or just left it alone insted of teasing me with it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Nicholas HLOBO at the museum of contemporary art in Oslo

I took a long weekend to go party with my friends in Oslo, and while I was there I decided to check out some exhibitions. A fellow art student recommended that I should check out what they had on at the museum of contemporary art and boy was I glad she did so, Nicholas HLOBO is really something.

It was a bit as if painting wasn't invented yet and then somebody just suddenly mastered it out of nothing, that was how alien it looked to me. Then again, I'm pretty new to the art world and art history, so it might look completely ordinary to somebody else.

It feels sort of cheap to compare him to Dali, maybe because I've been comparing so many other artists to Dali lately, but there's diffidently something surreal about the figures stitched together from black rubber and ribbon into graceful yet nightmarish forms often contemplating the paradoxical about being human that still begs for that comparison. I think this is a grim reminder to myself to read up on my art history. I really don't want to sound like a fawning yokel for ever...

This is the kind of exhibition that I think I would've personally loved to put together. There is so much craziness going on, so much contrast and so much potential harmony. There is even one installation going through one wall going out another yet managing to look interesting in both rooms.

I can't help to think that it must have been a fun job :)

As for making the work I think it must have taken ages and ages and lots of concentration and thinking and awareness. I wonder how it all started? I find I really want to read about this guy. I mean, did he just pick up some ribbon and a slither of black rubber one day and set to it?