Domenico Gnoli

“I never actively mediate against the object, I experience the magic of its presence”

As one enters the exhibit – the soft stumps of the shoes break the silence – the first instinct is to graze the fingers over the relics of Domenico Gnoli, to violate the laws Fondazione Prada upholds just to caress the paintings on display and test their hyperrealism. As the sensation passes, a new emotion washes over: the awareness of stepping into someone’s home and looking into their private lives, becoming an insider and an outsider at the same time. The artist may not have intended to cause such an emotion, but there it is in its youthful peak. From the shadow clothing over the fabrics and wave-like curls of the hair to the figures sleeping under the sheets, Domenico Gnoli mastered narrating the everyday life everyone tries to hide.

Fondazione Prada presents the exhibition “Domenico Gnoli” in Milan from 28 October 2021 to 27 February 2022. This retrospective forms part of the series of exhibitions that Fondazione Prada has dedicated to artists – such as Edward Kienholz, Leon Golub, and William Copley – whose practice developed along paths and interests that took a different direction from the main artistic trends of the second half of the 20th century. The exhibit marks an exploration of Gnoli’s practice within a discourse free from labels and documenting the international cultural scene of his time, all while understanding his art’s contemporary visual relevance and recognizing the inspiration he drew from the Renaissance to illustrate the value of his works. 

Conceived by Germano Celant, the exhibition brings together over 100 works produced by the artist between 1949 and 1969 and will be complemented by as many drawings. A chronological and documentary section featuring materials, photographs, and other items will retrace the biography and artistic career of Domenico Gnoli (Rome, 1933 – New York, 1970) more than fifty years after his death. The project has been realized in collaboration with the artist’s Archives in Rome and Mallorca, which preserve Gnoli’s personal and professional heritage.

A homeowner touring a sojourner in his abode encompasses the arrangement of Gnoli’s artworks at Fondazione Prada. The yellow seat covers form uniform patterns, so freshly washed and pressed for an elegant dinner party that Santiago Martin-El Viti – based on Gnoli’s portrait of him sitting in one of the sofas – would attend. A beige shirt soon appears on a yellow tablecloth with silhouettes of flora in green, the creases and folds of the shirt visible even without scrutinizing the painting. From the living room, Gnoli heads towards the bathroom where an empty bathtub awaits next to a branch of a cactus that adorns the minimalistic interior.

Author: Domenico Gnoli (1933-1970) Title: APPLE Date: 1968, signed and dated on the reverse Dimensions: 117 x 158 cm Medium: Acrylic and sand on canvas Inscriptions: on the reverse inscribed by Domenico Gnoli: D. Gnoli 1968 ” apple ” (1,60 x 1,20) Inv. Fundación Yannick y Ben Jakober no.51 Fundación Yannick y Ben Jakober

“Many things have changed for me: I finally feel I have shrugged off many constraints and prejudices,” Gnoli wrote in 1963 and a letter to his mother. “I paint as I feel without worrying about the current culture and my responsibilities towards it and I intend to live the same way: free and faithful only to the truth that I feel now. Life begins now; up to this moment I have been apprehensive of too many things: school, friends, modern painting, socialism, marriage, culture, maturity, responsibility. I have painted a whole load of imaginary characters: a large woman reading the newspaper, a gentleman peeing against a tree, an office worker, a poetic waiter with blue lips, and then numerous portraits, but with a difference: instead of people seen from the front, they are seen from behind. Because, I thought to myself, mountains are painted from every side and so are houses, flowers, animals, trees: everything. Men and women are not, however. They are the exceptions and are only painted frontally, in three-quarter profile or from the side. Why?”

Down the hall, guests find the elevator that will take them up to the private spaces of Gnoli’s home. As the doors open and the bell dings, they stumble upon the guestrooms where intoxicated guests may sink into one of the well-made beds. All the beds are available except the ones where Gnoli and a woman sleep. In a couple of his paintings, they break up and make up in a span of two canvases, implied by the joined and separated figures under the sheets that Gnoli’s art style highlighted. 

Author: Domenico Gnoli (1933-1970) Title: CURL Title during the exhibition at the Sidney Janis Gallery, even though it does not appear on the catalogue this painting was exhibited Date: 1969, painted in s’Estaca, Majorca, October 1969, last paining painted by D.G. Dimensions: 139 x 120 cm Medium: Acrylic and sand on canvas Inv. Foundation C. no. p23 Courtesy Fundación Yannick y Ben Jakober

From the exhibit’s text: “For many years Gnoli’s work was interpreted in relation to the forms of realism that arose in stark contrast to the abstract and conceptual currents of the 20th century. Gnoli was viewed as a pop or hyperrealist artist by contemporary critics, who nevertheless recognized the peculiarity of his poetic imagery and artistic production. Over the following years, art critics drove their attention to those paintings made from 1964, characterized by a photographic cut and a specific interest in the human figure and objects, acknowledging the inspiration that he drew from the Renaissance or underscoring his ability to create paintings capable of creating a dialogue with the observer.”

The connection between Gnoli and the viewers sizzles, the manifestation of the intended dialogue. From one alley to another, the transition in storytelling simmers in the next paintings. The house party is about to begin. The noise of the invited crowd on the ground floor filters through the master bedroom where Gnoli and the woman deck up. The private and public lives start to blur the more the viewers wander around to gaze at Gnoli’s paintings.

On his canvases, the selection of hairstyles – neck-length, braided, and curled – comes first before choosing the shoes to wear for the party – flats or heels, leather or synthetic. Next up, Gnoli’s artworks zoom into the details of the clothing to don: the folds of the shirts’ collars, the pearl buttons of the dresses, and the zippers of jackets. Almost ready, the artworks display a necktie and a bowtie, both in stripes, and an ironed suit with a pocket square. Gnoli and the woman close their bedroom door and head for the elevator, a huff to expel the breath of excitement and agitation before inquiring “Ready?”

In 1965, Gnoli expressed how he had always embodied his art practice, but it did not attract attention due to the abstraction’s moment. “I have never even wanted to deform: I isolate and represent. My themes come from the world around me, familiar situations, everyday life; because I never actively mediate against the object, I experience the magic of its presence,” he commented. Only then, thanks to Pop Art, that his paintings became comprehensible, the employment of simple, given elements that he neither amplified nor reduced. 

Three years later, the artist deemed his system as a vehicle of showing two scenarios in one space. “You begin looking at things, and they look just fine, as normal as ever; but then you look for a while longer and your feelings get involved and they begin changing things for you and they go on and on until you don’t see the house any longer, you only see them, I mean your feelings,” he penned. “For instance, take some of these modern pictures where nobody can tell what’s what; they are a mess because they only represent the feelings rumbling about without giving you any idea of why it happened.” At Fondazione Prada, Domenico Gnoli welcomes the viewers into his home and hands them an invitation to reminisce the legacies he left.

Anicka Yi

“If I had to guess I would say I was smelling the Machine Age, but honestly it was hard to tell”

I decided to binge Foundation recently, the Apple Original series based on Issac Asimov’s famous sci-fi novels. It’s a fantastic piece of television but in it there are a few throwaway lines that mention ‘the robot wars’. The series is set millennia in the future, long after humans have populated the galaxy, but that simple phrase sets the imagination whirring.

Quite often when scrolling social media you come across videos of robots that scientists are working on, some humanoid, some not. However one thing is constant, and that is somewhere in the comments people are joking that these robots will one day turn on us, and ‘the robot wars’ will become reality. This sentiment is unsurprising, especially from a generation brought up on media such as Black Mirror. But what if they didn’t turn on us? What if the ‘robots’ or the ‘machines’ become part of the ecosystem, benign artificial beings that live in the wild and evolve on their own?

Anicka Yi’s installation in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall explores such a possibility. As you enter the space you spot them, flying high above the crowds of visitors, like strange sea creatures with gently waving tentacles and whirring propellers. They come in a variety of pinks and yellows and some are transparent. Yi calls them aerobes, and in addition to sea creatures draws inspiration from mushrooms. The hairy, bulbous aerobes are called planulae, whilst the ones with tentacles are called xenojellies. “Combining forms of aquatic and terrestrial life, Yi’s aerobes signal new possibilities of hybrid machine species.”

Yi collaborates with a team of specialists using artificial intelligence to pilot these aerobes, and they all follow unique flight paths generated by ‘a vast range of options in the systems software’. The machines use electronic sensors placed in various locations around Turbine Hall as a stand-in for their senses and react to changes in their environment inducing visitors heat signatures. “This sensory information affects their individual and group movements, meaning they will behave differently each time you encounter them.”

Another thing you might notice upon entering the Turbine Hall is the smell. When I visited it smelled swampy, almost like a peat bog mixed with the smell of petrol and metal. This is intentional, another part of Yi’s instillation are smellscapes. Based on different times in history these smellscapes change from week to week. There are marine scents from the Precambrian period, coal and ozone from the Machine Age of the 20th century, vegetation from the Cretaceous period, or spices that were used during the Black Death plague of the 14th century. If I had to guess I would say I was smelling the Machine Age, but honestly it was hard to tell.

Overall the exhibition does feel a little sparse. The Turbine Hall is a huge space and it feels like the number of aerobes in comparison are rather small. One feels that in the world that Yi is visualising that these aerobes come in great swarms that fill the skies like flocks of sparrows. Reality is a little different, understandably but the concept remains and upon leaving the space you find yourself wondering what the world would be like if it was populated by herds of roaming robots or packs of floating synthetic aerobes.


Images · ANICKA YI
Info ·


  1. Anicka Yi, In Love With the World, Hyundai Commission, Tate Modern
  2. Anicka Yi, In Love With the World, Hyundai Commission, Tate Modern
  3. Anicka Yi, In Love With the World, Hyundai Commission, Tate Modern
  4. Anicka Yi, In Love With the World, Hyundai Commission, Tate Modern

Yoko Ono

Mend Piece for London at The Whitechapel Gallery

It’s that time of year when, regardless of what you are wearing, you will always end up a little bit sweaty with cold fingers. Arriving thus at the Whitechapel Gallery, I made my way upstairs to Yoko Ono’s MEND PIECE, shedding hand sanitiser and various masks stuffed into pockets that have yet to be transferred to the laundry basket.

Upon entering the gallery in which this particular exhibition is held I find myself instantly transported back to childhood visits to the only museum and gallery in my hometown. Back then one would often be plonked down at tables handed a pair of scissors and told to ‘get making.’ Back in the present, I can see piles of white pottery littering to two waist-high tables (also white) and scattered alongside them are scissors, string and sellotape.

I know an arts and crafts situation when I see one! Although here the emphasis is on art, more specifically fine art. Yoko Ono first created this piece in the sixties and it has been shown around the world many times since. Mending Piece 1, from which this current work originates, first appeared in 1966 at the artists first solo show at Indica Gallery in St James’s. Legend has it this was where she first met her husband, John Lennon.

On the wall is the simple instruction, “Mend carefully. / Think of mending the world at the same time.” Well, perhaps simple is the wrong word here, the last line certainly requires some deep thought. Evidence of other visitors ‘ careful mending’ is already crammed onto the white shelves which line the white walls.

In the sixties, Ono’s aim was to create art that wasn’t designed to be bought and sold but instead to create works that required “concepts, ideas and instructions.” Kintsugi, the Japanese technique of mending broken pottery with gold lacquer, also played a major role in a large number of her works. The process was designed to highlight the broken parts, thus celebrating its imperfections and has been in use for centuries.

Nothing so ornate or beautiful is going to be created today, certainly not by me that’s for sure. I reach for my tools, sellotape seems like a good option, and then I carefully select my bits of broken pottery. Fingers are still cold so there’s a lot of fumbling. Did I mend it carefully? Perhaps not by Ono’s standard, I’ve always had a habit of going a bit wild when sellotape is involved (no one can ever get into presents if I’m wrapping them), however when I’m done I feel rather proud of my humble creation. I pop it on the top shelf where there’s still some space left. Has the world been mended? Well, that remains to be seen.


Yoko Ono: MEND PIECE for London at the Whitechapel Gallery is open from the 25th of August 2021 to the 2nd of January 2022. For more information visit


  1. Yoko Ono Mend Piece 1966/2018 You and I, A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa Photo by: Kyle Morland
  2. Indica Gallery, 6 Mason’s Yard (off Duke Street), St James’s, London, England – Yoko Ono setting up for her first European show. November 1966 Graham Keen / TopFoto
  3. Indica Gallery, 6 Mason’s Yard (off Duke Street), St James’s, London, England – Yoko Ono setting up for her first European show. November 1966 Graham Keen / TopFoto


“We human beings have emotions and we also have something we can’t explain with words – it’s cool, it’s beautiful and it’s fun”

Brightly coloured flora paints itself across the heads of gallery visitors while children, and sometimes adults, chase otherworldly fauna as they dance across the walls of the space. You might walk into one room and find yourself knee-deep in water, projections of vibrant carp swimming around your legs. Walk into another and you are surrounded by green lily pads, some as tall as your head. One thing for sure is nothing is ever the same, and you never quite know what you can expect to find in each room, in each exhibition.

Make no mistake, while teamLab was first formed in Japan in 2001 by Toshiyuki Inoko and a group of his friends, it is now an international art collective made up of “an interdisciplinary group of various specialists such as artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians and architects whose collaborative practice seeks to navigate the confluence of art, science, technology, and the natural world.”

Transcending boundaries is a key concept for teamLab as it states that “in order to understand the world around them, people separate it into independent entities with perceived boundaries between them.” Digital technology allows people to express themselves creatively in a way that is free from physical constraint and the boundary between the viewer and artwork can become blurred. NR Magazine joined teamLab in conversation.

Do you consider teamLab’s work as a form of therapy and a way for visitors to navigate the collective trauma of living in a post-capitalist society that imposes a number of boundaries on us?

A: We are not sure what our output is classified as – we only seek to create what we believe in, regardless of the genre it turns out to be.

Art is something we can’t explain with words and history will decide whether our output qualifies as art. If we can change people’s minds, then it’s art. Art raises questions and design provides answers. We human beings have emotions and we also have something we can’t explain with words – it’s cool, it’s beautiful and it’s fun. What our exhibitions do is underpin the impossibility to “have.” None of our visitors can own the artworks: they can’t “have” but they can “be” (following Shakespeare’s immortal quote, “To be or not to be”). Today’s society drives us to “have” which imposes limits and division. This simple structure of capitalism binds us, but the internet and the digital world beyond have no limitations. At the same time, you don’t technically own anything on Google or Facebook, but you are part of the community. Therefore, you can’t “have” but you can “be.” Our artwork is shared the same way. We wanted to make something that will reach people’s hearts.

teamLab encourages visitors to interact with the artworks and capture their experiences for social media. However, do you think there is a danger of people focusing too much on getting the ‘perfect shot’ and not truly experiencing the work?

A: We don’t “encourage” people to use social media.

But at the same time, we think that the act of expressing oneself is not a bad thing.

Shooting photos or videos and even sharing those with people all over the world is also one mode of self expression, right?

It is a natural human desire to share emotions or something that is moving and inspiring. However, the “experience” cannot be cut out.

Through smartphones or TVs, people can understand only with their heads. Knowledge may be gained, but the sense of values and perceptions cannot be changed or broadened. Only through the actual, physical experience of the world or artworks, people can start to recognise things differently. Even if people look at teamLab’s works on Instagram, their values will not be broadened.

teamLab wants to continue creating experiences that cannot be shared with just photos or videos.

Our interest is not the technology itself, but instead, we’re trying to explore the concept of “digital” and how it can enhance art.

Most of the Silicon Valley-originated technology is an extension of someone’s mind. Facebook, Twitter, these digital domains see the “self” as the principle. These are meant to be used personally.

What teamLab wants to do is to enhance the physical space itself using art. It doesn’t necessarily have to be yourself that intervenes with it. It can be other people or a group of people that vaguely includes you. And instead of a personal use, we want to make it usable by multiple people.

By digitising the space, we can indirectly change the relationships between people inside. If the presence of others can trigger the space to change, they’d become a part of the artwork. And if that change is beautiful, the presence of others can be something beautiful as well. By connecting digital technology and art, we think the presence of others can be made more positive.

How has the pandemic affected the collective and has it changed how teamLab approaches exhibiting art?

A: Right now, we are isolated due to our fear of the virus. But in order to overcome that, whether you are in lockdown or not, we hope to encourage you to realise that there never are and never were boundaries, that we are connected to the world just by existing in it, and that we don’t have to try to connect with others by rejecting them.

The fact that we can connect with each other, regardless of where we live or anything else, is a message that affirms human existence from the ground up. We would be happy if humans could accidentally connect with others and derive positive value from that.

Humanity has faced many problems over its history, but we do not believe that these problems have ever been solved by division.

The birth of civilised nations and the spread of infectious diseases were both the result of globalisation and the loss of world boundaries, but humanity has solved this problem not by dividing people, but by working together to develop drugs and vaccines, advance medical technology, and improve sanitation.

We believe that people need to remember the benefits of history and science because if we only look superficially at the immediate events of the current coronavirus pandemic, we promote emotional division.

Art and culture have expanded humanity’s “standards of beauty.” Art presents a new standard of beauty that has changed the way people see the world and, to put it plainly, has allowed them to see flowers as beautiful. teamLab’s artworks are also designed to help people experience the beauty of a world without boundaries and the beauty of anti-division.

Humans are driven by beauty. Corporate organisations seem to be driven by logic and language, but when we look at individuals, they often determine their actions based on their sense of beauty. For example, a person’s choice of a profession is heavily influenced by aesthetics, not rationality. The way in which “standards of beauty” are applied changes a person.

Everything in the world is built on a borderless, interconnected continuity. We believe that human beings should be celebrated for being connected to others and to the world and that experiencing a “world without boundaries” can change our values and behaviours and help us to move humanity in a positive direction.

This is a fundamental affirmation of human life.

We have created an artwork that allows people to experience being connected to others and the world, even in the comfort of their homes. Flowers Bombing Home is an artwork that transforms the television in your home into an artwork. The novel coronavirus has forced the world to become more isolated, causing people to become confined to their homes. This project was created to help us realise that our existence is connected to the world and to celebrate the fact that the world is connected.

However, as we mentioned, we believe that our art is meant to be experienced in person in a shared, physical space. So as the world opens up again, we are excited to welcome visitors back into our exhibitions, where they can explore the continuity of life and time.

Are there any new technologies that teamLab is particularly excited about and is planning on incorporating into the artwork?

A: Technology is just a tool, like paint.

Although it’s a tool, it does greatly affect the creation, just like how the Western landscape painting developed because it became possible to bring paints outdoors.

What really makes teamLab unique is not the technological advancement, but rather the fact that teamLab has become able to do truly massive art projects simultaneously worldwide in-house at a high speed – to the extent that no one has been able to do before.

We could say that technology is the core of our work, but it is not the most important part. It is still just a material or a tool for creating art.

We have been creating art using digital technology since the year 2001 with the aim of changing people’s values and contributing to societal progress. Although we initially had no idea where we could exhibit our art or how we could support the team financially, we also strongly believed in and were genuinely interested in the power of digital technology and creativity. We wanted to keep creating new things regardless of genre limitations, and we did.

Digital technology allows artistic expression to be released from the material world, gaining the ability to change form freely. The environments where viewers and artworks are placed together allow us to decide how to express those changes.

In art installations with the viewers on one side and interactive artworks on the other, the artworks themselves undergo changes caused by the presence and behaviour of the viewers. This has the effect of blurring the boundary lines between the two sides. The viewers actually become part of the artworks themselves. The relationship between the artwork and the individual then becomes a relationship between the artwork and the group. Whether or not another viewer was present within that space five minutes before, or the particular behaviour exhibited by the person next to you, suddenly becomes an element of great importance. At the very least, compared to traditional art viewing, people will become more aware of those around them. Art now has the ability to influence the relationship between the people standing in front of the artworks.

You have created an interactive at-home art installation, that people can access around the world, can you tell us more about that work?

A: The novel coronavirus has forced the world to become more isolated, causing people to become confined to their homes. This project was created to help us realise that our existence is connected to the world and to celebrate the fact that the world is connected.

The television in your home becomes art. Watch at home, participate at home, and connect with the world. People from around the world draw flowers, creating a single artwork that blooms in homes around the world.

Draw a flower on a piece of paper, your smartphone, or computer, and upload it. The flowers you draw and the flowers drawn by others bloom and scatter in real time on the YouTube Live Stream. If you connect your home television to YouTube, your television turns into art. As the petals scatter, the various flowers form a single new artwork together.

When a new flower is born, the name of the town where the flower was drawn is shown.

You can also download Your Flower Art, which combines the flowers you draw with those drawn by people around the world.

The flowers that people draw around the world will bloom until the end of the coronavirus. When the coronavirus ends, they will bloom and scatter all at once in various places all over the world. And, in the future, perhaps the flowers will continue to bloom forever as an artwork for people to remember this era.

It is stated that teamLabs work fuses together art and science but can you ever really have one without the other?

A: We have always liked science and art. We want to know the world, want to know humans, and want to know what the world is for humans.

Science raises the resolution of the world. When humans want to know the world, they recognise it by separating things. In order to understand the phenomena of this world, people separate things one after another.

For example, the universe and the earth are continuous, however, humans recognise the earth by separating it from the universe. To understand the forest, humans break it down into trees, separating the tree from the whole. Humans then cut the tree into cells to recognise the tree, cut the cells into molecules to recognise the cells, and cut the molecules into atoms to understand the molecules, and so on. That is science, and that is how science increases the resolution of the world.

But in the end, no matter how much humans divide things into pieces, they cannot understand the entirety. Even though what people really want to know is the world, the more they separate, the farther they become from the overall perception.

Humans, if left alone, recognise what is essentially continuous as separate and independent. Everything exists in a long, fragile yet miraculous continuity over an extremely long period of time, but human beings cannot recognise it without separating it into parts. People try to grasp the entirety by making each thing separate and independent.

Even though we are nothing but part of the world, we feel as if there is a boundary between the world and ourselves, as if we are living independently. We have always been interested in finding out why humans feel this way.

The continuity of life and death has been repeated for more than 4 billion years. However, for humans, even 100 years ago is a fictional world. I was interested in why humans have this perception.

How can we go beyond the boundaries of recognition? Through art, we wanted to transcend the boundaries of our own recognition. We wanted to transcend human characteristics or tendencies in order to recognise the continuity.

Art is a search for what the world is for humans. Art expands and enhances “beauty.” Art has changed the way people perceive the world.

Groups move by logic, but individuals decide their actions by beauty. Individuals’ behaviours are determined not by rationality but by aesthetics. In other words, “beauty” is the fundamental root of human behaviour. Art expands the notion of “beauty”. Art is what expands people’s aesthetics, that is, changes people’s behaviour.

It may be the whole world or only a part of the entirety, but it is art that captures and expresses it without dividing it. Art is a process to approach the whole. And by sharing it with others, the way people perceive the world changes. Through the enjoyment of art, the notion of “beautiful” expands and spreads, which in turn changes people’s perceptions of the world.

Everything exists in a long, fragile yet miraculous continuity over an extremely long period of time. teamLab’s exhibitions aim to create an experience through which visitors recognise this continuity itself as beautiful, hence changing or increasing the way humans perceive the world.

So we can say that there is no boundary between science and art in our activity. Both of them are ways in which to recognise the world, and both are important to our aim.

Is there a specific teamLab work that stands out from the rest and if so why?

A: Our most recent works often stand out because our output is a result of accumulated knowledge and experiences.

But of our many exhibitions worldwide, one that holds a special place in our hearts is the annual outdoor exhibition teamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live in Mifuneyama Rakuen in Kyushu.

The 500,000 square meter Mifuneyama Rakuen Park was created in 1845, during the end of the Edo period. Sitting on the borderline of the park is the famous 3,000-year-old sacred Okusu tree of Takeo Shrine. Also in the heart of the garden is another 300-year-old sacred tree. Knowing the significance of this, our forebears turned a portion of this forest into a garden, utilising the trees of the natural forest. The border between the garden and the wild forest is ambiguous, and when wandering through the garden, before they know it, people will find themselves entering the woods and animal trails. Enshrined in the forest is the Inari Daimyojin deity surrounded by a collection of boulders almost supernatural in their formation. 1,300 years ago, the famous priest Gyoki came to Mifuneyama and carved 500 Arhats. Within the forest caves, there are Buddha Figures that Gyoki directly carved into the rock face that still remain today.

The forest, rocks, and caves of Mifuneyama Rakuen have formed over a long time, and people in every age have sought meaning in them over the millennia. The park that we know today sits on top of this history. It is the ongoing relationship between nature and humans that has made the border between the forest and garden ambiguous, keeping this cultural heritage beautiful and pleasing.

Lost in nature, where the boundaries between man-made gardens and forests are unclear, we are able to feel like we exist in a continuous, borderless relationship between nature and humans. It is for this reason that teamLab decided to create an exhibition in this vast, labyrinthine space so that people will become lost and immersed in the exhibition and in nature.

We exist as a part of an eternal continuity of life and death, a process that has been continuing for an overwhelmingly long time. It is hard for us, however, to sense this in our everyday lives, perhaps because humans cannot easily conceptualise time for periods longer than their own lives. There is a boundary in our understanding of the continuity of time.

When exploring the forest, the shapes of the giant rocks, caves, and the forest allow us to better perceive and understand that overwhelmingly long time over which it all was formed. These forms can transcend the boundaries of our understanding of the continuity of time.

teamLab’s project, Digitized Nature, explores how nature can become art. The concept of the project is that non-material digital technology can turn nature into art without harming it.

These artworks explore how the forms of the forest and garden can be used as they are to create artworks that make it possible to create a place where we can transcend the boundary in our understanding of the continuity of time and feel the long, long continuity of life. Even in the present day, we can experiment with expressing this “Continuous Life” and continue to accumulate meaning in Mifuneyama Rakuen.

Have you found that digital interactive work has become more popular in recent years and if so why do you think that is the case?

A: To be honest, we do not know.

All we can say is that teamLab believes digital technology can expand art and that art made in this way can create new relationships between people.

Digital technology enables complex detail and freedom for change. Before people started accepting digital technology, information and artistic expression had to be presented in some physical form. Creative expression has existed through static media for most of human history, often using physical objects such as canvas and paint. The advent of digital technology allows human expression to become free from these physical constraints, enabling it to exist independently and evolve freely.

No longer limited to physical media, digital technology has made it possible for artworks to expand physically. Since art created using digital technology can easily expand, it provides us with a greater degree of autonomy within the space. We are now able to manipulate and use much larger spaces, and viewers are able to experience the artwork more directly.

The characteristics of digital technology allow artworks to express the capacity for change much more freely. Viewers, in interaction with their environment, can instigate perpetual change in an artwork. Through an interactive relationship between the viewers and the artwork, viewers become an intrinsic part of that artwork.

In interactive artworks that teamLab creates, because viewers’ movement or even their presence transforms the artwork, the boundaries between the work and viewers become ambiguous. Viewers become a part of the work. This changes the relationship between an artwork and an individual into a relationship between an artwork and a group of individuals. A viewer who was present 5 minutes ago, or how the person next to you is behaving now, suddenly becomes important. Unlike a viewer who stands in front of a conventional painting, a viewer immersed in an interactive artwork becomes more aware of other people’s presence.

Unlike a physical painting on a canvas, the non-material digital technology can liberate art from the physical. Furthermore, because of its ability to transform itself freely, it can transcend boundaries. By using such digital technology, we believe art can expand the beautiful. And by making interactive art, you and others’ presence becomes an element to transform an artwork, hence creating a new relationship between people within the same space. By applying such art to the unique environment, we wanted to create a space where you can feel that you are connected with other people in the world.

All we do is create what we believe in – our hope is that our output reaches people’s hearts and changes their ways of thinking or behaviour. Popularity is just a byproduct of that. We never consider popularity when working, all we focus on is creating something we believe in.

What advice do you have for young creatives who are interested in working with digital and interactive works?

A: teamLab was started by a group of friends who simply enjoyed spending time together, and it has continued to grow and change. If you only think in practical terms, logically, you will fail. It is good to start with the things you enjoy in life.

We aim to create artworks and experiences that allow people to experience the beauty of the world with their hearts and their bodies. In the 20th century, we were taught to only understand the world through our “heads,” but it is important to experience things with our hearts and our bodies. Do not think you can understand the world just through the internet.

Is teamLab working on anything at the moment and what plans does the collective have for the future?

A: You can find the information about upcoming exhibitions worldwide on our website – please check there for the latest updates!


Images · teamLAB

GT Nergaard

“do as little as possible”

In GT Nergaard’s photographic practice, the intersection between fiction and reality offers the grand gesture of self-portraiture. Every photograph reflects his journey towards discovering personal narratives that have shaped his background, artistry, and thoughts. As he builds his themes around these philosophies, he creates photographs based on his imagination and observes a situation through his lens, all while forming a bond of who he is and how he wants himself to be.

Through a monochromatic palette, the Norwegian photographer includes his viewers as he fuses self with nature. A Vitalist at heart, he employs the life force in living things to calculate his shots and summon delicacy, grace, and rawness in his photographs. With the sun as his source of light in the day and the flash of his camera at night, GT captures the interaction between man and nature, eliciting poetry in visuals and autobiography in practice.

Let us begin with the two sections that divide your online portfolio: North and South. Do these pertain to certain locations? What was your idea behind these projects? What did you aim to capture?

The inspiration for my work comes from the locations I photograph in, using the sun as my main light source. Based on climate, I work simultaneously between these two projects in different locations: one in the summer where I shoot in Norway, and the other in the winter where I travel to southern regions, North and South.

For the last ten summers, I have been working on the Storvatn project, recently published as a book. Storvatn is the name of the lake where my family had a cabin thirty years ago and my childhood paradise. In this project, I travel back to the lake in search of my own identity and to reconcile with my past, the time being just as long I have been working on a project in Essaouira, Morocco. Then, when the winter in Norway is at its darkest, I travel to a warmer climate. The project is a very personal and poetic interpretation of Morocco with the working title birds of passage and will be published as a book in the Autumn of 2022.

We are excited about this new project you have! This ties up to how you identify your work as at the crossroads between fiction and reality. Why did you settle on these themes and not other elements? How do you define fiction and reality? In your daily life, do you dwell in fiction, reality, or both?

For me, photography is a medium where I first and foremost convey a personal story and a reflection of myself. The work is like a parallel world, where reality and fiction intersect and create a new narrative. I define fiction as creating photographs based on my own imagination. Reality is when I am an observer in a real situation I have not constructed, and where I take photographs without manipulating them.

It is difficult for me to relate to just one of the methods since they are interdependent, just as I relate to a dream world when I sleep and reality when I am awake.

“The dream may appear surreal, abstract, and difficult to interpret, but intends to create a balance in my life to make it easier to deal with reality.”

It is wonderful to know how reality and fiction balance the dynamics of your life. I wonder if this thought is a root of your work, which is strongly influenced by vitalism. Could you elaborate more on this? How did this occur? Was it an intentional choice to pursue it?

Years ago, I saw an exhibition at the Munch Museum in Oslo with the theme Life force – Vitalism as an artistic impulse 1900 – 1930. The term Vitalism comes from the Latin word Vital and is based on the assumption that there is a life force in all living things. The artists in the exhibition represented a distinctive period where body, nature, and health are at the center and the cleansing power of the sun as one of the central themes. Among the Norwegian artists from this period are the painter Edward Munch and the sculptor Gustav Vigeland. Their works show nude people engaged in play, swimming, and sports, with nature as a backdrop.

From the Vitalists, I affirmed my photographic style and a philosophical understanding of my own concepts. I do not draw direct inspiration from their work, but from a common motivation in the theme.

You interpret the interaction between man and nature in your photography. What discoveries about this interaction did you find out that fascinate you and influence your art practice? 

My attraction to nature as a theme comes from a personal need and a simplification of the photographic process. Ten years ago, I worked as a commercial photographer in fashion and advertising. The working day consisted of large productions in the studio, a lot of technical equipment, and a large crew. At one point in my career, I came at a crossroads, where the result was to find my way back to the freedom I felt when I started as a photographer and a simpler working method.

Today, there are no clothes, hair styling, or makeup on my models. Everything is done in an outdoor location, and the sun is the only light source with the exception of an on-camera flash at night.

“None of the images are manipulated or retouched in photoshop. With this simplification, the inspiration to create gradually came back, along with my photographic identity.”

Continuing the previous question, there is a sense of freedom in the way your subjects embrace confidence in their bodies. As a photographer, how do you interact with your subjects? How do you know when to capture the scene? Have there been any challenging times during your shoot?

I depend on finding people I work well with, who are free by nature and have an understanding of the concept. Many of the models are artists themselves and have a clear awareness of their own bodies and identity. They are equal partners who I have worked with for many years and consider my friends.

I prefer to create a natural situation where I can photograph without taking too much direction. The ideal situation is to travel to a location for several days where the narrative and images occur more naturally. In such a setting I can work both day and night, which gives the story a sense of time and space.

I have two ways of directing. In the first, I take a clear direction and do a controlled study, shaping my subject with light and shadow. In the second, I work in a snapshot mode where the subjects are in action and I direct more intuitively.

“I think the alternation between the stylized and the random makes the project more dynamic and playful.”

I have never experienced situations during a shoot that I would describe as challenging, with the exception of the Norwegian climate. In my region, we can experience four seasons in one day, which can make it challenging to work outdoors with nudity.

Your photographs evoke a sense of timelessness through their monochromatic colors. Is there a reason for this choice of style? How do you work with light in this case?

Today, I think it is because I am a monochromatic person. Everything I own is black, white, or natural wood, with only a few touches of color, a natural choice and typically for a Nordic minimalist design.

In the beginning, it was more of a practical choice since all work was processed in the analog darkroom. I have always been attracted to a classic and timeless expression. Not only in photographic references, but in film, music, literature, and design. I draw a lot of inspiration from contemporary references as well, but the classic is always my starting point.

I am often asked how I work and manage to create the specific quality of my photos. The honest answer is: to do as little as possible. I work based on a ‘Pure Photography’ style where the photographs are created through the control of composition, tone, light, and texture. There is no use of manipulation and effects.

To wrap it up, how do you perceive the body, nature, and health? Are they distinctive or combined entities of life? 

Today more than ever, I feel it is important to reflect on the role of humans as part of nature and how dependent we have always been and still are on each other. By taking better care of myself and living sustainably, not only will my health and body improve, but I will also take better care of nature. Everything is interconnected.


Images · GT Nergaard

Kensuke Koike

“Single Image Processing”

Born in Japan and now based in Venice, Kensuke Koike works with a surrealist playfulness to challenge the possibility of creating images. In deconstructing and re-forming vintage and archival photographs into carefully distorted pieces, Koike breathes a new life into found photography. There is a sculptural quality to Koike’s work, and his reconfigured photographs and postcards have a humorous, yet perplexing energy instilled in them. 

Koike’s practice focusses on the possibility of reinvention within an image and involves using analogue collage techniques and working solely with the existing elements of an image. The result is an impressive body of work with unique and contemporary visual narratives that the artist has defined as ‘single image processing’. In using found objects and reviving vintage photographs in this way, Koike creates a dynamic way of working, with each piece exposing different facets of the culture and truth of image making.

Koike seeks to create meaning from an existing object, and his use of found images in combination with the handmade formation of each piece feels incredibly nostalgic and gives a surrealist twist to a vintage era. Koike is more than a just a collage artist – he is as much a videographer, a sculptor, and a puzzle maker – and the videos he makes and shares digitally show his interest in contemporary creative methods. Koike also includes performative elements in his work. It is in this variation of his practice that and understanding of both the humour and reverence with which Koike creates his vision can be found.



Discover more here
Kensuke Koike’s work can be found here

The Photographers’ Gallery in London presents ‘Re-composed’ until 27th June, where a unique selection of Koike’s work is available to purchase.

Alec Soth

“Alec Soth does wander but he does it in a territory that he knows best”

When you think of an exhibition from a world-famous photographer, it would not be unusual to assume it would be located in a big city known for its rich cultural heritage such as London, Tokyo or New York. Certainly, your mind would not immediately go to a tiny green island between England and France. But Guernsey, which is part of the Channel Islands, is where you can find photographer Alec Soth’s exhibition Looking For Love.

Of course, this is not the first time a big name has been associated with the island, it was the home of exiled Victor Hugo and inspiration for his book The Toilers of the Sea. There are several paintings by Renoir of the rocky coves and caves of the southern cliffs. In addition to this, the Channel Islands were the only part of Great Britain that was occupied by German forces during World War II and this history inspired the best selling novel and subsequent film adaptation The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. 

In recent years the island has also become known for its photography festival involving well-known photographers such as Martin Parr CBE and Mark Power. Now the Guernsey Photography Festival welcomes Alec Soth to that list for its ten year (plus one due to delays caused by the pandemic) anniversary.

Alec Soth is an American photographer who was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He gained fame for his colour photographs which he takes on a large-format camera. His work has been described as being based in the ‘documentary style’ and much of it consists of the people and landscapes in the rural and suburban American Midwest and South.

This particular exhibition of Soth’s work ‘Looking for Love’ consists of earlier works of his, taken before the projects which propelled him into the spotlight of the art world. NR Magazine was joined by Jean-Christophe Godet who is the Artistic Director of the Guernsey Photography Festival and the curator of ‘Looking for Love’ at Guernsey Museum at Candie.

Upon entering the gallery one is greeted by a sea of black and white photographs of people with a few landscapes dotted in here and there. The introduction on the wall tells us, in Soth’s own words, about the time in his life that the pictures were taken. Jean-Christophe Godet expands on that text. “People think this exhibition is one project but it isn’t, it’s a collection of projects. This was a time when he was quite young and feeling miserable, as we all do when we are young. He didn’t know what he wanted to do with his future but was still interested in photography. His job at that time was to work in a photo lab where he processed all the films. In the evening he would go to bars, and meet people and take their photographs. At this stage, he was in a learning process. That’s why we were interested in this exhibition because we wanted people to know where Alec Soth came from.”

The photographs in this exhibition were not taken on a large-format camera like much of Soth’s work, Godet explains, but on medium-format. “The next projects he did, which is what he became famous for, that’s when he started shooting on large-format with the big camera. He likes taking his time when he shoots people, so setting up the camera gives him a chance to meet and talk with the people. It helps him relax as well because he’s an introverted person. He’s the type of guy, if you sit next to him on a plane, he won’t talk to you. He learned how to be more social from doing this exhibition.”

Godet walks over to a pair of photographs, “There’s no story in this exhibition. Soth liked that, it’s up to you to decide the story of the characters you are going to meet. From a curatorial aspect, I wanted people to be able to infer their own meaning onto each picture, but also at the same time some pictures work together to tell a story.”

He points at the duologly, “For example, I decided as a curator to put these two pictures together. The two middle-aged men in one picture appear to be looking at the young girl in the other, who seems to be flirting with a boy. You question who the girl is and if that’s her boyfriend? Then when you put the two pictures together you question if the two old guys are at the same party? Are they perverts or are they nostalgic about the time when they are younger?”

Godet gestures to the rest of the exhibition enthusiastically “There’s no information about these images because Soth is more interested in human nature. He’s not a documentary photographer, he’s not telling the story of the people in a town in Midwest America, it’s more about understanding feelings and emotions. He wants you to decide the story behind them. He wants you to imply your own experiences onto them.”

He leads me to another image, this one of a young man in a suit, easily missed in the sea of photographs. “This is Alex Soth’s self-portrait. He took it the night before he was getting married. He looks quite relaxed, maybe half drunk and he looks like he is feeling quite satisfied with himself. There is something there that he is trying to tell us because his work is always about him as well, it’s about the way he feels and relates to the world. At the beginning of the exhibition, we are told that he is miserable and alone but now we discover that at some point during this project, looking at people looking for love, he found his love, in some way, by getting married. But it’s up to us to decide how we think he is feeling about this.”

Godet beckons me to the centre of the room. “In this central part of the exhibition, we changed the tone so it looks like it could be the inside of a bar or a club. In this section I was able to put three generations of three different women telling their own story. The young teenager clinging to her lover, the middle-aged women on her own in a bar looking strong but also a bit lonely, and finally the glamorous old lady with her cocktail. I love how, with Alec Soth, you can connect these together. This exhibition is about loneliness and searching, about feeling disappointed and neglected but also hope. Overall it’s kind of dark and lonely because that’s how he felt at the time, but there are plenty of layers. For me, I think that’s how he became famous because he reaches us with his human emotions which is universal.”

He continues walking around the exhibition. “He’s not trying to impose anything on us, by saying ‘oh look how beautiful that is’ or ‘I’m going to show you what love is’, it’s up to us to integrate the raw human emotions he has. You need to take your time to absorb the photos, it’s not like the Wildlife Photography of the Year exhibition. It’s not like ‘oh that shot is spectacular’, and then you forget it when you move onto the next one. With Soth’s work, it’s like you suddenly slow down and you really appreciate how much is in each photo. The images are so strong they stay in your mind for a very long time.”

Back near the start of the entrance, he points at one image which has been blown up to cover an entire section of the wall. Against a snowy backdrop is a billboard upon which is a personal ad titled ‘Looking for Love’. It’s one of the few texts to be found in the exhibition, a deliberate choice Godet explains. “Soth is a massive reader of poetry, but he doesn’t like associating the two because he says poetry and photography tend to reject each other and I understand why he says that, because there’s already so much poetry in his photo he doesn’t need more.”

“But what is the difference between Soth’s work and the images of everyday life you can find on social media?” I ponder.

Godet tells me that, “I would say Fine Art photography makes you think. That’s why the Guernsey Photography Festival focuses on contemporary photography and fine art photography because you reach a different level. Everybody says it’s quite easy to take a photo and that’s true. We have the technology to take a good photo readily at hand, but for example, if you take a photo of the sunset on one of Guernsey’s popular beaches like Cobo.” He gestures dismissively, “‘Wow great photo’. The problem is those photos will be distributed on the net and there will be a million photos of Cobo and the sunset and they all look the same. They all look pretty in terms of colour and they have the wow factor but then you forget them. Because we have been oversaturated by them. It’s like reading a good book, when you read a good book it stays with you for a very long time and the reason it stays is because it triggers emotions within you and makes you think about life, your own and others, and that’s where the difference lies.”

Curious, I ask Godet how Soth came to be a part of the Guernsey Photography Festival. He is only happy to tell us the story and talk more about both Soth’s art practice and personality.

“I met him in Paris seven years ago when I introduced him to the idea of coming to Guernsey. At the time I remember he said, “What?” and I said, “Guernsey…”,  “Where is that?” And I said “Oh it’s a small rock in the middle between France and England’ and he started laughing about it. I think he didn’t take me seriously because at the time we were just starting the Guernsey Photography Festival and we were not well established like we are now.

But then word started spreading internationally that there was something quite interesting developing in Guernsey for photography and also we had Martin Parkin and Mark Power come over. Mark Power is a good friend of Alec Soth and all those people were our best ambassadors and they were saying “Oh yeah I’ve been to Guernsey, I’ve met Chris and the team there and it’s been a fantastic experience, it’s a great festival” so slowly we gained a good reputation.

So I met him in Paris again for another big photography festival, and he recognised me and I told him that we were going to celebrate our ten year anniversary. And he said, “Oh yes I’ve heard about your festival now and I’ve been told good things.” He was supposed to come last year but unfortunately, because of the pandemic, he couldn’t make it.

In my opinion, he is one of the biggest names you can get in the world of contemporary fine art photography so the moral of the story is never give up. But he’s a really nice guy, intelligent and modest as well. There’s nothing pretentious about his work. Everything is coherent with Alec Soth. When he takes a landscape, every single detail in that photo has some kind of significance. And it’s all about what he know’s best, which is America. Soth has never been a travel photographer, there is this myth about being a photographer that you travel a lot that you travel the world, the lifestyle of freedom and wandering the world. Alec Soth does wander but he does it in a territory that he knows best. All his personal work has been related to the midwest of America. I love that about him because what’s the point of sending a photographer to say the Middle East when they don’t know anything about the culture. It’s much better to ask someone local to take the photos and give us the reality of things.”

Speaking of keeping things local, “Do you think Guernsey has the potential to become a big cultural hub of photography and Fine Art?” I ask him.

He laughs, “I’ve been working on that for the last ten years. I do believe there is potential there, but I think to reach that there is a necessity for a political drive for cultural development. I think unless we reach an agreement on a political level there will always be a bit of a struggle. Because if you want to be a cultural hub you need to invest in it. You can’t just rely on a small amount of public funding and donation and sponsorship. I’ve worked on lots of different major projects in major cities and you need funding for it. With the Guernsey Photography Festival, we have tried our best and we have proven it is possible, but I think a political position is necessary. I think there is a tendency in Guernsey to be satisfied with what we have, and while I don’t criticise that, there is so much more in the world to discover in terms of the profile you can create. It’s important to help and support local artists, but I think if we want to attract people to come to Guernsey as a hub local artist won’t be sufficient. You need to have big names like Alec Soth. Then people hear about it and think ‘oh wow this is pretty cool place to visit and live, not only can you enjoy the beaches and wildlife and historical culture but you have names like Alec Soth as well.’”

Before he leaves I ask a final question, “What are the plans for the future of the photography festival.”

“This is just the starting exhibition for this years festival,” Godet tells me, “because on the 23rd of September we are having a big open night for the Guernsey Photography Festival with the Guernsey symphony orchestra and we will have a multitude of international artists. I think in total we have 25 exhibitions planned in celebration of our ten year (plus one) anniversary. We have some really exciting artists but I’m not going to mention any names, you will have to wait for the press release, but it’s going to be big!”

Later, as I walk away from the museum I think over Soth’s work exploring the beauty and complexity of the mundane and Godet’s thoughts on the need for local governments involvement in local culture. Lost in thought I stumble on another small outdoor exhibition of different photographers work, about ten minutes walk from the gallery. It’s concise and wonderfully accessible to the public. It reminds me that Soth’s most famous work was created in the region he was born. With the pandemic making us rethink travel, perhaps it’s time to look away from larger cities and instead demand for art and culture to also be brought to, and created in, our own tiny pockets of the world. Something the Guernsey Photography Festival has already been doing for ten (plus one) years.



Find out more about the exhibition on
Images · ALEC SOTH

Claudia Andujar

Andujar often applied Vaseline to her camera lens, used flash devices, infrared film, and oil lamps to create visual distortions

The Barbican’s latest exhibition explores the work of Claudia Andujar, a Swiss-born Brazilian photographer and activist who has spent her life documenting and defending the Yanomami, one of Brazil’s largest indigenous peoples. Through a collection of over 200 photographs, an audio-visual installation, and a series of drawings by the Yanomami, the exhibition explores Andujar’s relationship with the Yanomami that spanned five decades, and details periods of direct activism amongst the indigenous communities.  

The exhibition is housed in The Curve, featuring powerful photographs from Andujar’s first six years living with the Yanomami and explores how the photographer used her camera as a tool to drive political change. At a time when the Yanomami’s territory and way of life is being threatened from continued illegal mining and the spread of Covid-19, the exhibition holds particular significance: it shows how Andujar dealt with visually interpreting a complex culture, and how her art serves to amplify the voices and struggles of the Yanomami.  

From the start of her career documenting the Yanomami in the 1970s, Andujar’s photographic approach differed greatly from the traditional documentary style of her contemporaries. The photographs she took during this period experiment with a range of techniques to visually translate the shamanic and ritualistic culture of the Yanomami. Andujar often applied Vaseline to her camera lens, used flash devices, infrared film, and oil lamps to create visual distortions of light streaks and saturated colours that imbue her work with an ethereal quality. The exhibition also features a series of more sober black-and-white portraits of the Yanomami that focus closely on their faces and bodies, using an intense chiaroscuro to create a strong sense of intimacy. 

By the late 1970s, Andujar had reached a pivotal point in her career. With the Amazon region opened to deforestation and invasive agricultural programs, entire Yanomami communities were destroyed. Andujar deepened her commitment to the Yanomami struggle, and in 1978 she helped found the ‘Commissão Pro-Yanomani’ and began a campaign to protect their homeland. Andujar’s artistic career at this point was abandoned in favour of using photography solely to raise awareness for the cause.

As a photojournalist and a European, Andujar’s project is still a complex one: it cannot be wholly separated from the history of the colonial gaze on indigenous people. Yet it is clear that she has been welcomed by the Yanomami – films, drawings and texts by the community leader Davi Kopenawa throughout the exhibition demonstrate. It is without a doubt that Andujar’s work powerfully captures the struggles of the indigenous peoples and delivers both a unique peek into the lives and worldview of the Yanomami and a potent condemnation of the violence enacted on them.

‘Claudia Andujar: The Yanomami Struggle’ is on at the Barbican Centre until 29th August. Discover more here  

Mohamed Bourouissa

Documenting the experiences of disenfranchised groups and different pockets of inequality in contemporary society

Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art presents Mohamed Bourouissa’s first public UK solo show ‘HARa!!!!!!hAaaRAAAAA!!!!!hHAaA!!!’, comprised of a selection of photography, videos, sounds and installations from 2003 onwards, with a particular focus on the legacy of colonialism.  

Through a combination of mixed media, the Algerian-born artist explores a vast range of complex socioeconomic issues and teases out tensions between different social contexts. In travelling to different places and engaging with groups of locals, Bourouissa’s in-depth locational research addresses notions of collective histories, identity and social space, and allows him to share the stories of marginalised communities from imbedding himself within them. 

Bourouissa documents the experiences of disenfranchised groups and different pockets of inequality in contemporary society, with a particular emphasis on the destructive remains of colonialism and the current realities of racial and socioeconomic inequality – something that is interesting to observe through the lens of a gallery context. 

‘HARa!!!!!!hAaaRAAAAA!!!!!hHAaA!!!’ delves into Bourouissa’s different photographic and filmic techniques. With irreverence and intensity, Bourouissa depicts how the individuals in his work use the tools at their disposal to navigate their situation. From grainy smartphone images and street photography to canonical art historical framings of Parisian street life, the exhibition showcases Bourouissa’s ability to articulate insightful statements on contemporary image culture and circumstantial truths. 

Mohamed Bourouissa currently lives and works in Paris, France and has exhibited at institutions and biennials including the Paris Museum of Modern Art, The Centre Pompidou, the Barnes Foundation, the Stedelijk Museum, Haus der Kunst, the Berlin Biennale, the Milan Triennial and more.

The exhibition runs until 1st August at Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art. 

Discover more on GCCA

Jean Dubuffet

Chaotic yet vibrant visual tumult, mirroring the hectic pace of life in the last quarter of the century

Barbican Art gallery presents ‘Jean Dubuffet: Brutal Beauty’, the first major UK exhibition in over 50 years celebrating the career of Art Brut pioneer Jean Dubuffet. The exhibition explores Dubuffet’s rejection of conventional notions of beauty in favour of more subversive forms and presents the artist as a multifaceted innovator of the immediate post-war period, adept at translating his creative vision through a vast range of artistic mediums, creating works out of mud, glass and cement.

Walking through the exhibition, visitors can track the course of Dubuffet’s career, as his practice and inspiration evolves and progresses. Abundantly inventive and playful, Dubuffet’s oeuvre includes assemblies of butterfly wings, scrawled illustrations, viscous and visceral painted landscapes and female nudes – monstrous and captivating – that all come together as a chaotic yet vibrant visual tumult, mirroring the hectic pace of life in the last quarter of the century. 

A defining feature of the exhibition is Dubuffet’s variety of technique and materiality. His work prompts a unique kind of introspection and contemplation, as he captures the sombre essence of the post-war period. Dubuffet’s scenes and caricatures rail against traditional ideas of beauty and capture the beauty of the mundane and something in a gritty and poetic way.

The exhibition is on at the Barbican until the 22nd August.  For more information visit Barbican

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