Robert Wilson may be best known as an avant-garde theater director and designer, collaborating with everyone from William S. Burroughs to Philip Glass and Marina Abramovic, but he is also a video artist, creating work that plays with our perceptions of time and duration. Wilson’s “Video Portraits” (also known as VOOM portraits) are slow-moving shots that pose popular figures like Robert Downey, Jr., Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Jeanne Moreau in tableaux modeled on art-historical references. A selection of these pieces are taking over Times Square for the next month, lighting up advertising screens every night from 11:57 to midnight with their over-saturated colors.
The portraits on view range from an acrobatic sumo wrestler to a 19th-century surgery patient and one very inquisitive porcupine. ARTINFO caught Wilson at the debut of his outdoor exhibition and spoke with him about his choice of subjects and how Times Square has changed since he first came to New York at the tender age of seven years old.
Versace turned to Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott to photograph the brand’s ad campaign, art directed by Giovanni Bianco, model Elza Luijendijk, styled by Joe McKenna. The men’s campaign features Philipp Schmidt, Dmitriy Tanner and Kacey Carrig, and was styled by David Bradshaw.
Jonah Freeman + Justin Lowe | The Octopus May 12 – June 23, 2012
Opening Reception Saturday, May 12, 2012, 4 - 7pm
Country Club is pleased to announce the forthcoming exhibition The Octopus by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe. This will be their first exhibition in Chicago and is presented in collaboration with Andrew Rafacz Gallery. Freeman and Lowe present new work from their evolving constellation of narratives surrounding The San San Metroplex and its hypertrophic urban conditions. Cactus/crystal assemblages, mirror paintings of smashed sheetrock walls, custom wallpaper designs and collages from the counter culture periodical Artichoke Underground illustrate a fragmented view of 20th century technocratic civilization. The Octopus and the accompanying exhibition Pale Hotel will focus on three specific and tangentially connected historical events:
1966: Neuroscientist Louisa Cohen and biochemist Herbert Boyer successfully create the first Plant/ Mineral hybrid. In a southern California laboratory, sodium chloride from a halite crystal and the genome of a night-blooming cereus cactus are spliced together to create a new species known as the Arthrocereus-Halide or Athuride. This now legendary event yields literally thousands of genetically engineered biological and non-biological hybrids that are used in everything from lithium batteries and microchips to breakfast cereals and organic wine. Although heralded as one of the major achievements of modern science, this now widespread practice is not without its detractors. In the late twentieth century, criticisms of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their potential adverse effects on the naturally occurring ecosystem lead to intense regulation of the production of plant/mineral hybrids. As a result, an independent black market of genetically engineered hybrids begins to emerge as a veritable shadow economy.
2004: The Pale Hotel takes formation in a warren of derelict Victorian high rise buildings. It is to be another fashionable renovation of urban decay aiming to attract the youth migrating to urban centers in hopes of joining the burgeoning creative class. The development was to be on the forefront of technology with doors that talk, lights that adjust brightness in relation to noise levels and an omnipresent concierge service comprised partly of artificial intelligence. In the summer of 2008, as the project is still under construction, the subprime mortgage crisis hits North America, completely stalling the real estate development market. The Pale Hotel halts construction and sits empty waiting for an injection of capital to continue. Within six months, squatters and transients reclaim the building. The would-be luxury dwellings are carved up and reconfigured into mazes of interconnected cells and corridors. The computer system that was to power the "smart structure" is hacked and reworked into an open source network that connects to other abandoned smart structures. Over the next three years, the real estate market remains dormant and the smart structures of the San San become home to a black market economy dealing in everything from pirated software and designer drugs, to genetically modified pets and organic foods.
1923: The Artichoke Underground forms as a nonsensical periodical aimed at, in the words of co-founders Raoul Arcade and Amanda Winter, "Destroying the techno-structure." The first issues of the magazine are literally a random selection of images that have no discernible connection. This is said to be an articulation of the collapse of the narrative universe into an endless, monotonous media stream. Despite a general sense of rebellion, it is unclear as to whether Artichoke Underground is actually being critical, or just simply representing the stated condition. The organization continues for seven years with sporadic publications, events and media pranks. The onset of World War Two dissipates the group and all activities are suspended. AU resurfaces in the mid-1950s presumably with the same members but with a different purpose. This time around the group advocates an odd mix of technologically augmented mind exploration that involves a drug-computer synthesis known as "The Octopus". This is mostly theoretical, but its pages contain premonitions of the forthcoming computer dominated consciousness. In the 1960s, AU becomes the center of the counter cultural rebellion on college campuses and urban centers. It hosts a series of now famous media pranks during the 1968 democratic convention that are considered the birth of modern political theater. The Artichoke Underground fades into obscurity in late 1970's.
Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe create large scale installations of historical and social environments that explore themes of narrative histories and dimensional universes. Themes central to their work include alchemy in modern context and examinations of counter cultural history. A wide range of works exists within these sprawling installations ranging from sculpture, photography, collage, painting, sound, film, and performance. The Octopus takes an archaeological-like approach, extracting objects from the site and presenting them as artifacts from these explorations.
Howard Greenberg Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by Sarah Moon entitled Now and Then. In a career that has spanned more than forty years, Moon's work has been exhibited widely in both the US and internationally including shows in Berlin, London, Moscow, Paris and Tokyo.
Born in England in 1940 to French parents, Sarah Moon began photographing while working as model in London in the 1960's. What began as behind the scenes snapshots, quickly evolved into uniquely stylized images and a career as a in-demand fashion photographer. Eschewing the traditional fashion gaze and straight forward aesthetic of commercial photography, Moon focused instead of creating other-worldly atmospheres, often involving a staged narrative in which fashion played a supporting role. Whether shooting for Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, or Marie Claire Moon's images transcend the boundaries of the printed page.
By 1979, Moon was fully immersed not only in her demanding commercial career but also in making photographs outside the confines of commerce. When asked what interest her most about photography, Moon stated "I think, the relationship between photography and time, the constant allusion to loss, to memory, to death... that strange alchemy between desire and chance. It' s what my father called "wishful thinking." It is this strange alchemy that imbues her work and transforms reality, resulting in photographs that while often flirting with surrealistic tenets, possess profound beauty and elegance.
Moon was awarded the International Center of Photography's Infinity Award for Applied Photography in 1985 and the Grand Prix National de la Photographie in 1995. Her work is held in numerous museum collections including the Centre George Pompidou, Paris; the George Easter House, Rochester; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum ludwig, Cologne and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Her books include Improbable Memories (1989), Little Red Riding Hood (1986), Vrais Semblants (1991), Inventario 1985-1997 (1997), Photopoche (1998) and 1,2,3,4,5 (2008).
In 1979 Moon began experimenting with making short films and was awarded the Grand Prix Lion d'Or at Cannes that same year. in 1995 she made a documentary film about the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Sarah Moon currently works and resides in Paris with her frequent collaborator and husband, Robert Delpire, the visionary editor publisher, filmmaker and curator. Moon's exhibition coincides with Apertures 60th anniversary celebration of Delpire & Co. which will showcase his groundbreaking work.