Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969)

18th February 2010

Sprüth Magers Berlin London

"Kenneth Anger was born in Santa Monica, California. His most iconic works include the classic Fireworks (1947), Eaux D'Artifice (1953), Rabbit's Moon (1950-1973), Inauguation of the Please Dome (1954-1966), Scorpio Rising (1964), Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969) and Lucifer Rising (1970-1981). His work has been featured at the Whitney Biennial 2006, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centre, New York in 2009 and the Athens Biennial 2009.
He lives and works in Los Angeles."1

Anger's work strongly reflects on the Xenophobic attitudes of the 1960's. For example within Scorpio Rising, Anger uses heavily embedded imagery consisting of Nazis, Jesus, eroticism and Sunday Comics. This Juxtaposition of imagery seems to hold some essence of distaste within modern culture, however to understand the effects of Anger's films you have to imagine how his films would have been received in the early 60's.

Anger's lack of narrative combined with frustratingly muddled soundtracks cause an element of hyper reality where the viewer can't enter the video (the key purpose of majority of cinema) but is in fact submerged in angers alternate reality where good and evil assimilate. Provoking the viewer to question the culture they have been fed.

Paul McArthur and Carolee Schneeman also comment on taboo subjects within the 60's with works such as Projection Room (1971-2006) and Meat Joy (1964) respectively. However with regard to Anger's videos they do not strike the same level of disgust and aversion because of because of Anger's adjacency of accepted and non accepted cultural references sparks a greater sense of unsettling within the viewer. In a way that is horrifically far away from being a satirical reference.

Friday, 29 January 2010

out of context.

'A bird's wing, comrades,' he said, 'is an organ of propulsion and not of manipulation. It should therefore be regarded as a leg. The distinguishing mark of Man is the hand, the instrument with which he does all his mischief.'

George Orwell

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Archie's Critique

For the purpose of this writing the paintings will be named "A" and "B" respectively from left to right.

Fundamental responses from the contrasting forms of presentations, forced a conversation to develop. Not just from the viewers, but from the pieces of art themselves.

Looking at the images in a basic aesthetic sense, work A has the appearance of an ethereal dream deriving from an android. The pixel-esque nature of this piece also brought thoughts of technology and digitalisation of images. Be they conscious or not.
Work B, holds a sense of nature, due to the use of wood as the applied medium and the softer dispersion of the face (when compared to work B). However all of the above points, could in some respect be thought of as arbitrary 'over-reading', an ability that becomes increasingly hard to escape.Thus causing viewers to possibly miss the intended language which was intended to be read.

Soon the pieces of art, were then deconstructed with instantaneous impressions, where questions such as 'what is actually infront of us?' were asked. Conclusions soon arose that the paintings were portraits that have been produced via studying photos. As well as the argument between presentation, the concept of style of painting appeared.

Why is that red square so compelling to the viewer?
Abstract or figurative?
Why are portraits created?

These questions were soon studied, and resulted in a perfect retrospective of institution taught theories and concepts. This coupled with the previous comparison of presentation; the ideas of wood being the initial foundation for which paintings were to be applied with the use of poplar (pre-renaissance), then canvas trumping it's previous medium and the backwards thought of 'good quality painting should be on a canvas'.

Resulting in the conclusion of the critique. A discussion/argument/study of 'art schools'?

Friday, 22 January 2010

possible invitation for Xuma show

NEED comments


some- professional views


An ongoing discussion between myself, professionals and amateur cinematographers about Fine Art inside cinema.


Thursday, 21 January 2010

Blast Theory - Kidnap

> click for video <

Other than the loaded messages about release of control, Stockholm syndrome, and the provoking case concerning legalities of Sado-Masochism, the documentation of this art was very adulatory to it's cause. This is because the Art withholds a mixture of mediums such as moving image, sculpture, installation and performance. In doing so this creates an 'alternative reality', and an alternative reality cannot be experienced to a genuine level through documentation. For example a photo of a piece of installation work will not fulfil the same or possibly any depth of concept that being involved and situated within the installation will. Therefore recording work that involves installation and/or performance should only be seen as documentation rather than another medium to express the same concept.


Possible examples explaining this idea are, Magritte's "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" where he comments on a painting of a pipe being a painting of a pipe and not an actual pipe. More real life examples could be credited with the idea of visiting a country and taking photos. The photos will usually give an incorrect view of the country and not envelop the viewer in an alien reality.


Further reading i found interesting (about the court case that provoked 'kidnap')

"The main case in relation to the issue of said-masochism is Brown and Others (1994), the defendants were members of a group of sado-masochist homosexuals who participated in violent acts against each other for sexual pleasure over a period of years. They were convicted of actual bodily harm under section 47 and wounding under section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. They appealed on the basis of consent but were unsuccessful, both the Court of Appeal and House of Lords deciding that consent was not a valid defence in the circumstances. Lord Templeman stated: “The violence of sado-masochistic encounters involves the indulgence of cruelty by sadists and the degradation of victims. Such violence is injurious to the participants and unpredictably dangerous. I am not prepared to invent a defence of consent for sado-masochistic encounters which breed and glorify cruelty and result in offences under sections 47 and 20 of the Act of 1861…Society is entitled and bound to protect itself against a cult of violence.”
The main arguments presented against allowing the defence of consent for sado-masochism were the potential dangers of such activities, moral objections to the defendants’ activities and the possible corruption of young people as a result of such activities. These arguments support Dr Jepson’s statement that: “Consent should never be a valid defence when it comes to actual/serious offences against the person”, but are specifically in relation to the issue of sado-masochism.
The argument that the state should not interfere with those conducting sado-masochistic activities in private, with consent of the victim, due to the rights and freedoms of the individual has been largely unsuccessful. Although Article 8(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights provides that ‘Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life’, Article 8(2) limits this, allowing the intervention of public authorities due to the need for national security or public safety or for the protection of health or morals, or rights and freedoms of others, and the European Court of Human Rights upheld the decision in Brown and Others."

Lisa Incledon - February 2005

'Six Years' - 'Eight years'

Initial reaction received from the pieces of art are instantly directed to a parentally and chronological viewpoint.
This viewpoint ordered preconceptions to the viewers, causing the 'mystery game' to be played; when reading the pieces of art. Not only was it detrimental to the critique of the work but it also caused us to waste time, talking about all the semiotics and peoples reactions to them, which I thought was a given. This lead to overanalysing the pieces of work and attempts to read them as if 'clues from a puzzle' rather than accepting the pieces as solitary vehicles for the artists concepts.

The work seemed to be presented together to emphasise and 'back up' each others points, this ended up being negative to the pieces. By using two pieces of art to emphasise each other would not have been as successful as possible just 'six years' presented solely. But if they were placed in continuum to provoke a discussion between them; resulting in possibly the analogy of children fighting for attention from their mother then this was a great addition to the piece of art. However I am not sure if I believe that this is true and instead it was more connected to not having enough confidence in presenting a solo piece of work (especially with a critique trend of work being presented in multiples) because the work didn't have the type of conversation between each other that felt in sync. But rather it felt as if it they were contradictory to each other and I found 'eight years' to have confusing symbology, possibly because 'six years' was clear that it was an anchor being represented in a cake yet 'eight years' wasn't as equally clear. Was it a piñata or was it a piece of homework? Thus bringing attention back to focusing on 'six years', which was more successful because it seemed more refined. It held simplicity within itself, yet the simplicity was adulatory to the work.

One prominent question that arose in the critique was whether the art was catered to a specific audience. Said question; resulted in my personal conclusion that it was very similar to the Schrödinger's Cat conundrum, because there was not a definitive answer. But it brought about a discussion between the ideas that not every viewer will be a mother and in the same lifestyle situation as the artist. However every viewer will most likely have nostalgic childhood memories that relate to the pieces of art. Bringing this analogy to some sense, i this is a similar case with any piece of art, but it a question worth thinking about when presenting.

The most interesting discussion points stemmed back to the popular crit topic of presentation. The work was presented in a very archival and clinical fashion. Becoming a contradiction to what seemed to be the point of the art that was presented. This could be what the artist wanted, causing the viewers to take a controlled and macro view of parental art. But i think it was possibly a halfway attempt between setting it up as if it was inside a gallery and trying to be an installation involving the viewers into the artists memory.

The artists use of the skewed Duchampian ideals makes 'six years' successful and personally pleasing to my preferences and for me the piece could have been more successful with just 'six years' presented alone. More personal judgement needs to be made when presenting art; purely because the presentation was the most negative and contradictory element from this crit.