ANDY WARHOL: REVELATION
Opening October 20, 2019 at The Andy Warhol Museum
The Andy Warhol Museum announces Andy Warhol: Revelation, opening October 20, 2019. Revelation will be the first exhibition to comprehensively examine the Pop artist’s complex Catholic faith in relation to his artistic production. >>READ MORE
Excitement Grows as Reveal Art Fair Approaches this July
by Jack Raplee
Last year’s Reveal Contemporary Art Fair in Saratoga Springs, NY made a major impact on the region and in the world of contemporary art and this year’s fair is poised build on that. Scheduled for July 18-21, Reveal has retained many galleries and key sponsors from 2018 when it was recognized as a regional tourism ambassador for bringing the art scene to Saratoga Springs. >>READ MORE
Mixed Media Artist
Anna Khachatryan, is a mixed media artist—and the Creative Director at No.3 Events—whose passion for film production and photo art is evident in her multidimensional work. Originally from Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia, where she was warmly received by patrons and critics for her work in photography and film, Anna’s work proves a stunning dynamic range within her artistic direction. >>READ MORE
DEATH IS A SHAMANISTIC TRIP THAT YOU CAN WITHDRAW FROM
The Speculative Cultures VR Show and Beyond
by Tansy Xiao
After Jordan Wolfson made news at the 2017 Whitney Biennial with his age-restricted VR piece, “Real Violence”—a work for which the viewer gripped a railing as they watched a man beat in the skull of a person writhing on the ground with a baseball bat—it’s hard to fault the viewer for associating the artistic medium of VR with shock value.
It’s true with every medium when their potentials are still veiled: let’s not forget that the pioneers in cinema used to be magicians and archaic medicine was merely witchcraft. That’s the stage we’re at in virtual reality, far behind the uncanny valley of storytelling. The visual art world’s take in particular to utilize this new medium is often rather primitive and instinctual, and the result comes out literal: either gratuitous violence like Wolfson’s piece, which essentially appeared like Grand Theft Auto on a pedestal; or intense emotions, like Queerskins at the last Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes in which the viewers were trapped in a virtual vehicle from the perspective of a gay protagonist being exposed to the conversations of his homophobic parents.
The contemporary society is obsessed with getting overdosed with images and sounds. Virtual reality seems to be creating space where there is no room, yet we eager to fill that space up also, with an obsessive hoarding of stimulations. Maximizing the impact of perception and presence, a new form of art that specializes in operationalization and manipulation emerged. Sounds familiar? Back in the days, montage as a film language was theorized and utilized to serve authoritarianism after the Soviet revolution thanks its ability to create a guided view. When you’re playing with the psychological effects on the viewer, you’re playing with fire.
It was packed at the opening of Speculative Cultures, a virtual reality show at The Sheila Johnson Design Center, 2 West 13th St, Ground Floor | Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery. More visitors had been stuck in line waiting to put on a pair of goggles like kids waiting in front of an ice cream truck. It’s quite a phenomenon that dozens of people could be seen in every direction waiting in actual reality to run around in virtual reality. Back in the days, I was stuck in line for 4 hours to enter 29 Rooms to take pictures to beat that peer pressure and to prove my presence online. Virtual reality, on the other hand, invalidates this popular ritual—as there’s no need or possibility to prove that one has been to a space that doesn’t exist.
Just like a near-death experience or being kidnapped by aliens. What immediately captured my eyes in the show was the red tulle curtain installation: a piece called Neo Kingdom by Erin Ko and Jamie Martinez. Only one viewer is allowed in at once and they’d be going through a journey inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The book, usually a roll of papyrus filled with hieroglyphic script, is a practical guide to the next world with spells that would help you on your journey, a Lonely Planet on the afterlife rather than a finite text like the Bible. One would, of course, encounter snakes, crocodiles, insects, and demons on their way just like they’d encounter tourist traps in a foreign city. The viewer, all by themselves, would be asked to look up in search for a bright beam of light that is going to lead them to Anubis, the Egyptian god who weighs one’s heart to decide whether they belong to heaven or to have their soul devoured by the demon. A fair game. I guess Anubis has tons of appointments since his session is as brief as those at your local DMV for such a long wait. On the side, there are several stone tablets with hieroglyphic scripts for augmented reality effects in the shape of an iPad. It’s intriguing to see how cutting-edge technology resonates with the cultural heritage of those ancestors.
Another interesting piece is the one right next to the entrance, Morehshin Allahyari’s She Who Sees The Unknown. Having researched dark goddesses, monstrous, and djinn female figures of Middle-Eastern origin, the artist collaged different deities together and recreated her own versions of a powerful goddess archetype with multiple heads and a strong serpentine lower body on a digital platform, as well her humid, abysmal shrine. The goddess doesn’t really do a thing. She sits silently in her palace or natural habitat, a powerful woman, for the viewers to worship, or to leave alone.
Created a rather interactive psychedelic trip and in his words, to decipher and to manifest the techno-spiritual and cyber-pagan experience, Matias Brunacci guided the viewers through the wonder (or terror) land of chaotic neutral. Like most of the indigenous gods, the mysterious force stands for the universal dualism that embraces both good and evil, indicating both creation and destruction. Scott Benesiinaabandan, on the other hand, speaks for a more specific group. Planting the narratives and the language of the Anishinaabe peoples in a futuristic setting, it looks more like a poetic elegy rather than the actual preservation of an endangered culture.
By the end of my trip to these reality-based post-apocalyptic virtual lands, I didn’t know how to feel. Some sort of new exoticism or a genuine tribute to the deterritorialized cultures, or maybe both. The exhibition takes a more neutral but no weaker position demonstrating the post-colonial conditions of different civilizations and their people, as well situating the influences of colonialism back in a Western context, aka the city that we inhabit in. However, the bidirectional influences between different sociological and geographical territories are more of an organic development rather than a misappropriation. As Kwame Anthony Appiah stated: “Cultures are made of continuities and changes, and the identity of a society can survive through these changes. Societies without change aren't authentic; they're just dead.”
As these stories being told over and over again, at various times, via different mediums, at least there’s one thing we know, that they’re still alive.
Speculative Cultures: A Virtual Reality Exhibition, curated by Tina Sauerlaender, Peggy Schoenegge, and Erandy Vergara, continues through April 14th, 2019 at The New School’s Sheila C. Johnson Design Center.
Credit for the Photographs: Installation shot, Speculative Cultures. A Virtual Reality Exhibition, (2019), curated by Tina Sauerlaender, Peggy Schoenegge, and Erandy Vergara. Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons/The New School. Photo: Marc Tatti.
REVEAL ART MAGAZINE
No.3 Media Alliance with REVEAL International Contemporary Art Fair / Saratoga Springs New York
July 18-21, 2019
INTERVIEW MAGAZINE LIVES ON: 'FAME'
THE ART BEAT OF THE SWISS ALPS
by Hannah Kymila Bär von Fetan
Lita Albuquerque installs at The Art Safiental Biennale in the Graubünden, Switzerland as part of a greater focus on Land Art and environmental concern in Contemporary Art.
ART JUICE: 'PIXIEVISION' IN OJAI
by Hannah De La Viña
THE AMERICAN DREAM IS DEAD
by Hannah De La Viña
FUEGO BY ANNA KHACHATRYAN
AN EYE FOR THE SEA
Exploring the Aquatic Photography of Salvo Bombara
Inspired by art and all expressions of it, Sicilian photographer, Salvo Bombara brings dream-like aura to his mastery of the underwater image.>>SEE MORE
Jennifer Mien Mien Lin
Transparency in Three Dimensions
A Photographic Portal into the Soul of a Woman
by Misha Beiser
Jennifer Mien Mien Lin’s artistic style and personality leave a deeply moving and motivational impression on all those who interact with her and her photographs. Her work “began as a way of being heard; of not being silenced anymore,” as she puts it. >>READ MORE
the owl girls
by Anna Khachatryan
A Devil was born from trees, sun, petals of red roses and shattered glass and becomes a shadow.>>SEE MORE
VISIONARY IMAGE-MAKER TOMAAS
RAPHAEL MAZZUCCO'S ICONIC ART PHOTOGRAPHY
Beeswax sculptor LeRone Wilson bridges the ancient with the present; the spiritual with the physical
By Sophie Baron
As the New York art scene's size continues growing, and becomes ever more varied and diverse, it can be overwhelming to keep up with all the talent circulating around. Yet, there are those artists one sees whose work is just so imbued with unique personality and passion that it is immediately unforgettable. >>READ MORE
Anna Khachatryan's welcoming pop surreal
by Noah Berlatsky
Anna Khachatryan's welcoming pop surreal
Anna Khachatryan's work encapsulates a blend of fine art, pop culture, and fashion. Though she hails from Armenia, her photographs and videos are set mostly in globalized, iconic, commodified spaces, as if she's engaged in off-kilter, broken branding exercises. Her photographic series "People Toys," designed by Khachatryan herself and photographed by her regular collaborator Sona Mongol Mkrtchyan, features three individuals in dark clothes and Mickey Mouse masks. They clamber around on playground equipment with an alley in the background. In one scene, garbage cans overflow in the distance as one Mickey stands on a jungle gym and the two others flank her, holding on, everyone's mask smiling with adisturbing, unholy cheer.>>READ MORE
Photographer Eric Almas
Richard Taittinger Gallery
BY DOUGLAS GRAY