Friday, May 31, 2013

Unintended Sculptures.

Unintended Sculptures. By Henrik Saxgren. Text by Bill Kouwenhoven and Timothy Persons. Hatje Cantz, 2009. 112 pp., illustrated throughout, 34,7x28,6cm. Images from here.

 Book description:

"The elegant S-curve of a freeway and its counterpoint, huge wind turbines on the hills behind it - Henrik Saxgren (*1953 inRanders, Denmark) searches for and finds artistic potential and creative will in the most obscure places.

The title of his series 'Unintended Sculptures', which he has been working on since 2001, says it all: in nature and the environment, Saxgren discovers relational forms, structures, and optical illusions that seem to have been deliberately placed there by the artist’s hand. To anyone whose eyes are open, it is obvious that those greenhouse-covered fields must have been wrapped by Christo and Jean-Claude - or that these geometrical basalt-rock formations along a section of the coastline looks like an enormous sculptural vision.

Saxgren’s eye, schooled in documentary photography, allows him to capture these 'sculptures' at the very moment they, as Timothy Persons writes, 'best define themselves in the framework of their environments'."

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Silent Nests.

Silent Nests. By Vicki Topaz. 2006. Design and production by Vicki Topaz and Radek Skrivanek. 82 pp., illustrated throughout, 10,75x12,25". Edition of 45. This edition sold out, also available in this edition, Images from here.

I do not like pigeons. I like these shapes.

Book description:

"Some years ago, during a brief stay in Northern France, I saw my first pigeonnier standing isolated in a farmer's field off a tiny back road.

Pigeonniers, also known as colombiers, were constructed to house the French nobility's pigeons. Dating back to the thirteenth century, thousands of pigeionniers used to exist throughout France. Few remain today. Some survivors are scattered throughout the landscapes of Normandy and Brittany.

The survival of these pigeonniers across the centuries reverberates with me: their early randomness and lack of social significance; their rise as subsequent symbols of prosperity and domain as the rights of the nobility superceded those of their serfs; and their ensuing neglect I have discovered them in their final phase of existence, that of beautiful, useless, and sometimes forlorn structures. Many will soon disappear entirely, as have the worlds they represent: a composite of fantastical beliefs, medieval art and tapestries; of scientific discoveries; and of power inequity and political revolutions.

Pigeonniers usually stand as silent, abandoned dwellings hidden away in the countryside. They feel haunted by their rich histories. At the same time, pigeonniers are very inviting, and some are still inhabited by a few pigeons. These structures retain, too, some of the sweetness of their former occupants, of the characteristics of these birds - their gentleness, loyalty, nesting, and social instincts, and ability to hone in on home.

These buildings were framed long before I ever found them, by their period, their usage and their placement in nature. They are artifacts of their time, trapped by outliving their usefulness. As I have learned about their history and of their demise, it has compelled me to attempt to reveal fragments of their nature.

Their decline has touched me as it embodies the loss we all may experience through life changes, decay, and the death of loved ones. The pigeonniers' survival represents the continuity of objects long after their builders have gone, reflecting our shared history. I find this continuity contains a measure of reassurance."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hilma af Klint - A Pioneer of Abstraction

Hilma af Klint - A Pioneer of Abstraction (wonderful artist, wonderful exhibition, wonderful short docu).

Moderna museet (Modern Museum Stockholm + Modern Museum Malmö) has some great videos, talks, shorts, interviews here:

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

[a serene] Book of Frustration.

[a serene] Book of Frustration. Sara Elgerot, 2013. Unpaged, illustrated throughout, 42cm uncurled.

Book description:

"I made a book out of frustration; it became serene."

Scrap paper (trimmed-off paper from other book), recycled plastic ('handles' from household packaging), recycled plastic ties (from consumer packaging).

Monday, May 06, 2013

Other//Colours Of A Day.

Other//Colours Of A Day. A book by Sara Elgerot for 'An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street', 2013. Unpaged, illustrated throughout, 21x13cm. Signed and numbered. Edition of 3 books (+1 artist copy). -->> better photos to come.

This book was made for 'An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street' - a project initiated by Beau Beausoleil (USA) and co-curated by Sarah Bodman (UK). Links: here and here.

I've been very moved by this project and its intent, and am very happy to be part of it.

Book description:

" “I was born in Sweden of Swedish parents. Sweden has not had or been in war since 1814. It is not the same. I've lived most of my adult life in the UK. I lived in London on 7/7/2005, very near to where the bombs went off. Then life moved on. It is not the same.

I knew Baghdad only from history lessons and books. I knew its book market from “We Came To Baghdad” and a documentary which chronicled Agatha Christie's life in Mesopotamia and talked at length of Baghdad’s bookstalls and book market. 'One day', I thought, 'one day I will visit'. Then I knew Baghdad from a war we marched against, terror that doesn't stop. Years, a decade, later it hasn't stopped. It is not the same.

I wanted to make a book for transformation, with one wish: May all beings know and live in peace.”

The book was inspired by transformation and the phrase “The River Turned Black with Ink”. It was made by taking newspaper photographs of the destruction on and of Al-Mutanabbi Street treating them with water, painting with the water on the paper until all the colours had emerged and blended together. Cut up and assembled into books they have turned into 'other'."

Materials & Technique:
Newspaper photographs printed on paper, treated with and painted on with water. Scanned in and printed out unaltered. Gathered, folded, cut and assembled. Cover: ancient Baghdad map printed on paper and treated with water. Hand-bound with white and coloured thread.

Edition of three copies, which is donated to the project (+one artist copy). All copies are made up of different parts of the original sheets, which means each copy is different. Each copy is also bound with different coloured (exposed) threads.

One copy of 'Other//Colours Of A Day' will be donated to the Iraq National Library in Baghdad, whereas the other two copies will be part of touring exhibitions for the next few years in conjunction with the 'Al-Mutanabbi Street Broadside Project'.

Thursday, May 02, 2013


Skogen. By Robert Adams. Yale University Press, 2012. 48pp., illustrated throughout, 9,75x11". Images from here.

Book description:

" 'Skogen' is the Swedish word for forest, and while the dense woods featured in Robert Adams's most recent series of photographs grow near his home in Oregon, the pictures evoke a wild utopia, and convey a hushed, primeval awe.

In this volume, the latest to document Adams's ongoing quest to find form amid the chaos of nature, shadows predominate, tempered by an ambiguous light that is unique to the Pacific Northwest.

'Skogen' features forty-six previously unpublished images, a body of work that is among the most pictorially complex of Adams's distinguished career. Also included are an introduction by the artist and a poem by the acclaimed poet Denise Levertov. This pairing is meaningful; as Michael Fried wrote in Bookforum, 'Adams's artistic ideal...has much in common with that of a certain sort of lyric poem, one that similarly has not the slightest room for carelessness of any sort'."

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Today in 1890

Swedish Worker's movement/Swedish Labour movement, first of May demonstration in 1890, Sundsvall, Sweden - source for photograph.

"8 timmars arbete, 8 timmars frihet, 8 timmars hvila" - 8 hours work, 8 hours freedom, 8 hours rest.