CHRIS FREMANTLE

What art have I seen? Young Turner

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on December 1, 2019

Turner’s Perspective Diagrams

Banbury Museum’s exhibition from the Ashmolean of Young Turner and Oxford. Includes a sequence of diagrams used by Turner for his lectures on perspective.

What art have I seen? Hal Fischer, Dike Blair and more…

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on November 22, 2019

Hal Fischer’s Gay Semiotics and Other Works. Several different series exploring gay culture in San Francisco – life on a street bench over 24hrs; the archetypal attire of particular groups, the key signals. All b/w photos with text, some done as almost scientific textbooks.

Also at GoMA Fiona Tan’s Disorient and a group exhibition Domestic Bliss

At the Modern Institute Dike Blair at Osborne Street and Matt Connors Figure at Aird’s Lane. Quality painting in both cases. Connors’ visual games with abstracts playing with colour and scale, a game to see the connections.

And revisiting Nick Cave’ Until at Tramway where there was also Zadie Xa’s Child of Magohalmi and the Echoes of Creation and Fred Moten and Wu Tsang’s Gravitational Feel.

What art have I seen? Max Ernst on the first floor and Richard Serra on the third

Posted in Exhibitions, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on November 3, 2019

Max Ernst: An Invitation To Look
The Artist’S Career Surveyed In A Private Collection

Un/fortunately only three of the fifteen works because of another event, but came away with the catalogue.

The show features fifteen works from an exceptional private collection, covering Ernst’s entire career from 1925 to 1971, acquired largely in the 1950s and 1960s by a prominent Italian collector and friend of the artist.

Of course the question of ‘how to look’ is vital. All the works in the exhibition involve different methods used by Ernst in addition to drawing and oil on canvas – frottage, collage, grattage, and gesso relief.

Upstairs in a different dealership is a selection of Richard Serra drawings – examples of several different series. These test the edge between drawing and sculpture; the surfaces are as dense as Chestnut tree bark. The one exception, a looping line spiralling across the page is more like a stream and banks of accumulated sediment.

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Enrolled as a p/t student for PhD by Public Output

Posted in CF Writing, CV, PhD, Research by chrisfremantle on October 14, 2019

Abstract

There is increasing interest in the contribution that the arts can make to the major challenges facing researchers, policy makers and societies more generally. Artists are included within multi-disciplinary teams addressing environmental research subjects (amongst others). Hybrid practices such as art and ecology (‘ecoart’) have established themselves at the intersection of disciplines, adopting approaches from the environmental sciences into arts practices. These practices are often situated within the broad category of Environmental Humanities, however there are distinctive aspects, particularly around the orientation towards collaboration which means that ecoart has a specific contribution to make.

The research, in opening up the specific contribution artists can make to public life, as well as their development of hybrid practices through collaborations with other disciplines, addresses a number of important challenges identified by policy makers. These can be broadly characterised as ‘wicked problems’, problems beyond the scope of any single discipline. This includes in particular global warming: sea level rise, heatwave and biodiversity loss. Other ‘wicked problems’ include healthcare (and specific conditions including cancer and dementia), social injustice, and natural hazards.

The articulation of the contribution, approaches and effects of artists to and within multi-disciplinary teams is key to growing an interdisciplinary culture to address ‘wicked problems’. Clear articulation of how artists’ work works both in terms of the process of development, particularly when it involves collaboration with other disciplines, and well as how it works with audiences and participants, is critical to the realisation of a meaningful contribution.

Practice-led approaches, including live projects as well as reflecting on exemplary practices, provide means to open up and discuss both the contribution made by artists as well as the interactions with other disciplines – the forms of inter- and transdisciplinarity that artists ‘bring to the table’.

Drawing on more than 10 years of work, this PhD brings together outputs including Chapters and Papers on the work of pioneers of the art and ecology movement, Helen Mayer Harrison (1927-2018) and Newton Harrison (b. 1932); live project work as Producer on their key project ‘Greenhouse Britain: Losing Ground, Gaining Wisdom’ (2006-09) and currently as Associate Producer on ‘The Deep Wealth of this Nation, Scotland’. In addition to opening up the approaches of the artists to creating the works and their approaches to collaboration with other disciplines, the research discusses the utilisation of key questions that shape the design process in other contexts including public art in healthcare settings. The discussion of collaboration and inter- and trans-disciplinary work is informed by Chapters and Papers addressing another live project, the Land Art Generator Glasgow initiative, as well as reflections on issues of participation and collaboration.

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5818-8208

What art have I seen? Nick Cave’s ‘Until’ and Red Note improvising

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work, Sound by chrisfremantle on October 14, 2019

We were at the evening organised by ArtLink Edinburgh where, as part of their Altered States programme in association with Nick Cave’s ‘Until’ installation in Tramway, Red Note Ensemble improvised for a mixed ability audience.

ArtLink is an ‘arts and disability’ organisation, and this immersive experience was amazing, taking an already stunning installation and creating a moment where an audience spent time together just being … in our bodies, in the environment, in the light and glitter, in the sounds…

What art have I seen?James Richards ‘Migratory Motor Complex’

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on October 11, 2019

More collage today (bit of a theme) this time sound. At Collective on Calton Hill. Video from original presentation with other works by Richards for Wales at Venice Biennale.

Migratory Motor Complex is how your digestion works. Slightly ironic since I was discussing ‘diverticular’ with a colleague over coffee this morning!

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What art have I seen? Ade Adesina, NeoNeanderthals

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on October 11, 2019

Ade Adesina, After the Questions, linocut, 2018

Ade Adesina’s linocuts.

Robbie Bushe and Jeanne Cannizzo’s collaboration NeoNeanderthal. Bushe said Neanderthals didn’t wreck the planet in 250,000 years. Maybe if they came back… Cannizzo is an anthropologist and maker. Brilliantly in one case are objects she has made, provided interpretation for, and the contested the validity of aspects of the interpretation. Bushe’s paintings and drawings have aspects of children’s books with cutaways to show ‘how it works’, but what’s going on is genetic extraction and the reproduction of an extinct species.

https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/The-View-After-The-Questions..Linocut.109.2-%C3%B9-167.6-cm..2018-.jpg

What art have I seen? Collage

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on October 11, 2019

What art have I seen? Fife Arms

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on September 30, 2019

‘Disciplinarity and Peripheries’ at Gray’s Research Conference

Posted in CF Writing, News, Research, Texts by chrisfremantle on September 29, 2019

‘Peripheries’, Gray’s Research Conference, takes place on Friday 4th October. I’ll be presenting on disciplinarity and it’s edges.

Abstract:

By analogy disciplines are a form of ‘centre’ and work across disciplines involves focusing on edges. Some people conceptualise disciplines to have ‘near’ and ‘far’ relations i.e. visual art is ‘near’ art history and ‘far’ from environmental modelling. Gavin Little talks about radical and moderate saying,

“The radical variant involves scholars working across major discipline boundaries—such as theatre and environmental science—while the moderate one takes place between scholars in intellectually cognate disciplines such as law and policy, philosophy and religious studies, politics and history, or visual arts and media.” (Little 2017, 6).

Murdo Macdonald quotes George Davie’s The Crisis of the Democratic Intellect saying,

“…the most important side of any department of knowledge is the side on which it comes into contact with every other department. To insist on this is the true function of humanism.” (Macdonald nd, np)

Disciplines certainly don’t sit tightly next to each other and there are definitely gaps between them – we only need to think about the rationale for ‘multi-disciplinary teams’ in ensuring that these gaps are addressed and acknowledged in for example healthcare between clinical, nursing and other health professionals. Nicolescu goes further and argues that the ‘space’ between disciplines is full with an “information flux” (much as geographical peripheries are full). (Nicolescu 1993, 6)

This conceptualisation also raises interesting analogies in the other direction, including the possibility that attention to linking two ‘centres’ can produce, in the ‘periphery’, a new centre. The interdisciplinary developments between biology and chemistry resulted in due course in the emergence of bio-chemistry as a new discipline (and thus a new ‘centre’).

One of the abiding ‘disciplinary’ debates is whether the objective is synthesis and holism – is the objective to produce centres or even one totalising centre? Or is it as Murdo Macdonald, following George Davie, suggests about specialisations (centres),

“But it also creates blindspots, eddies of ignorance in epistemological space, which can only be perceived from another perspective. This is interesting from our perspective here because it shifts the emphasis of interdisciplinarity from the purloining of other disciplines’ methods in the hope that you can apply them within your own discipline, to illuminating, by the methods of one’s own discipline, what those other disciplines may be methodologically unable to access.” (Macdonald nd, np)

This presentation will be a meditation on the issues of disciplinarity as a spending time with edges and differences, drawing on the writings of Basarab Nicolescu (multi-, inter- trans-disciplinarity), Gavin Little (proximity and distance), and Murdo Macdonald & George Davie (the Scottish tradition of the Democratic Intellect).

References

Little, G. 2017. ‘Connecting Environmental Humanities: Developing Interdisciplinary Collaborative Method’. Humanities, 6(4), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/h6040091

Macdonald, M. 2007. A Note on Interdisciplinarity. https://www.academia.edu/39621092/A_Note_on_Interdisciplinarity.1

Nicolescu, B. 1993. Towards Transdisciplinary Education. Invited talk at the International Conference Education of the Future, Memorial da America Latina, Parlamento Latinoamericano, Sao Paulo, Brazil, October 4-8.

Nicolescu, B. 1997. The Transdisciplinary Evolution of the University Condition for Sustainable Development. Talk at the International Congress Universities’ Responsibilities to Society, International Association of Universities, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, November 12-14, http://ciret-transdisciplinarity.org/bulletin/b12c8.php

Abstract: A Funeral March for Economic Valuation

Posted in Maintenance, News, Research by chrisfremantle on September 24, 2019

Accepted for the Valuing Nature Conference at the end of October
This presentation will explore the various ways that we can think about ecosystems that are degraded or dying and how this relates to questions of economic valuation – what does it mean to attribute a monetary value to the Great Barrier Reef, apparently a significant asset for the Australian economy when the Reef by all accounts will be at least three quarters dead within a generation or two?
Drawing on the work of artists who have raised issues of care and maintenance including Mierle Laderman Ukeles and theorists such as Tim Morton, the presentation will juxtapose articulations of economic valuation (eg bees and the Great Barrier Reef) with creative approaches to death and dying. The aim of the presentation is not to offer a solution, method or answer, but rather to evoke the contradictions inherent in thinking about environment.

What art have I seen? Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on September 7, 2019

At Somerset House – threaded by Harold Ové, including music, sculpture, photography, painting, writing, poetry, music, carnival, fashion, design, activism, anger and politics.

What art have I seen? Walid Raad’s To be honest the weather helped

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on September 6, 2019

Walid Raad makes work that blurs with everyday life, but coming from the never ending conflict of the Middle East. His images are often banal, but the stories that he wraps them in are sharp – the ‘first job’ photos of shop fronts which are later discovered to be put out of business because they wouldn’t pay the extortion. Above the discovered artist who made works on the backs of paintings in a museum.

How do you deal with (adapt to) living in a state of continual low intensity war?

Para-fictions.

https://www.stedelijk.nl/en/exhibitions/walid-raad-2

Also saw Welkom in adjacent rooms a totally factual documentary photography exhibition on mining communities in South Africa. The implementation of Apartheid, the connections with Dutch culture, the impact on young people. Very strange because the aesthetics intersect.

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What art have I seen? Rijksmuseum

Posted in Exhibitions, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on September 6, 2019

Medieval and Asian art.

Saint Elizabeth’s Day Flood (1490-95) amazing record of a flood in 1412 caused by storm surges in the North Sea https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio/155667–r-s/collections/elisabeth-panelen-dordrecht?ii=0&p=0

Also ‘A Lohan’, carved wood from China before 1400AD. “This is Ajita. He concentrates fully on listening to the reading of a sutra, a scripture that conveys the Buddha’s teachings.”

(and we thought Masaccio was good) https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/search/objects?q=wood+figure&s=chronologic&p=1&ps=12&st=Objects&ii=10#/AK-MAK-1727,10

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What art have I seen? Faith Ringgold

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 19, 2019

The activism sits alongside the storytelling. The humanity alongside the anger. The imagination, the stars of the lights on the bridge, the girl floating.

The consistently acknowledged involvement of family in the making of various of the works, particularly the influence of Faith Ringgold’s mother, must be pretty exceptional in contemporary art.

American People Series #6: Mr. Charlie, 1964 (from Faith Ringgold's website)

American People Series #6: Mr. Charlie, 1964 (from Faith Ringgold’s website)

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What art have I seen? Cindy Sherman

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 18, 2019
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What art have I seen? Energy Objects

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 16, 2019

Hannah Imlach’s Energy Objects at WORM in Aberdeen comprises works made over a number of years resulting from an ongoing enquiry into the infrastructures of renewable energy, on Eigg, on Orkney and at Donside in Aberdeen. These carefully crafted objects are no less beautiful than the Archimedes Screw newly installed in the community hydro project in Aberdeen, or the OpenHydro units at EMEC on Orkney. Imlach also touches on the relationship with Community Land Ownership, the critical connection between energy and political evolution.

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Carlos Cruz-Diez RIP

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on August 11, 2019
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What art have I seen? My Own Private Bauhaus

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 31, 2019
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What art have I seen? Placing Sound

Posted in Exhibitions, On The Edge, Research by chrisfremantle on July 25, 2019
Maja Zeco performing her work 'Hold In/Breathe Out'

Maja Zeco performing her work ‘Hold In/Breathe Out’

Maja Zeco opened her exhibition ‘Placing Sound’ at Gray’s School of Art where she is just completing her practice-led PhD with a performance of her work ‘Hold In/Breathe Out’. This work might be a meditation on the experience of immersing yourself in everyday life and stepping out into perhaps your own mind, or in some sense private space. Zeco filled a large bowl with water and as she immersed her head completely in the water, triggered a soundscape of an urban environment with associated imagery. As she came back out of the water about 30 seconds later she ended the audio imagery. She breathed in silence. Her urban included images of streets and buildings and I’m pretty sure I saw an artillery piece.

Spead across three rooms, this exhibition represents nearly 10 years of work exploring sound and performance. One room is quartered and composed of sounds from the North East of Scotland (Aberdeen and Banchory) and from Bosnia Herzegovina where Zeco was born. Voices and bird song, trees and traffic all layer over each other drawing you to different points in the room as different elements come forward.

The middle room has video and physical documentation of two performance works. In one case, One Thousand Pomegranate Seeds’ bringing the action in the video into another form of presence with the physical evidence of the event in front of you whilst watching its making. Below is the promo video from Horsecross, Perth, where the work was originally performed.

The first room you encounter (I started with the last) again brings together different forms of documentation, physical remains and video, of performance – in this case ‘Silencer’ and in another part of the room the space in which Zeco performed ‘Hold In/Breathe Out’.

What art have I seen? The Asset Strippers

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 16, 2019

Mike Nelson’s The Asset Strippers at Tate Britain transforms the Duveen Galleries into some part of Govan or Clydebank, Paisley or maybe East Kilbride.

The structuring of the dignified neoclassical spaces into a series of workshops, lacks only the suspended fluorescent lights to fully realise the conceit. The partitions’ materials, structures and even adornments are all evocative of industrial spaces across the UK.

The assemblages in the first space seem more ‘found’ whilst some in the rear spaces are more contrived or absurd and more poignant, particularly the giant diesel engine on a bed of sleeping bags.

It might be trite to say there’s poetry in the everyday of industry, but in truth you can find it easily.

What art have I seen? Victor Pasmore Gallery

Posted in Audiences and, Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 12, 2019

View of Victor Pasmore Gallery

Small selection of works by Victor Pasmore who lived in his later life on Malta.

Very clear sense of Pasmore’s Modernist understanding of the way the artwork is a thing in itself, not a representation or derivation. Curious if this links to ideas of Object Oriented Ontology?

Pasmore says, “Once independent, a painting becomes the sole visual object so that its content becomes totally immanent in its form and image, a condition which renders its meaning essentially potential. Emerging in anonymity, therefore, the new painting can become a sign or symbol of infinite extension, directly finding its place in the eye and mind of the spectator” (Images of colour 1983).

Harman says, “By ‘objects’ I mean unified realities – physical or otherwise – that cannot fully be reduced either downwards to their pieces or upwards to their effects.”

And goes on to say, “But for the arts, as for the social sciences, the greater danger is the upward reduction that paraphrases objects in terms of their effects rather than their parts. For it is dubious to claim that objects are utterly defined by their context, without any unexpressed private surplus.”

Obviously an artwork is a thing in the human world, but for Pasmore it is not a communication, a message, between the artist and the spectator. It is a thing in itself, not reducible to a representation.

What art have I seen? ‘Dora Maar’ and ‘Prehistory’ at the Pompidou

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on June 17, 2019

After the Picasso Museum and also the Tate’s Dorothea Tanning exhibition (with it’s continual reminders that she was married to Max Ernst), this was more interesting and better judged. Includes Dora Maar’s early commercial work, her social investigations, move into Surrealism, connection with Picasso, later abstract photography… rich and diverse.

Pompidou Centre trailer

The ‘Prehistory’ exhibition is a huge survey of art and archaeology, taking inspiration from Lucy Lippard’s Overlay. Interesting that France has its own history of geological ‘realisation’ parallel to Hutton in Edinburgh.

Giuseppe Penone

What art have I seen? Picasso Museum, Paris

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on June 16, 2019

Permanent collection and the temporary exhibition bringing together works by Picasso with works by Alexander Calder. Came away with a renewed respect for Calder’s judgement and elegance. Some of the Picasso works… less so.

What art have I seen? Love at first sight

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work by chrisfremantle on June 9, 2019

Morag Myerscough’s installation in collaboration with poet Jo Gilbert encompasses the Mercat Cross. Commissioned by Aberdeen’s LookAgain Festival (based in Gray’s)Lovely story connecting Myerscough to Aberdeen, and Gilbert is a powerful voice for Doric poetry.

Audiences and … pt5

Posted in Audiences and by chrisfremantle on June 7, 2019

This thread records bit and pieces that seem relevant to thinking about the complexity and many dimensions of art in the world.

Although my colleague Anne Douglas might ask for a tougher and more careful articulation of the ways in which improvisation is operating here, Francois Matarasso’s piece is a pretty good articulation of what we know to be possible and opens up what he means by Community Art pretty effectively.

Community art is improvisation

Celebration of Richard Fremantle’s life

Posted in Family by chrisfremantle on June 2, 2019

Harriet Walter very kindly read a piece at the suggestion of Chloe Fremantle Blegvad.

It came from the Portsmouth Priory School newsletter and was very close to Richard’s heart. It has a similar sentiment to The Four Quartets which he also loved. Oskar Baines Fremantle videoed this. The text copied out by Chloe is below.

This captures his spirit so well.

What art have I seen? AMBIT: Photographies from Scotland at Stills

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 21, 2019

System Failure

Posted in Failure by chrisfremantle on May 18, 2019

Exhibition on San Francisco focused on tech failure. Apex Art, who are based in New York City, present this in SF, the heart of tech.

The essay highlights the tech mantra,

fail fast! fail big! fail often! fail better!

Which is of course a signal bastardisation of Samuel Beckett,

Ever tried. Ever failed. Try Again. Try better.

(Nothing about size and speed.)

Good essay to be found here https://apexart.org/exhibitions/kornstein-defabio.php

 

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What art have I seen? Everybody in the Place

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 11, 2019

Jeremy Deller’s Everybody in the Place, an Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992 at The Modern Institute

Busy for a sunny (taps aff) Saturday in Glasgow – lots of artists sitting in the dark being reminded of their youth (Ally Wallace, Rowena Comrie).

Interesting proposition that Social Media has replaced music as the mode of existence of young people…

But seriously, compelling argument for the role of late 80s music in the counter culture flowing from Europe to the US and back again. Continued relevance in the ongoing rise of the Right.

What art have I seen? Gathering by Alec Finlay

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on May 9, 2019

Finlay, Manifesto for Walking

Alec Finlay’s exhibition Gathering at W OR M in Aberdeen opens up a relationship with the Scottish environment (that which is around us whether urban, rural, forest or mountain top) as a space of walking and hutting, but also of re-wilding and in which to make poetry. We think of mountains and forests in the sublime tradition of art, but Alec gives us this in everyday and contemporary terms. He uses games and the domestic, even children’s toy blocks, to engage us. His form of concrete poetry, poetry to exist in the world, in workplaces and domestic spaces, is quirky but not precious.

Finlay, Timeline of Re-Wilding

What art have I seen? Chick Chalmers

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 7, 2019

Audiences and… pt4

Posted in Audiences and, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on May 7, 2019

Lucas Ihlein’s short essay on blogging and how he uses it as part of a situated practice (whether in local communities or communities of interest) opens up interesting questions about exoticisim and neighbourliness, seeing the familiar and how to make it strange, as well as the use of a blog as a form of interaction.

Blogging as art, art as research

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What art have I seen? Who’s afraid of drawing?

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 1, 2019

Works on Paper from the Ramo Collection at the Estorick Collection.

Drawing from Italy between 1910 and 1990. Abstract, figurative, with words and in relation to sculpture.

Talking to my cousin last night, we discussed how small exhibitions, well curated, can have more significance than their scale.

This exhibition covers periods where Italy was having huge influence on the world, at the time of the Futurists after the First World War, and again in the 60s when, alongside Arte Povera, Italy was a political maelstrom and fashionable too. Another cousin (it was an evening of cousins) said, just think about photos of young Italians on beaches in the Sixties, the height of chic, and it was the same country that had the largest Communist Party outside of the Soviet Union.

And then there was fascism, Futurism slipping into questions of power and technology, Il Duce, etc.

It’s all there in the selection of drawings: designs for facades of Fascist headquarters, pseudo neo classical Saints, but also found and distressed objects as drawings, satire, cinema, mathematics… all life in fact. Every approach to making drawings. As the curatorial statement says,

Drawing – considered as any kind of work on paper, regardless of technique – is the load-bearing skeleton for much creative experimentation, a medium favoured by painters and sculptors that often represents the first visualization of an idea.

What I didn’t see was any reflection on collecting, which could have been brought out in the relation between the permanent (Estorick) collection and the visiting (Ramo) collection. This could have happened by highlighting which artists exist in both suites, leading to hurried journey’s between floors, but also by some comparison of the conditions of collecting, the motivations of collectors.

Having been listening to the Collect Wisely podcast with Pamela Joyner, the concerns of collectors, their ambitions and motivations, are vital to understanding the body of the collection.

What art have I seen? London 2026: Recipes for building a Food Capital

Posted in Exhibitions, Food by chrisfremantle on April 10, 2019

London 2026: Recipes for building a Food Capital at the Roca Gallery.

Lucked out to be able to join a tour by the curators from Department 22 (Clare Brass and Dejan Mitrovic).

Varied and interesting collection of architecture and design proposals. All are more or less real now but the conceit is that they need to be more real in 2026 when London’s population hits 10 million.

Symbiosis is a key theme, along with making food processes visible.

Interesting how energy bars are the cutting edge of experimenting: as evidence of the reality of the proposals we were offered both insect protein and algae based commercial products…

Also Joan Snyder’s Rosebuds and Rivers at Blain Southern

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What art have I seen? Dorothea Tanning

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on April 9, 2019

Dorothea Tanning at the Tate Modern. Jake asked if in an exhibition of Max Ernst there would be so much reference to his wife – seems unlikely. Mostly we don’t know about the women in male artists’ lives, unless they are ‘muses’ or lovers. Tanning’s narrative in the interpretation panels is woven with Ernst’s.

Beside this it is also interesting that all the publicity images are from the first phase of her work, which is most obviously part of the Surrealist tradition we are familiar with. There is mention of the fabric sculptures, but no images of the later much more optically complex and freely painted works. These explore the fragmented sense of subconscious experience. Rather than glimpses through doors, we have actually fragmented elements merging in complex patterns and forms. The resolution of this in the room-scale installation of fabric forms is truly Lovecraftian.

What art have I seen? The World Turned Up-Side Down

Posted in Sited work by chrisfremantle on April 8, 2019

Mark Wallinger’s controversial piece commissioned by LSE puts UK University business models into sharp relief – are People’s Republic of China or Republic of China (Taiwanese) students more valuable? Change the colour of Taiwan so it is part of PRC or keep it a different colour? £19,920 per undergraduate and up to £35,568 for an MSc in Finance and Private Equity.

What art have I seen? New Contemporaries

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on April 2, 2019

Karolina Bachanek

New Contemporaries at the Royal Scottish Academy. Many talented, ambitious and provocative recent graduates from Scottish Art Schools. Very much the spirit of the age. Bachanek’s (Gray’s) environment made of supermarket and other plastic bags creating a seedy chill-out space – mind/life of a dosser or reality for an art school graduate? Plants that don’t want to be touched. Amateur research library as art.

What art have I seen? Leonardo Drawings

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on April 1, 2019
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What art have I seen? Oral Suspension

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on March 15, 2019

Photo courtesy of Look Again Festival

David Blyth and Nick Gordon collaborated on this at once jokey and nuanced exhibition in Look Again‘s new space on St Andrew Street. It’s great to have a space on a street in central Aberdeen, but this exhibition should have been in the Aberdeen Art Gallery in terms of its scale and ambition. Open at exactly the point the City further cut its commitment to the arts, this shows what outstanding work is happening in the North of Scotland: an ecosystem being damaged by short term thinking.

Nick Gordon is a graduate of Gray’s, a sculptor and part of the group running a new printmaking workshop on Orkney. David Blyth teaches at Gray’s (and taught Nick).

The works are weavings of traditional folklore with newly discovered uses of the skate (and it’s iconic shape) are complemented by the artists’ investment in the project, taking skate oil supplements during the whole development of the work and offering ‘traditional’ recipes including a skate skink.

The human symbolic relationship with the skate is complex, not least because of the curious sense of a human face particularly in the landed hanging skate. Strange as this is, it is complemented by the strangeness evoked by other aspects, hinting at secret societies and mysterious rituals.

Image courtesy of Mood of Collapse blog

Jon Blackwood’s short text associated with the exhibition highlights connections with local conservation organisations, and the general threat to skate populations (some being on the IUCN Red List). He quotes Donna Haraway alluding to the complexity of connection and interdependence.

This exhibition demonstrates how art can take us into a deeper relationship with the more than human, but also how both art/culture and other living things are undervalued and threatened by our current insistence on valuing everything through the market.

What counts as ‘impact’?

Posted in Failure, Research by chrisfremantle on March 11, 2019

Does an email citing a published ‘output’ inviting you to submit papers and join an editorial board of a new Journal count as impact?

I’m asking this because I regularly get emails mentioning the paper Gemma Kearney and I had published in the International Journal of Art and Design Education which, according to Google Scholar, is the 3rd highest rate Visual Art Journal.

I’ve pasted a typical email in below.

The paper, Owning Failure, has been cited three times (again according to Google Scholar), but I’ve had countless emails about it.

Other papers are more frequently cited, but this is the only paper ever mentioned in these invitations.

So good Journal, low citations, lots of soliciting emails… is that any sort of impact?
From: Journal AJAC
Sent: 08 March 2019 07:37:13 (UTC+00:00) Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London
To: Christopher Fremantle (gsa)
Subject: Dear Fremantle, C; Kearney, G: Invite You to Submit Papers and Be Editorial Board/Reviewer Panel Member

International Journal of Literature and Arts
(ISSN Print:2331-0553 ISSN Online: 2331-057X)
Open Access Policy (OA) Peer-review 50-70 Days Paper Publication
[http://img.literarts.org/logo/w523582388996.png]<http://www.literarts.org/home>
Dear Fremantle, C; Kearney, G
International Journal of Literature and Arts (IJLA) is a peer-reviewed academic journal, establishing a solid platform to all academicians, practicing managers, consultants, researchers and those who have interest in emerging global trends in literature and arts.
Having been greatly attracted by your paper titled “Owning Failure: Insights Into the Perceptions and Understandings of Art Educators”, we wholeheartedly invite you to submit papers and join the Editorial Panel/Reviewer Team.
Become the Editorial Board Member/Reviewer
We have been dedicated to building IJLA into a world’s top journal. Well-known experts are cordially welcomed to join the Editorial Board/Reviewers Panel.
Have any interests of joining the Editorial Board/Reviewers Panel?
Please find more here: http://www.literarts.org/joinus
Advantages of Joining the Editorial Board/Reviewers Panel:

1. Quickly improve your perceptibility in your research fields.
2. Get cutting-edge materials on latest scientific discoveries.
3. Authoritative certification in PDF format launched by the editorial office.
4. Have your personal profile listed on the journal’s page.
5. 10% off of the original APC.

Submitting Your Article
IJLA was launched with the aim of promoting academic communication all over the world in a more productive way.
During the past years, lots of scholars have contributed many papers to the journal. With your contribution, experts from all over the world will achieve more in the process of scholarly research. We invite you with sincerity to contribute other unpublished papers that have similar topics to the journal. Your further research on this article is also welcomed.
If you are interested in submitting a paper, please learn more here:
http://www.literarts.org/submission
Here attached the abstract of your research which has impressed us most:
Title: Owning Failure: Insights Into the Perceptions and Understandings of Art Educators
Keywords: failure; artists; practice-led; pedagogies; learning
Abstract: Failure forms an important dimension of art and design and is inherent in creative endeavours. This article explores current literature on failure in the art and design context and offers a contribution through qualitative research drawing upon interviews with lecturing staff in a UK art school. The findings from this research emphasise the complexity of the concept of failure. Three key themes emerged regarding respondents’ perceptions of failure: failure as a process, as a means of learning and as an issue in assessment culture. This research is exploratory in nature, and whilst the limitations of the small sample are accepted, the article contributes to the dialogue and discussion surrounding the often emotive concept of failure.
Regards,
Margaret Fredricks
Editorial Office of International Journal of Literature and Arts

Still Life 13 Feb 2019

Posted in Still Life by chrisfremantle on March 8, 2019

Audiences and… pt3

Posted in Audiences and, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on March 7, 2019

Reflecting on what it means to put someone at the centre of making art… Projects Director for ArtLink, Alison Stirling’s thoughts published on the Creative Scotland website.

The more they work together, the more the person at the centre benefits; the clearer the idea the more the person at the centre benefits; the more artists and thinkers are involved, the more the person at the centre benefits; the more time they spend learning from each other, the more the person at the centre benefits.

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What art have I seen? John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on February 13, 2019

John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing at Two Temple Place.

Well put together exhibition on Ruskin including contemporary responses. Hannah Downing’s Vertical Panorama drawing is particularly stunning.

Draws out his interests and the development of his poetics particularly in looking at nature, from formal compositions in the conventional manner to attention to nature itself.

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What art have I seen? Mladen Miljanović

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on February 7, 2019

Utopian Realism at W OR M in Aberdeen, the first solo exhibition by Mladen Miljanović in Scotland.

Miljanović’s work is surreal (inc a video of his tutor at Art School being fitted with Lie Detector equipment before being interrogated and beaten by the Secret Police). But the performance, which involved Miljanović handcuffed to a pillar in the middle of the space for the duration of the opening, is possibly the strangest thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve read about pretty strange stuff in London and elsewhere in the 60s and 70s (shutting audiences into spaces, etc) but this was a personal first.

But how do you make something real and meaningful in a Gallery? Miljanović said he couldn’t show the work of his Teacher being arrested and interrogated and stand around being the celebrity artist – if he showed the work he had to ensure it wasn’t just entertainment. The performance ensured that the exhibition was inflected with a shared experience.

Of course the fact that he instigated the arrest and had organised the filming, all without his teacher’s knowledge, multiplies the strangeness.

Richard Fremantle, RIP

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on January 29, 2019

What art have I seen? Cage and Rauschenberg

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on January 22, 2019

Still Life (New Year’s Day) 1 January 2019

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on January 1, 2019

What art have I seen? Marina Abramović – The Cleaner

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on December 17, 2018

Marina Abramović’s The Cleaner at Palazzo Strozzi.

https://www.palazzostrozzi.org/mostre/marina-abramovic-2/?lang=en

Career survey including all the well known pieces some being reperformed. Really powerful pieces. Not everyone enjoyed it – some thought it was pretentious. Some channelling of the AAA-AAA

Audiences and… pt2

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on December 17, 2018

Another piece of writing that has stayed with me comes from Matt Baker, Orchestrator at The Stove in Dumfries. In 2010 he wrote a piece entitled ‘A serious attempt to unravel public art’ about how all public art needs a door. He expressed it more elegantly. Read it here. And there is a pdf Sacrificial Materials: A serious attempt to unravel public art (deep breath).

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