Ai Weiwei Piles 1,200 Bikes On Top Of Each Other, For Dazzling Effect

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum hosts a large-scale exhibition of the Chinese dissident artist with his new work, Forever Bicycles.

by James Gaddy

The humble bike has inspired artists ever since Marcel Duchamp put a bicycle wheel on top of a stool in 1913–even Picasso, during the bleakest period of World War II, used a pair of handlebars and a bike saddle to whimsically conjure the skull of a bull. The artist Ai Weiwei, who was detained in a secret location for 81 days by the Chinese government last summer, continues this tradition with a new exhibition in Taiwan.

As part of what the museum bills as the first large-scale solo exhibition of the artist’s work to be held in the Chinese world, Ai Weiwei’s most recent work, Forever Bicycles, installs 1,200 bicycles–some hanging from the ceiling, some standing upright on the floor–one behind the other. The bikes have no handlebars and no seats and instead use those parts of the frame to extend upward and outward to connect to other wheels and other frames, creating the illusion of a labyrinth-like space in a three-dimensional area.

Installed at the highest point of the museum, nearly 100 feet high, the sheer quantity of bikes allows this most functional of objects to take on an abstract quality when viewed from a variety of different angles. The exhibition, entitled Absent because the artist is not allowed to travel and therefore will not be present at the show, contains 21 additional works by the artist, already famous for his Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing. It will be on view until January 20.

James Gaddy is a writer and editor. His work has appeared in Print, Interview, New York, Details, I.D., The New York Times, and many others. Read more

The Visual Arts in 2011: Giving Thanks and a Wish List

Ben Lima’s wish for Dallas: A University Contemporary Art Museum.

In the U.S., university museums are crucial in supporting ambitious, challenging contemporary art that might be too edgy and non-commercial for more populist museums, on a grander scale than the galleries can do. Archetypal examples would be the Wexner Center at Ohio State, the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, or the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston. With the resources to publish full-scale scholarly catalogs and support multi-city tours, these institutions do a lot to set the agenda for contemporary art beyond their home towns.

Read the full article filled with thank yous and a wishlist here.

 

Take a Bow: A First Look at the Costumes for the Merce Cunningham Company’s Last Performance

The series of shows at the Park Avenue Armory will be the last for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and mark the end of the Legacy Tour, a journey that celebrated eighteen of the choreographer’s seminal works with more than fifty engagements across the globe. Designed by the Cunningham Dance Foundation before his death in 2009, the Legacy Tour was created as a way to preserve Cunningham’s body of work for future audiences. With the help of Robert Swinston, a company dancer and the director of choreography (he has been staging works since he began assisting the choreographer in the early nineties), the trust will continue to license Cunningham pieces to dance companies worldwide.

Read the full article in Vogue here.

 

Jacob’s Pillow Announces 80th Anniversary Season

January 2012 will kick off the momentous 80th Anniversary of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, a National Historic Landmark, National Medal of Arts honoree, and America’s longest-running international dance festival.

Deborah Stratman receives 2011 Harpo Foundation Grant

The Harpo Foundation is pleased to support former Mitchell Center Artist in Residence Deborah Stratman’s sculpture and sound installation, “Tactical Uses of a Belief in the Unseen (2),” which will be re-envisioned for the Images Festival.

 

UH Public Art Collection, Blaffer Art Museum and CLASS cordially invite you to an evening reception and holiday party to celebrate the closing of the Portable On Demand Art Project

Thursday, December 15, 2011, 5-7:00 p.m.
Location
: Fine Arts South Lawn
Parking: For the duration of this event, visitors may park anywhere in Lot 16B

Presented by Blaffer Art Museum, the UH Public Arts Collection, and Houston Arts Alliance, the Portable On Demand Art project (P.O.D.A.) is a temporary public art exhibition featuring the work of Aerosol Warfare, BOX 13 ArtSpace, Lynne McCabe, Gabriel Martinez, Metalab, and Anthony Shumate. Each artist or collective of artists has uniquely transformed a PODS® container into a work of art.

Originally created for the May 2011 American Association of Museums (AAM) Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo™, P.O.D.A. was funded by a partnership between PODS Houston, the City of Houston, and the Houston Arts Alliance.  The P.O.D.A. project provides a non-traditional platform for artists to explore the cultural, ecological, political, scientific and socio-economic forces shaping Houston’s aspirations for the future, and showcases our city as a vibrant arts and cultural capital and museum mecca for locals and visitors alike. For the past seven months the P.O.D.A. exhibition has been on view in various locations throughout the greater Houston area. Six out of the eight projects are currently on view near the Fine Arts Building and the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston. For participating artist information and past project locations, please visit: www.portableondemandart.com

Chris Vroom’s take on Art Basel Miami Beach

As music throbbed, bodies writhed and shadows danced over the torch-lit sand outside Dasha’s half-million dollar party celebrating Art Basel Miami Beach, I couldn’t help but think of Nero, who fiddled while Rome burned…

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2011 (Communograph Sidewalk Talk)
Sidewalk Talk: Life Archived through Art, a poetry performance hosted by artist & poet Michael K Taylor Preceded by a moderated discussion with 3rd Ward Elders including members of S.H.A.P.E.’s Elders Institute of Wisdom. Poems Specific poems written about Elder and Shape within 3rd Ward will be read, an open mic, and dinner will be served (early).
Time: 6 pm – 8 pm
Place: 2521 Holman Street
Houston, TX 77004
(713) 526-7662

Awakening: A Reading of Five-Minute Memoirs

Tuesday, December 6
7pm

Cap off the year with the literary equivalent of a dozen espresso shots. This rejuvenating event features twelve UH Creative Writing graduate students in Mat Johnson’s Writers on Literature class reading original flash memoir pieces. The theme of the evening is awakening. Get caffeinated. Get literated. Join us.

Claire Anderson
Thomas Calder
Peter Kimani
Dickson Lam
Jameelah Lang
Tyson Morgan
Sara C. Rolater
Allie Rowbottom
Kellie Smith
Austin Tremblay
Rebecca Wadlinger
Elizabeth Winston

LOCATION: Antidote Coffee, 729 Studewood
ADMISSION: Free

Spacetaker | Artist Resource Center

Spacetaker accepts Artist Exhibition Proposals twice a year.

NEXT DEADLINE:  December 1, 2011 

View the submission guidelines here.

 

 

Anticipation grows for the Menil Collection’s dedication ceremony for “The Art Guys Marry a Plant” at 10:30am November 19

 

The Art of Sustainability

Read the recent Chronicle Blog on red, black & GREEN: a blues, in The Arts in Houston with Jenni Rebecca Stephenson of Spacetaker.

 

Hemispheric New York Emerging Artist Fellowship

Application Deadline: November 16, 2011

The Hemispheric New York Emerging Artist Fellowship program is now accepting applications from emerging artists in New York City who are at the early stages of their careers but have some track record of creating performance-based work. This competitive one-year fellowship will be awarded to one (1) artist who is committed to art as a vehicle for social change, whose work—even if interdisciplinary—is strongly rooted in performance, and who would value the opportunity to be a part of an Americas-wide network of artists, activists and scholars who focus on the intersection of performance and politics.

The residency period runs from January to December 2012.

The fellowship provides the emerging artist with:

Download the application here.

Questions can be sent to hemi.newyork@nyu.edu.

The Hemispheric New York Emerging Artist Fellowship is a program of the Hemispheric New York Performance Network Initiativesupported by the Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund.

It Takes a Village

Read the dancesourcehouston review on The Secondary Colors, an original collaborative contemporary dance and music work by choreographer Karen Stokes and composer Bill Ryan that took place last weekend at the Hobby Center. 

 

Reality Hardly Bites

Ethan Hawke headlines the third annual Cinema Arts Festival Houston, read the full CultureMap Houston story here.

 

Celebrated American composer attracts dream-team musicians for dance program

The Secondary Colors
The Secondary Colors is an original collaborative contemporary dance and music work by choreographer Karen Stokes and composer Bill Ryan. This premiere features nine dancers of Karen Stokes Dance and six world-class musicians hand selected by Bill Ryan; David Cossin, percussion, Michael Lowenstern, clarinet, Todd Reynolds, violin, Andrew Russo, piano, Pablo Mahave-Veglia, cello, and Jonathan Nichol, saxophone.
Karen Stokes is Professor and Head of the Dance Division in the School of Theatre & Dance at the University of Houston and founded the UH Center for Choreography.

Bill Ryan is the Director of the New Music Ensemble at Grand Valley State University and recipient of the American Composers Forum coveted Champion of New Music Award for his commitment to bringing new music into the lives of young students and to a wider public audience.

Read the recent write up on chron.com.

WHEN: 7:30pm Thursday-Saturday
LOCATION: Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby
TICKET INFORMATION: $20-$35, 713.315.2525

“When Life Becomes Art” Ken Johnson reviews Living as Form in today’s New York Times.

 

 

Rock Star Patti Smith performed on campus in April of 2010 with our help in conjunction with Voices Breaking Boundaries.  She read from her prize-winning memoir, Just Kids, and performed Because the Night  and My Blakean Years – during which she improvised a verse about her Houston visit.