Ceal Floyer at Kunst-Werke

by Travis Jeppesen on September 14, 2009

My review of Ceal Floyer’s solo exhibition at Kunst-Werke is now online at Artforum.

TONIGHT: Luigi y Luca opening at Artbar, Berlin

by Travis Jeppesen on August 15, 2009

Photography always tells us more about its subjects than they might wish to reveal. In this sense, it is different from the other arts, in that it serves as a collaboration between the artist and the medium. Luigi y Luca understand this better than any other artist duo to have confined themselves to photographic art; unlike most photographers who prefer to look out at the world around them, Luigi y Luca prefer to use the lens as a tool for looking within. In subjecting themselves to this alluring means of inquiry, Luigi y Luca bravely place one another in an extremely vulnerable state, revealing intimate truths about their lives that most of us prefer to keep private.

The Private Album occupies a special place in Luigi y Luca’s developing oeuvre, in that it completely foregoes the glamorous lighting, sets, costumes, and props that have become a hallmark of the duo’s work. An unheralded intimacy occupies the foreground here, affording us a “day in the life” glimpse of the artists-as-lovers in hotels, bathrooms, and beaches during a year of travel through Spain and the United States. No one is as generous as Luigi y Luca in exposing their desires, uncertainties, and love for one another across this shifting domestic terrain. This is the diary of a love-in-progress between two artists continually exploring new ways of uniting as one.

Tomorrow: SLUM @ Ficken3000, Berlin

by Travis Jeppesen on August 5, 2009

The creators of PORK are pleased to announce the creation of an exciting new nightlife concept for Berlin. Beginning on August 6th, every Thursday night, Ficken3000 will be transformed into SLUM.

SLUM aims to unite all of Berlin’s disparate artistic, sexual, and nocturnal subcultures under a single roof. In the tradition of Zurich’s Cabaret Voltaire, New York’s Jackie 60, and LA’s Club Sucker, SLUM will serve as both a party and a venue for cutting-edge performers and artists looking to transcend boundaries.

Each Thursday, artists will transform Ficken3000’s cavernous darkroom into a performance lounge, where artists, writers, and musicians from Berlin and abroad will present one-off projects responding to the unique properties of the space. On the video monitors, we will show video art and experimental film. Upstairs on the main dance floor, a revolving cast of resident guest DJs will spin rock, electro, noise, and avant-garde weirdness.

Our first month’s resident DJ will be Dustcake. For the premiere tomorrow night, there will be performances by Gaby Bila-Gunther, Luigi of Luigi y Luca, Master Patrick, and Tennessee Claflin.

SLUM is curated by performance artist Tennessee Claflin and writer Travis Jeppesen.

Dicklung & Others

by Travis Jeppesen on August 3, 2009

My new collection of poetry, Dicklung & Others, is now available for pre-order from BLATT Books.

The cover painting is Basan, the Fire-Breathing Chicken by Jeremiah Palecek, who also did the images for my last collection, Poems I Wrote While Watching TV, which you can also order from BLATT.

Bob Tooke @ Galerie Crystal Ball

by Travis Jeppesen on August 1, 2009

My review of Bob Tooke’s exhibition at Galerie Crystal Ball is now online at Artforum.

Stéphane Pencréac’h @ FRISCH

by Travis Jeppesen on July 28, 2009

My review of Pencréac’h’s current Berlin exhibition is now online at Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art.

E.M.C. Collard @ STYX Project Space

by Travis Jeppesen on July 16, 2009

My review of E.M.C. Collard’s current exhibition at STYX Project Space is now online at Artforum.

Alexandra Ranner @ Loock Galerie, Berlin

by Travis Jeppesen on July 10, 2009

Alexandra Ranner is showing a series of photos of lonely, desolate rooms. Rooms that almost appear as though they were never intended for human inhabitance. Or, that they have been abandoned and sealed away, their forsaken state having yet to be discovered by the outside world. This outside world is referenced via hints of light, natural and artificial, as well as by glimpses afforded by the occasional window. Upon closer inspection, it becomes clear why the rooms in the photos seem so artificial. They are spaces designed by the artist, perhaps close-ups of miniature architectural models.

You can read the rest of my review at Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art.

Gilbert & George @ Artforum.com

by Travis Jeppesen on July 5, 2009

My review of Gilbert & George’s current Berlin exhibition is now online.

WHITE TRASH DUMMIES

by Travis Jeppesen on July 3, 2009

On a recent trip to Paris, I was lucky enough to catch an exhibition of Duane Hanson, whose work I’ve long admired in reproduction but seldom seen in actuality. The sculptures most people and I know best stem from the latter half of his career, when he took to creating lifelike reproductions of mostly white trash. People that most people consider to be white trash. I don’t use that term in a derogatory sense; these are the people you will likely be surrounded by your whole life in America, unless you come from a place like New York or Los Angeles or are incredibly wealthy and choose to live isolated among other incredibly wealthy people. I don’t know that I buy the argument that Hanson’s work comes out of social realism. That would imply that whatever social commentary you can wrench out of his work is more important than other factors, such as the mood evoked by the sculptures. That a profound melancholy haunts all of these sculptures dispels that notion. I would go so far as to say that Hanson is more of a melancholist than a social realist. At the same time, it is difficult to tell whether he has any real compassion for his subjects or not. He chose to live in south Florida for the vast majority of his life. I’m also from south Florida, and while I didn’t grow up there, I spent enough time there as a child and adolescent to recognize that it’s one of the trashiest regions of the United States. I think there are many ways you can interpret Hanson’s attitude towards his subjects – and the most popular of them are condescending. You can say he has great empathy for the subjects he depicts, which implies that he feels sorry for them, or you can say he depicts them in a very brutal manner, meaning he is making fun of them. This points to a problem of interpretation within the context of the art world, though – not within Hanson’s work.

Duane Hanson – “Illusions Perdues”

Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin

Paris

Through July 11th, 2009

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