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Facing History

The woman on the screen is in a completely empty auditorium. She is singing and her voice is shrill and long, like a wounded animal. In her voice there is also a yearning, a pleading, as if she were praying. At the same time an immense tenderness is felt, as if her song were a [...]

Reflection Alone

"Reflection alone can give us the idea of what perception is" We saw these words in pale white neon lights above the stairs leading to the basement gallery at New York's Sean Kelly art gallery. We paused and wondered who wrote these words, and who was the artist who noticed them and used them to [...]

The Flip Side of Consciousness: Mamma Andersson Behind the Curtain

From the Series of Essays Ritual Practices by Elaine Smollin In Mamma Andersson paintings, what is apparent is always the flip side of consciousness. The present may as well be the past, while the past with its heavy hand, can deftly reveal a sudden lightness of being. From where comes this painter’s dialectics? An Andersson [...]

Remember the Land

by Light-man   The symbiotic relationship between the artist and the land, the soil, natural elements is gaining momentum as the world is more aware of the woes of growing environmental crisis. Already this issue concerns basic human survival, just as what the Land Art movement in the 70s predicted when they pioneered an art [...]

After the Revolution: Neo Rauch and David Salle

From the series of essays Ritual Practices by Elaine Smollin   On the road from Frankfurt-am-Main to Leipzig, departing Hessen into Thuringia, a vast heap of salt towers above the passerby. This inert, looming, giant byproduct of industry dwarfs the relevance of anything nearby. The power of its sheer enormity stuns the senses, pressing the [...]

Art in a Place of Wisdom and Knowledge

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2014 Contemporary art often crosses the line of pure art expression or craft. It contributes to building a culture, thus encompassing many different creative fields, such as film making, literature, political issues, and even spirituality. At the recent 11th Ubud Writers Readers Festival in Indonesia, we experience art [...]