Mathias Poledna

MAY #11


Newest issue of Paris’ MAY Revue, and already out of print.

May #11 features:

An Introduction to a Juridical Legal Analysis of Contemporary Art — Judith Ickowicz

The Reappearances of Cady Noland and the Theatre of Law  — Judith Ickowicz, Elvan Zabunyan, David Perreau

A Revolution “First-Hand”: Seth Siegelaub’s Journey to Portugal in May 1975 — Sara Martinetti

Zero Dark Thirty: The Aesthetics of Narcissism  — Maija Timonen

Friend of the Devil. On Michael Krebber, “The ridiculized snails” at CAPC, Bordeaux  — Mark von Schlegell

Reviews

On Martin Kippenberger, “Sehr Gut | Very Good” at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin  — Jay Chung

Life, like networking, is a group show. On Tanja Widmann, “eine von euch” at Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Saprophyt, Vienne, tranzitdisplay, Prague  — Tonio Kröner

Another image, a different song. On Mathias Poledna at Secession, Vienna — Benjamin Hirte

Get Rid of Capitalism. On Bernadette Corporation, “2000 Wasted Years” at ICA, London — Josefine Wikström

Participation, Penetration, and Phoniness. On Tobias Kaspar, “Life and Lies” at Galerie Marcelle Alix, Paris — Andrea Legiehn

On “The Issues of Our Time” at Castillo/Corrales, Paris — Seyoung Yoon

“Living in Your Head”. On “When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013” at Prada Foundation, Venice — Elvan Zabunyan

About MAY Revue:

Conceived as a collective space in which to develop thoughts and confront positions on artistic production, May magazine examines, quaterly, contemporary art practice and theory in direct engagement with the issues, contexts and strategies that construct these two fields. An approach that could be summed up as critique at work – or as critique actively performed in text and art forms alike.

Featuring essays, interviews, art works and reviews by artists, writers and diverse practitioners of the arts, the magazine also intends to address the economy of the production of knowledge – the starting point of this reflection being the space of indistinction between information and advertisement typical of our time. This implies a dialogue with forms of critique produced in other fields.

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Mathias Poledna - Imitation of LifeMathias Poledna - Imitation of Life

Mathias Poledna
Imitation of Life


For his exhibition in the Austrian Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, artist Mathias Poledna presents a new work titled Imitation of Life.

A 35mm color film roughly three minutes in length, Imitation of Life was produced using the historic, labor-intensive technique of handmade animation and is built around a cartoon character performing a musical number. Its buoyant spirit and visual texture evoke the Golden Era of the American animation industry during the late 1930s and early 1940s. In the preceding years, the time of the Great Depression, the medium had evolved from a crude form of mass spectacle into a visual language of enormous richness and complexity that shaped and continues to resonate in our collective imaginary.

The soundtrack, another key element of the production, was recorded with a full orchestra in the style of the period at the Warner Brothers scoring stage in Los Angeles. It combines new original music created specifically for this project with a rearrangement of a popular song from the 1930s written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown.

Presented in Venice, Poledna’s installation allows for a complex cross-reading with other episodes from this period: the relationship between European art and American mass culture; European emigration to the United States and American export to Europe; the presentation of animated films produced by the Disney Studios at the first film festivals in Venice; the late modernism of the Austrian Pavilion, and the period from 1938 to 1942 during which the building remained empty while Austrian artists exhibited in the German Pavilion.

Designed by the artist in collaboration with Martha Stutteregger, the publication contains contributions by the curator and commissioner of the Austrian Pavilion, Jasper Sharp; the cultural scholar Diedrich Diederichsen; and the professor of political aesthetics Esther Leslie.

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Poor Man’s Expression: Technology, Experimental Film, Conceptual Art A Compendium in Texts and Images
Martin Ebner, Florian Zeyfang (Eds.)

With texts by Sabeth Buchmann, Anselm Franke, Ariane Müller, Branden Joseph, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Ian White, Axel John Wieder

Poor Man’s Expression examines the relationship between film, video, technology, and art, with a particular focus on the reciprocal influences between conceptual art and experimental film. The publication is based on the eponymous exhibition in Berlin in 2006, but represents an independent compendium of texts and images beyond the show. Works, lectures and performances by international artists, created for the exhibition and expanded for the publication, are set alongside historical experimental films from the archive of the Freunde der Deutschen Kinemathek in Berlin. The authors and artists respond to the questions that arise as to the semantics of critical and experimental conceptual art, medial representation, and the expansion of a concept of technology towards social functions and psychology; they explore problems of medial control, intellectual property, and a changing concept of the public.

as a point of departure we have assumed that there was once a close relationship between forms that now exist rather separately, namely the realms of visual art, experimental film, literature, poetry, music – and very much the development of technology, too. what is it supposed to mean that 16mm projectors now occupy their luxurious final performance sites at art societies and galleries, while iphone youtube (without open source codecs, to be sure) is the current way to watch a hollis frampton interview.

the other way around, isn’t the gentle entry of the genre of “experimental film” into the realm of “media art” of the 1980s and 1990s itself a transformation analog to general social and medial development brought about by the development of individualization and consumer society? in poor man’s expression we have sought, through an advanced setting (“affirmative” neon light surfaces, and the exhibition’s “paradoxical” bipartite spatial principle) to address the surrounding “corporate public” architecture of the sony center as well as the film archive deep underground and the dark cinema space of the “avant-garde cinema.”

Artists: Stephanie Taylor, Sebestyén Kodolányi, Sebastian Lütgert, Henrik Olesen, Mathias Poledna, Sean Snyder, Daria Martin, Kirsten Pieroth, Martin Ebner, Florian Zeyfang

Images: Anthony Balch, Len Lye, Carolee Schneeman, Bruce Conner, Harry Smith, Joyce Wieland, George Landow, Marie Menken, Ken Jacobs, Rober Breer, Emile Cohl, a.o.

In collaboration with Arsenal Institute for Film and Video art

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Western Recording
Mathias Poledna

Austrian-born, Los Angeles-based conceptualist Mathias Poledna deconstructs and reconstructs recent pop, political and media history. The film “Western Recording” (2003) takes as its starting point the recording of a vocal track on the 1969 song “City Life” by the singer-composer Harry Nilsson, and projects a complex panorama of historical and spatial references.

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