art

On December 3rd, 2010, IL MACRO (MUSEO D’ ARTE CONTEMPORANEA DI ROMA)…

a view of the new MACRO lipstick red auditorium monolith

…tonight officially opened the stunning new wing designed by the charismatic/punk French architect Odile Decq (who I spent some time with last year while in residence in Oxfordshire for a conference at The Ditchley Foundation), however the inauguration unfortunately coincided with an underattended opening of a couple of new shows at the new MAXXI (Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo) designed by Zaha Hadid on the other side of town – but hey, the lady architects are finally taking their place, and Rome is rousing.

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By Fritz Haeg on December 3, 2010 | architectural, art
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On November 27th, 2010, JOAN JONAS TALKS AT MAXXI…

the forbidding space around MAXXI on a chilly November afternoon

…which is the dramatic new Zaha Hadid designed ‘Museum of 21st Century Art’ (surrounded by an unfortunate expanse of endless shadeless tree-free unwelcoming concrete which seems to function mainly as a place from which to view the building) has done much to catalyze the contemporary art scene in Rome despite it’s hostility to most of the artistic activities it seeks to present.

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By Fritz Haeg on November 27, 2010 | art, Rome
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On November 25th, 2010, FEDERICA SCHIAVO GALLERY SHOW BY BHAKTI BAXTER…

Untitled (Hurricane), 2010 by Bhakti Baxter

…a Miami friend, opened tonight starting with a talk/performance about ‘nothing’ in the apartment above the gallery where Roman flea market vases were casually displayed on the floor and later stumbled upon and broken one by one. (gallery webpage)

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By Fritz Haeg on November 25, 2010 | art
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On November 24th, 2010, SCREENING OF VIDEO BY KAREN YASINSKY…

still from 'Marie' by Karen Yasinsky

…a fellow American Academy fellow this year – was a real pleasure, the highlight of the day, a 3.5 minute video she made in 2009 inspired by one of my favorite films, and described by Karen as “…a drawing animation based on a scene from Robert Bresson’s film ‘Au Hasard Balthazar.‘ It is a close-up profile of the character Marie speaking. She looks sad and earnest. Or rather blank. I rotoscoped it which involved saving the scene as a series of jpegs, 30 images per second and then drawing each image using a light box. There are several interruptions to her speaking when the image changes. It moves down and off the page then comes back from the top; it becomes an image made of small squares then changes colors; and finally the squares show the negative images. There are also series when every other image is a different color, moving through the spectrum, with the original black line on white in between. This creates a strobing effect. The sound, by Snacks (Tom Boram and Dan Breen) uses a piece by Brahms, static sounds; tremolo and other sounds to match these interruptions. Brahms plays while she calmly speaks but only partial sounds come out of her mouth. She doesn’t communicate.” (more of the interview)

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On November 13th, 2010, THE BERLIN TIERGARTEN MEMORIAL TO HOMOSEXUALS PERSECUTED…

close-up view of the video through the portal, and the monument from a distance

…under Nazism by Berlin based artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset (whose place I happen to be staying at this week) provides a poetically uncomfortable public moment as people are drawn to peer into the eye-level portal in the mysterious concrete monolith on the side of the walking path, which turns out to provide a view of a continuously looping video of two men kissing in the park. (more on Wikipedia)

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By Fritz Haeg on November 13, 2010 | art, travel
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On October 25th, 2010, PRIAPUS BY BERNINI…

the copy of Pietro Bernini's Priapus at Villa Borghese, 1616

…presents a lovely bounty in basket and on head as you enter the back gardens as Villa Borghese, though the original now sits back in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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By Fritz Haeg on October 25, 2010 | sculpture
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On October 6th, 2010, NEW LAND FOR THE NETHERLANDS…

safety outfit and bird blind at Port of Rotterdam

…is being created in the North Sea to extend the Port of Rotterdam, and today I had a tour of the mind-blowing vastness of this operation – not to be completed until 2030 – where I was also able to view a blind for bird-watching in this industrial landscape, and dress in an exciting fluorescent safety costume which I really wanted to wear to the airport later this evening. (check out the website, and the view from above before the new construction)

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On October 5th, 2010, LECTURE IN DEN HAAG…

Stroom, Den Haag

…this evening at the wonderful Stroom – described as “an independent foundation established in 1989 as is a centre for art and architecture with a wide range of activities, starting from the visual arts, architecture, urban planning and design the program focuses on the urban environment.” -  features exhibition spaces, public programming, commissioned civic projects, and a fabulous/extensive public library of books, journals, and periodicals related to architecture, design, and art in public space – and right now they are in the middle of a two year series of programs related to food in the city, called Foodprint, for which my esteemed artist friend Nils Norman is constructing an urban permaculture pubic garden. (webpage)

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By Fritz Haeg on October 5, 2010 | art
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On August 15th, MEDAL DAY AT MACDOWELL COLONY…

the picnicing masses on the meadow at Medal Day

…and the gentle masses descend on the typically peaceful retreat for an afternoon – plus a three hour open studio with visits from curious locals, tourists, and art enthusiasts eager to engage in conversation that leaves me hoarse – followed by  7pm dance party (just right for my typical 9:30pm bedtime) which involves hours of hula-hooping and bruised hips. (more on Medal Day)

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By Fritz Haeg on August 15, 2010 | art
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On August 7th, 2010, THE STAFF GARDENS AT THE ALDRICH MUSEUM…

Aldrich Museum staff gardens, "Something for Everyone," 2010

…which were planted in the early spring as a part of the “Something for Everyone” show at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut – are now at their end of Summer peak – and I just had the chance to see them this afternoon during a quick day trip…

EDIBLE ESTATE #9: ALDRICH STAFF GARDENS & COMPOST – Watch, smell, feel, and even taste, as the Aldrich Museum staff grows their own food in their new Edible Estate garden, nourished by the compost being made at the museums front door from their very own kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, and yard clippings. Here is a regional planting calendar of edibles, and special thanks to Garden of Ideas for their contributions to the project.

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On July 22nd, 2010, SURPLUS SEMINAR…

Anywhere Anyplace Academy

…is something organized by Red76 and Sam Gould, whom I just visited on my last day in Minneapolis, at the Walker Art Center where they are staging the Anywhere Anyplace Academy for a few weeks this summer – call 1-888-339-4496 for their daily updates. (website)

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By Fritz Haeg on July 22, 2010 | art
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On July 3rd, 2010, MACHINE PROJECT…

Machine Project

…had a board meeting today, and we discussed an upcoming Fall benefit event on the heals of last year’s fantastic gathering at “Mister Jalopy’s secret lair, accessible only through a hidden entrance behind Coco’s Variety Store – get on the Machine mailing list (and become a member while you are at it) to stay informed about all of their activities.

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By Fritz Haeg on July 3, 2010 | art, Los Angeles
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On June 27th, 2010, “SOMETHING FOR EVEYONE” AT THE ALDRICH MUSEUM…

"Dancing Boardwalk" - part of "Something for Everyone" at the Aldrich Museum

…opened this afternoon – highlights included running and dancing a round in a circle on the “Dancing Platform” with a bunch of kids I didn’t know (and the occasional adventurous adult), a sophisticated picnic with tamales, linens and teacups by the Mildred’s Lane folks who came by caravan from rural Pennsylvania to be there, and “Bean Agency” by N Dash in the Sundown Schoolhouse dome headquarters in front of the museum.

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On June 25th, 2010, THE URBAN WILDLIFE OBSERVATION UNIT…

"Urban Wildlife Observation Unit" by Mark Dion

…by Mark Dion, and originally commissioned by the Public Art Fund for New York City’s Madison Square Park, is now permanently installed at Mildred’s Lane as a guest cabin which is where I slept last night – with occasional thoughts of the local wildlife out my door, especially the bears I had heard stories of the night before – who regularly roam this 93 acre property. (project webpage)

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By Fritz Haeg on June 25, 2010 | art
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On June 20th, 2010, THE NEW AMERICAN DREAM: SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE – THE BEHAVIORAL GUIDE FOR A LUXURIOUS HOME…

the new booklet from Printed Matter

…published by Printed Matter will be available next week at their NYC store, and at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT as a companion to the show “Something for Everyone.” (see the pdf preview)

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By Fritz Haeg on June 20, 2010 | books
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On June 18th, 2010, EI ARAKAWA…

"I am an employee of United," 2010, by Ei Arakawa

…is a New York artist that I have been a fan of for a while, having first become aware of his work through friends that were in grad school with him, and who brought me to a few of his “performances” (more like chaotically staged collective activities that happen to have people around who want to watch – but are always getting in the way of the tasks being carried out by Ei and his friends and collaborators) over the years, including the Japan Society and Reena Spaulings, and now he is in Greater New York at PS1, and featured in this interview with Kevin McGarry in today’s New York Times – check it out here.

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On June 15th, 2010, THE “SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE” POSTER-BROCHURE…

Something for Everyone poster, 2010

…is off at the printers and will be available at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum for the exhibition opening on June 27th, with a reception from 2:30-5:30, and if you want to visit from New York, check out the shuttle schedule from Metro North. (download pdf for entire poster-brochure)

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On June 13th, 2010, SHANA LUTKER…

Shana Lutker's "H. Y. S. T. et al."

…has a show titled “H. Y. S. T. et al.” opening at Susanne Vielmetter in Los Angeles this Saturday! (artist website)

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By Fritz Haeg on June 13, 2010 | art
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On June 10th, 2010, THE ANIMAL ESTATES SNAG TOWER IN SAN FRANCISCO’S PRESIDIO…

The Animal Estates Snag Tower installed in one of the more urbanized areas of the Presidio, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background

…is up and ready for some animal habitation action as a part of the show Presidio Habitats, and I was finally able to see it for the first time this afternoon on a tour of the park by curator/gallerist Cheryl Haines who organized this first contemporary art exhibition in a National Park – including work by Mark Dion and Ai Weiwei – and I’m particularly excited for my first opportunity to see what happens when the Snag Tower is installed outdoors for some wildlife activity, and not just in a gallery as a prototype for human inspiration.

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On June 1st, 2010, THE GEODESIC SUNDOWN SCHOOLHOUSE DOME AT THE ALDRICH MUSEUM…

the geodesic Sundown Schoolhouse dome that will be outfitted with a nylon tent enclosure when in use for workshops on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 12:30 - 2:00

…went up today in preparation for the opening of my show “Something for Everyone” on June 27th. (webpage)

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