Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #155 - from 17 December 2009 to 6 January 2010

Art Of The Day Weekly

#155 - from 17 December 2009 to 6 January 2010

This is our last issue for 2009. Our next newsletter will appear on January 7 2010. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Eros at Christmas time

ATHENS – The museum of Cycladic art has just demonstrated in a brilliant manner how to attract the attention of the media from all over the world when one is a small museum. It chose a low period – the weeks right before Christmas – when the agenda of the new exhibitions is drastically reduced. And it ingeniously brought out a theme as old as the hills - eroticism – by powdering it with a touch of archaeology: how did out Greek ancestors manage? The retrospective made the headlines of all the international press, from the BBC to the New York Times, including La Repubblica. It undoubtedly deserves it, since the curator brought in pieces from the major museums (the Louvre, the archaeological museums of Florence, Naples, Taranto, Tarquinia) but most of all it benefitted from the Greek collections. Those of Cos, Delos, Kavala, Mykonos, Polygyros – some thirty institutions in total– also sent vases, ithyphallic statuettes, frescoes and oil lamps, that allow to look at themes as varied as pederasty, sacred prostitution, zoophilia or the love between Pericles and courtesan Aspasia. This is a good change from Tiger Woods that reminds us that the Antiquity can be at least as spicy as our era.
Eros, from Hesiod’s Theogony to late Antiquity at the museum of Cycladic Art, from 10 December 2009 to 5 April 2010.

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The artist and politics

BRUGES – When we see our reactions to the swine flu, to the financial crisis or to genocides we wonder if we know how to learn from the past … But maybe artists are more adapted to transmit to us what History is supposed to teach us? This is the subject that the unusual and multidisciplinary exhibition at the Stadhallen seems to put forward. It brings together photographers, video-artists and visual artists. From the mausoleum of Al Farrow, built with bullets and artillery shells, to Robert Gligorov’s or Shadi Ghadirian’s tricked photos, from national symbols (flags) perverted by Guma Guar to the iconography of authoritarian regimes readapted by Dumitru Gorzo or Gottfried Helwein, we cannot accuse this art of being non-political. On the contrary it tries to question the renewal of the mechanisms of xenophobia, of racism and totalitarianism at a time of media hype.
That’s all, folks! at the Stadhallen, until 17 January 2010 checklist

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Art on a code bar

LONDON –An exhibition one can visit but can also enjoy over a screen is this one on the latest tendencies in digital and interactive creation looked at by the Victoria & Albert Museum, whose versatility is truly impressive since it has simultaneously inaugurated its new galleries of art from Middle Ages and the Renaissance… The compositions presented are based on the use of the data processing binary code, and can be modified constantly or altered according to the viewer’s reaction. This new type of art produces images that make us inevitably think of the immensely big or the immensely small: of solar systems, of galaxies or clusters of cells, as well as a tangle of nervous synapse. The heavyweights of the discipline, from John Maeda to James Frost and Marius Watz are all present. The website of the exhibition is a gold mine to go even further in exploring the latest advances in digital art.
decode at the Victoria & Albert Museum, until 11 April 2010

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All the colors of the Ballets Russes

MOULINS – We all know Diaghilev, Chaliapine, Nijinsky, Fokine, Pavlova, all the main heroes of the Ballets russes, whose names have gone through history. Very few people know anything about the artists who allowed this unique adventure to exist, those who weaved, embroidered and drew the sets that marked the beginning of the XXth century. This exhibition aims at filling that gap by presenting 130 costumes that accompanied the most famous productions of Diaghilev’s troop, such as that of Boris Godounov from 1908 with costumes by Bilibine (great interpreter of Russian popular art, who starved to death in 1942 during the siege of Leningrad), the Khovantchina from 1913 (the year of Sacre du Printemps) with the decors by Fédorovsky, or Pskovitaine from 1901 when Golovine collaborated with archaeologist Sizov to bring back to life the peasants’ clothes from the XVIth century. Through the uncertainties of history the Paris Opera has become the largest depositary of the costumes of the Ballets russes: some of them accompanied the French performances at the Châtelet, others were bought back by the Bolchoï or from the Thomas Beecham troop when it went bankrupt in 1920. This patrimony, now kept at the NationalCentre of stage costumes of Moulins, inaugurated in 2006, had never been exhibited in such a complete manner.
Opéras russes, à l’aube des ballets russes at the Centre national du costume de scène, from 12 December 2009 to 16 May 2010

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Artoftheday also recommends these new exhibitions ...

• The Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas of Madrid tries to decrypt the fascination Western man has for distant Asia, in the exhibit Fascinados por Oriente. From 17 December 2009 to 20 June 2010

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• In Barceló avant Barceló (Barceló before Barceló), the Abattoirs of Toulouse present the beginnings of the Spanish artist’s career (1973-1982), whose first foreign successes took place in the Pink City. Until 28 February 2010.

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• The Louvre retraces the career of a master of Venetian drawing from the XVIth century, very admired at his time, Battista Franco. Until 22 February 2010.

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Graffitti has reached maturity

Taggers are hard at work in the entrance of the fondation Cartier. They spray the wall with paint. But it is totally legal: the exhibition is dedicated to urban graffiti, now consecrated so to speak. This type of creation is more easily found at auctions: next to Artcurial, Millon is one of the houses that specialize in this form of art. As a matter of fact the sale on 18 December will actually be held in the very posh room of Drouot-Montaigne: what a symbol! While most of the lots are estimated at less than 1000 euros – works by creators from all over the world, French, Peruvian, Brazilians from São Paulo, who are vey active in this discipline of the pixação -, some big names will be close or go beyond, even in this period of recession, 10 000 euros. It is the case of Speedy Graphito (with acrylic paint on a wooden panel), John Matos Crash, Bando or Ewokone. A very small border with a marker pen on a glass door (slightly cumbersome!) by Keith Haring immediately goes up to 4000 or 5000 euros.
Graffiti et Street Art on 18 December 2009 at 7: 00 PM at Drouot-Montaigne (SVV Millon)

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Miguel Chevalier, Fractal Flowers, 2009, virtual reality installation projected on tapestry, diameter : 250 cm. Software Cyrille Henry, courtesy galerie Verney-Carron, Lyon

Miguel Chevalier is riding his high pixels

He built his reputation on being the expert in digital art. Born in Mexico in 1959, Miguel Chevalier explores all the possibilities of data processing software and led screens. In his last exhibition, he created virtual flowers by using algorithms that produce random growth of the plant on the screen, and "electronic dripping" inspired from Jackson Pollock. Miguel Chevalier thus reconnects in an unexpected manner with the major currents of art history while offering maximum interactivity since by moving around the spectator’s body functions as a “paint brush”. "Light rhizomes" (Christine Buci-Glucksman) or "liquid architectures" (Marcos Nowak): the artist’s creations have been called in many ways, thus proving a great diversity in his influences.
•Miguel Chevalier is exhibited at the galerie Verney-Carron (45 quai Rambaud, 69002 Lyon, tél : 04 72 69 08 20) until 13 February 2010

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A world of faces

"To look at reality straight in the eyes", the moto of photographer August Sander, known for his work on Man in the XXth century is not an easy task. We do not know, or no longer know,how to see. When Philippe Bazin was a young doctor in a geriatric service, he noticed this and it triggered his own photographic commmitment: "When I would put a patient's file away I realized that two weeks after he had deceased, I had completely forgotten his face." The work covered in twenty years, first to remember, then to to build a sort of human comedy. Philippe Bazin produced series on old people, on the insane, on newborns, prisoners, teenagers. The eyes that stare at us are never empty. The can disturb us, even be unbearable, the consequence of their own wounds as well as our enslavement to atype of beauty formated by the media, which has taught us not to see, not to look at things "right in the face".
La Radicalisation du Monde, Philippe Bazin, texts by Christiane Vollaire and Georges Didi-Huberman, l’Atelier d’édition et Filigranes publishing houses, 2009, 282 p., 49 €, ISBN : 978-2-35046-181-6, FNAC 2716460

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KARAT (Ethiopia) – The Konso museum of culture, which benefited from a contribution of competence from the quai Branly museum, is inaugurated on 18 December 2009 in Ethiopia

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LYON - The French court of appeal has ordered the destruction of the Demeure du Chaos (Abode of Chaos) and its 3123 contemporary artworks. The founder of Artprice will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

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MOSCOW – The museum of modern art of Moscow celebrates its 10th anniversary as of 15 December 2009 with a programme of conferences and exhibitions.

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PARIS – An auction of 60 «polyhedrons» drawn by contemporary artists is organized on 17 December 2009 at 8: 00 PM at the Palais de Tokyo to benefit the association La Source, in its fight against the exclusion of young adults through art.

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SHENZHEN - The Biennale of architecture and urbanism has opened on 6 December and will be held until 23 January 2010.

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ZAGREB – The museum of contemporary art, redesigned by architect Igor Franic, was inaugurated on 11 December 2009, after six years of works.

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This week, do not miss


PARIS -In 490 B.C. Philippides ran 42 kms to announce the victory of the Athenians. Satellites today allow us to transmit information in a few seconds to the other side of the Earth. The Adresse Musée de la Poste decrypts the technical revolutions and man’s inventiveness in situations of adversity, to make sure the message always reaches its destiny

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