These are the last days to see the touching installation Five Car Stud by Edward Kienholz at LACMA, Los Angeles. Edward Kienholz’s Five Car Stud (1969–72) is a powerful work that depicts the hatred many white Americans expressed toward racial minorities and interracial partnerships in the not-too-distant-past; it stands as Kienholz’s major civil rights work. In this horrifying life-size tableau, four automobiles and a pickup truck are arranged on a dirt floor in a dark room with their headlights illuminating a shocking scene: a group of white men exacting their gruesome “punishment” on an African American man whom they have discovered drinking with a white woman. Commenting on the work and its theme of racial oppression, Kienholz said at the time, “If six to one is unfair odds in my tableau, then 170 million to 20 million is sure as hell unfair odds in my country.” Although our society increasingly considers itself postracial, Five Car Stud is a harsh reminder of a shameful part of our history whose traces still linger. It was seen only in Germany in 1972 and has since remained in storage in Japan for almost forty years. This is its first public showing in the United States.
November 5, 2011 – February 2012
Galleria Franco Noero – Piazza Santa Giulia, 0/F – Torino
For his third solo show at Galleria Franco Noero, Tom Burr has realized a new series of works specially conceived for the long term installation space of Piazza Santa Giulia 5 in Torino, along with a text that accompanies his exhibition: “Consider a room impersonating a body, an inverted volume with naked walls quivering in plain view of the town, naughty little walls needing to be covered, needing to be draped and dressed. There are moral codes to apply to rooms, particularly rooms like this, rooms like this that swagger and sway and ask to be looked at, but not touched, asked to be admired, but never fondled. Consider promiscuous rooms with promiscuous walls, naughty little teasing walls that exist to be seen, exist solely to be looked at again and again.
December 6, 2011 - January 28, 2012
Galleria S.A.L.E.S. – Via dei Querceti, 4/5 – Rome
On the 6th of December Galleria S.A.L.E.S. presented a new solo exhibition of the italian artist Mario Airò. In the occasion of the show, titled Ling, Airò wrote an interesting text – that we publish below – where he talks about the work, the inspiration and the intellectual process beyond it. Here it is.
“The exhibition title is Ling. A Chinese ideogram I found in a Canto by Ezra Pound. The Canto begins with the ideogram, its phonetic transcription in English (ling) and the words “Our dynasty came in because of a great sensibility”. At first I was struck by the delineation of sensibility as the talent required for good government, then I lingered over the graphic sign of the ideogram which seemed special to me: it’s one of the few ideograms that contain a kind of symmetry, a symmetry more of gesture, I’d say, than of form. In fact the signs on the right side are identical to those on the left side, in a kind of repetition that generates an equilibrium. A form of mirroring which is not reflection but rather reconstruction of the phenomenon by going over the lines of force of its making. I then got curious about its meaning because I discovered that ling is also used in metaphysics and the study of essence. I tried to grasp what was meant by that ‘sensibility’… a magnificent thing is that this potentiality is ranked with the capacity of leaves to generate photosynthesis, to metabolise light.
Monday December 19, 2011 - 6pm-9pm
NERO Headquarters - Lungotevere degli Artigiani 8 b Rome
Magazines, books, multiples, t-shirts, ephemera, music and beers.
On demand risograph printed limited edition posters by Massimiliano Bomba, Carola Bonfili, Emiliano Maggi, Michele Manfellotto, Matteo Nasini, Nicola Pecoraro, Demented Urania.
In regards to the exhibition of Andrea Büttner at Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia we publish some extract of an interview between Andrea Büttner and Bina von Stauffenberg, the guest curator. The exhibition is in conjunction with the Max Mara Art Prize for Women in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery, London. The award of a residency in Italy afforded Büttner the opportunity to spend time with early Renaissance painting, most particularly the realist frescoes of fourteenth century artist Giotto. She visited monastic communities that pursue lives of simplicity and devotion. She also visited Reggio Emilia, home of the Maramotti Collection, where she encountered the work of artists such as Alberto Burri, Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni, whose use of ‘poor’ materials prefigures the Arte Povera movement. The influence of these encounters is clearly evident in The Poverty of Riches and in this conversation.
Bina von Stauffenberg: Your new work sets out to explore the notion of poverty. You have become particularly interested in the life of St. Francis of Assisi, whose birthplace you visited during your residency in Italy. The title of your show The Poverty of Riches references a book of the same title by the academic Kenneth Baxter Wolf.1 The author questions the benefit of St. Francis renouncing all worldly goods and living his life in poverty. How has this critique influenced your work?
Andrea Büttner: In The Poverty of Riches Kenneth Baxter Wolf discusses how voluntary poverty opens a path to spiritual regeneration, and how ultimately it is a route to salvation for wealthy Christians like St. Francis himself. The poor however cannot make this choice; therefore this path of a ‘spiritual economy’ is closed to them. I am interested in poverty not only in relation to monastic movements but also in relation to artistic movements, in particular to Arte Povera, the Italian art movement of the 1960s, which literally translated means ‘poor art’. The choice of poverty in monastic movements echoes the choice of poverty in Arte Povera – ‘poor’ implies an art that is opposed to the ‘rich’ apparatuses of mass media, style, meaning, or the art market.
November 17, 2011 – January 28, 2012
STUDIOLO – Eierbrechtstr. 50 – Zürich
Perfect Cherry Blossom is a two man show by Keiichi Tanaami (*1936) and Oliver Payne (*1977). The exhibition title is not only a symbol for flourishing spring and peace but also the name of one of the most advanced and violent Japanese Bullet Hell Games. A video game made by gamers for gamers from a time before the gaming industry turned into a home entertainment device. On this occasion Oliver Payne has presented the work featured for the artist project on NERO n.27.
In the films by Keiichi Tanaami pop culture from east and west meet. Abstracted, post-traumatic impressions from the Great Tokyo Air Raid are combined with LSD fantasies and aesthetics of consumption merge with hallucinatory erotic desires. Tanaami is one of the most influential Pop Art artists of post-war Japan. His work had a great impact on a younger generation of artists working with pop aesthetics in Japan and abroad like Oliver Payne.
In Oliver Payne’s collages stickers of Japanese Bullet Hell Games are arranged on torn out pages of an ancient Greek sculpture catalogue. Payne transforms the violent imagery of these videogames into psychedelic explosions of color. Greek statues serve as a background and a reminder of the fantasy worlds produced in Japanese arcade games, which often picture rural Europe. Sounds of an arcade field recording give a notion of manic playfulness towards the exhibited works.