miercuri, 17 iunie 2015

Art and Tourism

That Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the world, is not a new thing to say. It has its peculiarities, though. It is based on a major economic inequality: some people have money to travel, some others have barely some to cope with living, and consequently encounter tourists (generally) with a lot of appreciation and happiness.
From this economic and affective juxtaposition some artists manage to draw subjects of inspiration.
Marcus Coates is one of them. I am going to write about two of his projects. One is entitled the Trip, and was commissioned by the Serpentine Gallery in London as part of the project Skills Exchange. It deals with the artist' work for outpatients as St John's hospice asking the question 'What can an artist do for you?' Those who responded suggested various things, among which a trip to the Amazon. Coates did the trip, filmed part of it, screened it and talked to the people who commissioned it - about this journey that he did for them, about fears and strengths, about how much you can push yourself, about meeting the Amazon people through an intermediary - but still feeling great, about storytelling.
The Interview and long conversations between the artist and one of the patients in the hospice were touching in their simplicity and curiosity: what those people were eating, the effects of entering in contact with the white men, etc. At the end of the interview there is an artist's note: That the person who commissioned this trip died not long after this interview. In our last conversation we continued to talk about our trip. He said that he often went down the river into the jungle when de needed to.

The other project of Marcus Coates is the following performance he did in front of an audience of old people living in a block of flats: Trip to the Lower World.

The second artist I want to write about is Martin Parr's collections of postcards. Some of them were exhibited in Barbican's exhibition: Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector.
His books with photos taken by him are just great. Mass Tourism, Small World (a critique of  or From Home and Abroad is one of them.

'Leisure, consumption and communication are the concepts that Martin Parr has been researching for several decades now on his worldwide travels. In the process, he examines national characteristics and international phenomena to find out how valid they are as symbols that will help future generations to understand our cultural peculiarities. Parr enables us to see things that have seemed familiar to us in a completely new way. In this way he creates his own image of society, which allows us to combine an analysis of the visible signs of globalisation with unusual visual experiences. In his photos, Parr juxtaposes specific images with universal ones without resolving the contradictions. Individual characteristics are accepted and eccentricities are treasured.
Martin Parr sensitises our subconscious – and once we’ve seen his photographs, we keep on discovering these images over and over again in our daily lives and recognising ourselves within them. The humour in these photographs makes us laugh at ourselves, with a sense of recognition and release.' Thomas Weski
A model wears a piece from a capsule collection designed by House of Holland in collaboration with the photographer Martin Parr.

marți, 9 iunie 2015

Art on the Move in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean in the Early Modern Period

From Riverbed to Seashore:

Art on the Move in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean in the Early Modern Period

 June 12-13, 2015

New Europe College, Bucharest


[The Getty Foundation, Connecting Art Histories Initiative; Harvard University]



JUNE 12, 2015


Introductory Remarks


9:30-9:50 – Alina Payne (Harvard University, USA) 


Panel I. The Black Sea


9:50-10:20 – Cemal Kafadar (Harvard University, USA) “Vampire trouble is more serious than the mighty plague.” A Comparative Look at the History of Evil and Mischief, inspired by Evliya Celebi (1611-1684?)


10:20-10:50 – Nicole Kançal-Ferrari (Istanbul Şehir University, Turkey) Investigation in a

Shared Aesthetic Language: Architecture and Artistic Environment of the Golden Horde and

Early Crimean Khanate Period in Crimea (XIIIth – XVIth centuries)  


10:50-11:20 – Iván Szántó (Eötvös Loránd University, Institute of Art History, Hungary) Re-

Imagining Ottoman Space in the Age of Reason


11:20-11:50 – Coffee Break


11:50-12:20 – Diana Belci (University “Politehnica” Timisoara, Romania) Wood and Stone: Cultural Transfers in Early Modern Banat Architecture


12:20-12:50 – Tatiana Sizonenko (University of San Diego, California) Venetian Architecture for the Tsar: Alevisio Novy's Encounter with the Arts of Muscovy 


12:50-13:20 – Daniela Calciu (Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, Romania)

Sociability Seeps: Coffee on the Lower Danube (Moldavia and Walachia) in the 17th and Early 18thcenturies


13:20-14:20 – Lunch Break


Panel II. Danubian Exchanges


14:20-14:50 – Vladimir Simić (University of Belgrade, Serbia) Printed Cyrillic Books Between Venice and the Danube in the First Half of the 16th Century 


14:50-15:20 – Jacek Bielak (University of Gdansk, Art History Institute, Poland) Amber Artworks and their Meaning in the Transcultural Exchange


15:20-15:50  – Alexander Osipian (Kramatorsk Institute of Economics and Humanities, Ukraine)

Oriental Carpets and Rugs as Complex Social Messages: Attitudes of Armenian Merchants, Polish Nobility and Catholic Intellectuals in the Seventeenth-Century Polish Kingdom


15:50-16:20 – Coffee Break


16:20-16:50 – Anna-Mária Nyárádi (Eötvös Loránd University, Institute of Art History, Hungary) Goldsmithery Made for the Cantacuzinos: How Şeytanoğlu’s Descendants Made Art Flourish in Wallachia


16:50-17:20 – Michał Wardzyński (University of Warsaw, Institute of Art History, Poland) On the Way to the ‘New Empire’: An ‘After-life’ of the Roman and Byzantine Marble and Porphyry's Traditions in Central Europe during the Early-Modern Era


17:20-17:50 – Stanko Kokole (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) “ut ad Imperatoriam sedem transmitterentur ...”: Ancient Roman Inscriptions on the Move within the Habsburg Empire of Charles VI



JUNE 13, 2015


The Adriatic 


9:30-10:00 – Ioli Kalavrezou (Harvard University, USA) The Reliquary of St. Niphon: Relations

Between Wallachia, Constantinople and Mt. Athos


10:00-10:30 – Darka Bilić (Institute of Art History, Center Cvito Fisković, Croatia) The Lazareto in Split Between East and West


10:30-11:00 – Elizabeth Kassler-Taub (Harvard University, USA) Early Modern Sicily and the Eastern Frontier


11:00-11:30 – Mirko Sardelić (Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb, Croatia) Between Venice and the Levant: a 16th-Century Ship in the Adriatic


11:30-12:00 – Coffee Break


12:00-12:30 – Josip Belamarić (Institute of Art History, Center Cvito Fisković, Croatia) The Villa in Renaissance Dubrovnik: ars ubi naturam perfecit apta rudem  (where art has tamed the wild nature)


12:30-13:00 – Ana Šverko (Institute of Art History, Center Cvito Fisković, Croatia) Michele and

Giangirolamo Sanmicheli’s Fort St Nicholas in Šibenik in the Context of Adriatic Renaissance Fortifications


13:00-13:30 – Daniel Premerl (Institute of Art History, Zagreb, Croatia) Visual Propaganda for the Illyrian Cause in Urban VIII's Rome 


marți, 2 iunie 2015

Textile Fragments

I think it is always fascinating to think that museums have fragments of things, and not entire things. Like for example, in the Museum of the Romanian Peasant there is an entire store full of textile fragments, called MOSTRE. The display in the museum and artists such as Lena Constante took the idea of fragments and patchwork and made extremely powerful pieces of art.
This idea made me think of a conference on textile fragments, their use and display (in museums) held at the University of Wolverhampton in 2014.

But also, of the idea that sometimes clothes themselves contain fragments, and that the most useful form of textile fragment is the patch, especially the patches on the clothes of the poor. The following image comes from the Book cover of Vivienne's Richmond's book: Clothing the Poor, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

painting of a clothing seller

Are textile fragments so different from archives of image and text?
Does the closeness of the body impact in any way the way textiles are valued and displayed?
Can poverty be put on display? Maybe, an interesting way to put it would be through the work of patches...and textile fragments, the quintessence of need, care (love) and work.