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By Russian artist Vika Kova
21 December 2016 – Art & Social experiment. Contact us for an invitation.
The mission of Land of Good is to create further awareness for the theme of more balance between men and women, and introduce a free and safe platform of gender symmetrical society, by means of the educational power of Art.
Land of Good is a long term art project. The first phase, “sHe” is about researching the female roles in societies and their interaction with male roles as well as the influences of culture on their relationship. The second phase, “The Crossovers”, uses the data collected to push the two diametrally opposed systems, matriarchy and patriarchy, to the extrems of their own logics.
Amsterdam is a city of equality and non judgment. For Vika Kova, a Russian citizen, the contract with her own country is striking. Beside being the city she has chosen to live in, it is the best location to propose an alternative social model.
On 21st December, the longest night of the year, when the Moon, a feminine symbol, will bathe the earth in her soft light, Vika Kova is sharing with the broad public her vision about another social dynamic.
The event, a Space Invading Social Experiment, is happening in a location, kept secret until the last minute. Maybe no permission was asked- but it is above all feminine as non invasive, non agressive… and fugitive. If you are late, you miss it and museumplein is again dark and silent. The performance is not associated with the Stedelijk Museum. They just happen to have the best wall in town to project videos! It is the same as for graffiti artists: they paint where the wall is the most appropriate to the piece they have in mind! This is maybe why Vroom&Varossieau gallery related to the project and embraced it.
Art can contribute to change the world.
“The world is like a huge city that is reflected in a mirror.”
Based on concepts of scientific and philosophical reasoning, “Land of Good” reflects upon the duality of masculine and feminine forces. This duality establishes the underlying dynamic of social change. For Vika Kova, the duality of the sexes, or rather an imbalance between female and male societal influences around the world has been a major focus behind her drive to create. Exaggerated and uneducated male ego is represented in our society by wars and terrorist attacks, however, the governments prefer to invest in security and weaponry instead of education and awareness. This enigma has inspired the artist to go on a journey – to travel the world in search for the answers. On a first-hand account, Kova researches by meeting and observing women of different cultures and social classes in search for the source of social duality. It is through pure artistry that Kova developed her hunger for social knowledge into an exciting complex study of various theories of social systems. Speculating the inner-polarity within every “brick” of our society, Kova searches for recognition of duality within the individual and portrays cultural symbols resembling some of those theories.
It also contains the expression of disapproval of our society’s denial of the fact that events and things only “seem” to be separated in time and space; and ignoring that what we experience every day is a projected reality in which everything is bounded and connected. The purpose of human existence, therefore, is the balance and harmony of opposites (well-matched duality).
Living in the world where everything is measured, examined and then compared, the artist asks herself: Is it possible to calculate the right yin-yang ratio of a certain human being? If yes, then what would be the ideal rate? And what would be the desirable rate within the artist herself? If humans can measure the temperature on Mars, can we also measure such an important ratio within ourselves? And if we could, how much yang and how much yin you get within each person? How do these contrary forces actually complement, interconnect and give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another?
“Land of Good” is the reflection of an age-old duel between male and female, right and wrong, light and dark, silence and noise. This duality is physically created by utilising white oil-painted textile placed on top of the black acrylic-painted canvas. Composed with a keen cinematic contrast between moving and steady images, balancing between calmness and clutter in the music-mixing.
Series 1 – Land of Good: sHe.
“Women are the very fabric of life”.
Kova has conceived multimedia canvases, video’s and video installations, completing the series one from her Land of Good project, called: sHe. sHe is an attempt of the artist to unravel the enigma behind the biggest social paradox of our society: a contradiction between praise and at the same time control of women by the majority of the men.
The mission of sHe is to examine female roles in different societies throughout today’s “modern” world as seen through the eyes of the artist. Kova’s visual depictions of femininity take viewers around the globe to observe cultural backgrounds as well as contemporary identity of womanhood, within the complex structure of our male-driven world.
Using new media and audio-visual technologies, Kova projects her works on to canvases coated with textiles. Layering canvases with regional fabrics fashioned to allude to different cultures, she then superimposes sound and video bringing to life the many voices and identities of modern woman. Her fabric choices and panel construction methods are meant to imbue subtle underlying messages: the choice of denim in a shape of a T-shirt suggests a unisex culture, symbolising a certain state of womanhood. In addition to these multimedia canvases, Kova produces large-scale video/sound installations meant to be projected both indoors and outdoors.
The right choice of textile is playing rather an important role in this complex artwork, as it is a material manifestation of the results of the “Land of Good”- research. The textile always correlates with the theme of every artwork. It is also the anchor for the authentic bound between different powers of the world. Therefore Vika very carefully chooses suitable type of textile, which makes every artwork unique in its quality. Because human duality reveals itself in complexity and imperfection, every piece of textile is not perfect as well. You will find some flaws, wrinkles or needless, lines, inspired by human nature. You also won’t find a perfect symmetry in the cut of textile, representing the same essence. In the framework of “Land of Good” Vika Kova developed an unprecedented style of music composing: mixing (like a DJ does) different fragments of symphonic music with relevant popular music and iconic, hard-to-find quotes of legendary personalities, creating a new original sound, early unknown in both classical and contemporary music world.
These sound creations, mixed and compiled exclusively for every piece of “Land of Good” sound surprisingly harmonious when you put them all together: regardless of time and space, the viewer gets to hear the random symphony of co-existence. To experience each artwork separately the viewer is invited to put on headphones, that are attached next to every piece. Another significant part of “Land of Good” is advanced technology. Familiar objects such as 3D-projection introduced in an unusual ad creative way, allows the artist to use technology not only as ornamentation, but also as communicative and interactive medium to reach a viewer.
Series 2 – Land of Good: The CrossOvers (2016-2017)
“If patriarchy is survival of the fittest, then matriarchy is survival of the kindest”.
The CrossОvers is dedicated to the introduction and exploration of both male- and female driven society systems. Inspired by the quantum mechanics theory of multitude realities, the artist creates a parallel world, which is female-driven, and is the opposite of our male-driven world. Kova imagines that once in a long while this parallel reality crosses the ours, for the sake of information exchange. Kova “sets up the meeting” between the representatives of the two worlds in order to film it and illustrate the basic principals of both societies.
On 21st December Kova will present video The CrossOvers #1, in Amsterdam. This first edition of The CrossOvers series gives an opportunity to experience on the adventure-like way the alternative way of running the society, based on values, unknown to our patriarchal world. Therefore, it is not only an art installation, it is also information- and education station.
Non-judgemental, joyful view is essential – the artist is keen to present both systems as independent and light as possible. Following the discovery of eventual alternatives for our male-driven world, the viewer is free to extract the conclusions on his own.
About the artist
VIKA KOVA – multimedia and video artist
Born in 1970 in Vladivostok, Russia. Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands from 1996
1988 – 1993 Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory – Moscow, Russia, Master of Arts, Contemporary Music and Pedagogy department
1977 – 1988 Music and Arts School & Academy – Krasnodar, Russia
2012-present Multimedia & video project “Land of Good”
2013 – 2014 Multimedia project “THEMIX”
1993 – 2014 Singer, DJ, performing artist
Projects include among others (commissioned): Sensation White festival – Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Winter Olympic Games, Unilever – Sochi, Russia. Innercity festival, ID&T – Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Marlboro Mxtronica festival – The Middle East tour, Russia tour, Ukraine tour. Playground festival – Jakarta, Indonesia. Russian Standard, Maxxium – Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Tomorrowland festival- Antwerp, Belgium. Mysteryland festival, ID&T – The Netherlands. Heineken events – Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Philip Morris Tour – Moscow, Sochi, Russia; Almaty, Kazakhstan
2014 YPO privet viewing – Los Angeles, USA
2014 Hilton Hotel – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2014 Ontdek de Kunst van Zuid, Amsterdam Arts Village – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2016 Vroom & Varrosieau Land of Good, Amsterdam
GROUP EXHIBITIONS and FAIRS
2015 UnderGround|Water exhibition @ MertonD.Simpson Gallery, New York, USA
2015 Beirut Art Fair, Beirut, Lebanon
2015 Art Nocturne, Knokke, Belgium
2015 @ Dock Gallery, Rotterdam, NL
2016 Beirut Art Fair, Beirut, Lebanon
2016 Resistance & Persistence exhibition, René Mouawad Garden, Beirut, Lebanon
Vending machine. A box-alike construction, few choices in the menu, first slot for a 1EUR coin, another one to receive the output. This description does not sound unusual. Yet it is not a coffee dispenser that we want to talk about…
Sadaharu Horio, the Gutai artist represented by Axel Vervoordt gallery, had his solo project presented during this year’s Art Brussels. From a self-made “art vending machine”, he was delivering one-minute drawings of the public’s choice.
Customers of this peculiar dispenser could choose from a variety of work, including bordered painting, sound painting, mocking painting etc. The order was passed on to Horio using a metal pipe (and with a help of the artist’s assistant who was translating the request to Japanese). After one minute, the artwork was delivered through a rectangular output slot.
The performance brought numerous visitors who queued up to get their customized, spontaneous art works. A different colour was assigned to each of the consecutive days to indicate the time flow of the fair. Horio created a total of around 200 pieces throughout this year’s Art Brussels.
Source: click here
We met Light artist Vicki DaSilva in New York during the Armory week. It may have been freezing cold outside but she warmed our heart and brought light wherever we met her.
Vicki DaSilva has sparkles in her eyes that echo her light based works. She is a pioneer in that field. She has developed a technique where she “paints” with light to create one of a kind pictures. Sometimes graffiti-like, sometimes structures, her pictures make us see spaces, inside or outside, in a completely new way.
Vicki DaSilva was invited by Oxfam to create a new work to promote a campaign for Syria. The picture is almost a performance: activists had to stand still while she was writing with light and building a light architecture around them. Let’s hope that her work will contribute to making people aware of the suffering and living conditions there -where electricity has become a luxury-.
Images: © Vicki DaSilva
Identity, Mass-culture, globalisation, media. Bjørn Melhus’s video installations and films investigate key themes of our society. In “the Theory of Freedom”, he questions the notion of freedom itself in our world where everything seems so… regulated and codified. The aesthetics reminds us of American movies and stereotypes. His humor remains central… If you have a chance, during the Rotterdam art week, don’t miss this show!
About the artist: “Bjørn Melhus was born in Kirchheim unter Teck in 1966, studied photography in Stuttgart from 1985 to 1987 and Fine Arts with a major in Film/Video at the Braunschweig University of Art from 1990 to 1997. He was a fellow of the DAAD at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles and of the federal state of Lower Saxony in ISCP, New York. He participated in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum in New York, the 8th International Biennial of Istanbul, the FACT in Liverpool, the Serpentine Gallery in London, the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, the ZKM in Karlsruhe, the Denver Art Museum, as well as others. Bjørn Melhus has been a professor of Fine Arts/Virtual Realities at the School of Art and Design Kassel since 2003. Bjørn Melhus has been living and working in Berlin since 1987.
In his short films and installations, Bjørn Melhus focuses on general global ideas and trends, the critical reception of mass media, as well as the direct effects they have on people. He uses footage from film and television excessively and deconstructs stereotypical themes, figures and patterns of perception through means of exaggeration. At the same time, he breaks up a seemingly fixed relationship between media and audience, thus opening up the view on the essentials of human interaction.” Source West Den Haag
West den Haag gallery: until 1 March 2015
Beatrix Ruf, The new museum director, is clearly setting a new tone at the Stedelijk Museum with a rich performances program. International artist Ulay was invited yesterday evening to present his new performance: a skeleton in the closet. Ulay is best known for his intense collaboration with Marina Abramović, between 1976 and 1988, and has been a key figure in the field of performance art until today.
In a skeleton in the closet, the artist examines the action of taking the temperature as a means to consider the atmosphere of a social setting. The performance took place in a small room of the Stedelijk, packed with curious viewers. An empty flesh-like coloured canvas was hanging on the wall and a digital thermometer and markers were lying on the ground, next to it. At some point, an opera song, about love, filled the room and grasped people’s mind and emotions. Ulay then entered, quietly, walked to the canvas and looked at us… We will leave you to that as the performance has to be experienced and not told… We can say the temperature went up and we salute Ulay for sharing this moment with us!
A great video about Ulay:
Check the program from the museum, 2015 is going to be amazing, with many performances not to be missed.
La table des convivialités is a virtual reality and interactive installation by Miguel Chevalier.
Since 1978, Miguel Chevalier has focussed exclusively on computers as an artistic means of expression. He quickly secured a spot on the international scene as a pioneer of virtual and digital art. Miguel Chevalier continues to be a trailblazer, and has proven himself one of the most significant artists on the contemporary scene. Miguel Chevalier’s oeuvre is experimental and multidisciplinary. His sources lie in the history of art and his work explores recurrent themes such as nature and artifice, flows and networks, virtual cities and ornate designs. In the 1980s, Miguel Chevalier began tackling the question of the hybrid and generative image. Source: click here
Last weekend the international artists of the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten opened the doors of their studios: every year for a weekend all resident artists welcome the public and present their works. During RijksakademieOPEN 2014, new developments in the arts are revealed, and on display are works that might later be encountered throughout the world in prominent collections, exhibitions and biennials. We were exited to discover this year’s cuvée, and here is our best of…
The Rijksakademie in Amsterdam focuses on developing talent in the fine arts. A selection of talented and ambitious artists from all continents come to Amsterdam to pursue a two-year residency at the Rijksakademie. Here they have the opportunity to engage in debate, concentrate on research and experiment and devote themselves to producing new work. Presentation of the work and connections to an international network form a part of the two-year residency program. For many alumni the residency has led to their international breakthrough.
Redprint:dna’s best of:
Jisan Ahn’s hyper-realistic paintings:
Paul Beumer‘s painting made of plants, water, dirt, watercolor and ink:
Felix Burger and his mad scientist’s studio:
Feng Chen‘s film for his one-eyed friend:
Carlos Irijalba and the 3D scanning of prehistoric caves:
Adrian Melis‘ soap bubble machines:
Masha Ru‘s edible (or not!) clay cups:
Aykan Safoğlu‘s video of portraits made in a darkroom:
Wouter Venema‘s walls as canvases:
Visiting RijksakademieOPEN is always an enriching experience, and you can spend hours visiting the artists studios, while getting lost in the maze of the Rijksakademie’s corridors. One visit is not enough to see all the artworks: but we were happy to have assisted to a visit of the artists’ studios that was focused on the hidden art.
This year’s 49 artists are: