Posts Tagged ‘Artist’s statement’

ISLAND by Ian Strange, is an interesting photographic project featuring houses tagged with enormous, desperate slogans.

But it wouldn’t be (the sparsely updated, sorry) VaccuumPacked if something interesting wasn’t immediately undermined by artist’s statement wankery. Presented without (any further) comment…

ISLAND reflects on the home through the metaphor of the desert island, a place of personal sovereignty but simultaneously entrapment. ISLAND interplays the monumental with the intimate and intangible. Exploring the icon of the home as a deeply vulnerable object and personal vessel for memory, identity and aspiration.




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Ilona Gaynor spent two years planning a highly organised heist of five major banks in the downtown Los Angeles.

Designated Under Black Carpets, the heist was actually an art project by Ilona, a London-based artist and was due to be exhibited in an abandoned Portuguese bank. The original plan was to show how the heist would take place, based on two years of research and training with the LAPD.

Unfortunately, the funding for the exhibition was cut at short notice, leaving her to seek support to finish the project on Kickstarter, which didn’t succeed, leaving the project described as Currently ongoing on her website.

I love the fun, high concept idea, and it’s a pity it never made it to actual production:

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I like Kaija Straumanis. This series isn’t called ‘The Intransigence of Love’ or ‘The last time I saw my Mother She told me She wasn’t there’.

Nope, it’s called ‘Stuff Being Thrown at My Head’. Excellent:

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Roberto Ferri paints sinister imagery in the Baroque style of painters such as Caravaggio (a Gothique style?). And of course, because I think that’s a cool idea, beautifully executed, he’s got to balls it all up with a big steaming dollop of artist’s statement:

“Each of my paintings carries a message containing symbols and allegories whose interpretation depends on the viewers: the message travels in two opposite directions concerning both intellectual tension and perception.” Yeeeeeeeeaaaaaah…

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For an art gallery, Tate Britain are surprisingly fond of long-copy advertising (previously).

The new campaign by Grey London is called 500 Years of Stories and focuses on the often fascinating tales behind famous works of art, without ever actually showing the paintings themselves.

This execution, describing Francis Bacon’s Triptych, is my favourite because of the way that mordant brutality of Bacon’s experiences are so clearly seen in the art itself  (I’ve included the painting below, but the ad itself is just copy). The small insight into Bacon’s life gives so much context to the horror and rage inherent in his work.

The writing of the ad is punchy and to-the-point, but I’m not so sure about the art direction. I like the fact that it is quickly reminiscent of the descriptive plaques that accompany all the artworks in the Tate, but I don’t really understand the photocopy-style warping of the copy. I get the need add something more with the art direction, I just don’t know what this style is trying to say about the painting or the Tate.

Apart from that minor gripe, I really like this ad. It’s made more powerful by its refusal to do the obvious thing – show the artwork itself – and by setting the Bacon’s paintings in context it’s added a whole new level to my understanding of the work. Not bad for a few short sentences…



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About face

I’ve tried to take a love-the sinner, hate-the-sin approach to artists and their statements, and on a good day I’m a big enough man to rise above the endless tide of self-aggrandising bullshit. Today is not that day.

Penguins Mirror by Israeli-American artist Daniel Rozin is an installation of 450 motorized toy penguins that mimic the observer by turing to face them, revealing their little white bellies.

I thought is was a sweet, fun, kind of silly installation. But I sadly oblivious to the rococo undertones and critiques of conformity that the artist’s statement lays bare:

Reductive in palette, yet baroque in behavior, it performs an absurdly homogeneous system of movement. Playing with the compositional possibilities of black and white, each penguin turns from side to side and responds to the presence of an audience. As they perform, the penguins’ collective intelligence is puzzling, yet somehow familiar, as the plush toys enact a precise choreography rooted in geometry.



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Dustin Yellin works with glass slides to create layered 3D images. His latest commission is for the New York City Ballet, to install a new series of sculptures resembling dancers striking various poses.

Each sculpture is individually created from found objects—cut-up books, magazines and rubbish —which are then sealed within layers of glass.

The artist refers to the sculptures as Psychogeographies because “they feel like maps of the psyche”, which is wanky. It would still be wanky, but at least somewhat justified, if he was using objects from one person’s life for each statue, but he appears to be just using random rubbish.

Wankery aside, the craftmanship is great, and they remind me of Makoto Azuma’s frozen flowers:

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