Category Archives: Art

Art: The Art Scene Responds To The Troubled Economy

The Art Scene Responds To The Troubled Economy
Lauren Leibowitz September 26, 2011

Like many New Yorkers, we’ve been following reports on the Occupy Wall Street protests happening in New York City’s financial district this past week. National media has been all atwitter with reports of attacks on these peaceful protesters, who have assembled a diverse group of demonstrators to make a statement about government corruption and the privileging of big business and the wealthy 1% in American policy-making.

No one was safe from their wrath, not even the art world, which typically serves as a bastion of cultural criticism and social commentary on matters of civic discontent. In an effort to champion workers’ rights over corporate greed, protesters took aim at Sotheby’s by repeatedly interrupting an art auction at the famed art auction house last week, pledging their allegiance to Sotheby’s art handlers, who have been struggling over contract negotiations. The art auction served as a poignant reminder of the discrepancies in the distribution of wealth in the art market itself, a sort of microcosm of the larger financial issues plaguing our country.

We decided to pay homage to art’s traditional role in this conversation—as criticism, commentary and instigator—by taking a look at some of the projects that have tapped into our social zeitgeist, activating it via emotive visual experiences to address the recession, unemployment and lots of other factors contributing to this particularly charged moment of worldwide economic crisis. These responses date back to 2008, when the recession first began, and paint an interesting trajectory of how the dialogue has shifted since.

Damon Rich, “Red Lines Crisis Housing Learning Center” (2008)

Damon Rich designed an architectural model to represent home foreclosures in New York City based on a panorama of the city from the 1964 World’s Fair. “In some way, I hope my exhibitions function as strange educational playgrounds for adults,” he told the New York Times.

“Dead End Part I” from arsoni5t on Vimeo (2008)

This intriguing animated graphic novel, though in German, contains many themes pertinent to the American economic climate. The Dead End series takes place during the financial crisis of 2008, and depicts an armed zombie uprising. The stark black and white imagery evokes the cold hard attitude we feel toward the machine.

Pathways To Housing staged this video installation last spring, developed in partnership with the creative agency Sarkissian Mason. The organization drew the attention of passersby to the plight of the city’s many homeless, a group whose interests are ignored all too often. A video projection of a slumbering, shivering man encouraged pedestrians to send a text message to the charity, which would, in effect, help the ghostly figure to find shelter.

“We Like America and America Likes Us” from Bruce High Quality Foundation on Vimeo (2010)

Anonymous artist collective The Bruce High Quality Foundation made this video as part of the 2010 Whitney Biennial about our complex relationship with our country. The video was projected onto the windshield of an ambulance/hearse in the exhibition, with montages from American cultural touchstones set to a narration from a disembodied voice that critiques the conflicts of our shared experiences. “We wish we could have fallen in love with America… but it never made sense.”

SPENT, (2011)

Playspent.org, an interactive site, comes from McKinney and Urban Ministries of Durham, and sets out to prove that poverty is no game. SPENT is a simulation of the choices a low-income single parent must make to survive, putting the player in the tough position of choosing between essentials like auto payments or a child’s field trip funding. You might make it through the simulated month—but you might not be happy with the results.

ATM or this is [not] new york, Sponsored By Nobody (ongoing)

ATM or this is [not] new york is an NYC-based performance piece that sheds light on the city’s interactions with the homeless population. Produced by Sponsored By Nobody, this traveling theatrical endeavor presented the homeless interacting with ATM patrons in exchange for spare change. The performance evolved into a dialogue on gentrification and the interactions within the city between people of highly different interest groups. This project was successfully funded through Kickstarter.

Loft In The Red Zone, Fractured Atlas Foundation (ongoing)

Loft In The Red Zone proposes another call for action—though this group’s been affected by the ongoing Wall Street occupation to a bit more of a detriment. This exhibition is an artists’ tribute to New York City on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, expressing several artists’ reaction to the aftermath of the crisis. Unfortunately, barricades have gone up around the gallery in attempts to safeguard the city against the Occupy Wall Street protests, and the gallery isn’t receiving the action it needs. Donate to their Kickstarter in order to ensure that the exhibition makes enough money to stay open through October.

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Text: Fallen Empire / Bond-Fires / Fires of Desire

Fallen Empire

As the fire continues to cling on the roofs of a fallen empire, the charred black smoke lingers. Desperate bodies wander to find scraps to savour and remnants to rescue. Their aged bones are physically unable to rebuild the mythical glory they once relished 40 years ago. The Kingdom has crumbled. It has been ten years since the impending hit – 9/11- the event that created the first crack in the monumental symbol of wealth, power and security, and where we see for the first time, fear and doubt seeping into the human imagination. It was an American dream, a fallen dream, that was once everyone’s dream that we are seeing beginning to shatter. But what is left?

In the dust and ashes of the decade to follow we see sudden shifts in values and visions. We see the election of the first president of colour, a sudden awareness of global warming, a scaling back of industries, the rise of the global south, and in 2008, a major global economic meltdown. A decade following the first meteorite in the shape of an aeroplane to penetrate psyche of a masses, brings to question: what can we now fathom of the world? Can we accept that dust is dust and now we must build anew?

The fires of the forest continue to burn as nature claims its rightful power over humanity; the remaining debris of many human civilizations that came before lie buried in the Earth. Nature prevails over man once again.


Bond-fires

What we see beginning to emerge from the ashes is a new consciousness and awareness of each other in the World and in nature. We see a new generation burning with energy. A generation left to undo, remake and re-imagine a new world that was destroyed by misled visions progress of previous generations. We see an ecological turning and a movement towards traditional forms of pedagogy, craftsmanship and knowledge sharing that was lost in industrialization. But what now that continues to burn are the fires that bring us together.

Around the fire we gather, to keep warm, to provide mutual support for survival. We talk, we share stories, we dream of the past. A new system is emerging one that connects us by Ethernet that creates a model of the human mind and where we search for a collective vision. But there are forces trying to control it. A gripping past of former demons that haunts us.

We believe, we worship the spirit that brings us together, and celebrate the fires that burn within us.


Fires of Desire

Fire is heat and burning. Fires spread. It lies dormant in hotspots within the Earth, waiting to re-emerge again – connected by a network of embers. When a flame is killed, it can still grow strong again in another time and in another place. Fire moves silently – warming, cooling, sparking and burning. It is a fire of desire that lies within all our hearts. It is a desire that moves between us and that links us. There are no words for this desire that grows and burns. It is a desire that emerges and burns when fuelled and brought together collectively.

In a seeming apocalyptic time of immense change in a collapsed economy for culture as conservative governments around the world demolish the welfare state as uprisings emerge across Europe by disenchanted youth mobilized by social media resisting against high rates of unemployment and an astronomical rise in tuition fees, how do we maintain hope? How do we find space for the desire beyond economic concerns and to find new sustainable models of subsistence? Within a globalized community around the world, there is still a desire to create, and that fire will never die despite any economy or government support. How can we now begin to rebuild from the ashes a new world, a new vision of culture? How will it manifest in flames? How can we begin to spark imagination of new possibilities and utopias to question the structures that have crumbled?

Flames spread. They grow and flare up.

We are a collective of individuals from a generation lost of opportunities, lost in a time of great uncertainty, altering weather patterns, economic structural upheaval, social re-organization through digital innovations and change. Fires of desire is a sparking and ignition of an exploration of new platforms and ideas of collective working to find and create our own visions and possibilities in a world of dwindling finances and hopes for the future.

DOXA
2011

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Founded in 2010, DOXA is an international research collective based in London, UK. Through an on-going project called ‘Creative Space’, DOXA facilitates cross-disciplinary dialogue through open discussion events to approach new visions of culture today in light of the economic crisis, globalization and the digital turn. Through the events, DOXA brings together artists, academics, policy makers and industry professionals to explore new ways of developing and sustaining culture and creativity, while address current developments in policy, society and the economy. Doxa (δόξα) is a common belief, as opposed to knowledge; doxa is associated with community, dialogue and truth.

www.doxacollective.org

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Exhibition: September 11

September 11
September 11, 2011–January 9, 2012

MoMA PS1
22-25 Jackson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101

http://www.momaps1.org

Since that fall morning in 2001, “September 11” has come to connote a broad swath of feelings and subjects that range from the personal to the national; it has been used to justify political, security, and military decisions the world over, while continuing to weigh upon the landscape of New York and its inhabitants, particularly those directly affected by the attacks. Witnessed by an estimated two billion people, the attacks on the World Trade Center were among the most pictured disasters in history, yet they remain, a decade later, underrepresented in cultural discourse—particularly within the realm of contemporary art.

Responding to these conditions, MoMA PS1 Curator Peter Eleey brings together more than 70 works by 41 artists—many made prior to 9/11—to explore the attacks’ enduring and far-reaching resonance. Eschewing images of the event itself, as well as art made directly in response, the exhibition provides a subjective framework within which to reflect upon the attacks in New York and their aftermath, exploring the ways that they have altered how we see and experience the world in their wake. September 11 opens on the tenth anniversary of the attacks and occupies the entire second floor of the museum, with additional works located elsewhere in the building and in the surrounding neighborhood, including one of Thomas Hirschhorn’s street altars from the late 1990s, which will be installed for the first month of the exhibition on a street corner near MoMA PS1.

Artists in the Exhibition
Diane Arbus, Siah Armajani, Fiona Banner, Luis Camnitzer, Janet Cardiff, John Chamberlain, Sarah Charlesworth, Christo, Jem Cohen, Bruce Conner, Jeremy Deller, Thomas Demand, Shannon Ebner, William Eggleston, Harun Farocki, Lara Favaretto, Jane Freilicher, Maureen Gallace, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jens Haaning, Susan Hiller, Roger Hiorns, Thomas Hirschhorn, Alex Katz, Ellsworth Kelly, Barbara Kruger, Mark Lombardi, Mary Lucier, Gordon Matta-Clark, Harold Mendez, Mike Nelson, Cady Noland, Roman Ondák, Yoko Ono and John Lennon, John Pilson, Willem de Rooij, George Segal, Rosemarie Trockel, James Turrell, Stephen Vitiello, and John Williams.

Catalog
September 11 is accompanied by a fully illustrated 248-page catalog designed by Kloepfer-Ramsey and published by MoMA PS1. In addition to Peter Eleey’s curatorial essay, it includes new contributions by Robert Hullot-Kentor and Alexander Dumbadze, as well as texts by Alexander Kluge, W.J.T. Mitchell, and Retort. Distributed by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., available online and at the ARTBOOK shop at MoMA PS1, +1 (718) 433-1088. ISBN 978-0-9841776-3-9.

Exhibition Support
The exhibition is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, the Teiger Foundation, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Generous support is provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

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Art: Art For Business Forum 2010

Art For Business Forum 2010: Beautiful, Fair, Effective. Transforming Organizations Through The Arts

October 22nd – 24th, 2010
La Triennale, Milano

BEAUTIFUL, FAIR, EFFECTIVE. Transforming organizations through the Arts is the title of the Art For Business Forum third edition, a great appointment where arts, culture and the world of companies interact. It will take place from the 22nd to the the 24th of October 2010 at La Triennale di Milano.

This year the Forum – organized by the non-profit association Art For Business – has been enriched with more studies, experiences made directly on field, theorical considerations and a growing sharing thanks to a wider and wider network and the important partnership with the Fondazione La Triennale di Milano.

Special guest will be Howard Gardner, phsycology scholar and head of the Harvard Project Zero, well-known to the public for his theory of multiple intelligences and considered one of the one hundred most influential intellectuals of the world, will be the.

In a time of strong economic, social and cultural discontinuity, as the one we are living, Art For Business Forum 2010 suggests the contribution of arts and culture as a strategic resource for organizations – either companies, territorial, cultural or non-profit institutions – in order to wonder about new possible solutions. For this reason the Forum suggests three open questions to build a thinking platform:

What kind of contribution do arts offer in order to develop the new skills requested by organizations to face the future?

In which way can cultural institutions become permanent learning places?

How is it possible to figure out a sponsoring model, which could produce value for the organization?

THE SCENARIO

The global economic crisis could become an opportunity for us. From History we learn that crisises are necessary as times of growth: as it happened in 1929 or in the second postwar, the old developing models are challenged and new ones are built. In the past culture has been one of the keystones leading countries out of the abyss. Therefore the only way to get out the crisis of the last few years is that of creating a project set on arts and culture. Organizations need to give up the logic of the linear cause-effect thinking in order to face the analysis in a trasversal way. Only in this way the contribution of arts and culture will be clear: culture is innovation, development and growth and, this way, an answer to insecurity and intolerance.

THE CONTRIBUTION OF ARTS

Art For Business puts out the issue that arts are the way which can help people to provide themselves of those new skills that will lead them to create innovation.

Contemporary organizations work in complex context and need people who are able to learn quickly, to build around themselves a network of relations to share knowledge and draw information. The Forum wants to suggest a reflection on the contribution that arts can offer to organizations and their people, in terms of knowledge, abilities and the management skills, which create a competitive asset.

MUSEUMS AS PLACES OF PERMANENT LEARNING

If culture can take this new role, therefore museums can be seen as strategic contexts where the relationship with arts can be an essential contribution to the organizational learning. The acknowledgement of this value foreshadows the definition of new partnerships which would overtake the concept of sponsorship: museums, together with companies, can become operative characters of our economy’s process of transformation.

FROM THE FUNDING TO THE INVESTEMENT LOGIC

Art For Business Forum 2010 is an opportunity to debate on the advantage of investing in the cultural field.

It is necessary to move from a “financing culture” logic to the one of the mutual investement. Today the true topic is to analyse items, which make up the profit of an investment, first of all the symbolical capital which is the base for the birth and growth of a social system, made by the individuals’ growth. The milestone is exactly the emphasis put on human resource: arts represent an extraordinary instrument because they support the development of those essential abilities, which will help us to face the requests of the world we live in.

Art For Business
Via Ariberto, 21 – 20123 Milano, Italy
info@artforbusiness.it
tel. + 39 02 58112940

info and programme: http://www.artforbusiness.it

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Art: We Don’t Use the Word ‘Recession’ by Superflex

TODAY WE DON’T USE THE WORD ‘RECESSION’

Ireland is entering into a new era since the predicable but untimely death of the Celtic Tiger economy, once lauded as the fastest growing economy in the world. This great Celtic-Tiger economy driven by liberal bank regulation, bad political governance and a reliance on speculative property development led house prices in Ireland to rise by almost 520% in 15 years. Now the Irish GDP is shrinking faster than in any other advanced economy. The average Irish family has lost half its financial assets and unemployment has risen faster than anywhere else in Europe. Ireland have moved from the poster child of the globalised free-market to one of the great European basket cases, as an Irish economic commentator was recently quoted as saying.

For the Midsummer Festival in Cork, Ireland, Superflex has made a new artwork “Today we do not use the word ‘Recession'” that invites all the citizens of the city te involved. Superflex encouraged The Lord Mayor Cllr. Dara Murphy to bring a proposal to the city council that would ban the use of the word ‘Recession’ in the city of Cork. Out of this came a decree advocating that for one day, on June 17th 2010, the citizens should refrain from using the word ‘Recession’. The Decree states:

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DECREE

TODAY WE DON’T USE THE WORD ‘RECESSION’

Through the power of positive thought and collective action, Lord Mayor Cllr. Dara Murphy decrees that for one day, to lift ourselves out of the doom and gloom the citizens of Cork should refrain from using the word

‘Recession’

The citizens of Cork are invited to join with the Lord Mayor in the collective ambition to help drive Cork out of recession and into recovery from this day forward. To kickstart this recovery the lord mayor requests on Thursday 17th June, 2010, that the people of Cork shall in all public utterances, statements and communications, replace the word ‘recession’ with alternative words or phrases. Citizens are asked to create their own new alternatives, thus contributing to re-imagining the future of the City of Cork. And so recommend to the people of Cork under the Common Seal of the Lord Mayor.

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The decree will be announced through a week long publicity campaign in newspapers, radio, TV and through posters in the streets. ‘Today we don’t use the word Recesssion’ is commissioned by the National Sculpture Factory and Cork Midsummer Festival.

http://superflexcork.wordpress.com/

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Art: Surround Me by Susan Philipsz

At the weekends an eerie quiet descends on the City of London, in offices, squares, churchyards and streets, broken by the occasional sound of traffic and church bells. The silence of the city has inspired artist Susan Philipsz’s first commission in the capital. Her unaccompanied voice resonates through empty streets around the Bank of England, across postwar walkways and medieval alleyways and along the banks of the River Thames.

SURROUND ME: A Song Cycle for the City of London takes inspiration from the heightened presence of the human voice in Elizabethan London. To be heard over one another a natural order and harmony evolved in the cries of the street traders which enthused composers of popular song such as Thomas Ravenscroft to write canons where one voice follows the other in a round. Another popular song form for several voices, the madrigal emerged in Italy in the 16th Century and soon travelled to England where it flowered as the English Madrigal School.

SURROUND ME embraces the vocal traditions of the City of London connecting themes of love and loss with those of fluidity, circulation and immersion; the flood of tears, the swelling tide and the ebb and flow of the river, to convey a poignant sense of absence and loss in the contemporary City of London.

Susan Philipsz has been nominated for the Turner Prize 2010 for Lowlands, a work installed under three bridges beside the River Clyde in Glasgow. Her work is in the Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Britain, 5 October 2010 – 3 January 2011.

This project is supported by Arts Council England, Special Angels and The Company of Angels.

http://www.artangel.org.uk//projects/2010/surround_me/about_the_project/surround_me

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Art: The Financial Crisis by Superflex

The Financial Crisis (Session I-V) is a new film work in which SUPERFLEX address the financial crisis and meltdown from a therapeutic perspective. A hypnotist guides us through our worst nightmares to reveal the crisis without as the psychosis within. During 4 sessions you will experience the fascination of speculation and power, fear, anxiety and frustration of loosing control, economic loss and personal disaster.

Session 1 – The Invisible Hand
Session 2 – George Soros
Session 3 – You
Session 4 – Old Friends

The Financial Crisis (Session I-V) has been created for Frieze Film 2009 and is screened on Channel 4’s innovative ‘3 Minute Wonder’ slot from Monday 12 October to Thursday15th October, at 7.55pm

The Financial Crisis (Session I-V) is also presented at the Frieze Art Fair from Wednesday 14th October to Sunday 18th October, 2009.

http://www.superflex.net/thefinancialcrisis/

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