The Ultimate Body Issue
Our yearlong investigation into the body continues
CURA. 28 is devoted to different artistic experiences and practices—crossing generations, time, space, and media—revolving around the boundaries, powers, forms and interpretations of the body that exist within the present world.
Bodies on the cover
A double cover by artists Amalia Ulman and Hannah Levy is presented by texts from Travis Diehl and Kat Herriman. In Ulman’s work the body—her body—is both the protagonist of a relentless re-enactment and a means to question the boundaries between illusion and truth. Levy’s sculptural installations and performances explore the figure and its politics through the objects we surround ourselves with.
Body of Work
Vincent Honoré’s conversation with Lynn Hershman Leeson provides an opportunity to delve into the artist’s multiform production, capable of creating a bridge between the political movements of the ’60s and the most contemporary themes of technology and science. Prem Sahib and Celia Hempton have been invited to reflect visually on their “body of work,” creating links between their own artistic production and the images which shape their personal imaginary: their visual essays are introduced by Huw Lemmey and Kathy Noble.
Three essays reflect on the body from different perspectives: the dancing body, the loving body, and the collective body. Manuel Segade writes about the practice of voguing and radical performance, analyzing, amongst other examples, Charles Atlas’ major work Butchers’ Vogue and Glenn Ligon’s Condition Report; Fiona Alison Duncan talks about her project Pillow Talk, intended as a platform to discuss sex, gender, and love in our discomforting, novel, and wild time; finally Penny Rafferty interprets a selection of artistic collectives, examining their modes of production and communication tactics.
Anna Gritz enters into a dialogue with Sidsel Meineche Hansen about her ongoing research on sex dolls and robots; Piper Marshall’s 25 questions are this time addressed to Madeline Hollander, who explains the processes and concerns at the heart of her choreographic performances; while Margot Norton retraces with Anna K.E. the pivotal moments of the artist’s production, from her early video works to her most recent installations.
The HOT! section is devoted to a series of artists who—using different media and working in a variety of contexts—focus on the body as a subject, a theme, a key to understand the structure and the mechanisms of the surrounding world: Aria Dean is presented by Attilia Fattori Franchini; Louis Fratino by Alex Bennett; Young Joon Kwak by Ceci Moss; Julien Ceccaldi by Whitney Mallett; Stine Deja by Alice Bucknell; Paul Mpagi Sepuya by Nikki Darling; Yu Ji by Todd Von Ammon; D S Chapman by Micol Hebron; Nabuqi by Loïc Le Gall.
You can find CURA. 28 “The Ultimate Body Issue” in the best international bookshops in Italy and abroad, order your copy on CURA. website or find it at Art Basel (June 14–17). Or… stop by BASEMENT ROMA and buy one.
CURA. 27 Issue is out now!
A brand-new yearlong investigation aims to bring us into the sinuous folds of the body: body as a revolutionary field, as a space for antagonism and freedom, as an area of self-definition, questioning new identities, gender, race, and humanity. Body/antibody dichotomy expresses the relation between presence and absence, disclosure and concealment, materiality and virtuality.
Featuring a cover by George Henry Longly, launched for the event of his solo show at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the curator Adélaïde Blanc investigates the strategies by which Longly questions presentation systems and visual codes; while Milovan Farronato focuses upon the artist’s work on epidermal surfaces, Lucia Pietroiusti initiates a discourse on implosion, collapse, and fall. All texts explore the complexity of Longly’s work, creating an intense dialogue with a series of enigmatic masks, created especially for the occasion.
Starting his new section, Mathieu Copeland talks about anti-bodies within the body of art institutions; in dialogue with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Barbara Hammer explains how the human body can become a space of freedom, action, and disruption; Vincent Honoré speaks with Eleanor Antin about her seminal work, CARVING: A Traditional Sculpture (1972), and her recent CARVING: 45 Years Later (2017); Ellen Blumenstein’s seven exemplary artworks, here accompanying Kate Cooper’s images, reflect upon the body as “an interface in which subject and collectivity meet and the scenario in which the relationship between the two elements is negotiated”; Ben Vickers’ conversation with Kenric McDowell extends their dialogue on the AI and the broader impact and cooperation between human and machine; Marianna Simnett, introduced by Maitreyi Maheshwari, presents a visual essay of bodies and their relation to abjection, horror and monstrosity.
The series of conversations continues with Donna Huanca and Venus Lau, discussing the skin and body as sculpted, painted and performed; Chris Sharp examines the corporeal materiality and flexibility of ektor garcia’s work; Piper Marshall’s 25 questions to Eric N. Mack help us identify the main interests of his research on tactile assemblages; fabrics are also the focus of the young artist and designer, Lou Dallas, interviewed by Fiona Alison Duncan; Manuel Solano is the protagonist of an intimate dialogue with João Mourão and Luís Silva, in which he reveals the profound reasons behind a performative work where body is exposed, transformed, and reimagined.
The new series of portraits introduce four different approaches to themes of racial, sexual, and anatomical identities: Wu Tsang—by Noemi Y. Molitor—Christina Quarles—with Claudia Mattos—Andrea Crespo —with Alise Upitis—and Tabita Rezaire—by Oulimata Gueye.
The HOT! section is devoted to three hot artists: Cooper Jacoby (introduced by Annie Godfrey Larmon), Carly Mark (by Katja Horvat), and Nicholas Cheveldave (by Lennart Wolff).
The first issue of CLUBBING fanzine, guest-edited by Martha Kirszenbaum, is also launched on the occasion of CURA. #27, including Dick Jewell with Jesse McKee, Fleur Breteau’s extract, Samuel Kirszenbaum photos, and an original downloadable mix by Palestinian DJ SAMA. The fanzine is available for the international distribution and subscribers only.
Robot Girl, 2012
11 × 7 × 6 in
27.9 × 17.8 × 15.2 cm
Edition 2/4 + 1AP
George Condo Bio
George Condo’s work is populated by a cast of characters whose bulging eyes, bulbous cheeks, proliferating limbs, and hideous over – and under-bites set them apart as a singular species. Drawing on vastly diverse painting practices—like Pablo Picasso, Diego Velázquez, Henri Matisse, and Cy Twombly—Condo absorbs a vast range of art-historical sources, yet, at the same, creates a pictorial language characteristically his own, one that investigates the macabre, the carnivalesque, and the abject. He calls his surrealistic style “psychological cubism”, exploiting “our own imperfections—the private, off-moments or unseen aspects of humanity—that often give way to some of painting’s most beautiful moments.” Even Condo’s most abstract works, like Internal Space (2005) with its impenetrable geometric scaffolding of forms radiating from the painting’s center, explore the furthest extremes of the human psyche.
American, b. 1957, Concord, New Hampshire, based in New York, New York
Black Balloons II (Big Scale)
“Every single day I spend at my studio and my creative process resembles playing. Everything I create comes out of curiosity. The same happened with a project ‘Black Balloons’.
For an extensive amount of time I had an idea to connect two balloons. I found a free minute between the other currently run projects, bought two balloons, and got overwhelmed by the result.
It was so unpretentious and so magical at the same time! That opposition created by two very simple and playful objects once again brought a unique childlike sense of discovery.
This experience uncovers a lot and the more one looks at it, the more it becomes true: “simplicity is a genius”
For the first test I used two regular latex balloons and two different gasses: helium and sulfur hexafluoride – the light and the heavy ones. Later on, I worked out how to make the balloons float in the middle of a glass tank without connecting them to anything… Compositions started to grow more complex and bigger when eventually I was working with 3-meter big custom made balloons… Results can be found below.”
Materials: Rubber, plastic, metal, carbon dioxide, helium