April: Virtual Highlights

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This month’s highlights are all virtual: events, exhibitions, and talks that have migrated online since the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), as well as those that were ahead of the curve in inhabiting the digital realm before the pandemic

NUDE — Arising From The Ground

Virtual exhibition, The Ravestijn Gallery

Mariken Wessels’ new project — comprising sculpture, photography and film — focuses on the obese body in motion. Inspired by Eadweard Muybridge’s 1887 series, Nude woman rising from the ground, Wessels became interested in gravity, weightlessness, human motion and the material qualities of the human body. Muybridge’s photographs became a model for four lifesize ceramic sculptures of the obese body made by Wessels during a residency at the European Ceramic Workcentre in Oisterwijk in 2018. Wessels then produced photographs and film recordings of obese models swimming underwater. The exhibition at The Ravestijn Gallery, which is temporarily closed, is due to run until 01 July 2020 and is now available to view online.

Nude Upside Down and Back Again IV, 2018 © Mariken Wessels / courtesy The Ravestijn Gallery.

First Look: New Black Portraitures

Browser-based exhibition, Rhizome, New Museum, ongoing

First Look: New Black Portraitures, curated by editor and curator of Rhizome, Aria Dean, developed out of an ongoing conversation between a group of artists. Comprising work by eight practitioners — Manuel Arturo AbreuHamishi Farah, Juliana Huxtable, Rindon JohnsonPastiche Lumumba, N-Prolenta (Brandon Covington), Sondra Perry, and Redeem Pettaway, the browser-based exhibition questions the concept of representation, and, more specifically, the representation of blackness. The show takes the tradition of portraiture as its starting point, interrogating the complex, and the historically loaded relationship between blackness and visual depictions of it. As Dean writes: “These new black portraits are new as in fresh. They act brand new when burdened with the heavy history of the portrait. New Black Portraitures is new in that it circles back and starts at square one.”

Pastiche Lumumba, Community Standard (a poortrait across platforms), 2017, performance. Courtesy of the artist.

David Zwirner: Dialogues

Podcast series

With Covid-19 causing the temporary closure of its physical galleries, David Zwirner has expanded its digital presence. This includes its podcast series Dialogues, for which several makers or thinkers are invited to discuss how art shapes, elevates and shifts our experience. Lauded as one of the best visual art podcasts by the Financial Times, the series enters its third season with an exciting group of artists, writers, curators, and editors. New discussions will be airing every other Wednesday, with upcoming episodes including a conversation between photographer Tyler Mitchell and writer, curator, and cultural critic Antwaun Argent. Current, and past, exhibitions are also accessible via David Zwirner’s online viewing rooms, including Wolfgang Tillman’s Blushes #76.

Courtesy David Zwirner.

Magnum: Quarantine Conversations

Video series

A new video series, Quarantine Conversations, will see two randomly selected Magnum photographers engaging in unedited dialogue about work, current affairs and everything in-between. For the first episode, Rafal Milach and Newsha Tavakolian discuss guilt, dreams, and seeing yourself in the other, as well as Tavakolian’s new project. Magnum will be uploading new work by their photographers on their Instagram feed; a talk with Martin Parr will also be live-streamed on 03 April 2020 at 16:00 GMT.

Art Dubai 2020

Online catalogue

Following the cancellation of Art Dubai 2020, the organisation has created an online catalogue of exhibiting galleries. This includes work by Hassan HajjajAlia AliMohammad AlFaraj, among many more. Individuals interested in buying the work can browse the catalogue and enquire directly through the website.

© Hassan Hajjaj.

The Lives and Loves of Images

Virtual exhibitions and tours of the Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie

Curated by David Campany, all six exhibitions in the Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie 2020 are now available to view online. The German photo festival was due to run from 29 February until 26 April across three cities, Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg, but its temporary closure was announced in early March. Centred around the theme The Lives and Loves of Images, each exhibition explores the inner workings of photography and our relationship to it.

© Anastasia Samoylova.

ICP presents: Photography from Isolation to Communication

Virtual lectures

The International Centre of Photography (ICP) in New York is offering a program of lectures by international experts including Elinor Carucci, Ben Gest and David Campany. Topics covered include how to turn your personal life into an editorial assignment, photobook editing, and digital post-processing. Each speaker will be delivering a series of three lectures, priced at $35 and delivered via Zoom.

Photo London Academy

Talks archive and e-magazine

Photo London, which usually takes place in May, has been postponed until the autumn. In the meantime, however, the fair has launched its online platform, Photo London Academy, early — hosting the fair’s upcoming e-magazine, and an archive of video-recordings of panels and talks from the past five years.  Currently, you can watch the 2019 conversation between fashion photographer Tim Walker, and V&A curator Susanna Brown. The free resource will eventually give access to conversations with over 100 artists and curators, including Sebastião Salgado, Edward Burtynsky, Hannah Starkey, Don McCullin, Liz Johnson Arthur, Martin Parr, Stephen Shore, Susan Meiselas, Taryn Simon, and Simon Baker.

Radhika Nair, Chawntell Kulkarni and Kiran Kandola. Fashion: Richard Quinn. Pershore, Worcestershire. 2018 © Tim Walker Studio.

Claudia Andujar at Foundation Cartier

Online resource and podcast

To coincide with Claudia Andujar’s postponed retrospective in Paris, Foundation Cartier has built an online platform to guide viewers through the monumental exhibition, accompanied by excerpts from video interviews, and a podcast by French media platform Les Inrockuptibles. Andujar has engaged with the Yanomami, one of Brazil’s largest indigenous groups, for decades; her poetic and personal response, detailed in the online resource and podcast, is compelling and unmissable.