Last Address: A Remembrance of Loss

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Last Address: A Remembrance of Loss

Last Address is a quietly elegiac documentary short film by filmmaker Ira Sachs that uses exterior images of the houses, apartment buildings and lofts where a group of New York City artists who died of AIDS were living at the time of their deaths to mark the disappearance of a generation.

Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe, Norman René, Peter Hujar, Ethyl Eichelberger, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Cookie Mueller, Klaus Nomi…the list of New York artists who died of AIDS over the last 30 years is countless, and the loss immeasurable. Last Address is a remembrance of that loss, as well as an evocation of the continued presence of these artists’ works in our lives and culture.

Last Address: A Remembrance of Loss

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Dripped: The Inglourious Birth of Radical Abstract Expressionism

Dripped: The Inglourious Birth of Radical Abstract Expressionism

Dripped is a delightful, award-winning animated short film from the French animation film director and designer Léo Verrier, produced through Chez Eddy. Dripped was a selection at over 150 international film festivals and won several awards. The film has just been announced as one of 10 finalists competing for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

The narrative in this deliciously well-designed French animation imagines the nature of the artistic muse in a completely new and unusual way. Dripped is a joyful tribute to artists and an homage to renowned abstract painter Jackson Pollock, which shows how a man can take on elements of the fine art that he eats. Set in Manhattan during the early 1950’s, the film tells the story of Jack (Jack the Dripper), a passionate art lover who visits the city’s art museums all day long. Consumed by a desire to absorb the inspiration of his favorite artists, he steals their paintings and…eats them! Finally, finding himself all alone in his apartment after having consumed every painting he has stolen, Jack is left still feeling famished. He ends up trying his hand at creating art with a brush, paint and canvas, yielding totally unexpected results!

Dripped: The Inglourious Birth of Radical Abstract Expressionism

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Ai Weiwei’s Interlacing: A Chinese Activist’s Photographs and Videos

Ai Weiwei, Dropping a Han-Dynasty Urn, 1995

Ai Weiwei, June 1994, 1994

Ai Weiwei, Ai Weiwei, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 1983

Ai Weiwei, Anton Wei, Lorimer Avenue Apartment, Brooklyn, 1983

Ai Weiwei, Study of Perspective, Tiananmen, 1998

Ai Weiwei’s Interlacing: A Chinese Activist’s Photographs and Videos

Interlacing is the first major exhibition of collected works by China’s renowned dissident artist Ai Weiwei, currently on display at Zurich’s Fotomuseum Winterthur. The collection consists of an extensive selection of photographs, videos and explanatory essays that present the interweaving artist as a network, company, activist, political voice, social container and agent provocateur.

Ai Weiwei is a generalist, conceptual, socially critical artist dedicated to creating friction with/and forming reality. As an architect, conceptual artist, sculptor, photographer, blogger, Twitterer, interview artist, and cultural critic, he is a sensitive observer of current topics and social problems: a great communicator and networker who brings life into art and art into life. Ai Weiwei deliberately confronts social conditions in China and in the world in ways that have captured an international audience.

In 2003, Ai Weiwei played a major role, together with the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, in the construction of the Olympic stadium, the so-called “Bird’s Nest.” Subsequently, he publicly repudiated the project and the whole Olympic buildup as a preposterous fraud to put on a “good face” for the international community. In 2007, 1001 Chinese visitors traveled, at his instigation, to Documenta 12 (Fairytale) in Kassel, Germany. In 2010, the world marveled at his large, yet formally minimal carpet of millions of hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds at the Tate Modern.

Chinese officials announced in May, 2011, that the authorities were investigating Ai Weiwei on suspicion of tax evasion, after police officers had taken him from the main Beijing airport on April 3rd as he prepared to board a flight to Hong Kong. A global outcry went out, blasting the Chinese government for what was deemed a politically motivated move, claiming that the tax inquiry was a pretext to silence one of the most vocal critics of the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese legal authorities finally released Ai Weiwei on June 22nd, after a three-month detention, apparently ending a prosecution that had become a focal point of criticism of China’s eroding human rights record. Nevertheless, the terms of his release may silence him for months or even years.

Ai Weiwei: Interlacing

Ai Weiwei: New York Photographs (with English subtitles)

Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry

Photo-Gallery: Ai Weiwei’s Interlacing/A Chinese Activist’s Photographs and Videos

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The Animals are Outside Today

Photography by Colleen Plumb: Mold-A-Rama Dinosaur with Ruth

Photography by Colleen Plumb: Sleeping Lion

Photography by Colleen Plumb: Daniel’s Lions

Photography by Colleen Plumb: Horseback

Photography by Colleen Plumb: Amish Horses

Photography by Colleen Plumb: Circus Elephant

Photography by Colleen Plumb: Nungesser Elephant

Photography by Colleen Plumb: Bird Hat

The Animals are Outside Today

Photography by: Colleen Plumb, Chicago

Animals are Outside Today is a fascinating collection of photographs by the Chicago photographer Colleen Plumb. Plumb’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography; the Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago; and the Beijing Natural Cultural Center in China. Her photographs are part of the Midwest Photographers Project at the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Chicago Project at Catherine Edelman Gallery. Recent exhibitions have included shows at the Jen Bekman Gallery in New York City; group shows at Santa Monica Art Studios, California; Humble Arts Foundation, New York City; Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago; Chicago Cultural Center; and the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C.

Plumb describes Animals Are Outside Today as a visual journey offering us the chance to contemplate our intersections with animals and to consider the multi-layered impact that humans have on other living beings. According to Plumb, “Contradictions define our relationships with animals. We love and admire them; we are entertained and fascinated by them; we take our children to watch and learn about them. Animals are embedded within core human history, evident in our stories, rituals and symbols. At the same time, we eat, wear and cage them with seeming indifference, consuming them, and their images, in countless ways.”

Our relationships with animals today are often developed through assimilation and appropriation; we absorb them into our lives, yet no longer know of their origin. Most people are cut off from the steps involved in their processing or acquisition, shielded from witnessing their death or decay. This series of photographs moves within and between these contradictions, questioning whether the notion of the sacred and primal connection to Nature that animals convey and inspire will survive alongside our evolution.

Who Does She Think She Is?

Photo-Gallery: The Animals are Outside Today

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Never Sorry: Who’s So Afraid of Ai Wei Wei?

Never Sorry: Who’s So Afraid of Ai Wei Wei?

Never Sorry is a fascinating 17-minute documentary short film about China’s renowned dissident artist Ai Wei Wei by freelance filmmaker Alison Klayman, who spent several months documenting his work and life, as well as capturing his many provocations and scuffles with the government. So who’s really so afraid of Ai Wei Wei? Well, the Chinese government for one. Ai Wei Wei is China’s most famous contemporary artist, acclaimed for his solo exhibitions the world-over.

Much to the Chinese government authorities’ chagrin, Ai Wei Wei has vociferously used his fame to speak his mind. A prolific blogger and tweeter, Wei Wei often publishes angry writings against injustice, corruption and abuse, which the Chinese censors invariably take down.  Most famously, after assisting in the design of China’s renowned 2008 Olympic Stadium (the Bird’s Nest), Ai Wei Wei publicly repudiated the project and the whole Olympic buildup as a preposterous fraud to put on a “good face” for the international community.

A mere 5 days after the PBS television airing on March 29th of this short film, Ai Wei Wei was detained by police at Beijing airport, and proceeded to vanish. No word was given about where he was taken, only a vague statement from authorities that he had committed “economic crimes.” His associates and lawyer were also targeted and disappeared. A global outcry went out, blasting the Chinese government for what was deemed a politically motivated move; however, the protests appeared to have no effect. Youth culture began to assert itself, and based on the title of this short film, stencil graffiti and light tags imaging Ai Wei Wei went up all around Hong Kong and mainland China, in spite of extraordinary risks.

After 43 days of silence, Ai Wei Wei’s wife was finally allowed to visit him on May 15th. She has confirmed that he had not been maltreated and appeared to be in good health, but his imprisonment does not look as though it will be overturned any time soon. So for the time being, Ai Wei Wei is now China’s best known detainee.

Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry

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Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius

Adam, The Creation of Man (1511-12)

Study of an Inclined Head and Detailed Eye Study (1529/30)

The Risen Christ (ca. 1532)

Madonna and Child (1520-1525)

Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius

Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius presents a selection of pictures from a major exhibition of around one hundred of the most beautiful drawings by Michelangelo currently at the Albertina in Vienna, Austria.  This is the first major Michelangelo exhibition in more than twenty years, with a focus on the figural drawings by Michelangelo, who is introduced here as the genius of a period of change.

Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius

Slide Show: Michelangelo/The Drawings of a Genius

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Up There: An Homage to Sky High Billboard Artists

Up There: An Homage to Sky High Billboard Artists

Up There is a remarkable short film by Malcolm Murray, a documentary about a group of billboard artists as they hand-painted renditions of each stage of a “nine-step” Belgian pouring ritual high up in the sky.  The film captures a bunch of men who aren’t used to being noticed, let alone recognized for their work, but thanks to Murray’s wonderful camera work, we’re able to get up close and personal with them without feeling like intruders in their space.

Scaling brownstones, tenement buildings and skyscrapers across New York City, these men are from a bygone era, relics left over from a different time and, for all intents and purposes, a different world.  This film, no matter what the pretense or who paid for it, pays homage to a dying art form.  Up There documents what could be the last days of a great American institution, and one of the last remnants of the old New York.

Up There: An Homage to Sky High Billboard Artists

The Ritual Project Time-Lapse : Three Weeks of Painting in 57 Seconds

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