All posts by ivarjordre

painter, aktivist, writer, revolutionary, human

Gatekunst som Kunstfront mot Norsk Politisk Hykleri!

  • STERKT BUDSKAP: Det mest interessante er hvordan AFK snur Listhaugs kanon mot henne selv, og setter hennes mest markante ordbruk på spissen. Slik tvinger han publikum til å forholde seg til hva ytringsfrihet er, og om den bør begrenses og sensureres, skriver Frode Bjerkestrand. FOTO: Geir Martin Strande

Politisk kunst var likevel ikke død

Sylvi Listhaug (Frp) bør forsvare gatekunstneren AFKs rett til å male henne og henge bildet på en vegg i Bergen. Ytringsfriheten er viktig for dem begge.

Gatekunstneren AFK har gått til kraftig politisk angrep på tidligere justisminister Sylvi Listhaug, samtidig som han skaper debatt om kunst, kvalitet og takhøyde for ytringer i Norge.

Det som utspiller seg nå er interessant, og jeg antar kunstneren sitter hjemme og fryder seg litt i dag. Han har fått det som han ville.

Veggmaleriet «Making A Martyr» på hjørnet av Fosswinckels gate og Hans Holmboes gate på Nygårdshøyden klarte å vekke betydelig oppsikt, før det ble overmalt natt til onsdag.

Estetisk var det sterkt og engasjerende, fordi det skrenset innom to-tre tabuer på en og samme tid.

AFK kledde en fremtredende norsk toppolitiker splitter naken og sårbar. Menneskelig sett er det mer ydmykende enn de fleste av oss ville ha likt.

Han fremstilte henne som korsfestet. Det er en positur vi vanligvis ser i betydelig mer ærbødig form, som den lidende Jesus, midt i handlingen der han ble straffet for våre store og små synder.

For noen år siden ville dette blitt sett på som blasfemi, og utløst straffansvar etter en egen lov.

DETALJ: Ved føttene hennes står en rad mikrofoner, som en påpekning av at vi i mediene ofte fungerer som ukritisk talerstol for de mest kontroversielle politikerne, skriver Frode Bjerkestrand.
Geir Martin Strande

Slik sett er det ikke overraskende at både biskop Halvor Nordhaug og KrF-leder Knut Arild Hareide syns kunstverket var opprørende.

For dem vil tukling med Kristus og Korset alltid være vanskelig. Og at kunstverket neppe bidrar til en mildere samfunnsdebatt, kan de muligens ha rett i.

Men da underkjenner de samtidig kunstens rolle. Den skal ikke smyge seg rundt i offentligheten i frykt for å støte noen.

Da Sylvi Listhaug gikk av som justisminister, fremstilte hun seg selv som martyr for ytringsfriheten. Hun sa følgende:

«Det har vært en ren heksejakt, der målet har vært å kneble ytringsfriheten. Ytringsfriheten er for meg en utrolig viktig verdi, som vi skal gjøre alt for å hegne om».

Det mest interessante er hvordan AFK snudde Listhaugs kanon mot henne selv, og satte hennes mest markante ordbruk på spissen. Slik har han tvunget publikum til å forholde seg til hva ytringsfrihet er, og om den bør begrenses og sensureres.

De som mente at kunstverket burde fjernes, havnet fort i et dilemma. Hvis kunstverket ble fjernet ned i moralsk raseri, er ikke det sensur? Hva sier det i så fall om ytringsfriheten, som Listhaug er selverklært forkjemper for?

Det som er litt synd, er at AFKs sterke virkemidler (kors, naken hud) slo de subtile detaljene i hjel. Folk burde ha gått litt nærmere, for her var det lavmælte, men viktige virkemidler. Boltene gjennom Listhaugs hender var formet som partiet Rødts logo.

Ved føttene hennes stod en rad mikrofoner, som en påpekning av at vi i mediene ofte fungerer som ukritisk talerstol for de mest kontroversielle politikerne.

På hennes høyre side stod ordene «Yemen» og «Norsk våpeneksport», ord som henger nøye sammen, og som beskriver det verste av norsk, statlig hykleri.

Norske statseide bedrifter selger våpen til Saudi-Arabia, som dreper sivile i borgerkrigen i Jemen. Hvor blir det av raseriet og protestene mot denne dobbeltmoralen?

POPULÆRT: Det er sjelden gatekunst engasjerer så sterkt i Bergen. Flere stoppet opp for å beskue Sylvi Listhaug-bildet tirsdag.
Geir Martin Strande

En fin bieffekt av AFKs Sylvi-bilde, er at han har sparket litt liv i den politiske kunsten her i landet. Den står for tiden i hvilestilling, og det er en stund siden politisk ladet kunst har fått nasjonen opp av sofaen.

Norsk kunst er forbausende utydelig når det gjelder tidens store politiske tema: Innvandring, integrering, populisme, nasjonalisme, polarisering og menneskeverd.

Her er andre land mer på ballen. Ikke minst USA, der president Donald Trump og hans nasjonalpopulisme har utløst flere kunstneraksjoner.

I fjor poppet plutselig groteske Trump-statuer opp i flere amerikanske byer. Presidenten var pip naken, og mest oppmerksomhet fikk hans mikroskopiske tiss.

Aksjonen var åpenbart ment å ydmyke en usedvanlig macho og pussygrabbende president, og skapte mye diskusjon om kunstens og ytringsfrihetens grenser.

Her i Norge er kunstneren Rolf Groven mest kjent for figurativ, politisk satire. Han malte norske toppolitikere uten et snev av respekt, inn i situasjoner der de fremstår som rimelig hyklerske.

Blant annet laget han bildet «Seierherrer» i 2002, der blant andre Carl I. Hagen (Frp), Kjell Magne Bondevik (KrF) og Valgerd Svarstad Haugland (KrF) poserer med våpen i hånd, foran et tablå med ruinene av World Trade Center. Maleriet var en tung kritikk av Norges støtte til USAs krig mot terror etter 11. september 2001.

Groven var litt alene i denne sjangeren, helt til gatekunstnere begynte å ta byen i bruk til politisk kommentar og satire for et par tiår siden.

Mye av gatekunsten blir fort fjernet og kjapt glemt. Ikke overraskende har det skjedd med «Making a martyr» også.

Men AFKs stunt midt i den hellige høytiden, med politikk, naken hud og harselas med kristne symboler, vil nok bli husket en stund.

Vi trenger slike påminnere. Ytringsfriheten er viktig og dyrebar. Den kan gjøre vondt, men er likevel helt nødvendig for å holde demokratiet åpent og engasjerende. Der kan kunsten spille en viktig rolle.

Kjelde: Bergens Tidende

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British Artist Kaya Mar in Action

The Art of Protest

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The first time I saw one of Kaya Mar’s paintings was at the March for Europe a week after the Brexit vote. I took a picture of him, as did many of the people he walked past: a small man with a neat moustache carrying a peculiar painting, apparently original, of a cart being pulled by a blindfolded donkey towards the edge of the white cliffs of Dover, driven by caricatures of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, with tiny naked bodies and beatific faces.

I saw him again at the anti-Trump rally on Whitehall at the end of January, holding aloft a similarly distinctive canvas of the shrunken president wrapped in a soiled American flag, his scowling expression rendered with a precision that made him a much more sympathetic figure than the florid face on everybody else’s placards.

A few weeks ago I went to see him at his house in Ealing. A professional portraitist, Mar was encouraged to ‘try political painting’ by Tony Benn, who sat for him in 2010. His first attempt depicts David Cameron on the toilet, wearing a crown, while Nick Clegg, dressed as a jester, attends on him as Groom of the Stool. Since then Mar has created almost 200 paintings in his spare time – he regards this work as a hobby, and makes no money from it. Half, he told me, are in ‘official buildings’. The rest are stacked up in his garden shed, where I flicked through a surreal highlights reel of the last decade of British politics – George Osborne’s budgets, the Leveson Inquiry, Scottish independence – interspersed with a few international subjects: Putin, Netanyahu, Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe, Recep Erdoğan as ‘the Turkish Sun King’ and ‘the Ottoman Sultan’ (Mar was born in Turkey).

He paints quickly: a widely circulated picture of Theresa May drowning in a Brexit mire took just an hour and a half to paint. On easels in his living room studio, the works in progress included Angela Merkel losing a climbing contest to Martin Schulz, because of the weight of her refugee policy; Farage, Marine Le Pen, Viktor Orban and Jaroslaw Kaczynski goose-stepping in a beer hall beneath a portrait of Trump; Philip Hammond waving his budget box and sinking into a sea full of underwater mines. When I asked him, last week, if he’d be going to Saturday’s Unite for Europe march, he said yes, and then a couple of days later sent me a scan of his picture for the occasion: of a long-legged Theresa May striding towards the familiar cliff (Mar enthusiastically recycles tropes), her right thigh culminating in the face of Boris Johnson, his hair the hem of her lemon-yellow dress.

The trick, he explained, is to ‘get your disappointment, anger, rage onto the canvas’ with a quick and simple story. ‘Everybody has to recognise what I’m trying to say, not just in England, all over the world … When you try to force meaning, you lose the plot. When you are tribal you censor yourself, and you won’t produce something good.’

Mar sees himself as a ‘cable between public feeling and the canvas’. Less in step with popular opinion is his work’s sympathy for politicians as people – even Trump – evident in the humane, luminous way he paints their faces. He aims to be ‘brutal but not nasty, to attack power not the person’, so strips them of their clothes, leaving them ridiculed but not ‘injured’.

‘As I get older,’ he said, ‘I’m neither left nor right because the more you know, the more you’re disappointed by both.’ While his background and worldview are clearly rooted in the social democratic left, his style has more in common with the satirical traditions of the Spectator or Private Eye. His Tory subjects are, apparently, more gracious than their Labour counterparts in getting the joke. Diane Abbot once called a painting of Merkel in her underwear sexist, so Mar painted Abbott naked in bed with Jeremy Corbyn and his cat, which is reading Das Kapital. Another picture shows a woman who has just given birth recoiling in horror as she’s presented with ‘Labour’s unwanted child’, which has Corbyn’s face, a hammer-and-sickle on its forehead, and a halo.

Mar finds out that rallies are taking place because photo agencies call to ask if they can stage some shots with him and his paintings: ‘Normally they give me two days’ notice, because they like to have me there. I have every one of my pictures on Getty.’ This isn’t a sham; it’s a strategy. Protests ‘haven’t changed anything in all the time I’ve lived here’, Mar said. ‘Politicians love them because they are a valve. But to have your voice heard, you need television and print media.’ And Mar has infiltrated those more effectively than any other satirist I can think of, by feeding the agencies that fuel so much of the media’s output. He can paint whatever he likes, however weird or angry, and Alamy and Shutterstock, the PA and the AP, will guarantee it gets the national platform denied to the protesters he stands alongside.

Article from lrb.co.uk

Thanks!

US Artists in Protest!

Art as Resistance: Chicano Artists in the Time of Trump

 

"The Butcher" by CiCi Segura Gonalez

“The Butcher” by CiCi Segura Gonzalez | Courtesy of the artist

 

Killing of Palestinian Girl in 2004 – Subject of Requiem of Sorrow in 2017

Håkon Berge “bare en stillhet som kaster meg ut i universet av ensomhet (WP)”
Oslo Sinfonietta & Oslo Domkor
Oslo Cathedral
Performed on 16 September 2017

Vivianne Sydnes – conductor
Isa Katharina Gericke – soloist
Kai Remlov – actor

The title of Håkon Berge’s 2006 work translates as just a silence that casts me out into the universe of solitude. Designated as a Requiem by its creator, the piece is a moving paean to the life of 13 years old Palestinian Iman Darweesh al Hams, who was shot multiple times in cold bood by an Israeli army officer in 2004. The controversial damages and libel case went on to be a major sensation in Israel, with the officer eventually acquitted of any wrongdoing. Berge’s moving piece focuses on the human tragedy at the heart of it all – the unjust and senseless death of an innocent child unlucky enough to be caught in the thick of military action on the Gaza Strip. Using tape recordings of her father’s testimony about his daughter, it is an emotional commemoration of one ordinary life – and the lives around her – transformed by the unending Arab-Israeli conflict.

In collaboration with Oslo Sinfonietta and Oslo Domkor.
This concert forms part of the 100 year celebration of the NKF (the Norwegian Society of Composers).

From Ultima – Oslo contemporay music festival

See also comments on performance at ballade.no (in Norwegian)

For more on the killing of Iman and others, see:

Four articles showing Israeli soldiers killing indiscriminately Palestinian Girls

African-American artists up against “trumpism”!

Six young African-American artists to watch in 2017

Here are six young African-American artists worth watching out for in the era of Trump and Black Lives Matter

<img src=”https://media.timeout.com/images/103663715/320/210/image.jpg” alt=”” title=”” />
Photographs: Lauren Spinelli

African-American artists are hot right now, with more and more of them exhibiting in big Chelsea galleries, as well as in major museums like MoMA, the Whitney and The Met. Of course, in an ideal universe, this wouldn’t have to be singled out, and African-American artists would simply be artists, undifferentiated from their peers. But in America, everything is entangled in race, even in a liberal art world that remains overwhelmingly white, so something like the ever-rising profile of African-American artists was going to get noticed. Add the fact that current events—ranging from the rise of the Black Live Matter movement (which has attracted the attention of African-American hip-hop artists like A$AP Rocky as well as visual artists) to the election of Donald Trump—are raising the stakes for artists of color, even those whose work doesn’t seem especially political. For much of the past decade or so, the assumption has been that African-American artist have been working in “post-black” cultural environment. Whether that remains the case is unclear, but some clues to what the future holds might be found in work of these six young African-American artists worth watching right now.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best of 2017

Young African-American artists to watch

1

Nina Chanel Abney

Having already made a splash at venues like the Whitney and Art Basel, Chicago artist Nina Chanel Abney’s figurative paintings are big on size, impact and ambition. Each of her canvases is a veritable seven-layer dip of colors, symbols, abstract imagery, narratives, ideas, stylistic borrowings and art-historical references. They offer piquant commentaries on race, sex, pop culture, religion and politics delivered with potent visual nods to Matisse, Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence.

Six young African-American artists to watch in 2017: Nina Chanel Abney

Nina Chanel Abney, Who, 2015

Nina Chanel Abney, Who, 2015
Courtesy the artist

2

Caitlin Cherry

For a 2013 show at the Brooklyn Museum, Chicago-native-turned-Brooklyn-artist Caitlin Cherry went medieval on everyone’s asses with a mixed media installation featuring paintings tied to catapults, as if they were about to be hurled over a castle wall. Similarly, another work—a large triptych depicting the U.S. Capitol Building—is paired with a sculpture of a cannon made with PVC pipe. Cherry’s canvases are painted in a figurative Expressionist style and are often populated by cartoonish characters, but she also works in other mediums: One project involves the artist’s version of the Blackwater-style military contracting firm—a “painting security system” complete with slick, promotional video. Cherry’s work is essentially a 21st-century version the history paintings that extolled the high and mighty; in Cherry’s hands they become critical commentaries on the connection between power and art.

Six young African-American artists to watch in 2017: Caitlin Cherry

Caitlin Cherry, United States Capitol Building, 2016

Caitlin Cherry, United States Capitol Building, 2016
Photograph: Courtesy Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

3

Eric Mack

Mack, a New York artist who hails from Maryland, “paints” with pieces of found fabric that often take on three dimensional form. Whether they’re hung on the wall, suspended from the ceiling or left freestanding, Mack’s works have an architectural presence and provisional aspect that sometimes suggest rag-tag tents in a homeless encampment. In many respects Mack evokes marginalized people in today society, though with a hint, perhaps, of better things to come. “I empathize with the fragment,” he says. “Its potentiality is so great, so very urgent.”

Six young African-American artists to watch in 2017: Eric Mack

Eric Mack, In Definitely Felt , 2016

Eric Mack, In Definitely Felt, 2016
Photograph: Courtesy the artist

4

Jennifer Packer

Born in Philadelphia, this New York artist paints portraits, interiors and still lives with a loose style limned in a subdued palette that gives her work an introspective air. Packer portrait subjects are often friends, though the artist eschews the usual trope of trying to reveal the sitter’s personality or psychology; instead, they’re pictured with their gaze averted, as if they were disinterested in connecting with the viewer. That sense of distance, combined with the fact that Packer’s results seem more like sketches than completed canvases, creates the impression that each of her subjects is a work-in-progress—as all of us bound to that unfinished bit of business known as the human condition inevitably are. Packer finds this situation sad, but also sees a sublime transitional beauty in it.

Six young African-American artists to watch in 2017: Jennifer Packer

Jennifer Packer, Eric (II), 2013

Jennifer Packer, Eric (II), 2013
Courtesy the artist

5

Adam Pendleton

Adam Pendleton works in a diverse range of mediums, including performance, film, painting, ceramics and silkscreen. But what unites his efforts is his fascination with texts, especially those written in conjunction with such historical 20th-century developments as the prewar avant-garde, the Civil Rights Movement, Minimalism and Conceptualism. He describes his efforts as “black Dada,” ascribing subversive motives to works that are refined if brooding. A good example is a recent painting series called Untitled (A Victim of American Democracy) that uses collage-like techniques to create abstractions out of the titular phrase, which is borrowed from Malcolm X’s 1964 speech, “The Ballot or the Bullet.”

Six young African-American artists to watch in 2017: Adam Pendleton

Adam Pendleton, installation view of “Midnight in America,” 2016

Adam Pendleton, installation view of “Midnight in America,” 2016
Courtesy the artist

6

Tschabalala Self

Tschabalala Self combines collage (using patterned fabrics) and paint to explore the intersection of feminine beauty, sexual fantasy and evolving concepts of blackness. In the process, she creates vivid narrative canvases imbued with a Surreal panache and a folk-art charm.

Six young African-American artists to watch in 2017: Tschabalala Self

Tschabalala Self, untitled, 2016

Tschabalala Self, untitled, 2016
Dan Bradica; courtesy the artist

Article from timeout.com

Indonesian Artists Want Change!

An Indonesian Artist Paints Fundamentalists as Buffoons and Monkeys

Agus Suwage’s deeply personal works never stop questioning and working to upend oppression.

hyperallergic.com

agus-suwage-room-of-mine-2016-paper-mache-dentures-water-color-tobacco-juice-160-x-290-x-41-cm-720x480
Agus Suwage, “Room of Mine” (2016), paper mache, dentures, watercolor, tobacco juice. 160 x 290 x 41 cm (all images courtesy of the artist and Tyler Rollins Fine Art)

Activism has become an increasingly potent form of protest against oppression in Southeast Asia. The onset of globalization in the 1990s brought about a new social landscape that saw the rise of the middle class and urbanization, while simultaneously creating a new population of deprived urban poor. This disparity between the well-off and the dispossessed gave impetus to artists like Agus Suwage from Indonesia to challenge the existing conditions. Alongside fellow artists such as FX Harsono and Henri Dono, Suwage’s practice has become what the historian Iola Lenzi refers to as the “vehicle of popular empowerment.”

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Agus Suwage, ‘Room of Mine,’ installation view

Suwage’s third solo exhibition, Room of Mine at the Tyler Rollins Gallery, is comprised of watercolor paintings and papier-mâché sculptures, and it continues the artist’s role as an agent of social change. Yet his protest against the status quo is accompanied by his own personal investigation of identity and self. Ever since a democratic government replaced Suharto’s military dictatorship in 1998, the tenuous condition of plurality in Indonesia’s vast territory of multiple ethnicities and the recent rise of Islamic fundamentalism has resulted in work that, for Suwage, is as introspective as it is a commentary on the social conditions of his country. For instance, in “Room of Mine” (2016), a series of portraits explore Suwage’s relationship with animals. Here a number of watercolor paintings of animal heads mounted on human bodies surround a large papier-mâché sculpture of a buck with dentures. Referencing the artist’s reverence for animals and the raw, untainted purity of their actions, the images project his longing for a world in which some sense of social order and peace prevails.

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Agus Suwage, “No Evil and Co. – After Soedjojono” (2016), watercolor, ink, tobacco juice on paper, 122 x 225 cm

However, Suwage’s use of humor through the inclusion of masks injects an element of levity in his works that undercuts the actions of fanaticism. In “No Evil and Co. II – After Soedjojono” (2016), three self-portraits with monkey masks imitate the three Chinese monkeys that neither see, hear, nor speak evil. In the far background, the rugged landscape painted with different shades of beige tobacco juice recreates the style of the Indonesian modernist Soedjojono, while a bomb appears to explode behind the monkey man covering his eyes. Helplessness, fear, ridicule, and strength are intertwined through this humorous but unnerving painting that both showcases and undermines the severity of terrorism in Indonesia. Similarly, “Icono Fascismo II – After Wakidi” (2016), three masked self-portraits that resemble members of the Ku Klux Klan hold an accordion, a microphone, and a human skull while bombs detonate in the background. Appearing like puppets on a stage, these figures representing fundamentalists can be seen as buffoons as well as prototypes of demagogues who manipulate and control.

agus-suwage-icono-fascismo-ii-after-wakidi-2016-watercolour-ink-tobacco-juice-on-paper-122-x-225-cm-720x390
Agus Suwage, “Icono Fascismo II – After Wakidi” (2016), watercolor, ink, tobacco juice on paper, 122 x 225 cm
agus-suwage-kama-sutra-ii-2016-paper-mache-gouache-water-color-tobacco-juice-223-x-242-x-7-cm-720x480
Agus Suwage, “Kama Sutra II” (2016), papier-mâché, gouache, water color, tobacco juice, 223 x 242 x 7 cm

While Suwage’s papier-mâché sculpture “Dogma Bertumpuk” (2016) references the dogmatic misrepresentation of Indonesian history, paintings like “Fragmen Tempat Tidur” (2016), which is set in the intimacy of Suwage’s bedroom, alludes to his inner conflicts regarding sexual expression through words like “lust,” “decadent,” and “Roman Picisan” — a movie about star-crossed lovers in Indonesia. Complex issues of sexuality might also have inspired the papier-mâché sculpture “Kama Sutra II” (2016), which is ostensibly based on an image of Bill and Hillary Clinton, fitted here with traditional Hindu-Javanese masks.

Suwage’s conversion to Islam and his interfaith marriage make him an ideal proponent for plurality. His appeal for mutual respect and tolerance is expressed through his installation “Song without Sound” (2016), which is made of numerous recycled glass bottles containing inkjet prints of multicolored human ears that are arranged in the form of the musical score for the Indonesian national anthem. The song’s motto, “unity in diversity,” conveys the artist’s advocacy for a society that runs counter to the current far-right politics that have come to the fore the world over. Unlike FX Harsono’s more strident form of activism, Suwage’s deeply personal self-portraits, combining personal conflicts with larger concerns, never stop questioning and working to upend oppression.

agus-suwage-song-without-sound-2016-used-bottles-ink-jet-print-ink-tobacco-juice-230-x-450-x-7-cm-720x480
Agus Suwage, “Song Without Sound” (2016), used bottles, ink jet print, ink, tobacco juice, 230 x 450 x 7 cm

Room of Mine continues at the Tyler Rollins Gallery (529 West 20th Street, 10W, Chelsea) through April 1.