Glenn Branca

Lesson Nº 1 + The Ascension
Glenn Branca has always been a musician positioned halfway between the role of avant-garde composer and that of a rock musician. A pupil and disciple of the masters of American minimalism such as La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Philip Glass and Steve Reich, he has always had to fight against prejudice and fierce criticism. His position was certainly uncomfortable, too academic for rock fans and too “politically incorrect” for academics. In fact, Branca was trying to unhinge all the limits imposed by the rigid schemes of the avant-garde, aware of the fact that those who want to be truly avant-garde should have no limits. John Cage was also able to criticize him, even calling him a fascist ( Luciano Berio also did so for all minimalists) for the excessive rigidity of his compositions, even though he recognized his innovative power. After having created his best known album, The Ascension (1981), a true monument of maximalism played with a classical rock formation (guitars, bass and drums), he tries to approach a different format, the Symphony, as always halfway between rock and academia. Branca will like the experiment and will re-propose it several times in the following decades, to date there are sixteen symphonies (not all recordings are available). Here is how young Branca’s ensemble appeared to the American composer John Adams in one of his first live performances of the First Symphony: “Branca’s event that I listened to at the Japan Center Theater in San Francisco in 1981 was one of his symphonies for guitar . The group didn’t look very different from thousands of other independent or alternative rock bands of the time: guys in jeans and worn t-shirts busy with cables while maintaining that typical distracted expression of rock musicians.

 

Thomas Hirschhorn

توماس هيرشهورن
托马斯·赫塞豪恩
תומס הירשהורן
トーマス·ヒルシュホルン
abschlag

Thomas Hirschhorn’s “Abschlag” installation, which occupies the first room on the main floor, offers a lesson in how not to engage with the Russian milieu: the Swiss artist constructed part of a typical Petersburg apartment block out of cardboard inside the full-height space, ripped off its façade, and deposited the refuse at its base, revealing shabby interiors lined with original avant-garde masterpieces (on loan from the nearby Russian Museum) by the likes of Malevich and El Lissitky. The references allude to a politically radical Russian past; the construction debris acts as a metaphor for history. Though Hirschhorn suggests a recovery of the revolutionary communist spirit of the 1920s, he falls prey to a historically revisionist fetish: citing the Russian avant-garde as a generative point for vanguard culture in the West, and offering it as a source for renewed progressivism in Russia. Hirschhorn seems woefully unaware of the Putin government’s branding campaign, one that aims to sell the Russian avant-guard as a nationalist movement in line with the regime’s own values (perhaps he didn’t watch the Sochi opening ceremony). Hirschhorn ultimately proves Zhilayev right — with its political pretenses, “Abschlag” aspires to make a grand gesture against conservatism, but fails because its critique has already been co-opted..
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Yegor Zaitsev

Fall-winter 2010 moscow – womenswear catwalks
The Russian fashion rebel Yegor Zaitsev presented an avant-garde collection which was surprisingly romantic.
Yegor took classic silhouettes extended them, volumized them, turned them upside down and made them into works of art.

Vanessa Beecroft

瓦妮莎比克罗夫特
נסה יקרופט
ヴァネッサ·ビークロフト
바네사 비크로프트
ВАНЕССА БИКРОФТ
La Membre Fantôme

For the installation ‘le membre fantôme’, vanessa beecroft takes the visitor back to the classical language of sculpture through a conceptual perspective, leading us towards an intimate gallery room inhabited by timeless statuary. shown at the 2015 venice biennale, beecroft presents a scene that is visible only at a distance, where the viewer must look through a crevice carved out of two marble walls. Through the panels, we see fragments of a stone garden, rich in archaeological allures and echoes of early twentieth century avant-garde. the archive of memory is here a tribute in bronze – placed at the centre of the installation – to marcel duchamp’s ‘étant donnés’, a reference model for her research that combines personal memories, historical and artistic impressions and a conceptual tension.

Henry Cowell

The Banshee
Intérpretes: Joan Cerveró, piano
Víctor Trescolí, piano strings
A major figure in the modernist movement of the twentieth century, American composer Henry Cowell is celebrated for his avant-garde style and tireless advocacy of contemporary music.
Even in his early compositions, Cowell did something entirely different—instructing the performer to play a range of neighboring notes all at once by holding down the hand or forearm, known as the “tone cluster.”

Iannis Xenakis

ЯНИС КСЕНАКИС
ヤニス·クセナキス
Stratégie
per due Orchestre e due Direttori

Iannis Xenakis est né en 1922 (ou 1921), à Braïla (Roumanie), au sein d’une famille grecque. Il passe sa jeunesse à Athènes, où il achève des études d’ingénieur civil et s’engage d’abord contre l’occupation allemande, puis contre l’occupation britannique (guerre civile). En 1947, après une terrible blessure et une période de clandestinité, il fuit la Grèce et s’installe en France, où il travaille pendant douze ans avec Le Corbusier, en tant qu’ingénieur, puis en tant qu’architecte (Couvent de la Tourette, Pavillon Philips de l’Expo universelle de Bruxelles de 1958 – où fut donné le Poème électronique de Varèse – célèbre pour ses paraboloïdes hyperboliques). En musique, il suit l’enseignement d’Olivier Messiaen et, dans un premier temps, emprunte une voie bartókienne qui tente de combiner le ressourcement dans la musique populaire avec les conquêtes de l’avant-garde (les Anastenaria, 1953). Puis, il décide de rompre avec cette voie et d’emprunter le chemin de l’« abstraction » qui combine deux éléments : d’une part, des références à la physique et aux mathématiques ; d’autre part, un art de la plastique sonore.

REI KAWAKUBO

fall/winter 2017
Comme des Garcons

Rei Kawakubo, (born October 11, 1942, Tokyo, Japan), self-taught Japanese fashion designer known for her avant-garde clothing designs and her high fashion label, Comme des Garçons (CDG), founded in 1969. Kawakubo’s iconoclastic vision made her one of the most influential designers of the late 20th century.

KATSUYA KAMO

No cruzamento da escultura surrealista e sua experiência da passarela, nasceu, como resultado, os ‘capacetes’ de alta costura artesanal feitos ​​pelo artista japonês Katsuya Kamo. Kamo distinguiu-se por sua criatividade, sua androginia na criação de suas peças e também pelo método inovador como transformou simples ‘cabeças’ em obras de arte, fazendo uma incursão de artesanato moderno e arte avant-garde.

Gerwald Rockenschaub

The work of the Austrian artist Gerwald Rockenschaub, born in Linz in 1952, has been associated with Neo-Geo since the early 1980s, when a group of young artists concentrated on the formal vocabulary of the abstract avant-garde. Neo-Geo permeated the aesthetics of American minimal art with the consumeristic position of pop art. Rockenschaub’s art cannot be simply categorised in any particular style, however; in his animations, foil pictures, objects and site-related installations, he refers in equal measure to ideas and positions of modernism and to phenomena of everyday culture.

ilanio and iimuahii

ILANIO REUBIN AND ELENA SLIVNYAK
SUPREME BEINGS FASHION SHOW

The Supreme Beings Fashion Show will reveal the avant-garde concepts of two local fashion designers, Ilanio Reubin of Ilanio and Elena Slivnyak of IIMUAHII, at the spacious SOMArts Cultural Center on Thursday, March 1st. The two runway shows will showcase 8 imaginative looks from each designer, as well as two short improvisational performances by Butoh (contemporary Japanese) dancers which we find very fitting for the two creatives.Though different in aesthetic, both designers hail from similar backgrounds and aim for analogous goals. Ilanio (San Francisco Art Institute) and Elena (Academy of Art) both found the retail and fashion corporate worlds too constrictive and mass-produced, and thus ventured into their own imaginative ones.
Ilanio works to create “visually stunning fashion concepts that explicitly disregard wearability, saleability, and practicality; that embrace advanced definitions of sexuality and gender; and that defy the commercially-mandated boundary between the fashion and art worlds.” For Elena of IIMUAHIII, her avant-garde aesthetic is manifested in an intricately-crafted sportswear line.Although we’re dreaming of being in Paris (but really, when are we not?), we’re excited to watch Ilanio and IIMUAHII strut and represent San Francisco’s undeniable talent in their nontraditional fashion show and hope to see you all there as well!

video

Jeff Carter

Construction N
Often occupying both physical and temporal space, my sculpture has always incorporated both conventional and experimental media, including woodcarving, metalworking, installation, kinetics, microelectronics and video. While it tends to be visually diverse, the friction between object and memory has been at the conceptual core of my sculptural practice since 1994. The images, objects and narratives of a particular place or experience undergo distortions each time they are represented, and it is these forms of abstraction I explore in my sculpture.
Earlier bodies of work have utilized the physical residue of my traveling – the souvenirs, postcards, snapshots and videotapes – as central elements of the sculpture, forcing them to reveal their own inadequacy, disengagement or transformation, to subvert the nostalgic ideal, or to disrupt the usual implications of value and validation in a cultural artifact. In later works I utilize the physicality of scale, motion, and orientation to extend and challenge the conventional representation of landscape. These pieces define specific places as indefinite spatial constructs that complicate the certainty of “being there,” and are part of a larger attempt to relate a fragmented travel narrative through architecture, landscapes and souvenirs.
I have been using IKEA products as raw material for several years, and continue to be interested in extracting conceptual value from it. I am currently exploring the relationship between the Modern avant-garde and contemporary consumer design culture. In my recent work, I attempt to articulate various points of connection and rupture between IKEA and the Bauhaus by constructing scale models of demolished or unrealized buildings by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius using “hacked” IKEA products such as tables, bookshelves and flooring.