From Basel to Hong Kong, Don’t Miss These Dreamy Exhibitions and Events

Katja Novitskova and Timur Si-Qin, Installation view at the Center for Curatorial Studies: Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

I'm going to imagine a time in which post-internet megabucks are really rolling in, and I'm equipped with a private Rhizome Vistajet. If that time happened to be this week, I’d be sure to hit up these exhibitions and events, ranging from Katja Novitskova and Timur Si-Qin's upstate New York exhibition to Robin Peckham's new art fair excursions in Hong Kong. Check out the upcoming exhibitions listed below, with a couple outstanding shows not to be missed. 

“Bcc 9: Das Ei ohne Schale.” at Oslo10, Basel, Switzerland
Opening Thursday, May 10th at 7PM.

Is Bcc the new BYOB? Oslo10, a new exhibition space in Kunstfreilager/Dreispitz, just outside of Basel, Switzerland, will host the ninth edition of Bcc. Originated by Aurélia Defrance, Julie Grosche and Aude Pariset, who have also curated this edition, the exhibition format mandates that all artists submit their work digitally, rather than physically. Artists in this round include Harm van den Dorpel, Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff, Stephen Lichty, Sara Ludy, Mélodie Mousset.

Kate Steciw, “Live Laugh Love” at The Green Room, London
Opening Friday May 11th at 6:00pm, runs through June 17

Surprisingly, this is Kate Steciw’s (much belated) first exhibition in Europe. Green Room programmer Ché Zara Blomfield seems to be aggressively bringing the work of American “internet-related” artists to London, her last exhibition mounting the work of Artie Vierkant, and previously showing Petra Cortright.

Rhizome Benefit – New York, NY
May 9th at 7pm, VIP Cocktails with a silent auction and DJ set by Venus X, 9PM, Afterparty with LE1F and Extreme Animals

Alright, this is a shoo-in, but come party with us! Support Rhizome, drink some drinks, and enjoy ...


Report from Frieze New York

The verdict from Frieze New York? Not so bad! While the city has experienced a rash of yawn-worthy art fairs — this year's Armory no exception — yesterday saw the impressively successful debut of Frieze Art Fair on New York's Randall's Island. Combining mainstays such as Gagosian with younger, more innovative galleries such as 47 Canal, T293, and Balice Hertling, Frieze NY offered a crowd-pleasing multifaceted, international approach. Some stand-out works below.


Stephen G Rhodes, "Untitled," 2012 at Overduin and Kite. All photographs by Marcus Cuffie

While I'm familiar with Rhodes' installation work through a recent solo exhibition at Metro Pictures in New York, this collages proves his two-dimensional work to be much more pared down and sensitive to detail. Rhodes, who splits his time between Berlin and New Orleans, has gathered materials around both of his studios, using spraypainted reliefs of New Orleans flora as a background to this composition. Although the most satisfying details of the piece are lost in this jpeg, Rhodes further layers his collage with text from Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, "'Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.' -- Judge. GO OUTSIDE."


Keltie Ferris, "(*)", 2012 at Mitchell Innes and Nash

On view at Mitchelle Innes and Nash's booth is Keltie Ferris' large, graffiti-inspired paintings. While the term "graffiti-inspired" alone may be enough to turn many a viewer off, Ferris' paintings seem timely, and dare I say, internet-aware. With titles that frequently employ various combinations of punctuation marks, Ferris' paintings appear at once almost pixelated or digitally inspired as well as cognizant of delicate position that abstract painting occupies in 2012.


 Sarah Braman, "Untitled," 2012 at Mitchell Innes and Nash

Sarah Braman also kills it at Mitchell Innes and Nash...


JODI: Street Digital

Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans, collectively known as JODI, are rightfully venerated for their countless contributions to art and technology, working as an artistic duo since the mid-90’s. Generally referred to as pioneers of “,” that oft-misunderstood “movement” combining the efforts of artists using the internet as a medium circa 1994, JODI is revered not only for their artistic meditations on the increasing presence of new technology in our daily lives, but also for their fuck-if-I-care attitude toward both the establishments of the technology and art worlds. JODI’s famous five-word “acceptance” speech—if you could call it that—for their 1999 Webby Award in art, simply read, “Ugly commercial sons of bitches.” 

Unlike an overwhelming majority of artists, and especially those in art and tech, JODI has managed to sustain a successful career for over 15 years, mounting exhibitions internationally. February 2011 saw the duo literally blow its audience in the face with bomb-like cans of oxygen at Foxy Production, accounting for one of the best performances of the year.

Yet, their recently launched exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) finds a flashy, overly simplistic exhibition that fails to represent the deeply important perspective that JODI has come to represent over the last two decades. Comprising work made from 1999 to the present, “Street Digital” extends JODI’s focus from the desktop computer to hardware’s broader, more public landscape including cellular phones, LED signs, and iPods. A projection split into four channels, YTCT (Folksomy) (2008/2010), combines Youtube videos of “people doing weird things with hardware,” or more specifically, the video features mostly-teenage boys destroying old iPods, cameras, laptops, etc., by throwing, bashing, or hammering them. Periodically, a legitimately strange occurrence replaces the usual simple, hormonally charged violent acting-out of an enfants terrible ...


Artist Profile: Ann Hirsch

Stills from Here For You (Or My Brief Love Affair with Frank Maresca)

Having appeared as a recurring character on various reality television shows such as “Frank the Entertainer,” would you consider reality television to be an artistic medium that you work through? If so, are there any important attributes specific to it? Were you interested in reality television due to the wide audience that it could offer your work?

“Medium” is a tricky word here because most other media bear the ability to become a craft to an artist, one you can mold, shape and learn to use better and better over time. Reality TV is more like a grab bag. You never know what’s going to happen. So, if it is a medium, it is not a medium that you, as an artist, are ever really in control of. Someone else is calling the shots--the producers, storywriters and editors.

I currently think of reality TV more like a landscape, in which I can appear and reappear in different places in various ways.

I went on “Frank the Entertainer…In a Basement Affair” to just be this anomaly. To get the non-art audience who might see me to scratch their heads for a minute and say “Hey what is this girl doing here? I’m used to seeing girls that look and act like X on these shows.” And then, after I sang the dirty rap song, which was completely incongruous with the woman I had been portraying up to that point, to have audiences see that I was not who they thought I was—that none of the girls on these shows are.

Building on the last question related to reality TV, are there some instances on air in which you’re mainly acting, and others in ...


Spies in the House of Institutional Critique

Tim Davis, Cornelia Rutgers Livingston, (2003)

Paradoxically, exhibiting artists that rage against the institution within the institution is both non-ironic and particularly vogue. Unlike the institutional critique of the late 1960s and 70s, which had the exceedingly explicit dynamic of the artist versus institution, those roles today have become less clearly defined. Consider  Creative Time, the New York based public sculpture non-profit headed by Nato Thompson and Anne Pasternak, which has recently extended its brand to support the occupation of other institutions as an institution itself. Thompson and Pasternak called for the take-over of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Lent Space last December in an open letter posted on, signed also by art world professionals, listing their institutional affiliations beside their names. And how could one forget the sophomoric hullabaloo surrounding Take Artists Space last October, in which artist Georgia Sagri botched an occupation of the Soho nonprofit Artists Space, all the while admitting that powerful commercial galleries such as Gagosian would be a better target for their concerns, though less sympathetic to their efforts than non-profits. Sagri is now included in the upcoming Whitney Biennial. How an artist negotiates contextualization as fuck-it-all raucous, while cosmopolitan and strategic enough for institutional recognition remains to be seen. 

Institutional critique dates back to the late 1960s and 1970s when both government and private support of American public institutions existed on a different plane than it does today. The NEA’s annual budget peaked in 1992 at $176 million, and thanks to the “culture wars” of that period, is about half of that today considering inflation. Offering both historical and contemporary perspectives coming from the lineage of institutional critique is Spies in the House of Art, recently opened at the Metropolitan Museum. (The exhibition’s press release erroneously states that the show begins with the dawn of artists working with the subject of the museum, which they locate in the 1980s, though that would likely make Belgian institutional critique pioneer Marcel Broodthaers roll in his grave. It also purports to study the “secret lives of museums,” which sounds better as a movie tagline than a curatorial thesis.) Nevertheless, the juxtaposition of the more aggressive work of institutional critique greats such as Andrea Fraser with the less full-on work of younger artists such as the British filmmaking duo Nashashibi/Skaer illustrates how thoroughly conversations surrounding institutional critique have become neutralized, which is arguably due to the recent passing of art world power from museums to galleries acting as international chains such as the aforementioned Gagosian.

Thomas Struth, The Restorers at San Lorenzo MaggioreNaples, (1988)

For her 1989 video “Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk,” Fraser dons the character of the upper-class museum docent Jane Castleton, who bears a striking semblance to Parker Posey’s yuppie, catalog-shopping, Starbucks-loving character Meg Swan in “Best in Show.” Castleton guides us around the Philadelphia Museum of Art with a running commentary on the obvious class differences of several works...


Discussions (4) Opportunities (0) Events (0) Jobs (0)

Rhizome Today

Hi Zach -- I'm really enjoying these daily link round-ups, keep 'em coming! I have a question about yesterday's RhizomeToday. Could you please explain what you mean by "If you're not engaged, you're not paying attention" in regard to this --> ? Curious to hear whether you consider this a critical practice or otherwise an "engaging" Instagram feed, or both, etc?


Report from Frieze New York

Yeah, I thought it was a unique work for Thompson! Glad you liked it, too.


JODI: Street Digital

FYI this is the wall text materials line for GEO GOO which states that it is documentation: "GEO GOO, 2008
Video documentation of Web-based work using Google Maps,
Web browser, custom server-based software"

And regarding, "experience, calling attention to the fact": I actually directly quoted the press release, so this isn't my grammar to fix! ;)


London Calling

A couple general thoughts, while I'm not going to respond to anyone
individually, any and everyone is welcome to respond to be personally
via email (karchey at artic dot edu): This article was conceived to
be experimental in tone, and meant to read as semi-narrative and
highly subjective, not to mention lighthearted and somewhat
anti-professional. If that's "grating," so be it. This
subjectivity renders the piece as a story about a trip: its
structure; the people I met and how I met them; what phenomena,
artists, and exhibitions I found to be remarkable; etc. Importantly,
this is not an objective profile about "what is significant in
London." As I mentioned in the article I don't think it's a
generative practice to speak with such authoritative measure in this
instance, especially if refusing the adoption of this authoritative
voice admits the impossibility of encapsulating a scene
journalistically. Thank you, though, to everyone who got up in arms
about the article "missing something," (especially those of
you who knew I was in London and writing something about London…?)
because this reaction proves the common expectation of a journalist
is to be fair and open, socialized, egalitarian, objective and
critical, etc.. These mandated characteristics, upon further
reflection, seem not only silly and conservative but contradictory.
Beyond Furtherfield, I also missed, skipped or omitted Paul Pieroni
of SPACE and the upcoming Rhododendron ii,
Amalia Ulman and Felix Lee's Mawu-Lisa show, Iain Ball, Emily Jones,
Ed Fournieles, Rachel Reupke, Stuart Comer, Seventeen Gallery, Paul B. Davis, etc. etc.,
I could go on for ages. And if you feel a certain space wherever
doesn't get enough play, why not write about it yourself? Personally,
I'm certainly not done writing about my experiences across the pond.

The observation that London seems more politically engaged was purely an
empirical one, and one made apparent by the massive student protests
in London, as well as the many conversations I had there. A
proclivity for thinking critically about social networks signals that
there's a collective awareness about the problematics of Facebook,
etc., and that those critical don't adhere to it blindly. In NY, I've only seen artists proselytizing their own work via Facebook, with little heed paid to the significance of their utilization of that tool. In London, I met a few people, including Ed Fournieles, who have created their own social networks online or IRL in order to study or reflect upon their functionality or maybe even render them obsolete for a small public.

I second Ben that while London "feels" more political,
(and, yes, of course, OBVIOUSLY no one can prove that), NYC also
often feels more theoretically-engaged. And perhaps this is because
of my experience writing for NYC-based publications and my
participation in a NYC-based media theory reading group. But I'd also
argue that these worlds, of course, are incredibly diverse (and I'm
not referring solely [or at all?] to the "internet art scene,"),
NYC for one feels less cognizant of its existence as a cog in the
wheel of the art market compared to London, and maybe even more
desperate. There are many more observations one can make
that may be over generalized or may be felt collectively--but they'll only be rendered substantive through conversation. As
understood by a few people here, this article was written to both
communicate ideas but also hopefully ignite some conversation between
the two cities.

Jennifer Chan, you can find my article on the Piccadillly Community Centre on Art-Agenda.