Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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Advertising and Consumer Culture: Postgraduate Symposium

February 15, 2013

“Commercial speech – advertising – makes up most of what we share as a culture…As the language of commercialism has become louder, the language of high culture has become quieter.” – James B. Twitchell, Twenty Ads that Shook the World

Throughout the modern period, advertising and consumer culture have dominated everyday life; moreover, the trappings of commercialism permeate much of supposed ‘high culture’. Commodities clutter the pages of novels from Dickens and Zola to Bret Easton Ellis; works by Joyce and DeLillo are enlivened by advertising jingles and slogans; brands and trademarks pervade the practice of artists from Picasso to Warhol and the visualisation of consumer desire is appropriated and challenged in the work of Richard Hamilton and Martha Rosler.

Whether celebrating or critiquing advertising and consumer culture, art reflects our enduring fascination with them, despite research into the psychological effects of advertising, concerns over the evils of consumerism, and the often sinister nature of market research. The recent television show Mad Men, for instance, has revivified interest and scholarly debate surrounding the power of advertising and the consumer, as well as restaging debates around sexism, truth and the heteronormative ideal. Meanwhile, sociology in the wake of Erving Goffman continues to explore advertising’s uses and abuses of gender, identity and desire. Countervailing against consumerism and advertising’s many critics, theorists such as Michel de Certeau and the critical movement Thing Theory have endeavoured to examine advertising and consumer culture from a standpoint that goes beyond the model of the ‘passive consumer’ or Marx’s account of commodity fetishism.

Topics for discussion may include but are by no means limited to:

– The ways in which advertising and consumer culture intersect with issues of class, gender, sexuality and ethnicity
– Psychological/psychoanalytic perspectives on advertising and consumer behaviour; how identity is created and reflected through participation in consumer culture; the legacy of Freud and Bernays.
– How artists have appropriated the techniques of advertising, or have been co-opted by advertising and commodity culture (Koons, Rosler, Murakami, Kusama and Hirst) -Theorists who have engaged with advertising and consumer culture (Adorno, Barthes, Baudrillard, Certeau, Fukuyama, Goffman, Klein, Marx, McLuhan).
– The use of music in advertisements.
– The formal innovations literature has adopted to create a poetics of advertising/consumer culture.
– Shopping, the rise of the department store, brand names, and their representation in culture.
– Histories of advertising agencies or ‘ad-men’.
– How the importance of advertising in art may challenge the boundaries between high and low culture and/or modernism and postmodernism.
– Anti-consumerist movements (the Situationist International, Adbusters) and strategies (détournement, culture jamming).
– The recent transformations advertising has undergone as a result of social media -The advert as spectacle or ‘event’ (celebrity endorsements, Christmas advertising, product placement, Pawel Althamer’s Real Time Movie).
– Figures who have worked in advertising, either before or during their artistic careers (Fitzgerald, Rushdie, DeLillo, Warhol, Lynch).
– Political advertising and the roles of politics in advertising.

Submissions are now open for the Advertising and Consumer Culture symposium. More info HERE

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Death: A Self-portrait

December 28, 2012

Wellcome’s winter exhibition showcases some 300 works from a unique collection devoted to the iconography of death and our complex and contradictory attitudes towards it. Assembled by Richard Harris, a former antique print dealer based in Chicago, the collection is spectacularly diverse, including art works, historical artefacts, scientific specimens and ephemera from across the world. Rare prints by Rembrandt, Dürer and Goya will be displayed alongside anatomical drawings, war art and antique metamorphic postcards; human remains will be juxtaposed with Renaissance vanitas paintings and twentieth century installations celebrating Mexico’s Day of the Dead. From a group of ancient Incan skulls, to a spectacular chandelier made of 3000 plaster-cast bones by British artist Jodie Carey, this singular collection, by turns disturbing, macabre and moving, opens a window upon our enduring desire to make peace with death.

Death: A Self-portrait
15 November 2012 – 24 February 2013

Image above: Marcos Raya, Untitled (family portrait: group), 2005

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Performing Architecture

October 10, 2012

Performing Architecture is a one-day symposium – on Saturday, October 13, 2012 – bringing together significant theorists and practitioners in the fields of architecture and performance and inviting a broader engagement with the artistic and academic community. In parallel with the art world’s return to performance and a renewed search for architecture’s social and political relevance, this symposium seeks to move beyond disciplinary hegemony in the dissemination of architecture today.

Pedro Gadanho (MoMA) and RoseLee Goldberg (Performa) will explore questions of political and aesthetic representation in their respective curatorial practices. Vito Acconci (Acconci Studio) and Jill Stoner (UC Berkeley) will engage the hermeneutics of performativity in the critical and material destructuring of space. Liz Diller (Diller Scofidio + Renfro) will present works that deal with spectatorship in relation to theater, institutional and public space. Artist Mary Ellen Carroll will demonstrate the performative gesture in her work, and question architecture’s appropriation of the public. Alex Schweder will enact an architectural renovation in real time. Victoria Øye (Canadian Centre for Architecture), Brynn Hatton (Northwestern University), Carlin Wing (New York University), and Timothy Simonds (Brown University) will present recent research on the materialization of performance in contemporary architecture. With the issues addressed at Performing Architecture, we hope to offer lasting provocations to how we think of the body, space, structure, and design in the disciplines of performance and architecture – and somewhere between the two.

Text via Performing Architecture

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Postmodernism, Style and Subversion 1970–1990

August 14, 2012

The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) in London is the leading museum for art and design worldwide. With the unique «Postmodernism, Style and Subversion 1970–1990» exhibition, the V&A is visiting the Swiss National Museum in Zurich. Its exhibition shows a bold new interpretation of recent art and design history, postmodernism. Tribute will be paid to this era for the first time in Switzerland in a comprehensive presentation using international objects from the areas of architecture, design, music and graphics. Postmodernism substantially changed the familiar notions of our everyday world. Architects and designers rejected the strict concepts of the modern age and made room for a bright and multifaceted diversity. The Swiss National Museum in Zurich is delighted to present this successful exhibition from London. It will be complemented by key Swiss representatives.

Text and Images via http://www.postmodernism.ch/

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dOCUMENTA (13) Resources

August 14, 2012

This area of the website gathers together and articulates throughout a series of subsections, the materials that constitute the various sources from which dOCUMENTA (13) gradually came into being, as well as the different accounts that are being recorded during its making.

It is in an attempt to bear witness to the process in its multifaceted, contingent and inhomogeneous nature, as well as to the individual and common trajectories of those who took, are and will be taking part in the project. The texts, images and videos that constitute the different entries of this resources area are listed chronologically here, and further organized around the subcategories “100 Days”, “Glossary”, “Minutes”, Projects”, and “Materials”.

Text via dOCUMENTA (13) Resources

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Egypt’s Sphinx, Pyramids threatened by groundwater

July 30, 2012

One month ago, Giza’s antiquities inspectorate installed a new system to pump subterranean water out from under Egypt’s historical Sphinx monument and the underlying bedrock.

Subterranean water levels at the Giza Plateau, especially the area under the valley temples and Sphinx, have recently increased due to a new drainage system installed in the neighboring village of Nazlet Al-Seman and the irrigation techniques used to cultivate the nearby residential area of Hadaeq Al-Ahram.

Via The Archeology News Network. Continue HERE

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Expanded Artists’ Books: Envisioning the Future of the Book

June 30, 2012


The Center for Book and Paper Arts, a program of the Interdisciplinary Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago, recently received a $50,000 Arts in Media grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of a new electronic publishing initiative, Expanded Artists’ Books. This grant will support an award of two $10,000 commissions for new artworks for the iPad. These will have physical counterparts that intersect, modulate, or inform the digital components of the artwork.

CALL FOR COMMISSION PROPOSALS
– Two $10,000 commissions will be awarded