ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands — With his wild-man beard, piratical silver earrings, heavy-rimmed specs and abiding interest in the occult, it wasn’t clear just how an unscheduled interview with sexagenarian AA Bronson would unfold.
ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands — Nothing says mystery like an invite-only launch featuring a performance piece scheduled for one minute past midnight.
On Wednesday, August 21, Hyperallergic will be hosting our next ArtTalk featuring artists AA Bronson and Carlos Motta at The Bedford in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The topic for that evening’s discussion and conversation is “The Body, Spirit, Sex, Community, Magic, and the Other.”
LOS ANGELES — Bookstore chains may slowly be dying out, but small publishing is alive and kicking … hard. At least, if the turnout at Printed Matter’s first LA Art Book Fair was any indication.
AA Bronson, the internationally recognized artist and former president of New York’s Printed Matter artist-book store, is currently in LA to launch the first ever LA Art Book Fair at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary space in downtown LA. Bronson, who is also the director of the NY Art Book Fair, says he’s been thinking about an LA companion to the popular New York fair for about three years now.
The close relationship that art and religion maintained for several millennia has in recent decades eroded so drastically that it’s difficult to imagine fine arts and contemporary religion having anything in common. Art is, on the whole, a secular enterprise, and religion is frequently more anesthetic than aesthetic in character. The two worlds happily foster vulgar understandings of each other almost to a point of pride. Some might even suggest that adherence to one entails a rejection of, or at least critical distance from, the other. But not everyone is content with this scenario.
It’s hard to talk about spirituality in the US today without bringing up a lot of baggage — conflicts between religions about who has it right or who is the most righteous, not to mention all the stereotypes that accompany each religion and its practitioners. And it’s certainly not easy to talk about religion and contemporary visual art, as visual art is so often assumed to be above or outside or beyond religion somehow.
I feel naïve to have thought that art offered one of the only scared spaces to be freely expressive. Two weeks ago, I wrote a post that attempted to diplomatically depict the controversial saga that has unfolded over artist Brett Murray’s “The Spear”, a Communist propaganda style portrayal of South African president Jacob Zuma with his penis hanging out from his zipper.
Currently on view in the refectory at Union Theological Seminary are 16 beige painted rectangles, including one ensconced in a prewar, built-in, gilded mold over the large fireplace. The rectangles are silhouettes of the portraits of former Union board members and school presidents that traditionally occupy the space. The portraits’ absence, along with an accompanying publication, make up an exhibition titled About Face: Portraits at Union Theological Seminary, by artist Cathy Busby.
It’s just another day in the life of the art world and we just learned that New York-based Canadian art legend AA Bronson will be ritually blessing New York/Shanghai/Rotterdam-based Defne Ayas’ new program at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam.
Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR), the first artist-in-residency program exclusively for emerging LGBT contemporary artists in the United States, has announced its very first summer residency program, which is slated to take place August 12 – 26, 2011 in the Cherry Grove community of Fire Island, New York.
On February 11, the first major retrospective of the work of the world-renowned Canadian art collective General Idea opened at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris with 300 objects, and I took the opportunity to interview AA Bronson about General Idea and his thoughts on the group.