Five Art Things to Check Out? It was a regular feasture on these fractured pages, it was a weekly thing, we haven’t done it since the start of April. Shall we do it today? In these times of lockdown and social distancing and galleries with doors even more firmly closed than they so often were back in the days before the virus. And so we’re reduced to virtual Journeys on line and zooming around and what we look at being dictated to by whoever is holding the camera doesn’t really work. Badly lit virtual tours via social media platforms certainly don’t work, haven’t really seen a decent virtual exhibition yet. Yes art should embrace technology, but trying to replace or reproduce the act of standing in an actual gallery and being able to see that texture, to really engage with that paint, those marks, those hundred and thousands of moments, those decisions that make up a paining, taking the time you need to select what you look at, to drink in, to focus?
I (almost) like our own slide show approach with the Cultivate on-line shows, we’re not trying to be clever, we’re not trying to reproduce the physical gallery experience, we’re trying to keep it simple (and we’re certainly not assuming everyone has the latest state of the art computer). It is quite a battle to get painters to give us something more than just a flat image, to get it right, the slide show approach when the images are very very (very) carefully selected almost works, but we do need proper gallery walls and our own time and space to make our own decisions about how long we look at something, about the pieces we choose to linger in front of just a little bit longer. We certainly need to walk around sculpture or see the scale or dimension of a painting, being told how big or small it is doesn’t really work.
So we haven’t done the Five Art Things thing here on the Organ pages for a while, not really done it since the lockdown, we haven’t been to an actually art gallery ourselves since the middle of March, the last time we were in a gallery was to take down our own show just days after it had opened. Are there five things to actually recommend this week? Shall we do it again? There’s certainly been a lack of art coverage on these Organ pages in recent weeks.
We are working on out next Cultivate on-line show, it “opens” next week, we have some exciting new artists involved, new to us anyway, this will be the eighth on-line show we’ve done since the Red show back in February, 2017 – explore them all here, we haven’t take nany of them down – the latest on-line show, or indeed the next one aren’t reactions to the lockdown, they were something we were doing anyway, they’re not intended as replacements, just something that fits in alongside what we regularly do in physical spaces. When the seventh show, #43Artists, opened back on April 2nd we did little more than announce the “opening” time and the date, the time the show would go live, it did feel exciting though, it did feel like an event, it always does when we open on-line shows, we had around 7,000 views in the first hour, we had lots of communication, we had one or two people posting photos of themselves on their socail media feeds, drink in hand in front of their computer screens, it did feel like a shared experience, they all have. One month on and the #43Artists show has been viewed well over 40,000 times now, people are still visiting on a daily basis – people go to the page, run the slide show, some share the link, tell others about it, others have contacted the artists involved directly, the point was to point you at the websites of the artists involved. The open night felt good, people commented or sent us messages on social media, people left comments underneath other people’s comments on our own social media feeds, people connected with each other, followed some of the participating artists on Instagram and such, it seemed like enough, it was how we intended it to be, simple, easy, not a replacement, not an attempt to reproduce something, just another tool, another way – no, not even another way, just something simple that works, it appeared to satisfy everyone.
The next Cultivate on-line, (Far from the) Turmoil opens on line next week, 8pm (UK time), May 14th, Thursday evening if you’re in this part of the world, or maybe morning if you’re on the other side of the planet. The Facebook event page is here with the latest news in terms of participating artists and such, it will once again be hosted on thiesae Organ pages. But things are a little different this time, this time people are asking us if there will be a zoom thing or a Team thing or a Hangout thing or whatever all these thing sare, people are asking if we can all “meet” on line on the opening night and I guess it is an option that appeals to some – we could all brush our hair and zoom around and grab a drink and artists from Austria or Yorkshire or East London or San Francisco could virtually meet each other as well as the audience, but no, we’re not here to replace things, it just doesn’t appeal to me, you don’t need to see mug (or whatever I carefully replace behind me) on your screen, you don’t need to seen me to her or him, you need to see the art,. True, I do miss the social gathering that is an opening night can be, it feels strange to not be going out to openings three or four times as week but no, i don’t want to zoom with you and no, your virtual tour isn’t working for me….
Will there be a five recommended Art things on the Organ website today? Let me go look at what there is? Go have a look and see if something appears on the Organ pages in a bit… I guess the (Far from the) Turmoil opening would be one of the five recommedned art events to check out in the next few days, the opening night is jsut a week away (and yes we hare still gaterting together the full line up of participating artists)
So the (Far from the) Turmoil thing is one of the five and these four down here, presented in no particular order will make up the rest of this week’s recomendations and well, here, you go, another four recomended art things to go check out without ever leaving the safety of your living room chair Let’s dive in and see what there is, we do have an in-box of galleries trying to flog us prints on line, most of those galleries do seem to be about the art of selling though. I find it hard to get that excited over stupidly expensive “limited edition” pop art print releases from so called street artists.
2: Inside-Outside Part 2 is to be “a collaborative sound /moving image project at Studio ExPurgamento in association with 21st Century Music Practice Network
in which five visual artists and five composers who do not know each other have been asked to produce a response to two minutes of each others work.the curators (do they mean creators?) will produce random pairings of film and sound received from each artist/composer” it isnt one hundred percent clear but hey, go hit the link and see, it ssounds interest and we do like Alice Herrick‘s work. Part one is already open so it seems, the participating artists are Alice Herrick, Yola Yolart, Andrzej Maria Borkowski, Chiara Ambrosio, Natalia Zagorska-Thomas, the sound comes from Milton Mermikides, Leah Kardos, Agata Kenworthy-Kubiak, Eve Klein and Simon Zagorski-Thomas. The first part of the project (where work was randomly paired by the curators) has apparently already been published on a Studio ExPurgamento website and 21st Century Music Practice Network back on the 4th of May. The second part (where artists are making a direct response to each others work) will be published on line on May 8th. Links and more via the Facebook event page I guess.
3:Dscreet, Malarko, Mighty Mo, Rowdy and Sweet Toof via BSMTV, a live stream Paint Jam so it seems, Saturday 9th May – “For five years BSMT has hosted you at some of the freshest exhibitions in our gallery in East London. Now for the first time BSMTV will be coming to you with our first live-stream paint jam and dj set! No travel required. Get ready for a knockout 4 hour set featuring Hackney’s royalty Dscreet, Malarko, Mighty Mo, Rowdy and Sweet Toof streamed live to you from five secret locations across the globe, with a live DJ guaranteed to blow the roof off your lounge and the dust off your laptop.
As the gallery remains closed to keep the public safe and help the NHS, the future of our space has never been as uncertain. With united support we can keep bringing you the shows you love showcasing the best of UK-based and global talent. We’re fighting to make sure the gallery survives this and will still be around for years to come. The live-stream will take place Saturday May 9th from 5-9pm, where you can watch for free. Each artist will paint ‘live’ in succession. There will be a donations page and all we ask is that you buy a virtual ticket for whatever price you want and enjoy your night! There will also be event merch and available artwork by all the artists on the night. By way of saying thank you, the gallery will be holding a commission-free show for the artists involved when we can open our doors again, and we cannot wait for the day we see you all back at one of our opening nights”. The Facebook event page
Date: Saturday May 9th 5-9pm Streaming page: www.bsmt.co.uk/bsmtv – I will resist pointing out “united support” is a two way thing, galleries do so often take support they get for granted. Right now we need to support our galleries, especailly the artisti led galleries and those wh osurate in the the right way, but it is a two way thing.
4: GORDON DALTON ‘Birdhouse Blues’ at Aleph Contemporary – A virtual solo online exhibition of recent paintings by British painter Gordon Dalton on now and running until May 15th – Many autobiographical real-life places and objects appear in Gordon’s work, sometimes just in suggested form or as half-remembered shadows. These elements are liable to mutate as the painting is created, and visual motifs come in and out of focus. We find elements of the post-industrialised Teesside landscape, plumes of smoke from factories or perhaps cigarettes, empty buildings, waterways man-made and other, birds and wildlife through to bare winter trees. These motifs are often laced with the socio-economic baggage that any artist coming out of a working-class background would possess. The paintings were made to be cynical of the art world – they didn’t ask to be liked – they asked whether the motifs contained within them are of any worth. Out of this painted cynicism and vitriol, we see an artist who is more internally critical; the cynicism is no longer outward-facing. We see someone who is working with a type of trepidation that comes out of building admiration for the function of painting, its importance and history”. View the show here
5: Richard Cartwright & The Poetry of Solitude at John Martin Gallery – Oh look, I can’t be doing with anymore glitching or error messages or this or that. I just tried watching something via David Zwimer’s website, Marcel Dzama: Pink Moon, I can’t be foing it, I hate it more than I hate those cheap Ikea floorboards in high end galleries, I tried Roe Ethridge Old Fruit at Gagosian, I virtually went to John Martin Gallery to have a look at Richard Cartwright & The Poetry of Solitude – this is like telling me I can drink warm cans of beer and be jsut as happy, that I don’t need a night draght pink frshly pulled and handed to me in a glass by a friendly (or even a grumpy) bar person. I do like Richard Cardwright, I would love to go so the show. I guess it would be the 5th recommendation if I could climb those stairs and go actually see it.
You can still g oview Cultivate’s #43Artists show ofcourse, I still think the slide show format works besat and far too many galleries are complecating things way too much… Here’s just two of the 250 plus pieces you can view, 250 or so works from 43 artists. Yes, we’re recomending out own shows again, egotisitcal f^%Kers that we are… (sw)