Andrew Graham-Dixon and Alastair Sooke present from the Frieze Art Fair. Artist Ryan Gander talks to Christian Jankowski about his Frieze project, a luxury yacht.
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This has become the contemporary art world's favourite shopping Mall.
Also tonight, Anahita Razmi heads to the roof-tops to meet Anahita
Razmi. Miranda explores the extraordinary
life and work of sculptor Judith Scott.
And Simon visits the craftsmen behind some of Britain's re stored
historic gems. It's not as easy as it looks.
Mark Kermode attends the biggest screening of the week.
And I'll be looking into the human brain.
First, the Frieze sculpture park with an interestingly varied
collection of works by internationally ail claimed artists
all set in the regent park. You'd need an invite, a special
invite to attend the main fair on day one. Alistair joined the chosen
few for this private view. It's estimated that up to 80% only
come to speck Tate, will you today is all about everyone belonging to
that other cash-laden 20%, the buyers. It's these people that the
German artist Christian Jankowski probably had in mind when he was
commissioned to create a new piece for the fair. We meet him last week
before he sailed into Frieze. One of the most controversial and
costly art works up for grabs this year at Frieze Art Fair won't be
made in an artist's studio or warehouse, it will be built here,
on Italy's Adriatic coast. You might not instantly recognise it as
art. A gigantic superyacht, like this
one behind me, will be available to buy in London. Either as a luxury
boat, or an artwork. It's exactly the same thing but has a really
different price tag. As a luxury yacht it's yours for 65 million
euro. As an artwork it's a handsome 75 million. It's a 10 million euro
mark-up. We're talking about a lot of money.
The project is the brain child of brazen German artist Christian
Jankowski. Jankowski's art has a sharp sense of humour. For a recent
video piece he persuaded a panel of Vatican insiders to audition the
part of Jesus. They're made to perform a series of
X-Factor-like biblical challenges before a winner is picked.
I can't believe that the Vatican let you do that, how did you
convince them? I met many people over the period of three months and
the higher I got the easier it was to talk to them and then they said
yes. It would have been nice if the Pope had been in it, no? Of course,
yeah. I've asked Christian to explain his yacht idea out on the
deck of a borrowed boat to find out a bit more. And experience a bit of
the luxury living that awaits potential buyers. It's really weird
how really wealthy people always go to white, it obviously shows that
you can have things cleaned regularly. Let's get going.
Tally ho. So, this artwork, what do I get for
the extra 10 million that makes it an artwork? You get my name is
control letters and I give my name to this boat. Of course, you get an
artwork, a different thing than it was before, it's not just a boat
but an artwork. When you get the whole concept of it, you see that,
it is a new statement, you are not only the rich collector that does
something, but you also are a co- author, that is crazy enough to
spend 10 million more to be part and put something on earth that is
an artwork like a media, at the same moment it's a sculpture, use,
to play with, to confuse other people and bring them into new
discussions and perspectives about it. So the only addition you've
made to the boat physically is the labeling? Yeah. You decided not to
make any other aesthetic decisions or choose any features to be added
to the boat? No, first when I started talking to the shipbuilders
about this idea there was this, you know, the wish also to produce
something inside the boat, to do something with it, to somehow make
it more arty. But I had to explain very carefully that it's very
important that it stays as this concept. If you're charging 10
million for it as an artwork, you're putting yourself up there
with Picasso and the great Masters? Why not? It's not what Picasso had
in the first place, also that value has only been created by dialogue
by artists by the market. Christian's work also asks awkward
questions about the economic and symbolic value of art. In his 2009
piece, Strip The Auctioneer, a Christie's employee sells off his
belongings to the highest bidder as part of a performance piece.
A lot of your projects seem to be really elaborate in the
organisation of them. There's something quite ballsy about them,
I imagine they need quite a lot of confidence to be able to pull them
off. Upbgs? Yeah, I think you might. You think so? Yeah, I think you
might. It's a simple idea, you have the partners, the collaborators,
and koefrgs of course they offer awe lot more options to work with
them. . His collaborator on this project
is Luca Boldrini, the brand manager of the super yacht company
Christian is working with. Luca Boldrini will be trying to sell the
artwork at Frieze. OK, you're the sales director of
the company and you'll be selling this at Frieze, sell it to me as an
artwork. Normally a piece of art doesn't lose value but gains value
throughout the years. Many of our collectors they have something
hanging on the wall, on the studio or they can see something in a
museum, but in this case they can be evolved into the piece of art,
they can use the piece of art, they can enjoy it, they can share it.
With many different people. It's quite a bombastic project that
could irritate the general public, I think. It might get a lot of
criticism. There's the usual criticisms, I could do that or is
it art? Yeah, but when you're on the art fair, especially Frieze you
have those people coming by, you've those people who already own yachts,
if you already collect a couple of yachts, you know, why not? It
brings immediately a dialogue with everything that happens on Frieze
commercially. It's for me, the boat isn't the artwork, you doing it is
the artwork. I see it as you trying to get away with selling a boat as
an artwork. It's both at the same time. The performance aspect is as
important as the sculpture. Both of it is needed. Without boat, no
story. But the story isn't quite complete. At the moment there is no
boat. Because these superyachts are so massively expensive, Christian's
main artwork won't actually be built until the collector hands
over the dosh. Instead, this smaller yacht will be on display at
Frieze. It, too, can be bought as either a boat or as a work of art,
but comes free if you buy the superyacht. Physically there's very
little to go on, it's all about the concept. What do you mean by very
little to go on, there is so much to offer, in the moment you're at
Frieze fair you're standing in front of a crazy, great sculpture,
you see the salesperson that normally sells boats. Of course in
the end it's an idea, but what else should there be but an idea in the
beginning? Do you think it will sell? I don't know. Well, what
percentage would you say? I would say right now it's a 50-50. If the
boat does sell and the collector who buys it asks you to curate the
works on board, would that be something you would consider?
I would love to do that, yeah. Would you ask for another fee? Or
is that part of the deal? Let me think about it.
If we're honest there aren't too many of us who could even dream of
affording Christian's work but there are plenty of other
commissions here at Frieze for us to enjoy by a whole range of
international contemporary artist. One who takes a much more poignant
position is the winner of the emdash award, Anahita Razmi who has
made a very powerful dance piece exploring political unrest on the
roof-tops of Iran. We went along to meet her in the
final stages of production. We deliberately blurred the faces of
the dancers to deliberately protect their identity.
This year the artwork commission is unlike any other in Frieze. The
organisers had to keep it a secret and no publicity was even allowed
until very recently. The artist herself risked not only turning up
empty hand,ed she could have gone to prison.
Anahita Razmi is a German-Iranian conceptual artist. For this year's
Frieze Art Fair she's created a video installation which addresses
the violent protests which shook Iran during the 2009 presidential
election. Because no foreign media was
allowed, the main coverage came from people using their mobile
phones, which were uploaded to the internet at high personal risk.
In 2009 they were going at night to the roof-tops to somehow do a night
protest. They were shouting "death to the dictator". It was somehow
echoing through the city. There's a great photograph from the world
press photo as well? Yes, a woman standing on a roof-top in Tehran at
night, shouting. It got really known.
These women on the roof-tops reminded Anahita of an earlier
dance piece Shadow seen set on the roof-tops in New York. The
Roofpiece by American choreography, Tricia Brown it was the fusion of
these images which gave birth to her current work. In Trisha Brown's
1971 piece, 12 dancers were placed on 12 different roof-tops. They
transmitted improvised movements from one dancer to the next, a bit
like Chinese whispers. I was always intrigued by that performance
somehow. At some point these two contexts came together, but it was
somehow linking In My Head and saying, OK, to do something like a
re-enactment of this performance in like present Tehran would be
something that really makes sense. This is not the first time that
Anahita has taken the work of other artists as a starting point. In
2008 she was inspired by Tracey Emin's photograph, I've got it all.
She created an alternative version by replacing bank-notes and coins
with monopoly moneyy and casino chips to highlight the futility of
money. A lot of your work is inspired by,
or pays tribute to existing works. Yeah. What's the appeal of that for
you? I quite like this idea of taking some work, is it, an artist
and then making a connection, for example, like taking this to Iran,
it's not so much about critiqueing something or somebody but taking it
as a reference can be quite an honour.
But the reenactment of Trisha Brown's piece was fraught with
problems. As if filming in Iran wasn't dangerous enough, Anahita
also had to deal with the Government's strict control of
artistic expression, specifically dance, which is legally banned in
Iran. When we were shooting this on the
roof, we were dancing, we were not shouting, we are not making any
protest movements like, OK, we, it is something that is somehow
political but it becomes political in the end, not while we were doing
it. I was working with professional dancers in Tehran, which you can
find. It's a small community, but you can find them. It's a very
underground thing, even doing the performance on the roofs, which
roofs do you go to? You have to ask people and you have to ask them
with an issue that is quite problematic. Were you scared,
because there were journalists who have been locked up for doing, for
being a journalist in Iran. If they found what you were doing, what
might have happened? I could for sure say there is a risk in doing
something like that. It definitely could have been that we couldn't
have succeeded at all. You had a commission so, if it hadn't
happened what would you have brought? When being in Tehran I was
like, OK, I'm going to stay here until we've done it.
Anahita has been working on the footage from the 12 different
cameras in a studio in South London. Tell me how it works then. You have
all these different cameras and footage. How have you assembled it?
Basically, you can see it on the screen here because there are 12
different cameras, each showing one dancer. That's dancer number one.
The movement is translated to dancer number two here and number
three picks up. It's almost like a ripple? Yeah, yeah. Which screen is
this one? That is number 12, actually. The last one? The last
one. It's pretty much the view of the city. There is the tower, which
is quite a site in the city. terms of the geography of the roofs,
how far apart were they? Were they all next to each other? There were
some roofs which were quite close but we also had some very long long
distance connections and it was hard for the dancers to pick up the
movement and even seeing each other. Was it a straight line, dancer to
another? No, not really. We had to work with the roofs we could get.
How are you going to transfer this now to Frieze? I can show you on
the map. So, you see a map, an architectural
map of Frieze Art Fair. We will have 12 screens and there will,
they will be located throughout the fair. It is possible, somehow,
while walking around that you can make connections from one screen to
the other. It's quite strange, though, isn't it, because your work
is being shown in a place which will be full of commercial art.
It's a bit of a contradiction? but I quite enjoy this
contradiction for the piece. Because, in Tehran while we were
doing the performance, of course, we couldn't have an audience, so
this contradiction from doing this gorilla act and then going there to
this art fair with this, maximum commercial audience, is such a nice
contradiction in a way. I really enjoy having the piece there.
Now, there's a rather beautiful slither of that piece playing
behind me. But now, from the roof-tops of
Tehran, to a bar in a Romanian castle.
The bar is the creation of Pelesh empire.
Here it is. It's intoxicating. I don't know
who's witch. I'm bar bra Katrina. What's this all about? I feel like
I suddenly walked into some weird hall of mirrors, everything is
distorted. The images are supposed to look like you already had a
drink. When did you first start the idea of this? It's actually, our
project Pelesh empire is based on the Romanian castle, which is a
130-year-old, quite young castle, that combines different
architectural styles, Renaissance copies, art Deco. This is based on
an image we took last summer. this is a back reference to our own
history. When we started in a Frankfurt, we opened a weekly salon
open to the public, it was in our own living rooms. So you were
playing games in your own living rooms with reproductions, were are
you creating this wall paper of photograph graphic distortion at
that? Our first one we lived in the red-light district, we captured the
first from the castle which was the prince's bedroom. That reference.
So it's your own kind of portable castle and you take it with you and
recreate it in different places but it's seen through a filter of
distortion and change. Yes, we like the shift in materiality that when
you're standing quite far away from it you first don't see, is this
real or fake, then when you come closer, you see the marks of the
step forbd A3 sheets. So, it's all about perception being distorted
and filtered, which is kind of what happens when off drink, right.
Exactly, that's why the bar concept fits well. Thank you, what do we do
now, have a drink? Yes. Cheers. Now for a different kind of
celebration, the work and the life of the artist Judith Scott, self-
taught, regarded by some as the quintessential outsider artist. Her
work as has gained a cult following. She now numbers among her admirers,
We ten to think that art is made by artists. So, can something be art
if it's made by someone who doesn't call themselves an artist, or even
know what art is? These are just some of the tricky
questions raised when you consider the work of Judith Scott. Judith
died in 2005 age 61, having spent the last 18 years of her life
consumed in the making of these strange and powerful objects that
you can see around me. But it wasn't only her creations that were
extraordinary, her life was, too. She was born in Columbus Ohio in
1943, deaf and with Down's syndrome. Her family looked after her until
the age of seven when, on doctor's advice, she was institutionalised.
But Judith had a twin sister who was perfectly healthy. 35 years
after Judith was first locked away, her twin Joyce could bear it no
longer and decided to get her out. It must have been very difficult to
be apart from your twin for so long? It was very, very difficult.
We had always played in the same space, we slept in the same bed. We
did absolutely everything together. Yeah, it was terrible. I mean, I
think I know very well how terrible it was for me and I can't even
imagine how terrible for her, losing everything. What was the
institution like that she was in? Can you describe it? Yeah, it was a
very frightening place. It was these big old buildings. Something
that you would think of in Charles Dickens. Very dark, big, heavy
doors. Children bunched together, overheated, sometimes just lying on
the floor. It was a really warehouse. When she was in the
institution there aren't very many notes about her life there, but I
got her ror and one of them is saying -- her records but one is
saying that they were letting some children draw and Judy wanted to
draw and they thought she was too retarreded and they took the
crayons away from her and she left the room crying. It was just so sad.
What happened when you got her out? She came to live with us in
Berkeley, California. A friend of mine told me about Creative Growth
in Oakland, which is for artists with disabilities.
I went there, I fell madly in love with the place. When you walk
through the door there's just such a sense of creativity and aliveness.
It's just a very joyful place and I thought, she has to go here.
Creative Growth is a visionary art centre in California where people
with mental or psychological difficulties are given total
artistic freedom. What kind of work did Judith make
when she first arrived? For two years really she did nothing. Then
one day she picked up, these are early pieces, she picked up these
wood pieces and wrapped them in this chord, fibre and fabric and
formed these first totems. If you know about childhood development
it's an important time for language to develop in the second year, you
become more able to speak. I think she was learning how to speak. She
never did have verbal language. This became her language, these are
her first words? I think so. From the day she made the first one
until she died 20 years later she did it every day non-stop, until,
sometimes, her fingers would bleed. How long would it take something
like this, then? It depends, a smaller piece like this might take
her a few days to a couple of weeks. The very large pieces took
sometimes months. She would finish it and then what? When she was
finished she would always make this motion like this and push it away.
Done! This looks like there's something
in here, what's in here? Right, well Judith's process was
interesting because she would go around the studio and appropriate
objects, which is art speak for steal things. Shadow steal things
and bupble them into her pieces and wrap them.
These X-rays reveal some of the unusual things Judith buried inside
her sculptures. There are a few precious bits, it looks like beads.
That, to be honest, looks like someone's wedding ring.
Just stuck in the middle of it. For people that had lived in
institutions often they want things to be secure and safe. They want to
protect things as well. I think she's also using it as the idea of
womb or something hidden. She creates these spaoeupbs and these
points of tension. She's really -- spines and these points of tension.
She's really sewing it and weaving it together. It's not a simple
wrapping motion. These works, I mean, we have an exhibition here,
all of her work, it's presented as a work of a proper artist, are
these works for sale? Do they have monetary value, what happens to
these pieces? We're not selling these pieces right now here in
London, but her pieces are for sale or have been for sale. All the
artist at Creative Growth unless they say no their work goes for
sale and the sell of the money goes to the artist to support them.
Stkph this retrospective is part of the major show by the Museum of
Everything, a unique venture that aims to bring the work of self-
taught artists living on society's fringes to a much wider audience.
Contemporary thinking has it that art is only art if it's made by
somebody who calls themselves an artist. This work doesn't do that,
does it? It challenges it. It's a very different thing. When we look
at it we know it's art, it seems crazy for me, for any museum or
curator to say it isn't art because it lacks art-historical context.
Every artist has a story, but the story doesn't come first. They
don't say drunk Jackson Pollock! Judith's story is heartbreaking,
and astonishing, but actually the best is when you see the work first,
don't know the story and then the layers peel back.
I don't care if the art world defiance Judith Scott's creations
as art or not, I find her pieces compelling and original. Her story
incredibly moving. That's enough for me.
You can catch Judith Scott's pop-up exhibition at the old self ridge
hotel until October 25th. Whether it's through off-shoot Biggss or
this giant pavilion Frieze is all about expressing ideas outside of
the mainstream. Pierre, hi.
I'm glad I tracked you down into this shadowy space, it's quite
atmospheric here. This, I'm guessing is your commission, an
aquatic theatre? Exactly. We can call it a theatre in a certain way.
I don't know,I don't like the word theatre but we can say that.
Stkpwhru don't like the word theatre? Because, of course,th it's
not a theatre, but there's an animal with a mask, so something
going on, it's a kind of stage. You're not hoping they will enact
sort of story? They won't, I think. It would be hard? There's no script,
there's no narrative, there's no script. There's natural behaviour.
It is a fiction because I construct that tank and put them within that
condition. But what happens under that condition is real. So it's
like you've set some rules, parameters to create an eco-system
and then what happens within those rules is that these animals behave?
Exactly, as they will do. That's spontaneous? Exactly. Looking at
the display within that we can relate to our basic emotion, basic
situation that we have previously encountered. Did the her mit crab
take to the sleepy muse very easily? Yes, we did some tests on
different crabs in New York. you winding me up, you did
auditions for hermit crabs? Yeah, this one is a more active one. This
one is more active, that is the one, so we picked that one and he just
went naturally on the shell. I fine these little creatures, the other
ones really quite scary, if you look closely, they have pinsers?
Yes they are arrow crabs, they usually heat the bottom of the sea,
eat the bottom. What do you say, scavenger Yeah, I wondered if they
were the word for the collectors, ska advantage e vepbging around
collecting pieces? They might, I don't want to close that
interpretation. Clearly there is a golden artwork.
Thank you for showing me your aquarium, I feel much calmer now.
It's good to have met you, thanks. I do hope those little crabs will
be OK. But, you know, despite all this
massive ideas and creative energy, you can feel buzzing around at an
event like this, do you occasionally hear the odd gripe
about the lack of skill, and loss of craft. Personally I think this
magnificent contraption is rather brilliantly put together, but for
the doubters among us we continue our series of heritage angel awar,
week Simon Thurley from English Heritage talks to the men and
competing for the craftsmanship category.
This is North Somerset, and a Gothic revival splendor built in
1863 by the wealthy Gibbs family. But, actually, it's not the house
I've come to see, I've come to see something much more modest but in
its way equally impressive. The orangery.
OK, right now the not looking at its best but when this building was
completed in the late 1890s it was the glittering centrepiece of this
beautiful kitchen garden. When I first came here in 2003, it was
catastrophic. But as you can see, it's now covered in scaffolding and
very soon repair works will be complete and it will be restored to
its former glory. The orangery was built in 1897 to
house exotic plants and fruit. It was part of a huge walled garden
which needed an army of gardeners to maintain it.
Today an army of stone masons as well as gardeners are hard at work
restoring this unique building. The National Trust has initiated a
pioneering training proproject with any more bus innovation and young
City of Bath students. Presumably you find it inspiring working on
it? Definitely. It's the most amazing building I've ever been
allowed to get involved on. You've been doing some huge new bits, that
looks to me like it's entirely new? Yes, that's completely new and a
few like that. I can't take credit for that, I'm afraid. But one of
your colleagues can? Yeah, some Carvers. Immaculate. These are the
These are the basic hand tools. visitors get a chance to play a
part in this great restoration drama. As someone who's always been
involved in old buildings but doesn't often get his hands dirty I
can't resist having a go myself. It's not as easy as it looks.
apparently not. Master mason Mark Sparrow has been involved in the
restoration of the orangery from the beginning. What was it like
when you first came here? Absolutely frightening. The first
time I got up on the scaffolding, I didn't know where to start. The
North elevation was gone, there was nothing there for us to work with.
We literally had to go back to basics. Do you think it will
actually get back to its original state? Absolutely, absolutely. It's
really, really well thought out. Once it's water tight it will be
fantastic. What will you feel like on the day when you walk in here
with all the citrus fruits in blossom? Probably the proudest man
in the world I think, along with all my colleagues involved in this,
we're very, very proud of it. Another set of unique craft skills
came into the play in the restoration of the second building
competing in the craftsmanship category.
The 16th century Smyth barn in Kent was built by Elizabeth I collector
of taxes, Thomas Smyth. Thomas Smyth was a giant of a man
and I think probably Elizabeth I was somewhat intimidated by him. He
was very, very rich. He wanted to build this barn just to show off.
What transformed Smyth's barn into a rural cathedral was its
magnificent hammerbeam roof. A roof like this is normally found in a
Baronal hall. But this is this was a building obviously meant to
impress. The res tors has been lovingly carried out by a team led
by carpenter Peter Massie. It's a great privilege to work on
something so important. It does give you this sense of the people
who have been involved in it historically. I do get that sense
when I'm doing a repair that someone was actually looking over
my shoulder and saying "I'm not sure I'd quite do it like that" or,
yeah, that's a really good way of solving that problem.
For centuries Worcester cathedral has stood proud over the river
Severn. But its once magnificent 14th
century hall where the monks offered hospitality to all those
passing through Worcester has now all but disappeared.
This is the third building competing for the craftsmanship
award. To ensure that this ancient site
survives into the next century, the cathedral's team of stone masons
have been hard at work shoring it up for the nation. When we first
started the hall itself was in danger of collapse. I think the
wood lice had done their work. All the joints were just soil, not even
mortar. Then it became very apparent that the tracery panel was
in a very poor state. In fact, I could have just pushed it over, it
was so poor. It was very, very difficult to
restore the window. What information I had was very limited,
but then I found a postcard. I was really surprised to see they had a
picture of the hall and the window itself was intact. Just that
postcard alone enabled me to recapture that design. Helping
Darren to piece together the jigsaw puzzle had been a team of young
apprentices. To be able to work on something that is nearly 700 years
old is an experience you don't get very often, not in many other jobs.
It's great to be able to work on something where it's visibly
obvious what you've done. Every time people come to visit me it's
"come to see the window". People are really impressed because it's a
massive project. It's done and I think it looks great.
From the outside, WoodChester mansion in Gloucestershire, the
final building on the list, may look like a perfect example of a
grand country mansion completed in the fashion I can't believe late
Victorian Gothic revival style. But its ghostly interior tells
another story. This place hasn't become a ruin, it was always just
like this. In fact, it looks exactly the same
as it did when it was abandoned mid construction in 1873.
It created a tremendous impression in people's imagine who lived
locally. It was abandoned, people said it was haunted. There's hardly
anybody in the Stroud Valley who didn't climb into this house during
their childhood and frighten themselves and run around inity
empty, echoing vaulted halls. was built for William Leigh, a
wealthy Catholic convert who was such a perfectionist that the house
took nearly 20 years just to get to this state. When he died in 1873,
the family's fortunes dried up and construction ground to a halt.
Now, thanks to the mansion trust work has resumed. Students from the
city of Bath college have been given a unique living classroom to
work in. I love history, one of the reasonsy
went into stone masonry was for the historical side of it, I really
wanted to help preserve all our beautiful old buildings. You don't
get a better example than this, because it's just a snap shot of a
bunch of stone masons who've, they didn't finish the building but we
can see how they work and the beauty of what they did. They left
all their tools on site. We can see them, we can see all their marks
and their genius that they had back then. It's a dying art. We need to
preserve buildings like this to understand what they did.
Now, from the fundraising efforts of local communities to those of
some of London's leading public art galleries. In the public eye is
launched at Frieze this year and here is their slightly modest stall
looking to raise more than modest amounts of money to supplement
increasingly challenged, I fear, budgets of public institutions.
Tell me, Julia, what's it all about. Nice to see you. This is a moment
where the public sector comes into the private sector. We are holding
our own in this incredible art fair with unbelievable examples by some
of the greatest artists of today who are selling their work,
commissioned by us, all the galleries who are participating for
a fraction of the price than they would in the commercial sector. We
think this is the best deal on the planet. Tell me, have Frieze
donated this stall to you or are you paying them the market rate for
it? They have, the group of London galleries asked Matthew and Amanda
if they could provide ugs with a booth, which they've done. Here you
see works from across a range of London galleries including
Serpentine, Whitechapel and it's very exciting to see all this
together, the first time we've done this. You see the commercial
galleries and then us. Is it not also a slight barometer of
recession that you're having to come out, museum directors, the ICA
and the Serpentine, having to come out here and say, here we are, we
need money? No, we love coming out. It's what we do. If you were going
to buy one of your own stand art works, which would you choose?
would certainly draw attention to the Pablo Bronstein. I think it's
fantastic. A strange post modern tea pot. I have to say, I'm charmed
by it. I thoroughly endorse that, however Here comes the Serpentine
choice. I have to draw your attention to the Henry sala which
is gore yus. -- gore yus gorgeous. How much? �500, a stphip. With the
frame? Without the frame. You oeu drive a hard bargain.
Thank you. Now, to a rather different kind of
donation, brains, earlier this week I visited an exhibition that
explores one of the last great taboos, donating your brain to
medical science. I'm going to have no more use for
this stupid brain of mine, am I? What good is it, they'll only put
you in the oven. The brain doesn't work now. The human brain, the
least understood and yet the most incredible of all our organs.
look at the brain as the biggest computer in the world. You can
either go forward or you can go back. I've been through from horse
and carts, all the way through to space travel.
When we die our brain will inevitably die with us, taking all
its secrets and uniqueness with it. I don't mind if I die tomorrow.
I've had enough now. But what happens if it doesn't?
What if your brain could go on to have a rewarding professional
career, long after you're gone? It's not a question that
preoccupies many of us, perhaps, but a new exhibition here in the
dusty basement of Shoreditch town hall is aiming to change all that.
Mind over matter lifts the veil of anonymity from 12 prosecution
PCtive brain donors, documenting their lives, their thoughts about
death and also suggesting some of the journeys that these people's
brains will take after they themselves have departed.
The very idea of brain donation conjures Victorian images of body
snatchers and brains floating in jars.
I said, could they have his brain, I said no. I was so appalled at the
thought of them. Just imagine them cutting his head open and, you know,
probably sawing it open! The exhibition is filled with
fragments of the donors' lives, voices, photographs, memories.
I like that one up there, I'm only 18. We were married in April 1974.
My husband doesn't dance, so I don't dance with him. Over more
than 25 years these donors have had every aspect of their history
documented by referendumers investigating cognitive decline.
Because brain donation is unlike any other kind of organ donation,
it's no use to science without also the knowledge of your histories.
The thing that really makes brain donation so special, you don't just
give your brain, in a sense, you give your life.
This exhibition has been three years in the making. It's the
result of a unique collaboration between artist any yafplt and
social signtivity Briton win. What would be your measure of success
for the show? Would it be, for example, I would visit and think, I
must consider my donating my brain? I'm sure they are always interested
in a quality brain, which I've no doubt you have, Andrew, but for us
the marker of success isn't really necessarily increasing large number
of donations to brain programmes, although that would be a very
useful output. But I think more it's to rehabilitate people's
conception, or whole notion of the idea of bodily donation, which
became terribly maligned. When you first did visit a brain bank, what
was your response? We were walking through all these rooms with lab
assistants, working with their microscopes and various machines,
but other than that it looked like an ordinary hospital floor.
Eventually we were taken to this basement with lots of freezers,
again, nothing that unusual except the temperature was very low, minus
18 degrees. Then the freezer door opened and there were lots of boxes,
lots of boxes which looked like little take away boxes and then
suddenly I realised these are brains, these are human brains.
There is some kind of I was transfixed just, at the power of
what you were describing, the brain, realising how unusual and how
different and how Royal the brain is amongst all the other organs
that we have. Is part of the aim of the collaboration to give a kind of
human story to the subject as it were? Yeah, absolutely. I think one
of the key things about this project is not to see this as some
cold artefactalised material, slides or bits of broken brain that
comes from who knows where, but that they are connected back to an
individual, who had a life, a whole host of complex experiences, to see
it as a journey or trajectory. Dementia, from the Latin meaning
without and meaning mind. Current figures predict that more
than one in five of us will be suffering from dementia by the end
of our lives. Terrible disease, I don't know where they are, they
don't know who they are. They don't even know their partners who
they've been with. I think it's a terrible thing. To lose your memory.
My husband is around, he's still around, isn't he, Alan? Not minimum.
When did he die? 30 years ago. Don't hear from him.
These 12 brains will go some way to helping scientists understand this
complex disease. Dementia is like a strand of pearls
in a way, what remains in the enare these little polished orbs, glowing
with the perfect memory of a series of discreet event but they're quite
a way away from each other and all that's left in the middle a bit of
rather brown grubby string that holds the whole thing together.
Ania has helped me understand the nature of memory, how we remember
things, what gets remembered, what gets retain and what gets lost. Why,
and that's been incredibly helpful for me.
Rowland Bart once said every photograph is like a little death.
It preserves a slice of time, a moment of life that will never be
repeated, that can never be the same again. I think that's why
photography lies at the heart of this exhibition, it's a way of
making you think about human life, memory, what it is that a brain
houses. I'm stuck in here, there's nothing
the matter with me. It's just age...
Mind over matter runs until October 23rd at Shoreditch town hall.
Now, this section of the fair is known as Frame. It's supposed to be
the rough independenty part. I think the give away is the
cardboard signs and the industrial flooring. The point of Frame is
that it's dedicated to solo artist, shown by galleries who have been
running for less than six years. One such artist is chana. Good to
meet you, I'm Alistair. I hope you'll forgive me for saying this
on camera but my first question is Frame is all about thrusting young,
emerging galleries and of course, I think you're almost 80, I wondered
how come you're making a UK debut as part of Frame? It's part of a
full circle. I'm getting older and they're young. I see!
Tell me a little bit about your work, then. Looking around it seems
like it's quite mathematical? Actually, I'm very bad at maths.
Terrible at it. What are you do doing making work like this? It's
logic, I don't think logic is maths, I just think of it as questions and
searching and answers. I ask all the questions that I can of my work.
Answer for an answer but I really don't want an answer, I want more
questions. I see. Well I've got another
question then, which is, if you're looking at something like this,
what's the starting point? What are those marks telling us, how do they
relate to logic, in a simple way what do we see? What I'm doing,
that's a cancellation booth, as it goes up it gets less. I challenge
that piece, saying no two lines can be one over the other. I just kept
eliminating until the very top. has it taken you so long to show in
Britain? Because nobody found me. I was busy working in my studio. I
have a lot of work but I have not been exposed through galleries. I
didn't know if I ever would and that's all right. Tell me more
about Frame itself. What are you hoping to get out of being part of
Frame? Well, I just love the exposure in England. I love the
fact that my gallery is here. it's been a renaissance for you?
Absolutely. Was there a period when you felt you were in the
wilderness? Totally, most of the time. How long? 20 years. Wow! This
is a big deal, for you this is tapping right back into the market?
Absolutely, absolutely. I hope you find a great number of buyers to
come and, well, make this a sellout show? That would be, from your
mouth to God's ears. It's been really great to meet you, thank you.
Good to meet you, too. That's the thing about Frieze, because the
fair draws so many of the biggest and most important collectors of
contemporary art from all over the world, lots of other museums and
galleries mount their own special exhibitions at the same time. We
sent resident film supremo Mark Kermode to give his own special
take on one of the biggest art openings of the week.
I'm off to a screening, it's not my usual kind of screening, not my
usual kind of film, but given my broad-minded open attitude to all
things celluloid, I'm looking forward to the challenge. Today's
screening is probably the biggest I've ever been to.
I'm sure they don't sell popcorn there!
I'm here at Tate Modern because the new Turbine Hall commission is for
the first time a film by visual artist Tacita Dean. Well, how to
begin to describe it? It's like celluloid as architecture, it's
like a huge celluloid strip, like a building, like the monolith from
2001. The first thing you notice,
obviously, is that cinema is usually landscape, that's turned it
on its side to make it portrait shape. The other thing that adds to
the immense power of the piece is just how big it is.
Tacita Dean made her name when she was nominated for the Turner Prize
in 1998. She's best known for her intimate
16mm films which range from the depiction of seascapes to port
rates of artist in their old age like poet Michael Hamburger or
Merce Cunningham. Her latest work film here at the Turbine Hall is
altogether to a different kind of port trait but something that might
also be near the end of its life. So, Tacita, here in the Turbine
Hall, which is a massive space, great opportunity for an artist but
also a possibility of risk, how did you approach it? With trepidation.
I was very surprised that they asked me, I'm someone who's not
known for my larger works. I'm an artist that used to work more
intimately. So, it was a radical change for me. Koefrps, I just had
to work infewtively and my first impression it had to be, whatever I
had to do had to be portrait format like the space, then it became
about trying to make that possible within the medium, within film.
The hall itself has defined the shape of the installation. As far
as the content is concerned, you've talked in the past about filming a
lot to fine a little. Has that been the same with this and how did you
choose the images? It came about when I had the portrait format but
I didn't know what it was a portrait of what, for a very long
time. For a certain time I started to pick out my portrait post cards
of when they were water fals and steps and things like that. I added
them up and after a while I realised it was a portrait of the
medium, the film itself. Then after I had that, it was a portrait of
the Turbine Hall. So it was a combination of a portrait of about
this place, well for this place, it was only ever going to be for this
place and then with the holes. I realised it was a strip of film, it
was very simple. It was that revelation. What about the fact
that you've shot here in the hall, it's like you're looking through a
film to see the hall behind with images moving in front of it?
I'm glad you think that I did shoot in the hall. Did you not? It's
infect? It's a fiction, it's cinema. This is all made with early film
techniques. There's no digital post-production in this film
whatsoever. You used to make images and films in the studio and all
that magic happened then. Now it's just like, "we'll do it later".
disappearance of celluloid film and the loss of over a century of
skilled craftsmanship is something that Tacita Dean has explored in
other works. For her 2006 piece, Kodak, she filmed the last
manufactured raoels of Kodak's black and white 16mm films.
Reels. One of the things you talk about is
the idea that film should be remembered as silent, that the
images is primary, that sound is always put on afterwards, it's
something which is added artificially. Your previous works
have talk about that art fis of sound. How prpb is it for people to
be watching a silent image and be reminded this is where cinema comes
from? I thought hard about it, actually. I thought this space has
such an acoustic that it has its own sound-track.
I love the silence of this film. It was a good decision. To remember
the silence of film is much more difficult now with digital because
they always, it always comes with sound. To have known your image as
silent is a wonderful thing. Sound plays an important role in
Tacita Dean's work. The sound- tracks of her previous works appear
real, yet they are laboriously constructed by the artist. In her
1996 installation Foley artist she drew attention to how sound effects
are created and influence our perception of real sound.
Because the sound of this hall is so distinctive, even as we're
talking I can hear the sound of the hall around us, how do you want
people to be in this space, do you want them to be quiet and watch it,
or talk? No, no, I'm not prescriptive like that, if you go
close to this image you can see this flood of grain an hope people
will not just take the seat at the back but move around the space and
be absorbed by the actual movement within the stillness. One of the
concerns of this installation, your work in general, is the difference
between film and digital imaging and celluloid is fast becoming
obsolete. This is something about which Europarksate. What's
important about celluloid? Film is an entirely different medium from
digital. For some reason there's an assumption that digital can take
over from film and it can't, of course, they're totally different
medium. The two should be allowed to co-exist, we wouldn't do the
same with another medium, we wouldn't get rid of oil painting
and replace it with acrylic,the Turbine Hall is a huge platform and
I had to make this project about fighting for the medium that we are
just about to lose. We've had this for over 100 years, we won't be
able to see our history of film as film unless we do something
quicklyly. I wish you all the best, it's a
very noble cause and it's a great installation, congratulations.
Thank you. That's all for tonight. Next
Tuesday Tim Samuels visits the residents of couplery in Perthshire
to get their lowdown on this year's short list for the Man Booker Prize
in a Culture Show Special. We'll be back next Friday with the star of
the Killing, the new take on 1984 and the show at the Heywood. But we
leave you with one final Frieze project from lucky PDF who are
broadcasting live. In the daytime the young brunette
comes out of a car and approaches a team working in the garage.
, The brunette bashes on a red metal shutter and gives a peace
sign as it opens. A man pushes a TV displaying test bars past a sheet
bearing the silhouette of two palm trees.
This is princess dollar for lucky PDF TV. Wearing sun glasses the
brunette is now performing to a hand held camera.
Hi, kids, doul like princess, introducing Her Majesty... Against
the green-painted backdrop a man and woman perform abstract dance
moves. Princess Donna's hair is being blown by a wind machine as
she dances. The young film crew move a studio monitor. A guy turns
a bright key light. Lucky PDF TV. A woman in a
patterned cat suit desends some steps.
Join us at Frieze for lucky PDF TV. She winks and goes and a man with a
beard circles each foot in turn around a bird ornament on the floor.
This week The Culture Show comes from Frieze Art Fair with Andrew Graham-Dixon and Alastair Sooke.
Artist Ryan Gander talks to Christian Jankowski about his Frieze project - a luxury yacht, Sarfraz Manzoor meets Anahita Razmi to discuss her prize winning idea based on the rooftops of Tehran, and Mark Kermode joins Tacita Dean at the unveiling of her installation in Tate's Turbine Hall.
We also explore the extraordinary life and work of the late Judith Scott, a disabled artist with a growing cult following, and visit Mind Over Matter, an exhibition that challenges our ideas about brain donation.