John Waters is a member of the international jury for this year’s Venice Biennale. Selected by Biennale Director Bice Curige, Waters and fellow jurors are responsible for awarding this year’s Golden Lion, along with other prizes associated with the event. When he’s not making trashy films, collecting art, or performing stand-up, Waters teaches ‘Film and subculture’ at the European Graduate School in Switzerland.
(Above: an excerpt from Female Trouble, 1973, directed by John Waters)
Magnum photographer Jim Goldberg has beaten fellow finalists Thomas Demand, Roe Ethridge and Elad Lassry to win this year’s Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. Awarded to a living photographer who has made the most significant contribution to photography in Europe in the past year, Goldberg received the £30,000 prize for his ongoing project Open See, a series he began in 2003 that documents the experiences of immigrants and displaced peoples in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
GoMA’s collection-based show 21st Century (that featured work acquired within the past decade) traded on spectacle. There were giant funslides, a room teeming with balloons and an installation involving live finches. Away from this kiddie friendly fare however, in a darkened room trimmed with chintzy red velvet curtains and an old couch lay, in Leg of Lamb’s opinion, the exhibition highlight – Ryan Trecartin’s film, A Family Finds Entertainment (2004).
The young American creates outrageous videos and posts them online on YouTube and Vimeo under the pseudonym Wian Treetin. In A Family Finds Entertainment, Trecartin and his friends appear dolled up in lurid DIY make-up and half-baked costumes improvising their way through loosely plotted scenarios at hyper-real speed. Recalling tripped out manifestations of bad television, these low-budget affairs address ‘youth culture’ through cheesy special effects, dressups and associated ‘Gen Y’ lingo as a means of reflecting upon a generation both affected and affirmed by media consumption.
21st Century: Art in the First Decadeat the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, closed today, but you can view more of Ryan Trecartin’s work online here.
Bill Henson’s latest show at Tolarno is a knock-out. As always, his supine nudes hover in intermediary states between innocence and experience – what makes the photographs so breathtaking is the quality of the prints. Up close, the individual grains of colour are entirely abstract. Step back, and Henson’s mastery of modelling in light and shade reveals itself. His sitters take on a distinctly sculptural dimension, their bluish flesh dense like marble.
Taken within various art museums, the accompanying crowd scenes provide a complementary foil to his stylised adolescents. Recalling the artist’s street shots from the early 1980’s, Henson captures viewers absorbed in moments of quiet contemplation, their interiority amplified by the crowds around them.
And then of course, there are the landscapes, that evoke their own moody twilight states. Shot in sombre blues and a brilliant orange respectively, Henson’s two monumental rock formations enhance the stillness of his human subjects. There is an elegant interrelationship between the thirteen photographs in this exhibition. Together, they sing.
Bill Henson, Tolarno Galleries, Level 4, 104 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, LAST DAY TODAY! Thursday 21st April, 2011.