Friday, 7 September 2012

randomness : always be on the lookout for what has never been

A few bits and bobs of art. In the Irish Times the weekend before last, an essay captured the Haunted Houses Of A Dead Boom (google that phrase to see the article, otherwise it comes up with a subscription-only type page), as seen in the photography of Anthony Haughey and David Creedon, and an animated film by Aideen Barry. This Irish art of the ghost-estate house has resonances, not only of the mass emigration of the past, but of the modern ghosts created by the boom and slump – unfinished housing estates, abandoned shops and houses in rural Ireland, and the homes bought at the economic highpoint that with financial collapse now possess the owners like demons.

On Wednesday this week Echo Park in Los Angeles hosted the latest Spectral Psychography outing of Christian Cummings and Michael Decker, two artists who've spent the last eight years creating drawings, poems and sculptures with a Ouija board, blindfolds and the help of spirits from the other side. Among their creative guides: Walt Disney and Gertrude Stein, which is handy, in a phantom-like way.

Shahzia Sikander: Fleshy Weapons
Lastly, Women's Mythopoetic Art, part six of an academic art writing series by G Roger Denson for the Huffington Post about female artists making new myths out of the male-dominated old ones, diving into the unconscious to "cross the homosocial divide". If that sounds like the old male surrealists are going to get a pounding once again, then yes indeed they do. Ouch. Wrong. Imagination has no gender. Try not to shout at the computer too loud. The ghost inside the machine'll get scared. Skip past that to what there is about myth and the works of Louise Bourgeois, Claudia Hart, Shahzia Sikander, Marina Abramovic and Mariko Mori, and the many pictures of works by those artists among ideas about how this feminist mythopoetics is challenging the past across different cultures – whether Pakistan miniature paintings and colonialism, Japanese Shinto and Buddhist religions, European fairytales or the Olympian gods and Batman – and recasting myths in order to go forward into the future.

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