Guest Art Curators // Introduction
Above: Faisal Abdu'Allah, 'Last Supper', 2007 As a way of making our art section a bit more interesting, we have been contacting artists and musicians, asking for their contributions. So during certain weeks to come you can expect opinions from the very people we've been covering, who'll tell you which aspects of the visual art world move and influence them the most. Those very talented and artistically astute people, so far include, recent recruits from A Badge of Friendship, ... (continued)
Above: Faisal Abdu'Allah, 'Last Supper', 2007 As a way of making our art section a bit more interesting, we have been contacting artists and musicians, asking for their contributions. So during certain weeks to come you can expect opinions from the very people we've been covering, who'll tell you which aspects of the visual art world move and influence them the most. Those very talented and artistically astute people, so far include, recent recruits from A Badge of Friendship, Ben Frost and ÃlÃ¶f Arnalds from MÃºm! Just from this small list you can expect some hugely diverse art reviews, let alone from the rest of people we're speaking to! For the moment however, it's been a while since my last art feature, in which I talked about artists who grabbed my attention because of the important part they play as documentarians. Now it's about time I speak about the artists who are currently playing catalysts for my ideas. Only a month ago, Sebastian Horsley, known and probably underestimated for his constant investments in drugs and prostitution, was found dead in his home from a drug overdose. I only new him by that point as the funny looking Marc Bolan dress-a-like who appeared on the Culture Show once. Having recently watched his crucifixion, which he became best known for, I recognized him as an artist. It is not so much the video above that is the art, but the event that took place. Horsley claimed that crucifixion was an intersection of many different things and that it was important to experiment with, leading him to a dark place within himself. Going through this was a preparation for a series of paintings that followed, but rather than his art it seems that he did this more for himself. I received a powerful impression of Horsley's attitudes from seeing the images of him falling off the cross and associating them with his reputation. I remember one artist calling himself a 'social sculptor'. This is a term that could be called pretentious by some, perhaps used by conceptual artists to get away with peddling meaningless ideas to their consumers. Looking past this name, it actually does well at involving all those who view art, turning them from observers into and actual part of the piece itself. Faisal Abdu'Allah's art is successful in doing this to a great extent. As a barber he was able to find out a lot about someone when giving them a hair cut. He took the context of the barber shop to a gallery setting and used it as a performance, inviting people from a surrounding crowd to come and have their hair cut, where they would have discussions with Abdu'Allah for the whole crowd to listen to in a live forum. Another piece of his that was completed by the involvement of the audience, was his collaboration with David Adjaye, an installation called 'The Garden of Eden'. It made people choose a pathway depending on the colour of their eyes, leaving those with a particular eye colour in a room made of two-way mirrors being viewed by the people of another eye colour from the outside. This is a fascinating feature to an art piece, bringing another dimension to the way it can be received. In my most recent work I made observations of lifestyles and practices that are deemed abnormal by mainstream figures, but are not so different to what is considered acceptable or desirable. I was interested by one of Luke Fowler's films, which looked at the 'Bogman Palmjaguar', an individual who at the time was on trial to determine his sanity because he had chosen to live as a hermit in the wild. The biography and contemporary moments surrounding the Bogman were all presented by Fowler as interviews and footage of his dwellings, involving views of the landscape off a roadside that the camera rushed past, giving us an insight into the history and nature of the Bogman himself. Keep a look out the articles written by our guest contributors, coming soon!
Faisal Abdu'allahSebastian HorsleyLuke FowlerDavid Adjaye