Art Digest: July 20—26

By Juli 26, 2020 No Comments

Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: July 13—19

If you are into photography, enjoy traveling and/or have an iPhone, we have some good news for you. Anyway, the news below is good, also for those who prefer attending contemporary ballet and major art exhibitions to taking photos. Well, first things first.

B R E A K I N G   N E W S 

German curator kidnapped in Iraq finally released 

Berlin-born Hella Mewis who is an art curator specializing on young Iraqi art was abducted from the street of Baghdad on Monday. On that day Mewis left office in the downtown to ride her bike home, when two cars pulled up and grabbed the woman. Mercifully, to everyone’s relief, the curator was rescued by the Iraq security forces on Friday and is reported to be in good health at the moment. Hella Mewis has been living in Baghdad for several years and is prominent both for her civic engagement and participation in the Iraqi art scene.

‘I love Iraqi food, I love the Iraqi people. Of course, I have difficulties with the social customs here, but, as a foreigner, I can enjoy my freedom and am not involved. (Hella Mewis in the interview with Iraqi journalist Sary Hussam, January 2020)

Hella Mewis left for the capital of Iraq in 2013, being involved there into a project sponsored by Goethe Institut. According to the German daily Frankfurter Rundschau, she immediately felt at home in Baghdad and decided to stay there for a while. The curator soon founded Tarkib — a collective of young artists, who in their turn created Bait Tarkib center for contemporary art, also headed by Mewis. Coming into contact with modern art might be pretty unusual for the majority of Iraqis, and Hella Mewis undertook that mission. In her curatorial practice she focuses on the status of Baghdad women as well as the freedom of artistic expression and research. 

P H O T O G R A P H Y 

Meet winners of Apple’s 2020 iPhone Photography Awards 

This year the reknown iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAWARDS)

takes place for the 13th time. Thousands of photography lovers from over 140 countries have sent their works for the competition, and here are the winners: Dimpy Bhalotia (Great Britain) received the Grand Prize as the Photographer of the Year for her highly expressive though black-and-white Flying Boys. The work pictures three teenagers jumping into a river (an up-from-below shot). The first place in the leading category was taken by Artyom Baryshau (Belarus) for his dreamy, blue No Walls, the second was Geli Zhao (China), who amazingly captured sheets flying, but preferred to leave his work Untitled. Iraqi Saif Hussain presented a portrait of an old man called Sheikh Of Youth and took the honored third place.

Apart from the Photographer of the Year, the major and most privileged category, IPPAWARDS has also a dozen of other noteworthy nominations, among which are Architecture, Abstract, Children, Landscape, News/Events, People and etc. If you feel like applying next time, all you have to consider is using a photo device by Apple (either an iPhone or an iPad of any model, no matter how new it is). Also your work shouldn’t be published anywhere before, except for personal accounts of social networks. Altering photographs is not allowed, you should also be ready to verify that your work was taken by an Apple device, if required. Find out more on the website of the Awards

Call for entries: LensCulture Journeys 2020

LensCulture is glad to suggest you an alternative to traveling, since the latter is not the safest option so far. Taking part in LensCulture Journeys 2020 might bring you back to some good old days, when tripping was easy and exciting (hopefully, it still will be in the nearest future). Right now you have an opportunity to be exhibited at Paris Photo, in case you win the award. Anyway, all participants will be honored with judging by the world leading experts in photography, such as Jim Casper, LensCulture Editor-in-Chief, or MAGNUM Photographer Carolyn Drake. Needless to say, your journey photo can be anything: from fictional journey to documentary — each genre will find an appropriate category. Further details are available on the LensCulture website. The deadline for submissions is August, 19. 

C O N T E M P O R A R Y  A R T 

First venue for documenta 15 announced 

The former department store Sportarena in Friedrichsplatz (Kassel) will be the first venue of documenta 15, which takes place from June 18 — September 25, 2022. It may also be referred to as ruruHaus, since the artistic direction of the exhibition is run by the Jakarta collective of artists and creatives called ruangrupa, while the word Haus (house) is from German. 5,000 square meters of the ruruHaus will become a meeting point for various communities, artists, and visitors throughout the 100 days of documenta 15. Even the windows of the former department store will be involved into practice (it’s going to be a public space project). 

The concept of documenta 15 has also been announced, and it’s lumbung. The word comes from Indonesian and means a collectively governed rice-barn, where the harvest is kept for the good of the community. Ruangrupa members say, lumbung can act as an effort (alongside so many others) to show that things can be done differently’. The artists admit, they are ‘therefore not suspending lumbung, but accelerating it’. Among the initiatives ruangrupa chose to work with are Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (Berlin, Germany), OFF-Biennale (Budapest, Hungary), Más Arte Más Acción (Nuqui, Choco, Colombia), Jatiwangi art Factory (Jatiwangi, Indonesia), and a few others that go hand-in-hand with lumbung values. 

M O D E R N   D A N C E 

Two premieres by NDT Standby and She Remembers available online 

It took just 3 weeks for the choreographers of Nederland Dans Theater (NDT) Paul Lightfoot and Sol León to create two brand new plays based on the demands of the new reality. Standby by Paul Lightfoot is choreographed to Knudåge Riisagers’ ‘Etudes’ and performs the metaphor of social distancing (only those artists who know each other can interact closely on stage). Sol León has built her piece ‘She remembers’ around the image of a door. According to Sol, ‘a door, and not a window’ helped her ‘express the beauty and the difficulty. The ups and the downs. The front and the back’.

The both premieres took place on July 15. You can enjoy watching ‘Standby’ and ‘She remembers’ online on the NDT website until August 10.  

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