Amelia’s Magazine | Frieze Art Fair 2011: Exhibition Review

Salon 94 at Frieze Art Fair 2011.

It shouldn’t really be possible to deduce trends in the art world, approved should it? Yet that is exactly what I was able to do at Frieze Art Fair. By housing a spectacular array of galleries all alongside each other in vast tents, dosage some with work by the same artist shown on different continents, medicine the sameness of much art is highlighted. And I say trends because none of these similarities can really be named a movement, not when the artists are flung so far and wide that they can have no possible involvement with each other than a fleeting knowledge gleaned from the media or touring art shows.

This year the biggest trends seemed to follow only a couple of themes.. deducible even as I zipped around the fair in a matter of hours. I must admit that I make judgements on what I like within milliseconds at such events, so by default most of the art that I picked up on were things that spoke to me (and not always for a good reason).

After by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster.

Frieze-Art-Fair-2011-review From the River-Christina-Mackie
From the River by Christina Mackie at Herald St.

Frieze-Art-Fair-2011-review-Map of Truths and Beliefs by Grayson-Perry
Map of Truths and Beliefs by Grayson Perry.

Isa Genzken.

Neon letter artwork and giant typography in general are popular (Tracey Emin, hello), as are craft inspired pieces that pile together assortments of materials to create something that often looks similar to a school art project. Add to this ceramics, tapestry (Grayson Perry, you have a lot to answer for, and I love you) and old toys, and the potential to create something exciting becomes seriously viable – though that line between primary school art project and stroke of genius is often hard to distinguish.

David Altmejd at Andrea Rosen Gallery.

Frieze-Art-Fair-2011-review-Ramiken Crucible by Andra-Ursuta
Ramiken Crucible by Andra Ursuta.

This trend sometimes crosses over with a very strong theme that says a lot about the spiritual deficit of our current lives: curious creations that bear significant reference to tribal deities and animist beliefs but also often with strong links to our present lives. Think crystallised heads on sticks, strange shaped skulls with flapping teeth, a flattened woman who looks like she’s just been removed from a peat bog: her body glistens with a jelly like substance, yet she wears trainers.

Joy by Tomoaki Suzuki.

Elmgreen and Dragset.

In opposition to this present day esotericism I also found realistic figures in banal situations, often in miniature size. Or play dead, high heels and Blackberry at the feet or a morgue trolley. Ring a bell, Ron Mueck?

Doppelganger (Blue) by Peter Liversidge.

Frieze-Art-Fair-2011-review-Gert-and-Uwe-Tobias Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin
Gert and Uwe Tobias at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin.

Odd arrangements of objet trouvé on shelves have never been more popular. As ever I was also attracted to all the colourful decorative paintings. Aesthetically pleasing, and close in many ways to illustration.

Pierre Huyghe: Recollection.

And then of course there was the hermit crab in Pierre Huyghe‘s Recollection. That funny creature in a darkened room, benignly going about his own business in a small tank with only smaller creatures for friends. He bears a sculpted head on his back ( a replica of Brancussi’s Sleeping Muse) as he is coo-ed over by the moneyed hordes, marvelling at out total dominion over nature. But maybe the last laugh is on us? For what cares the hermit crab where he makes his bed.

Colourful art world characters.

In the past I have been put off attending Frieze Art Fair by what I have heard about the experience. And it was, indeed, a bizarre one. Whilst the plethora of artwork on display undoubtedly provides loads of inspiration, I think a whistle stop tour is necessary to weed out all the dross (of which there is much) and retain a modicum of sanity. But the event undeniably left a curiously icky feeling inside: I’ve never seen so many rich people in one place, and Frieze stank of serious wealth. Ridiculous, unnecessary wealth, of the kind that sucks the lifeblood out of whole nations and forces us to reevaluate our connection the universe. Do you sense the irony? We all know that art is a huge commodity in our money obsessed times, but here it is laid bare for all to see… and it’s disheartening to realise just how much the art world relies on the buying and selling powers of the mega rich to survive. Surely art is about more than this?

Frieze Art Fair continues until Sunday 16th October – you can visit the Sculpture Park for free, more details here.

Categories ,Andra Ursuta, ,Andrea Rosen Gallery, ,Animist, ,berlin, ,Brancussi, ,Christina Mackie, ,Contemporary Fine Arts, ,craft, ,David Altmejd, ,Deities, ,Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, ,Doppelganger (Blue), ,Elmgreen and Dragset, ,Frieze Art Fair, ,Gert and Uwe Tobias, ,Grayson Perry, ,Herald St, ,Hermit Crab, ,Isa Genzken, ,Joy, ,Magic, ,Neon, ,Objet Trouvé, ,Peter Liversidge, ,Pierre Huyghe, ,Pottery, ,Recollection, ,Ron Mueck, ,Salon 94, ,School Art Project, ,Sleeping Muse, ,spiritual, ,Tapestry, ,Tomoaki Suzuki, ,Tracey Emin, ,typography

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Owlle: introducing new album FRANCE

Owlle by Andrew Khosravani

Owlle by Andrew Khosravani.

French electro-pop chanteuse Owlle is set to take the world by storm with her unique fusing of 80s era melody, super danceable beats and a pop-art aesthetic. Owlle describes the process of her musical creations with us, all accompanied by fabulous illustrations.

Owlle wall

Owlle by Sarah Bromley

Owlle by Sarah Bromley.

What ideas tend to permeate your lyrics and music the most?
I love telling stories, most of the time very personal, through descriptions, landscapes or surreal visions. I like mixing different or even antagonist atmospheres. Something that stroke me when I went through all my lyrics when I’d finished the album is that there’s the notion of someone running incessantly after something, someone impossible to catch all along. I didn’t realize that at first, that this was my theme lyrically, but also rhythmically in a way!

OWLLE by Alexandra Dzhiganskaya

OWLLE by Alexandra Dzhiganskaya.

How has your background in Fine Arts influenced your approach to music?
My time as a Fine Arts student was decisive, it helped me refine what I really wanted to do, I discovered and met many talented artists, Pierre Huyghe and Brian Eno to name just two that really had an influence on me; I also experienced lots of different mediums myself, visuals mainly. I learnt to mix visuals and music, to stage things. All of this helped me broaden my vision, my culture, and ultimately my horizons as a musician! Art continues to feed and inspire me on a daily basis!

Owlle by Emma McMorrow

Owlle by Emma McMorrow.

It is said that – despite your music – you prefer solitude over heaving dance floors, why is this?
Dancefloors can also be a very lonely place, a place of solitude, not necessarily in a bad way, somewhere you let go, you forget everything and everyone around you, and that can be very thrilling. But there’s truth in that I’m more the introspective type.

Owlle by David Tolu Graham

Owlle by David Tolu Graham.

When and how did you discover the work of Brian Eno and how has it influenced you?
I first discovered Eno not through a record or a concert but through an art installation he’d done at an Art Fair in Lyon in 2005, called « Quiet club », such installation obviously had music in it too, but not only… and all of a sudden, it was a blinding revelation to me: how much visual arts and sounds/electronic could interact. Suddenly I realized how I could combine both myself. I stared at it indefinitely, I was struck. Visuals play a key part in what I try do as an artist, they matter as much as music, it’s an integral part of the project!

Owlle by Emma Farrarons

Owlle by Emma Farrarons.

How did you get involved with Depeche Mode and what was the highlight of your collaboration?
That was totally unexpected and an unforgettable moment for me. I’m a big fan of them. Their live drummer had apparently heard of my first ep – Ticky Ticky – and liked it enough to put my name forward to the rest of the band when the time came for them to look for remixers! Their team contacted me on the eve of Christmas 2012… for a minute it was so unreal… quite the Xmas gift! The title of the song – Heaven – was very appropriate to the situation! I tried to give a part of me into this remix. I even dared adding backing vocals, I couldn’t resist ;) When I heard the melody and Dave’s beautiful voice, I knew that it’d be a great experience. I had zero direction from them but only stems and complete freedom to do whatever i wanted. I had no pressure from anyone except myself to live up to the challenge and the chance I was given! I hope I did. Feedback from Depeche Mode themselves and then their fans when the remix came out were an immense reward to me, and a huge encouragement at the vey moment I was working on writing my first album

Owlle multi

What has most influenced the look you create in your videos and artwork?
The fashion aesthetics from the 80’s, its craziness and theatrical aspect inspired me most, the 90’s are an obvious influence of mine too for that is when I grew up and I was very permeable to it, listening as much as watching artists like Madonna, Cindy Lauper or even Boy George but also designers like Alaia and Hussein Chalayan. I like things that have a dramatic aspect to them!

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Owlle: Don’t Lose It

Where did the name Owlle come from?
It’s derived from ‘Owl’. At first I mainly liked the sound it makes when you pronounce Owl, then I feminized it with two L and a E. Then everyone started asking if I had kind of an obsession for owls. Well, I don’t but, yeah I’m a night-ish person, I mainly compose at night, I love this bird and the whole mythology it carries too. I can be quite inhibited or, say, discreet, in my everyday life, having an alias is also a way to overcome this somehow.

owlle france cover

What next for Owlle?
2014 is going to be quite the busy year! I’ve just released my debut album FRANCE in Europe, it should come out stateside in the next few months and I’m going to tour a lot with it, as far and in as many countries as I can!

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Owlle: Ticky Ticky

Categories ,Alaia, ,Alexandra Dzhiganskaya, ,Andrew Khosravani, ,boy george, ,brian eno, ,Cindy Lauper, ,David Tolu Graham, ,Depeche Mode, ,Emma Farrarons, ,Emma McMorrow, ,heaven, ,Hussein Chalayan, ,Madonna, ,Owlle, ,Pierre Huyghe, ,Sarah Bromley, ,Ticky Ticky, ,« Quiet club »

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