advent calendar 2016 - part 4 (19 - 24 December)

The final entries of our advent calendar series have the following artists and works featured -

Day 19: Now Gallery recommends 'Bullet From A Shooting Star' based at Greenwich Peninsula by artist Alex Chinneck, who time and time again shows that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. @alexchinneck creates inventive pieces of art using the familiar & transforming it into the unique. Don’t miss his melting Christmas Tree on display at Granary Square during this festive period. 

Day 20: Welsh artist Bedwyr Williams brings @barbicancentre Curve gallery to life with his quest into The Gulch. The curious & often subversive internal dialogue @bedwyr_williams plays out along the Curve’s space in this fantastical installation. Physical & metaphorical twists & turns guide you through the gallery and ultimately inspire you to give your own performance, one that will fill the cavernous gorge of the gulch for those following in your footsteps.

Day 21: close up of Anselm Kiefer's nuber pluant ustem (2016) currently on display in @whitecubeofficial bermondsey. Kiefer employs a range of media – oil, acrylic, emulsion and shellac - to emphasise the space of painting as a threshold into a mythic, imaginative realm.

Day 22: @GRAD_London recommends 'Destined To Be Happy', Russian artist Irina Korina's new solo installation which runs until 28 February 2017. Experience the macabre reality of Korina’s greyscale domain, punctuated with characters whose emotional relatability is laid bare for scrutiny.

Day 23: Berlin-based artist @AlicjaKwade ’s commission in @whitechapelgallery "Medium Median" explores our relationship to space and time through technology, culture and senses.

Day 24: Spring (2015) by Tony Cragg shown previously in @lisson_gallery. His axiom “There are many more things that do not exist than things that do exist” points to a deep well of things & forms that are as yet beyond our perception. Sculpture is for Cragg a method to unlock this enormous potential not just for new forms but the new meanings, dreams and language that will become associated to them. For him it is a method for discovering the as yet unseen. 

a sense of time

The Clock - Christian Marclay
White Cube Mason's Yard

White Cube is showing Christian Marclay's latest film, The Clock, in their Mason's Yard gallery.

Editing from thousands of movies, the Swiss-American artist presents this project which shows scenes in movies when time is explicitly brought in, be it a clock at the background, a watch on the lead actress's wrist or a word from the mouth of the actor. The impressive part is that Christian has sewn all these clips together and actually make it "real time" - so the whole film lasts 24 hours, and the "time" displayed is exactly the moment you watch it, hence it's called "the clock".

Click here to read more about this piece of work from the Economist (with slideshow).

The gallery is also showing 2 other works of the artist -

Sound Holes (2007)

Sound Holes (2007)

Manga Scroll (2010)
Manga Scroll (2010)
Manga Scroll (2010) - video link
When the work is displayed in New York earlier this year, there's a live performance accompanying the showing -
Theo Bleckmann performs Christian Marclay's Manga Scroll live at the Whitney Museum of American Art 02.09.2010, video by earrelevantmusic

Another piece on display at New York -
Chalkboard (2010, video by WhitneyFocus

Here's a short video about the artist (not related to the show) -
Christian Marclay mini documentary by gmooney

Location -

The Clock is showing in the next 2 weekends in the gallery, make sure you catch it and experience the magic (there're comfy sofa to lay back and watch!).


Futher Readings -
Page: Official page for the show at White Cube online
Page: Official page of Christian Barclay's show at Whitney Museum of Art 07-09.2010, with images and videos
Wiki: Entry of Christian Barclay
Interview: by Georgia Deahn for the Telegraph, 01.03.2008
Interview: by Ben Neill for Bomb Magazine, issue 84 (2003)

the gormley spectacle

Test Sites by Antony Gormley
White Cube Gallery (Mason's Yard)
till 10.07.2010

Breathing Room III (2010)

Antony Gormley's latest show is impressive, but lacking the lustre of a major artistic breakthrough.

At the ground floor of the gallery, a series of cast iron blockwork figures (like the one showing on the flyer below). Unlike his signature self-cast series, this set is more abstract and does not confine to his body dimensions. Instead they are of random proportions locally yet one can still easily figure out the parts of body at each sculpture. The official press release says these block works show "a tension which is indicative of our urban-bound human condition".

At the basement a single piece of installation has occupied the whole exhibition space. As some critics say it has a very "Tron" feel to it. From the gallery people we spoke to the installation consists of 15 hollow rectangular blocks which has a total volume equivalent to that of the exhibition space it is placed. The block frame is coated with fluorescent paint that can absorb ambient light and re-emit them when the surroundings go dark. Like a giant tanning booth, visitors are allowed to walk freely in and out of the blocks. And every 15 minutes of so the spotlights hung right below the ceiling are switched on temporarily to 'charge' the frames.

Official flyer

While one can foresee the popularity of Gormley would bring queues to the gallery in every weekend running up to the end of the show, it seems the works shown this time could not produce a powerful impact on the viewers compared to the artist's works in the public realm instead.

The abstracted bodies are of various different forms which makes it hard to relate them to the viewers compared to those casted by Gormley's own body.The blocks themselves are all covered with rust, similar to the style of Richard Serra. Previous cast bodies Gormley created are very personal but the randomly formed figures in this show are trying something new which is yet to have the same visual impact.

The glowing matrix at the basement looks like the previous site-specific piece by Cerith Wyn Evans showing at the same space. Both works has the element of changing illumination. And the spotlights fueling the glow in Gormley's work is ironic - people go to indoor tanning booths to get tanned rather than going to the parks or beaches; while Gormley's work situated in a commercial gallery have to rely on artificial simulation to create a physical environment (compared to his public art which are directly situated in an activated environment not controlled by any individual).  

For those preparing to visit the gallery for the show, it is likely that you would have to queue for entry to the basement as the gallery has limited the number of people getting into the space for the experience. And once you are in, remember to stay until you experience the moment which the spotlights charge the fluorescent paint of the matrix - it is worth the wait!

Further Reading - 
Review by Laura McLean-Ferris for the Independent, 04.06.2010
Official page of the exhibition at White Cube Gallery's website

art august in london - part 1

Playing the Building: an Installation by David Bryne
till 31.08.2009
The Roundhouse

the roundhouse by you.
antony gormley's standing man at the edge of the roundhouse (not part of the installation)

playing the building by you.
people queuing for the piano

playing the building by you.
some of the keys on the keyboard are not working any more, probably broken by previous visitors

playing the building by you.
these buttons add special effects to the sounds

playing the building by you.
the labyrinth of cables & wires at the back of the piano

playing the building by you.
the wires connecting to each sound box on each column around the hall

playing the building by you.
close-up of a sound box

official video by the Roundhouse on youtube

Full photo set here


Rankin Live
till 18.09.2009
The Old Truman Brewery

rankin live by you.
Entrance of the show in truman brewery

rankin live by you.
Banner opposite the entrance at brick lane

rankin live by you.
Is this an official edit?

rankin live by you.
Cute graphics by Them Design

rankin live by you.

Rankin (full name as John Rankin Waddell) is one of the big names among British fashion photographers, if not the only one. This comprehensive retrospective show is a unique opportunity for people to understand how the master develops his career and, with a bit of luck, the chance to see him in action shooting models or even your good self.

rankin live by you.
Works are grouped in themes, visitors could see for themselves the essence of Rankin's works in different topics/subjects.

Apart from his commercial works, the show also has a generous collection of his college years' shoots, his self-portrait collection and a series he did for the people of Congo. It demonstrates how he has grown into a celebrity on his own from shooting all those fashion campaigns for Dazed & Confused magazine, and yet not forgetting to use his fame for promoting social causes and helping the underprivileged.

rankin live by you.
show catalogue

behind the scenes


Jack Freak Pictures by Gilbert & George
White Cube Gallery

jack freak pics by gilbert & george by you.

Gilbert & George's signature "church stained-glass"-like paintings have a mysterious psychological power, perhaps due to the prevalence of such medium in religious art. They use the Union Jack, the british flag pattern, extensively in many works on this show. Nevertheless, their version of the Union Jack is not identical to the official one - the proportion of the 3 colours in their own version is equal and unbiased, giving a subtle twist in line with the contemporary context of political change in the UK. They also apply various symbols of street art in some works - maintaining their "relevance" to a new generation of the audience.

Further Reading -

Rankin live - official web (bandwidth-intensive)
Rankin live! preview from the Guardian
Rankin live at Sky Arts
Rankin as property developer, report from the Times
Playing the Building - office web
Official web of David Bryne
Official page of Gilbert & George's show in White Cube Gallery's website