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.

 

GYÖRGY LIGETI

ג’רג’ ליגטי
Дьердь Лигети
ジェルジ·リゲティ
Le Grand Macabre

In the mid-70s, Ligeti wrote his only opera, Le Grand Macabre, loosely based on the 1934 play, La Balade du grand macabre, by Michel De Ghelderode. It is a work of absurd theatre that contains many eschatological references.After having seen Mauricio Kagel’s anti-operatic work Staatstheater, Ligeti came to the conclusion that it was not possible to write any more anti-operas.[citation needed] He therefore resolved to write an “anti-anti-opera”, an opera with an ironic recognition of both operatic traditions and anti-operatic criticism of the genre. From its brief overture, a mixture of rhythmic sounds scored for a dozen car horns, to the closing passacaglia in mock classical style, the work evolves as collage of sonorities ranging from a grouping of urban sounds to snippets of manipulated Beethoven, Rossini and Verdi.

Alexander Raskatov

A Dog’s Heart
Dutch National Opera
Libretto by Cesare Mazzonis
based on a novella by Mikhail Bulgakov

A Dog’s Heart is based on the book of the same name that the Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov wrote in 1925 and which was banned for decades due to social criticism. It is a masterly “modern” parable in which Soviet society, which was still young at the time, is shrewdly filleted. A starving mutt is used by a doctor as a pilot project. He will have human testes and a pituitary gland implanted. Subsequently, however, the mutated animal develops into an unscrupulous human criminal. The only option is to surgically return the animal to a dog.

NINO CAIS

Nino’s work invites us to reconsider objects that surround us, paying attention to them under a different perspective. However, unlikely many contemporary artists, Nino doesn’t subvert found objects to make a comment about art itself, questioning what is or what isn’t art, neither intends to make a criticism of consumption society.

MAOTIK AND FRACTION

Dromos

Dromos is a metaphoric AV Performance that takes its concept from the philosophical work of P. Virilo who is mostly known for founding the idea of Dromology (science of speed). Dromos invites audience to a criticism experience of the ’peed’ role that impacts all aspects of our daily lives. During 40mns, it focuses people attention on this essential factor that shapes our world. With its message, Dromos invites you to wonder about your relationship with progress. It’s an unconventional work with an original sensorial approach, placing the audience inside an immersive environment.

SHINTARO KAGO

駕籠 真太郎
신타로 카고
Синтаро Каго

Strange and twisted illustrations by Japanese Shintaro Kago, the great and tortured mangaka precursor of the “fashionable paranoia”. Surreal illustrations in which he does not hesitate to push his concepts to their fullest to express his ideas with humor. Some incredible images amid criticism of modern Japanese society…

NANINE LINNING

Hieronymus B
Nanine Linning consciously leaves the beaten theatrical path with her artistic vision by intensely integrating dance, design, video, music, visual arts and fashion. Her extremely physical choreographies and out of the box events make reference to human instincts and emotions as well as aspects of cultural history and social criticism.

Erwin Wurm

ארווין וורם
アーウィンウーム
ЭРВИН ВУРМ

Erwin Wurm, one of Austria’s most important and internationally famous sculptors, has been preoccupied with expanding the concept of sculpture since the 1980s. Wurm is primarily a sculptor, and traditional sculptural concerns such as the relationship between object and pedestal, the function of gravity, the fixing of form, and the manipulation of volume, play through all his work.
Increasing, remodeling or removing volume, the habitual interests of many sculptors, are given a new twist in Wurm’s work. Volume and adding volume are treated as sociocrital issues. In 1993, Erwin Wurm wrote an instructional book on how to gain two clothing sizes in eight days. Eight years later, he made his first Fat Car by plumping up an existing car with styrofoam and fiberglass, which resulted in a pitiful, chubby version of the original sportsy model. By taking the question of obesity, Wurm probes the link between power, wealth and body weight. He also wants to offer a sharp criticism of our current value system, as the advertising world demands us to stay thin but to consume more and more.

Pierre Cardin

Palais Lumière
Pierre Cardin and his architect nephew Rodrigo Basilicati have axed plans for their 60-storey, three-finned Palais Lumière (Palace of Light) skyscraper, due to criticisms about how the building would fit into the Venetian landscape […] Opposition and criticism over the glass skyscraper began in 2012. Locals have been concerned over the impact the 245 metre-high structure would have on the Venetian landscape and its medieval city.

Ivan Navarro

Reality Show
The artist is known for the union between the neon and fluorescent and socio-political messages. His minimalist and modern sculptures and installations are guided by sharp social and political criticism, which has its origin in the artist personal history – that was born amid the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, in Santiago, in the 1970s. The dictator used to adopt, among other absurd practices, power cut as a way to impose curfews on people. A light to control the masses is a memory of Iván Navarro childhood and eventually became the major subject of his work.

Liu Bolin and Carlos Cruz-Diez

Liu Bolin x Carlos Cruz-Diez

Traversing mediums such as performance, photography, Liu Bolin dissects the tense relationship between the individual and society by ‘disappearing’ into environments which are sites of contention and criticism.more

EDUARDO SRUR

אדוארדו סרור
Boat
Festival Serrinha

Eduardo Srur, from São Paulo, started painting, but stood out in urban interventions. His works use the public space to draw attention to environmental issues and daily life in the metropolises, always with the objective of expanding the presence of art in society and bringing it closer to people’s lives. The city is your research laboratory for the practice of artistic experiences; the public and governments are his target. Srur’s set of works serves as a guide for poorly managed spaces and urban errors. Above all, they are conceptual criticisms that awaken awareness and look at a new aesthetic and understanding of the visual arts.

NINO CAIS

Marretas
NINO’S WORK INVITES US TO RECONSIDER OBJECTS THAT SURROUND US, PAYING ATTENTION TO THEM UNDER A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. HOWEVER, UNLIKELY MANY CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS, NINO DOESN’T SUBVERT FOUND OBJECTS TO MAKE A COMMENT ABOUT ART ITSELF, QUESTIONING WHAT IS OR WHAT ISN’T ART, NEITHER INTENDS TO MAKE A CRITICISM OF CONSUMPTION SOCIETY.