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Every month, ikono shines a spotlight on a leading contemporary artist and presents selected works in a series of video clips.

November 2013

Lisa Weber

ikono is proud to present German video artist Lisa Weber as Artist of the Month.

Her research develops through the observation of transition processes, moments in-between and details of our daily life experience that might otherwise be overlooked or even ignored. The artist records these images meticulously and shows them independently, detached from their usual environment, in evocative video installations aiming to reestablish the aesthetic value of these subjects and the way we perceive them.

Featured videos:

Neustadt

Video projection, 9:13 min, loop, 2007

 Several windows are filmed and put together to create the illusion of a building, offering a voyeuristic look into the apartments where people engage in everyday activities.

Still life with bottles

HD video, 7: 11 min, 2010

Five bottles of different shape and color, standing in front of a white background, are filmed for one day. In the scene, nothing is moving apart from the light. Its progress during the course of the day is emphasized thanks to he fast motion effect. Within seven minutes, the light projects shades and colored reflections on the white background, changing the entire atmosphere of the scene.

Streifen

HD video, 11 min, 2012

The slow process of decay is recorded in a still life with flowers. As Sabine Elsa Müller wrote, ‘ in this video time is represented by the passing flow of adjacent images. Color and form of plants and fruits shown change until they almost decayed completely in the course of the time. The time passing while we are watching the video doesn’t correspond to the actual period of time during the process of fading. Time is perceived differently and doesn’t follow the usual perception: something is extending horizontally to the room. We are able to observe, in the true sense of the word, time while it passes. ‘

 

Artist bio: Lisa M Weber graduated 2013 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Mainz and the Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz in Germany, as a student of Professor Dieter Kiessling. Weber took part in the Master of Fine Arts Program of the California State University Chico in California. Her work has been exhibited internationally, both in solo and group exhibitions. In 2013, her work was shown at the Caos Art Gallery in Venice, Italy, the Leopold Museum in Vienna, Austria and in the Goyang Art Studio of the National Museum of Contemporary Art Seoul.

October 2013

Gwen MacGregor

This month Ikono is proud to present Gwen MacGregor as artist of the month. Her visual inquiry of time and the ambivalent relationship between nature and technology are translated into video works that are haunting, mesmerizing and with a hint of irony, creating unexpected visual surprises. For our Artist of the Month series we have chosen four works that we feel perfectly fit Ikono’s format and also showcase the formal and visual language of the artist.

Going
This seemingly motionless video transforms from a bucolic forest scene to the site of a nuclear power station. Photographic stills taken over two months from the same spot in Marnay sur Seine, France, were brought together and placed in reverse order (the leaves on the trees are going in instead of coming out).

Snort
A very simple video documenting the destruction of a building. The framing of the camera transforms a common situation into a surreal scene, shifting between irony, loss and straightforward documentation.

60 seconds
Pairs of complimentary events are shown side by side. On the right events are slowed down to sixty seconds and on the left sped up to sixty seconds.

Going South
An abandoned Farmhouse is the central image of a bleak winter landscape. This image is increasingly interrupted by the passing cars and buses making their way south.

Seamus and me (and two GPSs)
During a backwoods hike outside of Fernie BC, MacGregor carried one GPS and Seamus carried another. As the animated lines draw across the page it becomes evident by the difference in the paths that Seamus is a dog. About the gps SERIES: Since 2004 MacGregor has been carrying a GPS everywhere she goes to record her movements. This raw data is used to create animated drawings for an ongoing series.

Gwen MacGregor is a Toronto artist working in installation, video and photography. Her art reflects her close observation of time and place and how they shape small dramas or uncannily familiar situations. In 2001 her work was presented in the Present Tense project series at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. MacGregor’s work has also been shown in many exhibitions across Canada and Europe as well as Los Angeles, Mexico City, Shanghai, and Sydney, Australia. In 2003 she was the recipient of the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Artist of the Year Award. In 2004 she was awarded the Canada Council International Studio in New York. Her work is in a number of collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Artbank, and the Royal Bank Collection. Recent projects include participation in Manifest d’Art 5 in Quebec City, The Santa Fe International New Media Festival and a collaborative exhibition with Sandra Rechico at A Trans Pavilion in Berlin. She is currently exhibiting in Artists’ Walks: The Persistence of Peripateticism at the Dorsky Gallery and Curatorial Program in New York City. She will be participating in Toronto’s 2013 Nuit Blanche with the collective Workparty. MacGregor has an Honours BA from York University and is pursuing a Masters in Cultural Geography at the University of Toronto. MacGregor is represented by MKG127 Gallery in Toronto.

July 2013

Hassan Darsi

This July, we are excited to present the works of Moroccan artist Hassan Darsi. We chose three videos, open to interpretation, and powerfully influenced by the artist’s life, experiences and environment which aim to investigate collective clashes in a figurative sense.

We condensed the first two videos, The Running Man I. Half Moon (2009) and The Running Man II. Rue de L’enfer (2012), into one. By using a split screen, we allow the viewers to compare two films which complement one another. The artist, dressed in red and green (the colors of the national flag), runs in a seemingly abandoned and unfinished property, and through the streets of Casablanca, without any apparent purpose. This infinite run is indisputably denouncing the malfunctions of the Moroccan urban reality, which is often governed by the failures of business insatiability.

The second video, Or d’Afrique (2008), explores one of Hassan Darsi’s ongoing themes: gilding, or the process of applying gold leaf or gold paint to a surface. Inspired by some golden household wallpaper he found in an artisan’s shop next to his studio, Darsi conceived a video work investigating social processes connected to contemporary Moroccan society. These self-adhesive rolls were originally used for precision ornamental decoration in the style of hand-painted leafing. Darsi then applied this wallpaper to the concrete blocks of a jetty along the shore of Casablanca. Despite the sea wash, the intervention lasted for some months, making the shiny blocks stand out among the others. At the end of the project, the artist collected the cutout leftovers he used and decorated his office with them, while also developing a series of abstract artworks on paper.

Hassan Darsi has lived and worked in Morocco since the end of the 1980s, after attending the School of Visual Arts and Visual Mons in Belgium. In 1995 he founded “La Source du Lion”, an association and cultural space hosting contemporary art events in Casablanca and abroad. Darsi has exhibited in art centres, museums and biennials worldwide. His works has been shown in Senegal, South Africa, Lebanon, Spain, France, Germany, United States, Czechoslovakia, The Netherlands, Belgium and in Morocco. Darsi’s work also features prominently in a number of private collections, and his works can be found in the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, the MC2A Gallery in Bordeaux, the Artothèque of Schiedam in the Netherlands, and at the Ministry of Finance in Morocco.

June 2013

Birthe Blauth

This month ikono is proud to present three films by German video artist Birthe Blauth. Her conceptual work looks at the individual and explores the contingent relationship between the single and the space. Blauth’s art is extremely meditative and limpid, but close scrutiny lets the viewer grasp the true complexity of its message. Her visual work helps to vary the perception of the difference between fiction and reality, questioning the border between the two. Her art expands and diversifies amongst installation, video, sound, text and performances.

Birthe Blauth, who was born in Munich, owns a M.A. and doctorate in Chinese Studies, Ethnology and European Art History at Ludwig-Maximilians-University. Her specialist areas are iconography, mythology, religious ethnology. Blauth has been internationally shown and her work has been honoured by the Haus der Kunst award in Munich as well as the support of the Prinzregent Luitpold Stiftung, the Region of Upper Bavaria and the City of Munich. The artist currently lives and works in Munich and New York.

 

Birthe Blauth on ikonoTV:

Guarded Parking Marrakesh, 2003

In this film the action is imperceptible, yet the change unmistakable. During the 7 minutes course of the video 43 people and objects disappear – unnoticed. The video is in the collection of the Artmuseum Bonn.

 

Heidiland, 2007

Merging a mountain landscape of Munich artist Sonja Weber with excerpts of her own video artworks Poppyfield (2003) and La Strada (2005), this video of Birthe Blauth represents a fantastic and playful history of a mountain landscape with quotations from the history of art.
 Cloaked in the darkness of Adam Elsheimer’s night scene Escape to Egypt (1609), the mountain emerges at the dawn of a bright winter’s day. When evening sets in, its dramatic glow gradually turns into a sea of bubbling red lava. From this emerges the scene of Albrecht Altdorfer’s Battle of Alexander (1528-1529), which slowly transforms into a carpet of bright red poppies. When a yellow sandstorm blows up, bringing to mind the atmosphere of a Mark Rothko work. The storm subsides to reveal a highway leading into the mountains.

 

Trapped, 2011

The video explores the transient and the vain efforts of human beings to explore and push beyond their limits. Somebody is exploring an invisible barrier by touching it with his fingers. He leaves more and more fingerprints in the process. The longer the person tries to establish the nature of their confines, the more enclosed they become. Finally, the surface is completely covered in fingerprints and the hands can no longer be seen.

This work can be seen as an allegory of our lives. It also represents our efforts to escape our confines. Efforts that are doomed to failure.

May 2013

Hans Schabus

This month ikono presents a choice of films by Hans Schabus, an outstanding artist from Austria, who represented his home country at the 2005 Venice Biennale. Schabus works with spaces and their perception, transforming them to his own liking in a very precise way: He flooded a gallery, transported a bridge from Austria to Germany, and his seemingly pointless film journeys and mind-boggling tunneling works have received praise and attention from all over the world.

Born in Watschig/Kaernten in 1970, Hans Schabus studied under sculptor Bruno Gironcoli at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where he is still living and working. His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout Europe as well as in the USA, Mexiko and Sri Lanka. For his films he often works together with his brother, the filmmaker Robert Schabus.

 

Hans Schabus on ikonoTV

The films of Hans Schabus selected by ikono cover the artist’s highlights from 2000 until today, representing three of his main artistic aspects:

The artist’s sedulous effort and failure is addressed in Atelier (2010) and Echo (2009). In Atelier Hans Schabus works with his own studio space, which played a role in his earlier works already, restaging the finale of Sam Peckinpah’s western classic The Wild Bunch (1969). Echo is observing a man on the run through the mucky wetlands of the Danube. The protagonist keeps falling into the mud, but continues trying to escape from something or someone the viewer never gets to see.

Phantasmagoric journeys through the secret places of everyday life are the themes of Passagier (2000), Western (2002) and Astronaut (2003). For Passagier Schabus built an elaborate railway for a toy train with a camera being led through the hidden spaces behind the walls of the studio. In Western Schabus is rowing a sailing boat through the same dirty Viennese sewer seen in the film classic The Third Man (1949), while in Astronaut he is digging a shaft in the floor of his studio, filling up the room with soil before exploring the dark world he has created with his own hands.

Laßnitz (2012), with 78 minutes the longest of Schabus’ films to be on view on ikono, deals with the aesthetic transformation of a certain object by decontextualizing and displacing it. The original proposal simply read: »The work’s title is the name of the river, which was originally crossed by the railway bridge.«This abandoned bridge is sent on a 1000 miles long journey from Austria to the village Ohne in Germany, where Schabus declared it to be a sculpture from now on.