For more information please contact:
Vojtech Kubašta lived and worked in Prague, Czechoslovakia, during the height of the Cold War yet remained politically neutral throughout his career. Although artistic and intellectual freedoms were rigorously controlled and restricted, he flourished within the limits set by the Communist government and succeeded in becoming one of the twentieth century's most gifted and prolific book artists and illustrators.
Growing up with one of the worlds most respected and accomplished paper engineers and illustrators inevitably leads to many memorable childhood stories. In this talk, Kubašta's daughter will share the story of his life's work. The story is remarkable, from studying to be an architect and engineer, to working in commercial art, and eventually illustrating timeless children's tales and myths in 24 different languages and 35 million copies sold. Mixed throughout the story are touching tales of father-daughter painting trips and a life lived with art.
For more information about upcoming programs and events at the gallery visit www.jnaag.ca
Image Credit: Vojtech Kubašta, How Columbus Discovered America (1961), mixed media, 10.5" x 18" x 12.75", Courtesy of Dagmar Vrkljan.
It might have started with the Greeks. The earliest reference to “walking a red carpet” is in Aeschylus’s Agamemnon in 458 B.C., when the title character is greeted by his vengeful wife Clytemnestra, who invites him to walk a “crimson path” to his house. Not wanting to show hubris, the returning warrior opines that such luxuries are the preserve of the gods and he, after all, is a mortal. But step he does, and die he does, albeit off-stage in this curse-ridden, blood-soaked tragedy.
Lisa Birke is a multi-disciplinary Canadian artist who situates her practice between the tradition of painting, digital video and performance art. She is a recent MFA graduate from the University of Waterloo (2013). She examines notions of ‘self’ through the lens of gender, bringing the cultural tropes of women into focus and into question. Filmed unaccompanied in the Canadian landscape, absurd yet insightful performative acts become entangled in nuanced and complex narratives in single and multi-channel video works that make reference to art history, mythology and popular culture. She has had solo exhibitions and screenings across Canada and her short films have been shown at film and video festivals internationally.
Please contact Kate Barry at Vtape to book class visits to view any Vtape Video Salon program as well as other titles in the Vtape holdings and to have an orientation to Vtape and all the extensive research facilities available to students, curators, writers and the general public.
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Published on : 2014-10-17 12:52:35
At first sight, there's something inherently funny in a headline that claims: Warning as alien mussels found near Heathrow airport. But it turns out that these molluscs not only sit on top of native mussels and smother them to death, they also threaten thousands of other native animals and habitats. If that were not enough, they are also accused of disrupting water supplies by blocking pipes and causing flooding.
These mussels are only one of the many invasive species that are identified by environmental departments as posing danger to biodiversity. These invasive plants and animals are often eradicated using drastic measures. Authorities can infect them with a virus, for example. Or they can use chemicals, hunting, fires, birth control, etc. These measures are expensive and they also create a dilemma for citizens who are caught between a desire to preserve the eco-system and a reluctance to kill animals.
Lisa Ma identified and fleshed out this dilemma in her work Invasive. The project brought her to Ghent in meat-loving Belgium. Ghent is often called the "Vegetarian Capital of Europe." In 2009, it became the first city in the world to adopt a weekly vegetarian day. Restaurants now offer at least one vegetarian menu item, every Thursdays (the city "vegetarian day") schools serve entirely vegetarian meals and maps listing the places selling fries fried in vegetable oil circulate (that might not seem extraordinary to you but as a Belgian i grew up eating fries cooked in beef fat.)
Ghent prides itself on being animal-friendly thus. Yet, Lisa soon discovered that the city is spending tax payers' money to kill thousands of invasive Canadian geese every year. The animals have taken advantage of the well-preserved ecology of the city and of the absence of competition or predators. The heavy birds constantly push the soil into Ghent's canals and literally blocking a city already below the sea level.
The city deals with 'the problem' by eradicating the Canada geese at great cost. The animals are round up, individually injected with poison and incinerated. People would also take eggs from the nests and throw them in the river. They make sure to keep one egg though. They shake it and put it back in the nest, so that goose parents would continue to nest the 'dud' egg all summer instead of starting a new batch.
Collaborating with cultural organisations Timelab, FoAM, Vooruit, the newly formed food council and a series of local experts, Lisa Ma suggested that the citizens of Ghent ate the invasive animals, rather than leave them for governments to poison at huge public costs.
Unsurprisingly, the idea spurred an intense debate in the media. But it also led to some pretty unusual experiences: volunteers jumping into rivers to fish out freshly thrown eggs, vegetarian chefs crying when they cooked their first gosling pie, making feather plucking machines from cement mixers, etc.
The Invasive project also attempted to tackle the notoriously invasive Japanese Knotweed. A local cake store used the plant (which tastes like rhubarb 'without the laxative effects') to bake cheesecakes. Invasive grew into a real movement that even launched the first ever food council in the city.
These last two paragraphs which sum up some of the lessons learnt in the process were written by Lisa:
The project also addressed a new shift in our believes and values. Vegetarianism used to be a form of activism, what now when it's become a status quo and no longer addressing the dilemma between our believes and our values?
There is no such thing as perfect solutions, even this story of eating invasive animals has its potential pitfalls. Equilibrium doesn't last forever, so activism must be iterative to reassess it's relevance to the dilemma. This project is a real-life case of how even the most aspirational of political communities have a need to further challenge a status quo, even when it had become the pride of their own city.
Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-10-17 01:00:00
Buzz, Snapshot, Tingling Bird. These are 3 of the provocative titles in this year’s Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection. A giant fly, a bag of ice, an owl with lines of fine French lace, multiple worlds orbiting a writhing serpent – these are just a few of the 38 images represented in this year’s collection. Nestled on the South coast of Baffin Island in the far north, the tiny hamlet of Cape Dorset enjoys the distinction of having the longest continuously operating print studio in Canada. Since its inception in 1959, Kinngait Studios, as it is now called, has published over 3200 different print images. Limited edition prints by renowned artists such as Parr, Kenojuak Ashevak and Kananginak Pootoogook are proudly displayed in major museums and prominent collections around the world. This year’s collection highlights a new generation of artists who are redefining the meaning of ‘Inuit art’ through original subject matter and some bold and daring print techniques in the traditional media of stonecut/stencil, lithography and etching/aquatint. The prints will be released to the public in venues across Canada and the USA on the morning of Friday Oct. 17th. The images, along with a listing of participating galleries and artist’s biographies can be viewed at www.dorsetfinearts.com.
For further information please contact Kate Vasyliw at (416) 504-2157 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2014-10-16 16:01:51
Imagine Architecture. Artistic Visions of the Urban Realm, by Lukas Feireiss and Robert Klanten.
Publisher Gestalten writes: Contemporary developments in the visual arts are often reflected in urban landscapes. Imagine Architecture explores the ways in which visual culture develops in public spaces and how it shapes those spaces. This book focuses on the fruitful exchange between visual culture and architecture and follows up on the themes introduced in our previous release Beyond Architecture. It compiles experimental projects and creative perspectives from the fields of illustration, painting, collage, sculpture, photography, installation, and design.
A young generation of creatives sees the urban landscape as the starting point for their work. When these illustrators, sculptors, or photographers engage with architecture, their art overrules conventional doctrines on the use of space. They use buildings as a medium for their ideas, breaking norms and triggering new tensions. Whether they make sculptures that are created within the context of a given structure or street art whose forms and colors impact its surrounding architecture, all of the featured projects interpret and reflect their spatial settings in compelling ways. In the process, these visionary concepts are playfully expanding the definition of architecture. Their creativity has the potential to breathe new life into public spaces and promote the evolution of our cities.
Imagine Architecture follows Gestalten magical recipe: a theme which will catch everyone's imagination, a straightforward introduction, a brief description of each work and lots of very big images. The formula works every time.
It's not my favourite book from Gestalten though. It's still a brilliant one but i opened it with the assumption that artists exploring architecture were always going to be far more thought-provoking than architects expressing the radical or outlandish ideas you'd expect from an artist. I looked back at architecture titles i've reviewed in the past (in particular the two i've just linked to) and realize that i was wrong, i shouldn't dismiss architects' creativity.
Now to what i like about the book: the title and content might be catchy but that doesn't reduce the Imagine Architecture to a catalogue of what was cool and trendy on design and art blogs these past couple of years. The editors have brought to light gems from exhibitions and portfolios that haven't reached the mainstream yet. Some of the works are deeply political. Others have no other ambition than be poetical. Some are paper models of an imaginary city that, like a real one, is ever growing, ever-evolving. Others are typographic experiments that attempt to dialogue with architecture. Some explore architecture through the introspective lens of the home. Others look at the arrogance of men who hope to control and dominate from the height of the towers they've built.
Right, i can see now that my arid review hasn't probably done justice to the book, let the images speak then:
Tom Sachs' The Island is a modified model of the radar tower of the USS Enterprise CVN-65, "The world's first and finest nuclear powered aircraft carrier." It's also one of my favourite works ever.
The Fog Factory is the model of the area around the train station in Nancy, France. Fog, which creeps over the streets, constitutes the architecture, an artificial copy of a meteorological phenomenon, mechanically produced but randomly distributed and imponderable.
Beth Dow looks at the American environments, and its penchant for fake antiquities. My pictures of faked antiquities are an attempt to evoke nostalgia for inaccurate history, to wrestle with ideas of authenticity, and to question the value we place on classical ideals.
Laurent Chehere looks for understated and overlooked examples of architecture in Paris. From caravans to circus tents to sex shops. He photographs them and then sends them high up in the air from his digital manipulation room.
Collapscapes are fictitious industrial spaces made of glass. Called Chemical Plant, Mine Shaft, Super Collider and Gas Depot, the objects look at industrial architecture and the contraction (or collapse) of industrial sites that follows increasingly mechanised production.
A synthetic cotton treehouse for children in the shape of a mushroom cloud.
Daryl Chen's New Socialist Village explores what the UK can learn about planning from the community living in the village of Caochangdi, an atypical 'new socialist village' outside of Beijing. In the space created by the Chinese government's evolving planning laws, the village's growth is driven by the instincts of local peasants and the bohemian opportunism of artists who have established a set of unstated rules governing urban form.
Jiang Pengyi creates Unregistered Cities, miniature abandoned cities. He then places them in the historic abandoned houses that Beijing's hunger for "excessive urbanization, redevelopment and demolition" has left to rot.
Views inside the book:
Feed : Akimbo exhibitions feed
Published on : 2014-10-16 01:00:00
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