13-26 May 2020
Vdrome 186: Danaya Chulphuthiphong’s Demos
Demos depicts several beautiful reptiles, fake dinosaurs and a couple of building (or demolition) sites – enough reasons to watch it already, but I’ll try to give you some more. The 13-minute film was produced in 2016 in the wake of the 2014 Thai coup d’état. Dark but amusing, and soothing, Demos has an eerie, aquatic, drexciyan quality that the soundtrack (partially produced with resources found at freesound.org) strongly contributes to create. Chulphuthiphong has an evoking and yet unpretentious way to mix human and non-human in her work, well beyond plain antropomorphisation and other common “reductive” attitudes. Vdrome is an online cinema that offers, since 2013, high-quality streaming of artist’s films or videos for a limited amount of time, one work at a time, so that our confused and bombarded minds and eyes can focus and rest a bit.
7 March—20 September 2020
Floraphilia – Revolution of Plants
Temporary Gallery (Köln + online)
Curated by Temporary Gallery director Aneta Rostkowska and designed by Mateusz Okoński, the show is part of a longer-term Floraphilia research and curatorial project involving several institutions, exhibitions, and events. The main subject, plants, is explored through different paths and from different perspectives informed by recent scientific research, non-western and premodern philosophy of nature, personal experiences of engagement with plants, artistic research, poetry. The exhibition opened in early March, when a vernissage with visitors was still possible, but, as the lockdown started, the gallery and its director and team carefully put together an impressive online version of it that includes a detailed video guided tour by Rostkowska, streaming of all the featured films and videos, pdfs of the publications, high-quality images of the works, supplementary documents, research materials and links related to each artwork, artist’s talks and collaborative reading and writing sessions … I recommend the show first and foremost for its topics and featured artworks, but also to explore its current means of fruition. To me, it feels like an intensive seminar, or a sort of giant multimedia essay. It is also tiring, of course, and at times frustrating, to experience all that sitting at a computer, but it opens up so many possibilities, it makes universally available so many resources. I think, for example, about students or full-time workers that don’t have so much money, or time, to travel. I think about access to culture and its centralization in a few places, about cheap flights and travel metasearch engines and wait, what was “normality” again?
Wednesday, 20 May 2020, 9-10 pm
Krach der Roboter / Live streaming on FB
Experiment at TiK (Theater im Kino)
Two months and a half is possibly the longest time I’ve spent without (physically) atteding a concert since I was 15. While longing for the next gig I will be able to go to in flesh and blood in safe yet enjoyable conditions, I’ll take comfort in some (online live streaming) pure synth delight by Krach der Roboter.
And now, for some more sources of hope unusually coming from the contemporary art world: Between Bridges – a foundation born out of a non-profit space organised by Wolfgang Tillmans – has recently started the 2020 Solidarity initiative in which “over fifty international artists come together to design one poster each, which can be offered on different crowdfunding sites as a reward for donations.” We’re discussing a lot about how cultural venues and projects should be helped to overcome the pandemic-related crisis. It’s a problem that needs many solutions, public and private, collective and individual, online and offline, big and small. By telling you to whom you can send donations to and buy the posters from, Between Bridges is providing a very interesting selection of places and projects from different cities – and more of them can ask to be added to the list.