Candace Couse

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Germany: Berlin's Reichstagsgebäude


The Reichstag building is a historical edifice in Berlin, Germany, constructed to house the Reichstag, parliament of the German Empire. It was opened in 1894 and housed the Reichstag until 1933, when it was severely damaged in a fire. After World War II, the building fell into disuse; the parliament (Volkskammer) of the German Democratic Republic met in the Palast der Republik in East Berlin, while the parliament (Bundestag) of the Federal Republic of Germany met in the Bundeshaus in Bonn.



The ruined building was made safe against the elements and partially refurbished in the 1960s, but no attempt at full restoration was made until after German reunification on 3 October 1990, when it underwent a reconstruction led by internationally renowned architect Norman Foster. After its completion in 1999, it once again became the meeting place of the German parliament: the modern Bundestag.



The term Reichstag, when used to connote a parliament, dates back to the Holy Roman Empire. The building was built for the Reichstag of the German Empire, which was succeeded by the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. The latter devolved into the Reichstag of Nazi Germany, which left the building (and ceased to act as a parliament) after the 1933 fire and never returned; the term Reichstag has not been used by German parliaments since World War II. In today's usage, the German word Reichstag (Imperial Diet Building) refers mainly to the building, while Bundestag (Federal Diet) refers to the institution.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Germany: Berliner Mauer



In 1989, a series of radical political changes occurred in the Eastern Bloc, associated with the liberalization of the Eastern Bloc's authoritarian systems and the erosion of political power in the pro-Soviet governments in nearby Poland and Hungary. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, a euphoric public and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of the rest. The physical Wall itself was primarily destroyed in 1990. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on 3 October 1990.





Friday, 25 January 2013

Germany: Menashe Kadishman Installation Shalekhet – Fallen leaves

Installation Shalekhet – Fallen leaves

In the Jüdisches Museum, Berlin, 10 000 faces punched out of steel are distributed on the ground of the “Memory Void,” the only “voided” space of the Libeskind Building that can be entered. Israeli artist Menashe Kadishman dedicated his artwork not only to Jews killed during the Shoah, but to all victims of violence and war. Visitors are invited to walk on the faces and listen to the sounds created by the metal sheets, as they clang and rattle against one another.




United Kingdom: ARTFUNKL Open Studio Event


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Germany: Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace (German: Schloss Charlottenburg) is the largest palace in Berlin, Germany, and the only surviving royal residence in the city dating back to the time of the Hohenzollern family. 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Jaw

Candace Couse, Jaw, embroidery on fabric, 2013


My Strangely Accurate Fictional Biography


Candace Couse

Candace Couse (°1985, St. Thomas) creates mixed media artworks, paintings, media art and installations. By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, Couse often creates work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive. Play is a serious matter: during the game, different rules apply than in everyday life and even everyday objects undergo transubstantiation.
Her mixed media artworks establish a link between the landscape’s reality and that imagined by its conceiver. These works focus on concrete questions that determine our existence. By examining the ambiguity and origination via retakes and variations, she presents everyday objects as well as references to texts, painting and architecture. Pompous writings and Utopian constructivist designs are juxtaposed with trivial objects. Categories are subtly reversed.
Her works never shows the complete structure. This results in the fact that the artist can easily imagine an own interpretation without being hindered by the historical reality. With the use of appropriated materials which are borrowed from a day-to-day context, she tries to increase the dynamic between audience and author by objectifying emotions and investigating the duality that develops through different interpretations.
She creates situations in which everyday objects are altered or detached from their natural function. By applying specific combinations and certain manipulations, different functions and/or contexts are created. By exploring the concept of landscape in a nostalgic way, she investigates the dynamics of landscape, including the manipulation of its effects and the limits of spectacle based on our assumptions of what landscape means to us. Rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination.
Her works are characterised by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role.

Oddly, none of that was written by me, or even by anyone familiar with my work. It comes from 500 Letters, a project by Belgian artist Jasper Rigole for a self-generating artist bio. I don't know if the accuracy in the letter above is a testament to Rigole's intuition, or a comment on the limited scope of all artistic practice and the specific (and unifying) concerns of the human condition. And yet, perhaps I am just swept up like an unsuspecting horoscope reader who wants this month to carry the promise of a life-altering romance! I'll just finish reading and  indulgently announce, "This is so me!" (but seriously, it is so me).

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Switzerland: Museum Tinguely

Jean Tinguely (1925 – 1991)

The machine sculptures engage in a loud and multi-coloured conversation with the onlooker: Through his works, Jean Tinguely communicates and interacts with the spectator. The machine functions and becomes art. Tinguely’s artworks sparkle with wit, vitality, irony and poetry. Seen against a deeper background, though, they also reveal a feeling for tragicomedy, for the enigmatic and inscrutable.













Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Germany: Berlin's Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial, is a memorial in Berlin to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold. It consists of a 19,000 square meters site covered with 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. 

According to Eisenman's project text, the slabs are designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, and the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason.