Keith Piper: The Banker’s Bones


‘Unearthing the Banker’s Bones’ is a work that mobilises tropes from science fiction as a means of examining contemporary anxieties surrounding environmental change, migration and globalisation.

The act of presenting a speculative view of the future as a means of deconstructing the present has long been a staple of science fiction. ‘Unearthing the Bankers Bones’ references the dystopian speculations of Octavia Butler and Mary Shelly as key examples of the literary projection of contemporary anxieties into an imagined future.

The project is comprised of an installation of three large-scale synchronised video projections alongside sculptural objects displayed in exhibition vitrines.

Each projection is composed of an evolving collage of filmed, drawn, painterly and animated elements through which we are taken to a series of reference points within classic science fiction texts. This journey is revealed through the literary reflections of an anonymous narrator who describes the emergence of an illusive hooded ‘trickster’ figure, eventually given the name ‘Surmanakin’ in reference to the work of the ‘Islamo-futurist’ poet Jalaluddin Nuriddin. Depicted as a shape-shifting Android, this ‘trickster’ figure acts as a time travelling cypher weaving a pathway through the contemporary social and political landscape. In the course of this journey this ‘trickster’ encounters another illusive allegorical figure know only as ‘The Banker’ It is from this character that the work takes its title.

www.keithpiper.info

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Sophia Al Maria


The Watchers No.1-5, 2014, Five channel digital video w/ audio, Installation View ‘Virgin With a Memory’, Cornerhouse, Manchester Courtesy of Cornerhouse, Manchester

Sophia Al Maria is an artist, writer and filmmaker. She studied comparative literature at the American University in Cairo, and aural and visual cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. For the past few years, she has been carrying out research around the concept of Gulf Futurism. Her primary interests are around the isolation of individuals via technology and reactionary Islam, the corrosive elements of consumerism and industry, and the erasure of history and the blinding approach of a future no one is ready for. She explores these ideas with certain guidebooks and ideas including, but not limited to, Zizek’s The Desert of the Unreal, As-Sufi’s Islamic Book of the Dead, as well as imagery from Islamic eschatology, post humanism and the global mythos of Science Fiction.

Her work has been exhibited in various institutional shows around the world, including Biennale of Moving Images, Miami, USA (2017); Axis Mundi, High Line Art, New York, USA (2017); No to the Invasion: Breakdowns and Side Effect, CCS Bard Gallery, NY, USA (2017); Mondialite, Villa Empain Boghossian Foundation, Brussels, Belgium (2017); The New Normal, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing China (2017); Seeds of Time, Shanghai Project, Shanghai, China (2017); Transmissions from the Etherspace, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain (2017); Paratoxic Paradoxes, Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece (2017); Eternal Youth, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA (2017); Black Friday, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USA (2016); Repetition, Villa Empain, Boghossian Foundation, Brussels, Belgium (2016); Imitation of Life at HOME, Manchester (2016); In Search of Lost Time, The Brunei Gallery, London (2016); 89plus: Filter Bubble, LUMA Westbau, Zurich, Switzerland (2015); 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience, New Museum, New York, NY, USA (2015); Common Grounds, Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany (2015); Extinctions Marathon: Visions of the Future, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK (2014); Virgin with a memory, Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK (2014); Do It, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK (2013); The 9th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2012); For your Eyes Only, St. Paul Street Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand (2012); Dowse Museum, Wellington, New Zealand (2012); Genre Specific Xperience, New Museum, New York, NY, USA (2011); Bendari & the Bunduqia, Waqif Art Centre, Doha, Qatar (2007) and We Few: A Comic Palindrome, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt (2005). Her writing has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Five Dials, Triple Canopy, and Bidoun. In 2007, she published her first autobiographical novel, The Girl Who Fell to Earth (Harper Collins Perennial).She was invited to participate in the 2016 Biennial of Moving Images in Geneva, Switzerland. The artist has also participated in the Inhabitation residency at Villa Empain, Boghossian Foundation, Brussels (2016).

Sophia is the author of Virgin With A Memory and The Girl Who Fell To Earth and has also guest edited an issue of the experimental art-writing journal The Happy Hypocrite, entitled Fresh Hell.

The artist currently lives and works in London, UK.


Between Distant Bodies, 2013, Video Installation on 2 cuboglass TVs, Installation view at Frieze 2013

http://www.thethirdline.com

Sonja Hinrichsen


The Three Gorges

The Three Gorges of the Yangzi River are one of China’s most celebrated natural wonders. The area attracts thousands of tourists each year who come on ships to gaze at bizarre rock formations, spot poems that have been carved into cliff walls and learn about China’s ancient history. This area is thought to be the cradle of Chinese culture. Its original appearance has been altered – or “edited” – in recent years through the construction of a dam that has increased the flow of the river. Besides producing an enormous amount of electric energy this intrusion into nature’s creation improves ship navigation on the main river and makes smaller tributaries passable for the first time. Despite the inundation of cultural heritage sites and of traditional villages and towns – forcing millions of people to relocate – tourism agencies have predicted an increase in tourist numbers. We, as humans, alter our landscapes so that they better fit our purposes and our liking. This raises questions about our understanding of the natural world in centuries and millenniums to come. Will we reconsider and try to preserve it in its original form, will we change it so it better serves our causes, or will it vanish altogether, as a result of our growing needs for space and resources, to become a memory conveyed solely in a virtual world, where it can be edited as we please, to be glorified or mocked in an exaggerated super-nature.

My video installation takes a playful view at these future perspectives, while at the same time provoking thought about our self-righteousness to rule over our planet, use, exploit and adapt the natural world to satisfy the outrageous needs we have acquired to secure our extravagant lifestyles.

http://www.sonja-hinrichsen.com

Zina Saro-Wiwa


Mourning Class
Installation View at Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen, 2015

Multi-channel video installation, 20mins 32secs.

The Mourning Class series is a set of video performances that explore mourning rituals and address the role of performance in grieving. The first in the series is Mourning Class: Nollywood. This piece arose from Zina Saro-Wiwa’s interest in Nollywood and the African emotional landscape. The close-up of crying face is a classic nollywood trope. A trademark of the genre. The sobbing female figure, a grieving widow, a repentant woman of the night, the dutiful, but put-upon, wife, the performance of pain – close up – forms the emotional backbone of Nollywood film.

For this installation, each actress was asked to sit in front of the camera – baring their shoulders and covering their heads – and cry when prompted by Zina. They needed to produce real tears and engage with the camera as much as possible during the process, turning their emotions into a true performance as well as a test of endurance. The work explores the role of performance in expressing grief, drawing the viewer into the territory between the emotive and the emotional. The minimal, ghostly sound leaving room for the viewer to engage with the physical performance of grief. The lack of narrative and context but direct engagement of the subject also draws out the viewer’s own personal narratives engineering a form of catharsis.

Mourning Class: Nollywood has been shown at Location One Gallery, The Pulitzer Foundation, The New Museum, NYC for Transition 50, Museum of Art and Design, NYC, Arles Photo Festival and was chosen for the back cover of The Progress of Love catalogue.

http://www.zinasarowiwa.com

Judy Chicago

The Dinner Party, 1974-1979
Brooklyn Museum

Judy Chicago’s original concept for The Dinner Party was multi-faceted in that her goal was to introduce the richness of women’s heritage into the culture in three ways; a monumental work of art, a book and a film because she had discovered so much unknown information. The work of art, that was eventually housed at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, consists of a series of Entryway Banners, the ceremonial table representing 39 important historical female figures, the Heritage Panels, which elucidate the contributions of the 999 women on the Heritage Floor, and the Acknowledgement Panels that identify Judy Chicago’s assistants and collaborators. Together, these components celebrate the many aspects of women’s history and contributions.

Through an unprecedented worldwide grass-roots movement, The Dinner Party was exhibited in 16 venues in 6 countries on 3 continents to a viewing audience of over one million people. The Dinner Party – which has been the subject of countless books and articles – is now permanently housed in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum where it draws thousands of visitors from all over the globe.


Christine de Pisan plate, china paint on porcelain, 15 inch diameter


Ethel Smyth plate, china paint on porcelain, 14 inch diameter


Installation View of Wing Three, featuring Margaret Sanger and Natalie Barney place settings


Installation View of Wing Three, featuring Virginia Woolf and Georgia O’Keeffe place settings

http://www.judychicago.com

Pipilotti Rist

Meet the sensuous Swiss video artist Pipilotti Rist, whose work full of colour and playfulness. She here argues that videos can have painterly qualities and tells the story of one of her most famous videos, where a woman smashes car windows with a flower.

“There is no rule for when and where I get my ideas – some are survival tactics, some are psychotic tics, some are very well thought over.” The video ‘Ever is Over All’ (1997) was Rist’s response to a chief editor, who wouldn’t let her do the things she wished to do – even though he had given her a carte blanche. She felt like smashing his car, but instead chose to make a video, which challenged and even altered her aggression: “That was my catharsis.”

“I’m not more colourful than life is.” The screen is like “a moving glass painting” to Rist, who enjoys the playful use of colours. Moreover, she feels that a lot of people distance themselves from colour, even finding it intimidating. Rist, however, wants to fight for colour: “They call it superficial, but actually it’s dangerous.”

Elisabeth Charlotte “Pipilotti” Rist (b. 1962) is a Swiss visual artist, who works with video, film and moving images, which are often displayed as projections. She takes her name from Pippi Longstockings, heroine of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s much-loved series of children’s books. Early on in her career she began making super 8 films, which generally last only a few minutes and contain alterations in their colours, speed and sound. Among the themes her work centres on are gender, sexuality and the human body. In 1996 her work was first featured in the Venice Biennial, where she was awarded the ‘Premio 2000 Prize’. Other awards include the ‘Wolfgang Hahn Prize’ (1999), the ‘Joan Miró Prize’ (2009) and the ‘Cutting the Edge Award’ at the 27th Annual Miami International Film Festival (2010). Rist’s works are a part of prominent museums worldwide such as MoMA in New York City and Tate Modern in London.

For more about Pipilotti Rist see: http://pipilottirist.net/

Pipilotti Rist was interviewed by Christian Lund at the Hayward Gallery in London, November 2011.


Gravity Be My Friend


Pixel Forest


Mercy Garden

http://channel.louisiana.dk

Olafur Eliasson

The Undertain Museum

A visual exploration of Olafur Eliasson’s large-scale interactive installation, “The uncertain museum” at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art. Eliasson’s work explores the relationship between spectator and object. “When preserving the freedom of each person to experience something that may differ from the experience of others, art will be able to have a significant impact on both the individual and society,” said Eliasson. The installation is part of the museum’s permanent collection and will be on display until September 30, 2012.

Film & Assembly: D.L. Anderson
Text: The Nasher Museum of Art
Featuring: American Dance Festival faculty member Gwen Welliver and her composition lab students,
Soundtrack: “Symphony of The Planets 2” | Recordings from the Voyager spacecraft | NASA (http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2009/09/15/symphonies-of-the-planets/)

Olafur Eliasson, The uncertain museum, 2004. Steel, painted wooden floor, wire, motors, glass/mirror disks, spotlight, projection foil, 9 feet, 8 inches high x 14 feet, 7 inches diameter. Purchase, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University Fund for Acquisitions and funds provided by Blake Byrne, T’57, Monica M. and Richard D. Segal, Mr. and Mrs. J. Tomilson Hill, and Bill and Ruth True. 2006.4.1


The Weather Project
Tate Modern Installation


Your rainbow panorama, 2006-2011 – ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark, 2011

http://olafureliasson.net