Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


The Grandmothers Tale

When the girl arrived, the bzou called out, "Pull the peg and come in, my child."
"Grandmother," said the girl, "Mother sent me here with a galette and a cream."
"Put them in the pantry, child. Are you hungry?
"Yes, I am, Grandmother."
"Then cook the meat that you'll find on the shelf. Are you thirsty?"
"Yes, I am, Grandmother."
"Then drink the bottle of wine you'll find on the shelf beside it, child."
As the young girl cooked and ate the meat, a little cat piped up and cried, "You are eating the flesh are your grandmother!"
"Throw your shoe at that noisy cat," said the bzou, and so she did.
As she drank the wine, a small bird cried, "You are drinking the blood of your grandmother!"
"Throw your other shoe at that noisy bird," said the bzou, and so she did.
When she finished her meal, the bzou said, "Are you tired from your journey, child? Then take off your clothes, come to bed, and I shall warm you up."
"Where shall I put my apron, Grandmother?"
"Throw it on the fire, child, for you won't need it anymore."
"Where shall I put my bodice, Grandmother?"
"Throw it on the fire, for you won't need it anymore."
The girl repeats this question for her skirt, her petticoat, and her stockings. The bzou gives the same answer, and she throws each item on the fire.

Thursday, 27 October 2011


Ana Mendieta

Ana Mendieta (18 November 1948 – 8 September 1985) was a Cuban-American artist famous for her performance art and “earth-body” sculptural, photographic, and video work.
Mendieta’s early approaches to art could be considered revolutionary, even in their roughest forms. She was especially intrigued by challenging the established materials of art – canvas, paint, paper, etc – and instead explored a great range of unused and disregarded materials, such as the human body. The human body had been generally regarded as one of the most important components of artistic works, as a subject. It was Ana who decided to experiment with the human body as a tool for creative expression, where it was not only the objective of the work but also the means of execution itself. The first record of her conscious work as a means of expression is 1973. An incident of rape and murder had occurred on the Iowa campus, and Ana wanted to protest against the campus administration’s approach to the issue (the usual hush-hush approach and, in general, bad PR).
Ana Mendieta’s early artistic experiments (roughly 1972 – 78) involved a lot of cosmetic refinement and elaboration. Challenging both physical expectations as well as throwing subtle hints at gender roles, she would utilise makeup, glass, and sometimes even shampoo to modify her upper body into different and controversial configurations, assuming different personalities and stances throughout her photographed works. Her video experiments are much more theatrical in their span; they feature a symbolic plot and timeline – the life of a particular piece she had conceived.
At the start of 1975 her body-centred art found a new height: the production of the Silueta series, in which she imprints of her own body merged in the landscape. Some critics have drawn parallels between her Siluetas and the early work of feminist artists that sought to re-establish the link between the female form and the Mother Earth figure. Mendieta, however, had a different concept behind her work. She had apparently been fascinated by the concept of ‘Mythical Geology’ as well as the Rupestrian art and it was this that she sought to achieve in her works.

Kiki Smith

Kiki Smith Untiltled 1987-90

In this work, twelve water-cooler bottles, silvered to a mirror surface, are each engraved with the name of a different bodily fluid: blood, tears, urine, milk, and more. The piece was inspired, Smith has said, by the medieval book of hours, the volumes of Christian observance that provided “some kind of meditation, something you could think about or believe in,” for every hour of the day. Choosing “fluids everyone knows about that come out of the body,” Smith found physical substitutes for the intangibles of religious belief.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


The Concordia Sensoria Research Team (CONSERT)


Projects of interest

Art and Synesthesia

"What would be truly surprising would be to find that sound could not suggest colour, that colours could not evoke the idea of a melody, and that sound and colour were unsuitable for the translation of ideas, seeing that things have always found their expression through a system of reciprocal analogy."

To some degree, all experience is synesthetic because the 'synesthetic experience'is the result of 'the united senses of the mind'.

The human sensorium; touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing have synesthetic qualities in their interactive connections. We see the 'synesthetic experience' particularly in all forms of art —in poetry, painting, sculpture and music. The 'synesthetic experience' serves as a means to unify the arts through a psychological unity of the senses. Synesthesia refers to the transfer of qualities from one sensory domain to another, to the translation of texture to tone or of tone to colour, smell or taste. Because the various modes of art rest on and appeal to different senses, synesthesia correspondences among the senses and synesthesia can point to similarities and analogues, as well as to metaphors or differences among the artistic forms.

more oppenheim

"Oppenheim’s verbal ”Self- portrait from 50.000 BC to X” (1980), the last of her published poems, maybe to be considered as her final stance. The poem starts with the feet. In a stalactite cave, naked feet washed by the warm currents of a prehistoric sea stand on stone, worn down by many steps. The poem then proceeds upwards until it reaches a stomach full of bear’s meat, and goes on towards her breasts and arms, covered with scales of leather armour. It ends with her hands, holding a white turtle, made of marble. 11 The person in the poem looks on red walls surrounding a distant city. Finally, the poem reaches the head, where thoughts buzz as in a beehive. The thoughts are shut in, whereas the thinking person is shut out, looking at the promised city from afar. All this can be understood as a comment on the position of women in the surrealist group or the world of art, and so far the poem deals with identity and self. From then on the focus shifts towards ideas in history, and the passing of time. The person in the poem writes her thoughts down, but the fire of the library of Alexandria consumes the written text, and a black serpent with a white head, kept at a museum in Paris, is also lost in a fire. The apocalyptic atmosphere is enhanced in the last stanzas where all the thoughts of the world circle the earth in a colossal sphere of ideas. The earth explodes, the sphere is shattered, and the thoughts are spread out into the universe, continuing to exist on other planets. 12

This poem travels from toes to thoughts, and encounter many of the elements often used in Oppenheim’s artistic work to explore the relation between touch and ideas. The sense of womb-warm water against skin and stone reappears in Steinfrau (Stone Woman, 1938), an oil-painting of some boulders in the form of a woman resting on the shore with her feet in a passing stream; strange and abundant food, but sea-food rather than bear-meat, forms an essential part of her Frühlingsfest (Spring Banquet, 1959); and the protective clothing borrowed or robbed from animals––made of fur, hide or feathers––returns in various items, often masks and ornaments, of fur or feather, and the serpent, preferably the simultaneously black and white snake, is another powerful symbol in her artistic work.13"

"Fingertip Knowledge" Elizabeth Mansen

Meret Oppenheim

Meret Oppenheim
"Sitting Figure with Folded Hands"

"a human figure is portrayed in its most basic composition; the head, an inexpressive oval white shape, which does not offer the physiognomist any help i judging Oppenheim's character from her facial features since most of her essential sense organs - her eyes, ears, nose and mouth are lacking."



A natural history of the senses

G.K. Chesterton - The Song of Quoodle


Women's Archives

Link to essay

"The electronic inventory can only replicate the level of effort that has gone into the hands on management of a physical collection. (.......) Whatever the personal system of organization had been it has not survived (....) the institution has not chosen to reconstruct it. Consequently we are left with nine archival boxes of nearly 300 scribblers whose order, as inventoried is utterly random"

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Janine Antoni

"Chocolate Gnaw"
"Lard Gnaw"

Lick and Lather

Janine Antoni. Lick & Lather, 1993.
Sensory Studies

Friday, 21 October 2011

Poster Image

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Glasgow's Turner connection

This week, the work of all four shortlisted artists goes on show at the Baltic, Gateshead – and two are Glaswegian: Martin Boyce, whose sculptures do fearful things with modernist interior design; and Karla Black, who uses lipstick, pastel-coloured candles, eyeshadow and sugar paper as her materials. Artists based or born in the city who have been shortlisted in the recent past include Jim Lambie, Christine Borland, Cathy Wilkes, Lucy Skaer and Nathan Coley. There have been two further winners in Douglas Gordon and Simon Starling.

If the Turner prize provides a rough-and-ready compass bearing for visual art in Britain, the needle has for some time been twitching towards this grandiose, grandiloquent, sometimes rough-and-ready city. Why? A clue can be found in the first issue, from September 1991, of the contemporary art magazine Frieze. It contains an interview with three artists in their early 20s. They have just graduated from the Glasgow School of Art. They are articulate, cocky and funny. They seem to know, with an intense certainty, that they are artists, not just art-school graduates. One writes off, with breathtaking chutzpah, a then-prominent school of Scottish painters as "a tiny, unimportant part of the international art world". Another, while admitting such a formulation is crass, says their own work has "more to do with hip-hop and the Face than Constable". These young guns are Douglas Gordon, Nathan Coley and Martin Boyce. Five years after the interview, Gordon – now best known for film works such as 24-Hour Psycho and Zidane – won the Turner prize.

link below

Sunday, 16 October 2011





Karen Finley

Honey Dripper: Karen Finley in Shut Up & Love Me

Is Winnie the reason she's wallowing in honey in the new show? She laughs: "Partly. When I roll into it, on a canvas, and dance about, it's fun and it's beautiful."

While we talk, Finley's daughter peeps in, wanting to be tucked in. "You wanna go to sleep, honey?" And, there, I have my answer. Honey.

It's more than the aphrodesiac effect or the look of an Adam-tempting toffee-apple body gilded and dripping in amber. It's about love and affection. About good old fashioned sweetness.

Friday, 14 October 2011


Different Plant Dyes:

  • Catechu (brown) - from resin(sticky substance that comes from plant) of acacia tree.
  • Fustic (yellow) - from the wood of the fustic tree.
  • Henna (orange-red) - from leaves of the henna plant.
  • Indigo (blue), is from leaves and stems of the indigo plant.
  • Logwood (black) - from the core(heart) of the logwood tree.
  • Madder (Turkey red) - from the roots of the madder plant.
  • Quercitron (yellow) - from the inner bark of the black oak tree.
  • Saffron (yellow) - from stigmas of the common crocus.
  • Turmeric (violet) - from roots of the turmeric plant.Major Animal Dyes:
    • Cochineal (red) - from bodies of cochineal insects.
    • Tyrian Purple (purple or crimson) - from the bodies of some types of marine snails.
    • Sepia (brown) - from secretions of several types of cuttlefish.

    Mineral Dyes:

    • Chrome Green - from a compound of chromium and oxygen.
    • Chrome Red - from a compound of chromium and lead.
    • Chrome Yellow - from a compound of chromic acid and lead.
    • Prussian Blue - from a compound of iron and cyanide.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Jannis Kounellis

Unititled 1968
Wood and Wool

This work was made at the time of Kounellis’s first involvement with Arte Povera. The carefully dyed but loosely wrapped hanks of uncarded wool epitomise Kounellis’s choice of simple materials at this time. Linked with Arte Povera’s exploration of basic media, they also suggest Kounellis’s attraction to earlier civilisations. Although he had abandoned painting at this stage in his career, he later suggested that the structure of this work had been partly inspired by Jackson Pollock, with the hanging wool teased out to mimic dripped paint. (From the display caption April 2009)

Magdalena Abakanowicz

Magdalena Abakanowicz
" Abakans"

Beverly Semmes

Lenore Tawney

The Crossing, 1998, waxed linen, 96 x 48 x 24"

Tau, 1974, linen, 6 2/3 x 9 feet

"I become timeless when I work with fiber. Each line, each knot is a prayer..."
"Throughout the work, Tawney's intention is the same -- to represent what is not seen , to express the essence. Frequently, she does this through the use of basic, universal symbols such as the circle within the square (representing the unity of self) or the cross (representing the meeting of opposites and the point at which linear and eternal time meet). The surfaces of ["Tau" and "In Fields of Light"] are interrupted only by slits in the tapestry that reinforce their strong geometry, and form and color are distilled to their essence. On this scale, the viewer is literally enveloped 'in fields of light.'" Kathleen Nugent Mangan, from the catalogue for Tawney's Exhibit at the Stedelijk Musuem, Amsterdam, 1996

"I'm following the path of the heart." Tawney says, "I don't know where the path is going."

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Teruyoshi Yoshida

Teruyoshi Yoshida
Surface of the Lake
Cotton cloth, gold leaf, iron


Friday, 30 September 2011

Sensual Material

Sensual Material

In my studio I am motivated by attraction to materials and the pleasure I take in handling them. I make objects that confront my body and the body of my viewer with sensuous humor and some provocation. I am interested in the unrecognizable, the repressed. What is beyond our immediate reality? What is the mystery of our associative, psychological state in regards to our perception of what is underneath our skin? Often there are details of clothing in my work, zippers, piping, button holes, referring to the fashion we cover ourselves with, our facade. My work is an exaggerated reference to the body. It reflects the paradox of intelligence opposing bestiality, the body couture. Our facade is an obsession. The materiality, sensuality, and labor invested in my work are expressions of the body.

Fabric is malleable. I can push it together, or stretch it, it “grows”. The urge toward the visceral is a desire for vitality expressed through the handling of my materials. The diligence of needlework brings materials alive, stitch by stitch.The way materials attract me, (again the Eros principle), is very important. Texture, sheen, sense of hand and color are all key. I want to touch them.These are materials that are easily available and possible for me to work in my studio. I learned to sew when I was 9 and this skill is integrated into my life. Ina time when artists send their work out to artisans, I am still attached to making my own work. Many viewers who begin by appreciating only my craft, will find it to be their entrance into the work.

Karla Black

‘a material experience that has been prioritized over language'


Mona Hatoum

"Keffieh," human hair on cotton, 1993-1999,
collection Peter Norton, Santa Monica

The Body 'Van Gogh’s Back'
1995, photograph on paper, 600 x 403 mm

Ana Mario Hernando

'La Montana' (installation), 2009, MCA Denver

Random acts of kindness
Ana Maria Hernando's textiles investigate the transparent acts of humanity that hold our lives and communities together
'I find transparent acts everywhere. My most pressing image would be that of women embroidering tablecloths, washing, ironing. Later these embroidered beauties are stained, and covered with food. Hours of work have become the background. these acts of transparent love that makes no sense, and have no place in accounting books, inspire me.'
- Jessica Hemmings
Taken from Embroidery January/February 2010 issue

Halifax Harbour by Night

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Phyllida Barlow

Phyllida Barlow
untitled: broken shelf 2