Tag Archives: Travel

Vivienne Westwood & Keith Haring

12 Jun

Witches (1983-84)

Vivienne Westwood visited New York. She met Keith Haring. His art looked like magic signs and hieroglyphs. Therefore – collection ‘Witches’. Hip hop, styling of garments stop-frame look, white trainers customized with three tongues, pointed Chico Marx hats.

See previous post about Keith Haring

More about Seth Siegelaub collection

12 Jun

Headdress Exhibition at Raven Row, London 

Prevoius post about Seth Sigelaub

Issa Samb

16 May

Behind an old iron gate in a side street, a bizarre Gesamtkunstwerk opens itself up. Under the high roof of a huge rubber tree hangs a web of strings studded with slips of paper and signs, expressionistic-abstract paintings and worn-out pieces of clothing, all held in place by clothespins. … For decades, the artist Issab Samb, alias Joe Ouakam, has created a universe in which the signs of everyday life are transformed into altars of a private obsession.

 In the 1960s, Ouakam, along with filmmaker Mambeti and others, belonged to the founders of the group Laboratoire AGIT-Art. Their multi-media actions were directed against the formalism of the Ecolé de Dakar; out of the “socialization of the aesthetic” developed an aesthetic of the social. This installation could function as a didactic piece for present-day artists – all that’s missing is a sign reading “National Museum” on the gate. (From)

The museum dedicated to the art of ventriloquism

9 May

Ventriloquism, or ventriloquy, is an act of stagecraft in which a person (a ventriloquist) changes his or her voice so that it appears that the voice is coming from elsewhere, usually a puppeteered “dummy”. The act of ventriloquism is ventriloquizing, and the ability to do so is commonly called in English the ability to “throw” one’s voice.

Edward Rothstein writes: “There is nothing quite like the gasp that escapes your mouth as you walk through three small buildings on a residential street here and find yourself mutely stared at by 1,400 eyes and grinned at by hundreds of painted lips over leathery chins.”

The Vent Haven Museum grew out of the passion of William Shakespeare Berger, a Cincinnati businessman, who began accumulating the paraphernalia of the ventriloquist’s art in 1910. He later served as president of the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists and before his death, in 1972, endowed this museum, which began in his home. Ventriloquists, or vents as they call themselves, continue to donate dummies and photographs. In various rooms there are tributes to 20th-century vents like Edgar Bergen, Paul Winchell and Shari Lewis, along with displays about great dummy makers like Charles Mack, Frank Marshall and the McElroy Brothers. And while the 750 or so dummies do not seem overly impressed, their guild’s masters apparently are: every July more than 400 vents gather nearby for a “conVENTion,” which includes a visit to the museum to pay homage. Text by By Edward Rothstein

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The Shell (A conversation between Issa Samb and Antje Majewski)

6 May

Issa Samb’s space in the centre of Dakar. There is an enormous tree in the middle from which cords are strung that criss-cross the whole yard and surrounding buildings. The lines are connected together and hundreds of objects hang from them: clothes, old photos, dolls and a wide variety of knotted things. In the corners, there are sculptures and assemblages. Everything is covered with dust. Paintings hang inside the arcades that surround the yard and there are other relics from the activities of the group ‘Laboratoire Agit’Art’. Issa Samb slowly sweeps the ground and forms heaps of big leaves that keep tumbling down. I sit with Abdou Bâ on some old chairs under the tree. Nearly every day, friends come by and often sit here for hours, talking with Issa Samb. Abdou Bâ is a long-time friend of Issa Samb and a member of the Laboratoire Agit’Art. After a while, Issa Samb puts down his broom and sits next to us.

(…)

IS: Objects speak their own language. The wind speaks. It speaks its own language. Birds speak. They speak their own language. There you are. Personally, I think that with an object that was born in China, and that makes a trip from China to Europe, from Europe to Africa and from Africa to Europe, you can’t say that this object is meaningless. Even if you wanted to deprive it of meaning and make nonsense of it. Even if you felt like doing that, you couldn’t. Or if you did, it would be an arbitrary, scientifically inadmissible decision. And if you did it simply for an intellectual peer group or for some kind of aesthetic snobbism then you would be doing something very fascistic and dangerous.

AM: Why?

IS: Because through the object you would be denying the culture of the Other. That is terrible. You would be denying all its charge. Because no matter how small an object is, even if it is an object that breaks quickly—because which of the mass-produced goods by the Chinese, Japanese, or European market wouldn’t break quickly—it still brings with it the whole of China and beyond China, all of humanity. So the problem is not that the object breaks quickly; the problem is that the object that breaks quickly, that has come to us from China—what moment in the historical time of China does it bring with it? It brings that moment in which China heads off into a new direction down the capitalist road of development in the face of globalization, a globalization which doesn’t permit the polite rivalry of deferential bows, the story of nice people. It is a ferocious rivalry. An object has to be ready to get onto the market quickly. You have to go in there fast to sell it. It has to break fast, so you sell it quickly in order to make money. That object there carries meaning. It teaches us about ideological situations not just in China but in the globalized world system. Globalization as the dominant ideology of the current world.

AM: So, I’d forgotten that when I said I had no African object, I had forgotten one object. But at the same time as being African, it is also a natural object; that’s why I didn’t really think about it, but I’ll show it to you.

IS: If you wish.

AM: So that’s it.

 I unpack the shell and show it to him. Abdou Bâ picks up the video camera and points it at me (…)

More on the website 

Animism exhibition

The World of Gimel curated by Adam Budak

Masumiyet Müzesi is open to public!

6 May

‘When we lose people we love, we should never disturb their souls, whether living or dead. Instead. we should find consolation in an object that reminds you of them, something…I don’t know…even an earring’
Orhan PamukThe Museum of Innocence

The Museum of Innocence is both a novel by Orhan Pamuk and a museum he has set up. From the very beginnings of the project, since the 1990s, Pamuk has conceived of novel and museum together. The novel, which is about love, is set between 1974 and the early ’00s, and describes life in Istanbul between 1950 and 2000 through memories and flashbacks centred around two families – one wealthy, the other lower middle class. The museum presents what the novel’s characters used, wore, heard, saw, collected and dreamed of, all meticulously arranged in boxes and display cabinets. It is not essential to have read the book in order to enjoy the museum, just as it is not necessary to have visited the museum in order to fully enjoy the book. But those who have read the novel will better grasp the many connotations of the museum, and those who have visited the museum will discover many nuances they had missed when reading the book. The novel was published in 2008, the museum opens in Spring 2012.

See the prevoius post:  The museum that was written down 

Museum site