Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fwd: Aesthetica October Newsletter

Aesthetica Magazine Newsletter

Current issue


Welcome to the October Newsletter

Recommended article from the current issue of Aesthetica Magazine

Fusing Art and Design

Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag, the prolific design duo, celebrate their
20th anniversary. A new book examines their unique fusion of graphic design, art,
music and fashion.

Image credit: M&M, Icônes, Indices, Symboles, 2003, Exhibition view, Chapelle de Jésuites,
Festival International de l'Affiche et des Arts Graphiques, Chaumont Includes Sucette, Agent,
and Théâtre de Lorient posters. Published by Thames & Hudson.

For more, visit

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1. Aesthetica Short
    Film Festival

Arts News
1. Liverpool Biennial
2. Frieze London
3. John Akomfrah
4. Alina

5. Yasusuke Ota

Aesthetica News
1. Aesthetica is now
    on Pinterest!

2. Artists' Directory

Blog Excerpt
The Graphic Design of Tony Arefin, Ikon, Birmingham


Liverpool Biennial 2012

BFI London Film Festival

Chelsea Theatre

Writers and Artists Yearbook

Antlers Gallery

London Transport Museum


Art Toronto

Leeds Metropolitian University

National Poetry Competiton


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Issue 49: October/November - Out Now

End of the Earth, Keith Arnatt, Liverpool Beach Burial, 1968. Image courtesy Maureen Paley, London and The Estate of Keith Arnatt.

This issue starts with William Klein + Daido Moriyama, opening this October at Tate Modern, which juxtaposes both photographers' works and explores modern and urban life in New York and Tokyo. We also take a closer look at the work of Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, whose show Bivouac opens this autumn at MCA Chicago.

Tim Walker presents a breathtakingly surreal exhibition, Story Teller, which combines the worlds of conceptual art and fashion photography. M to M of M/M (Paris) is a survey of one of the most influential and emblematic design practices and art partnerships in the 21st century.

The Serial Portrait opens this autumn and explores the practice of taking multiple portraits of the same subjects. Six Lines of Flight features key artists who have developed unique artistic organisations in six different cities that have become burgeoning artistic centres.

Nadav Kander travelled the full distance of the Yangtze River, capturing the changing face of China. Finally, we introduce Formento & Formento, whose works construct a powerful cinematic narrative.

In film we speak with Yorgos Lanthimos about his latest release Alps, the highly anticipated follow-up to the critically acclaimed Dogtooth, which explores the absurdity of life and death. We also interview P. David Ebersole about his latest release, Hit So Hard, a documentary about Patty Schemel from the band Hole.

In music, we look at how musical instrument designers are pushing their creations in unexpected directions. We also chat with Brasstronaut, who create sweet and melancholic pop. In performance, we look at the process of writing, directing and performing a play in just 24 hours.

Finally, we speak with Matthew Darbyshire about his forthcoming exhibition T Rooms, which opens at the Zabludowicz Collection, London, and explores the realities of regeneration.

Cig Harvey, Flood Tide, 2005.  Self Portrait. Mangrove Bay, Bermuda.
Penelope Slinger, Reverting, 1977. Photographic collage from An Exorcism series. 49 x 37 cm. © Riflemaker.
Brazilian Art and Design: Cao Guimarães, Gambiarras, 2001 - 2002. Photograph. Courtesy of Xippas Gallery.
Searching for Sugar Man.
Björk © 2011 Wellhart/One Little Indian.
James Klosty, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Walkaround Time, 1968. © James Klosty.

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1. Aesthetica Short Film Festival: Book Your Tickets

The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is preparing to launch a sparkling selection of screenings, premieres and masterclasses within the city of York. Venues across York will play host to the international film festival, running from the 8-11 November this year. Tickets are now available for purchase at, where the full programme is also available to view.

Using the historic walls of York as a backdrop for the festival, the screenings will take place across 15 different venues. Whether showing in the Mansion House, the 600 year-old Guildhall, the Picturehouse cinema, or even smaller bars and shops across the city, the films will be enhanced by the inspired settings. And the programme is designed to excite and delight both film aficionados and curious cinematic explorers.  

Some of the highlights from this year's ASFF will include talks from the likes of BAFTA, Channel 4 and Warp Films. Along with their informative presentations, Warp, the world-famous British production company responsible for Four Lions and This is England, will also be screening several of their own shorts. The festival will allow some of the most respected members of the film industry to impart golden nuggets of film related advice to those attending masterclasses. Some of these guests will include a cinematographer from BAFTA and Barry Ryan, Head of Production for Warp Films (Dead Man's Shoes and Submarine). Alongside this celebration of established filmmakers, ASFF 2012 will also be showcasing a selection of the best emerging talent in international filmmaking, proving ASFF to be one of the most innovative arts events in the UK.

Sheer diversity is the strength of ASFF's screening programme. Selected from an open submission call, the films represent the work of both well developed and up-and-coming filmmakers. Crossing continents and genres, this year's festival has a distinctly cosmopolitan flavour, screening films from over 25 countries worldwide, including everything from Serbian comedy Zalet (dir. Miroslav Zamatov) to the poignant Iranian drama Suddenly Zinat… (dir. Navid Nikkah Azad). Providing a fascinating and unique insight into film culture across the world, these films celebrate their varied perspectives as they present themselves to a new audience in the UK.

ASFF also seeks to showcase some of the best talent already successfully established within the British film industry and well circulated within the UK festival network. The multi-award-winning Guerrier brothers (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Being Human) will be returning for a second year. Their film, Revealing Diary, will be screening alongside new award-winning talent including Calum Mcdiarmid, winner of this year's Audience Award at Rushes Soho Shorts Festival for ASFF selection '82', and Douglas Hart, whose film Long Distance Information, also appearing at ASFF 2012, has won several awards this year, including the Short Film Award at Rushes.

With such a stellar programme prepared, ASFF 2012 is sure to generate a great sense of anticipation in audiences across the UK and beyond, reaffirming the words of Jay Arnold, Head of Film Culture at Creative England, who described ASFF as "one of the most exciting new film events to emerge in recent years."
For details of the full programme and to book tickets, please visit

With filmmakers travelling from across the globe, travel plans are getting underway for ASFF. If train journey is your favoured mode of transport, Northern Rail provides direct services to York from Blackpool (via Blackburn, Halifax and Bradford), Leeds (via Horsforth, Harrogate and Knaresborough) and Hull (via Brough and Selby). In conjunction with ASFF, Northern Rail are providing a 15 percent discount on a Three Day Screening Pass and a 10 percent discount is available on a One Day Screening Pass when you show a valid rail ticket at the ASFF Festival Hub, Visit York, 1 Museum Street, York.

You can book train tickets and check timetables at

Arts News

In this section of the Aesthetica newsletter, we look at some of the most exciting events
that are happening this month.

1.Liverpool Biennial

Various venues
Until 25 November

As the largest contemporary art festival in the UK, the Liverpool Biennial is a "date to remember" for any art aficionado. Now in its seventh installment, the event runs for 10 weeks every two years, commissioning the most exciting artists from around the world. In 2010 there were over 600,000 visitors to the Biennial. Hailed as the European "Capital of Culture" in 2008, Liverpool still offers an environment rich in visual arts. Utilising that environment, the Biennial runs across the city at varied locations including museums and galleries amongst more unexpected venues. Some of the locations involved are The Cunard Building, The Bluecoat, Everton Park, FACT, Liverpool ONE, Metal, The Monro, Open Eye Gallery, Tate Liverpool, Mitchell's Bakery, LJMU Copperas Building (Lime Street), the Walker Art Gallery, Victoria Gallery and Museum and The Royal Standard.

Themed around the acknowledgement of the many visitors swarming through London for the Olympics (and now also through Liverpool), 2012's Biennial is entitled The Unexpected Guest. Responding to the many "guests" Britain has hosted, the Biennial explores the idea of hospitality and the code of conduct we follow to welcome strangers. Visitors and artists are invited to present their own interpretations and understandings of hospitality in response to our increasingly globalised and complex times. The Unexpected Guest presents works by over 60 leading and emerging artists.

Highlights of the event include a major public commission by US artist Doug Aitken, who has installed a temporary structure on Albert Dock. Meanwhile one of Argentina's most internationally renowned artists, Jorge Macchi, unveils Refraction, an immense installation in which 27 iron bars are bent around one another, completely filling a 12 x 12 x 7m exhibition space. Israeli artist Oded Hirsch has created a full-sized elevator that appears to burst through the floor, and Elmgreen & Dragset's work will engage with Liverpool's WAG culture.

Doug Aitkin, Now, 303 Gallery Frieze Art Fair 2011, Main. Photo by Linda Nylind.Courtesy of Frieze/ Linda Nylind.

2. Frieze London

Regent's Park, London
11-14 October

Launching into its 10th edition, Frieze London is set to take over London's Regent's Park once more from 11-14 October. As one of the world's leading contemporary art events, exhibitors will be attending from 35 countries, including participants from Argentina, China, Columbia, Hungary, India, Korea and South Africa. Choosing 175 galleries presenting work by over 1,000 artists, Frieze London aims to showcase a carefully selected group of the most forward-thinking and contemporary individuals at work in the art world today.

As in previous years, the fair is housed in a temporary structure specifically designed for Frieze. However, this year there is a new section - Focus - which is open to galleries established after 2001 and showcasing up to three artists. Another section of the fair will be The Frame, which is dedicated to representing galleries under six-years old who will be showing solo artist presentations. Coinciding with Frieze London for the first time will be Frieze Masters. This new fair seeks to take a contemporary look at historical art. Alongside one another, Frieze Masters and Frieze London will make London the focus for a broad international audience.

Aside from the fair there will be several other Frieze events running in unison. Frieze Projects reveals a selection of unique commissions released annually at the Frieze Art Fair, a group of filmmakers dealing with memory and history will make up Frieze Film and Frieze Talks is a daily programme of keynote lectures, panel debates and discussions. Meanwhile, outside, Clare Lilley (Director of Programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park) has selected several pieces for the Sculpture Park. The ambitious selection of works includes art by Adip Ditta, Hans Josephsohn and Yayoi Kusama.

John Akomfrah, Peripeteia, 2012. A Smoking Dogs Films Production, in association with Carroll/Fletcher and the European Cultural Foundation.

3. John Akomfrah: Hauntologies

Carroll/Fletcher London
5 October - 8 November

Hauntologies is the compelling new exhibition by John Akomfrah, as he meditates on disappearance, memory and death. Opening at Carroll/Fletcher for the first time in the UK on 5 October, the virtuosity and depth of his work is revealed through his three new video, sound and installation commissions, alongside his recent existing works.

Starting with two drawings by the 16th century artist Albrecht Dürer, the short film Peripeteia (2012) evokes a startling exploration of the impact of the past upon the present. The original portraits, one of a bearded black male, the other of a black woman wearing a close fitting bonnet, are said to be the earliest Western representations of black people. These historical figures develop into the film's ghostly protagonists and stand as the canvas for Akomfrah to project his ideas of time onto.

Akomfrah's new sound installation, At the Graveside of Tarkovsky (2012), represents his long time obsession with film archives and the search for traces attesting to the evasive and yet inescapable presence of death. His new video Psyche extends these themes further, as Akomfrah explpores the imagined biographies of figures from the past through edited extracts from historical feature films.

A founding member of the Black Audio Film Collective, Akomfrah has been committed to giving a voice to the African diaspora in Europe since the 1970s. Going beyond the conventional rhetoric of resentment, his poetic and polyphonic works have created a new way of investigating the trauma and sense of alienation of displaced subjects.

4. Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone 1955 - 1972

Museum of Modern Art, New York
7 October - 28 January 2013

Alina Szapocznikow's newest exhibition, Sculpture Undone, offers an overview of her entire body of work. Featuring over 100 works, inevitably including sculpture, the exhibition also focuses on Szapocznikow's experience with drawing and photography. 

Beginning work during the postwar period in a classical figurative style, Szapocznikow reconstructed sculpture completely as an imprint not only of memory but also of her own body. Taking place at the Special Exhibitions Gallery at MoMA in New York, the exhibition celebrates Szapocznikow's legacy of provocative objects that span Surrealism Nouveau Réalisme and Pop Art. 

Although her career was cut short by her premature death in 1937 (aged just 47) Sculpture Undone represents a vast body of work - her polyester casts of body parts transformed into everyday objects sit alongside poured polyurethane forms, while her elaborately constructed sculptures incorporate photography, clothing and sometimes even car parts. Clearly attracted to the everyday processes of art, she unites function with aesthetic, for example an ashtray made of a body part cast. 

Although her work has been highly influential in Poland since her early career, Szapocznikow's art is ready for a historical re-examination. Sensual, reflective and politically inspired, Szapocznikow's pieces not only span one of the most complex periods of the 20th century, they also respond to the many ideological and artistic developments of the time.

5. Yasusuke Ota: The Abandoned Animals of Fukushima

Huis Marseille, Amsterdam
3-14 October

Neglectfully forgotten from the Fukushima disaster, photographer Yasusuke Ota finally turns our attention to the sufferings of the animals left behind in The Abandoned Animals of Fukushima. Opening on 4 October at Huis Marseille, the photography exhibition will run until 14 October. Focusing on the struggles of tame animals in the absence of their owners, Ota's newest exhibition showcases an alternative examination of the Fukushima disaster.

Back in 2011, the day after a tsunami shook the nuclear reactor at Fukushima, all the inhabitants living within a 20km radius of the power plant were evacuated. Denied the ability to carry personal belongings or pets out of their homes, Fukushima was abandoned as a ghost town with animals as the only remaining residents. Upset by the situation, volunteers and animal lovers risked their own lives to return to Fukushima and provide the animals with food and water. Entering the "No Go" area the volunteers, including Ota, found cows on their knees or stuck in bogs and ditches, emaciated horses and pigs stuck in stalls with dead animals that had died of starvation, and pets starved at their posts waiting for their owners. 

During his voluntary work, Ota decided to record what the media had overlooked: "I felt I needed to inform the world and leave evidence of what really happened. So I started to take photos of this while going inside the zone of rescue." Along with the photographs, Ota also created a documentary based on a group of victims left in the ruins of a landscape devastated first by natural disaster and then by man-made disaster. The images Ota presents in this exhibition are both horrific and strangely comic. The photos of a mummified cat on the road and a pigsty in between the two reactors covered in dead pigs are harrowing, and yet the photo of the pigs attempting to wash in a tiny puddle evokes laughter. This collection of images reminds us of a forgotten part of the Fukushima disaster.

Aesthetica News

In this section, we like to report on what's new at Aesthetica.

1. Aesthetica is now on Pinterest!

We will be pinning about visual art and contemporary culture on a daily basis and hope you will join us!

Artists Directory

2. Artists' Directory

The Aesthetica Artists' Directory is a global network of artists engaging with the professional art world. In print, online and in digital we have created a forum for discussion and interactivity where artists, galleries, collectors, critics, curators and enthusiasts can meet and discover the best in emerging art from around the world.

View the Artists' Directory at
or for more information visit

Excerpt from the Aesthetica Blog

Bomb magazine, Winter 1996, 315 x 275mm, Designed by Tony Arefin.

Tony Arefin: The Graphic Design of Tony Arefin, Ikon, Birmingham

Occupying the top floor of the Ikon gallery is a retrospective collection of the graphic designs pioneered by Tony Arefin. Despite Arefin's name remaining largely unknown to the general public his work is widely considered a staple mark of 90's fine art graphic design. Arefin is celebrated as a transgressor of the graphic design world, able to create works that bore an incredible air of visual communication between the viewer and the work. This ability quickly lead to his breakthrough which saw Arefin designing posters and catalogues for the likes of Institute of Contemporary Art, the Serpentine Gallery, The Chisenhale Gallery and the Ikon gallery. These elite lists of clientele lead to design critic Rick Poynor describing Arefin as "single-handedly processing the print needs of the entire British art scene."

Definitely a student at the "less is more" school of thought, Arefin's work is liberally awash in minimalism as well as incorporating geometric reductionism and elements of constructivism. In one example of Arefin's Chisenhale gallery catalogues there is a double page spread showing, on the left hand page, a close up black and white photograph from a series of sculptures filling the entire page. The wall seems battle scarred and the grey scale illuminates its aged face. The sculpture, a small black box with a hose like wire coiling away from it, sits in the middle of the page like a grotesquely seductive enigma. On the right hand page is a smaller image located towards the top of the page. It's given a supreme sense of isolation, as the white of the page engulfs it, giving it a natural a-symmetrical border. The image shows the whole sculpture series which reveals 3 boxes in height order going from smallest to biggest from the right hand side. There is a metallic disc sat upright on the far left. The boxes have the same impenetrable black colouring as the close up of the sculpture on the left hand page, and are tied together by a cable twisting along the floor snaking amongst them. The power emphasised by the simplicity deployed is incredible. Arefin has given this particular sculpture an entirely new identity that could only exist in this context. The photography's cold, gothic, monochromatic pallet entwined with the pristine white of the page that storms around it blankets the whole composition in an icy sea of lifeless animosity.

Arefin's own design for the Ikon sits proudly in full view of one's entrance in to the room, subtly bathing the room in its glory. It's a simple yet iconic slave of the power in typography infused with a signature creative twist immediately recognisable as Arefin. It shows the word "IKON" in thick geometric lettering. The word "GALLERY" is in a much smaller font size next to it. The lettering is set off from the white of the wall, alienating each of the larger letters as a series of cryptic symbols. The minimalistic tendencies here painfully show just how little is needed to create something that has become so synonymous with such a sought after institution, and to do this consistently over a career with so many other institutions as well as being able to inject with a signature motif so to speak, is truly remarkable.

Opposite, on the other side of the room, looms perhaps the most iconic piece. A huge Yellow rectangle outlined in black with a small v shape cut in to the top left hand corner. In the centre are three different sized black rectangles housing the words "I CAN SEE," "THROUGH," and "WALLS" all in white text. The italicized "THROUGH" counter balances the rectangular patterns ridden within the work grabbing the viewer aesthetically. The colour pallet is reminiscent, in ways, of the bold tabloid and advertising influenced Pop Art of Lichtenstein. The overall composition seems vaguely similar to those that have made Barbara Kruger such an instantly recognisable force within the art world. The aggressive impact of the composition and minimalistic contrasting colour pallet that creates an arousing sense of demanded attention is seen utilized liberally throughout both their careers. The composition appears to hold a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement, with the bold pallet acting as a recipe of captivatingly satisfying iconography sucking in the viewer like a vortex.

Sadly in 2000 Arefin tragically passed away ending his on-going run of dynamic and personalised graphic designs that have literally altered the face of British design commercially. If one were to go and see an exhibition in a major British gallery the chances are that one would have been reading from a catalogue that he designed. But sadly outside the circle fortunate enough to appreciate his artistic brilliance, he remained just another face in a crowd. Now this is changing, Arefin is receiving the attention he rightly deserves. This brings back the iconic Ikon logo design which one cannot help but view as a fitting tribute. The size difference in the words, highlighting the word "Ikon", seems now to possess an ulterior motive, as a perfect example of his own creative design addressing Arefin's own ability and legacy as a true British icon.

The Graphic Design of Tony Arefin will run until the 4 November, Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, West Midlands B1 2HS,

Will Davie

Image Credit
Bomb magazine, Winter 1996, 315 x 275mm, Designed by Tony Arefin.


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Final farewell
We hope you enjoyed this month's newsletter. It has been a pleasure sharing our news with you.

© Aesthetica 2012.

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