n. pl. cor·po·ra (-pr-)
1. A large collection of writings of a specific kind or on a specific subject.
2. A collection of writings or recorded remarks used for linguistic analysis.
3. The main part of a bodily structure or organ.
//Reviews of art. Art and language. Art and the body.
Germany divided: Baselitz and his generation From the Duerckheim Collection The British Museum, London 6 February – 31 August 2014
After the war, both in England, but
also in Germany, people struggled to re-establish their identities. Many men
felt emasculated, and many women wanted to maintain the responsibilities and
“freedom” they had acquired during their husbands’ absence at war. In Germany, this
adjustment to a changed situation was coupled with a complex and long drawn out
coming to terms with the guilt of the past, or Kriegsbewältigung. In addition, for many, any sense of national
identity was lost because of the division of the country into East and West.
Anyone who hasn’t yet heard of Chiharu Shiota soon will have
done. Taught by Marina Abramović and influenced to such an extent by Ana
Mendieta that she believed herself to be an incarnation of the tragic Cuban,
her ethereal installations blend Lygia Clark with Christian Boltanski,
innocence with experiences of trauma, unbearable weight with the lightness of
being. Born in Japan in 1972, Shiota has been based in Germany since crossing
the globe in 1996 to study under Abramović, initially at the Hochschule für
Bildende Künste in Braunschweig, and latterly at the Universität der Künste,
Berlin, where she has been based ever since. “It’s a funny story,” Shiota
explains. “I wanted to study with the Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. I
got their names mixed up, but Marina accepted me anyway, and I began my life in
Germany.” A fortunate mistake, it would seem, for Abramović clearly
taught Shiota a lot about the power of the body in art, the value of duration
in performance and the suggestive possibility of absent presence.
Salon Hystérique: La
Petit Mort et La Grande Hystérie
A group art
exhibition of hysteric feminisms
Curated by Gabriella
Blacks Members Club,
67 Dean Street
21 January – 19 April 2014
what seems to be a season of feminist art shows in private members’ clubs
around London (this comes hot on the heels of 2Q13: Women Artists, Women
Collectors, curated by Marcelle Joseph and Lydia Cowpertwait, at Lloyd’s Club
last autumn), curator Gabriella Daris has brought together, in the sumptuous Georgian
townhouse surroundings of Blacks on Dean Street, some high quality and
enjoyable works exploring what it means to be a woman, to have a vagina and a
womb, and to use these bodily parts both for the furthering of life as well as
for personal pleasure. Of course, as the title suggests, the exhibition also
explores the association of the womb with hysteria, from its origins, at the
time of continental mind doctors such as Charcot and Freud, to its current day
incarnation, perhaps more commonly associated with feminist emancipation and
On Saturday, 22 February 2014, the 162-year-old institution,
formerly known as the Victoria and Albert Museum, was rechristened the “People’s
Queer Knick-knack Emporium”, or, affectionately, “Millionpoundland”. Am I joking?
Well, not according to our lovely, lively (and only somewhat unlikely) tour
guide, queer femme performer Bird la Bird, who, towards the end of her 90
minute “swoosh” around the museum, was keen to remind her flock of followers:
“Everything you’ve heard here is true!”
Anka Dabrowska’s work is rooted in cities, architecture
and urbanism, the Warsaw environment in which she grew up. Working on
large-scale projects, she creates surprisingly minute installations from a
mixture of cardboard, wood, plastic and concrete, toy town installations which
require the visitor to kneel down and peer more closely. Walls, towers and kiosks – a ubiquitous
presence on the streets of her youth – and across them all, words scrawled in
graffiti, sprayed on in lurid pinks and greens.
To read the rest of this profile, please see the March 2014 issue of DIVA