Catching Up: Poland, France, Australia
I have been so intensely busy that I have had no time to write in my blog. After Colombia I went to Poland. I spent a busy and inspiring week there. I was invited by Roma Sendyka, here on the left, and was happy that Kaisa Bojarska (right), who got me to come to Poland last October, was here among many other wonderful people. Roma had organized a Summer School, where I gave some lectures. She also installed Nothing is Missing, with student curators. Roma is the best teacher, totally democratic in her interactions with students, and at the same time demanding, thus showing respect for their capacities.
The Summer School took place in Nieborów Castle, a Palace that belongs to the National Museum. To my delight, and again, thanks to Roma, I was given permission to return next Spring to film for my new project - on which more later. During the week I also went to the Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz, where I made a short video tour about their new installation of the permanent collection of this oldest modern art museum in the world:
Only a few days after, I went on holidays: a few days in Paris, then on to the South, to attend the marathon performance of Henri VI in the Festival of Avignon. The play lasts 18 hours. The actor I have been working with for film projects, Thomas Germaine - Artaud and Herlat in A Long History of Madness, the three men in Emma’s life in Madame B., played the title role. As his greatest fan, I had to go. It was an incredible experience. The creativity of the mise en scène is beyond anything I’ve ever seen, and Thomas, brilliant as always. Here you see him responding, flabbergasted, to the murder of his uncle and confidant, the Duke of Gloucester. The moment when he realises he is alone now in facing all the intrigues, violence, and betrayals.
The second reason we went Southwards was to see a permanent installation by Ann Veronica Janssens, one of my favorite artists, on whose work I wrote Endless Andness. She had installed coloured glass in a chapel at the cemetery of Grignan. The effect was as if she had painted the air in the chapel. Here is an overview and a detail of the effect - not the glass itself but the reflections on the walls. It was another unforgettable art experience.
While in France the new reached me that yet another of my favorite artists, Doris Salcedo, had won the prestigious Hiroshima Art Prize. Her most recent major work, A flor de piel, in exhibited in Hiroshima. Here is a detail of that work, a shroud made of rose petals. I was asked to write an article for the Bogotá newspaper El tiempo. How could I refuse, even while on holiday? Here is a pdf of the article. salcedo_premiohiroshima.pdf
At this moment I am in Sydney. The Sydney College of the Arts is staging the Madame B exhibition, in connection to the conference The Image in Question.The topic is the current overflow of media images and what attitudes we can develop to make sense of this visual world. I am giving the opening lecture. As I tend to do, I will develop my ideas in dialogue with art. In this case, through the work of Monika Huber, Ann Veronica Janssens, and Stan Douglas. Janssens’s work is abstract; Huber makes actual press photographs semi-abstract by overpainting them. Douglas uses yet different strategies to recall, address, and critique visual traditions. Three brilliant bodies of I a happy to delve into. The exhibition was linked to a group show of DCA faculty, It is beautifully installed. See Madame B (Australia)