Reykjavík Music Mess is an independent music festival in downtown Reykjavík, with shows on NASA and in the Nordic house. It is held for the first time on 16th and 17th of April. Bands from Iceland, USA, Finland and Greenland will perform on this first edition of the Mess.
Make sure you’ll listen to the full playlist (bottom left). Icelandic bands are superb.
I fought the X and the X won - Exhibition, National Museum of Art, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
I fought the X and the X won
Artists: Dimitrios Antonitsis, Vince Briffa, Gabriel Brojboiu, Austin Camilleri, Dionisis Christofilogiannis, Radu Comsa, Baptiste Debombourg, Sharon Engelstein, Petra Feriancova, Ry Fyan, Helidon Gjergji, Gabriele Grones, Ewa Kuras, Eva Mitala, Michal Moravcik , Tarohei Nakagawa, Adrian Scicluna, Artan Shabani, Katharina Swoboda, Dimitris Tataris, Raphael Vella, Siebren Versteeg
15th April - 15th May 2011 National Museum of Art / CLUJ-NAPOCA / ROMANIA
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 16th, 7-10 p.m.
A large group show with over twenty artists from several countries opens on 16th April, 2011 at the National Museum of Cluj in Romania. Organised by artists Dionisis Christofilogiannis and Adrian Scicluna and curated by artist-curator Raphael Vella, the exhibition is called I Fought the X and the X Won and is inspired by a rock and roll song called “I Fought the Law” with many cover versions, notably one by the band Bobby Fuller Four in the 1960’s and another by The Clash. The show proposes different situations in which one is faced by antagonistic forces and defeat or failure, and the work is extremely varied, with media ranging from video to drawing, painting and sculpture. The work included in the exhibition I Fought the X and the X Won rewrites assumed frames of reference, asking questions rather than providing answers. Some of it, like Helidon Gjergji’s, Petra Feriancova’s, Siebren Versteeg’s and Adrian Scicluna’s pieces, plays with contemporary information and communication technologies and their predicaments: translation, distance, coding, and dislocation. Katharina Swoboda’s and Vince Briffa’s videos struggle against time: they simulate, respectively, a three-minute boxing round and a race, but their time is fractured or fading away, like that of a boxer who gets knocked to the canvas, or a retired athlete, too old to be effective on the track of life. Gabriele Grones’s painting haunts us as it also maps out meticulously the traces of time on a face, while Tarohei Nakagawa’s black and white photographs and Austin Camilleri’s small sculptures are the antithesis of the portrait: they hide rather than reveal identities and make us wonder whether the hidden face belongs to a representative of power or a victim. Understandably, the effects of the media and other globalising and political forces, advertising campaigns and stereotypes also play a central role in the works of a number of artists in the show, particularly Ewa Kuras, Gabriel Brojboiu, Michal Moravcik and Dimitris Antonitsis. Embattled political histories, art-historical references, cinematic and internet-based references merge in the images of Dionisis Christofilogiannis, Radu Comsa and Raphael Vella, while Ry Fyan, Artan Shabani, Dimitris Tataris, Sharon Engelstein and Eva Mitala direct their attention to personal and collective memories and occasionally uncanny situations and anxieties.
A project supported by The Malta Council for Culture & the Arts, Bank of Valetta, ARTACT and Vodafone Romania. Media partners: FlashArt SK/CZ, ArtActMagazine, Radio Cluj, Skylife, Modernism, TVR Cluj, Radio Romania Cultural.
I Fought the X and the X Won will also travel to the National Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta, Malta in mid-July, where it will be one of the major shows this summer. http://www.heritagemalta.org/
Carole Epp: Since I create more than one line of work, I’m afraid this will be a long answer! I have for a long time maintained both a sculptural and a functional line of ceramic objects.
My sculptural work incorporates hand built and slip cast components; found objects, and constructed objects of various materials (most often wood). Through hand building and slip-casting the clay form is developed. I then use underglazes, engobes and China Paints to decorate the work.
My functional line of objects varies in terms of techniques all the time. I will sometimes throw porcelain, or hand build dark mid temperature clays, or slipcast forms. This is a process for me in which I aim to simply have fun, explore technique, and ideally constantly evolve. I love throwing with porcelain (Southern Ice in particular). My aesthetic leans towards more crisp bright white objects with a bit of color added through glaze or underglazes. Lately I’ve been developing a body of work that is inspired by my young son. I’ve been stamping and drawing (scraffito) a lot of cute imagery on my work. Surprisingly this work has been incredibly rewarding in that it simply brings joy and smiles to me as I make it, and to those that use it.
She felt like a joke and was falling a part at the seams, 2011, Mid-fired white stoneware, underglaze, china paint - View her works
What is your present project, what’s its history and how do you make the pieces?
My present project is a series of figurative sculptures that reference kitsch figurines, lowbrow art, DIY culture, and popular/ western/ consumer culture. Drawing from very personal narratives the work is an investigation into the human condition presenting figurative tableaus of death and love, hope and failure, family and social pressures. The aim of my work is always to stimulate conversation, thought and action in a pro-active method. I desire to address issues of political, social, humanitarian concern. Issues are taken from contemporary media, but addressed through my own personal voice.
I have been working on this type of work for over six years now. There is always new subject matter to develop, more dialogues to be presented and discussed, new imagery that floats into my mind. As life changes, this body of work changes for me.
Cynthia Lahti: I am working on several ideas right now: people wearing disguises, busts of elegant women, and male/ female couples. These are all subjects that have always interested me but that I have never fully explored.
I am also continuing to use some of the broken piece from my discarded sculptures that I have saved. This idea started in 2010 with he creation of the sculpture Vault Alarm that was composed of broken sculptures. In my current exploration of this idea, I am experimenting with combining the broken pieces together to form a new figure. This idea came from realizing that when I destroying unsuccessful sculptures, body pieces that remained were often extremely interesting to me and I could not discard them. I am finally inspired to see how they look combined together and I have been very excited by the results.
In what technique do you usually work and what materials do you use?
I am focusing on hand-built ceramic sculptures of human and animal figure(s). I like to use a wide variety of clay bodies, my favorite being porcelain. I have used all types of firing techniques to achieve the final surface treatment on the pieces. I am most excited but the results I have been getting from cone 10 soda and salt firings and low fire raku.
What was the starting point in your investigation?
I start by finding images of figures that intrigue me in older books and magazine, I then do drawing of the images and finally sculptures, inspired by these drawings, are create out of clay.
My art is influenced by human artifacts from ancient times to the present, as well as by my personal experiences and emotions. Like the varied objects and images I draw on for inspiration - from 1940s knitting catalogs and outsider art, to Native American cedar carvings and Degas’ sculptures of dancers—my artworks force an explanation of reality and compel viewers to connect to a larger human experience. Currently I am focusing on ceramic sculpture based on expressive images of the figure I find in a variety of source materials.
Patrick Colhoun: I am self taught and started throwing on the wheel in the very early days and quickly progressed to handbuilding, to experiment with form and shape. Sometimes I combine the two and start from a thrown vessel and handbuild onto it. I work mostly in black clay. I like the way I can handbuild with it and the darkness of the body suits the finished work in terms of texture and the overall mood of the piece I am trying to convey. The subject of my work can be quite dark and masculine and so this process suits what I am trying to achieve. My palette of glazes is very restricted. I rarely use bright colour, mostly dark and metallic finishes.
What is your present project, what’s its history and how do you make the pieces?
My current work is centered around the development of a series of partial heads, which are usually looking downwards in a brooding, contemplative way. I have introduced various piercings to the heads. Because people do not expect to see these, they add an element of shock and intrigue to the piece. These pieces are in some ways a series of self portraits both in physical terms but also in terms of the mood they convey, I started making these after the death of a close family member and it meant the making of these pieces became a very therapeutic process. The pieces are handbuilt by coiling and are refined as they dry.
Do you remember the starting point, your early works?
I have only been exhibiting my work for two years and making for slightly more than that. I am completely self taught with no ceramic or art training and a career beforehand. Only when I was made redundant from my job did I start to think about exhibiting my work and the first two years of my career have seen my work be influenced by a number of things that I never expected. My early work was influenced by redundancy and to a degree growing up in Belfast during the Troubles. After that, I liked the reaction I got to slightly darker subject matter and deliberately developed a style that was strong, masculine and slightly controversial. I began to look into other slightly dark influences such as containment, aggression and sexual deviancy. I think that this was my way of expressing the fact that I had worked for other people for nearly twenty years and this was me rebelling slightly, through my ever more controversial subject matter.
John Shirley: I currently work in a bone china body which I produce from locally available materials. I have always been drawn to translucent bodies and the one I am currently making is more translucent than any I have used previously. Being bone china it is also whiter then any body I have previously used as the bone ash in the body acts as a bleach on any traces of iron in the body. The work is cast in moulds which I make using Paperplaster. This method uses less plaster than conventional mould making methods and results in much lighter moulds which are far easier to handle. The pieces are bisque fired to 1080oC and then sanded to achieve an extremely smooth surface which I decorate with wax resist and solutions of various soluble salts before the final firing to 1250oC in an electric kiln.
I have always been intrigued with soluble salts ever since first seeing the work of Arne Åse. A local ceramic supplier had some cobalt chloride that had been on the shelves for some time and presented it to me. So began the tests with solubles and I am hooked to this day. I have tested a number of the salts in different solutions and in different layers. For some effects I fire between layers to achieve specific effects. Some of the salts are not available locally, and I work mainly with different strengths of Cobalt, Ferric and Nickel Chloride and Potassium Dichromate solutions.
What did you learn from working with different materials?
I am fascinated by the chemical aspect of the ceramic process, and much of my work has been informed by this. I have previously worked extensively with crystalline glazes and creating reduction effects in electric firings. I think technical challenges are what keep me going and there is always something to investigate. I find that for me it is essential to focus on one thing at a time and at present I am occupied with the effects of layering the salt solutions.