This interview is an excerpt from a book I am currently writing. It starts with the peculiar and adventurous life of Sidney Regis, free-diver turned artist and evolves towards the definition of contemporary art. For Sidney is exploring the main themes of the story of art and photography but… Under water. You might wonder: what difference does that make? And I can now tell you: a huge one! For water changes the rules of photography and our perceptions of space, colour, movement,…
Water is more than an extraordinary medium, it is a forgotten wonder: everyone and everything is made of water. It is the red thread of life. It is the perfect medium to question our relationship to nature and explore the notion of identity in the objective to find out who we are. For we need to remember where we come from to know where we are going. What makes Sidney’s art emblematic of today’s art is that it is environmental, societal.. And, in his latest project, even connected…
+596xxxxxx. I couldn’t recognise the country code. I took the call and was pleasantly surprised to hear from an old friend of mine. 15 years had gone by and she was now living in Martinique, married with two children and a great job. She had seen, through the alumni association from HEC, our business school, that I had left finance for art. She was wondering if I could meet her husband, a photographer, who would be in Paris at the same time as me, for the FIAC.
From the portrait she drew from Sidney Regis, I understood that water and his life were inextricably connected. We agreed to meet Place Vendôme, in Paris, a location as far away from nature as possible and I wondered briefly if he would be like a fish outside of his element…
Although I didn’t know how he looked, I recognised him immediately: he was floating through the place, as if he was connected to life and the world around him, with an open heart. We started a conversation that hasn’t ended yet.
Valerie Reinhold: Sidney, I heard you say “remember where you come from” so I now ask you the same question, before we elaborate on your artistic practise.
Sidney Regis: I was born in Guadeloupe and grew up in Martinique.
My father is a yoga teacher and his relationship to others and to nature probably rubbed on me. My mother was a stewardess and all her travel stories were my first “adventures”! She passed on her passion for travelling and discovering the world to me.
As a child, I was not very athletic and my asthma didn’t help. All my sport teachers were convinced that I would never do much! I had little interest for football -maybe because I was really bad at it- and was anyway more drawn to the sea. It may sound weird to you, but I really loved holding my breath! So from playing on the beach, I gradually spent more time in the sea and underwater, for spearfishing. I guess that was the beginning of my passion for free-diving!
VR: How did you become a professional free-diver?
SR: I moved to Bordeaux in 1998 to study at the STAPS, the French faculty of sports and sciences.
My aim was to understand how the body can do extraordinary things. I was fascinated by its magical side, which can be defined as the relationship between the body and the soul: this can trigger incredible performances. How can someone random accomplish something extraordinary? You know, when a mother can lift a car to save a child. Or when a yogi can stop his heartbeat… That type of things… Free-diving seemed very fitted as the field research for my master.
I met the French national team while working on this study and.. Getting to know them was a life-changing experience as I decided to switch from research to free-diving.
VR: So in the end you were more interested about the experience than the observation! And what did you learn as a free diver?
SR: First, You have to imagine that when you free-dive, you need to let go. You have to accept the water pressure, stay focused on what is happening inside and outside of your body. Above all you need to be patient: It can take months to gain one more second holding your breath! The danger, if you push too hard, is deadly: when a free-diver wants to go one meter deeper and ignores the signals his body is sending… The risk is a black out and drowning… So free-diving at a competition level taught me a lot about myself. I learnt to stay focused, to remain “centred” and above all humble.
It also taught me about teamwork: there is no performance without a team: the team is the key to let go and be in the right state of mind to perform. The team mates are each-others gardian angels as the roles rotate between free-diving, securing the diver and measuring the performance. Trust is the key.
I learnt something more and that was to look at the sea with my eyes closed! I had to close my eyes to free-dive deeply and I learnt to feel and “see” with my other senses.
VR: Were you satisfied with what you learnt?
SR: It’s not about satisfaction: It’s about learning and mastering the right techniques and your body. It’s about authenticity and integrity. Free-diving is impermanent: nothing is set in stone… I “just” wanted to dive as long and as deep as I could, like all my fellow divers… I wanted to push my own limits… It took years and I finally joined the French national team in 2007. Satisfied? not really. Happy? Tremendously!
VR: I read about your records too…
SR: Thanks. I had a few, for example in 2006, when I went -41 meters without palms. In 2007, I reached -70 meters with palms and I qualified for the world championships.
VR: Did you go?
SR: No! That same year, another free-diver (Julie Gautier), gave my number to a Canadian artist and film maker, Gregory Colbert. He asked me if I wanted to be part of his next project, “Song of Sea”. The first shooting, in the Galapagos, was falling exactly at the same time as the world championships in Egypt…
Choosing means renouncing… And I went with Gregory.
VR: So you left a promising career as an international free-diver for an uncertain future as a model for an artictic project?
SR: That’s about it… Gregory had already done “Ashes and Snow”, a project about the beauty of nature. His approach, his aesthetics and his drive were more than enough for me to choose another path than free-diving competition.
That said, the “modelling” part of the project was far more complicated than I had imagined… We had to free-dive without mask and palms but dressed with robes and yet look zen and relaxed, our sinuses filled with salty water and with wild animals around us, all day long… It made competition look very easy!
What Gregory really wanted from us was to connect with the animals to capture this bond, this relationship made of respect and trust. He is not someone who will satisfy himself with just a pretty picture. that’s what makes his pictures and movies unique.
VR: That sounds crazy though!
SR: Retrospectively.. It was not without risks and I had memorable bruises, stings, burns,..! It felt like going beyond our limits and achieving what everybody said was impossible. But we felt we were privileged to get so close to all these living masterpieces.
VR: Definitely crazy… Can you tell me more about Gregory?
SR: Gregory is an artist whose life revolves around the beauty of and our connection to nature. He evolves outside the traditional art circuits and yet, he is one of the artists who has had the most visitors in his exhibitions! For Ashes And Snow, he built 5,000m2 nomadic museums, designed by Shigeru Ban and Simon Velez, entirely recyclable, that traveled to Venise, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Mexico. His last exhibition, in 2009, had more than 7 million visitors!
VR: This is very impressive! What did you learn from him?
SR: Patience, pugnacity, focus and to have a clear vision.
VR: I imagine his vision echoed something in you…
Very young, I knew I wanted to share my vision of the world, my relationship to water and to nature. I knew I wanted to say something but I didn’t know how! Gregory put a camera in my hands when I told him about a crazy idea I had, back in 2008 -something like writing with light under water-. Then he pushed me to really find my own vision.
VR: How would you define your vision?
SR: Roni Horn said it very well about his series “Still Water” so I will adapt his words: when I free-dive into water I’m entering into an event of relation. rather than an object, water becomes a form — of consciousness, of time, of physicality, of the human condition, of anything I desire to project on it, of anything I want it to be. This water exists in monolithic, indivisible continuity with all other waters. No water is separate from any other water. I am not looking at water, I am inside.
It is this relationship, almost symbiotic, that feeds my artistic practise and that I want to share. I feel privileged to experience it over and over again. I want to show people the wonders of the water, but from an artistic angle.
VR: Didn’t other artists already do it? You mentioned Roni Horn…
SR: Before I really started to create anything I could satisfied with, I spent many years learning the practical skills but also reading, -almost cramming!- about photography and the story of art. So I started with writings about artists I liked, like James Turrell, and then I read about the artists and writers who had inspired them, and so on..
VR: Which theories or artists influenced you most?
SR: Many bits from very different theories and periods helped me shape my own vision. It ranges from the radical side of Ad Reinhardt, Minimal art, Mondriaan, Surrealists’ views about imagination, Bachelard, etc. Bridges between artists who were fascinated by water and how it captures light, its structure, the Radikant from Nicolas Bourriaud,…
VR: “Silent Lights” is the first chapter of your work. Where does the idea for this body of work come from?
I realised that underwater photography was mostly limited to documentary photography and hardly had a “true artistic” dimension. There were many beautiful images about fish, water, corals etc. But what about the artistic and photographic theories?
So I started at the beginning of what photography (photo – graphy) means and focused on light and time to capture colours, movements, texture and perspective.
It took about 5 years to develop Silent Lights, countless dives and many aborted ideas before I found the perfect settings for my camera to show the incredibly beautiful underwater world, but through art. All the pictures from the series are taken with these settings that capture, I hope, another narrative underwater, one connected to the memory of water.
VR: What were you looking for?
SR: I wanted to capture light, movement and colours, to show people what they usually don’t see. But I wanted to do it by revisiting the principles of photography.
The images are not re-worked digitally: there is no scenography either. They are all taken under water, free diving and only with natural light.
VR: When I look at the pictures, some remind me of the colours of Rothko, the design of Twombly..
SR: It is up to you to see the references you want… That said, I am very curious about art in general and a few artists in particular, like Rothko, James, Turrell, Cy Twombly, Hiroshi Sugimoto. When I can, I try to pay homage to these artists -like the horizon series, which was a “clin d’oeil” to Sugimoto!-. I also re-visit the theories that are at the origin of their work, like the perception of light for Turrell.
I believe that there is no future if you don’t know your past. That’s why I keep on reading, seeing and understanding other artists’ works. For they speak about our world and this is also what I want to achieve. Through water.
VR: how long does it take to take a picture?
SR: It depends! It can take up to 2 or 3 years actually! Like for Full moon… I wanted to capture the full moon from under water but the right conditions were never there. I almost gave up! And then one day, after many attempts.. I got it!
In general, I first visit the location I have chosen.I sometimes use a tripod built for for the gigantic camera I am using. And then… I wait for the right moment! Sometimes, dead leaves, flowers, excrements, forms of pollution will drift by and add colours and shape.
VR: How did you choose the locations? Are there specific meanings?
SR: The images were taken around the globe : Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico, Martinique, Dominican Republic… Every place has a specific character and a very specific light. That said, all these places seem to converge to echo each other.
VR: You often speak about convergence of beliefs in water: can you develop this point?
SR: Water is a natural element that is loaded with various symbolic meanings in many different cultures. From ancient Greece to modern China, water is a symbol of the chaos of the beginnings and of the body resurrection and spiritual rebirth. Water is the dark Styx for the Greeks and the “delicious” kawthar in the muslims’ paradise. Water is the home of naiads and gods, but also swallows unfortunate sailors. In every civilisation, water is “loaded” with spirituality and power. Our beliefs, emotion converge in this universal element.
VR: “I am not looking at my subject, I am inside”: what do you mean?
SR: I said that to emphasise the fact that in my work, water is not just a pretty background for corals and fish. I am not looking at my subject -water-, I am inside my subject.. And that changes the whole perspective!
I want to transcend water and at the same time capture the essence of the connecting fluid: so I give it density and I transform it into a material, a medium.
VR: Your photographs are often printed on a Japanese paper -Kozo-. I can imagine this choice is not random. How did you discover this paper and why did you choose it?
SR: That’s a lot of questions in one! I will start with my interest in paper. Have you read “Sur la route du papier » by Erik Orsenna?
VR: I have, a long time ago though
SR: Here is the part that, for me, confirmed my intuition about paper, in relation to my work.
-« Ecoutez !
(…) A part deux aboiements dans le lointain, (…) je n’ai trouvé aucun bruit qui mérite attention. J’avoue mon échec.
-Vous êtes comme les autres vous oubliez l’essentiel! L’eau vous n’entendez pas l’eau ?
Je lui dis que bien sûr mais que…
– Vous croyez que l’eau n’a pas d’importance ? Ou pire, que toutes les eaux sont pareilles ?Apprenez que l’eau est la vraie matière première du papier ! Certains jours je n’arrive à rien. Je vérifie. Tout est conforme. Je vais dans le village. Je demande à mes amis. Eux non plus ne fabriquent plus de bon papier. Et puis le bon papier revient, grâce à l’eau. »
VR: You mean that your work, to be complete, has to be printed on the right surface?
SR: Yes, in a way. The photos from Silent Light are saturated with colours and the light shows a large range of blues, greens, etc. I wanted to find the right paper that could translate all these subtleties. I also found that, perhaps to be close to an “organic” feeling -after all my pictures are about a living element-, the paper had to be granular and really have a paper texture, in opposition to a slick and shiny kodak paper that will give a more “slick” effect.
I went to a few excellent studios, in Washington and Paris. The first paper I found made the picture too perfect: that’s when I got the intuition to use a Japanese traditional washi paper. They are fairly hard to find and above all extremely delicate to use for colour printing as they are very thin and unforgiving. Luckily, I met one of the best master-printers in Paris, Alice Tremblais.
To be continued….
Merry Chrismas to all! We offer a special deal on the prints: see here for availabilities!
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
friday – saturday: 11 – 6 pm
sunday: 11 – 5 pm
or by appointment
38 W. 28th Street, Floor 5
New York, NY 10001
“If water has a memory, I’m trying to capture it.”
Sidney Régis embarks us in a mysterious and poetic journey, underwater, he started in 2008. Water is sublimated in his pictures. “I immerse myself motionless, free-diving in a world I thought I knew perfectly. Suddenly still objects become inwardly “alive”.
In “Silent Lights” series, the artist revisits, underwater, the classic themes of still life and landscape. Strongly influenced by the synergies between the occidental and oriental philosophies and cultures, his photographs invite us to reflect upon our role and our perception of nature.
He photographs these objects the same way he would photograph people: capture their “interior life”. The resulting energy vibrates with colours who seem to become pictorial notes. It is not a leaf, it is not a flower, these are not ashes: they become “living” objects. Sidney Régis sublimates this vibration into pictures where our imagination can wander.
The deep colours and the velvety texture, beautifully rendered by a printing technique developed with Alice Tremblais -one of the best master printers based in Paris-, envelop the viewers. Sidney Régis’s pictures don’t depict a specific situation or location: they are “an experience”, in the line of Rothko’s works. They trigger emotions and aim at connecting us with ourselves but also with the mysteries and poetry of the underworld.
“I don’t look at my subject: I am in it. “
The images are taken around the globe and seem to echo each other. They converge and are combined into four main categories: horizon, objects, colours and light, like a tribute to the rigorous classification inspired by Bernd and Hilla Becher.
The voluptuous and subtle colours emanate from the alchemy between water, light and random elements -sometimes incongruous, sometimes beautiful and poetic- that come on Sidney’s path.
The images are all taken under water without staging, without movement of the photographer, in natural light. Stillness enables him to capture emotions, mysteries and wonders, through his lens. The artist’s status lies in the ability to create a new world where objects become sculptures and water is colour.
Sidney Régis (Guadeloupe, 1979) is a photographer and “water art” artist based in Martinique and Paris, France. Sidney Régis has committed since 2008 to a poetic and conceptual Odyssey: he explores and creates, with the photographic medium, bridges between three fluids: time, light and water.
Sidney seeks to regenerate the ambivalence and complexity of these universal fluids, seen from the “inside”: underwater (ref – The Sea, Michelet, 1861). He revisits classic themes in the history of art, like still life, landscape, monochrome paintings,… and invites us to reflect upon the notion of « impermanence » and our role and our perception of Nature.
All the images of his projects are taken free diving and in natural light. His work combines complex techniques of shooting and complex printing processes (digital or film). Sidney Régis is working closely with one of the best master printers of his generation and has developed for each project innovative printing processes.
He discovered the underwater world at the age of 6, which became his. Sidney Régis grew up into a free diver, beat two French records and was sacred champion in France. His artistic journey started as an underwater model, “dancing” with animals in front of Gregory Colbert’s camera for “Ashes and Snow”. Sidney Régis developed his photographic skills with masters (Grégory Colbert, Koji Nakamura, Manuel Lazcano, Philipe Vène, Mark Sobczak, Randy Maldonado, Jacques Ballard, Jean-Michel Cambilhou…): this “atypical art school” enabled Sidney Régis to focus on what matters to him: express his own vision of water and let us see the subtleties, the rich colour palette, and so many wonders seen through an unusual prism: UNDER water.
His images are part of private collections in Montreal, New York, Paris, London, Doha, Johannesburg, Amsterdam …
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