Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe Camille Corot – Nature and Dream 29.09.12 – 16.01.13 By Matthias Kampmann Pierre Lanith Petit photographed the French painter Camille Corot in 1860. Is he smiling, this man born in 1796? Or is he only daydreaming and looking inside himself, into a vastness that the outsider cannot evaluate because it’s unreal? If you look further at the life of this painter, who is repeatedly and stereotypically coined as the forerunner of Impressionism, he seems to hide just like the photographs are hidden and unfortunately are not displayed at the exhibition “Camille Corot. Nature and Dream” in the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. Curator Dorit Schäfer, together with the initiator of the show, Margaret Stuffmann and Maike Hohn, a research scientist , clearly dispel these clichés. They assembled a remarkable exhibition. A multifaceted differentiated view of Camille Corot and his life, which ended 1875. An artist between academicism, romanticism, realism and modernism. Among other things, the exhibition underlines his passion for Beethoven and Gluck, something that translated into his later works. And the show unveils him as the inventor of “Souvenir” - a kind of landscape painting based on experienced reality yet charged with memories, history and emotions. The show presents 180 works, including generous international loans from Champions League of museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Louvre. Among them the “Girl with the Pearl Earring” depicting a beautiful woman, relaxed, withdrawn, apparently looking at the viewer – yet actually totally withdrawn, pondering and melancholy. This doesn’t have much to do with Impressionism. Throughout his life Corot was independent – this probably being the basis for his special role. His parents were hugely successful in the textile business, and his mother was considered the best milliner in Paris. He was to follow in their footsteps, but already in 1817, two years after he started his apprenticeship as cloth merchant, it was clear that his sole purpose was to become a landscape painter. Officially, he was only able to live the life of a painter after the death of his youngest sister in 1822 and thereafter receiving an annuity for life. Only then was he able to travel and was no longer dependent on selling his work. Maybe this explains his view for reality that can be reconstructed through his works. In the 1830s, Corot painted male portraits documenting the social class he came from. Unusually self-confident characters or introverted souls glance at their viewers: all individuals, not role players. Later he mainly paints mysterious female portraits, among them the “Algerian” (around 1870). Certainly, the painter, who devoted himself intensively to the Cliché Verre technology – a combination of etching on surface, such as glass, and printing the resulting image on a light sensitive paper in a photographic darkroom – is a figure on the doorstep on the brink of a new era in which not even iconographies were able to set standards for the artist. But he is, and this is very well documented in this remarkable exhibition, not only a forerunner. Thanks to new art historic approaches, which feed on emotion research, it is now possible to learn more about Corot: a supreme achievement by the Karlsruhe Museum. Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe 76133 Karlsruhe, Hans-Thoma-Straße 2-6 Tel: +49 721 926 33 59 Fax: +49 721 926 67 88 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.kunsthalle-karlsruhe.de Opening hours: Tue – Fri: 10.00 - 17.00 hours, Sat, Sun, Holidays 10.00 - 18.00 hours Krinzinger Projekte Curated by_vienna 2012: Ulrike Lienbacher – Interiors, Models 21.09.12 – 27.10.12 By Goschka Gawllik Is sex in our culture still taboo? Is there something like optimal sex? These are questions the exhibition curator Katya García-Antón asks the Austrian artist Ulrike Lienbacher in a letter. Lienbacher’s answer is her solo exhibit Interiors, Models in the curated by_ series currently shown in the Krinzinger Projekte. The exhibition series, now taking place for the third time, is presented under the title Art or Life, Aesthetics or Biopolitics. Love? No, it’s not controllable - that would be life destroying. Sex? Yes, as a liberal invention of the 20th century it can be optimized, normed and enhanced according to certain principles of achievement. In the past years, Lienbacher concentrated on athletically trained human (mainly female) bodies in context with their social interactions. Disciplined work with one’s own body (and soul) should, comparable to business life, lead to top results. One room in the exhibition focuses on the topic “Interior”. Here the artist presents a set of nine ink drawings (“Templates”) whose motives were extracted from a sex handbook for young couples compiled in 1965. The way these stereotype positions of lovers are presented makes the sexual act appear like an exercise. In addition, with her sparse usage of red color, Lienbacher discretely accentuates individual erotic details. Does marriage support love? Or has marriage become merely a politically-economical construction whose basis is constituted historically? This is what Lienbacher’s small photo works with their depictions of conservative, middle-class interiors, attempt to point out. The artist staged them with pornographic motives as if they were heteronomous or disturbing. Does “Love and Marriage”, as in Frank Sinatra’s song, no longer exist? Does sex now call the tune instead? It has obviously become the carrier for social prestige, and eroticism was substituted by acrobatics. Machine-made ornamental poles, a capricious symbiosis of the classic pole dance, are frequently implemented throughout the exhibition. Their silvery and pink-golden shimmer conveys a touch of cultivated eroticism. Lienbacher’s preferred contrasting pairs of purity and filth, beauty and ugliness, as traditional topics of the (female) body, are visualized as an extension of their previous vocabulary through the form of the poles. Krinzinger Projekte 1070 Vienna, Schottenfeldgasse 45 Tel: +43 (1) 512 81 42 email: email@example.com www.galerie-krinzinger.at/projekte Bawag Contemporary Katie Paterson – Inside the desert… 13.09.12 – 11.11.12 By Susanne Rohringer In her first solo exhibit in Austria, the Scottish artist Katie Paterson attempts to make hidden cosmological processes visible. The artifact stands at the end of a process that commenced in nature and which the artist attempts to interpret and shape. Katie Paterson became famous with her work “Vatnajökull”, her final work at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London 2007. She deals with impressions she gathered in Iceland where she was inspired by the geysers and volcano’s, and, with the help of an underwater microphone, made the melting of glaciers audible. Neon light figures provide the exhibition visitors with a cell phone number that, when it rings, sounds like the rumble of a glacier. With her visualization of the invisible, Katie Paterson follows a long art historical tradition ranging from works by Marcel Duchamp, Bruce Naumann and On Kawara. Paterson tries to awaken our interest in our environment, something that is rarely possible without the appropriate equipment. She raises fundamental questions on how the universe developed out of nothing and how the explosion of stars is linked to our lives, and tries to interpret these questions artistically. Her “History of Darkness” documents and archives the dark zones in different areas of the universe. It shows pictures of observatories from where this black of the universe was photographed at a variety of distances, respectively light years. Paterson cataloged these shots and arranged pictures according to how many light years separate them from our planet. These black images are stored in a portable box, which in itself is a microcosm visualizing the shell of a microcosm. A few large-format photographs of these images of darkness are also shown in the exhibition. With “Dying Stars Letters” (2011), she stays in line with conceptual work similar to that of the 1960’s. In one of the letters, one finds the succinct sentence “I am sorry to inform you of the death of the star 2011kd”. Addressed to different people, she informs them about the death of stars. In the meantime, Paterson has joined a huge network of astronomers who regularly inform her about news going on in the universe. But, as she proved in the Venice Biennial 2011, her work can also be much more cheerful. With “100 Billion Suns” she set off confetti explosions at 4 p.m. every day at different locations throughout Venice with the confetti rain simulating the light effect of sun explosions. She created a kind of miniature happening, an intervention similar to those by Roman Signer, but with a different background. All in all, one wishes Paterson lots of success on her tedious path through the universe. Bawag Contemporary 1010 Vienna, Franz Josefs Kai 3 www.bawagcontemporary.at Opening hours: Daily from 14.00 – 20.00 hours MACBA – Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Utopia is Possible. ICSID. Elvissa 1971 21.06.12 – 20.01.13 By Wolfgang Pichler Or how to build utopias! For the first time, the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) is presenting an extensive documentation about the trend-setting seventh congress of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) held in Ibiza. When the ICSID conference began in Ibiza on October 14, 1971 no one would have guessed that this would be the starting point of the emergence of arts in Franco’s Spain. What started as a meeting of more or less matter-of-fact designers quickly transformed into a kind of Hippie event with cult-like rituals, celebrating the freedom and power of art and imagination. This proves how, at the end of the 1960’s and beginning of the 1970’s, a today practically inaccessible spirit of optimism had spread among the youth and the progressive powers - a feeling that promised nothing less than changing the world for the better. That an event in the then still fascist Spain would develop such a momentum shows, on the one hand, how strong the utopia of a better world was, but also that the regime was coming to an end. Among the projects and designs shown in this exhibition, the “Instant City” – an inflatable, extendable modular construction by Carlos Ferrater, Fernando Bendito and José Miguel de Prada Poole – is definitely the most memorable and design historically interesting object. It reminds of the inflatable architectures by Hans-Rucker-Co that were created in Vienna a couple of years earlier. The “Instant City” clearly depicts which utopias were created during those days – it represents a building that can be enlarged and changed by its inhabitants; a product that resulted from collective effort, which doesn’t postulate hierarchy or ownership. A temporary organically grown structure made of plastic and air. The charm of the exhibition lies, for those that are not specialized on design history, in the colourfulness and wildness of ideas and projects, especially in comparison to today’s totally commercialized design-world. Another fantastically absurd project is a sculpture floating on the sea by Josep Ponsati, made of of folded air cushions that are tied to one another with ropes and remind of huge beanbags. And sitting in just these beanbags, which are so defining for this era, one can enjoy the authentic ambience of the early 70’s in which the entire exhibition is designed, and watch videos with interviews of the artists - in Catalan. Only a few amateur videos and superb black-and-white photographs are reminiscent of the former spirit of optimism. Today, these same designers do good business with their products. The time to build utopias is long gone. MACBA - Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona 08001 Barcelona, Plaça dels Angels, 1 Tel: +34 93 412 08 10 Fax: +34 93 412 46 02 www.macba.cat Opening Hours: Mon, Wed – Fri: 11 – 20 hours, Sat: 10 – 20 hours, Sun (except holidays) 10 - 15 hours, Closed on Tuesdays.
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