Photographer Mohamed Bourouissa wins the German Börse 2020 award of $39,000 for his Free Trade 2019 installation. A politically-charged work that was first exhibited in a Monoprix supermarket in Arles, France. Robert Bird has died of cancer at the age of fifty. Born in England, he was an authority on the films of Andrei Tarkovsky. This week it was learned that the British-founded American multinational corporation Sotheby’s will have a controversial painting by Banksy up for auction next month. On the last day of September 1978, an unknown 27-year-old artist named Tehching Hsieh began a work of art on the edge of the unthinkable and madness.
Mohamed Bourouissa, the triumph of originality
September 17, 2020 – Via ARTFORUM
Photographer Mohamed Bourouissa wins the German Börse 2020 award of $39,000 for his Free Trade 2019 installation. A politically-charged work that was first exhibited in a Monoprix supermarket in Arles, France. Born in Algeria, Bourouissa lives and works in Paris. He has achieved some recognition through his photographs of marginalized and economically disadvantaged people.
The installation, which occupied an entire floor of the supermarket, covered five of the artist’s projects from the last 15 years. The “Périphérique” series of works from 2005 – 2008, focused on the lives of young unemployed people in the Parisian banlieues. “Temps mort”, the 2009 project in which he collaborated with two prisoners. Finally the 2014 – 2015 series “Shoplifters”, for which he worked with Polaroid photographs of shoplifters, taken by store owners in Brooklyn.
Bourouissa usually works on a variety of media from the more conventional such as painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and video, to the less orthodox such as smartphones and surveillance images. About his work, he has said that “When I was in school, I learned about the history of art. But that didn’t introduce other aspects of my home culture or leave traces of the people around me, so later I decided to try to bring my home culture into the history of art. For me it’s about the idea of integration: how we can integrate our own histories into that one.”
Robert Bird (1969-2020)
September 13, 2020 – Via ARTFORUM
“Tarkovsky’s cancer was a tragedy felt worldwide, coming just as Perestroika was gearing up, and the USSR was becoming newly hospitable to, and needful of, him and his films. His funeral, orchestrated by Mstislav Rostropovich, recorded by Chris Marker, was an omen of the end of an entire epoch in the history of the cinema, of Soviet culture, of culture. In my case it’s just mundane, private cancer. An anonymizing force. An omen of nothing. The contingency of these omens is something I hold onto. It drives home the fragile wonder of the world we share, as taut and fluid as the ocean.” This was written by Robert Bird, a tragic omen about cancer that took the life of the great Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky and then took his own life.
Robert Bird has died of cancer at the age of fifty. Born in England, he was an authority on the films of Andrei Tarkovsky. He taught at the University of Chicago in the department of Slavic languages and literature, as well as in the department of film and media studies. He was a renowned scholar of Russian and Soviet modernism.
Bird wrote in an incisive and lucid manner about poetry, literature, modern art, and the Russian and Soviet cinema of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He dedicated much of his work to Tarkovsky, known for his enigmatic dreamlike epics related to memory and time. Andrei Tarkovsky: Elements of Cinema (2008) is a monograph by Bird that became a fundamental reference in the field of film studies.
Bird focused on the interaction of aesthetics, the Russian revolution, and socialism in recent years. In 2017 he co-curated the exhibition “Revolution Every Day”, the exhibition that marked the centenary of the Russian Revolution and took place at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. One day after his death his most recent essay: “The Omens: Tarkovsky, Sacrifice, Cancer” was published. A reflection on Tarkovsky’s response to the disease during his last year.
Banksy, Show Me The Monet
September 18, 2020 – Via artnet news
Banksy is a special case in the world of contemporary art. He has won the admiration of thousands of followers of his art around the world by keeping a secret identity. The combination formed by his anonymity, the street art, the provocation, and the sensitivity of his works, make this artist someone you want to know.
This week it was learned that the British-founded American multinational corporation Sotheby’s will have a controversial painting by Banksy up for auction next month. The irony behind all this is that Sotheby’s hopes that this work called Banksy’s Show Me The Monet (2005), a work intended to denounce the ravages of the constant excesses within the system of capitalist consumerism, will generate $6 million in profits.
The painting is an interpretation and tribute by Banksy’s to a masterpiece by Monet. The 2005 painting recreates the famous Giverny Japanese Runway. This location was painted more than a dozen times by the French landscape artist. There is no denying that Banksy’s choice of title is very successful. This painting was shown once before, in Banksy’s first gallery exhibition in 2005 when the artist filled the exhibition space with 164 live rats.
Show Me The Monet belongs to the series of paintings “Crude Oils” by the street artist that includes what Banksy has called “remixes” of canonical artworks where the artist recreates renowned works of art with his own styles such as Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers or Edward Hopper’s The Night Falcons.
Tehching Hsieh, The art of waiting
Sept. 17, 2020 – Via The New York Times
On the last day of September 1978, an unknown 27-year-old artist named Tehching Hsieh began a work of art on the edge of the unthinkable and madness. Hsieh had built a wooden cage measuring 3.5 x 2.7 x 2.4 meters in his studio in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan. That day he locked himself inside, swearing he would remain there for a year.
The only equipment in the cage was a toilet, a garbage can, lights, and a single bed. During the 365 days in his cage, Hsieh did not write, talk to anyone, read, listen to music, or watch television. Photographer Cheng Wei Kuong, one of his closest friends, would bring him food regularly, photograph him and take out the garbage.
A lawyer supervised his compliance with these self-imposed restrictions, brought her food, disposed of her waste, and took her picture every day to document the project. Once or twice a month, during that year, the artist’s studio where the cage had been installed was opened from 11 to 17 for the public to see the performance. One year later, on September 29, 1979, Hsieh was released from his cage. A little over six months after that, he began the second of what would be five such works, each entitled “One Year Performance”.
Hsieh, who is 70 years old, lives in New York and is qualified as a master of performance. The work of this Taiwanese artist, in some way, can be associated with the situation we all go through in the world since March and his works take on new meanings in times of pandemic. Would this be the art of our time?