Anthea Hamilton

Anthea Hamilton’s “Project for Door (After Gaetano Pesce)

source:theguardiancom
In the past, it’s been filled with sprinters and hung with 2km of neon lights. So what is the artist planning to put in Tate Britain for its coveted Duveen commission?

Anthea Hamilton didn’t want to be an artist when she was growing up. She wanted to be an accountant. “I just loved maths,” she says earnestly. “Numbers and counting. I told my mum when I was about six.” Yet Hamilton was a frontrunner for 2016’s Turner prize and responsible for the show’s most popular exhibit, Project for Door (After Gaetano Pesce), or as it was more inelegantly remembered, the “big bum”, inspired by a rendering for a New York apartment block doorway. In person, Hamilton is as serious and stiff as her work is witty and playful; she speaks in a soft monotone that rarely shifts register until she’s mildly irked.

We meet on a rainy Saturday afternoon in the Tate Britain cafe, to talk about one of the institution’s most anticipated annual events: the unveiling of the Duveen commission . Each year for the last decade, an artist has been invited to produce an original work for the building’s 100-yard sculpture court.

It’s an immense and difficult space. In the first year, Martin Creed’s Work No 850 filled it with runners sprinting through the neoclassical columns; in 2014 Phyllida Barlow memorably installed Dock, then her most epic-scale sculpture; last year, Cerith Wyn Evans suspended almost 2km of delicately whipped neon light. It’s a bellwether gig in contemporary art, one that takes almost a year to pull off each time.

Hamilton is the first black female artist to be taking on the grand hall, but she seems uninterested in talking either about herself or what she’s made. “Well, I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about the work yet, I’d have to check,” she says drily. “But no, it’s not intimidating. The architecture is obviously very powerful but if you take that as a given, it’s not an issue.” Her piece, which is sculpture and performance based, opens to the public on 22 March. As for “that thing of [being] ‘the first’”, she sounds repulsed. “It’s just so gross. It’s understanding something through someone else’s rules and what it really does make me think is, how do you flip that question?”

In plainer terms, Hamilton isn’t much up for talking about what she’s into (“I don’t want that out there”), what makes her tick, how she feels about her place in the art world, nor what her work means. And so, she deals in abstracts. “How I think about these things is personal,” she offers. “How you make your way through life is personal. There is an overlap between me and my artistic practice … ” Her thought drifts. Does she find it a burden then, to have markers of identity and what they signify – black, female, 40, south Londoner, art school graduate – projected on her?

“I guess I’m not willing to accept that term ‘burden’. When something truncates the reading of someone’s work, I think that’s a waste of time and energy for everyone. Maybe my work isn’t seen for what it is. Or maybe someone is looking at my work and then thinking they should be reading it in those terms. I think flagging someone as the first something to do something … ” She looks at me coolly unimpressed and her sentence drops again. “I see the point of tagging something because it’s supposed to stimulate debate,” she finally concludes, “but it doesn’t change anything for the people involved in making it.”

But it does help change the conversation, I suggest. It might seem tediously tokenistic but it does also help redraw the parameters of who and what is interesting or valuable or worthy in the distinctly narrow field of contemporary art. “Yes, it matters. But I can’t and I wouldn’t … ” Her sentence evaporates. “I’m the first viewer,” she says later. “It’s important what I think. It has to please me, it’s how I train myself as an artist. I’m aware my work is looked at in a museum by people who don’t know me or have time to know it and I want it be open for them. There is still a way to please people without turning into the stadium rock version of yourself.”

And Hamilton’s work is exciting and original – her large-scale, site-specific installations are fastidiously, dorkily researched, layered with references from fashion, design, natural history, pop culture. Her assemblages, I say, can feel like a provocative assault on the senses. She winces. “That’s too much. I wouldn’t say that,” she says, conscious of her every word. “I quite like the idea of guiding people through their senses.”

She did so in her reimagining of Kettle’s Yard, the modernist Cambridge home-cum-gallery of art collector Jim Ede, at the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield. She has stitched a brick-printed suit against the walls of New York’s Sculpture Center (for her first solo sculpture show Lichen! Libido! Chastity!, which was restaged for her Turner Prize entry) and indulged enthusiasms for Japanese kabuki theatre, boots, lichen, and, in her joyful short film Venice: Exploring Disco, Saturday night fever. Her art is imaginative and full of humour. Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones tells me: “She’s terrific – she deserved to win the Turner Prize.” (The award went to Helen Marten.)

Audiences seemed to agree – the bum became an Instagram hit and queues of people lined up to post pictures of themselves against it. Did it bother her? “Instagram? It’s just there isn’t it?” What about its relationship with art and exhibitions, and the way users interact with the work?

“It’s not my concern,” she says, bluntly. “I’m aware of it as a fact. In the same way as an artist you know there will be a press release or there has to be an opening. I noticed it, but I don’t have that type of social media brain. I was surprised that’s what people would do with it, that they would put themselves in front of it. Everyone behaves … ” She stops to consider her words again. “They’re not just doing it in front of my work. They’re doing it at Niagara Falls, in the coffee queue or waiting for the toilet. Maybe it’s to do with my age – I’m not an internet native, I can see the way I use the internet is really back to front compared to how someone in their 20s uses it and it’s much more fluid.”

Hamilton teaches as well as makes art – she holds a fine art post in Geneva and hosts alumnus talks and workshops at the Royal College of Art where she graduated aged 26. Before that she took a fine art degree at Leeds Met, had a job at the Arts Council and ran a gallery space in east London for a year. Most of her friends are artists, but she insists that it’s not glamorous: “It’s like any self-employed activity, like being an electrician,” requiring “being professional and getting things done on time.”

If Hamilton is unfazed about the attention she’s attracting now or what to do with it, it’s mostly because she never saw herself as anything else. “I went from being an art student to an artist,” she says plainly. “I never had any doubts.”
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
source:tateorguk
Research is at the heart of Anthea Hamilton’s work, whether it is into art nouveau design, the roots of 1970’s disco or lichen. Each subject is studied closely and used as a lens through which to view the world. Hamilton talks of being strongly influenced by the early 20th century French writer and dramatist Antonin Artaud and his call for the ‘physical knowledge of images’. It is this bodily response to an idea or an image that she wants us to experience when we encounter her work and its use of unexpected materials, scale and humour.

For the Turner Prize Hamilton re-stages the exhibition for which she was nominated at New York’s SculptureCenter, with wallpaper ‘bricks’ covering the walls. She has also made new works specifically for Tate including a floor to ceiling mural of the London sky at 3pm on a sunny day in June.

Project for a Door (After Gaetano Pesce) is a large backside (or ‘butt’) inspired by a photograph showing a model by Italian designer Gaetano Pesce. Originally intended as a doorway into a New York apartment block, the work was never realised. Project for a Door is part of a series by Hamilton of larger than life-size remakes, physical realisations of images taken from her archive.

Anthea Hamilton was born in 1978 in London. She lives and works in London.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
source:gayit
37 anni, Anthea Hamilton è già riuscita ad affermarsi sulla scena artistica britannica e internazionale. Presentando opere ibride tra il kitsch e il surreale, l’artista inglese si interessa alla rielaborazione di immagini e ai modi di rappresentazione mediali moderni. Di grande teatralità, le sue opere rivedono sotto una nuova luce oggetti, capi d’abbigliamento o immagini pre-esistenti, in un processo che vede come protagonista la messa in discussione della loro immutabilità – dove significante e significato vengono scomposti e riassemblati in combinazioni spesso ironiche e mai scontate.

Di recente, l’artista è stata nominata al Turner Prize, uno dei premi più importanti per l’arte contemporanea riservato ad artisti britannici con meno di 50 anni, tra i cui vincitori spiccano artisti quali Damien Hirst, Gilbert & George, Wolfgang Tillmans e Steve McQueen. Sarà assegnato il 6 dicembre 2016 e in corsa troviamo altri tre artisti: Josephine Pryde, Helen Marten e Michael Dean.

Tuttavia, ciò che ha fatto storcere più di un naso per la nomination di Anthea Hamilton è stata la mostra per la quale l’ha ottenuta: Lichen! Libido! Chastity! allo Sculpture Center di New York. L’opera centrale del suo solo-show è un’enorme installazione di quasi 10 metri in cui un sedere tenuto aperto da due mani maschili sfonda la riproduzione di un muro di mattoni. L’opera in questione è la realizzazione di un progetto incompiuto dell’architetto italiano Gaetano Pesce, che nel 1972 aveva ipotizzato un’installazione simile per la porta d’entrata di un grattacielo newyorchese.

Il motivo per cui un’opera tale possa far alzare qualche ciglio non è difficile da intuire, ma come il direttore della Tate Britain – Alex Farquharson – ha tenuto a sottolineare, le scelte di quest’anno riflettono “cosa significa vivere in un mondo saturo di immagini sotto l’onnipresente influenza di internet”.

Dopotutto, cosa si riesce a trovare con più facilità su internet, se non una foto di un sedere? Pensiamoci: la copertina di Kim Kardashian per Paper Mag, l’elogio del twerking, i continui riferimenti ai big o bubble-butts nei video musicali o una più locale foto in palestra ben calibrata… Insomma, vero protagonista dei nostri tempi è la sovraesposizione esasperata del culo.

Perché quindi non riconoscere il lavoro di un’artista che ha usato il tanto famigerato fondoschiena per dare forma alla sua arte? Non sarà che l’imponenza e il gesto tanto simbolico quanto smodato che l’opera compie richiami il nostro smisurato desiderio di attenzioni e likes sui social? Non è un caso infatti, che l’artista e i curatori della mostra avessero incoraggiato i visitatori a fare foto di fronte all’opera: una palla, da questi, immediatamente colta al balzo.

Tornando, però, entro i limiti del processo artistico di Anthea Hamilton, questo fatto dovrebbe farci riflettere sui modi in cui uno stesso progetto venga reinterpreto e re-concepito sia da chi lo crea che da chi lo osserva. Si potrebbe dire che l’artista si sia lei stessa appropriata di un qualcosa che non le apparteneva, per poi spogliarlo della sua utilità originale dandogli un ruolo diverso, conforme a un contesto temporale e sociale moderno. Se l’installazione di Pesce era pensata come entrata, quella di Anthea Hamilton non conduce da nessuna parte; anzi – irrompe sulla scena dall’interno verso l’esterno.

L’artista inglese lavora molto anche sullo spazio stesso in cui le sue opere vengono esposte. Da notare infatti come la Hamilton abbia ricreato pareti coperte di carta da parati in cui i mattoni dello stesso Sculpture Center di New York vengono copiati, riprodotti e stampati. Il mattone è simbolo di concretezza e sostanza, ed è per questo che Anthea Hamilton separa l’idea dal corpo, negandone la natura. E’ la carta da parati a darci il senso di muro: l’immagine del mattone viene scissa dalla sua materialità. E per portare quest’idea ad un livello di astrazione fittizia ancora maggiore, utilizza lo stesso pattern a mattoni anche per creare un completo.

Durante il corso dell’articolo avrete potuto notate altre opere sottoposte ad un percorso sovversivo simile: alti stivali dalle sembianze anfibie, gallette di riso trasformate in medaglioni di vetro, tubi intrecciati a formare enormi sigarette, cinture di castità la cui disposizione ricorda più una fila di sex swings… Tutto, insomma, è stato esposto ad una mutazione: in un mondo moderno votato all’esposizione eccessiva e al progressivo annullamento di confini tra diverse dimensioni culturali, sessuali, naturali e man-made, per quanto ancora l’idea di staticità ed esclusività potrà sussistere?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
source:redetvuolcombr
Parte de uma das peças da exibição artística “Lichen! Libdo! Chastity!”, da artista de 37 anos Anthea Hamilton, um bumbum de cinco metros de altura está concorrendo ao Turner Prize, um dos mais polêmicos e cobiçados prêmios artísticos do mundo.

Feita com o escaneamento 3D, a obra foi nomeada como “Project for Door”. Segundo informações do site “The Guardian”, ela mostra duas nádegas sendo abertas com as mãos e foi exibida originalmente em Nova York, no ano passado.
Hamilton afirmou que sua obra foi inspirada por um plano do designer Gaetano Pesce em 1970, que queria fazer com que uma peça muito parecida fosse usada como “portal” para a entrada de sua exibição em Manhattan. Apesar de nunca ter acontecido, a artista está confiante com a sua criação.

Além de Anthea Hamilton, outros três artistas estão concorrendo ao prêmio de 25 mil Libras, cerca de R$ 126 mil.