Channeling the chronomancer

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Greetings. As we try to channel our inner chronomancer, the significance of these devices and means of communication acutely rings true. In the midst of everything, I’m just getting on with my diary writing/drawing, seemingly obsolete but also perhaps an important time to be recording thoughts and observations. Fathoming the unravelling repercussions and predicaments triggers a knee-jerk reaction into the foetal position, and the over-load of analytical elements and angles factored in diffuse any potential succinct message, but broadly amount to The Mess Age. It is not unique of course, and like other times and places, transformations will result and continue. As I’ve not posthumously written here about the wonderful Monochromatic Minds: Line of Revelation exhibition that took place not long before everything changed, I’ll include some reflections in this instalment. I will also touch on other bits and bobs. Onwards..

 

Monochromatic Minds – Jennifer Lauren Gallery – Candid Arts Centre, London, UK. 25th Feb – 4th March, 2020

As anticipated, this celebration of black and white art works within the field of Outsider/Self Taught/Neuve Invention/Visionary art did not disappoint. The majority of artists’ names who’s work was included, alone, made for a very exciting cumulative concoction. The actual works aligned well to that aura. The space was also very well suited. The majority of works in the show could easily command your attention for an indefinite amount of time individually. Imagine a room full of that. The show was on for a mere week or so but felt alive while it was on the entire time with a variety of events taking place within the programme. There were art workshops and artist talks delivered by artists from around the globe. Below are some photos that should help contextualise things if you couldn’t be there and care to absorb an attempt at documenting my experience. 

There’s Jennie, the star of the show!

 

Vibrant (even in black and white) works by Liz Parkinson, myself alongside, being observed carefully (I think).

 

A wall of Ted Gordon, Liz Parkinson, myself, Harald Stoffers, and Dan Miller work among others..

 

Nick Blinko‘s corner

 

Chris Neate on the left, a mesmerising piece by Cathy Ward centrepiece, two fascinating works by Evelyne Postic above and below a commanding work by Margot.

 

Beautiful works by Rashidi on the left, and Gerard Sendrey top right.

 

 

A haunting Agatha Wojciechowsky piece cut off at the left side, and a magnificent Judith McNicol.

 

Poignant works by Albert.

 

I spotted the octopus in the room, in this joyful Leslie Thompson piece (detail).

 

Jennifer Lauren Gallery commissioned several artists in the show to draw/paint on chairs acquired from second hand shops, which also function as actual chairs that people could sit in during the exhibition if they need a rest. Though I don’t think I saw anyone sit in any. This one is by Kate Bradbury.

 

People at the opening watching the short documentary film. The film highlights 5 of the 61 artists in the show, including myself (on screen), Cathy Ward, Terence Wilde, Valerie Potter, and Jan Arden.

 

Liz Parkinson was in town speaking on the bush fires in Australia, her drawings, authoritarian neighbours, and having her works purchased by Jean Dubuffet.. from the series of artist talks.

 

A somewhat absurd image capturing me doing my artist talk whilst I’m also on screen in the documentary playing on a loop behind, facing the same direction. My drawings are documentation, the documentary documents me documenting, the photo documents the documenting of the documenting, and so on. Could it get more meta? Photo by Andrew Hood.

If you’d like to check out the short documentary I mentioned above, you can do so here.

 

Diary drawing and Deviations…

I’m working on the first A4 size diary drawing since 2016. There are several reasons why the format changed and I haven’t returned to A4, though was intending to. Anyhow, the time arrived. After I’d finished drawing in it a few days ago, I realised that I could see that day in the drawing. The reason being, I changed both the nib on the pen and its ink at the same time before starting that day. Usually these occurrences don’t coincide. The result being a distinction that is visible on the page. I took a photo so as to see what a day of drawing looks like when it’s not at the very beginning (as that is the other time/place where it is easily discernible, on day one). There are other contrasts on the page where the text takes on different shades and textures, for other reasons, but this one highlights a single day of drawing at this stage. Of course, after working on it again the following day, it won’t be visible anymore. Hence the significance of photographing it when I did. You might assume the lockdown is driving me to such pedantic measures. I’ll let you assume!

The current diary page, with one day’s entry visible.

Last month, I had an email exchange with the the good people over at Deviation Street and they included some of that in their lockdown series of posts. You can find that post here.

 

I feel like there was something else I wanted to include, but if it was significant I’ll get it in next time. I’ve incrementally been returning to this post for weeks now, so who knows anymore. Stay smart, and until the next time…

Carlo.

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

Inside Out at Castlefield Gallery in Manchester, UK

‘Inside Out’ at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (UK) / 4th March – 24th April, 2016

As promised in the previous blog entry, I am expanding on the topic of a current exhibition which features some of my work. At the time of writing this, it has been open to the public for just under two weeks and will remain open for just over a further month. I highly recommend a visit after having attended the preview night. The space is impressive, and the combination of artists and works make for a rich experience which should have something to absorb you into and intrigue you. I think it is fair to say that there is enough potency in this show to captivate beyond the much too often case in my experience of entering gallery, perusing ’empty’ feeling ideas/art for a matter of a handful of minutes at most, and sometimes even forcing further attention in case time might do anything in me understanding/appreciating the work, but more often than not failing to accept there is any substance of real value. I am so tired of that, that I wanted to write that sloppy sentence as quickly as possible and move on.

I have to send a big shout out to co-curator of the show show, David Maclagan, for his support over the last few years and for bringing me into this show. The work on display was co-curated with the Castlefield Gallery and I saw some interesting work that I was unfamiliar with until that point. Darren Brian Adcock‘s interactive pieces had a wondrous and original way of engaging with me. I had the honour or being in this group show with an artist I have admired for over half my lifetime thus far, Nick Blinko. This strangely put some sort of perspective on things, for me. In fact, and I hadn’t thought of this until now, but Nick Blinko’s original drawing used for the insert of his band Rudimentary Penis first album ‘Death Church‘ from the early 1980s, being exhibited in this exhibition, is a result of some cosmic vibrations if ever there were any. A friend of mine in school made a compilation cassette for me, containing hardcore punk recordings from his record collection. It took him months to finally get round to finishing it and giving it to me. A song from ‘Death Church’ was on this tape, and I went to seek out the album after that. Purchasing it was my first exposure to Nick Blinko’s art, and right now you can see the original art for that album on show in an exhibition along with some of my work. I’m not quite sure what to make of it, but something happened there!

I was going to write more, but I think I’ll leave it at that! I hope you can make it along to see some interesting work that doesn’t often get an outing. Vibrations courtesy of: Darren Brian Adcock, Nick Blinko, Peter Darach, Andrea Joyce Heimer, Carlo Keshishian, Joel Lorand, David Maclagan, Richard Nie, Mehrdad Rashidi, Mit Senoj, Marlene Steyn, Jenna Kayleigh Wilkinson.

Below are some photos from the opening.

David Maclagan introducing the exhibition

David Maclagan introducing the exhibition

 

Manchester is awash with youth

Manchester is awash with youth

 

Man steps into my realm

Man steps into my realm

 

Crowd congregate with fascination and intrigue in regards to a stranger's diary

Crowd congregate with fascination and intrigue in regards to a stranger’s diary

Further attempts are made to decode my rantings

Further attempts are made to decode my rantings

 

Diary Drawing, Sept. 2015 – March 2016

Another diary drawing has reached its natural ending point. On this occasion, without filling the entire page. I’ve covered most of it though. There are a handful of reasons that I am aware of relating to why, one of which is how difficult I found using the pen that I chose. It was not very fluid and did not flow so well. This, in part, delayed the process by months. Anyhow, that’s the way it goes. It was not the sole reason, in any case.. Unfortunately, my scanner is not scanning the page straight, regardless of how straight the page is placed into the scanner, so I hope this temporary scan should do for now.. I guess you won’t notice too much either way though..

diary-sept-2015-to-Mar-2016_temporary_scan

Lastly, I must mention I have been on some inspiring adventures lately. In contrast to the behemoths I normally post as blogs, and rather sparsely, I hope to submit somewhat more frequent and digestible posts, in which I’d like to focus on these adventures, for example. Until then,

Peace

Carlo

Outsider Art Fair Paris, Castlefield Gallery, Sweet Earth Records and a Happy New Year..

Outsider Art Fair Paris 2015…

Greetings friends, family, fans, followers and spies. I thought I’d write one of these posts to update everyone on some of my activities before the year is out. Firstly, as I mentioned in the previous post in September, I had two drawings shown at the Outsider Art Fair Paris thanks to Galerie du Marché and the Eternod/Mermod Collection from Lausanne, Switzerland. I must reiterate how much of an honour it is to have my drawings in their incredible collection and to be shown at their consistently strong booth, having attended the fair for several years and been absorbed by the potency and selection. This was the first time that my works have been exhibited at the fair, and I was in good company on the wall with a Louis Soutter  above me and a Theo below me, with a Madge Gill below that. As I said in my entry of reflections on the Outsider Art Fair Paris for Outside In‘s blog which can be read here: “In a weird way, I quite like being in the company of dead people who manage to speak from beyond the grave (and particularly in this way).” Quoting myself from other blogs, into my own. The future has arrived. Anyhow, for my perspective on the fair, click on the aforementioned link. The two diary drawings of mine that were shown were bought by the La Maison Rouge collection and a private collector. 

 

oaf paris carlo 2015

Carlo, beside himself at OAF Paris 2015

 

Diary Drawing…

I am currently drawing the 9th in my series of diary drawings, with the intention to stop at the 12th, as I’d like to continue a painting that I began in 2011 and hopefully build a series around it. Below, you can see an image capturing a moment in the process of my current diary in progress..

Ninth diary in progress

Ninth diary in progress

 

Castlefield Gallery… Inside Out

I am pleased to announce that some of my work will be shown in Inside Out, an exhibition with a very interesting roster of artists, at the Castlefield Gallery in Manchester, UK. The show will be on from 4th March until 24th of April. For (a lot of) additional info, check out the first link in this paragraph. I’ll go into some more detail about this exhibition in my next blog post, but for now I will say I am very excited to discover I’ll have works shown alongside Nick Blinko, Joel Lorand and Mehrdad Rashidi.

Sweet Earth Records

I undertook a most pleasurable adventure in recent months, in an attempt to shed light on a somewhat obscure, short-lived record company that was active between 1977-1979. My curiosity resulted from a variety of ‘coincidences’ in regards to the records that were released on the label, most of which are rare and all out of print with the exception of Sun Ra‘s The Other Side Of The Sun which saw a reissue through another label in recent years. In my attempt to demystify the story of Sweet Earth Records, I managed to speak with John Sprague who kindly elaborates on his memories of performing and recording with David Wertman and The Sun Ensemble, as well as his involvement with the label and their releases. I also speak with the legendary Amina Claudine Myers about her album Poems For Piano ‘The Piano Music of Marion Brown’, I chat with the charismatic Stephen McCraven who kindly invited me in his home to speak on his classic Wooley The Newt LP, and lastly I interview the great Ahmed Abdullah about a Sweet Earth Records non-release and what would have been Ed Blackwell‘s first album as leader. As far as I know, there isn’t really even a synopsis of what Sweet Earth Records were about, online, let alone an exploratory show containing interviews with someone associated with each release to come out on the label, which is what I’ve managed to piece together. I hope you enjoy it. With that, I’ll stop typing and leave you with those two hours of audio Sweet Earth Records special / See’s To Exist show. Happy New Year!

Bright moments,

Carlo

 
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