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.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


So who said clichés were "only" clichés?
I mean, the Swiss cows and all the rest?
Like, it’s a cliché because there are no Swiss cows around?
Just drive in "Oberzürich" (Zürich Oberland), and you’ll see eye to eye with the famous “clichés” – one of the sweetest ever!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

ArtSEEN Anniversary

ArtSEEN journal issue 1 spring '06 is presented at Plasma in Florence, 13th April 2006

Today is ArtSEEN journal official one year anniversary! We presented our issue 1, Spring '06, on the 13th April last year in Florence with a champagne party!
This year, we upgraded our website to welcome ArtSEEN journal, issue 5, Spring '07, now in bookshops!

Many thanks and congratulations to all our artists and collaborators!
(Next year we'll do a cheerleading dance... it's already in the planning!)