A huge thank you to everyone for making Venice such a huge success. Each day over 28 days we were proud to deliver first rate art. Each video, performance or installation by each of our BIG BANG artists was spectacular, click here to see images. In addition we screened over 200 art films on loops on three monitors - so each art film was screened approximately 140 times over the 28 days, click here to see photos of some of the filmers who came from all around the world.
Thank you to all of you! Thank you too if you were one of the many who came and joined us out there. We had fun didn’t we! Please send me all your photos, videos etc as we are documenting the entire adventure on our website.
Come to our celebration this Sunday 23rd June at the Lookout, Aldeburgh! 12- 3 drinks and eats. Fresh from Venice is the first UK screening of Eileen Haring Woods film ALIVE in Venice. Plus re-screening of one minute films- come and see yours.
Thank you to Fishers Gin for sponsoring the ALIVE in the UNIVERSE drinks receptions. Click here to see images.
June 4th 2019
For the last day of Alive in the Universe Sophie Molins’ film and performance revolve around a wedding dress sent into space.
Space, The Heavens; leaving, ascending, resurrecting, orbiting, disembodied in uninterrupted sunlight, free from the weight of gravity and of earthly things- an old wedding dress moves nearer to eternity giving new perspectives.
June 4th 2019
mmmmmfilms is an on going collaboration between the artists Adrian Fisher, Luna Montenegro and Ginés Olivares.
They will show two single channel video works followed by a live performance.
June 3rd 2019
Game Over by David Baldry is what I imagine will be on the screen at the moment of death. ‘Ride of Life’ eludes to the fantastic journey through the highways and byways of our time spent on this planet. The twists and turns, the ups and downs that we encounter as humans. Unavoidably we move forward in time into an unknown and unfolding, rollercoaster landscape. We ride thinking we are in control but are we and do we want to be? The meter is running down little by little. Have we remembered the past as it was or as it might be? As Hunter S. Thompson says, “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
June 2nd 2019
Il Giardino by Shaun Caton, takes inspiration, in part, from post Renaissance Italian garden design and incorporates a fascination with grotesque statuary, created within a paper and card grotto in the Palazzo Pesaro Papafava. Using grotesque masks and color shadow play, live and pre-recorded sound, and the display of highly unusual objects - such as a real 2000 year old Roman artifact - the performance is deeply immersive. A secret garden of luminous transformation and wonder materialises and disappears again, back into the shadows of the ancient palazzo.
June 1 2019
Today’s theme is LOSS
Loss by Jane Watt is a two screen video work: Two swans swim back and forth in a duet across the water. Their eggs, cast jesmonite in a reed nest, lie to one side on the cold Palazzo floor.
Loss was originally filmed and exhibited during the Landscape and Light residency at Letheringham Lodge, a moated medieval hunting lodge in Suffolk. The film captures the melancholic repetitive movement of the resident couple of swans. The eggs are physically removed from the birds, the detached arrangement of cold eggs on the floor accentuating their loss.
MAY 31 2019 Claire Burnett In Hope
“This installation alludes to the safe spaces we create to protect ourselves from physical, political and personal misfortune ‘In Hope’ is a monument to those who leave their homes in hope of a better life. It is a recognition of human ingenuity and bravery, a note about those both accepted and turned away from Italy and Britain and a question about how little we need to survive. “
May 30 2019 Susan Brinkhurst Toil
“and the shroud was started with a steady rhythm, back and forth - never ending, or so it seemed. The incessant toil known instinctively and understood by women whose strands must to be kept orderly lest they unravel and escape. Back and forth. Back and forth. Again and again the generations follow as each shroud is completed with the knowledge of common threads. She moved once more across the room.
‘did you know’, she asked the boy , ‘that ants sleep standing up?’”
The work is a Hymn of celebration for womanhood.
Since ancient times their instinctive wisdom has nurtured each new generation - passing on culture, sagacity and the poetry of life. This is achieved through a never ceasing toil. Like ants who are continually exchanging information as they move back and forth we build a rhythm that takes us through life. The shroud is a preparation for death in the joyous knowledge that new generations go forward.
May 29 2019 Ermias Kifleyesus Calling old Masters 2019
“My work is about investigating connections, transience, meaning, differences and similarities between time and place. These telephone booths are also connected to Internet, video games and fax machines. They are charged with the importance of connection to anywhere and everywhere in the world. The cabin marks are akin to cave paintings, evidence of fact and fiction, conscious and unconscious scribbles, numbers, codes, needs and dreams, each mark is a fragment of recorded life.”
Tuesday May 28 12noon - 18.00
Eileen Haring Woods, I LOOK TO YOU a 16min 2 screen video work. First showing
I LOOK TO YOU considers how we recognise trust in this unprecedented time of distrust. This contemplative piece asks the viewer to engage with and respond to the eyes and expressions of strangers, with a sound track that invokes ceremony and meditation. The loop is punctuated by a short moving image montage / homage to sight and vision and communications. The music for this element is a recording by Eileen’s grand father, Bob Haring and his Orchestra, with an underscoring of Morse Code translation of I Look to You.
Tuesday May 28 10.00 - 12noon
Judy Goldhill and Steven Fogel present Raki’a, a 5min 2 screen video work
“A film of visual poetry conjuring vast, dark and starry forces across the dimensions and fields of deep space invites meditation on the vestiges of the sublime found in the local, solar and electromagnetic landscapes amongst which we live.” Material has been gathered from Goldhill’s artist residencies in the observatories of Arizona, Chile, Hawaii and University College London, juxtaposed with the prosaic objects of the everyday. The accompanying sound was commissioned from George Curtis and Stray with additional input from the filmmakers.
Sunday May 27th 2019
Regine Bartsch presents As It Is .
10.00 - 18.00 Single screen video work and performance. Last performance 17.00
Despite ‘everything that exists containing the information of everything else that exists’, we perceive ourselves separate from each other, conditioned by cultural, ethical and educational patterning.
I therefore contemplate the perpetual dance of individual, relative consciousness within the limitless absolute reality through the medium of film, sound, three large scale drawings and a twelve minute performance.
Saturday May 25th 2019
Kate Davis & David Moore presents A Day in the Life of a City
Central to all our work is a sense of the physical body and events at the edge of consciousness that speak of those moments before and beyond language, and deal with primordial or transformed states of being. Most works are made in response to a specific location or to a particular personal event to pay testament to human experience drawing on philosophical concepts and emotional responses through a formalised, invented language.
Friday May 24th 2019
Adam Riches presents his new 2 screen video entitled Faces of Conflict.
The work will explore the human cost of war that can often be lost behind desensitising figures and statistics. Through drawing, I intend to covey the human tragedy that is an inventible part of armed conflict. The drawings that I make are often quite physical and require periods of intense concentration. The work for ‘Alive in the Universe’ is a video documentation of this process.
Adam Riches is an emerging British painter and draughtsman. Primarily monochromatic, his characteristically stylised portraits and figurative works are sensitive responses to the human condition, ranging from furious expressive moments to poignant, melancholy reflections.
In pen on paper and oils, Riches’ searing explorations of the human psyche delve into the effect of current social and political issues upon the individual and the way in which people behave towards one another.
On show for one day only!!
Thursday May 23th 2019
Red + Amber Blue – Green by Kate Bright
10.00 - 18.00 Premier of one screen video work
In January staying in Bundanon NSW as part of the artists residency programme I found myself overwhelmed by the vast power of the environment. Maybe I was intimidated by the surroundings but the work I was making didn’t reflect how I was feeling.
My walk to the river punctuated the day, a relief from the studio and the heat as at the time Australia saw an extreme heatwave across the country with the hottest December on record. A number of Blue-Green Algae warnings were issued in New South Wales culminating in two severe fish kills. The management of river system has become politically fraught, the evidence of our presence is irrefutable.
This film was a more sincere reflection of my response to the place I found myself. Interested in an articulation of the landscape relaying our slipping grasp on the natural, land as sacred, playground, resource, or balm my work hints at our use and abuse of the natural and our limited understanding of its systems. www.katebright.net
May 22 2019
Today’s theme is BREATHE
Breath Control: At the point of perforation, installation, 2019 by Caroline Wright
Breathe in… and out… and… don’t… stop.
The inhalations and exhalations of our breath form the melody, rhythm and punctuation of our everyday existence. Although breathing is universal, it is personal. It is a sustaining action that can be both conscious and subconscious, completely taken for granted and the sole focus of life itself.
At the point of perforation is an installation that takes the edges of breath and their fragile balance at its core. Exploring our vocal and bodily limitations, the work explores the reciprocal pressures and the imperfect borders of breathing.
MAY 20 2019
Today’s theme is PROCREATION
Adam and Eve by Lol Sargent
A man and a woman appear at each end of the space and stand motionless not understanding why they are there as they contemplate each other’s form.
Slowly they walk toward each other. The woman holds something which she offers to the man whilst they momentarily merge into one another. Then they slowly walk away from each other, neither understanding what they have just done...
This work is a contemporary moving portrait based on the mythical story of Adam and Eve - the eternal and logical coupling which keeps us Alive in the Universe.
May 19 2019
Today’s theme is DARK/LIGHT
Suffolk based artist Bill Jackson has collaborated with poet Tamar Yoseloff to create Dark/Light, The Venetian Mirror, a two screen video work premiering at the Venice Biennale.
As space expanded, the universe cooled and matter formed. One second after the Big Bang, the universe was filled with neutrons, protons, electrons, anti-electrons, photons and neutrinos.
Saturday May 18 Today’s theme is TIME
Andrew Hewish, Omphalos Two screen video work
Symposium on Time; Caroline Wiseman and Prof. David Berman
May 17 2019
Today’s theme is WORD with work by Nigel Hall RA and Caroline Gay Way
Dancing Light, Caroline Gay Way
Dancing Light — a Light Occurrence that is otherworldly and strange. It takes the viewer through the artist's raw response as it happened within the body of her sight-specific Amazing Maze artwork. The video continues through various phases of soundscape visual response. Morphing into a video fusion of Light Seeds and performance art - featuring 4 year old Venice Perincek Way who for a few moments, becomes the human embodiment of Dancing Light
Here and Now, Nigel Hall RA
Here and Now is a 4min 11sec animated video work created by Hall in 2016. Hall is one of Britain’s most distinguished sculptors. His works, principally made of polished wood or steel, are concerned with three dimensional space, mass and line. His abstract drawings and geometric sculptures give as much prominence to voids and shadows as to the solidity of material and each work changes with light and viewpoint reflecting the landscapes that inspired them.
May 16 209 . Today’s theme is LOVE
Andrei Costache is our featured artist for today, with his inflatable sculpture, Ménage a Trois filling the space in the Palazzo Pesaro Papafava. Andrei writes, ‘I tried to make a work that is as complex as love is when you are in love. It can be a volatile octopus, soft, gregarious and complex. It can wrap you up in its tentacles taking your breath away, like jealousy.’ About being in Venice and Alive in the Universe, Andrei says ‘It’s a feeling of love at first site’.
Today’s theme is TECHNOLOGY and Matthew Darbyshire’s contribution to ALIVE IN THE UNIVERSE is a music video he made in homage to the 1917 Igor Stravinsky symphonic poem Le Chant du Rossignol. It is made up of various scenes taken from sixteen existing mainstream feature films including AI, Blade Runner, Stepford Wives and Stomp the Yard.
May 11 2019
Alive in the Universe at the Venice Biennale premieres new work by Sarah Lucas and Julian Simmons.
British artists Sarah Lucas and Julian Simmons have created a new video work being shown for the first time at Alive in the Universe at the Venice BIennale. This 2 screen work is showing for one day only on Saturday May 11 at Palazzo Pesaro Papavafa.
Lucas writes: “I’ve always had eggs in my work. It started with TWO FRIED EGGS AND A KEBAB back in the early nineties, which was the piece of work that launched me on the world. Since then I’ve tried to keep an egg in things, in most exhibitions. Now this - a women’s egg throwing event, which I’ve done twice before, once in Berlin and once in Mexico. For women as I like to do things for women, because eggs are relevant to women …and they are finite. They are not like sperm, you can’t just endlessly wank and spurt them everywhere. So it’s kind of about futility, not just women’s futility, futility in the world.”
May 10 2019
Alive in the Universe at the Venice Biennale presents LIFE OF WATER, a one day encounter in honour of water.
Curated by Miche Fabre Lewin and Flora Gathone-Hardy of Touchstones, LIFE OF WATER is a one-day convivial performative installation that honours the City of Venice. In collaboration with farmers, glass-makers, chefs, activist-researchers and winemakers we offer a taste of the artisan through water, salt and soil.
Through the day visitors will experience tasting, performance, conversations, rituals, films and soundscapes. And, have the opportunity to meet artists, environmentalists and scientists all devoted to the precious element of water.‘As part of our research residency in Venice, we encountered people who are passionate about the city’s diverse cultures of artisan living, and who are campaigning to protect the delicate ecology of Venice, its hinterland of food gardens and the wider salt marshes of the lagoon.
As ‘amici d'acqua’ caring for the life of water, we are all working in ways that respect the essential interconnections between nature and culture. Through convivial and contemplative rituals, LIFE OF WATER is a tribute to the artful, spiritual and political dimensions of ecological living.’
Visitors included Sir Norman Rosenthal, the Earl and Countess of Cranbrook and Clive Adams; CCNW.
May 9 2019
Charlotte Jarvis Corpus - In Posse
Artist Charlotte Jarvis presents female sperm as art at Venice Biennale.
For one day only, May 9th, Alive in the Universe at the Venice Biennale presents the world premiere of a film and installation work by UK artist Charlotte Jarvis, entitled Corpus: In Posse. This daring work is a collaboration between Jarvis and Professor Susanna Chuva de Sousal Lopes in Leiden and Kapelica Gallery / Kersnikova Institute ib Ljubljana.
Together they are attempting to make semen from Jarvis's (female) cells.
The show includes two new films, a display of seminal plasma which was created on May 7th and a representation of an ancient Greek festival of Thesmophoria.
Charlotte Jarvis is discussing the work today at 2pm, followed by a workshop to further the understanding of the potential of this unique art and science collaboration.
May 8 2019
Acclaimed Syrian artist Issam Kourbaj and poet Ruth Padel open the month long Alive in the Universe show at the Venice Biennale today with a work called Dark Water, Burning World.
Kourbaj’s installation in response to the ongoing Syrian tragedy is in several parts: a live performance Life On Hold, a moving-image performance Strike, and two artwork and Siege and Dark Water, Burning World - 98 boats made from recycled bicycle mudguards, packed with upright burnt matches. British poet Ruth Padel and Italian translator Paola Splendore will read, in English and Italian, Ruth’s poem for Dark Water Burning World, written in collaboration with Kourbaj, in response to her visit to Lesbos, September 2016. Kourbaj’s piece, with lines from Padel’s poem, was the final piece in the British Museum’s 2017 major exhibition Living with Gods.
Stike by Issam Kourbaj
Strike by Issam Kourbaj
Reading by poet Ruth Padel
A statement from Sarah Lucas and Julian Simmons about their brand new work being shown as part of ALIVE in the UNIVERSE, Venice Biennale on Saturday 11th May
A beautiful day very early in the new year, this year that is. On Christmas Eve I procured seven hundred and fifty eggs from a couple of local suppliers. One each for me and Julian for every day and a few left over for visitors. A year’s worth.
Both of these egg merchants had stalls on the street with honesty boxes. On the last visit to one of them, prior to the swoop, we discovered that a revolution had taken place. An Egg Vending Machine had been installed, not on the street but deep within the interior of the farm. An American style stainless steel affair with glass windowed compartments, numbered. Shit, how are we ever going to come up with that amount of change in the requisite denominations?
Christmas morning, a beautiful bright one and we’re planning a traditional egg dance for the film. The three of us saunter out of the garden, down the bridleway and into the meadow, carrying eggs. We walk through two fields, cross a road, which is also a bridge over a beck, and continue through another meadow on the other side. Another fields worth elapses. We’re deep in dingle by now, and we come to another bridge across the beck, a flat one this time, without sides. It’s for tractors. There are none about. All this while, in the long grass, Julian has been wondering how the hell anyone’s ever going to spot the eggs in the long grass. It’s a damp frosty morning and all about is slippery.
A few weeks before this Julian turned up, on the web, some footage of an egg dance. The dancers, two men wearing blindfolds, dance up and down in the street among a grid of eggs, laid out at two and a half feet intervals. They are Morris Dancers. They skilfully and narrowly avoid the eggs. At one point one of them kicks an egg. It rolls away but doesn’t break. This is traditional, by which I mean it always occurs in the dance. We checked.
A statement from Maggi Hambling about her installation as part of ALIVE in the UNIVERSE, Venice Biennale on Friday 24th May :
“Thomas Mann’s story: Death in Venice inspired Benjamin Britten’s opera. Britten’s masterpiece: War Requiem inspired my installation.
ALIVE in the UNIVERSE provides a space where interactions and conversations between the arts may flourish and nowhere is richer than Venice for this to happen”
Saturday 20th April - 1 minute art films to be screened at The Lookout.
ISSUE 009 Sring 2019
Photograph: James Balston/Observer