Corrugations: The art of Jeff Thomson – Publication Review

First published 2013

Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga

By Sarah Kennedy

This publication explores the journey of an artist who has made a big achievement over the past three decades in New Zealand and also overseas with an insightful narrative of what it took to make it in the art world. Jeff Thomson is a New Zealand sculptor who is well known for his corrugated iron works. His explorations of this specific material enabled him to explore the process of shaping and cutting, weaving and French knitting, cladding, roofing, printing the surface, cutting, stacking, braiding and moulding to make objects that seem at odds with the material they are made of.

The very beginning of his successful career started from long distance walks from place to place in rural areas of New Zealand fascinated by their mailboxes. In 1981 Jeff Thomson walked from Bulls to New Plymouth and along the way started to put letters in mailboxes, telling people about himself and his work, proposing that he would make an artwork for them. From the 350 letters delivered Thomson had received seven responses back with the owner’s interests, and set off constructing mailboxes personalised each by a sculpture. These works appeared in his first solo exhibition ‘Mailboxes’ in 1982 Auckland dealer gallery, RKS Art and in 1984 featured in Bowen Galleries, Wellington with the first time using corrugated iron of a cut–out shape of a cow. This show attracted attention from the public and opened up the opportunity where people were asking for him to make works of what they wanted with this material. The artist also sent proposals to galleries and got many offers in artist residency, and his public sculptures are seen all around New Zealand and is productive finishing commissions for offshore clients.

Jeff Thomson is a busy man, constant in demand. The very nature of his work reaches a variety of audiences because it is memorable, humorous and the way he uses corrugated iron to make common everyday objects we are familiar with is extraordinary. The publication is a useful tool to read and make a connection with his work, experiencing works you’ve seen already and discovering new works. In awe I’m inspired by his work because of the artist technique in mastering the kiwi material of corrugated iron and unlimited imagination to make anything possible for the people.

TOO MUCH MAGAZINE – PUBLICATION REVIEW

By Sophia Gambitsis

TOO MUCH magazine is about romantic geography. Its purpose is to document our collective experience of cities, and look at the ways people and landscapes make and remake one another. Founded in 2011, TOO MUCH is produced and designed in Japan by a global group of writers, researchers, artists and photographers. It is for those searching for real stories about architecture, cities and art. These were the words written in the ‘about’ section on their website. This overview is short and concise. I enjoy the use of romantic relation with landscape and people.  I believe it is successful on Instagram as it captures the magazine setting in my opinion. (With the images  laid out on clean white drop.) The use of the internet link in the the top sending the viewer to their abstract website with not much info, but the Facebook link helps there and shows you the update with words and contexts. 

In relation to my own work I love magazines and cannot help but aim my installations around the interior and coffee table books. These images on the  Instagram document the happening and creating works is romantic way, which I think is a successful tool. With the filters and captured moment and words Instagram is an abstract space of people showing off their glamorous or the famous art life. The play of the romantic of social media is differently shown on here and I enjoy following their work

“The Heat of a Thousand Suns” – Zine review

By Judith Yeh

photo credit: Enjoy Gallery blog

As part of Wellington based artist Kerry Ann Lee’s “I have Always Been Here Before” exhibition at Whitespace gallery in Auckland, the known fanzines self-publisher released her latest edition of zine, The Heat of a Thousand Suns, to her long list of cult readings. Upon receiving my copy of the zine, number 94/200, what spring to mind is an old fashion notepad that seems to have time travelled forward from the nineties. A well manageable size that many zines seem to have forgotten nowadays.

Lee’s art practice has explored issues and understandings around Cantonese Chinese urban settlement in the Asia-Pacific region during the 19th Century, in particular Chinatowns. As an artist of third-generation Chinese decent, Lee’s work meditates on themes of home, difference and hybridity.

The Heat of a Thousand Suns is imaginative by nature and collaborative in spirit. It includes Lee’s documentation of her travels, poetry and correspondence with various friends. The collection of work serves as a reminder to the forgotten moments and experiences one acquires after years of travelling, even if those memories can be somewhat displaced and out of time. As the opening piece, Lee reminiscences a trip with her parents to the cemetery to visit her grandfather’s grave, describing the experience as “A long-term deposit in the memory bank”. Readers of the zine will find traces of nostalgia through old advertisements within the pages – Dejavu cologne promoting “The Elegant Experience”, “Discover the mystery of psychic”, or a nineties teen magazine cover featuring Johnny Deep’s Cry Baby character. There are a few different aspects to nostalgia in Lee’s case, self-reflection, personal revolutions, humor, humility, even regrets – all those things in a blender at any given time – through her encounters with various people in different cities. Some of whom she has written about; some she has written letters to but never sent, and probably won’t ever see again.

Lee’s honest words of her experiences and sensitivity, combined with her expressive, playful yet socially engaging style of graphic art, has truly make this little zine giving you a fuzzy feeling with the burning passion of a thousand suns.

Babe – Publication Review

By Laura Duffy

Babe,

Edited by Petra Collins

Foreword by Tavi Gevinson

Yesterday I received a package in the mail.

I screamed, I sang, I instagrammed, I spilt coffee on it, I wiped coffee off with a baby wipe, I loved it.

Babe is edited by Petra Collins who is a young American female photographer, she has written a small essay at the beginning to create context. Outlining her need to create something that reflects her experience of being in the world, rather than a reflection of the superimposed being in the world from popular culture and societal constructs. The mixed media creation features collage, photographs, sculpture, drawings and dabbles in a wee bit of poetry. In the foreword by Tavi Genvison, she discusses female artist in a male-dominated world. Considering exploring sexuality in a non-objectifying + non-male gaze way.

An all female ensemble of artists came together, some I knew, and some I didn’t. With the basic knowledge of the editorial process as well as the real life object of the book I came across new artists within the contextualisation of values and ideas as well as aesthetics.

So basically, if Petra and Tavi think that these artists are worthy of being in their beautiful book, they must be doing some pretty cool and interesting stuff. A great opportunity for emerging artists to gain exposure.

Petra currently utilises interesting dissemination strategies such as Instagram and Tumblr, it comes as a natural progression bring out a book and release it into the mainstream – the very thing Petra is critiquing.  It really is exciting to hold a tangible object after viewing art online so regularly. The photographs within the book are high quality and slick, some taking up the page, some in an asymmetrical form. Laid differently for the different presentation intentions of each artists. Printed in Slovakia the hard covered book is an absolute beaut, an object which will hold value for a long time.

5 STARZ GURLZ, LUV UR WERK xox

ART POST-INTERNET – PUBLICATION REVIEW

by Jesse Bowling

http://post-inter.net/

post-internet.net is a domain that facilitates a PDF. document titled INFORMATION/DATA, which is the catalogue for an exhibition called Art Post-Internet, that was exhibited at Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing during 2014.

Bowling

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 12.55.41 pm

When downloaded and opened it supplies the “owner” with a time of download, where in the world you downloaded it from, your original copy number and your IP address. The website also contains the right to a record of every download, time downloaded, IP address, and location. This interesting to see a record of the users and how this PDF disseminates to a wider audience as you can see where it is being downloaded from, and that it is still downloaded every day by new users.

The exhibition existed physically and the idea behind the catalogue was to preserve the discussion around Art post-Internet, as the exhibition was only for a period of time. The catalogue would exist and become ahistorical for a period of time then eventually become historical. This seeks to preserve the movement to a point in time, where the exhibition was essentially more of a survey of the movement that the word Post-Internet is tagged to.

Using the Internet to document and catalogue the views/downloads/locations/IP addresses creates a point of reference for further art researchers to look back at. This is a strong tool for the idea to become circulated and not lost to a library or recycling bin. It then becomes more about virality of its circulation, in reference to viral images, memes etc. which are hyped for a few weeks before becoming irrelevant. This pdf. has staked its place within this virality of the Internet as a “monument,” a point of reference, which will not be lost within the Internet. As Internet trends move too fast to be recorded and reflected by “academics”, this holds ground through its recorded data. The data of downloaders places its dominant relevance and influence on an emerging artist or post contemporary theorist.

The Artist’s Body – Publication Review

By Jordana Bragg

The Artist’s Body first published in 2000, reprinted in paperback 2006 and abridged, revised and updated 2012, is a comprehensive catalogue of canonical works of performance art, spanning an entire century (1900-2000).

The publication’s cover features a glossy full colour reproduction of Tracey Emin’s Exorcism of the Last Painting I Ever Made, (1996) and opens up into a full colour two page spread of Yasumasa Morimura’s Portrait (Futago), (1988).

Provided within the introductory stages of the publication is an outline of it’s contents, with clear use of headings, sub headings and page numbers, outlining that which follows will be:

A Preface by curator Tracey Warr (page 10)

A Survey by curator Amelia Jones (page 16)

Works (listed in alphabetical order under each subheading)

Painting Bodies (page 49)

Gesturing Bodies (page 70)

Ritualistic and Transgressive Bodies (page 92)

Body Boundaries (page 114)

Performing Identity (page 134)

Absent Bodies (page 162)

Extended and Prosthetic Bodies (page 178)

Appendices

Artist’s Biographies (page 190)

Bibliography (page 199)

Index (page 202)

Acknowledgements (page 204)

By way of introduction the Preface (by Tracey Warr) and Survey (by Amelia Jones) serve as two poignant introductory essay’s, with Tracey Warr discussing the wider implications of canonised performance pieces/art and Amelia Jones discussing such implications in direct relation to the publication.

The largest portion of the publication is afforded to the Works section, which is divided into subsections such as Body Boundaries, Performing Identity, Absent Bodies et cetera, with each subsection beginning with a brief introductory statement, offering a useful insight prior to engaging with the text available alongside images of each work.

The Appendices section offers brief artist biographies, a bibliography list, an index and acknowledgments of those included in the publication. The Appendices section, as it outlines clearly basic information of each artist/artwork was, (along with the cover image of Tracey Emin’s Exorcism of the Last Painting I Ever Made, (1996) the defining factor in my decision to purchase The Artist’s Body. I would recommend this publication to anyone with an interest in all those performance works that are constantly referenced and misquoted at art gallery openings, with a disclaimer that The Artist’s Body offers a useful, yet very specific, (potentially exclusionary) scope.

Bas Jan Ader Website – Publication Review

By Jordana Bragg

Bas Jan Ader website
http://www.basjanader.com

Dutch/Californian photographer, filmmaker, conceptual and performance artist Bas Jan Ader (born 19 April 1942- died 1975) continues to have an influential presence via a powerful body of works developed throughout his brief career/ lifetime. His website is a select documentation and articulation of such works.

Navigating http://www.basjanader.com is effortless, with each section of information outlined under five separate headings: home, biography, selected works/homages, books/films and blog.

Each section is foreground by ambient music and a brief looping section from one of the select video works avaliable on the site:

Fall I, Los Angeles, Bas Jan Ader, 16mm, duration: 24 sec.

Fall II, Amsterdam, Bas Jan Ader, 16mm, 19 sec.

I’m too sad to tell you, Bas Jan Ader, 16mm, duration: 3 min 34 sec.

Broken fall (organic), Bas Jan Ader, 16mm, duration 1 min 44 sec.

Nightfall, Bas Jan Ader, 16mm, 4 min 16 sec.

Broken fall (geometric), Bas Jan Ader, 16mm, duration 1 min 49 sec.

© 1971, Mary Sue Ader-Andersen

The ‘home page’ opens with a repeated 5-second clip of Bas Jan Ader’s 3 minute 34 second silent black-and-white film I’m Too Sad to Tell You, which comprises of Jan Ader crying (1). The ‘biography’ section, (foreground by a repeated 5-second clip of Broken fall (organic) outlines Jan Ader’s formative years, art school experience, and continues on to outline the circumstances of his presumed death during the work In Search of the Miraculous, (1975).

Bas Jan Ader was last seen in 1975 while embarking on the work In Search of the Miraculous, which was proclaimed by the artist to be an approximately 60 day journey across the Atlantic in a 12½ foot sailboat. Six months later the boat was discovered off the coast of Ireland, with no trace of Bas Jan Ader.

The ‘selected works’ section, (also foreground by a repeated 5-second clip of Broken fall (organic) features the seven works listed in the third paragraph, and also a ‘homage’ section, which and invites contemporary artists to submit works influenced by Jan Ader. (1) The original works content includes several photographs and postcards mailed to his friends with the inscription ‘I’m too sad to tell you’.