Archive for July, 2011


Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

— While at CalArts for graduate school from 1990 to 1992 I had the fortune of bonding with a group of fearless and powerful young women. Catherine Lord had just left as Dean of the School of Art, so feminism and gender equality were key topics. Tom Lawson stepped in as Dean and created an open atmosphere that allowed for experimentation; frankly, he looked the other way with some of our antics. These women included Denise Prince, Beata Henrichs, Ann Faison, and the Hubshman sisters (Linda and Sandy)—just to name a few. I was invited by Denise and Beata to join Speaker Death, a conceptual all-girls band they had formed, named after a KTEL album. The band began as an advertising campaign with DIY fliers before any of us even picked up an instrument. We eventually performed on a regular basis, jointly writing songs that were solely about women—Denise on drums, Beata on base, me on guitar and Linda as our kickass lead singer. I was in my first year of the graduate program, they in their 4th year of the BFA program. I was simply in awe. They were the most beautiful, powerful and outrageous women I had ever met. When Speaker Death finally played we borrowed instruments from the likes of Eddie Ruscha, Sam Durant, Adam McEwen and Anthony Burden. On the subject of feminism the school was somewhat ideologically divided between a focus on theory or behavioral action, with my group corresponding to the latter. At times we went too far, but we pushed boundaries in our search for empowerment. Nothing was off limits. Some of our behaviors resulted in a number of performances and, of course, the band was at the center. With their support I was determined to overcome some of my greatest fears, as well as push social boundaries. I don’t think I could pursue the current political direction of my work and activism if not for these formative years.

The particular performance shown in the video clip took place at an alternative space called The Other 15 Minutes, in 1990. The three performers are Denise Prince, myself, and Ann Faison, from left to right. We wanted to unhinge some of the sexual stereotypes of femininity, as well as literalize other male sexual fantasies in attempts to undermine them. I was thinking about a “Give’em their fantasies and scare ‘em” approach. We decided to make a satirical piece commenting on the fact that men always pee in public, yet women rarely do. The performance was an attempt to parody sexy female dancers epitomized in the 1980s weekly TV show Solid Gold, a program that played the top 10 music hits for the week. The show had a very tacky and sexy group of dancers called the Solid Gold Dancers. The New York Times referred to the program as “the pop music show that is its own parody…[enacting] mini-dramas…of covetousness, lust and aerobic toning—routines that typically have a minimal connection with the songs that back them up.” Denise Prince named our performance, “Gold in Unison”. She lent the footage to me so that I could present it here. Many thanks to our male background dancers; if you look carefully you will see Adam McEwen. Denise is still a close friend and huge inspiration. Currently she is making the most incredible work of her life that challenges my own, like few other contemporary practices.

Andrea Bowers received her MFA from CalArts and currently lives, works and teaches in Los Angeles, CA. Since 2003 Bowers’ work has focused primarily on direct action and non-violent civil disobedience enacted through the lives of mainly women. She presents the stories of activists to express her belief that dissent is essential to maintaining a democratic process, as well as to illustrate the importance of a political strategy that stands in opposition to violence and war.

Bowers recent solo exhibitions include THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, MERCY MERCY ME at Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, which also traveled to the MCA Sydney, and NI UNA MUERTE MAS at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens. Recent group shows include DRAWN FROM PHOTOGRAPHY at the Drawing Center, NY, THE LAST NEWSPAPER at the New Museum, NY, THE SEVENTH HOUSE at Project Row Houses, Houston, and PROGRESS at the Whitney Museum of Art, New York. She was also included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial and the 2008 California Biennial and has exhibited at Secession in Vienna, REDCAT, Los Angeles and Artpace, San Antonio. Bowers is a 2008 United States Artists Broad Fellow and 2009 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant recipient.


Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Photo by Alexandra Gaty

— The Antikythera mechanism is the most technologically sophisticated artifact that survives from antiquity. Currently dated to 150—100 B.C.E., it has also been described as the world’s oldest known analog computer. A shoebox-sized assemblage of 37 interlocking gears and dials, the Antikythera mechanism is an astronomical calculator complex and precise enough to predict eclipses and track the positions of the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn down to the hour, even compensating for their elliptical orbits—contradicting the prevailing Greek philosophical belief of its time that all orbits were perfect circles.

Discovered in a Roman shipwreck by sponge divers in 1901 off the southern Greek island of Antikythera, the first scholars to observe the device considered it an anachronism—an object that challenged conventional historical chronology, too complex to have been constructed during the same time period as the bronze statues and other objects discovered along side it. Devices with the level of complexity of the Antikythera mechanism would not appear again until the 12th century.(*)

Today some researchers believe that though Greek, the Antikythera mechanism actually embodies Babylonian not ancient Greek astronomy, pushing its origins even further into antiquity as well as geographically eastward. Finally, though thought to be rare if not unique, many researchers say that its refined design and manufacturing suggests that it had a number of undiscovered predecessors and perhaps was even the product of an as-of-yet unknown guild.

This is a photo of me taken through a double-axis diffraction grating film off the coast of Kythera, the island just north of Antikythera. It documents here more of a ‘parachronism’, something along side of or adjacent to something else in time and place.

(*) The notion that the Antikythera mechanism is anachronistic (from the Greek ana: against and chronos: time), reveals more our expectations and ignorance of history rather than anything about the actual material circumstances of the device. Declaring artifacts anachronistic springs from, as well as reinforces, the commonsense perspective of history as a uniform and continual unfolding of a primitive past into our uniquely technologically advanced present.

Mark Hagen was born in Black Swamp, Virginia in 1972. He lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include TBA, China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles (2010). Upcoming solo exhibitions include Galeria Marta Cervera, Madrid, Spain in September (2011), and Almine Rech, Paris in January (2012).


Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Nick Mauss was born in New York, in 1980, and raised in Munich, Germany. He has exhibited at Galerie Neu, Berlin; 303 Gallery, New York; and, most recently, at the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims. This fall he will exhibit at Midway Contemporary Art in Minneapolis, release the LP CRYSTAL FLOWERS on Dial records, and begin a guest-professorship in the department of Painting and Drawing at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg.


Tuesday, July 26th, 2011


— For my next two fashion collections I am focusing my attention on Galicia,
the area which used to exist in eastern Europe, spanning over southeast Poland,
the Ukraine and Austria / Hungary.

It was a landscape best described in the works of one of my favourite writers,
Joseph Roth. The place doesn’t exist anymore, it only survives in stories,
old postcards and books.

Here is an assembly of vintage, colored postcards from Galicia, research for
my collection. These are mixed with items found in my studio, chosen for their
symbolic connection to Galicia.

Frank Leder is a german fashion designer based in Berlin. After studying at Central Saint Martins, London, Leder moved on to developing his heavily conceptual signature style deeply rooted in german culture. Leder’s collection references might include anything from small town fire brigades, local butchers or Germanys colonial past, combined with a healthy sense of humour. He designs limited furniture pieces and interiors for selected clients. Leder’s work has been published and exhibited internationally.


Tuesday, July 26th, 2011


— A selection of images from artists who are inspiring me and informing my work at the moment. Older or dead artists that I’m reassessing and younger artists who are making things that look old.

William Turnbull

Aaron Angell

Mike Barrow

Antoni Tàpies

Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys

Des Hughes

Carl Andre

Hans Hartung

John McCracken

Craig Kauffman


Ulrich Rückriem

Oscar Tuazon

Oscar Tuazon

Carl Andre

Alan Shields

Bob Law

Lynn Chadwick

Jannis Kounellis

Scott Short

Dorothea Rockburne

Günther Uecker

William Tucker

Andrei Tarkovsky

Born in 1970, Peter Davies lives and works in London. Solo exhibitions include The Epoch of Perpetual Happiness, The Approach, London 2009, and New Paintings, Gagosian, London 2001, and forthcoming The Approach 2012. Recent group exhibitions include ART, Galerie Haas Und Fuchs, Berlin, Germany 2010; THE MAKING OF ART, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany 2009; Starstruck: CONTEMPORARY ART AND THE CULT OF CELEBRITY, The New Art Gallery Walsall, UK 2008; and forthcoming THE INDISCIPLINE OF PAINTING, Tate St Ives, UK, 2012.