Did you hear the one about the goose who laid the golden egg? It never ceases to amaze that some objects are so indelibly intertwined with a concept, an ideology, or a story that any use of their form is seen as either working with, or directly attempting to subvert, that dominant association. Much like that philosophical question about the chicken and the egg, however, Dove Bradshaw’s series of 18k gold broken egg shells Nothing gives no clear answer, but opens up a rather zen-like opportunity for contemplation. This, it seems, was exactly her intention, to conjure Buddhist ideas of form as emptiness and emptiness as form. Thomas McEvilley summarizes it quite well: “First there’s the possibility of nothing, meaning it’s possible that there would be nothing; then there’s the possibility of nothing, meaning the world of potentiality comes out of nothing.”
Not quite feeling up to an existential mental workout? You can leave all that to the side if you like, too, and simply enjoy Bradshaw’s works for their elegant beauty. Sure, it’s a little like going to a yoga class because you like the way it makes your mid-section look, but there’s nothing really wrong with that either. Other works aside from the Nothing series focus on the forces of nature and how they can effect changes in materials over time with Waterstone 2011 (pictured directly below) being a perfect example. As the water slowly drips onto the sandstone below, it changes the stone and completes the work. Water, salt, and stone do seem to be Bradshaw’s favorite materials, but acetone, mercury and sulfur also figure prominently in the creation of pieces like Contingency Pour I, 2006 (pictured far below), which is being displayed as a photograph of how it appeared in February 2010. Returning now, if just briefly, to that famous chicken/egg mind-twister: Bradshaw’s work is perhaps best approached as an unanswerable question; a clear answer, or finished product, is never the goal, but rather the evolution and process of arriving at the point you find yourself in the present.
The exhibition was just extended, so you can still catch it until the 31st of August at Thomas Rehbein Galerie. While you’re Cologne, find yourself in the present at The New Yorker Hotel, as chosen by White Line Hotels.
Wednesday. The middle of the week. “Hump day,” if you like. In the structure of the work week, it stands alone, neither early enough to be associated with freshness, nor late enough to be linked to the coming weekend. Read the rest of this entry »
Bad Gastein is one of those rare places where, almost as soon as you enter it, the world outside its mountain-defined borders seems to evaporate into a distant memory. Imagine you’re walking down one of the spa town’s many winding Alpine streets, en route to a thermal water spring no less, and the unmistakable smell of spray paint begins to mix with that of the mountain air. Your first reaction is confusion. “What IS that?” you ask yourself as your second reaction begins; you remember what spray paint is and begin for a moment to come back to the real world. As you round a corner and begin down some stairs, you realize that you have not just had your Bad Gastein bubble burst. No, you have just entered a new pocket of it: sommer.frische.kunst.
The summer long festival program includes an artist residency culminating in the presentation of a light installation by artist Thomas Hoke and an exhibition opening on August 27th in the historic hydroelectric power station, used in the meantime as a studio building for the residency’s artists. After you’ve worked your way all the way down the hillside, it’s no time to be shy – the power station door is more than likely open, and if you happen to catch one of the artists with a minute to spare, maybe you’ll get a preview of what’s to come in August’s exhibition. If you don’t get lucky at the power station, don’t despair. Just head up to Hotel Miramonte where works by several of the artists – who are also spending their residency at the hotel – are on display in the lobby and dining room.
Visual arts not really your thing? No problem, sommer.frische.kunst still has something for you! The Summer Jazz In The City program offers 15 national and international jazz acts performing in the open air, or if the skies aren’t cooperating that evening, in the Grand Hotel de l’Europe.
If you haven’t heard, Copenhagen was awarded the world’s first Bike City by the International Cycling Union, and it shouldn’t be any wonder why. The Copenhageners are crazy about their bikes and have one of the highest percentages of bikers in the world and 346 kilometers of bicycle paths to prove it.
From July 26th until July 30th, check out the UCI BMX World Championships in the city and then stop over at the bar at White Line Hotels edit Avenue Hotel for a cocktail and a chat with bartender Morten Dinitzen – a true Copenhagen bike enthusiast if there ever was one – about customizing cargo bikes and the best biking routes around the city. Of course, you can’t talk about cargo bikes and customization in Copenhagen without talking about White Line Collaborator Larry vs. Harry, maker of the world’s fastest cargo bike. Next time you’re stuck in traffic in your car at home, you might just find yourself thinking, “If I had a bike, I’d be home by now.”
Long before the genre of fictional documentary was established enough to receive the honor of an abbreviated name (why not save a few syllables and use docufiction?), and certainly before the mockumentary, there was Robert J. Flaherty. The Nanook of the North and Moana creator turned his pioneering docufictional-eye on the Aran Islands in 1934, resulting in a visually stunning – if completely romanticized – balance of fiction and reality he called Man of Aran.
3/4 of a century later and you can see that Flaherty’s film, and the Aran Islands, continue to inspire; just check out this clip from Rough Trade Records featuring the new soundtrack for the film created by UK band British Sea Power. Better yet, check in for a few days at White Line Hotels edit Inis Meain and get inspired yourself.