Ultraista who I just saw perform their U.S. debut at the Echoplex just last week have a new video for their single, Our Song. The band was in great spirits as they performed most, if not all the songs from their self-titled debut and made great use of their colorful videos during the set. The trio features Nigel Godrich from Radiohead producing fame, drummer extraordinaire, Joey Waronker and Laura Bettinson on vocals. They are playing at (le) poisson rouge in New York on October 24th so be sure to check them out before they head to much larger venues.
The new work from Australian photographer Jana Maré in a way presents different relationships. Maré’s nude body is found throughout a deteriorating house, interacting with various rooms and structures. The physical relationship expressed in the photos at once recalls the structure’s past incarnation as a home and emphasizes its current dilapidation. At the same time, though, Maré, in using her own body and refusing to use digital manipulation seems to have a nearly uneasy relationship with the camera and viewer – her posing a kind of performance that has been frozen.
Brooklyn-based artist Hannah Kunkle puts Kim Kardashian on the altar, literally. Kunkle delivers Kardashian as the Virgin Mary, Medusa, the devil and even Kleopatra. With a flashy net-art inspired aesthetic, the artist takes Kim’s iconic, worshiped image and puts it to work, naturally, with religious/cultish iconography. The controversial juxtaposition is rather riveting as its subtle insights perfectly captures the absurdity of our nation’s obsession with Kardashian and celeb idolatry in general. “We have accepted her into our lives via television screens, memes, and Instagram feeds”, she says. “If Jay Z is the father and Yeezus is the son, then she is the ever-present holy ghost of pop culture.”
According to the Huffpost, Kunkle’s recent exhibition in Bushwich titled “The Passion of Kim Kardashian” caused some controversy amongst the religious community in New York. “It’s deplorable,” Pastor Reggie Stutzman of Real Life Church told The New York Daily News. “It’s sacrilegious, irrelevant, and disrespectful… It’s idol worship.” The Hindu community had opinions about it too. “I am certainly not happy about this,” said Dr. Uma Mysorekar, of the Hindu Temple Society of North America. “Any religious symbol should not be used or abused.” (Via Huff Post)
Superstition aside, these sculptures made from shards of mirrors were created by artist Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen. If you look at the photographs carefully, in addition to the sculptures a person in a similar mirror-suit moves throughout the gallery. The gallery also projects a video for this exhibit featuring a person in this mirror-suit moving through commercial spaces in South East Asia and Denmark. It is interesting noticing the virtually universal nature of mannequins. Rasmussen brings out that they allow us to imagine the way clothes will look on us, but on a deeper level we project what we want to be on them. Similarly, these sculptures literally reflect those gazing at them. [via]
Icelandic artist Shoplifter aka Hrafnhildur Arnardottir lives and works in New York. “Her body of work as a whole exists in the gray area between visual art, performance, and design. Shoplifter has worked for several years exploring the use and symbolic nature of hair, and its visual and artistic potential. For Shoplifter hair is the ultimate thread that grows from our body. Hair is an original, creative fiber, a way for people to distinguish themselves as individuals, and often an art form. Humor plays a large roll in her life and work, sometimes subtly, but other times taking over. This humor extends to her love of playing with the juxtaposition of opposites. Like with her hair pieces- they appear beautiful evoking natural forms and plant life, but at the same time hair is considered grotesque and disturbing when it is not attached to the body, like hair in the shower drain. She uses traditional handcraft techniques like knitting, weaving, and braiding to create new forms of textiles, while referring to established methods in art. She is attracted to the playfulness found in folk art, naïvism, and handicraft which all have a strong influence on her organic process of creating work.”