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Sep 27 2013

Text Generation: Holzer in Hong Kong

by Chloe Mandryk
Text Generation: Holzer in Hong Kong

Hong Kong streets have a deafening chatter, of the visual kind. Every night, the ICC Tower projects an LED light show in Central and down in the urban canopy hundreds of neon signs chart the alleys. “Visual culture is a fuzzily defined thing. But one can say for sure that neon signs are a very important part” said curator Aric Chen recently after an infamous Sai Ying Pun eatery sign was deemed illegal and subsequently claimed as an objet d’art in M+ Museum for Visual Culture’s permanent collection.

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Sep 24 2013

In and Around Istanbul’s Biennial Week

by HG Masters
In and Around Istanbul's Biennial Week

The 13th Istanbul Biennial, with its unlikely question for a title —“Mom, am I a Barbarian?” (taken from a book of poems by Lale Müldür)—is centered around a series a challenging proposals about the meaning of citizenship, processes of urban development, forms of education, and the conditions of labor in the neoliberal city. It addressed the rapid, contested development of Istanbul and the modern megapolis at large, whose realization was interrupted by the Gezi Park protests of late May and June—an explosion of discontent at the authoritarian, sectarian policies of the Turkish government. While these recent (and still ongoing) social uprisings are not addressed directly, many of the underlining causes are—including the egregious urban planning policies that displace marginal communities and privilege corporations over citizens. At its more poetic moments,  the exhibition reflected the spirit of the Gezi resistance in the suspended, unfinished, provisional, impermanent, transient and collaborative qualities of works by 88 artists and collectives. The week was bigger than the Biennial itself, however, with openings of new exhibitions at galleries and art spaces, a performance series and even a new art fair. Here’s a look around Istanbul in mid-September.   

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Sep 20 2013

New Territories: Interview with Patty Chang

by Ming Lin
New Territories: Interview with Patty Chang
The New York-based artist Patty Chang has been making daring forays in performance art since the late 1990s. She once captivated viewers onscreen, appearing to be somewhere between throws of ecstasy and pain—but irreducible to neither—later attributing this to the live eels that filled her blouse and wriggled uncontrollably against her skin. In another work, Chang came uncomfortably close to incest by making chewing movements against the lips of her own parents which, at first glance, looked like awkward make-out sessions. Teetering precariously between humor and embarrassment, Chang’s early works push the body to its limits, alluding to the fluidity of identity by confounding any attempt at characterization. 
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Sep 19 2013

Concrete Love

by Jen Kwok
Concrete Love
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Sep 17 2013

The Many Faces of Ghazel

by Samine Tabatabaei
The Many Faces of Ghazel

The works of Iranian performance artist Ghazel can best be characterized by her dry humor. From very early on, she has insouciantly focused on the depiction of Iranian women both in Iran and abroad—her approach to this contested discourse revealing intricacies and tensions surrounding the themes she chooses to engage with.

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Sep 13 2013

Talking about talking: “Between Conversations”

by Bruce Quek
Talking about talking: "Between Conversations"

With a reputation for being less than accommodating to notions of free speech – approaching, at times, a caricature of regimented utilitarianism – Singapore is perhaps not the first place one would look to when seeking an open dialogue. “Between Conversations,” curated by Louis Ho at Yavuz Fine Art—which features the work of 20 Singaporean artists variously engaging the subject of conversational process—therefore acquires greater significance as a timely exploration advocating speaking with one another rather than speaking to.

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Sep 11 2013

Banging on the Gates: Istanbul Biennial Week Preview

by HG Masters
Banging on the Gates:  Istanbul Biennial Week Preview
If you haven’t been to Istanbul in a while—or even just in the past two years—it might not be quite the city you remember. The Gezi Park protest movement that began in May, and the subsequent social unrest across Turkey, followed a decade of economic growth and massive urban transformation. The demonstrations prevented the construction of an Ottoman-style shopping mall in place of the park (at least for now) but the city will proceed with its plans to demolish poorer neighborhoods, relocating their communities to peripheral high-rises. Vast infrastructure projects that threaten the city’s ecology—including a third Bosporus bridge, the world’s largest airport and a new canal—are also in the works
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Sep 05 2013

Concrete Love

by Jen Kwok
Concrete Love
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