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Art & Design

T H E P A S T I N T H E P R E S E N T (Glasgow, 27-29 Oct 2007)

T H E    P A S T   I N   T H E   P R E S E N THistory as Practice in Art, Design and Architecture

An International Interdisciplinary Conference Glasgow, 27th-29th October 2007 THE GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART - DEPT. OF HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL STUDIES

* What is the role of historical research and critical reflection in art, design and architectural practice? * How is historical research and critical reflection in art, design and architecture informed by debates around leisure and commodification, pleasure and sensation, technology and mobility? * How is historical research in art, design and architecture manifest in independent practice, study beyond the academy, cultural criticism and journalism?

This three-day conference will to bring together a broad range of participants, including scholars, artists, designers, architects, museologists, curators, archivists and collectors, to debate the ways in which styles and genres from the past, both visual and written, have been reinvigorated in the present for celebratory, nostalgic, or critical ends.

Keynote speakers Professor Richard Dyer (King’s College London) has published widely on visual culture and film studies, specifically issues of race and gender in visual culture. His most recent work is Pastiche (Routledge, 2006).

Professor Pat Kirkham (Bard Graduate School) has published widely on gender and design culture, as well as the history of design. She is best known for her work on William Morris, Charles and Ray Eames, and most recently on Saul and Elaine Bass.

Session speakers In addition, the conference involves a range of speakers from around the world, many of who will be speaking in Glasgow for the first time. Speakers have come from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Japan, Poland, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United States; as well as England, Wales, N. Ireland and Scotland.

The papers represent a broad range of subjects, from tourist landmarks in Delhi and the ‘rewilding’ of Africa to production design in Hollywood period films and the use of Turkish history in contemporary advanced textiles.

A draft conference timetable is available online at:

Delegate places are still available. Registration details and forms are available on our website.

For enquiries please contact: pastinthepresent [AT]

Drawing Restraint 9

Last night, we saw the new Matthew Barney film, which included his wife, Bjork. Having seen the Cremaster films, Barney's style remains distinct and similar. Drawing Restraint 9

It's a joy to watch, though there were the inevitable audience members leaving half-way through. Having spent some time in Japan this year, it was nice to spot some of the cultural nuances.

Drawing Restraint 9

Geographies and landscapes seem such strong themes in Barney's films and I read his next journey is down the Nile. I'll also be there in January.

Discussions afterwards were about the distinctions between artists, inventors and designers.

Drawing Restraint9


Le Grand Jeu (exhibition, london 10/10-10/11, 2007)

Marilène's work is being utilized for our book 'The Medicalization of Cyberspace'. her new exhibition begins later this month. I'm down at the Royal College of Art on the 8th Oct, hoping to get a sneak preview afterwards.... Marilène Oliver - Le Grand Jeu EXHIBITION 10 October – 10 November 2007

BEAUX ARTS GALLERY 22 CORK STREET LONDON W1S 3NA Tel: 020 7437 5799 info [AT] Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am – 5.30pm, Saturday 10am-1.30pm

"I love her work because it does what art is supposed to do; open the way to another world." Jeanette Winterson

Since her first exhibition in 2003, Marilène has tirelessly continued to carve a unique place for herself in the art world, somewhere in between the disciplines of sculpture, printmaking, digital media and anatomy. Oliver uses digital copies of the human body (afforded by digital medical imaging technologies such as MRI and CT) in order to create figurative sculpture that provoke questions about the perception and identity of the human body in an increasingly digitized world.

For Le Grand Jeu Oliver worked with one sole anonymised CT dataset of a full female body called MELANIX, which she downloaded from a radiology website. Oliver chose to use an anonymised dataset so that she could project herself and her ideas onto and into it. In doing so she spawned a number of new large scale artworks.

Dervishes shows off Oliver’s new found skill of elaborate body carving. Oliver digitally sliced the body 36 times around a vertical axis, which runs from head to toe. Printed onto transparent material, each dervish has a different point of axis (front, back, centre, right and left) thus revealing a variety of views and encounters with the subject. Suspended from the ceiling, five ghostly life-size figures hang, inviting the viewers to walk among them. There is a solemn, dark beauty about these figures which seem to share a sense of intimacy with the viewer spinning independently as they catch the drafts of the passing viewers.

Oliver uses the same radiological tool to create Heart Axis / Womb Axis, but to entirely different effect.  This time, the axis’ are horizontal, slicing across the body, one through the heart and the other through the womb encouraging an emotional interpretation of the work.  Printed onto polycarcarbonate sheets with specialist colour-changing inks, the presentation draws on the language of gymnastics to suggest movement as the figures arch with the weight of the material they are created from.

In Grand Finale, Oliver uses the MELANIX dataset, to produce hundreds of maquettes.  Each different in both construction and colour, they hang as chandeliers, suspended in acrobatic positions, twisting and turning to give the impression of a carefully choreographed and spectacular finale of a ballet or musical.

The exhibition also features Leonardo’s Great Lady which is a 3-dimensional adaptation of an original drawing by Da Vinci; an extraordinary rendition of Otzi the 5,000 year old mummy found buried underneath the alps; a 3-D laser scan and rapid prototyping work entitled Shot Surface and a collapsed figure made of MRI scans engraved onto acrylic called the Exhausted Figure.

Olivers is an artistic brain with the creative spark needed to produce inspiring and thought-provoking works of art.  Yet, without contradiction or any apparent conflict, hers is also a scientific brain with logical thought processes and rational conclusions. For this reason, her work attracts a wide range of admirers from the art-collectors to doctors, medical specialists to philosophers and sociologists. Despite this academic appeal and capacity for endless intellectual debate; her art is primarily aesthetic and for this reason remains accessible to all who see to be enjoyed on many different levels.

There will be a catalogue to accompany the exhibition which includes an essay by Amelia Jones, writer and Professor in History of Art, University of Manchester.