Leg of Lamb had a sneak peek at Cockatoo Island today, one of the venues for this year’s Biennale of Sydney. Write up to follow, maybe…
Leg of Lamb’s off to Sydney to check out the Biennale and SafARI amongst other things so posts will be intermittment for the next week or so. In the mean time, here’s Co-Artistic Director Gerald McMaster talking about the curatorial concept behind All our relations, the 18th Biennale of Sydney.
Leg of Lamb spent the weekend in Auckland and enjoyed the following:
1. Vincent Riebeek at Artspace
Included in the group exhibition alienate/demonstrate/edit curated by outgoing Artspace curatorial intern Arron Santry was a video work by Netherlandish artist Vincent Riebeek. Justice is in fact the remnants of a live performance and features footage of a rising and falling phallus, energised by visual overlays of multiple forms of natural energy – the vigorous member crackles and burns with flames, charges ahead amidst gushing bodies of water and even shoots lightning bolts. Appearing on a screen partially obscured by tacky plastic curtains, Riebeek creates a vibe of twisted kitschy new-ageism where the source of healing power comes from something other than crystals…
2. Layla Rudneva-Mckay at Starkwhite
The flower paintings presented by the artist in Starkwhite’s downstairs space are nice enough, but upstairs, Rudneva-Mckay’s photographic treatments of similar still life subjects convey a subtlety lacking in her fin de siècle style scumbles. Of particular appeal is Blue vase and pink flowers, an exquisitely toned print resolute in its modesty and undeniable prettiness. (It’s also the perfect antidote to Michael Parekowhai’s popular 2001 Consolation of Philosophy series).
3. Ian Peter Weston at Snake Pit
Unsurprisingly, Weston’s solo show Parallax Views takes the concept of the parallax as a starting point. Referring to the apparent displacement of an object due to a change in the position of the observer, Weston translates the effect into sculptural objects that intersect with and divide the space through the employment of flat screens of colour. Slick.
Ai Weiwei has been ordered by Chinese officials to stay away from his own court hearing in Beijing tomorrow. Fined 15 million yuan last year for alleged tax evasion, the dissident artist will instead be sending his wife Lu Qing to contest the charges. His case is further hindered by the disappearance yesterday of his lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan, who was taken away by security officials and hasn’t been seen since. The artist himself remains housebound, with over 30 police vehicles currently surrounding his studio (one of Ai’s assistants was injured while attempting to document the scene). Despite this, the artist remains in good spirits, even posting photos of himself on Twitter in a decidedly too small police uniform.
Jeff Koons is no stranger to the world of fashion. In 2006 the artist collaborated with Stella McCartney on her Summer collection and last year shot an editorial for the September issue of Harpers Bazaar. His grinning mug even made it on to the cover of the January ‘Art’ issue of Harpers China.
The artist’s latest sartorial venture is with fashion designer Lisa Perry, who Koons has teamed up with to create a capsule collection inspired by some of his key works (including the 1986 steel sculpture ‘Rabbit’). But you better save your pennies if you fancy donning some artsy threads because they don’t come cheap – dresses start at $2,000. Perhaps that’s why Koons has thrown in a bangle option; a steal at only $300 a pop. Check out the full range here.
The work of Belgian artist Berlinde de Bruyckere invokes a strange pathos. Her current show at ACCA features two sculptures (commissioned specifically for the exhibition) comprised of a pair of horse carcasses suspended from poles, one from the wall, the other freestanding. Impressive in scale, the stretched and contorted creatures are made from stitched up hides re-stretched over wax casts. And they’re headless – a modification that makes them distinctly unsettling. The reconfigured creatures are both monumental and melancholic; a moving foil to the heroic beasts found in history paintings and classical sculpture.
This sense of insidious sadness is further teased out in works of great delicacy – in a cabinet of curiosities filled with branches cast from wax, and in stringed up sets of wax antlers that transition from pure white into veins of bloody red. We are all flesh is a show of great subtlety, even tenderness, in which de Bruyckere’s biomorphic forms gently capture a haunting, decidedly human vulnerability.
Berlinde de Bruyckere, We are all flesh, at ACCA, Melbourne, until July 29th
Wellington dealer Peter McLeavey was today made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the arts. McLeavey started out selling work by the likes of Toss Woolaston, Colin McCahon and Gordon Walters from the bedroom of his flat in Wellington and has now run his influential Cuba Street Gallery for over 40 years. In 2009 McLeavey was the subject of ‘The Man in the Hat’, a documentary directed Luit Bieringa that you can watch online here thanks to New Zealand on Screen.