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

Whirlwinds and Portals

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‘Line Let Loose’ by David Maclagan

It has happened again. Things Have accumulated and I have not blogged them. I will try to keep it concise!  Firstly, as I mentioned earlier in the year, a book called ‘Line Let Loose‘ featuring some of my creations on the cover and pages within, exists and is pretty exciting for me. It was meant to come out quite a few months back but there were some delays. As you can see in the photo below though, it actually exists now. I have this advance copy, and the rest should be out in November. I have finished reading it and while it is relentlessly on topic, exploring all sorts of angles, I like that and it certainly makes for an interesting account in regards to the history of scribbling, doodling, mediumistic/automatic-drawing, and examines crossovers and various aspects of these forms of expression. target=”_blank”>David Maclagan has written a fair bit over the decades, as well as being an artist in his own right, having given lectures and is also a retired art therapist. It’s an honour to have my drawing on the wraparound cover of this book!

Carlo with Line Let Loose

 

Parisian Whirlwind

I’m in Beirut right now, counting the hours until the opening of my solo exhibition ‘Portals‘. More about that later. On my way to Beirut, I came through Paris and stayed there for four nights so that I could check out the first ever edition of the Outsider Art Fair to be hosted in Paris (after something like 20 years of it taking place in New York). I had a great time and while I don’t really ever speak to anyone during these things, or if I do it tends to be in somewhat of a subdued manner, but this time even just being myself and acting natural, there was a fluidity at times which was really pleasant. I met some interesting people and had an altogether different experience. There was still strange stuff in the air, sure, but that’s to be expected. But anyhow, I arrived on the Eurostar (£34 ticket!) at 6pm and then had just an hour to go drop off my luggage and find my way to a 2 hour conference on Art Brut from America.. It was a great way to start the trip, going head on into re-configuring my mindset to listening and trying to understand French. I got at least half of it. Having a French eduction until the age of 9 or so, my vocabulary is limited but I do ok.     I spotted two people in the audience that my eye returned to a few times. One I was quite sure is Ody Saban, an artist I have admired for many years and have had a little correspondence with over the years. The other, I felt was Christine Sefolosha, though I’d only seen a couple of photos of her before and so couldn’t be sure, but she did glance over at me a couple of times, and we had also corresponded a little bit. I love Christine’s work also. Magical stuff. It felt funny to start the trip in the presence of two such ‘heroines’, neither of which I’d never met before. I chatted with Christine a bit and we took the train.. The following day was the opening of the fair, which interestingly took place at a hotel that had been hired in its entirety. Each guest room was used by a different gallery, with art works propped up in bathtubs and folders of drawings spread out on beds, stuff hung on the walls, etc.. Some of the gallerists even slept in the beds (at night)! I liked it in theory, but it wasn’t very practical at the opening with the narrow corridors etc.. Naturally some great works were on show. I was particularly pleased to see this small Raphael Lonne drawing kind of hidden at the bottom of a wall.. I showed John Maizels from Raw Vision magazine the advance copy of David Maclagan’s Line Let Loose that I had with me, and he agreed that it was beautifully printed and proceeded to show it to a few people in the surrounding area. I also showed it to Ody as she had an image in the book also, and of course hadn’t seen it yet. I went from there with my friend Julia Elmore to another gallery where a group exhibition was taking place, featuring works by Christine Sefolosha and it was an absolute joy to have Christine give us a tour of the show and to talk about her work. It meant a lot to me that Christine liked my work when I showed some of it to her. To get a genuine positive reaction from someone you look up to, there’s nothing quite like it. Both Christine and Ody were very friendly and supportive. I had a nice time chatting with Ody over a coffee the following day and then we went for some lunch with Laurent Danchin, which was very pleasant indeed. We spoke on various topics and it was a rather insightful experience. The following night my friend Anne-Cecile and I checked out the  party at the Halle st.Pierre celebrating the Raw Vision exhibition which was spectacular (and will be on until next August I believe!), and then on my last night I went to the party at the Christian Berst gallery and caught up with artist Cathy Ward and Jennie from Outside In while the Eugene von Burenchenhein photography show was in effect. I’ve got to send a special shout out to Rebecca Hoffman for making this great trip possible! Here’s a photo of Ody Saban and I.. and one I took of her with Laurent Danchin..

 

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Portals

My solo exhibition at The Running Horse in Beirut. I’ve been working on spiral-based paintings for this show since last year, and I’ve been painting spirals for long enough to forget when that all began. I’ve been jotting down a lot of reflections on how this show came to be, what making spirals means to me, various observations about the spiral in nature, life, ‘art’, and in history in general. So, I really don’t feel like writing more about it right now! I could copy my notes into here.. it might make for excruciating reading. I will spare you for now I think. So the show opens very soon, what I’ll do is, I’ll write a next post all about it then..

Cashew soon..

Carlo.

 

 
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