Amalia's Website

 

Last updated: 26th January 2016

Studio notes

 

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  • Excellences & Perfections

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Calendar

 

18 February 2016

Tate Modern

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My tryptich from my last performance, Excellences & Perfections, as well as the whole project, digitally archived by Rhizome at The New Museum, will be exhibited at the Tate Modern (London) in a group show titled Performing For The Camera, from the 18th of  February to the 12th of June 2016.

“Performing for the Camera will examine the relationship between photography and performance, from the invention of photography in the 19th century to the selfie culture of today. Bringing together over 500 images spanning 150 years, the exhibition will engage with the serious business of art and performance, as well as the humour and improvisation of posing for the camera.
Identity and self-image were also important for artists like Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol in their own marketing and promotional photographs, and in more playful works like Mike Mandel’s Baseball Photographer Trading Cards 1974 in which photographers pose as ‘collectable’ baseball players. The world of social media will be addressed in a key recent work staged on Instagram by Amalia Ulman. The exhibition will show not only that photography has always been performative, but that much performance art is inherently photographic.”

Isn’t this great :-)

Link here

 

 

 

18 February 2016

Canadian Art Review by Fiona Duncan

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"Given the synchronized representation of Ulman’s “Stock Images of War”—two cities, one year apart—one is tempted to compare and contrast. How has our geopolitical context changed in the last year? For one, Isis is no longer foremost a goddess. For two, droves of creatives are moving here. LA is the New Art Capital. Does work look different here? Ulman’s sculptures do. In New York, I shivered at their resonance. How war is image to me. How so much is. New York now is a city of signs. World centre of: Financial capitalism. Cultural capitalism. Bad art selling well. I have a personal value system. It makes me love Ulman’s work, as she makes me think, feel and see anew. As she creates new forms for eternal human concerns. Like Amy Goodman’s voice, “Stock Images of War” re-sensitizes me to the gravity of war, power, politics, lives, matter.

But LA. Politics in LA. It’s like, we can forget about it. Mine and Ulman’s friend Dean said this recently. He was at Whole Foods in downtown LA last November, on Friday the 13th (!), when news of the Paris attacks were first streaming. There he was, he said, eating delicious readymade dishes, cool as an organic cucumber. Here is where New Agers thrive. Here is, people call it, “a bubble.” You feel safe. And also like you’re about to slip into the underworld. Ocean and mountain. Delusion and grandeur. Maps to the Stars Down to Earth. Everything is everything."

 

Link here

 

 

 

8 January 2016

Stock Images Of War - LOS ANGELES

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"My confinement is the victory of the skyscrapers over my bones."

In a global community of emotions, war is gossip, torture is a parallel act of deconstruction and images serve the function of heavy artillery. Cherry Picker, Sherwood Forest, Pink Rose, Night Blossoms
Becoming a log: logging in, logging out.
When narcissism becomes a stratagem we need mirrors to learn our poses, to attract and seduce like England does with a third world country.  
Being more specific, what is it that you will see at Stock Images of War. In the dark, only illuminated by spotlights, a series of augmented wire figures produced during confinement will weakly find their place in the empty room, constantly fighting to stand their ground, maybe hesitating between standing and laying down. And all of this happens in the midst of a nauseating smell of Apple Cinnamon Medley, of someone cooking apple strudel in factory quantities, of someone cooking and dancing to teenage hits, to easy political songs, because only in a state of neoteny it is possible to believe in the fantasy of the dehumanized other, the other as cake.

I will be showing, with James Fuentes, the solo exhibition Stock Images Of War at Four Six One Nine.

4619 W Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, 90016, CA

8th - 30th January

 

 

 

7 January 2015

New Museum: First Look

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Curated by Lucas G. Pinheiro and Devin Kenny, First Look is a Twenty-eight hours of real live performance online.


“Real Live Online considers performance art in its encounter with the contemporary web, bringing together works by eight artists who are separated from their audiences in time and space, but connected via social media, the browser, the webcam, and livestreaming applications.
Commenting on the relationship between postmodernism and performance over a decade ago, Philip Auslander remarked on the fragility of performance as a category. To probe the question of performance and its development within a culture so profoundly organized by the acceleration of finance capital and technological innovation, as this exhibition attempts to do, is to witness the rubric of performance shatter into a “multitude of related yet distinct shards, each a different facet of the relationship it describes.” Today, as performance is fundamentally reimagined by artists working through mobile apps, livestreaming software, social media, and other web-specific tools, Auslander’s observation appears as timely as ever before.”

Link here

 

 

 

4 January 2016

Forbes: 30 Under 30

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Dear Amalia,

After sifting through thousands of nominations, and then convening the best panel of judges ever – from Jessica Alba to Steve Ballmer to Laurene Powell Jobs – I am very pleased to formally inform you that you have been selected to the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

LINK HERE

 

 

 

12 December 2015

Find your Beach @ KURATOR

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Find your Beach is a group show curated by Christina Lehnert at Kurator (Switzerland), taking place between the 12th of December 2015 and the 7th of February 2016. My video essay, Annals of Private History will be shown among works by Lynn Hershman Leeson, Shana Moulton and Josephine Pryde between others.

Link here

 

 

18 February 2016

Whitechapel Gallery

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My last performance, Excellences & Perfections will be exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. Electronic Superhighway is a “major exhibition bringing together over 100 works to show the impact of computer and Internet technologies on artists from the mid-1960s to the present day.”

Link here

 

 

 

24 November 2015

Visit to UPenn

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Jamie Diamond, professor of photography at the University of Pennsylvania invited me to give a talk at UPenn on the 24th November 2015.


I fantasized about being a student again.

 

 

17 November 2015

Regional Archives Gothemburg

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"Communicating the Archive: Inscription; in six lectures, we’ve invited scholars and practitioners of different fields to thematically approach the archivization moment of “the inscription”, exploring the materialisation of the archive, scrutinizing the archiving/inscribing interfaces, the discursive formation of “the Archive” to be inscribed, desires/drives of inscription etc."

Like every year since 2013, I gave a Skype Lecture for the Regional Archives in Gothemburg curated by Karl-Magnus Johansson to whom I'm eternally grateful for pushing me to put my thoughts in order and write my first video essay Buyer, Walker, Rover.

 

 

10 November 2015

Flaunt Magazine

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I made the cover for Flaunt Magazine in collaboration with Ed Fornieles and got interviewed by William J. Simmons.
“Somewhere between Chris Burden and Cindy Sherman, artist Amalia Ulman is a fearless investigator of popular culture who is unafraid to use her own body as a critical tool. (...) No matter her process, Ulman always unites accessibility with nuance, a powerful combination that reminds us of the pressing questions inherent in the minutiae of everyday life.”

You can read the interview here
And see the cover here

 

 

November 2015

Gucci

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Got sponsored by Gucci to do a series of photographs for their new GG handbags by Alessandro Michele.
I took advantage of my infamous airplane naked toilet selfie and my walks to the office in Downtown LA.

Link here

 

 

22-24 October 2015

The Influencers Barcelona

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Got invited by Eva and Franco Mattes to participate in The Influencers Festival in Barcelona. It was great that I got to meet the Yes Men and to fall in love (again) with Franco “Bifo” Berardi.

Link here

Also, I got to see my mentor Carlos Carbonell, musical genius behind Internet2. You must now check him out

 

 

22-24 October 2015

CARLA

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Got interviewed by Char Jansen for CARLA magazine.

Link here http://contemporaryartreview.la/

 

 

13-17 October 2015

Frieze Live - Annals Of Private History

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Did Frieze Live with Arcadia_Missa with an installation and essay titled Annals Of Private History.

'The Annals of Private History' is a piece on introspection. The central thread is the history of diaries (and women's relationships with them), which will talk about parallel histories and the things that are lost due to repressive structures and a lack of appropriate platforms/safe spaces where to share one’s thoughts.
The main narrative - the fictionalised History of the Diary, will expand on why little girls are given diaries when they are little, paying attention to repressive details like the padlock and the bedroom.
This focus on the diary not only feeds directly from Ulman's wider practice, which interrogates gender roles, but also acts as a metaphor or symbol for structure of repression, or the feeling of not being able to speak. What is allowed live, to be public, within society, and what must remain hidden and private?

 

 

15 October 2015

The Guardian

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"North Korea is known for many things – but rarely is it contemplated for its aesthetics. While some international artists have addressed the politics and human rights abuses of Kim Jong-un’s regime, few have travelled to the country to experience their effect firsthand. So when images of North Korea began to appear on Ulman’s Instagram feed, it seemed at first that it might be another hoax: the first post, location tagged “Pyongyang”, was a picture of the artist doing the splits in a hotel room. More images followed from the famous Koryo Hotel, then a shooting range, a department store and a restaurant, along with videos of Ulman accompanied by a Spanish-speaking tour guide. Though published when the artist was back in the US, they turned out to be genuine documentation of her recent tour."

Link here

 

 

 

14 October 2015

Interview Magazine

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Rachel Small interviewed me for Interview magazine

“Last year at Art Basel Miami Beach, a little-known artist named Amalia Ulman appeared on a panel called “Instagram as an Artistic Medium.” Instagram was for real selves, real insight, real art, and above all, selfies, according to her esteemed co-panelists Simon de Pury, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Klaus Biesenbach, and the company’s CEO, Kevin Systrom. Their points, however, were somewhat compromised by the fact that the then-25-year-old Ulman spoke first.”

Link here

 

 

 

11 September 2015


DPRK

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Now that the smell of Pyongyang has started to fade away I feel the urge to write about it. As much as I look at the photographs or watch the videos that I took, I have a hard time remembering the tone of the light filtering the room in the mornings, or the exact pitch of the wake up worker’s siren at 7am.

I have a strange relationship with the DPRK. I’ve been asked many times the reason of my visit and I truly don’t know what to say. Was it an art project, definitely not, was I trying to exploit  the bizarreness of the country and the momentum generated by things like The Interview and other patronizing international press? I doubt it.


I tend to make work, or being attracted to, things that I find either disgusting, terrifying or ugly. Mostly to analyse why I feel in such a way and maybe wrap my head around it and maybe falling in love. Out of fear and repulsion I fell in love with the DPRK.

 

 

 

1 September 2015

Art Review September Issue

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Erik Morse interviewed me for the September Issue of Art Review.


"The morphologies of the virtual and material in International House of Cozy typify the wide citational and conceptual filters at work in Ulman’s ‘post-Internet’ oeuvre, which alternates between the millennial’s social media platform and more conventional object-accumulative environments, in whose displays of cultural curiosities are portrayed complex semiologies of class stratification, lifestyle trends and adolescent sexualities.  (...) Ulman’s purview as an expatriate artist originates in a childhood spent in the industrial north of Spain, where she witnessed the country’s transition from Franco-era isolationism to EU hyper-capitalism and then bankruptcy.  The region’s mercurial, object-driven markets expanded exponentially in the 2000s.  The influx of speculative debt and consumer trends that followed are no doubt reflected in Ulman’s fascination with capital’s alternating desires for territorial circulation and accumulative interiorization.  For Ulman, the new psychogeographies produced therein contract and obscure traditional divisions between city/town, capital/purlieu and market/home."


Link here

 

 

1 May 2015

Gentle Deception (Topical Cream)

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"Amalia Ulman operates almost like a kid sneaking out of her parents’ house at midnight, leaving a bundle of pillows under her comforter. There is almost always a bait and switch and things are rarely as they seem. This gentle deception was at the center of her much-talked-about Instagram-based performance project, Excellences & Perfections, and continues in her new short film, International House of Cozy..."

Click here to read it

 

 

12 May 2015

My first public sculpture

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Next Sunday is the official opening of Sculpturen Park in Cologne (Germany). This is my first public suclpture and a replica of one of the wheelchairs in Stock Images Of War, which were originally ideated to be placed in roundabouts anyway :-)

Click here to see it

 

 

27 May 2015

International House Of Cozy

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On May 15, the first solo exhibition in the Netherlands of Amalia Ulman (1989 AR) opens at Showroom MAMA. ‘International House of Cozy’ includes a pornographic film especially produced for MAMA in which she takes her research into the boundaries of authenticity and consumerism to its extreme.

"So we've all become tourists and that's why our office is Starbucks."

In a world where life has become a commodity, Ulman takes the additional step to expose the obscenities of contemporary marketing. For the film she made for MAMA, she adapted an existing hipster infomertial, re-wrote the script and asked porn actors to perform it.

IHOC uses porn as a tool to legitimize a visual aesthetic while transforming it into a categorized fetish. In this case it'd be hipster culture as image void of meaning: as the commercial corporate beast it has become.

Amalia didn't use porn as a means to make the video seem shocking or more edgy, quite the opposite. To bring this aesthetic, those conversations, that sort of video editing, color palette, corporate ukulele music, retro logos and indie fonts into the realm of the pornographic, is to normalize it, to finally consider it mainstream and therefore corporate. This comes from an interest in the idea of the invisible, of the template. The things we are no longer able to see.

It all goes down to class, aesthetics and the thin line that separates good and bad taste. This pornographic video elevates and corrupts the original version of the hipster advertisement previously mentioned, through exaggeration, into a grotesque caricature of itself.

After watching IHOC once, our eyes get readjusted, or perception refurbished and everything, in a way, becomes bad taste: hierarchies temporarily destroyed.

 

 

22 December, 2014

Stock Images Of War

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Stock Images Of War is a solo exhibition by Amalia Ulman about our lack of empathy, how we torture each other and how war is adulthoods’ favorite game.


My confinement is the victory of the skyscrapers over my bones.
In a global community of emotions, war is gossip, torture is a parallel act of deconstruction and images serve the function of heavy artillery.
Cherry Picker, Sherwood Forest, Pink Rose, Night Blossoms
Becoming a log: logging in, logging out.
When narcissism becomes a stratagem we need mirrors to learn our poses, to attract and seduce like England does with a third world country.  
Being more specific, what is it that you will see at Stock Images of War. In the dark, only illuminated by spotlights, a series of augmented wire figures produced during confinement will weakly find their place in the empty room, constantly fighting to stand their ground, maybe hesitating between standing and laying down. And all of this happens in the midst of a nauseating smell of Apple Cinnamon Medley, of someone cooking apple strudel in factory quantities, of someone cooking and dancing to teenage hits, to easy political songs, because only in a state of neoteny it is possible to believe in the fantasy of the dehumanized other, the other as cake.

We don't need no water let the motherfucker burn,
Burn motherfucker burn.

You can watch the video trailer here

 

 

11 December 2014

Perpetual Provisional Selves

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"I think I want to talk about the sort of narcissism that makes it hard for me to conduct interviews, and what that has to do with performing the self on social media—an endless interview with no interviewers and competing interviewees projecting the questions they want to answer onto an audience that may already be largely preoccupied with questions they were wishing to be asked."

Rob horning and I worked on a text for Rhizome in an attempt to contextualise Excellences & Perfections, you can read it here: Perpetual Provisional Selves

 

 

 

7 November 2014

Social Anxiety - The Fader

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Emilie Friedlander writes a note about Excellences & Perfections for The Fader - CLICK HERE

"It's extremely tempting to show my friends back at home the uncharacteristically glamorous turn my life has taken in the past 24 hours—I was flown in from New York to report on a festival that's happening here—but I'm not sure if I'm going to go through with it. I wouldn't be the only person on my feed who's posted a photo of hanging out on the rooftop at the Ace Hotel while most everybody else I know is stuck at home, grinding away in cold and rainy New York."

CLICK HERE

 

 

 

8 November 2014

The Destruction Of Experience

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The website for The Destruction of Experience is finally up:

http://destruction.amaliaulman.eu/

And there is some press worth checking out in:

✔ Dis Magazine - CLICK HERE

Destruction of Experience is an immersive installation which calls upon the sterile hygiene of a doctor’s waiting room, or perhaps the soft-spoken politeness of an office lobby. Ulman speaks this bland language as a way to perform critique. She teases the relationship between corporate identity, consumerism and beauty through subtly altered replications: motivational boards, customized office calendars and room odorizers. These are embedded with a profound personal as well as cultural anxiety, an anxiety of beauty standards and ‘success’ in a time of extreme socializing individualism.

✔ Opening Ceremony - CLICK HERE

For her latest show, it’s an immersive installation enveloping sound, scent, sculpture, and delicate wall-based works that offer a techno-social mediation on time, body clocks, and the body as a perishable asset. 

 

 

 

30 October 2014

i-D Mag - Excellences & Perfections

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Dean Kissick wrote a note about my work for i-D Magazine, you can read it HERE

"All sorts of things happen in accidents. After his car crashed into a ditch on the outskirts of Milan in 1909 Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti wrote the Futurist Manifesto. Frida Kahlo was never the same after she was almost killed in a bus collision in downtown Mexico City in 1925 aged only 18. And after he wrote off his Lexus on the highway leading to the W Hotel in Los Angeles in 2002, Kanye West went into the studio with his mouth wired shut and recorded a song that would change his career forever."

 

 

17 October 2014

ICA OFFSITE - Do you follow?

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"But, what about our bodies? Bodies can crumble, perish, disappoint us, promote us. Bodies represent who we are, what our history is, where do we come from.
We can’t scape our bodies.
Bodies are suitcases for our consciousness but “who’s this suitcase by?” “What label?” “Which designer”. It could be a Mulberry, or a Kelly, or a Vuitton, or a Vans backpack, or a Tesco plastic bag, or a Zara tote."

Michael Connor (Rhizome) put together a talk during Frieze London where I was speaking next to the brilliant Hannah Black and Derica Shields.

You can watch the video here - Art in Circulation Livestream

 

 


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A Amalia Ulman 2015