Great exhibition design

If anyone is looking for a great example of exhibition design I recommend the ‘Utopian Bodies’ show at Liljevachs (Sthlm). Open until 7 Februari this wonderful show completely re-imagines the interior of this very established gallery and presents a stunning series of rooms each conceived in response to specific themes. There is even a room that our friend Kiesler would feel at home in – forms and colours blur the boundaries between floor, walls and ceiling. If you have not already visited it – do! You will be surprised and delighted!

Utopian Bodies – Liljevachs, Stockholm


Final Salute! Here is a potent reconstruction of Lou Reed’s Wild Side:

warhol Wild Side

YouTube Liner Notes:

Uploaded on May 19, 2010 by Karel Bata


The story behind the music, and what became of that grand circus of flamboyant characters…

As a kid I used to think that the song was about taking drugs, and had somehow slipped through the BBC censorship net. It was a huge surprise to discover what the song was *really* about!

This video was created for a Music Production course I did at STC all of a decade ago.

The course was for budding record producers, and huge fun. At the end we were meant to hand in a ten thousand words essay, but I asked if I could instead submit an interactive CD-ROM. This was cutting edge technology at the time! I used Adobe Premiere and Macromedia Director. My PC was so slow back then it would only work at 12fps, so that’s why some of this plays back a bit jumpy, but I think it gives it a nice retro look.

I thought I’d lost all the source files, so it was great to find them recently on an old hard drive, and have the opportunity to re-purpose it for the internet.

The video snippets were gathered from TV programmes I’d recorded to VHS over the years about Lou Reed and Andy Warhol. Particularly helpful were an excellent BBC Arena, and the ‘Classic Albums’ edition on Transformer.

Although it’s presented here as a wide screen video, the way it originally worked was that when you inserted the CD-ROM the PC screen would go blank, and a series of video windows and menus would start to play, change shape, and move around the screen. I loved making this, particularly that I wasn’t bound by any traditional video ‘frame’ . Great fun. You MUST watch this full screen to appreciate the effect!

note: This video wasn’t made by a production company nor broadcaster. I did try, but couldn’t double-check every detail. I’m disappointed to find how inaccurate some of my sources were. For example Candy Darling died in ’74 and not ’76. May her soul rest in peace.

Project Following Eugène #1 & #2 – Stuart Mayes

Following Eugène #1 is an invitation to follow in Eugène Jansson’s, and countless other men’s, footsteps and pass through what was the entrance to the naval bathhouse. The pavilion features in several of Eugène’s figurative works and is possibly where he met Knut Nyman who became his lover and partner. Nils Santesson’s photographs of the naked bathers might well have contributed to the evidence against him in his own trail, and the subsequent conviction, for being homosexual. Beyond its modest appearance the building is a significant landmark in the city’s queer history. A specially produced glitter carpet leads up and into the pavilion towards the water.

With special thanks to Skeppsholmgården for allowing me access to the Old Bathhouse Pavilion.

Following Eugène #2 is an artist’s walk inspired by particular locations in Eugène’s Stockholm; his studio, his home, his landscape. The course of the walk presents the opportunity to consider the contemporary urban environment as a constellation of subjective, conceptual, physical, and speculative propositions.

The walk takes approximately 60 minutes over mixed urban terrain including; concrete, cobbles, gravel, and grass.

With Special thanks to Anna Hesselgren and Marie Nilsson for documenting the walk, and Tim Mårtenson of Tims Time for enabling me to realise Mr Dandy Blue – thank you!

“The New Whitney Marks a Change in Museum Design” Wall Street Journal”

renzo piano whitney

The Whitney Museum reopens in May in a vast space designed to wow artists as much as audiences.

“The features are a blueprint for museums today, as institutions the world over compete harder for the chance to mount crowd-pleasing shows by big names. Instead of courting donors with grand galleries or stark white rooms for displaying masterworks, museums are luring star artists with buildings that they can engage and ultimately reshape with their work.”

To Show or Not To Show: Jens Hoffmann and Maria Lind

To Show or Not To Show

by Jens Hoffmann and Maria Lind

Jens Hoffmann and Maria Lind weave a lively discussion on two different perspectives on curating. One attempts to explore the exhibition format along all its paths, including those seldom taken; the other has an “expanded” conception whose main goal is to make art become public. The problem remains that of quality, which in the present productive outburst seems to be seriously at risk.

Fredric Jameson – “The Aesthetics of Singularity: Time and Event in Postmodernity”


Fredric Jameson – “The Aesthetics of Singularity: Time and Event in Postmodernity”

Georg Forster Lecture, 2012


An interesting lecture by Fredric Jameson which touches on the subject of our talk show, “Ideology and Display” which will be held in April. Early on in the lecture (around 20 min) Jameson examines contemporary art as a symptom of postmodernity, looking specifically at the proliferation of “installation art” and the role and ubiquity of the curator.

Jameson states:

“The collective avant guard has in our time and in postmodernity been replaced by the single figure of the curator who has become the demiurge of these floating and dissolving constellations of strange objects we still call art. Maybe we don’t have great artists anymore, we have great curators”

Jameson argues that we should look more closely at the figure of the curator, not only in the art world, but also similar roles in business, medicine, media and politics,  and ask what it can tell us about our own systems of power.

It might be interesting to formulate a couple of questions for the talk show guests, (especially since we have Maria, Sven Olof, Donatella and Celine),  exploring the figure of the curator and its role and ubiquity in contemporary society. Jameson also speaks about technology later on, and notes that today we don’t just use technology but we consume it..”we consume the very form of communication along with its content”. I think the role of the curator, or at least a curatorial practice can also be applied to forms of digital communication and social media, etc, such as the rise and importance of the algorithm in deciding and forming our patterns of consumption and social interaction.

Anyway, just some thoughts.


Field Trip: ArkDes Constructing Worlds +++

constructing worlds arkdes

Constructing Worlds brings together the works of 18 photographers from the 1930s and up to modern times, all of which have changed the way we look at the architecture and the way we perceive the world.

Join a worldwide journey through 1900- and 2000-century architecture: from New York’s first skyscrapers through the colonial buildings in disrepair in the Congo, the experimental house for modern living in the 50th century, California and an occupied high-rise tower in Caracas. The exhibition presents over 250 works, showing the photo of the ability of art to reveal hidden truths of our society.

Among the participating photographers are, for example, Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, Julius Schulman, Hélène Binet, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Andreas Gursky, Nadav Kander and Iwan Baan . The works reflect among other buildings by architects like Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Aldo Rossi, Charles and Ray Eames and Daniel Liebeskind.

ArkDes has the largest collection of architectural photography with 600,000 images. In the Swedish extension “In the spotlight – photo from ArkDes Collection” features works from the collections, usually the photographer original copies.

Two of the Swedish additions to the exhibition
Arkm.1989 107 2004 Arkm

Voices on:

Awarded the 2014 best show in The Guardian newspaper.

The exhibition is curated by the Barbican in cooperation with ArkDes and displayed 20 February to 17 May