In 1990 when Sonic Youth released their album Goo (that’s the one with the iconic Raymond Pettibon cover), they asked a bunch of artists and filmmakers to produce the accompanying music videos. One of the contributors was a young Tony Oursler (the inclusion of a toy panda with a human mouth in the video above is the giveaway I reckon…). He chose Tunic (Song For Karen) “…for its classic SY sound and tragic subject: the self destruction of mega-popstar Karen Carpenter”.
Pervy photographer Richard Kern had a go too. That’s his video above, for the track Scooter and Jinx.
Here’s a video from 2012 that New Zealand born, Brisbane based artist Chris Bennie made in the Chermside Shopping Centre car park in Brisbane. The sweeping footage captures the mundane, perfunctory architecture and vast expanses of concrete that typify these kinds of spaces, as well as revealing some unexpected inhabitants. The car park is an unlikely home to hundreds of swallows who flit through the space, seemingly invisible to the mall’s distracted consumers, too preoccupied with their latest purchases from DJs. The video is strangely relaxing, and beautiful. In 2012 it was shown rather appropriately at Sydney artist run space Alaska (located in a car park in Kings Cross). If you’re in Brissie you can see it at Spiro Grace Art Rooms as part of the group exhibition ‘presence/absence’ which opens there next Friday.
Kraftwerk at Spruth Magers, installation view
Electro pioneers Kraftwerk (who performed in Sydney earlier this year as part of Vivid) are exhibiting eight looped videos at Sprüth Magers in Berlin until August 31st. Made between 1974 and 2003, the collected footage in ‘Kraftwerk 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8′ charts the rise of electronic music generated by band co-founders Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in their Kling Klang Studio in Düsseldorf (where their closest neighbour was Gerhard Richter no less).
Like those who attend their concerts, visitors to the exhibition must wear special 3D glasses when viewing the work, reflecting the musicians’ positioning of their performances as completely integrated audio/visual events. The Tateshots clip above, produced during Kraftwerk’s February concert season at Tate Modern, offers further insight into their highly influential layering of music, sound, videos, sets and performance.
Above: excerpt from Paul McCarthy’s ‘Bossy Burger’, 1991
Controversial Austrian painter Otto Muehl has died in Portugal, aged 87. Muehl was co-founder of the Viennese Actionist movement, notorious for bloody and violent work – often incorporating viscera and the human body – that intended to shock audiences out of a state of complacency. The Actionists’s work was so extreme in fact, that during the 1960s Muehl and his counterparts (including Guenter Brus, Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler) all spent time in prison for violating decency laws. Muehl’s personal life was equally excessive. In the 1970s he established the Friedrichshof Commune just outside of Vienna, attracting 600 residents at its height. In 1991 Muehl was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison for drug possession and sex with minors while living there. The commune disbanded soon after.
Above: ‘Mama und Papa’ (1964), by Otto Muehl and Kurt Kren.
Posted in Art, Artists, Painting, Performance, Video
Tagged Burgenland, Friedrichshof Commune, Guenter Brus, Hermann Nitsch, Kurt Kren, Mama und Papa 1964, Otto Muehl, Rudolf Schwarzkogler, Viennese Actionism
Twohundredfiftysixcolours is a new feature-length silent film about GIFs, consisting entirely of GIFs. Made by Chicago-based artists Eric Fleischauer and Jason Lazarus it took over two years to produce, with vignettes occasionally appearing randomly but often organised into categories like ‘treadmills’, ‘cats’ and ‘landscapes’ (that’s the excerpt you see above). “Every edit is meaningful,” Fleischauer explains. “That’s why it took so long. We’d spend 10 minutes thinking about each category, going through desktop folders of images.” Rather than follow a conventional plot structure, the GIFs flash across the screen in relentless waves and the effect is frenetic, to say the least. Twohundredfiftysixcolours will be released at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago on April 18th.
A friend gleefully described the video work above to me a while ago, and at the time I couldn’t imagine how footage of a clasped pair of hands could possibly look so wrong. Made last year by Brisbane artist Liam O’Brien, the title Untitled (Hands) is innocuous enough. And so, ostensibly, is the content. However, O’Brien’s ECU of interlocking hands stretching and flexing is somehow incredibly explicit. Perhaps it’s the spare soundtrack, consisting of the artist’s own steady breath, or the obsessive force with which he tugs at his digits (and then of course there’s the unidentified fluid…) Not unlike the odd little finger games you play as a child, O’Brien’s hand wringing instead implicates the viewer as a decidedly adult voyeur.
Every self respecting girl loves a bit of Fleetwood Mac. If you’re in Melbourne you can get a Stevie fix this Friday care of Kirsten Perry’s show Stevie Dreams, opening at Lowrise Projects. Featuring decorated sheepskins, ceramic raindrops and the fruity video above, it’s the perfect time to bust out your finest crushed velvets.