FRANCESCO D’ALESSIO reflects on the burial crisis and identity loss in the contemporary city. Cemeteries and graveyards resemble cities and villages. Graves are like buildings and the space around them like streets. When walking through a cemetery, we may even think the same things that we think in cities. Rem Koolhaas, for instance, writes in S,M,L,XL (1995), ‘Now that I have grown old, I have the feeling, when walking through a cemetery, that I am apartment hunting.’ The cemetery is everyone’s future city. As with any city, its identity is not static and its existence not safe. Our right to it is not to be taken for granted; it greatly depends on financial and social status. Throughout history, the architecture of cities and cemeteries have evolved and adapted to the demands of an ever changing culture. As of today, we are at a standstill, and just like the modern city,…Continue Reading

APARTMENT HUNTING

MARIA PERSU contemplates her discovery of Nordic environmentalist art. I arrived in Helsinki on Midsummer Night, a celebration where Finns light up huge bonfires and go to the countryside to mark the beginning of the warm season. It occurs at that time of the year where it doesn’t get pitch dark at all for twenty-four hours. The city was mostly empty, apart from the occasional tourist, youngster, or seagull. Yet this did not detract from its charm; Helsinki is a city full of high-quality public spaces for locals, and local businesses thrive there. Testament to this are the second hand stores, the vegan cafés, the newly built public library, and the airy parks. Helsinki lives for its locals.   Prior to my trip to Helsinki, my only experience of Nordic art was Ruben Östlund’s harsh satire on curatorial obnoxiousness, The Square (2018). Kiasma, the famed Finnish contemporary art museum, as well…Continue Reading

NORDIC ARTISTS CONCERNED

ASIA CHOUDHRY reviews Olafur Eliasson’s In Real Life at the Tate Modern. Scrolling through Instagram one day during summer, I stumbled upon pictures of my friends standing in a dreamy, orange fog. It was both eerie and aesthetically pleasing, and I immediately had to know more. After briefly searching online, Olafur Eliasson’s name appeared on the first try, alongside words such as ‘mind-bending’ and ‘glorious’. I began to grow excited as I read more about him: a Danish-Icelandic artist, famous for his sculptures and large-scale installation art, who often employs elemental materials in his work. The exhibition itself, named In Real Life at the Tate Modern, is stated to explore his ‘deep engagement with society and the environment’, and the viewer is encouraged to ‘discover what an artist’s perspective can bring to issues of climate change’.  On that particular summer’s day, I was undergoing a familiar bout of climate anxiety,…Continue Reading

OLAFUR ELIASSON: IN REAL LIFE

MARTA BIINO considers the sustainability of food consumption and waste production. Addressing social and environmental issues is a growing trend in the contemporary art world. And yet, it is still uncommon to see an exhibition confronting one of the most pressing issues of our time: the problem of unsustainable food production and waste disposal. Food: Bigger than the Plate, hosted by the V&A, presents itself as a journey through the history of Western food consumption and waste production. The visitor is immersed in a four-step itinerary: composting, farming, selling and eating. Each section is conceived to uncover the inherent unsustainability of the contemporary food industry while focusing on the importance of promptly undertaking major changes. The exhibition starts off with a simple, often unacknowledged reality: human activity produces waste. Every action we undertake contributes to a polluting process that’s slowly destroying our planet. According to statistical estimations, every year the…Continue Reading

Food: Bigger than the Plate

ROSE DODD explores the neuroscience behind the creation and perception of fashion. Fashion can reflect wider society and contemporary politics, but it can also rebel against the norms and mock normative ideology. Even though fashion is an important form of expression, it is often looked down upon as ‘superficial’ or ‘shallow’. So let’s take a look at fashion and style on a neural level to dispel this myth. Through exploring the level of thought behind fashion and its appreciation, whilst delving deep into the circuitry behind creativity and craftsmanship, it will become clear that such a perception of fashion is merely a misunderstanding.  A carefully constructed outfit will speak prior to and often louder than its wearer. People represent their thoughts and feelings through the garments, styles and colours that they wear. This has been the case throughout history. Take, for example, a mourner, traditionally pictured in black – a…Continue Reading

The Neuroscience of Fashion

INNOKA BARTLETT interviews artist Aysha Almoayyed regarding her exhibition piece at the ArtBAB Pavilion. Aysha Almoayyed’s Lost Paradise was showcased at the 2019 Art Bahrain Across Borders (BAB) Pavilion as part of Bahrain’s International Art Fair that took place in March – Manama, Bahrain. Displayed in the pavilion were selected works by thirty of the most creative Bahraini artists. Born in 1988 in Manama, Bahrain, Aysha Almoayyed studied Marketing at Bentley University. She then completed her MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University. Experimenting with mediums including drawing, photography, and installation her artworks explore societal forces in Bahrain and the transformation of the artificial and natural environment. Almoayyed is the youngest recipient of the most renowned art award in Bahrain, the Al Dana Prize. She shares her opinions on contemporary art in Bahraini culture: –Your work is featured in the ArtBAB Pavilion – what is your interpretation of this idea of ‘Bahrain Across Borders’, and how…Continue Reading

In Conversation with Aysha Almoayyed

ENERZAYA GUNDALAI reflects on the role of technology in art through the Saatchi Gallery’s most recent exhibitions. Nothing can escape the glare of blue light in our digital age. Blue light emanates from every computer, smartphone and television screen. Most will agree that these technologies have become inseparable from our daily existence. Contemporary art has kept pace with these developments. At the Saatchi Gallery, Georgii Uvs utilised ultraviolet (UV) light as a central component in his arwork; within a neighbouring exhibition space, the digital art studio and collective Marshmallow Laser Feast employed virtual reality (VR) headsets in their installation, We live in an Ocean of Air. Both artist and art collective manipulated light through the vehicle of technology in order to shift (and to some extent, control) the viewer’s perspective. Was it the artists’ aim in their use of artificial light to illuminate the direction of fine art in the…Continue Reading

Bluelight

ETHAN BURTON looks at the highlights from UCL MODO Fashion Society’s The Countdown Fashion Show. UCL MODO Fashion Society presented its first main show of the year, The Countdown Fashion Show, a collaboration with UCL Climate Action Society focusing on sustainability and the notion that ‘anything is possible.’ The palette of talent offered such designs; collections had consistently strong concepts, and each look revealed a fresh insight into the future of fashion. The clothes presented were either upcycled or produced of recycled materials, yet the garments appeared as if new. It called to remind us that we can no longer excuse our practices and lack of mindfulness towards the way we treat waste. One common theme threaded through many of the designs was a focus upon comfort. Designs all aimed to facilitate the wearer’s movement. This basis was spotted in the casual and utilitarian designs reproduced the double denim and…Continue Reading

MODO: Thread Count, Countdown