Text

ARCO Madrid 2012

Bonniers Konsthall’s director Sara Arrhenius and project manager Björn Norberg just returned from ARCO Madrid were the 14 Billions – Tomás Saraceno book was launched. 

   Sara Arrhenius and Tomás Saraceno at ARCO

 
       The Book

Tomás’ works were presented at two sites at the fair, at Andersen’s Contemporary and at the solo part. At Andersen’s there were some fantastic prints with photo’s from Bonniers Konsthall and a couple of sculptures. In the solo division he showed a couple of solar sculptures.


   Tomás’ book signing.

The book was launched at a Q&A in between Sara and Tomás, followed by a book signing. It should now be on the shelves, but the best way is of course to buy it from Bonniers Konsthall directly.
       One of Saraceno’s sculptures

Saraceno was far from the only artist in the fair that should be familiar for Bonniers Konsthall’s audience. Gabriel Lester created a fantastic video installation for the façade windows in the spring of 2006. Now his new installation, with different figures passing by some small spotlights creating a play of shadows on the wall, attracted a great crowd. Definitively one of the most popular works at ARCO 2012.

Lester’s installation connects to the theme of the current exhibition at Bonniers Konsthall and one of the artists in the exhibition was also presented at ARCO. Rosa Barba showed one of her 16mm installations.
 
Two of the artists of the Spiral and the square were also represented. Dias & Riedweg had a fine video installation and Hague Yang had a fantastic installation with wall mounted prints and blinds.
  
Smaller, but still great were Charles Avery’s two paintings and his willow tree. Also Guido van der Werve had pieces at the fair, but unfortunately we missed them.
 
What is great with ARCO, from a Scandinavian point of view, is that it present artists and galleries that we seldom see or hear of in Sweden. Especially there is many galleries from South America, and we met some good friends from the Spiral and the Square project. One Swedish voice was heard at the fair. Ylva Ogland had a very special project running, where she was painting portraits leaning into a small Tipi. It reminded me of the games you play when your are a child. I had a tipi as well, and into the small tent I moved all my belongings. Ylva moved in her canvas and her paint, but she couldn’t really fit in herself. The audience would see her back, but couldn’t really see what was going on inside the tent. If you dared to step in, Ylva would stand up and eventually offer you a glass of vodka. We said thanks, nut no, as it was early Saturday morning. Great to see Ylva continue making her special projects, in the same faith as she made in the Scene Shifts exhibition.

More photos will show up in the next post.

/Björn Norberg

Text

#19-#21 Scener ur ett äktenskap, Blade Runner and Vertigo

A Trip to the Mooon exhibition opened last week and there has been a great start with a large audience and so many things going on that we have to sow down the blog posting a bit. From now and until the end of the exhibition we will publish the film list once a week, but on the other hand the films will be delivered in 3-packs, so in one way the tempo is the same. Here are number 19, 20 and 21:

19. Scener ur ett äktenskap by Ingmar Bergman
I boutght the international movie version of the TV-series. This is a film I need to see a least once a year. Normally a near three-hour-film bores me. This one never does. Made for TV means a totally different technology and its resolution is quite special and adds to the nice 70’s-feeling. Intense is a good word. This is a film that is slow, yes, but it hooks from minute one and won’t release until minute 167. Liv Ullman and Erland Josephson’s acting is superb, and the play in between Marianne and Johan they create is pure cinema art. The long takes. The lines, the silence in between the words. The close ups. Can’t be better.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3z27JqwpG8

 

20. Blade runner by Ridley Scott
Darryl Hannah. Rutger Hauer. Harrison Ford? Well, not a guarantee for a good movie, but this is a very complete sci-fi drama. It’s smart, it’s futuristic and thought provoking. It opens with the famous Metropolis rip-off. From there and on you know this is going to be a good film. Who is bad, who is good, what is a human and what is a machine? Whoever designed the replicants wasn’t aware of Asimov’s three laws for robotics. Ridley Scott seems to still be putting out new versions of it, never satisfied with the previous version. In my opinion this doesn’t matter, go for any of them. It’s an important film, a reference point for all tyoes of culture.
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lW0F1sccqk
 

21.Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock
Hitchcock’s films are classic and there is a certain quality in all of them, even in his first silents. There are some stupid comedies of course, stay away from them, but films like the 39 steps are films that still works fine. Still I have trouble in finding a PERFECT Hitchcock film. Dial M for Murder might be one. Vertigo might as well. The latter is a rather irritating film for 90 minutes. It seems to be a very easy plot, some good acting, some smart camera angles. But then things start to happen and the last 30 minutes are totally twisted. What is really nice with the film is the intro with the graphic work of John Whitney, an experimental film maker, whose work predicted the computer animation that was to come. True pioneer work!
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0bV2gh4E7Y

/Björn Norberg

Text

#22 Fitzcarraldo by Werner Herzog

There are incredible stories about the adventures around the shooting of Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, and I think the whole film, both behind and on the screen, is about the making of cultural projects. How to create and how to make the impossible possible for no money. It’s all about one person’s dream of setting up an opera in the middle of the South American jungle. To reach this goal it is necessary to drag a steam ship over a mountain. The stage set for the shooting was totally real. Herzog’s team actually had to drag the boat over the mountain. On top of this they had Klaus Kinski, maybe even crazier than the director himself. Anybody who has ever been into a culture project, where the budget is too short, the time schuldule even shorter, the ideas and the expectations bigger than universe and half-way into the project realizes that half of the collaborators are insane addicts will appreciate this film. And you will totally understand why this steamship just HAS to go over the mountain.
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F53yUsgVuL0

/Björn Norberg

Text

Trondheim and the Spiral and the Square

 

The Spiral and the Square had a long and successful time at Bonniers Konsthall. It was over five months of discussions and learning about translation, in text, between art form and culture, between bodies and from man to material. Now the project has transformed itself to go on a Norwegian tour. First stop is Trondheim Kunstmseum’s satellite space Gråmölna.

 Director Pontus Kyander at the opening

Since the Gråmölna space is smaller than Bonniers Konsthall the museum’s director Pontus Kyander and the curators Daniela Castro and Jochen Volz decided to divide the exhibition into three chapters and the first chapter opened just a few days ago, Sunday 5th February. This first chapter includes Rodrigo Matheus both installation (yes, the big tree is included), Detanico Lain’s New Roman Times and the Sator Arepo… installation, Cinthia Marcelles video and diptyches, Öyvind Fahlström, Hague Yang, Fabio Morais, Dora Longo Bahia and Renata Lucas.

 It’s great to see how the exhibition has taken a total new form, and of course meaning, as it is translated to not only to Norwegian, but also to new forms and formations because of the differences between the rooms in Stockholm and Trondheim. One example is Dora Longo Bahias video- and sound installation. The two rooms have been made much smaller, and the ceiling height is lower, which gives a totally different experience.

Norwegian band Dog and Sky at the opening

We are waiting now for the next chapters, and to see Rirkrit Tiravanija’s workshop running, with brand new Norwegian texts for the T-Shirts.

/Björn Norberg

Text

#23 Il Deserto Rosso by Michelangelo Antonioni

Industrial sounds, fog, industrial building, dirt, large ships, a mentally instable woman trying to find meaning in her life while some fishy business, lead by her husband, is going on. The images from Ravenna’s harbor are still, after nearly 50 years stunning. It’s a strange feeling from the start, when the dressed up Guiliana comes to the factory, and buys a half eaten sandwich from one of the workers – and it just continues. If I should compare it to another film I would choose the much lesser well known (and respected) Carnival of Souls. Both films are about a person that feels she doesn’t belong and maybe even isn’t sure which reality she lives in. Antonioni’s film is however in another league visually.
Some ten minutes of the film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzwo987wCQg

/Björn Norberg

Text

#25 Citizen Kane by Orson Wells

Citizen Kane was for a very long time the best film ever made among cineastes. And still it’s popular. At the moment it ranks #38 on IMDB.com. It has some really clever and effective moves. Wells was way ahead his time. It starts up like a documentary, which shows to be a work-in-progress-copy. When it ends the film team who is working on it starts to discuss what is missing in the film. Then an extended research starts and we are getting the full story of Kane. The documentary style, Wells had tested some years before, in his famous radio theatre War of the Worlds. The broadcast made some million Americans to believe that there was an alien invasion going on. That trick worked better, but Citizen Kane is still a nice “film within the film”. There are however other tricks that works better, f ex the interview with the old Leland where he describes Kane’s relation to his first wife and we get to see a series of shots of Mr. and Mrs. Kane in conversation from early love to distrust, and how these scenes lingers in the background when the scene goes back to Leland. Or how the tempo in the film, it’s cuts and lines goes up in tempo according to Kane’s career until the crescendo when the Inquirer takes over the staff from the competing paper. It all ends up in Tivoli-like experience where the wheels are simply running to fast. After all these years it’s still a good film. But maybe not as good that it was in 1989. Time changes taste.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyv19bg0scg

/Björn Norberg

Text

#26 Ascenseur pour l’èchafaud by Louis Malle

Louis Malle or Truffaut? I don’t know which one is my favorite French new wave director. But I really like Malle. The perfect crime, we have seen so many versions of it. In Ascenseur pour l’èchafaud a man murders his boss, who also is the husband of his adulterer. No witnesses - check. Alibi - check. Everything would have gone his way if it wasn’t for that elevator and that doorman who shuts the whole building off for the night. Trapped! Will he get out or will he be caught?

What more? Miles Davis wrote the fantastic music. Hear some of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saG7EELIfMM

/Björn Norberg

Text

#27 Nóź w wodzie (Knife in The Water) by Roman Polanski

A knife, a woman. What more? Two men and a limited space. This seems like the perfect set for some intense drama. Of course it needs a talented director and manuscript as well. This is an early film by Roman Polanski, made in Poland, and its set on a boat. A woman, her elder husband is going on a boat trip. They pick up a younger man and invite him to join. Maybe not a good idea since the boy gets a little bit too interested in the woman. A psychological, and in the beginning not outspoken, fight starts in between the men.

Some Youtube minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaBa2Wj3gHk

/Björn Norberg

Text

#28 La Nuit américaine by François Truffaut

The American Night refers to a film trick. You make the shooting in full daylight. Then you add a filter that makes it look like in the middle of the night. Both Godard and Truffaut have made films about film production. When Godard theoretically dissects his films Truffaut just films the camera team and shows all the tricks and labor of filmmaking. The main actress is drunk and misses the lines, the goofy technician always want to show his latest innovation, the stunt man takes off with one of the girls and the shots of the most complicated and expensive scene is ruined in the dark room. Instead of taking the different ingredients apart, Truffaut cooks them together in a stunning film about a film.

Un extrait: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxkFtRr3wHM&feature=related

/Björn Norberg

Text

#29 Trafic by Jacques Tati

Most Tati fans probably prefer Play Time (which I find great for my eyes but a bit too much of minimalism) or Les Vacances de M. Hulot (which is a bit too old and corny). I prefer Trafic, and this is mainly because of one single scene. In his films Tati usually had a lot of parallel actions going on in one single frame. There could be an overview camera, Hulot in the middle but several other important acts in the margins. And suddenly all actions would collide or interact. To manage this all depth in the image are in focus. In Traffic there is this car accident scene. There are cars coming from everywhere, crashing into each other and spreading both car parts in all directions as confusion. It is like all people are living and acting in a very narrow and personal sphere, and suddenly this sphere breaks when they accidently bump into others and they start to interact.
Road mayhem incident: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA2Oych939g

/Björn Norberg