Happy New Year from Artvehicle!
In keeping with the festive spirit (albeit a little belatedly), this month in Artvehicle we have a review of London's newest and shiniest consumer mecca, Westfield Shopping Centre. We also have a review of this years Bloomberg New Contemporaries, a postcard from the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, an aside on video games and, following on from their fabulous performance, Dynamite Fighter, as part of Molten States, at the GSK Contemporary Season at the Royal Academy, an interview and artists page from boyleANDshaw.
Phew! As if all that wasn't enough, a few further things to do over the coming weeks... The Approach, E2, is showing the group exhibition Dogtooth & Tessellat until 1 Februrary. Looking at pattern as provocation -- how it has been codified and re-branded by artists of the past century, the show explores the frayed edges between art, nature, commerce and politics and comes with a host of big names such as Wadsworth, Nicholson, Picasso, Moore, Riley, as well as a gamit of younger, London-based astists such as Sebastian Hammwoehner, Matthew Harrison, Vanessa Bell and Charlie Hammond (see theapproach.co.uk for details).
At Studio Voltaire, Simon Bedwell presents his new installation The Asphalt World (15 January - 15th February). Known for his manipulated found poster works, Simon Bedwell's new installation work will take the form of a series of smaller spaces - a wall of painted posters; nominal interiors constructed using furniture, ceramics and found ornaments; and a storeroom. Bedwells new work combines his previous interests in abstraction of meaning and gender to create a space within which the viewer is invited to look at the meanings behind everyday interactions with the world and its objects; see studiovoltaire.org for details.
Elsewhere, the new Photographers Gallery has opened in Ramillies Street and is currently showing two main exhbitions: the Soho Archives project looking at Soho after-dark from 1938-67 from the archives of the Picture Post and Ken Russells series at the Cat's Whiskers coffee bar and Katy Grannan's new work The Westerns - a series of large format portraits of people living on the west coast of America. The artist describes these subjects as 'new pioneers' attempting to define themselves against the backdrop of the American west coast and an unrelenting Pacific sunlight. See photonet.org.uk
Finally, towards the end of the month, two things to look out for. Firstly, opening on 23 January at The Agency, is Tiger Economy, the second solo exhibition of works but Ludovica Gioscia. Gioscia will present a large-scale installation and several new wallpaper sculptures all using her signature ephemeral materials of bright, playful printed paper, silks and lightweight wooden screens. Layered with meaning, Gioscia work refers not only to the current economic crisis but also to a series of new cultural and architectural reference points; the faux-opulence of Vegas and Dubai, Fifties cocktail dresses, Chinese and Venetian fans, the shiny simulacra of luxury as sculpture... "The great thing about art is that it still works even when consumer culture has just died". (see theagencygallery.co.uk for more details). Secondly, 29 January see the Showroom screening 'A Necessary Music' by Beatrice Gibson in collaboration with Alex Waterman. Set on Roosevelt Island, a small sliver of land situated between Manhattan and Queens, originally home to New York's largest insane asylum, a small pox hospital, and a range of other 19th century municipal facilities for incarceration, it now houses one of the cities most visible, yet little-known modernist social housing projects. A Necessary Music is a science fiction film about modernist social housing. A musically conceived piece, referencing the video operas of Robert Ashley, the film explores the social imaginary of a utopian landscape through directed attention to the voices that inhabit it. The screening will be followed by 'An Evening with Robert Ashley', a talk by Will Holder.