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Entries Tagged as 'art biennial'

Edra Soto on the Architecture of Connecting with Communities

February 4th, 2020 · Comments

Edra Soto is a Puerto Rico born, Chicago based, interdisciplinary artist, educator and curator whose architectural projects connect with communities. Soto's temporary modular SCREENHOUSE pavilions are evocative symbols of her cultural assimilation that we can enter and share. Each free-standing structure functions as both sculptural object and social gathering place. Couched in beauty, her ongoing OPEN 24 HOURS project offers a different visceral encounter — with evidence of displacement and want. The aesthetic display of cast-off liquor bottles culled from steadily accumulating detritus in the historically Black neighborhood she now calls home suggests that we consider the personal and communal impact of poverty and racism. During a studio visit with the artist in Northwest Chicago, we talk about recent iterations of these projects.

In concert with the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Millennium Park Foundation commissioned the artist to produce a temporary gathering place in one of the park’s outdoor galleries. Only steps from Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, she worked with a team to construct SCREENHOUSE. The 10-foot high pavilion made of 400 charcoal-hued, 12-inch cast concrete blocks is part of an ongoing project, an architectural series inspired by iron grills and decorative concrete screen blocks found throughout the Caribbean and the American South.

New versions of OPEN 24 HOURS are on view in two 2020 exhibitions. One appears in Open House: Domestic Thresholds at the Albright-Knox Museum, in Buffalo, New York. Cognac bottles carefully arranged on shelves with decorative panels reveal the artist’s connection to two places she calls home. More liquor bottles command attention in the three-part installation she designed for State of the Art 2020. Featuring work by artists from across the United States, the exhibition celebrates the opening of The Momentary, a new contemporary art space at the Crystal Bridges Museum, in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio 

Related Episodes and Photo Features: Architecture with a Sense of Place, Views—Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019, Fresh VUE: Chicago Art and Architecture 2017

Related Links: Edra Soto, The Momentary, State of the Art 2020, Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, Knox-Albright Museum, Millennium Park, Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019

About Edra Soto: Born in Puerto Rico and based in Chicago, Edra Soto is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, curator, and co-director of the outdoor project space THE FRANKLIN. She is invested in creating and providing visual and educational models propelled by empathy and generosity. Her recent projects, which are motivated by civic and social actions, focus on fostering relationships with a wide range of communities. 

Recent venues presenting Soto’s work include Chicago Cultural Center (IL), Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (KS), Pérez Art Museum Miami (FL), Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (PR), Hunter EastHarlem Gallery (NY), UIC Gallery 400 (IL), Smart Museum (IL), Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (NE), DePaul Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (IL). Soto was awarded the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, the DCASE for Individual Artist Grant from the City of Chicago, the 3Arts Make A Wave award, and 3Arts Projects grants, and the Illinois Arts Council grant. 

Soto holds an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts from Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico. She teaches Introduction to Social Engagement at University of Illinois in Chicago and is a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

About SCREENHOUSE: Decorative screens, known as rejas and quiebrasoles, are ubiquitous in Soto’s birthplace in Puerto Rico. In her SCREENHOUSE series, Soto transforms the quiebrasol form from a planar screen that divides public from private into a nearly fully enclosed, free-standing structure that functions as both sculptural object and social gathering place.

About OPEN 24 HOURS: Witnessing the excessive accumulation of litter and detritus in the historic African American neighborhood of East Garfield Park where she lives motivated Edra Soto to initiate this ongoing project. Since December 2016, Soto has been collecting, cleaning and classifying cast-off liquor bottles to create installations that display the impact of racism and poverty on this marginalized community in Chicago. Bourbon Empire, the book quoted below, recounts the historic connection between African Americans and cognac from its genesis in the 1930s to contemporary repercussions instigated by hip-hop and rap culture.

“Cognac’s relationship with African American consumers started later, when black soldiers stationed in southwest France were introduced to it during both world wars. The connection between cognac producers and black consumers was likely bolstered by the arrival of black artists and musicians... France appreciated these distinctive art forms before the U.S. did, continuing a French tradition dating back to Alexis de Tocqueville of understanding aspects of American culture better than Americans did. For African Americans, the elegant cognac of a country that celebrated their culture instead of marginalizing it must have tasted sweet ... During the 1990s, cognac sales were slow, and the industry was battling an image populated by fusty geriatrics. Then references to cognac began surfacing in rap lyrics, a phenomenon that peaked in 2001 with Busta Rhymes and P. Diddy’s hit “Pass the Courvoisier,” causing sales of the brand to jump 30 percent. During the next five years, other rappers teamed up with brands, and increased overall sales of cognac in the U.S. by a similar percentage, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.”

—Reid Mitenbuler, author of Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America’s Whiskey

Tags: · · · · · · · · · · contemporary art · art biennial · public art · activism · black culture · community · education · political art · architecture

Filming Rhythm, Stories and Soul in the Toronto Subway

January 21st, 2020 · Comments

The Toronto-made film RISE embodies the creative force of a local youth-led spoken word movement known as RISE Edutainment. A subway station serves as the set where the collective’s poets, rappers, and musicians voice their experiences as first and second generation immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa.

Emelie Chhangur, curator of The Art Gallery of York University, sparked the film project in 2017, by inviting Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca to Toronto. Based in Recife, Brazil, the two artist filmmakers are known for examining cultural change in the making. Through film and photography, they document popular performance genres as they adapt to post-colonial economies and geographies. 

The experimental film that Wagner and de Burca created with the RISE community in Toronto hybridizes fiction and documentary to establish a third language-territory—a space where rhythm and poetry are employed as catalysts to explore the complex diasporic and multi-cultural city.

RISE challenges us to consider what might constitute the creation of new traditions in and for Toronto. The story demonstrates how creative expression empowers the past, present and potential future of an extended, evolving community. By showcasing the film in the inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art, artistic director Candice Hopkins and her collaborators follow through on their commitment to showcase local culture and history.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio from the film RISE, in order of appearance: Randell Adjei, Borelson, Kevin Braithwaite, Shahadda Jack, Laurette Jack-Ogbonna, Kwazzi, Michie Mee, Duke Redbird | RISE Audio Track, courtesy Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca Studio

Related Episodes and Posts: Views of the Toronto Biennial of ArtArt and Film Illuminate the Black ImaginationThe BLCK Family of Miami on Collective Creativity

Related Links: RISE EdutainmentBárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca, Art Gallery of York UniversityToronto Biennial of Art

Tags: · contemporary art · art biennial · film · performance · community

Contemporary Psyche on View in Venice Art Biennale

October 15th, 2019 · Comments

Philadelphia-based art historian Deborah Barkun talks about the pleasure and critical thinking that she discovers each time she explores the Venice Art Biennale and collateral events. Through her eyes, we understand that the venerated exhibition never fails to create a constellation of art encounters—always stimulating the senses and challenging the mind, always offering a glimpse into our contemporary psyche. 

58th Venice Art Biennale:

For the 2019 international art exhibition, London-based American curator Ralph Rugoff chose the title May You Live in Interesting Times. This is a phrase of English invention that has long been mistakenly cited as an ancient Chinese curse. The words ‘interesting times’ invoke periods of uncertainty, crisis and turmoil. Rugoff invited 79 artists from around the world who, in his words, “challenge existing habits of thought and open up our readings of objects and images, gestures and situations…entertaining multiple perspectives…holding in mind seemingly contradictory and incompatible notions, and juggling diverse ways of making sense of the world.”

The 2019 exhibition includes 89 National Participations in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the historic city center of Venice. Four countries are participating for the first time: Dominican Republic, Ghana, Madagascar, Malaysia, and Pakistan. Twenty-one Collateral Events taking place across the city widen the diversity of voices that characterizes the Biennale.

Read Deborah Barkun’s posts from the 58th Venice Art Biennale on instagram @freshartintl.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio recorded in Venice May-June 2019

Romani Embassy performance by Delaine Le Bass, Music by Santino Spinelli

Related Episodes: Art Historian Playlist: Deborah Barkun Listens to Joana ChoumaliSamson Young: Songs for Disaster ReliefMark Bradford Connects Art with the Real WorldLisa Reihana on Reversing the Colonial GazeMonument to Decay: Israeli Pavilion in Venice

Related Links: Venice Art Biennale 

Related Images: Fresh VUE: 58th Venice Art BiennialFresh Vue: Venice Art Biennale 2017

Tags: · · · · · · · · Fresh Talk · contemporary art · art biennial · curator · political art · exhibition · technology · art tech

How to Build the Creative Economy

October 8th, 2019 · Comments

How do healthy creative economies open the door for artists and innovators?

To answer this question, we take you to Nashville, Tennessee. Music City, U.S.A., aims to become the nation’s start up capital, too. Every year since 2012, Launch Tennessee hosts the 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival to encourage new business endeavors. In 2019, Festival organizers invited Fresh Art International to curate a presentation around building the creative economy.

For a live audience gathered inside the historic Acme Seed & Feed building, we bring to the stage Nashvillian Harry Allen, boutique banker, Emily Best, Los Angeles based filmmaker and film producer, and Andrea Zieher, director of Tennessee’s near future contemporary art triennial. Our conversation reveals how the same risk taking and innovation that drive all startups fuel the most impactful creative entrepreneurship.

Takeaways: 

  • Recognize the value of cultural entrepreneurship. 
  • Work toward meaningful and inclusive community impact.
  • Optimize technology, forge real relationships and dedicate personal energy to increase opportunities for creators and facilitate greater access to cultural experiences.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Live event recording courtesy Studio 208, Nashville

Related Episodes: Model Behavior—New Orleans Art Triennial Inspires Other Cities, Creative Hive Transforms Contemporary Art in Tampa, The Future of Art

Related Links: Seed&Spark, Studio Bank, TN Triennial, Tennessee Triennial36|86 Festival,

Tags: · · contemporary art · art biennial · curator · collection · community · technology · art tech

Artist Playlist—Regina Frank Listens to Joan Jonas

September 16th, 2019 · Comments

This episode is part of our Playlist series. We’re inviting artists, curators, architects, filmmakers, cultural producers and other listeners to share favorites from the archive.

Based in Lisbon, German born artist Regina Frank has shown her work in New York, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo, among other cities globally. In recent projects, she explored environmental issues in performative installations at the Museum of Art Architecture and Technology, Lisbon, and BioArt 2018, Seoul, South Korea.

Here, Regina Frank introduces our conversation with renowned video and performance artist Joan Jonas, an episode first released on June 5, 2012.

Revisiting this episode is a moment to celebrate the latest chapter in Joan Jonas’s remarkable career. She represented the United States at the 56th Venice Art Biennale. In 2019, Jonas returns to Venice with an immersive, multimedia installation. Moving Off the Land II is the first public project in Ocean Space, a new global oceanic center in the restored Church of San Lorenzo.

Regina Frank writes: I have been listening to Fresh Art since Cathy Byrd launched the podcast in 2011. One episode that I love features Cathy’s conversation with artist Joan Jonas. In 1991, I met Joan Jonas for the first time. She gave a lecture at the University of the Arts in Berlin. What a wonderful artist! I am fascinated and inspired by her creative approach to combining video, performance and drawing. She saw my work and suggested that I speak to the new museum of contemporary art in New York. They gave me their window and the cover of their newsletter and catalogue a few months later, which marked the beginning of my own career, in 1992. While I was in Venice for the 58th Art Biennale, I spent hours exploring Joan Jonas’s great project in the Church of San Lorenzo. I watched every video from beginning to end.

Sound Editor 2019 Anamnesis Audio | 2012 Leo Madriz

Special Audio: Jason Moran, “He Takes His Coat and Leaves”

Feature photo: Joan Jonas, Moving Off the Land II, Ocean Space, Venice, 2019, courtesy TBA21 Academy

Related Episodes: Joan Jonas on The Shape, The Scent, The Feel of Things, Art with a Sense of Placed, Part One, Regina Frank on Performing at the Intersection of Art and Technology

Related Links: Joan Jonas, Ocean Space

 

Tags: · · · · · · · · · · · · · contemporary art · art biennial · performance art · student edition · environment · performance · political art · architecture · technology · art tech

Art Historian Playlist: Deborah Barkun Listens to Joana Choumali

May 13th, 2019 · Comments

Today’s conversation continues our Playlist series. We’re inviting artists, curators, architects, writers, filmmakers, cultural producers and other listeners to introduce episodes from our archive.

Based in the United States, art historian and curator Deborah Barkun is Chair of the Department of Art and Art History and Director of Museum Studies at Ursinus College, outside Philadelphia. Her research centers on the social dynamics of artistic collaboration. Barkun is contributing to our stories from the 58th Venice Art Biennale. Here, she introduces our conversation with Ivorian artist Joana Choumali, first released on April 30, 2018.

Deborah Barkun writes: I am excited to introduce this reprise of “Joana Choumali Embroiders Empathy.” I feel especially connected to this episode, as I was present for Cathy’s first interview with Choumali in the Ivory Coast Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. Choumali spoke poignantly about African emigration and the emptiness it leaves in the hearts of loved ones left behind. Her hand-embroidered and collaged photographic diptychs depict this global migration. Loose threads left dangling from the works speak to a sense of ongoing longing.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Photography: Deborah Barkun

Related Episodes: Joana Choumali Embroiders EmpathySounds of the 57th Venice Art BiennaleSamson Young: Songs for Disaster ReliefLisa Reihana on Reversing the Colonial GazeMonument to Decay: Israeli Pavilion in VeniceMark Bradford Connects Art with the Real World

Related Links: Joana ChoumaliIvory Coast PavilionVenice Art BiennaleDak’Art 2018

Tags: · · · · · · · · · · · contemporary art · art biennial · black culture · black art · political art · art fair · exhibition

Process, Experimentation and Action in Dak’Art 2018

September 10th, 2018 · Comments

In 2018, seventy-five artists from thirty-three countries came together for the contemporary African art biennial known as Dak’Art. The offsite program featured more than 200 autonomous artist-organized exhibitions and events across Dakar and on the island of Gorée.

The projects we share in this episode explore ideas of freedom and responsibility as they investigate colonial histories, politics, and the economy, migration and the environment. Often achieved collectively and always emphasizing process, experimentation and action, they animate the legacy of legendary Senegalese artist Joe Ouakam and Agit'Art, the revolutionary creative movement he co-founded in 1974.

Voices: Simon Njami, Glenda León, Guy Woueté, Marcos Lora Read, Magdi Mostafa, Tori Wraånes, Marisol Rodriguez, Moataz Nasreldin, Pascal Traoré, Michel Amadou Gué

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio

Related Episodes: Magdi Mostafa Turns Analog Tech into Sound SculptureLIVE from Dak'Art 2018SITElines, Unsettled Landscapes 2014

Related Links: Dak'Art 2018Simon NjamiGlenda LeónGuy WouetéMarcos Lora ReadMagdi MostafaTori WrånesMarisol RodriguezZAM ZAMMoataz NasreldinDARB1718Issa SambAgit'ArtPascal TraoréIsland of Gorée

Tags: · · · · · · · · · · · · · contemporary art · art biennial · sound art · curator · community · political art · exhibition · art tech

Monument to Decay: Israeli Pavilion in Venice

July 16th, 2018 · Comments

At the 57th Venice Art Biennale, Miami-based curator Tami Katz-Freiman guides us through the multi-media installation that artist Gal Weinstein created for the Israeli Pavilion. The artist used glue, mold, metal, and felt to transform the shining white cube into a monument to decay.

As you listen the conversation we recorded in 2017, keep in mind the mounting tensions in the Middle East today. Consider the larger question of how nations choose to represent themselves in the context of a high profile international art biennial. Weinstein's project reveals the enduring power of art to serve as portent and marker of change.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Images: Courtesy Israeli Pavilion and Fresh Art International

Related episodes: Sounds of the Venice Art Biennale 2017, Lisa Reihanna on Reversing the Colonial GazeSamson Young on Songs for Disaster Relief

Related links: Israeli Pavilion at the 57th Venice Art BiennaleGal WeinsteinTami Katz-Freiman

Tags: · · · · · · · · · Fresh Talk · contemporary art · art biennial · architecture · art fair

Live from Dakar 2018

May 21st, 2018 · Comments

Today, we bring you Fresh Art International LIVE from Dakar, Senegal. We made the journey to West Africa in May 2018, to capture sounds of local art and culture and to document our first encounter with the biennial of contemporary African art known as Dak'Art.

In the first of our two live streaming broadcasts, you'll hear Marisol Rodríguez (Mexico City/Paris), one of the biennial's guest curators, talk about her work with a team of creatives based in the Hurricane Zone (Mexico's Yucatàn Peninsula, Central America and the Caribbean).

Also LIVE: our show from la Boite à Idée, or Idea Box, a cultural hub in Dakar's Mermoz district. In the garden of this space is where cultural activist Ken Aicha Sy, founder of Wakh'Art Music introduces us to a few of the creatives engaging in the local art and music scene. You'll hear from Ms. Sy, along with Franco-Senegalese artist Gabriel Dia, jazz guitarist Paride Pagnotti, I Science vocalist Corinna Fiore, and composer Nathan Fallou Fuhr. A modest local songwriter introducing himself simply as "Jean-Pierre," steps up to the microphone with his guitar to voice our melodic good-bye-for-now.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special audio courtesy ZAM ZAM, Paride PagnottiI ScienceNathan Fallou Fuhr and Jean-Pierre 

Tags: · · · · · · · · · · · Fresh Talk · contemporary art · art biennial · artist residency · curator · black culture · black art · community · political art · exhibition

Joana Choumali Embroiders Empathy

April 30th, 2018 · Comments

We follow artist Joana Choumali from the Ivory Coast Pavilion at the 57th Venice Art Bienniale to Dak'Art 2018, as she explores the shared experience of migration and violence in her birth country. Her embroidered photographs trace stories of loss and longing—depicting lone figures disappearing from home and reappearing in foreign environments, and giving shape to the emptiness left by the casualties of terrorism. Needle and thread express Choumali's empathy with the fraught human condition.

Sound Editing: Anamnesis Audio | Photography: Joanna Choumali and Fresh Art International

Tags: · · · · · · · · · · · · · · contemporary art · art biennial · photography · black art · feminism · political art · feminist art

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