Wednesday, November 7, 2007

To you, our collaborators

"Mond" in process _
saline solution, hot plate, heat resistant tape, generous helping hands_
october 5, 2007_zürich

To you, our collaborators, friends and companions of many a path:
Thank you.
Thank you for your emails. It is heart warming to receive them!

I’m sorry this “change of path” for ArtSEEN journal came as a shock to some of you.
ArtSEEN journal, if you wish to see it this way, is but a name, given to a project: a project that is based on the creative process.
If the name disappears, the process does not!
And this is the most beautiful, most sublime aspect of the creative process!

I wish to present here a few phrases I wrote for the presentation of ArtSEEN journal, in 2005.

The phrase that talks about the space it was meant to be, and has therefore achieved (call us stubborn!): offered to artists, to the creative process.

The aim of ArtSEEN journal is to offer a space for communication, to promote art and artists who share the freedom of thought that the creative process promotes.

The paragraph that reflects on our inheritance, as artists. In choosing to be an artist, we have to reflect on this inheritance, the creative tradition, not only found in Florence, but that which every individual, town, city, thought, word, blade of grass - left to us. How do we continue working with it? Without abusing of it, and yet, contributing to it?

ArtSEEN journal is based in Florence, a city world known for it's contribution to Western art history. As the Renaissance shaped Florence 500 years ago, so have the numerous travellers, migrants, artists, creative minds and free thinkers who have been attracted to this city, and who have, because of it's history, shaped it's present, in all eras. Florence is the city where we chose to study and live and work, because of it’s potent creative energy, because of the legacy left to us by our artist forefathers and mothers.

And the paragraph that promises to look at our present – which we have more than achieved.

ArtSEEN journal aims not simply to echo the buzz of the streets of art world centres but as well create a space for artists, for our ideas, for our beliefs to be exposed/exhibited in. We wish and work towards making ArtSEEN a work of art in itself, as all of us working on it are artists. As artists, we have a freedom that allows us not to follow set structures: to question, to change, to enhance. We aim to treat ArtSEEN as we'd treat a canvas, a paper, a room. Let it be flexible like a drawing, a painting in execution, an installation in the making, a lump of clay in our hands. It is a challenge, it is a lot of work, yet this is what we believe in, and a labour of love.

These phrases have accompanied ArtSEEN journal through the two years. With all the grammatical errors, and all the sincere thoughts, they have been sent to the North, South, East and West, far and wide. And fulfilled. :)

What we have achieved together with ArtSEEN journal, is immense and intense. As long as this energy, this desire, and the right motivation are alive, (which they will always be, even when we die!) there can be no stopping. To be part of this process is both humbling and strengthening.

With ArtSEEN, the Editorial Team has proved that with little funds, but working together, we can make the most “impossible” venture a reality!

With ArtSEEN, together with you, we have proved that the “Art world” is a mere pedestal – yet still has sincere people working within it!
With ArtSEEN, we have shown the many facets of a diamond. We have written what we think, offered our views to both comprehension and criticism.
Creative people all over this globe: artists, scientists, curators, linguists, poets, have contributed, not only to ArtSEEN, but to a process, and I am sure, will continue contributing to this process.

ArtSEEN is and was just one platform for this process. Rest assured then, there are many more!

What ArtSEEN gave me, cannot disappear, and will continue growing.

Even though one platform stops existing, we’re celebrating, and we’re celebrating the continuation of the creative process!

Thank You! Here's to "omega alpha"!!! (email me if you want the full spiel behind this "subversion"!)


Thursday, November 1, 2007

We're moving!

This team proves yet again that come hell or high water, we maintain our promise!

This is our last edition of ArtSEEN journal.
Precisely because it is our last SEEN, we felt it necessary to work even harder to bring it out to you, bearing with courage difficult moments and taking our time in order to make sure this last issue arrives complete!

As always a small surprise, all I anticipate is the format: 16 x 11 cm.

With thanks to Sandra Miranda and her work for the financial side of the publications, we are able to end ArtSEEN journal and ArtSEEN PLUS without any debts to our generous printer, Alessandro Reni of Art and Pixel.

Sandra Miranda, currently working for the Florence Biennial, will be curating publications for the Florence Biennial, as well as further curating exhibitions in Italy and abroad and pursuing her own art career.

Andrew J Smaldone, while teaching and exhibiting and living through parties (for in truth, he is a party boy!), is looking forward to have that extra minute in an hour for his beautiful paintings, and in addition, will be busy with a new art project next year.

After 14 years of living in Florence, I am moving to Zurich, Switzerland, where I will pursue the natural growth of ideas that has arisen through my work with ArtSEEN journal.
I am happy to say that I look forward to continue collaborating with the many wonderful people I have had the occasion to meet through ArtSEEN! And, yes, I will have the much desired time for my own art work too – which only living in Zurich seems to provide me (Florence is notorious for it’s parties!)

Thus we find that our collaboration as the Editorial Team needs end, to make necessary space for all the new ventures that have come to be thanks to our working together.

ArtSEEN journal will official come to a close on January 1, 2008, (say, round midnight! Worldwide), amongst joy and champagne toasts, for it has been a wonderful adventure, a learning experience, and has brought together many amazing people, their art, and their writing!

Thank you, to each individual, who has contributed to both the publications, for making this "art project in print" possible!

Monday, October 8, 2007


Julian Schnabel and Lou Reed survive through a press conference (on the film "Berlin") in Spain this summer.
Willing or not, the duo made a fantastic performance!
See link below!
(the dialogues in English are fab- live translation! The Spanish are even better!)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Imagine Peace

We all shine on like the moon and the stars and the sun - John Lennon

The job of an artist is not to destroy but to change the value of things.
And by doing that, artists can change the world into a Utopia where there is
total freedom for everybody.
That can be achieved only when there is
total communication in the world.
Total communication equals peace.
That is our aim.
That is what artists can do for the world!

Yoko Ono
What is the Relationship Between the World and the Artist?, May 1971

Yoko Ono will be unveiling the Imagine Peace Tower, in memory of John Lennon, on October 9th 2007, on Videy Island, Reykjavik, Iceland.
The tower of light will beam up to the sky, carrying with it the message of peace that John Lennon and Yoko Ono have made their, continous, life work.

A beacon of light, right on the top of our globe, a stream of light, of hope. And perhaps also, a string for the planet to clutch on.
A moment to think about how many things are “hanging on a string”:
Our planet,
Our environment,
Our lives.

And to realise that with awareness, respect, and devotion, we can make a change. “The opposite of war is not peace, it's creation.”

Monday, September 24, 2007

How the quark got it's name

In 1963, when I assigned the name "quark" to the fundamental constituents of the nucleon, I had the sound first, without the spelling, which could have been "kwork." Then, in one of my occasional perusals of Finnegans Wake, by James Joyce, I came across the word "quark" in the phrase "Three quarks for Muster Mark." Since "quark" (meaning, for one thing, the cry of a gull) was clearly intended to rhyme with "Mark," as well as "bark" and other such words, I had to find an excuse to pronounce it as "kwork." But the book represents the dreams of a publican named Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker. Words in the text are typically drawn from several sources at once, like the "portmanteau words" in Through the Looking Glass. From time to time, phrases occur in the book that are partially determined by calls for drinks at the bar. I argued, therefore, that perhaps one of the multiple sources of the cry "Three quarks for Muster Mark" might be "Three quarts for Mister Mark," in which case the pronunciation "kwork" would not be totally unjustified. In any case, the number three fitted perfectly the way quarks occur in nature.
Murray Gell-Mann

Three quarks for Muster Mark!
Sure he hasn't got much of a bark
And sure any he has it's all beside the mark.
But O, Wreneagle Almighty, wouldn't un be a sky of a lark
To see that old buzzard whooping about for uns shirt in the dark
And he hunting round for uns speckled trousers around by Palmerstown Park?
Hohohoho, moulty Mark!
You're the rummest old rooster ever flopped out of a Noah's ark
And you think you're cock of the wark.
Fowls, up! Tristy's the spry young spark
That'll tread her and wed her and bed her and red her
Without ever winking the tail of a feather
And that's how that chap's going to make his money and mark!

James Joyce. Finnegan's Wake. Book 2, Episode 4, Page 383

Sunday, September 23, 2007


The Elephant's Child
by Rudyard Kipling

IN the High and Far-Off Times the Elephant, O Best Beloved, had no trunk. He had only a blackish, bulgy nose, as big as a boot, that he could wriggle about from side to side; but he couldn't pick up things with it. But there was one Elephant--a new Elephant--an Elephant's Child--who was full of 'satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions. And he lived in Africa, and he filled all Africa with his 'satiable curtiosities. He asked his tall aunt, the Ostrich, why her tail-feathers grew just so, and his tall aunt the Ostrich spanked him with her hard, hard claw. He asked his tall uncle, the Giraffe, what made his skin spotty, and his tall uncle, the Giraffe, spanked him with his hard, hard hoof. And still he was full of 'satiable curtiosity! He asked his broad aunt, the Hippopotamus, why her eyes were red, and his broad aunt, the Hippopotamus, spanked him with her broad, broad hoof; and he asked his hairy uncle, the Baboon, why melons tasted just so, and his hairy uncle, the Baboon, spanked him with his hairy, hairy paw. And still he was full of 'satiable curtiosity! He asked questions about everything that he saw, or heard, or felt, or smelt, or touched, and all his uncles and his aunts spanked him. And still he was full of 'satiable curtiosity!

One fine morning in the middle of the Precession of the Equinoxes this 'satiable Elephant's Child asked a new fine question that he had never asked before. He asked, 'What does the Crocodile have for dinner?' Then everybody said, 'Hush!' in a loud and dretful tone, and they spanked him immediately and directly, without stopping, for a long time.

By and by, when that was finished, he came upon Kolokolo Bird sitting in the middle of a wait-a-bit thorn-bush, and he said, 'My father has spanked me, and my mother has spanked me; all my aunts and uncles have spanked me for my 'satiable curtiosity; and still I want to know what the Crocodile has for dinner!'

Then Kolokolo Bird said, with a mournful cry, 'Go to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, and find out.'

That very next morning, when there was nothing left of the Equinoxes, because the Precession had preceded according to precedent, this 'satiable Elephant's Child took a hundred pounds of bananas (the little short red kind), and a hundred pounds of sugar-cane (the long purple kind), and seventeen melons (the greeny-crackly kind), and said to all his dear families, 'Goodbye. I am going to the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, to find out what the Crocodile has for dinner.' And they all spanked him once more for luck, though he asked them most politely to stop.

Then he went away, a little warm, but not at all astonished, eating melons, and throwing the rind about, because he could not pick it up.

He went from Graham's Town to Kimberley, and from Kimberley to Khama's Country, and from Khama's Country he went east by north, eating melons all the time, till at last he came to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, precisely as Kolokolo Bird had said.

Now you must know and understand, O Best Beloved, that till that very week, and day, and hour, and minute, this 'satiable Elephant's Child had never seen a Crocodile, and did not know what one was like. It was all his 'satiable curtiosity.

The first thing that he found was a Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake curled round a rock.

''Scuse me,' said the Elephant's Child most politely, 'but have you seen such a thing as a Crocodile in these promiscuous parts?'

'Have I seen a Crocodile?' said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, in a voice of dretful scorn. 'What will you ask me next?'

''Scuse me,' said the Elephant's Child, 'but could you kindly tell me what he has for dinner?'

Then the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake uncoiled himself very quickly from the rock, and spanked the Elephant's Child with his scalesome, flailsome tail.

'That is odd,' said the Elephant's Child, 'because my father and my mother, and my uncle and my aunt, not to mention my other aunt, the Hippopotamus, and my other uncle, the Baboon, have all spanked me for my 'satiable curtiosity--and I suppose this is the same thing.

So he said good-bye very politely to the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, and helped to coil him up on the rock again, and went on, a little warm, but not at all astonished, eating melons, and throwing the rind about, because he could not pick it up, till he trod on what he thought was a log of wood at the very edge of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees.

But it was really the Crocodile, O Best Beloved, and the Crocodile winked one eye--like this!

''Scuse me,' said the Elephant's Child most politely, 'but do you happen to have seen a Crocodile in these promiscuous parts?'

Then the Crocodile winked the other eye, and lifted half his tail out of the mud; and the Elephant's Child stepped back most politely, because he did not wish to be spanked again.

'Come hither, Little One,' said the Crocodile. 'Why do you ask such things?'

''Scuse me,' said the Elephant's Child most politely, 'but my father has spanked me, my mother has spanked me, not to mention my tall aunt, the Ostrich, and my tall uncle, the Giraffe, who can kick ever so hard, as well as my broad aunt, the Hippopotamus, and my hairy uncle, the Baboon, and including the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, with the scalesome, flailsome tail, just up the bank, who spanks harder than any of them; and so, if it's quite all the same to you, I don't want to be spanked any more.'

'Come hither, Little One,' said the Crocodile, 'for I am the Crocodile,' and he wept crocodile-tears to show it was quite true.

Then the Elephant's Child grew all breathless, and panted, and kneeled down on the bank and said, 'You are the very person I have been looking for all these long days. Will you please tell me what you have for dinner?'

'Come hither, Little One,' said the Crocodile, 'and I'll whisper.'

Then the Elephant's Child put his head down close to the Crocodile's musky, tusky mouth, and the Crocodile caught him by his little nose, which up to that very week, day, hour, and minute, had been no bigger than a boot, though much more useful.

'I think, said the Crocodile--and he said it between his teeth, like this--'I think to-day I will begin with Elephant's Child!'

At this, O Best Beloved, the Elephant's Child was much annoyed, and he said, speaking through his nose, like this, 'Led go! You are hurtig be!'

Then the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake scuffled down from the bank and said, 'My young friend, if you do not now, immediately and instantly, pull as hard as ever you can, it is my opinion that your acquaintance in the large-pattern leather ulster' (and by this he meant the Crocodile) 'will jerk you into yonder limpid stream before you can say Jack Robinson.'

This is the way Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snakes always talk.

Then the Elephant's Child sat back on his little haunches, and pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and his nose began to stretch. And the Crocodile floundered into the water, making it all creamy with great sweeps of his tail, and he pulled, and pulled, and pulled.

And the Elephant's Child's nose kept on stretching; and the Elephant's Child spread all his little four legs and pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and his nose kept on stretching; and the Crocodile threshed his tail like an oar, and he pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and at each pull the Elephant's Child's nose grew longer and longer--and it hurt him hijjus!

Then the Elephant's Child felt his legs slipping, and he said through his nose, which was now nearly five feet long, 'This is too butch for be!'

Then the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake came down from the bank, and knotted himself in a double-clove-hitch round the Elephant's Child's hind legs, and said, 'Rash and inexperienced traveller, we will now seriously devote ourselves to a little high tension, because if we do not, it is my impression that yonder self-propelling man-of-war with the armour-plated upper deck' (and by this, O Best Beloved, he meant the Crocodile), 'will permanently vitiate your future career.

That is the way all Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snakes always talk.

So he pulled, and the Elephant's Child pulled, and the Crocodile pulled; but the Elephant's Child and the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake pulled hardest; and at last the Crocodile let go of the Elephant's Child's nose with a plop that you could hear all up and down the Limpopo.

Then the Elephant's Child sat down most hard and sudden; but first he was careful to say 'Thank you' to the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake; and next he was kind to his poor pulled nose, and wrapped it all up in cool banana leaves, and hung it in the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo to cool.

'What are you doing that for?' said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake.

''Scuse me,' said the Elephant's Child, 'but my nose is badly out of shape, and I am waiting for it to shrink.

'Then you will have to wait a long time, said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake. 'Some people do not know what is good for them.'

The Elephant's Child sat there for three days waiting for his nose to shrink. But it never grew any shorter, and, besides, it made him squint. For, O Best Beloved, you will see and understand that the Crocodile had pulled it out into a really truly trunk same as all Elephants have to-day.

At the end of the third day a fly came and stung him on the shoulder, and before he knew what he was doing he lifted up his trunk and hit that fly dead with the end of it.

''Vantage number one!' said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake. 'You couldn't have done that with a mere-smear nose. Try and eat a little now.'

Before he thought what he was doing the Elephant's Child put out his trunk and plucked a large bundle of grass, dusted it clean against his fore-legs, and stuffed it into his own mouth.

'Vantage number two!' said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake. 'You couldn't have done that with a mear-smear nose. Don't you think the sun is very hot here?'

'It is,' said the Elephant's Child, and before he thought what he was doing he schlooped up a schloop of mud from the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo, and slapped it on his head, where it made a cool schloopy-sloshy mud-cap all trickly behind his ears.

'Vantage number three!' said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake. 'You couldn't have done that with a mere-smear nose. Now how do you feel about being spanked again?'

''Scuse me,' said the Elephant's Child, 'but I should not like it at all.'

'How would you like to spank somebody?' said the Bi- Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake.

'I should like it very much indeed,' said the Elephant's Child.

'Well,' said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, 'you will find that new nose of yours very useful to spank people with.'

'Thank you,' said the Elephant's Child, 'I'll remember that; and now I think I'll go home to all my dear families and try.'

So the Elephant's Child went home across Africa frisking and whisking his trunk. When he wanted fruit to eat he pulled fruit down from a tree, instead of waiting for it to fall as he used to do. When he wanted grass he plucked grass up from the ground, instead of going on his knees as he used to do. When the flies bit him he broke off the branch of a tree and used it as fly-whisk; and he made himself a new, cool, slushy-squshy mud-cap whenever the sun was hot. When he felt lonely walking through Africa he sang to himself down his trunk, and the noise was louder than several brass bands.

He went especially out of his way to find a broad Hippopotamus (she was no relation of his), and he spanked her very hard, to make sure that the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake had spoken the truth about his new trunk. The rest of the time he picked up the melon rinds that he had dropped on his way to the Limpopo--for he was a Tidy Pachyderm.

One dark evening he came back to all his dear families, and he coiled up his trunk and said, 'How do you do?' They were very glad to see him, and immediately said, 'Come here and be spanked for your 'satiable curtiosity.'

'Pooh,' said the Elephant's Child. 'I don't think you peoples know anything about spanking; but I do, and I'll show you.' Then he uncurled his trunk and knocked two of his dear brothers head over heels.

'O Bananas!' said they, 'where did you learn that trick, and what have you done to your nose?'

'I got a new one from the Crocodile on the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River,' said the Elephant's Child. 'I asked him what he had for dinner, and he gave me this to keep.'

'It looks very ugly,' said his hairy uncle, the Baboon.

'It does,' said the Elephant's Child. 'But it's very useful,' and he picked up his hairy uncle, the Baboon, by one hairy leg, and hove him into a hornet's nest.

Then that bad Elephant's Child spanked all his dear families for a long time, till they were very warm and greatly astonished. He pulled out his tall Ostrich aunt's tail-feathers; and he caught his tall uncle, the Giraffe, by the hind-leg, and dragged him through a thorn-bush; and he shouted at his broad aunt, the Hippopotamus, and blew bubbles into her ear when she was sleeping in the water after meals; but he never let any one touch Kolokolo Bird.

At last things grew so exciting that his dear families went off one by one in a hurry to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, to borrow new noses from the Crocodile. When they came back nobody spanked anybody any more; and ever since that day, O Best Beloved, all the Elephants you will ever see, besides all those that you won't, have trunks precisely like the trunk of the 'satiable Elephant's Child.

I Keep six honest serving-men:
(They taught me all I knew)
Their names are What and Where and When
And How and Why and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.

I let them rest from nine till five.
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men:
But different folk have different views:
I know a person small--
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!
She sends 'em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes--
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sept. 2005 to Sept. 2007

working on ArtSEEN journal, issue 1, spring 06 - layout on the wall,
with proof prints of Martin Siegrist's intervention "No"

The summer ArtSEEN journal is flying: you can find it in various galleries, where it is reported it sits on the desk of the gallerist who shows it to all; the Chinese and Japanese love it; from Puert Rico there are possibilities of participation in various events; in Berlin it is being introduced to galleries and bookshops; from NY new voices wish to join in the project; from Florida it receives invites to be media-partner for events organized around Art Basel Miami; museums and curators from Colombia call for it to arrive into their hands....

Two years ago in September (was it the 9th?) the concept for ArtSEEN journal was born.
It is through the participation, work, time and dedication of many artists that the SEEN became a reality!
It is with a lot of joy that I can say: the ArtSEEN journal project is growing, with new collaboration form the people who meet the journal – and then decide to join the project!!!

Vittorio Corsini's intervention in ArtSEEN journal, issue 6, summer 07 "ma"

Some of the feedback we’ve received on the Summer issue:

The publication is stunning. Thankyou so much.
David Gothard

David Gothard is the former artistic director of Riverside Studios. As a director he works between the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Derry, Northern Ireland and the Writers Workshop in the University of Iowa. In London he is a guest speaker at the Slade and he teaches at Chelsea College of Art and the National Film School.

At the moment, I'm working on a show in Frankfurt end of August (…), videos of course, but for (almost) the first time I've added a text I've just finished writing and sent off to be translated into German and printed to be given away as part of the show (I'll send you copies)...which I'm quite excite about because of the design/form; hope it works out. And if I hadn't have written for ArtSEEN I may not have got to this idea.
Anyway, thanks again, always a treat to hear from you...look forward to the next theme.

BTW, the copy of the last issue that I sent to Donald Smith sits in his office in his gallery and I've know he's been showing it to people as I'd heard some very positive comments about it. Well done.
Neil Stewart

Neil Stewart is an artist, and Programme Director, Global Art Practice at Chelsea College of Art & Design – The University of the Arts London. He collaborates with ArtSEEN journal on a regular basis.

I was sent and showed your journal by Elena Bajo - whom I am friends and colleagues with. (…)
I loved the image and would love to submit to a part of your whole macrocosm....globalization has created a visible macrocosm, before it was the world of mystery and mystics - now its the world of web cookies and links ...but congrats, its a gorgeous venture -!
Renee Vara

Renee Vara is, among other, private curator, founder of Vara Global Fine Arts, LLC

Today I received the box of ArtSEEN journals, summer issue. It is sooooo beautiful!!!! Congratulations on inventing a wonderful format for the journal! to find the text inserted on lined paper within the magazine is like finding a secret note someone hid inside a
book, a real journal, like a diary, of thoughts and sensibilities.
It is also just such a nice object to hold.

I wish I knew how to say FANTASTIC!!!! In Italian!
Sue Carlson

Sue Carlson in an artist, and ArtSEEN journal Representative in New York .

I wanted to tell you that I showed ArtSEEN to a few people I know and they loved it.
I think it's a beautiful project, you should stick to it till the end and enjoy every minute
of it. That is why I have considered your offer and I feel honored and overwhelmed that you have chosen me to intervene in your next issue. I would love to work with you and your friends.
Jason Mena

Jason Mena is an artist, living in Puerto Rico. We are also very pleased to announce that he is the “intervening artist” of ArtSEEN issue 7, autumn 07.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Italian Scene

April Woods, Christian Rainer

I had the chance to meet Christian Rainer in Trentino lately where I was invited to have a personal show. Christian had three pieces during the whole event that lasted for 3 days, among those Falena:
City lights were entirely turned off, while Christian played the piano inside the Church and you could hear his music going through all the darkness, like introducing people to something that is about to happen, like preparing them for silence, for an uncommon break in their lives; at the end of the music, lights were only turned on in the Palazzo DeMartin, people were now conscious of one of the most beautiful things they have, a Building from the 400 ‘s.
Christian said: There is already so much, why creating more….
He points out what is already there but we can’t see it anymore..

Christian Rainer has multiple origins and feels equally from each place, where he was born, where he was grown and where he lives now, Italy. He is a musician and a visual artist, a powerful creative mind.

Christian just had a couple of videos at Centro Pecci that I highly recommend to see. On this event called Videminuto other two young artists where exhibiting, Ericailcane and Marco Raparelli, these three artists strongly represent the various ways Italian contemporary scene is developing. Ericailcane with his almost disturbing creatures and Marco Raparelli with his amazing sense of humour.

My suggestion is to go and check these artists, they might be the future in the Italian scene

Thursday, September 6, 2007

2000 lightyears from home

"wie seltsam glimmert durch die Gründe
ein morgenrötlich trüber Schein!
Und selbst bis in die tiefen Schlünde
des Abgrunds wittert er hinein"

(Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Faust I, Walpurgisnacht )

hi gordana,
today my proposal for the pool of the youngest looked like this.
i just wanted to design like nature 1000 meters below zero in the sea.
they thought, it was a joke. i found it quite funny, nevertheless
there is no sense of humour in the world of architecture.....

hope you are fine.


Published here with the kind permission of Thomas Wirsing, architect.

Thomas is currently working in Vienna, on a public swimming pools project. He is one of the most brilliant creative minds I know, and finding his comment ironically funny, and his design high minded and beautiful, I asked his permission to publish his recent email to me, with the “rejected” concept for a children’s swimming pool.
Thomas, together with Sabine Wolf, has published an article in ArtSEEN journal, issue 2, summer 06, which can be read on (Italian and English)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

ArtSEEN Plus First Anniversary!!

One year ago we thought of starting a supplement to ArtSEEN Journal as a solution for our constant changes on format and the difficulty it created for us to be able to sell advertisement in different sizes everytime.

That is how ArtSEEN Plus was born!!! We thought of it as an Art Guide, as a "Printed show" where artists, galleries and even art students had the chance to promote their work for really competitive prices, from first issue it inmedaitely revealed an excellent platform for artists and our biggest satisfaction was to hear that artists got invitations to show after putting an Ad in the Plus. 50% of the artists that have published in ArtSEEN once has repeated the operation so many of them have been in more than one issue in only one year!!

We went from 1000 copies to 5000 copies already in the second issue, that are distributed in major galleries as Continua in San Gimignano, Pierogi 2000 in New York, Traghetto Gallery Rome, Primo Piano in Lecce among others as fixed distributors and other galleries and institutions that asked to be listed in our calendar so it travels all over and everytime to different places.

We are pleased to announce the first Anniversary of ArtSEEN Plus, a free supplement to ArtSEEN Journal that makes possible the best art promotion and the publication of both ArtSEEN Journal and ArtSEEN Plus.

Thanks to all of you!!!

If you want to have more information on it or book a page please contact us.

Monday, July 30, 2007

After the SEEN

In the weeks after the SEEN is printed, we usually have a bit more time to dedicate to other aspects of work and life, aspects that nevertheless are continuous... Here’s what the three of us are up to these days, a self interview!
Andrew J: AJ
Gordana: G
Sandra: S

What are you doing right now?

AJ: Teaching a class in 20th Century Italian Art History.
G: Sitting at the computer, glad of the ventilator fan...
S: Working and thinking I would like to be somewhere else...

What are you working on now?

AJ: Continuing series of "Untitled – Interiors" (ink drawings), and painting – a series of monochromatic, floral motif paintings based on the work of the Dutch artist Van Beyeren.
G: I’m mainly working on ignoring all the things I have to do, until the last minute: all to do with house maintenance bills, and coping with general life bureaucracy…
S: Layout of a catalogue, graphics of my artist's business card, cancelling with pleasure those things I've already done from my long promemoria.

Where will you be in 2 weeks time?

AJ: Nashville, Tennessee
G: In Zurich, Switzerland
S: In Cartagena, Colombia, probably in the terrace of my father's colonial house in the historical center, having a refago (colombian cocktail, consisting in beer and a soda only produced there) hopefully with a book and not the laptop!!!

What will you do there?

AJ: Relax, see friends, hang out with mom...
G: Whittling. I aim to whittle down a little ladder. Or anything else that is whittlable and takes my fancy.
S: I'll see some of my family, will visit friends and actually will work out some contacts both for the magazine and for my own artwork and hopefully the most wanted vacation time.

Own art projects on the go?

AJ: Finalist of Arte Laguna contest; preparing work for auction for AMRAF (charity) in Rome in Autumn.
G: Still trying to finish my drawing! Have started and continue a series of mini videos (30 seconds), a collection of “moments” – from travelling, to sitting at home – a ray of sun light on the curtain, a butterfly, a rain storm. And one of my favourites, a nun sweeping the garden at 1.30 a.m.!
S: Planning a performance in Calcata (near Rome), working on an installation about "erosion" for a show in September, extending a piece for a show in Brazil in November, always in the healing rituals theme!! (and a lot of other little things)

Books read/reading?

AJ: The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield
G: Just finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – after 9 years of following the adventure!
Also, Augusten Burroughs – Possible Side Effects.
Have practically re-read 100 books in the last two weeks since the Summer SEEN is finished!
S: Just finished all the catalogues from Venice Biennale, Dokumenta and Skuptur Project and just started the one AJ gave me for my birthday Under...

Other interesting observation?

AJ: It’s really hot! That’s key : July is too hot.
G: I never know how I am going to do all the things I have to do, until the very last minute!
S: Hmmm... yes.... it is a very creative moment for me, an explosion of illumination happening here, let's hope for it to be loooooooooooooooooooong____________________________


We've been quoted!

In Italian only...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A view

Jason Mena, installation view

I liked this work so much, I had to steal it. I did ask permission before stealing it, and it was granted. So, here is the first legally stolen pic for blog!

Friday, July 6, 2007


As fireworks are sounding off in the distance, here is a preview of ArtSEEN 6!!!
The "proof print" - and...
I am very proud of all of us: Neil, Andrew, Elena, Marina, Martin, Sandra, Vittorio, Marco, Fede, Melissa, Ketty - me - for getting this issue together! Well done to us!!! Thank you all! Thank you to all the people behind the SEENs too: David, Gian, Silvia, Jason!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Slow but Steady

We are going to be out latter than we thought – the reason is we have, err, underestimated our communal capacity – we have some 70 pages of text, and some 100 pages of images!!! How did we do that kids? Well, it seems several of us just had to write more than 2000 words this time round.
We really don’t feel like cutting the images, and anyway, even if we tried to do 100 pages only, we’d have some 30 odd pages for the pics left… So, we are communicating with our fantastic printer, Alessandro, to find a solution …

Anyway, Martin is putting all your texts in Courier now, so you’re all being “courierd” – and from now on you are not allowed to use fancy texts for your original articles! Arial, 12 points, and no fancy build-up, like footnotes!
Melissa, Fede, and our new help, Ketty, have been working overtime to proof read all in time, including last minute time…
I guess at this point of our lives, if we print before the august holidays, we’ll be fortunate!!!

As Andrew J has the tendency to say: Hang on in there!

We’ll let you know when it's ready!


Thursday, June 28, 2007


If you can travel this summer, go to Münster. Go to Münster because you will see beautiful works there, installations in public space. Go to Münster because you will be really able to live the works that are there, the works from 1977, 1987, 1997, and 2007. You will walk through a town, and if you don’t have the little map with you which shows you which sculpture is where, you might just get confused and think that something is art – and doesn’t this border blurring between art and „art“ make everything more real? You can rent a bike and bike down to lake Aa, where you can meet the singing voice of Susan Philipzs under the bridge, where you can lie on the grass under the Antenna which Ilya Kabakov put up in 1997, and you can sit on the wood stairs of the Pier by Jorge Pardo (still 1997), staring at the water. You will see History of Art pass by, jumping from the past into the present, as Donald Judds sculpture, “untitled” (1977) coils itself on the grass, and where we suspect people will sit, and write their names (Hänsel loves Gretel… ) – traces of words and loves that may still be seen, scrubbed clean, but not invisible.

Under the Torminbrücke over the Lake Aa, listen to the sound installation by Susan Philipsz

Lie on the grass and read Ilya Kabakov's message against the sky

Donlad Judd's "untitled" from 1977 bears some traces of human cohabitation

If you buy one catalogue this year, buy the Sculpture Projects Münster catalogue. The only one in the collection (Venice Biennale, Documenta, and Sculpture Projects) that has artists writing about their work in it. The only one with an amazing glossary compiled by art historians, theorists and artists, defining, in a very different way, art terminology – a catalogue you will love to read.

From the Glossary (in brief):

Artworld - (…) On the one hand, Heidegger accords art the capacity to qualitatively inform an entire culture, while on the other making the art world responsible for why it cannot unfold this altering power and that works ultimately sink into the trivial, for in the art world they suffer “world-withdrawal and world-decay.” (…)
Wolfgang Ullrich – professor of art studies and media theory at the State Academy of Design in Karlsruhe
( Martin Heidegger, “Origin of the Work of Art”)

Collaboration – (…) The motivation behind today’s collaborations varies radically, almost in proportion to the number of different modes of working. A common explanation is the wish to practice generosity and sharing as an alternative to contemporary individualism and the traditional role of the romantic artist as a solitary genius. Self-determination in an ever more instrumentalized art world, both commercially and publicly, and a desire to be a more powerful force in society have also been mentioned as important motivations.(…)
Maria Lind – curator and critc

Desire – “Let yourself covet men’s culture, art, wisdom, honour,” postulated Friedrich Schleiermacher in 1798 as the tenth precept of his Idea for a Catechism of Reason for Noble Ladies. His enjoinment marks a manifold change of perspective on desire in the bourgeois era. (…)
Katharina Sykora – professor at the Braunschweig University of Art’s Institute of Art Studies

Migration – (…) Trans-border migration is not only constitutive for the nation and its borders; migration also creates new social spaces, relationships and family concepts, which normally are hardly ever noticed. Migration constantly contravenes national guidelines and border policies (…)
Marion von Osten – artist, author, and curator, professor at the Zürich School of Art and Design

If we say “do not judge the book by the cover” perhaps we can say “do not judge the exhibition by the catalogue” yet in this case, the amount of thought, care and knowledge that has been put into the Münster catalogue reflects the amount of thought, care, and knowledge put into the Sculpture Projects.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Wrong Art World!

I'm in the wrong art world!!! I'm in the art world where one still cleans ones own brushes, if one has the space to do ones own paintings in! I'm in the art world where one does ones own translations! I'm in the art world where parties involve some 15 people squashed in my little studio which is office to ArtSEEN and Büro Zürich in Florence, and where one has to negotiate the narrow floor space so as not to step on the drawing, but the parties are fun! Man, I am in the wrong art world!!!
It's a shocking realisation.... High heels are IN the RIGHT art world!
Plese copy, paste and read the article in link below - the work I missed in Venice, I have to go back to see it!
I'll wear my high heels, how's that!?
Seriously, the work is sublime... it's the Kosuth installation... with nice photos!!!

I'd like to dedicate this blog entry to my friend, Jason Mena, because I haven't had time to e-mail you --- get the heels out! ;)


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Another short break...

In Medias Res

The narrative for this e-mail will inevitably begin in the middle of things or 'in mezzo delle cose' because that is exactly where we are at. Of course there is always a beginning as well. We started our travels a few weeks ago in Venice and then ended up in Muenster via Kassel. There was so much to see and in some of the other blogs you can catch a glimpse of what we will be discussing in the upcoming summer edition of ArtSEEN Journal. But in any case the process continues, articles are written, art is SEEN, conversations occur, and time continues.

June has, thus, been a period of intense happenings and reflections. For me I suppose the artist life is bound to be somewhere in the middle. Today I was reading a text piece by Piero Manzoni. In it you can see the influence Lucio Fontana had on his early work, and I suppose I was slightly taken aback by Manzoni's vehemence but then again in the end he went on to describe just being. So there was passion and calm and just letting things go all in the same essay.

I prefer artists' words above all others

The artist gives us true insight into the way we perceive the world. Sometimes I like to mix and match my readings... As in I'll read artists' writings from different historic periods. Most discuss space and time and if they are not it is because during that period such themes were not at the forefront of the artistic debate and this was usually because ideas became too fixed and inflexible.

With all the Furies

Ask not why, but it is said so, at least in Italian, that when you're under pressure and working to catch up with a dead line, such as printing date (imagined or not - ha! I am the Editor after all!), that you are working “under all the Furies.”
Mythological Greek goddesses of vengeance and law-keeping, their heads blowing wild live snakes, fulminating any wrong-doer, I guess having them above your head is not a very pleasant experience… Well, we’re all working “under all the Furies” to bring our summer SEEN out before the Summer ends! Translating articles, pressuring our Editorial Consultants, and dreaming still about the lay-out (what will it be, about 100 pages??? I have to try out!), and still in dept with our printer, the ever generous and patient Alessandro… Yes, I hope to be there on the 2nd July, a week “late” from my proposed date of 25th June. And pay some of our dept. :)

We have been writing articles on all our trips: to Venice, to Kassel, to Münster… and I apologise, but we still haven’t written anything about the German shows for the blog – sorry, SEEN priority. What I will do though, is put up some of our photographs for you to see. In about a weeks time, if the furies forgive us, we’ll write more!

Map of Germany - tying to avoid traffic jams

Concentrating on David Riedels talk in Münster

Münster press office

Gordana and Sandra as shadows on the shores of the Aa lake

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Winner!!!

Stuart Urban receiving the Lancia Award in Bologna, June 10th

We are very pleased to announce that Stuart Urban is the winner of the top prize, the Lancia Award, at the Biografilm Festival, which has been awarded for his film "Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead" on June 10th, 2007.

ArtSEEN journal Team congratulates Stuart on this achievement!
Well done!
(for more info, please check out the web link for Tovarisch, and our April insert)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Heels to walk away

Walking through the Arsenale corridor to get to the press office, telling each other we will look at the work afterwards, but it's impossible not to give it at least a glance… Quickly realized: a lot of good choices and others that in my opinion were not exactly the best…You get your bag, nice green and magenta bag for press people, and it is only the beginning of a whole bag competition, it's all about bags at the end… but this is another story that will be told later. After a lunch (if you can call that sandwich a decent lunch) and already the first people you run into, we started visiting the Giardini, the private view - that was not very private or at least there were too many people in the private situation. This makes it less exclusive than the way they want it to appear… a lot of high heels that were too high to walk through the Giardini (don't take me wrong I took my heels too but they were the type of heels you can walk in) – a lot of smiles and "hi" echoing around us…

Inside the Italian pavilion after going through the crowd the central room had the most beautiful work by Sigmar Polke, suddenly it makes you hold your breath, huge paintings that danced with the structure, I kept walking around the room thinking how incredible it is when you feel you are able to breath painting, how incredible it is that you can allow yourself to be emotional about a painting and not always intellectual and conceptual, after all guys I'm an artist and those are the things I think and feel in front of a nice work.

I kept on visiting the rooms with no order, I usually go from the left side and keep the line but I didn't this time, in every entrance/exita neon sign EXIL caught my attention with that L at the end but I guess I decided not to think further about it, later in the train back home I learned it was an artwork by Abdel Adbessemed who also had a nice drawing at the Arsenale. Also went through a room were Murray's work was hung, no matter how nicely Storr has explained this choice and her work I still think it was a "non ci sta" choice ("has nothing to do") and is the same I have to say about the first artist you meet when entering the Arsenale, Luca Buvoli.

Beautiful drawn walls by Sol LeWitt who unfortunately died recently. These two drawings remind me of Gordana's piece of the moon drawing, same feeling, very strong work. Iran do Espirito Santo is one of my favourite artists in the list, amazing how he can transform space every one talks about the intervention on space but he really treats spaces purely, but this is another story and it will be told later on since it deserves longer attention. Openings for single pavilions include a speech that unfortunately no one listens to or at least a few people only, there is always a crowd ready to jump into the food/wine table and if you want to get a glass of wine you must get there 30 minutes before the opening and keep your place… this was done by a lot of people, not by us, we met at the Hungarian pavilion that was opening at 15:30 and decided we could have a glass of wine later and we could just go and visit other pavilions. That's when we got into the Australian pavilion, where the yellow bag was given, once you get it you get into the pavilion where we found very interesting work by Daniel von Strumer, very slow movements from a perspective that makes it a beatiful view. Out of it we run into people we have met and we decided to go to the Swiss pavilion where there was real champagne (you always think champagne is what you drink at Biennale's openings but it's not true, only Swiss people had champagne), the work doesn't deserve much of my thought or space in these lines so we enjoyed champagne and the encounter with an Iraqi artist that had a banner… he is also part of that story I will tell you guys later.

First night exhausted, the usual not Incredible food, Venice is nice as to look at it but it is one of the most exhausting cities in the world, every time I've been to a Biennale I've come back with my feet hurting and my mind full of information, I would need at least 2 weeks to settled it in my mind. The other two days were more or less the same, meetings, business cards… etc… I tried my best to see as much as I could, was very glad of some of the works like Christian Capurro magazine project, and the amazing paintings by Russian Dmitry Gutov and obviously our friend Alys was there and had a very nice drawing and video installation. Also loved to see again Oscar Munoz.

The Spanish guys Los Torreznos I thought were amazing , we need more sense of humour in art and enjoy ourselves either by making art or looking at it. This Biennale was very war referential and also reflects more on what's NOT happening in the art world than what's happening because maybe nothing really striking is happening.

And yes I have a lot more in my mind and I could write about it for hours but give me time to settled down information to clean off the air that has been put on top of art by all these heels and openings and money. I have only one thing for sure to say, I enjoyed the opening of theVenice Biennale but I prefer going anonymously maybe in another month and visiting it in calm, I would only want to be in my studio working now, Gordana told me that the best thing we could do after this is create and create but well we are now going to Dokumenta and we will also let you know how it goes, in the meantime these are just first impressions, thrown just like they came into my tired mind.


When trying to write about such a big event it is inevitable that everything starts to run together especially since everything is so fresh on my mind. But I'll do my best to give you an idea of some of the things that struck me as particularly worth while.

Sigmar Polke paintings - It was actually the first thing I saw. Well, actually not the first thing. We managed to see a big chunk of the arsenale because we were searching for our press passes and then it was off to lunch. So after lunch and a beer I went into the Italian Pavilion in the Giardini and had a look around. Right smack in the middle were these works by Polke. Dark works that were monumental and sublime in their darkness. They left me speachless and with a strong feeling in my stomach. But I couldn't hang around too long because the artSEEN team was supposed to meet shortly for drinks in front of Hungary. But it all turned out to be too crowded so we went on our way...

I heard Robert Storr speak in Florence about a month ago in a talk called 'Between the Factory and the Garden'. In the speach he spoke of the viewer and the event and about doing something with an event that was planned over one hundred years ago and about the difficulties of dealing with such a space for contemporary art which is never so easily put into such spaces. He was very clear about what he was going to present and what I saw seemed to jive with what he was saying in his talk. Lots of paintings beacause after all that's what he deals with on a regular basis both as a painter and a curator. I thought his choices were good ones and the Italian pavilion overall worked very well. My progression from Polke, to Ellsworth Kelly, to Gerhard Richter, and then to Robert Ryman made perfect and logical sense. Here was an idea and one worth exploring. One could easily say that such big names are a shoe in but I feel it is also an opportunity to see the greatness of an artist. After all painters especially tend to get really good late in life.

I passed saturday morning entirely at the Arsenale. I spent a good deal of time with the Francis Alys installation. I've written about his work in the past and I think he's really on to something. It has to do with really getting to the point. Many people attempt to deal with the political or the poetic and fail. Alys does not. At times it's difficult to say why he pulls it off but he does and for now I'll stick to just that... that he consistently deals with the poetic and the political on a level that his contemporaries could really learn from...

There was much more and of course by the end I was too tired to look at anything with fresh eyes. Which may have influenced my reaction to the pavilions this year as being very average. I didn't feel that it was bad but nothing that stopped me in my tracks. And I couldn't get over the sinking feeling that French art looks and feels really French and British art is really British and Germans very German and The Americans very American. It seemed a bit absurd and a gallerist at a certain point even started bashing Americans which was funny because she thought I was British or Italian or something and it gets me wondering about the tolerance of people in the Art World. Are we all just supporting our own?

Overall I'm happy I went. I like seeing what people are doing and I enjoy discovering that all the big people are not so big anyway. Just people sweating their brains out in Venice on a hot day. It's a great place to get rid of all the smoke and mirrors even if there were a lot of mirrors everywhere!

Venice - right in the middle of the Maddening Crowd

Morning coffee at the hotel - it tasted as it looks - suspicion was it was made with Laguna water because we could not conceive how otherwise it could taste so bad

Venice – oh my god.
Venice is a tourist play-town. I am not sure how many pigeons live in Venice, but I am sure there are more pigeons than Venetians around.
Venice is a romantic weekend destination, destined to leave your pockets turned about and around. In the end, you may well ask yourself "Why?" as you pay exorbitant prices for an un-appetising dinner, and chew on dry bready sandwiches that are costing you a small patrimony.
As the Biennale opened its doors to the many "few" privileged that received an invitation to the Private View – Venice pumped up its already over-muscular prices. Hotels were difficult to get by even a few months ago.

The Biennale is one event that makes visiting Venice a must, and I have no idea what to suggest to you, except go in your own boat. However, a smart move would be visiting the Biennale in October or the first weeks of November, just before it closes. In fact, I’m thinking of going back then too.

The Private View was not very private, as hundreds of artists, gallerists, curators, collectors, art-lovers, and press peoples mingled to look, to see, and be seen. Crowds crowded the pavilions as they inaugurated their exhibitions; crowds jammed the tables offering wine, snacks; crowds grabbed freebies – from fans to bags. We too joined in the queue for the Yellow Bag – Australian Pavilion, and we visited the Swiss pavilion for the champagne (Martin said the Swiss would have champagne, and they did.)
In some way, this perhaps was the freebie opening, as everyone was handing out something.

"Untitled" (Perfect Lovers) - Felix Gonzalez-Torres
US Pavilion, Giardini, 52nd Venice Biennale

The US Pavilion presented works by the late Felix Gonzalez-Torres, serene and beautiful, the light bulbs handing down from the ceiling, and the two round marble pools “Untitled” (Perfect Lovers) at the entrance inviting to contemplation and, yes, why not, reflection – giving if possible an even more poetic approach to Narcissistic notions that linger deep down in each Very Important Human Being. Somehow, for me, those marble pools invite one to stop to re-consider the legend of Narcissus and the meaning of disappearance while observing ones own image. Conceived during the artists lifetime, the pools were made only recently and delivered for the exhibition in Venice – carrying with them the gentle touch of love.

Inside the pavilion, the artists works were offered to the viewers, not only to vision, but to take home as well. Beautiful large posters – one depicting water, the other a large version of the typical frame surrounding death announcement “Untitled” (Republican Years), were placed on the floor – ensuring a mad scramble as a hungry crowd grabbed at them – even though the labels on the wall assured that the number of the works was “unlimited”. Somehow it is sad that an intimacy with an artists work and with an artists process that goes on well after the artists passing, continuing to produce and to touch lives, can be overshadowed by the Maddening Crowds. Somehow, maybe only after the passage of maddening crowds can one stop to think how much effort it takes to bend down and pick up a pebble from a beach, a dry leaf from the floor of a forest, a poster from a pavilion floor, with care and elegance due to both the object being picked up, and to the person who is doing the picking up.

I could say the same of the multiple paper freebies – newspapers, maps, guides, invites to visit the pavilions that are not in the famous Giardini (Gardens) – picked up, thrown down a few meters after. Sometimes in rubbish bins, sometimes free floating in an already floating Venice. Even sandwich-munching VIP’s (for we shall consider everybody who was at the opening as a VIP) would leave their rubbish – serviettes, empty water bottles - lying around. Caught by the seeing eye of Martin, a few of the VIPs were reminded/reprimanded to accompany their leftovers to the bin just on the corner.

Three days are lamentably not enough to visit the whole Biennale, yet the days after are very important. That’s when the sand settles, and when the multiple artworks seen start either disappearing from mind or getting clear in the mind, as for each one of us who creates, the information received starts to resonate.
I need to go back and stand at the Giardini at dusk, or take a vaporetto (water boat) to the Lido at night, as I missed the installation by Joseph Kosuth, on the island of San Lazzaro, The Language of Equilibrium.

In the mean time, I must also write of all the other crazy things I’ve seen, if it is of any interest, as that certainly will get blown away by the wind, as cobwebs swept clean. Here, I am mainly talking about the shoes worn by some VIPs during the opening… Even with the most comfortable shoes on, visiting the Venice Biennale inevitably results in sore feet, and as I sat to rest my toesies, my eyes travelled over other peoples foot wear – high-heeled boots? Not my line! Platform sandals? How can you walk in those? It’s very interesting observing people at openings. Guaranteed that anybody who was not an artist was dressing as they thought artists dress. From tight gold pants to fuchsia pink robes blowing in the sea breeze. And feather hats. And torturous foot wear. Brrrrrrrrrr.

Sandra in the very nice relaxation zone at the Biennale Press Room

So far from me, that’s the tip of the iceberg on this years Venice Biennial. My head is still floating, and my compliments go to all the professional journalists who can sit down and write clearly about something, without taking in consideration what other people are wearing, and how they can walk in that… I’m just an artist, after all. And one who’s refusing to put on any shoes right now.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Art trips

We're off to see the Big Exhibitions - Venice Biennale, Documenta Kassel, and the Münster Sculpture Project!!!

We'll try to send you postcards, via the blog! We'll keep our eyes open for those Hidden moments!

A presto!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Drawing Conclusions '07 Conclusion

The Jury, composed of ArtSEEN journal Editorial Team, and the External Jury member, Denis Isaia, is pleased to announce and publish the Winner, and Co-Winners of Drawing Conclusions ’07.
The selection of works here presented shows the variety of approaches to drawing that are being produced world wide: from the more traditional approach of ink or charcoal or pencil on paper, to drawing used for and as basis of installations.
We are pleased with the range of works that have reached our final selection, reaching to the wide horizons of drawing possibilities.
The emerging artists whose works we present below have all had exhibitions in their own countries, as well as internationally.

We wish to thank all the artists who have sent work in for Drawing Conclusions, and wish you all luck with your work! Many of you were a “personal” favourite to one or the other of the Jury, yet is was the accumulation of all the votes hat determined the winners.

The Winning Drawing Project:

Lalie Schewadron _Hybrids Exhibition view:
Emulsion on wall with ophthalmic and
environmental animation
Site specific installation ("Hybrids", Lounge Gallery)

Lalie Schewadron is an artist who lives and works in Boston and Lausanne, Switzerland. Her work ‘Hybrids’ is a site specific installation recently exhibited at the Lounge gallery in London from the 19th of April to the 6th of May 2007. The work is composed of emulsion on wall with ophthalmic and environmental animation and is 290x700cm.

She states that the installation is ‘intended to create an extraordinary landscape of ‘hybrid’ realities through digitally manipulating complex medical photographs and photographs from nature to create new images, entitles with a ‘life’ of their own.’ And continues by stating, ‘the drawing was created by building up layers of wall drawing and projection of the moving image, thus, exploring the notion of ‘hybridism’ through the intersection between the different media.’

The idea of such a mixture is consequently a means by which the viewer is invited into questioning the very nature of reality, perception, fiction, and chance.

Co-Winners (Runners -up in alphabetical order)

Rikka Ayasaki _Rain in a big city 90x60cm ink, black & white 04/2006

Rikka Ayasaki is a Japanese born artist, based in Paris, France. She has been practicing the SUMI - E : ink on paper technique for the past 17 years of her life, successfully bringing the ancient Japanese technique into a contemporary world.
Her drawing „Rain in a big city“ captures in whole the atmosphere of a rain storm, the weight of the clouds, and feasibly, one can smell the perfume of wet ground. Of her work Rikka says „ Expressing the world in black and white, essentially, I make interesting experiences. I just painted, for examples, roses. Somebody tells me - " These are RED roses, aren't they? " -
or - " This VIOLET color is superb! " -

Yes, my roses are GREY.
But the people who look at my paintings always find the RIGHT COLORS in their minds...”

Aleks Bartosik _Installation drawing and performance. Willow chalk on walls. Art Gallery of Mississauga
(ON, Canada), September 2006.

Aleks Bartosik is an artist who works in Canada. Her approach to drawing allows the integration of other mediums in her work, creating a multi-disciplinary platform, where drawing can and does become an integral part of a performance, or, in another instance, the use of boxes that become a site-specific space for drawings.
She states that her work centers on the female form, where the artist plays the protagonist who is placed in various process-based narratives. Within the narratives, Aleks' characters embody a play between anthropomorphic and zoomorphic transformations.

Brian Bishop _Untitled (Undone), Charcoal on Paper 60" x 60", 8/2006

Brian Bishop is an artist and assistant professor of Art at the University of Alabama in
Tuscaloosa. He describes his principle interest of his studio practice as, ‘the exploration of the fine line between the forgotten or overlooked moment and the fetishized memory as simultaneously seen through the filters of portraiture in the west, snapshot photography and the contemporary cultural phenomenon of constant surveillance. Inevitably it also addresses memory, as it is known through photography, and questions if these moments represent truth or fiction.’

In the work ‘undone’ Bishop presents the viewer with an activity that is by all means ‘mundane’. However, the success of the image rides on the fact that the banality of the activity is also simultaneously evocative of other less clear situations, which ultimately invite us to consider other more fantastical narratives.

Karina Pérez Aragón -Melody, Black and coloured pencils on paper. 20cm x 20cm. 2007

Karina Pérez Aragón is an Argentine artist, currently working in New York, USA, after having been based in Salzburg, Austria for several years. Of her work she states: “Emphasizing simplicity, I direct my attention to the universal. My work is based on pre-verbal images. Through reduction I feel able to come closer to the essential."
Her drawing “Melody” shows the expression of this thought on paper, a seemingly simple yet harmonious use of lines which interact with the space around them, the “emptiness” of the paper, to create an illusion of space and depth. Geometry is a visual language tool that she uses to transmit a sense of safety and natural order, as she says: “The whole universe and our own constitution are built on geometrical structures.” Through abstraction, she seeks to render the formless and infinite space.
It is by joining the eternal opposites: empty – full, that this effect is made possible.



Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Drawing Conclusions '07 Closed!

And we have arrived to the 16th of May - in the last weeks since we launched the ArtSEEN drawing competition, we've received many entries, from many artists, and from different countries! It has been very exciting, almost like Christmas, to open our info box each day and look at the new images that arrived during the night!
We have diligently filed all the entries: images, name, email, CV's where provided..
And now we are ready to start the first stage of the adjudication process!

We are curious at this point to see who will be chosen as the winner and the runners up!

The winner and runners up will be announced on the 30th May, and published on the blog on the 1st of June!

Ah, and yes, a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our Publisher, Goran Bezanov, who's celebrating today!!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Standard Continued:Blog Comment

Rachel Whiteread 'Untitled 'Six Spaces'

Dear Editors,

I was in York, England two weeks ago, and had the opportunity to check out the "Relationships: Contemporary Sculpture" exhibit at the York Art Gallery. I had just read the winter issue on "the standard" on the flight from Pisa to York, so I had it in mind as I checked out some interesting pieces (including Damien Hirt's "Relationships" and Sarah Lucas' "Willy", a garden gnome wrapped in cigarettes).

The most interesting piece, however, was a selection of six of Rachel Whiteread's 100 resin castes of the negative space beneath chairs [Untitled (Six Spaces)]. Whiteread's castes seem to be significant because, through "solidifying" negative spaces, and removing the objects that bound them, she dislocates our metaphysical conceptions of things. When we discuss the idea of the standard, we often do it in a spatialized discourse. Whether negatively or positively asserted, the standard always occupies "the center" of our mental visualizations of it, and its opposite occupies the periphery. This spatial ordering is interrupted, it seems, when our visual conceptions of objects (a chair, for example) are re-located to that objects periphery (as in, the space below).


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

ArtSEEN Competition External Juror

Denis Isaia – External Juror

Denis Isaia is an art critic and curator based in Bolzano, Italy.

He is currently curating the Best Art Practice international competition for young curators,

…as well as co-curating (with Valerio Dehó) From and to at Kunst Merano Arte from October 2007 to January 2008, featuring the works of Philipp Messner, Laura Papperina, Michael Fliri, Brigitte Niedermair, Stefano Cagol.

As an art critic, Denis contributes to diverse publications, amongst which ArtSEEN journal, and Flash Art.
(see the ArtSEEN journal archive: "I love communism", by Denis Isaia and Paolo Plotegher)

He ideated and is the curator of The Room –Sound Art Revolution, as the name suggests, a sound art project broadcast on Radio Tandem (98.4 mhz) every Wednesday at 18.30 as well as on pod cast:

Adding to this very busy list, last but not least, we are very fortunate that Denis Isaia has accepted to join the ArtSEEN Editorial Team as the External Juror for our Drawing Conclusions competition.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

ArtSEEN Drawing Competition

Art Competition: Drawing Conclusions '07 – First Edition

The Editorial Team of ArtSEEN journal is pleased to announce
our latest initiative: Drawing Conclusions, a drawing competition
open to all artists.

We invite all artists interested to send us digital images of
their drawings or drawing projects. A jury composed of the
Editors of ArtSEEN journal, and an external curator,
who will be named at a letter date, will select the winning
drawing or drawing project.

The first five drawings selected will be published on ArtSEEN’s blog page,
together with a short biography and a review of each artist and their work.
The winning drawing will be published in ArtSEEN PLUS – ArtSEEN journals supplement printed in 5000 copies – together with the artists statement.

Competition rules:
- all images of drawings or drawing projects need to be received in digital format – jpeg or tiff
- all images must to be of drawings or drawing projects executed in the last year, meaning produced after April 2006
- all images need to be received via email at by 15th May 2007
- no actual drawings will be taken in consideration for the competition
- the competition is open to all who wish to participate, and is free of charge
- each participant may send in up to three (3) images of drawings or drawing projects
- each participant must supply their full name and e-mail address
- all images received must be authentic works of the artist sending the images in, and in concordance with copyrights
- all information supplied by the artists must be in accordance with privacy policies
- images received after the 15th May 2007will not be taken in consideration for the competition

The decision of the jury is final.
The winner and the four runners up will be announced on the 30th May, 2007, and the work will be published in Behind the SEEN on June 1st, 2007
The winning drawing will be published in the July /August edition of ArtSEEN PLUS.

(e-mail one of us for the Disclaimer:;;

By entering the competition, you are giving ArtSEEN journal the right to display your artwork as part of the contest, you're also giving ArtSEEN journal the right to publish your artwork. In no way however, do we own the copyright, you keep copyright of your art as well as reprint rights.

Good luck to all!

Editors, ArtSEEN journal

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead

Stuart Urban and his camera

Short-term memory does not apply here – in Europe. Some of our parents, all of our grandparents have lived through a war, at times, both the First and Second World War.
The streets we live in, the parks we walk through, the rivers we (maybe) swim in, the fields where our crops are grown have all seen human lives sacrificed.
Driving through France down to Italy with Andrew in September 2005, fresh from being awarded out Master of Art degrees, going home (Florence is our chosen home), we drove through immense fields of stunning wheat – an immensity that filled the eyes up to the horizon. A silence yet still lingered over them: this is where the hard line was, in 1914-1918.

I always think that I am a granddaughter of survivors – if my grandfather hadn’t survived the trek across the Albanian mountains, the typhus fever, and the war as a young man, barely a teenager, my father would not have been born, and then, I would not have been born either. In that way, aren’t we all proof of our ancestors’ survivals?

When Diaspora happens then, a curiosity is born too - for I may know where I was born, and what my environment is, but where are my genetic, story-telling roots? Inevitably, we look to our parents, our closest link to our grandparents and to our ancestors, for information. Voyages may occur in an attempt to retrace the exodus backwards, from where we belong to where we belonged, in order to clarify an enigma.
And that’s what Stuart did – followed his father's footsteps back to where Harry (Garri S. Urban) was born, documenting the revisiting of a present, where the past that shaped Harry folded out. Looking for the jigsaw puzzle pieces that told the story of the way Harry lived, survived to live again, a story that created a gentleman whose character is deeply impressed on all who met him, and who knew him.

Stuart Urban is a film director. The camera has been an extension to his hand ever since he was a young boy, his debut happening when he was 13, at the Cannes Film Festival, with a short film: The Virus of War (1972).
History intrigues Stuart: he went on to study it at Oxford, and many of his films and documentaries develop around what I wish to call “present history” rather than “current affairs” – the events of the past whose effects are still felt today, and even, whose results we are, directly, or indirectly.

Harry Urban spoke many languages, walked many paths, and loved many people. He was an imposing yet warm figure. Harry had time and attention for everybody, a laugh that shook a persons heart, and a voice that melted ice when he’d sing “Podmoskovnye Vechera.”
His story is full of colour, secrets, bridges burned, and bridges rebuilt – which Stuart captured in this search for his own “present history” – resulting in the documentary film named after Harry’s autobiographical book:
Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead (2007)
(click from our links to go directly to the website, which contains more fascinating information and stories!)

The Italian premiere will be screened on the 8th of June, at Biografilm, Bologna.

The Editorial team of ArtSEEN journal wishes Stuart all the best in this and other premiers and international competitions!
Because the streets we walk on, remind us of what has been, for us to be.