We almost certainly do need to do that five art things thing again don’t we? We probably should? Just a bit more of that glue that holds the who or what together. The art of repetition? Where were we? Still repeating ourselves whilst under stress? Did you even notice? Do you just cut to the chase?). And well, we could do it again, we could? We could? We really could? Shall we? The Five Art Things thing? We said all this last week didn’t we? And the week before, and we really can more than almost smell open galleries now, not almost anymore, we have actually been out ot one or two, no actual opening nights, but real walls and art hanging on them. Indeed our in-box is bursting with press releases and galleries telling us they’re open again.
Here we go then, five art things in no particular order, see you out there (socially distanced and all masked up of course)
1: Annka Kultys Gallery has moved, but only a few yards, the gallery reopens with Gretchen Andrew on Thursday April 22nd “Annka Kultys Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of a new gallery space in London. Located at 472 Hackney Road, Unit 9, the new gallery remains at the same address in a larger unit, next door to the former space. The new entrance is in the courtyard of the Peterley Business Centre”. The gallery has brought us some rather fine shows over the last few years, you will find a number of them documented on these pages
“Annka Kultys Gallery is pleased to present Other Forms of Travel, an exhibition of new vision boards and internet manipulations by search engine artist and the self-proclaimed “internet imperialist” Gretchen Andrew. The show includes new vision boards from the series “Best MFA” and “Map of the EU.” Other Forms of Travel is Gretchen’s first solo show with Annka Kultys Gallery.
Best known for her playful hacks of major art world institutions such as Frieze, Artforum, The Turner Prize and and The Whitney Biennial, Other Forms of Travel unleashes two new series that actively reprogram the artificial intelligence underlying the global Internet. These new works, referred to as “vision boards”, represent the raw material for Gretchen’s exploitation of online search engines. When coupled with her signature approach to natural language data, the artist is able to elevated these works to the world’s top image search results.
Other Forms of Travel continues Gretchen’s takeover of major art and political power structures, reverses Brexit (by manipulating the search results for “Map of the EU”) and addresses institutional arts education (by manipulating the search “best MFA”). These works explore time, money and life experience not spent on formal arts education, while considering life, love, loss, friends, travel, Russian novels, political engagement, drugs, disappointment, and the education afforded by mentorship.
AI is inherently backward-looking and susceptible to being reprogrammed through knowledge of the internet’s structure. Gretchen exploits it, rewriting existing representations of reality with her own by using a search engine’s own rules and limitations against itself. Through her own style of natural language processing and by reverse engineering the code of the technology giants, she uses the linguistic power of desire to collapse the space between hope and accomplished reality. Gretchen considers the Internet as a global subconscious, which, much like our own, cannot tell the difference between a hoped-for future intensely imagined through art and what has, in fact, already occurred.
This is because the internet cannot parse desire. To parse is to divide into parts and identify the parts’ relations with each other. When humans read, “Gretchen is really hoping that her own life experience be validated by the art world as the best MFA she could have received,” it is understood that the relationship between Gretchen and the object of her desire to be as yet unfulfilled. Yet, the Internet only understands that Gretchen is “relevant” to the best master of fine arts degree. Now when anyone, anywhere in the world Googles “Best MFA,” Gretchen’s vision boards from Other Forms of Travel, come up as the top results. Give it a try! Google “Best MFA.” Seeing Gretchen’s dreams reflected back through the internet reminds us of the power of valuing and validating our own experiences.
Further unleashing her powers of programming and desire, works displayed in this exhibition begin her hack of the EU’s political boundaries with, “Map of the Eu.”
We can see Gretchen’s vision boards pushing out The Royal Academy and Yale in search results as a technical failure, as tangential to “fake news” or in line with the history of computers as dream machines à la internet pioneer J.C.R. Licklider. If we consider the Internet as an artistic and creative medium, then we begin to realize that our own demands of accuracy from it may be misguided. What if we are having the wrong conversations? Conversations about art are generally not served by real vs fake as much as by nuance, opinion, perspective, and metaphor. When we see these vision boards appear as top search results, we know that the system is being tampered with in a playful way that simultaneously speaks to the acuteness of Gretchen’s practice.
By using her vision boards to playfully hypnotize Google search results, she exposes the inherent and structural limitations of 1s and 0s binary technology while simultaneously using these limitations to reclaim the internet as a tool of possibility. The trivialized, stereotypically ‘feminine’ materials of Gretchen’s vision boards clash with the male-dominated worlds of AI, programming, and political control in the digital age. In doing so, they offer the means of reeducating algorithms and institutions towards more progressive operations”
Annka Kultys Gallery is found at 472 Hackney Road, Unit 9, the new gallery remains at the same address in a larger unit, next door to the former space. The new entrance is in the courtyard of the Peterley Business Centre. The Gretchen Andrew show runs from April 22nd until June 6th.
There’s also a show of New Portraits and Landscape paintings by Chris Drange at Annka Kultys
Preciously at Annka Kultys
2: Hugo Farmer – The Thirteenth Stroke at Hoxton Gallery, Shoreditch – “It was a bright day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen as Hugo Farmer’s downed tools and stood back to survey what he’d been chiselling, carving, painting and printing for the last couple of years… THE THIRTEENTH STROKE is exactly what its name suggests…”
“That understated opening sentence from 1984 sounds so ordinary; so matter of fact… but then it sneaks up on you with a jarring wrongness that sets the tone for Orwell’s dystopia. That sense of history’s breaking point ticking closer and closer; of things falling apart, permeates Hugo Farmer’s new work… The ‘megaphone-head’ bronzes so prominent in earlier shows are making a comeback, albeit with some provocative new characters – including a Queen dubbing a new Knight with a baseball bat as he ‘takes the knee’ and a boy meddling dangerously with a box of matches. These are voices of protest, designed to disturb and therefore destined for a run-in with the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, about which John F. Kennedy could have been talking when he said,
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable”
For all that, The Thirteenth Stroke isn’t downhearted or despairing. It’s a call to arms. There’s no doubt we’re in a time of deceit – and if, as Orwell says, that makes telling the truth a revolutionary act, Hugo Farmer’s a revolutionary. What’s more, as Hugo himself has often said, if history’s made by those brave enough to speak out, rule breakers are history makers – and Hugo’s definitely one of those as well.”
3: Art Car Boot Fair Flora and Fauna edition, May 15th 2021 – The full list of participating artists, galleries and such for the next Art Car Boot Fair event has now been announced. The next event starts on Saturday May 15th, another on-line event, this one featuring over 150 artists and galleries, as well as freshly designed website and lots of flora and fauna as wel las on-lien event direct from participating artists studios. Tickets have just gone on sale, advance tickets for this artist-led event get you priority access, only ticket holders get in for the first 24 hours, the fair opens at 10am on Saturday May 15th, the fair becomes a free event with access open to everyone everywhere at 10am on Sunday16th May, the fair runs until 8pm on Monday May 17th. Full ticket details and everything else you need over on the official Art Car Boot Fair website or for more details and the full lsit of artists head to the pieces we posted a few days back – ORGAN PREVIEW: The full artist line up for the next Art Car Boot Fair has been announced, tickets are on sale, flora and fauna abound…
4: Paper Mode runs at Where’s The Frame? Yes, we can go out and explore art on actual walls again now, we can listen to those paintings hanging there, but there have been lots of positives in terms of on-line art during the pandemic, it has allowed artists and galleries to reach out around the globe a lot more than they might have bothered to do back in the days of the old normal, we’ve seen this with out own Cultivate on-line shows, over 12,000 views in the first 20 hours since yesterday’s opening of the Next show, artists and viewers from all over the globe taking part and engaging with it alll, our own Cultivate ob-line shows have been very busy over the last year, we’ve shown the work of well over 200 artists in the last year including Kelda Storm, indeed Kelda have featured in a number o our physical shows as well as the on-line exhibition, I mention Kelda here because she’s currently one of the participating artists in the debut show at new gallery WTF? “where’s the frame? is a fresh online gallery dedicated to the newest generation of artists. Directly working with artists themselves, we’re committed to creating an uplifting space for the frontrunners in the arts” say the gallery “Based in London but operating digitally” WTF? or Where’s The Frame? if you prefer are just opening their first on-line show.
“Founded by two Central Saint Martins grads, whose academic perspective on art was turned upside down by studying at an art school, we’re trying to overturn an outdated detached academic approach and traditional focus on artists of the past. Nobody wants long-winded jargon-filled obscure texts so we celebrate the artists of today in a very personal way. At where’s the frame? it’s all about the artists instead of just the artworks. Working with up and coming artists means that you directly support and impact their career. It also takes away any concerns about an artwork being a fake, in a bad condition, or fishy previous owners. Working at the forefront of a rapidly changing art world, we foster a sense of community between next-gen artists and collectors”
Not sure about the fake Fishy bit and I must admit not a fan of those who like to wear the art school they went to like some kind of superior badge of honour, especially now that a place at an art school is something only for those who can afford it but hey, let’s see, so far WTF? is looking rather interesting although statements like “where’s the frame? is a one-stop URL to discover, learn about, and collect vanguard art” do start to maybe begin to set off alarm bells, as does the the fact that we can’t see the art for the photos of the artists when we start to explore the first on-line show Paper Mode. I guess they did say “At where’s the frame? it’s all about the artists instead of just the artworks”, hopefully it isn’t all going to be about the beautiful people, personally I prefer the art to do the talking. The art is worth exploring though, do like those Eleanor Johnson and we love the attitude that comes with a Kelda Storm print, hopefully the gallery will cut the “next-gen” bulshit and just get on with bringing us some exciting art, let’s see what develops, always good to see a new gallery, especially one that wants to challenge an little…
“New gallery Where’s The Frame? has announced Paper Mode – their first-ever virtual exhibition presenting six artist that they label “up-and-coming London based artists”. The show goes live today Wednesday, April 21st, 2021 on their online gallery and features the art of Sofia Clausse, Karimah Hassan, Eleanor Johnson, Hannah Shin, Kelda Storm and C. Lucy Whitehead, we’re told the six artists have all created original artworks on paper for the show, the art is to be sold online. Paper Mode runs on-line at Where’s The Frame? from April 21st, 2021 until July 21st, 2021.
Surely it isn’t all about which art school you went to or what you look like? Did I ever tell you the story about a curator who was really excited about a particualr artist wh owas regularly showing at Cultivate, he really wanted her in one of his exhbitions, he sent e.mail after e.mail asking her about her work and invited her to show some work in one og his shows. And then he asked her which art school sh had gone to, He got his answer, it wasn’t the right one, she hadn’t been to the right art school, as soon as he gound that out he dropped all interest, the communication came ot an abrupt end, his interest ended. Personally I find nothing more off-putting than an artist who feels the need to pose in front of his or her art, I could’nt care less what an artist looks like or which school they went to, I don’t care how young or old an artists is and really it isn;t who you are it really is about what you do…
5: Teresa Kutala Firmino – Manifestation Oku Yongola | Manifestation of Wanting at Everard Read London – Now this looks like it might be rather good, “Everard Read London presents a solo exhibition of mixed media works on canvas by Johannesburg-based artist, Teresa Kutala Firmino, a multi-disciplinary artist working in various media including paint, photography, and performance. Kutala Firmino’s work embodies the artist’s efforts to grapple with trauma, both personal and collective, in everyday life. Many of her paintings are constructed scenes of the past and present, which are often intertwined. The artist collects and curates textiles and images from magazines, newspapers, historical documents, and social media, and places them in colourful, contained stages. She creates surreal scenes in tightly confined interiors, where the characters are free to re-enact their stories or construct new ones. This process allows Kutala Firmino to consider alternate past, present and future narratives for Africa and its people, thus rebuilding her own archive of African history. The artist’s own stories begin with the collective trauma of her birthplace, Pomfret, a border town in northern South Africa near Botswana and an…”. read on
Everard Read is at 80 Fulham Road, London, SW3 6HR The Teresa Kutala Firmino show runs from 28th April until 25th May 2021
6: Cultivate presents Next (Au Suivant) – An on-line art exhibition and more blowing of our own trumpets, all about the art The show is now open, it opened at 8pm last Tuesday evening, just passed 6000 views in the first hour, and just over 12,000 in the first 24 hours (thanks everyone). The show can be explored via this link, 38 artists and over 200 pieces of work, 36 artists from all ove the land and indeed the globe invited to join Cultivate founders Sean Worrall and Emma Harvey The show is hosted here on Cultivate’s sister website Organ