Geneva, Lausanne, London…

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Greetings,

In recent days (weeks??), I flew out to Switzerland for the opening of Scrivere Disegnando: When Language Seeks Its Other at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneve. Co-curated by Andrea Bellini (Centre d’Art Contemporain, Director) and Sarah Lombardi (Collection de l’Art Brut Lausanne, Director), it was very interesting. Works by ‘contemporary artists’ and ‘Art Brut artists’ were curated together, without biographies in sight. In some ways, three floors of diverse work focussed on language, writing, drawing, communication, coding, decipherability, secrecy, ambiguity and ambivalence through various media takes one on a journey through something which as a result is quite intangible. In some ways this is confusing and can raise questions about the curation, but on the other hand feels very much like an achievement in creatively exploring the very theme the show is relentlessly tackling head on. There is also a poetry to the moving through all these documents, rendering text in one way or another to express or describe or do something different to the previous or next thing which approaches from and to elsewhere. All these morphing forms of writing, recorded and reflecting or problem-solving, or foreseeing. There is an unknown geography to it. Certainly worth the trip! The experience of course also meant I can see where or how I fit in to all this, with three of my drawings included. If you think you’ll make it to the show, below are some photographs I’ve taken and perhaps you don’t want to spoil any surprises, but if you know you won’t make it, take a look… (and look out for the 300+ page accompanying book to be published soon)

 

After the initial introductory passage into the show, you are greeted by some wonderfully lit Adolf Wolfli works.

 

Three works per artist along this wall.. You can see a couple of Nick Blinko drawings on one end and my three drawings at the other…

People observing my efforts..

 

This Henri Michaux drawing had a poignancy to it, a highlight for me.

 

I loved these Laure Pigeon works. They need to be seen/felt in person, my documentation cannot communicate their essence.

 

Interesting Aloise Corbaz books containing text/drawings I can’t say I’ve seen before in her oeuvre..

 

An unexpected opportunity to see a room full of Luigi Serafini‘s original drawings/pages from the Codex Seraphinianus!

 

Walking from the Centre d’Art Contemporain to the restaurant, I spotted this attractive tentacle in the window of a games workshop type of spot.

 

I encountered the mythical Luigi Serafini himself at the restaurant.

 

Needless to say, the images I have included here are just a few snapshots barely skimming the surface of this delicious soup. The show has all the potential for a vastly immersive experience, requiring a chunk of your day to absorb to threshold. I was delighted to see pages from Serafini’s Codex Seraphinianus and that they had a room to themselves. I came across the Codex perhaps six or seven years ago and my curiosity was piqued by its surreal and absurdist nature. Speaking to Serafini, I learned of his upcoming exhibition of sculptures in London in May.

Scrivere Disegnando (‘Writing By Drawing’): When Language Seeks Its Other is on until May 3rd at the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva Switzerland.

 

The following day I went from Geneva to Lausanne to see the Carlo Zinelli exhibition at the Collection L’Art Brut, and to potter around. I dragged Philippe Eternod around several record shops. I had visited a couple in Geneva also. I came away with just one record, the duet between Karl Berger and Ed Blackwell ‘Just Play’ which I’d been after for a few years. Its price was not dissimilar to that of the few copies attainable online, but I save on shipping. See’s To Exist show (a two hour Jazz radio show), which I’ve been running for seven years, is currently on hiatus. Hopefully I can get back to it towards the end of the year. If interested, you can check out the special I did a few years ago on Sweet Earth Records, at a time when there was virtually no information about this short lived 1970s record label available online. Since then at least two of the records originally released on the label have been reissued, the Sun Ra record getting its reissue after the Sun Ra Estate got in touch with me to acquire contact details for someone involved with Sweet Earth Records. Anyhow, in the show, I speak with trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah about and uncover what would have been Ed Blackwell’s first LP as leader, which never saw the light of day. A point of interest for some. I digress, Eternod kindly took me to a great cheese shop and schooled me on various aspects of the cheesemaking processes. He was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. As well as the Zinelli exhibition, I saw the Theatre exhibition at the Collection l’Art Brut, which was also great. I have some reservations about how some of the work is sensationalised, but at the same time, some of the work is sensational. In any case, the museum is incredible. Undeniable quality at every turn. The Zinelli exhibition was fantastic. I’ve never seen so many of his double sided drawings side by side in one space, and the show was enhanced by images of Zinelli working and in his daily life, as well as a great documentary film I sadly just got to see 15-20 minutes of, as I had a schedule to keep. Had I known, I would have made time to see the entire thing. It had strong production values, with wonderfully shot panning across details of his work, and interviews with his friends and family. I’d love to get ahold of this film.

As part of the Theatre exhibition, some lovely Aloise Corbaz works in her books..

Great Madge Gill works and dresses she made were on display as part of the Theatre exhibition, as well as this large print of a colourful image featuring Madge Gill wearing one such dress

 

A curious Adolf Wolfli work with centralised photographic portrait of Wolfli worked into the piece, in the Theatre exhibition.

 

The actual headwear Eugene Von Bruenchenhein‘s wife, Marie, is seen wearing in some of his photographs of her, in the Theatre exhibition.

 

The guises of Vahan Poladian, in the Theatre exhibition. I like the inclusion of a saxophone. Something of this man’s demeanour reminds me of my grandfather who wasn’t far off the same age.

 

What looks like a glorious (baritone?) saxophone (or pipe), depicted in this painting from the Carlo Zinelli exhibition.

 

Carlo Zinelli foreseeing rock stars?

Carlo Zinelli also made these heads.

 

A table containing beautiful Raphael Lonne works, displayed in the permanent collection.

 

Leaving Lausanne via train for Geneva airport to return home..

 

Monochromatic Minds: Lines Of Revelation – Jennifer Lauren Gallery /// February 25th- March 4th. Candid Arts Centre. London, UK

In my previous blog post, I gave details regarding this groundbreaking exhibition about to take place in London. All the information about the exhibition and information about the artists can be found here. The opening is on Tuesday the 25th. On Wednesday the 26th, there are some artist talks that I’m very much looking forward to, with Liz Parkinson visiting from Australia and Julia Sisi journeying from France, among others. Further talks will take place on Sunday March 1st. I hope to make it along then as well. I think Cathy Ward will be speaking then. A few days ago I was visited by film makers at my studio, so as to include me speaking a bit about my work for a short documentary highlighting five of the artists in this exhibition, along with Cathy Ward, Valerie Potter (who currently has another exhibition on at The Gallery of Everything in London), Jan Arden and Terence Wilde. I think Terence Wilde will be running a workshop as part of the programme also. Talks and workshops need to be booked, so see website for details. The exhibition boasts a highly potent roster of artists which should be a joy to experience contextualised together. Other artists in the show include Albert, Aradne, Nick Blinko, Kate Bradbury, Madge Gill, Daniel Goncalves, Ted Gordon, Nigel Kingsbury, Margot, Malcolm McKesson, Dan Miller, Michel Nedjar, Evelyne Postic, Mehrdad Rashidi, Ody Saban, Harald Stoffers, George Widener, Ben Wilson and Agatha Wojciechowsky and more!

My process involves at least two layers of filtration and documentation, and here’s another layer…

 

My next entry will manifest sometime after the exhibition opens. See you on the other side. Take care,

Carlo

As we enter 2020, part II: New York, Manchester, Geneva, London

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Greetings. Here it is, part 2. Part 1 had me tying up last year’s loose ends. Part 2 looks at the near future and which walls you’ll find my work on. As usual, everything happens at once. I’m in exhibitions at the Portico Library in Manchester (UK), the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva (Switzerland), and with Jennifer Lauren Gallery at the Candid Arts Center in London (UK) as well as at the Outsider Art Fair in New York (USA).

 

Outsider Art Fair – Jennifer Lauren Gallery /// January 16-19th. Metropolitan Pavilion. New York, USA

I’m not sure exactly what happened during the fabrefaction of my July 31st – November 28th, 2019 diary drawing, but the result is 12,627 words in my bubble text on A5 card. This is almost 2,000 more words than were recorded on the previous page and by now more than have been recorded on any of the ten A4 size diary drawings. If you want to go see the combobulation for yourself, find yourself at the Jennifer Lauren Gallery booth for their third year at the fair. Jennifer Lauren will also be showing work by Shinichi SawadaAkio Kontani, Margaret Mousseau, Leonhard Fink, Chris Neate, Norimistsu Kokubo and more.

For further info on the fair, opening hours, special events etc.. see here.

Outsider Art Fair, NYC 2020

Diary, July 31st – November 28th, 2019

 

Talking Sense: The Changing Vocabulary of Mind and Brain. /// January 17th-April 13th. The Portico Library. Manchester, UK 

James Moss curates the works and minds of 50 artists in this playfully conceptual exhibition fitting to the ethos of the Portico Library, a 200+ year old subscription library in Manchester’s city center. The exhibition “explores the idea of “mind/brain-then/now” – combining 18th and 19th century literature with new artworks to create a space for conversations around the vocabulary of neurodiversity, mental health and psychology”. Sugar Glider vs. Octopus, a painting I did in 2009 will be included along with works by the homies Darren Adcock and Dolly Sen. Quite pleasantly, we are accompanied by 47 artists I can’t say I am aware of by name. I look forward to discovering their work and how all this might fit together in the context! The public preview is from 6-8pm on Thursday 16th January.

Talking Sense: The changing vocabulary of mind and brain

Sugar Glider vs. Octopus, 2009

 

Scrivere Disegnando (‘Writing By Drawing’): When Language Seeks Its Other /// January 29th- May 3rd. Centre d’Art Contemporain. Geneva, Switzerland

I’m thrilled to have several diary drawings included in this near-exhaustive exploration of writing as drawing and how this leaves the communicative aspect in ambivalence and/or ambiguity, focussing on work from the early 19th century to the present day. At least that’s my reading of it so far. I impatiently await experiencing the exhibition for myself at the opening on Tuesday, January 28th. I understand the exhibition will be accompanied by an elaborately produced book of 300+ pages. I will report back with details regarding that as I learn them. Co-curated by Andrea Bellini (Centre d’Art Contemporain, Director) and Sarah Lombardi (Collection de l’Art Brut Lausanne, Director), it will be interesting to see works by artists associated with Art Brut side by side with contemporary artists, brought together through the context of this theme. On those walls I’ll be in the very good company of Nick Blinko, Gaston Chaissac, Aloise Corbaz, Jean Dubbuffet, Susan Hiller, Henri Michaux, Laure Pigeon, Luigi Serafini (Codex Seraphinianus!), J.B. Murray, August Walla, Melvin Way and Adolf Wolfli among others.. In my previous blog entry I spoke on the writer Michel Thevoz and the artist Carlo Zinelli. Thevoz is contributing text to the book published in conjunction with this exhibition, and there is a big Zinelli exhibition at the Collection l’Art Brut in Lausanne, so I’ll also be able to experience that, which should be wonderful. I’ll report back upon returning.

 

Monochromatic Minds: Lines Of Revelation – Jennifer Lauren Gallery /// February 25th- March 4th. Candid Arts Centre. London, UK

I can’t help but feel this will be a historic exhibition relentlessly championing works in black and white, through a roster of 62 artists, most of which I admire immensely, and some I’d not heard of or seen but am thus far impressed with based on images revealed here. Jennifer Lauren has taken on quite a task and brought together an extremely impressive group of artists, which I’m overwhelmingly excited to see curated together in one space. On these walls I am joined by my PPP crew (Posca Pen Pals) Liz Parkinson and Julia Sisi, the highly potent Albert who I’ve met through the Bethlem, Madge Gill who needs no introduction, the great Aradne, it’s an endless list and I’d love to think of specific words to describe each artist but I must go and do my tax returns. It’s very tempting though.. Ody Saban who’s work I’ve admired over the last fifteen years, Cathy Ward whom I’ve crossed paths with since encountering her work at The Horse Hospital (which is in grave danger of being shut down after over 25 years, spread the word to your powerful and caring friends please!) around the time they offered to show my work for the first time in 2007/8, Nick Blinko who I’ve written about quite a lot over the years (here are a couple of bits: 2011, 2016), Rashidi, Margot, Harald Stoffers, George Widener, Ben Wilson, Malcolm McKesson, Dan Miller, Kate Bradbury, Nigel Kingsbury, Daniel Goncalves, Michel Nedjar, Evelyne Postic, Agatha Wojciechowsky, Ted Gordon, and the list goes on! I just wish brother Phil was here. Right,.. I feel like I’m about to malfunction. For full details check this  and I’ll reiterate all this in a more succinct and informative manner within the next blog entry in a few weeks, with updated specifics regarding the series of events surrounding the exhibition including presentations by some of the artists and more. 

 

Roger Cardinal (1940-2019)

It was saddening to hear that Roger Cardinal, the man who first used the controversial term ‘Outsider Art’ with having his book titled as such (published in 1972), has transcended the Earth at the end of last year. The forthcoming issue (104) of Raw Vision magazine will be a special tribute edition. I was privileged to meet him several times. My first encounter with him was interesting, I had been writing in my diary drawing for a couple of hours, alone at a table and he walks into the room and asks if I mind him sitting beside me. He then asked if I minded him taking some notes as we conversed. We went from there into another smaller room where a video interview with Jean Dubuffet was showing and we sat there for a short time before he nodded off for a while in an armchair. We crossed paths a handful of times or so after that and began a somewhat intense email exchange, which began with him actually saying he would be “honoured” to write about my drawings (too much!). He could also be quite playful in his approach. Referring back to that email, he wrote: I would be honoured to write something about your work, which is definitely on my personal list of a site of “outstanding natural beauty” (that’s a quotation from the Kent County Council road sign that you’ll find at the entrance to our local villages!). I regret not having resolved the unusual and perplexing tone of our last emails. Irrespective of that, Roger Cardinal will forever be gargantuan. 

 

As we enter 2020, part 1

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Greetings and welcome to another year in the Gregorian calendar… Let’s hope it won’t be a disastrous one! Anyhow, here is some information and observations regarding things I spend time on/with…

Paris 2019

The next day, at home, upon rummaging through my jacket pockets on my way out again, I discovered a small Swiss chocolate. Proof that I had in fact returned from another annual excursion to Paris, having spoken to an array of insiders of the Outsider Art field in some form or other. It was the Outsider Art Fair, the seventh edition of the Paris incarnation. Four of my diary-related drawings were shown with the Galerie du Marche, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Within 24 hours I knew that I’m not getting any of them back. It can be a curious pattern of thought imagining their current whereabouts and the level of engagement that may or may not occur in my absence. I am pleased with what they contain, the way they evolve, and how the thoughts transcribed transform into what in some ways feels like a sort of DNA to me, projected through the aesthetic form that is manifested. But in the end, it is not in the end, it is during the process that I feel the most value is placed/experienced, and while in some ways the evidence of that is contained, the moment in some other ways just comes and goes. Thankfully, the process involves a sequence of indefinite moments.

In the past I have written about things I’ve seen and felt at the Outsider Art Fair, either here or in Outside In‘s blog (2015, … 2016/2014 Paris and New York have mysteriously been deleted) but something that is happening with time is making it unnatural for me to attempt this currently. I have some photos on my phone though, and they trigger open doorways for me to walk in and out of briefly. Apart from photos of the Galerie du Marche booth, the only image I have of a particular work is actually from a short documentary film that was shown on the work of Michael Golz, who spends a lot of time developing a fictional map and associated terminology. Since 1977 he has been dedicated to manifesting Athos. Very impressive. It did remind me somewhat of a fictional map project carried out by Jerry Gretzinger, since 1963. In 2018, I encountered his map when it was exhibited alongside some of my diary drawings in the Vestiges & Verse: Tales From the Newfangled Epic exhibition at the American Folk Art Museum (NYC, USA). It is very unlikely Golz and Gretzinger will have been aware of each other until much later, if at all, given the geographic distance between them and a less linked non-fictional world around the time their maps began to take shape.

At the Galerie du Marche booth, I find myself in a most surreal situation of being placed on the wall beside the work of Carlo Zinelli. Sometime around two decades ago, I was in a secondhand bookshop and perusing the shelf of Art Books. I didn’t see anything that piqued my curiosity but for some reason a hardback book with the bold lettering ‘ART BRUT‘ on the spine made me pick it up. The cover image was intriguing and the authors’ name had a nice ring to it ‘Michel Thevoz‘. I recall that simple, yet effective, convergence. The page I opened it up to displayed a beautiful image of a sequence of figures with blob-like holes in their heads. Incidentally, I was drawing people with holes in their heads also. I looked for the name of the artist and it simply was ‘Carlo’ (they weren’t using Zinelli as his last name when it was written).. so, there is the serendipity of the Zinelli-Keshishian axis. As a tidbit, in recent years I heard that Michel Thevoz had seen my work and was supposedly quite impressed by it.

 

Carlo beside Carlo, Galerie du Marche, Outsider Art Fair Paris, 2019

A Carlo gone missing, Galerie du Marche, OAF Paris, 2019

Photo taken from the screening of Philippe Lespinasse’s documentary on Michael Golz, ‘ATHOSLAND’. Click to enlarge. (That goes for all these images, actually)

 

Still in Paris, returning to the apartment where I was staying after the fair one night, I learned from somewhere on the internet that the simultaneous opening of both David Zwirner’s gallery in Paris and the Raymond Pettibon exhibition were occurring, but just about ending by this point in time. It was exciting to learn that a Pettibon exhibition was around the corner. I went to see it the following day and felt enveloped in that very particular Pettibon atmosphere, relishing the fix. What a joy. I love the curation that seems to have some natural instruction from the works to exist in relation to each other in a distinct manner, branching outwards from the walls, creating systems or communities of drawings in pockets of the space. I even crossed paths with Mr.Pettibon himself.

 


 

I’ve done it again. The information has bottlenecked and as tempting as it is, it would be unwise to bludgeon you with its entirety. This part 1 covers the remnants of last year. The next will detail forthcoming news. Hold tight for part 2…

 

Carlo.

Artlicks Weekend with Hotel Elephant, Outsider Art Fair Paris, Diary drawing..

Artlicks Weekend/Hotel Elephant…

Welcome once again or for the first time. If you are sitting in silence, let me take this opportunity to momentarily redirect you to the archive of my weekly radio shows, in case you’d like a soundtrack to reading my blog. Go here and pick any of the hundred or so shows I’ve executed in my life as a radio DJ thus far. Don’t forget to come back though.

My first bit of news is that I’ll have some work showing in London (UK) again, finally. This will occur between the 1st-4th October. The opening is on the evening of Thursday the 1st of October from 6-9pm and then you will be able to come and see the following few days (Fri, Sat, Sun) from 12-6pm. Courtesy of Hotel Elephant as part of the Artlicks Weekend. The address is 23 Harper Road SE1 6AW. This location is just a few minutes walk from Borough station, or Elephant & Castle. For further info, you can use your search engine(s) or try these links: 1 and 2 and here’s another.. 3

 

Outsider Art Fair Paris 2015

I’m very pleased to announce that some of my work will be shown at this year’s Paris edition of the Outsider Art Fair, thanks to Galerie du Marché and the Eternod/Mermod Collection from Lausanne, Switzerland. It is an honour to have works in their highly impressive collection containing master works by Aloïse Corbaz, as well as works by some of my favourite artists (Edmund Monsiel, Carlo Zinelli, and Raphaël Lonné). Madge Gill, Scottie Wilson, and Adolf Wölfli are among the legendary names whose works can also be seen in the Eternod/Mermod Collection. The fair runs from October 22nd-25th. See website for further details. Here

 

Diary Drawing, March-September 2015

I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve completed another diary drawing. This time surpassing any previous shift in increments by a surprising amount, in regards to the amount of words contained in the drawing, which on this occasion clocks in at 11,273 words. The last couple of drawings were around 7,000 words each, and the one before that had the highest word count previously, at 9,539. Here is an image of the latest drawing.. (click on it for a larger view).

diary-march-sept-2015_small

Thanks for reading (and listening?)                                                                                                                    Bright moments,                                                                                                                                                      Carlo

 

 
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