Fabian Knecht: Antikörper / Antibodies

When I first encountered Fabain’s art, through his Isolation series, I was struck by a sense that the images before me were extremely precise answers to a question. In coming to know his other works this impression held, and grew stronger. What was philosophically interesting is that, in their force and clarity, these apparent ‘answers’ made themselves felt as a demand: that I, as a viewer, articulate the question itself.
Icelandic Art Center, 2019

Everyone knows that art schools make the best bands. Without art academies there would be no Talking Heads, Pulp, or Eno. There would be no Beatles, GWAR, or DEVO (how about that for three unlikely peas in a pod?). Over the years the Icelandic Academy of Arts has produced its own crop of performers, influential on the national music scene. In the late 1970s Bruni BB (an experimental noise outfit that became notorious for decapitating a chicken in the documentary Rokkí Reykjavík) stirred things up. Today, one of its members, Finnbogi Petursson, exhibits his sculptures and sound works internationally. The early 1980s saw Íkarus, a punk band that eventually furnished The Sugarcubes with two of its members, take off. A little later that decade, Oxzmá brought a raft of theatricality to their psychobilly live sets. Closer to present, in the 2000s, listeners experienced Sudden Weather Change. The group’s second LP is titled Sculpture: Not A Line But A Circle, wearing art school credentials on its album sleeve. On the other hand, ‘classically’ trained musicians and composers rarely become influential visual artists. But in Iceland, today, people who can read notation, who are versed in chamber music and the symphonic tradition (persons who know about Avo Part and Alva Noto, and who can write an interesting score) also draw, and dance, in museums and galleries. Accordingly, following the emergence of festivals such as Cycle and Sequences, it is appropriate to talk about a performative turn in Reykjavik’s ostensibly ‘visual’ art scene. That, and an artistic turn in its ostensibly ‘musical’ one.
Monopol Magazine

In the final weeks of the US election, as the world chewed fingernails and the nights grew longer, Julian Charrière and I jumped ship. We travelled to the Marshall Islands, a constellation of atolls some four thousand kilometers south-west of Hawaii, spread over 37,000 square km of the remote Pacific. Upon arriving in Majuro, first town past the international date line, we boarded a refitted pearl-diving boat and set sail for Bikini Atoll. It would take three days of swell, on the beam – rolling seas and stomachs – before we would reach its lagoon.
GARAGE Magazine

Marguerite Humeau’s recent exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and at Manifesta 11, Zurich, captivated the art world with their imaginative and intellectual scope. Both take the form of installations that amount to highly specific worlds, fusing narrative, contemporary technologies, and speculation. Inspired by heterogeneous research materials, including scientific papers, opera, and biblical and philosophical texts, the artist concocts visions that feel both futuristic and primordial. It’s high time, then, to delve a little deeper into the material, and ideas, that have inspired her.
Sleek Magazine

Whereas mineral water springs from faucets on the edge of sand dunes, contemporary culture is dedicated to the simulation of a total oasis. And yet, the desert grows. Whereas new days are born in the East, the West is nightly death. In ancient Egyptian myth Amentet – personification of the latter – resides in a tree on the edge of the desert and receives souls who have departed from life.
Sleek Magazine

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei had his passport confiscated in 2011 and is under strict government surveillance. Curator Nadim Samman caught up with the artist in his Beijing hotel for Sleek on the occasion of his commission for the Rare Earth exhibition at TBA21 in Vienna.
Sleek Magazine

Iain Ball’s multifaceted works explore methods to combat feelings of alienation, loss of place and identity resulting from our current technological revolution. Drawing together science-fiction, corporate aesthetics and an astringent sculptural vocabulary, Ball is one of seventeen artist artists to feature in Rare Earth at Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna – an exhibition exploring the material basis for the most technologically developed weapons and tools – a class of 17 ‘rare earth’ elements from the periodic table found in everything from mobile phones to computer hard drives.
The Guardian

How do you get some of the world's greatest artists to participate in an exhibition? Tell them you will do everything in your power to make sure no one ever visits the show. If you want them to contribute especially thoughtful works, swear to bury their offerings under mossy stones. And if you want a patron to back the project, explain that, instead of launching the event with champagne and canapes, they might find themselves standing kneedeep in mud with a shovel.
Near East

The underground bands in Tashkent had some interesting styles of music and attitudes in a country that is very closed, and where income is extremely low. I was very happy to meet them, listen to their music, and proud to help them put out their record. The same for Tajikistan and maybe to a lesser extent Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Iran was also a blast. There were so many bands, it was completely underground and they were really struggling, so I was absolutely pleased to release the Iranian LP. Styles are extremely diverse there. It’s not your straightforward punk for most of the bands, but for me the record is a brilliant reflection of the scene at the time (2003). I also liked the compilation that I did last year with bands from Morocco, and the split between Lebanese bands as well as the Syrian band, Mazhott. For me this was an important milestone for the development of alternative Rock and Roll cultures in the Arab world. Of course, there is also my release for Sound of Ruby, from Saudi Arabia – which, as far as I know, is the only punk band in the country. It’s one of a kind because the underground in Saudia Arabia mostly concentrates on metal.
Near East

The name is a combination of one German and one Greek word – the latter refers to Athens and the ancient goddess Athena. An obvious reason for this choice was, of course, the marketing gimmick – combining German and Greek words at a time when relations between the two countries were at an all time low. I vividly remember going to Berlin in 2010 and being looked down upon as a thief or corrupted brat – even by intellectuals and artists friends.
Near East

Star architect Jürgen Mayer H. is best known for his Metropol Parasol, a futuristic canopy that transformed Seville, Spain, putting the city squarely on the contemporary architecture map. But regenerating one town through a “statement” project was just a warm up. Mayer has since played a key role in a national architectural revolution. Championed by the former President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, his quirky designs for a border checkpoint, airport, train station, highway rest stops and much more have changed the face of this country. Mayer’s newest project (the world’s tallest sculpture, no less) has just been completed in Lazika on the Black Sea coast. High time, then, to sit down with the German architect to discuss his Georgian portfolio.

What is happening in Istanbul at the moment is larger than life and, certainly, incomparable to any exhibition or art event. We are all very surprised, exalted and full of hope again. The so-called public sphere, which was merely a question of probability before, has been split open with such creative energy that the streets have begun to talk, sing, dance, walk and interact. The questions posed in the conceptual framework of the Istanbul Biennial – which is directly related to the public domain as a political forum, and urban space as an integral component of democracy – have alchemically unfolded, entering the domain of experience. This has transformed us all. It has opened up new horizons we could never have anticipated.
Dazed Digital

In the few years since graduating from London’s Slade School of Art, Brazilian-American artist Juliana Cerqueira Leite has been building a reputation as one of the most exciting young sculptors working today – garnering attention from the likes of Charles Saatchi and New York’s Sculpture Center. 2012 has proved to be her busiest yet, with solo shows at Galleria Lorcan O’Neill in Rome and London’s T J Boulting supplementing her commissions for the 4thMarrakech Biennale and Art Basel Miami Beach.
uncube magazine

The present ecological crisis seems to demand a paradigm shift in patterns of consumption and the methods by which we handle the mess we’ve made. But how uncompromising should our strategies be? The Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout, working under the name Atelier van Lieshout, asks this question by proposing numerous solutions – some more realistic than others, but almost all of them unsettling. Cannibalizing the bloodless logic of design and urban planning, his work affects the marriage of best intentions and unsavory methods. Curator Nadim Samman visited van Lieshout in his Rotterdam studio to talk about his recent work and decidedly provocative approach.
Near East

The bets are well and truly in. Hong Kong is now the world’s biggest fine art auction market after New York and London – a fitting title for a city that takes pride in its status as an international financial centre. With no import tax on artworks, low corruption, reliable logistics and a strategic position (well placed to capitalize upon mainland China’s economic boom) it was, perhaps, only a matter of time before the city would host a major art fair. ART HK was founded in 2008 and quickly became established as the leading event of its kind in Asia. Held annually in the city’s Convention and Exhibition Centre (site of the 1997 Handover Ceremony) the fair has mushroomed from 100 galleries and 19,000 visitors at its inaugural edition to 266 galleries and 67,000 attendees. Only a few short months ago the MCH Group (owners of the market-leading Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach fairs) announced their purchase of a controlling stake in the event, but even before this deal was being struck a rash of heavy-hitting international galleries (including White Cube, Gagosian, Lehmann Maupin, and Galerie Perrotin) were setting up their Hong Kong outposts. In a city that loves status symbols their offerings of Hirst, Murakami and other “brand-name” artists represent a play for the well-heeled consumer jugular. It seems the market is undergoing a wholesale sea change.