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THE SEEN | Chicago's International Online
Journal of Contemporary & Modern Art
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Issue 21: June
 

PROFILE OF THE ARTIST // INTERVIEW WITH LUIGI ONTANI
In Conversation with Sara Rella

I perceive the action of entering the world of a creative mind with questions related to its work as a hazard, the type of hazard that comes along with a sort of excitement — do you really want to try to unveil it through words? When I found myself trying to condensate in a few written questions the interest for one of the most intriguing Italian creative minds, this perception became stronger — the greater amazement arrived after receiving his answers, by his own handwriting scrawled in green ink over my printed draft.

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HITO STEYERL // ARTISTS SPACE
by Vanessa Gravenor


Hito Steyerl’s practice encompasses theory, criticism, performance, lectures, and film essays. Her angle of criticism ranges from Kantian philosophy to pop culture humor. Within the zone of the web—Steyerl’s site in question—images transform into dialogues, are proliferated with violence, but are cast within deceptively platonic tumblr exteriors within the blogosphere. Steyerl’s videos take on these mediums, and often this is humorous, but never passive mimicry, press on the psyche of the viewer.

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S, M, L, XL // MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART CHICAGO
by S. Nicole Lane

Sculpture in relation to the establishment—the blank space, the rectangular confines of the gallery, and the pedestal—have been challenged over the last five decades by artists whose interests lie increasingly in the physical interaction and phenomenology of objects in space. S,M,L,XL, curated by Michael Darling and currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, presents five works by three artists, aestheticizing passing experiences, chance, indeterminacy, and the exploration of anti-form. The title of the exhibition is partly derived from the book, identically titled S, M, L, XL, by Rem Koolhaas and Bruce Mau. Critical essays, photos, personal stories, and fables, complete the book, which focuses on contemporary architecture—analogous to the exhibition, the books contents are presented in order of size, with accordance to scale.

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ARMENIAN PAVILLION, VENICE BIENNALE // INTERVIEW WITH AIKATERINI GEGISIAN
In Coversation with Kostas Prapoglou

The National Pavilion of the Republic of Armenia is this year’s Golden Lion award winner of the 56th Venice Biennale. Entitled Armenity—a term inspired by the diaspora of Armenian artists and intellectuals around the world—the pavilion embraces the work of eighteen contemporary artists, all of which are descendants of Armenian Genocide survivors.

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KAHLIL JOSEPH: DOUBLE CONSCIENCE // MOCA LOS ANGELES
by Natalie Hegert

Nothing could have prepared me for how beautiful it was.

Kahlil Joseph’s m.A.A.d. is cyclical, looping through climax and denouement like a smooth ride through day and night, light and dark, positive and negative, life and death. With a split screen video installed in an open V in the corner of the gallery, the film glides through various glimpses of the city of Compton, STATE. At turns languorous, smooth, lush, melancholy, terrifying, and elegiac, the video on view in Kahlil Joseph: Double Conscience at The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles borrows from and subverts hip hop music video tropes: the camera apprehends the city through the windows of an SUV; a digitized Escalade hood ornament spins in the center of the screen; bodies move in slow motion, elevating the banal to a kind of monument to everyday life. It is a potent mix of music video, abstract biography, portrait of a city, and cinematic tour de force.

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Image up top: Luigi Ontani Krishna Jaipur, 1976. Photograph hand-painted by the artist, in gilded frame. Courtesy Luigi Ontani and Galleria Lorcan O’Neill Roma.
 
               
 For more information about EXPO CHICAGO/2015
   www.expochicago.com