Monday, 27 October 2014
This week is the last week to catch Lunar Caustic at the Galerie Paris-Beijing in Brussels, part of our exhibition, Beijing Silvermine, don't miss out!!! If you are in Brussels or close by, head on down to the gallery to see our work as well as the amazing show by Wang Bing!
This weekend saw the Smoke Press start up in London, as the first shipment of my new book, SPBH Book Club Volume VI, a wonderful collaboration with SPBH Editions arrived from the printers, ready for the finale, to be smoked!
As the day dawned, sunlight shone over the stacks of plywood, tiny screws glistened and the smell of smoke filled the air as the flat packed Smoke Houses, reminded me of their last performance at Unseen Amsterdam, now a month ago.
Freshly axe cut wood chips where chopped and soaked in water, four smoke houses where put back together and a roaring fire was started with charcoal. The next step was to order, number and sign the books, a fair few hours passed before the smoking could commence and then, everything was ready, it was time to start!
The four smoke houses bellowed with thick white smoke, as one publication after another was placed inside for ten minutes, soaking up all the aromas that the wood, coals and plywood could muster up. After the strict timings where abided by, each book was quickly and carefully placed into plastic, to seal the smell. They were still warm to the touch, a literal nod to the saying, "hot off the press."
As night drew in, the fire still roared and smoke still poured from the smoke houses, until the first batch was finalised and a weekend of smoking was complete. Signed, sealed, smoked and delivered... very shortly indeed!
Purchase directly from here: http://shop.selfpublishbehappy.com/product/spbh-book-club-vol-vi-by-melinda-gibson
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
With only a few weeks left to see our Brussels based exhibition, it is fantastic to see how far reaching the works from Lunar Caustic are proving to be and none more so that the 'swimming lady' herself! I am delighted to see that The New Yorker Photo Booth did a great follow-up article on the Beijing Silvermine, after Thomas Sauvin took over their Instagram account last week.
It is truly extraordinary to see how the use of Instagram is in many ways revolutionising how audiences get to view new imagery. With an account of 106,000 followers the images that make the cut are seen far and wide by a very active audience.
Reviews are coming for the exhibition Beijing Silvermine and it is great to see that Lunar Caustic is being selected out, here in this double page spread in the Arts supplement, for the newly released French, Brussels based newspaper Le Soir, article written by Jean-Marc Bodson.
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Saturday, 18 October 2014
This week saw the opening of Frieze Art Fair and Frieze Masters. London is overflowing with exceptional work, every corner you turn there is another opening, another fantastic exhibition to put on the list and as you wonder through both fairs, the delights await and entice!
This year saw a slightly different layout, and it was by far the most easily navigable, as the flow of one stand to another didn't throw up any confusion, only once did I find myself a little lost, a sure improvement on past years! I also decided to take on a solid approach this year, working alphabetically, up on side and down another, eyes wide open, head turning left to right, right to left as to ensure I didn't miss any galleries, it seemed to work well.
As I started my mission, there were key galleries that I knew I wanted to spend sometime in, particular artists work that I adore and other finds waiting to be found. Herald Street with Pablo Bronstein's incredible architectural drawings, Frith Street with Tacita Dean's "Quatemary" absolutely stunning, David Zwirner's installation with Wolfgang Tillmans and Francis Alÿs was quite unbelievable. Jack Lavender's works on glass at The Approach were excellent, as too were the stands by Maureen Paley, Vilma Gold and that's just a start!
As I meandered on, I saw weird and wonderful installations, a giant dice, corrugated cardboard Jabba the huts, classic 8mm film projectors intermixed with weights, powdered pigment canvases, concrete foundation blocks, all a feast for the eyes, every gallery booth you turned into, something else caught your eye to excite and entertain, and that was just at Frieze Art Fair!
After a fair few hours, taking in the contemporary delights, a relaxing walk up to the Masters, to be yet again overwhelmed by an abundance of unbelievable artworks. What I find wonderful about the separation of the fairs, is the space that it not only physically creates, but psychologically too, as the fresh air, autumnal natural surrounds truly cleanse the mind, ready for the next digestion.
Frieze Masters in its second year, really is something to be experienced. A complete opposite in every sense from the Art Fair, the Masters has a much softer, gentle atmosphere, a quietness the other couldn't possible have. Works by Pablo Picasso, Hans Bellmer, vintage Gilbert & George, Francis Bacon, Heniz Hajek-Halke to Cincinnato Baruzzi, Auguste Leveque, Vincenzo Civerchio, the list goes on and on, it is really quite astounding!
So after an inspirational day packed with culture and artworks you could only have dreamt of seeing, what better way than relaxing with a few drinks as the sun sets on Regents Park for another year.
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Saturday, October 18, 2014
Friday, 3 October 2014
Fantastic to see that our new show, "Beijing Silvermine" at Galerie Paris-Beijing in Brussels is getting great coverage in the press and being profiled on some great sites.
To start an excellent article and interview with Mister Sauvin in Agenda Magazine, then profiled in the case studies for Wallpaper* which is very exciting indeed. Next, L'Oeil de la Photographie and not forgetting with Paris Photo, on both their website and Tumblr sites, showing "Lunar Caustic" which looks just fantastic up there, especially against their bright magenta title page and it's only been open less than 2 weeks!
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Friday, October 03, 2014
Friday, 26 September 2014
Very, very, very excited to see that the reviews are already in on The Smoke House! A wonderful article in the Guardian talks about the third edition of Unseen Photo Fair in an article entitled, "Unseen photo fair: the Amsterdam weirdfest jampacked with genius." Sean O'Hagan writes about the performance,
"As night fell on Thursday, smoke filled the air outside the former gasworks. It was wafting from a barbecue bucket tended by London-based artist , who was inviting passersby to partake in a performance called The Smoke House. In four small smoke houses, copies of her new book () were absorbing wood and coal smoke. Once hot, they were sealed and sold to the public. It was, so the programme says, “a ritual act of defiance” linked to an actual fire that damaged Gibson’s studio recently – but it became a large gathering of revellers drawn to the campfire atmosphere. I went to dinner reeking of smoked photobook."
Then Unseen itself talks of the performance as, "On Thursday evening, Unseen’s programme spilled out onto a space on the Festival Ground outside the Living Room, to push the limits of what photography can be with a live performance by British artist Melinda Gibson. Always one to challenge the boundaries of contemporary photography, Gibson’s latest publication is a meditation on loss and renewal. The Smoke House intrigued and involved Unseen visitors with its ambiguous tone, slipping between destruction and renewal."
Also great to see the performance mentioned in the review of Unseen on Dazed Digital.
Also great to see the performance mentioned in the review of Unseen on Dazed Digital.
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Friday, September 26, 2014
Thursday, 25 September 2014
So another day and another city, Friday morning saw me board the Thalys from Centraal station to arrive in Brussels to start the install, and gave me a few hours to rest up before the next stage!
I arrived before midday and was soon at the gallery, admiring the incredible space and starting to unpack and look through all the shipments that had arrived for Lunar Caustic. Galerie Paris-Beijing's exhibition space in Brussels is quite extraordinary, a former Hotel; the swapping staircases, parquet flooring and wooden framing is truly stunning and provided a perfect backdrop to the exhibited series, let alone the roster of artists they hold like Wang Bing and Martin Parr!
The opening was a great success with packed rooms filled with viewers wanting to hear the tales of the mine, exploring the differing levels of the project. The ground floor provided the context, a space where the original images could be seen in all their glory. Intermixed with these were documentaries of the journey and an opportunity to delve into 5 kg's of negatives as well as Sauvin's latest idea - Beijing Silvermine beach towels!
Lunar Caustic took hold of much of the second floor, with three rooms providing a process based context right through to the final pieces. A Nitrate stained tray hovered over a plinth, a concrete slab removed from the testing area, showed the corrosive nature of the materials used and created from this tale/series and vibrant test strips start to show how the materials interact with the photographic paper.
Then onto the next room, where three plinths display objects from the process, stained acid gloves, a bottle and in between the material compound itself - Silver Nitrate. As the sun rises and the light pours into the gallery space, the compound changes, it starts to evolve, from a clean white powder to a darkening black. As the time ticks on, so too will the Nitrate, until only black is left.
In the final room, a clean, bright space displays 12 pieces, full framed photographic prints. Each one is vibrant and saturated, the acid burns shining through and the nitrate granules dirty brown and thick. As the exhibition continues, so shall the works, as they all twist and turn from the light that pours through the windows.
The exhibition runs until the 1st November and more can be seen here: http://www.galerieparisbeijing.com/exhibitions/pr_pages/beijing_silvermine_2014.html
I am finally back in London after quite an extraordinary week or so of airports, train stations, installations, performances and openings! From the wonders that are Amsterdam's Unseen Photo Fair to the stunning architecture and exhibition at the Galerie Paris-Beijing, there has been many highlights, fun times and debuts of collaborative projects.
Amsterdam is such a wonderful city, the people are warm and inviting and Unseen is truly a place for experimentation and pushing the limits of what Photography can be. This years edition was no different, in fact if anything more experimental than other years as that 'Festival Flair' they speak of was in full swing, with events going on in and around the festival ground, day and night!
The Unseen programme started with a wonderful Foam Museum opening of the new show, "Under Construction - New Positions In American Photography" with drinks in the garden on a warm sunny evening. The show is excellent and it was brilliant to see Daniel Gordon's work up close, a perfect start to the Unseen schedule!
Next saw the opening of the fair, but before the fun could start, the installation of the performance piece, "The Smoke House." In the early morning of the opening, I quietly started the build of the four plywood handmade smoke houses that I made in London. Each one assembled well and before a few hours had passed they were complete and ready for the next stage - Thursday's performance!
The time dawned and the four smoke houses sat in a square in the festival ground, ready to partake in the performance, gently smoking the books. A fire was created in the centre and as the crowds grew around the fire, which turned to thick smoke, a true campfire atmosphere was created. As the light fell, the smoke grew steady, the books where placed in the houses, smoked then sealed and packed slightly warm. The idea of 'hot off the press' surely has the most accurate sense here!
Three hours of performance time passed then the books were collated, the houses de-installed, packed and ready for the next performance in London. A great little meal was had, a small time asleep and then off I went onto the next city, for the next debut.
Monday, 15 September 2014
What more can I say than, 2 collaborative projects debuted in 2 different cities, 2 days apart - Remind me never to do this again!!! First off will see the release of the SPBH Book Club Volume VI in Amsterdam at the Unseen Photo Fair, then off to Brussels to open the exhibition, Beijing Silvermine at Galerie Paris-Beijing where our series "Lunar Caustic" will debut for the first time!
It's going to be an amazing week and you shall find me in Amsterdam, in a cloud of Smoke and in Brussels covered in Nitrate, either surely not too be missed! Here are a few links to all of the happenings going on this week. See you on the other side!
As the week commences, the next seven days are sure to see a wealth of activity and the previewing/ debut of two of my new collaboratives series within 2 days of one another. So what a better way then starting off the week, with a wonderful editorial of the series that Thomas Sauvin and I conceptualised from Sauvin's archive of found Beijing imagery, "Lunar Caustic" in Emaho Magazine!
It's a great editorial, where the imagery really jumps from the page, the colours so vibrant against the dark background, a big thank you to everyone at Emaho!
Friday, 12 September 2014
Very, very, very, very excited to announce that I am the next artist to work with Self Publish Be Happy and produce their latest SPBH Book Club Volume - VI!!!! We were on press all day yesterday and as I write this the sheets are being printed, bound and ready to smoke.
It is soon to be released, coming out in late September and for those of you at the Unseen Photo Fair, you will be the first to see the preview of the publication in the performance, "The Smoke House" which takes place on Thursday 18th September from 18:00 pm.
More information can be found on the SPBH Editions section of the website, including an opportunity to pre-purchase your own copy, they are going fast and with an artist edition of 300 copies, don't miss out!
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Friday, September 12, 2014
Monday, 8 September 2014
Very, very pleased to say that my second publication, "Miss Titus Becomes A Regular Army Mac" was chosen by the wonderful Director of Claire De Rouen Books, Lucy Moore, for her selection at Mt.Rokko Photo Festival in Japan!
I was surely in great company as other Moore selects where; Joanna Piotrowska, Bruno Zhu, Tom Hunter, Clare Strand, Sarah Jones and a couple of other great artists! The photo festival ran from the 29th August and closed on 7th September, see below for more details and imagery.
MtRokkoInternationalPhotoFesti val/photos/pcb. 718315181549996/ 718313561550158/?type=1& theater
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Monday, September 08, 2014
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