Ana Maria Tavares is known for installations employing materials such as steel, glass and mirrors. Resembling architectural structures, her installations call to mind the artificial, emotionally vacuous atmosphere of airports, office buildings, and other forms of urban architecture. Through her re-deployment of industrial architectural materials, such materials lose their function, and viewers are subtly thrown off balance in their physical experience and sense of time. Recently, Tavares has been creating films in which steel columns connect with stairways running in all directions. By introducing reflections she renders the space in the films all the more complex. Airshaft (to Piranesi) (2008) examines the realities of human circulation through anonymous urban spaces as found all over the world. The video depicts a modern architectural space in the manner of the complex, labyrinthine expanses depicted by the 18th century Italian artist Piranesi, but wavering fluidly like a mirage. The chaos of Brazil’s enormous urban spaces is reflected here. Tavares’s videos produce an encounter with “somewhere” that is not quite “here” and make us aware of how unreal our reality can be.
Below are excerpts from the 1991 VHS compilation of experimental animated shorts Tony Vegas' Animated Acidburn Flashback Tabu.
Brian Droitcour is a writer, curator, and Russian-to-English translator. From 2002 to 2007 he lived in Moscow, where he covered art for The Moscow Times and Artchronika, a Russian monthly magazine. In 2008 he moved to New York, where he started working for Rhizome, first as curatorial fellow, then as staff writer. As a translator he's worked on several exhibition catalogues and art anthologies.
Jon Rafman's Google Street Views and the accompanying essay he wrote for Art Fag City's IMG MGMT series are sure to get several well-deserved mentions in end-of-the-year lists. Tom Moody on Google Street Views: "Jon Rafman's gathering of images from Google Street Views isn't really collecting at all but solid, groundbreaking journalism. Obviously untold hours were spent perusing this recent-but-everyday tool for images in very specific, focused categories. Photos that look like art photos, photos of mishaps, photos showing the success and failure of Google's face-blurring software, photos that show class issues in a supposedly 'universal' product (the down and out are more likely to be photographed unsympathetically than the up and in). As much as one hates to see more attention paid to the monopoly that aspires to put the happy face on Big Brother, this is worthwhile, thoughtful research." Kool-Aid Man in Second Life is a distorted twin to Google Street Views, another set of screen captures singling out accidental beauty and quirks of surveillance, only this time in a fantasy world that lets Rafman personify his searching gaze in a pitcher of fruit drink.
кремль.рф (kremlin.rf) won't go live until early next year, but the Russian presidential administration's new Cyrillic URL already made waves last month, when Russia became the first country to register top-level ...