24 Artists to Watch in 2013: Part 1 of 2: Page 2 of 3
24 Artists to Watch in 2013: Part 1 of 2
Born 1984, Los Angeles. Lives in New York.
“My work can’t disguise a love for cinema, special effects, eroticism, stupidity, optical and linguistic distortion, and a desire to promote images to the respect status of objects,” says Cheng, a man of many hats. In addition to making animated videos — This Papaya Tastes Perfect was shown as part of “A Disagreeable Object” at the Sculpture Center, in Queens, this past fall; the same piece had earlier been presented on an iPhone at West Street Gallery, also in New York — Cheng is director of operations for Badlands, the publishing outlet launched by artist Paul Chan, as well as a director, most recently of a music video featuring carnage rendered in 3-D for the band Liars. Currently he’s working on a 3-D animated film in collaboration with the artist Christian de Vietri. Cheng elaborates: “It will explore the ‘sculpting of copyright’ of CGI celebrities through a narrative that documents their transformation from iconic protagonists into a heterogeneous deformed primordial mess. It’ll utilize motion capture both as a technical process to be pushed far beyond its elegant use in Hollywood films and as a radically economical solution to producing a visually unbounded feature-length film.” Other projects include learning to make iPhone apps and coauthoring a romance/self-help novel with the artist (and his girlfriend) Rachel Rose, called Active Social Personal Work Life. Above all, Cheng says he wants “to live to be 200 years old in order to bear witness to long-term evolutionary and cultural change, and so I’m working on getting better at living.”
Born 1984, Feldbach, Austria. Lives in Vienna and Feldbach.
“Stimulated by the idea of what contemporary sculpture is and could be about,” Loderer consistently pushes the medium’s envelope. For Stillleben als Hausfassade (Still Life as House Façade), 2012, she covered a bucket of fruit in yellow housepaint. Schüttlöche, 2012, is a series of aluminum casts of mole tunnels that, when positioned in a gallery space, resemble dancing alien organisms. Loderer has also made art out of car windshields and slabs of asphalt dangling from plain chairs, and has crafted a pair of semi-wearable shoe sculptures. “I’m interested in the nature of materials and their interactions with each other, in an ephemeral and formal way,” she says.
Born 1983, Nantes, France. Lives in Berlin.
“There is a certain kind of loneliness to Airiaud’s entire body of work which touches me profoundly,” says artist Kirstine Roepstorff. “I have a copy of his handmade book Thoughts After the Research for the Project ‘Love Me Tender,’ ” she continues. “It’s very beautiful and poetic. He has a very precise, distinct way of working, using metaphors and storytelling elegantly.”
Airiaud’s work process is rooted in his use of materials and includes experimentation with techniques and presentation methods, and it touches upon subjects as abstract as fiction, death, love, and play. “Patient handcrafting brings me to another level of excitement and inspiration,” says the artist, who, apart from making books, works in sculpture, collage, painting, and drawing. He recently collaborated with fashion designer Martin Niklas Wieser on a collection of garments. Airiaud produced some of the pieces in metal. “A major part of it is to create an environment to represent the vision of the project, which we are just starting to develop,” he explains. “It may involve various disciplines: installation, performance, video, photography, and so forth.” The collection will be out next spring.
Born 1981, Francistown, Botswana. Lives in New York and works in New York, Los Angeles, and Gaborone, Botswana.
Mokgosi’s large-scale, project-based installations, such as Pax Afrikaner, 2008–11, and Pax Kaffraria, 2010–12, take the form of history paintings on panel. They serve, in the artist’s words, as “a conceptual, theoretical, and personal working-through of a particular dilemma: the physical and epistemological violence toward black foreigners in southern Africa.”
Using cinematic tropes as well as psychoanalytic and postcolonial theory, his practice interrogates the specificity of regionalism in order to address questions of nationhood, colonial and anticolonial sentiments, and the perception of historicized events. “I am especially interested in how Lacanian psychoanalytic theory and semiotics can be used to comprehend national identification and occurrences such as the 2008 xenophobic attacks in South Africa,” he says. “Pax Kaffraria is a project divided into eight chapters. The installation is constructed to mimic a filmstrip: It strategically uses cinematic scale, privileges peripheral vision as opposed to frontal, and utilizes tropes of cinematic shots—pans and medium-long shots—as well as inter-titles to conceptually frame each chapter. This project investigates nationalism by taking Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe as case studies. Pax Kaffraria is a conflation of two terms. The word pax, taken from the original phrase ‘we Romans have purchased the Pax Romana with our blood,’ highlights the essence of institutionalized, enforced ‘peace’ at the height of the Roman Empire. Pax Romana, contrary to conventional belief, is not about peace; it is about nationalism, the bond between blood and soil. Kaffraria is a term that was first used by the British in the 18th century to establish British Kaffraria, a subordinate administrative entity that was primarily inhabited by the Xhosa people. More precisely, kaffraria is a British adaptation of the word kaffir, which is used as the equivalent of nigger. Pax Kaffraria, then, is a forcefully made appellation that is chiefly historical.”
Born 1983, Panaca, Nevada. Lives in Claremont, California.
“I tend to alter and add to found objects — rural desert debris, backyard junk, furniture remnants — Frankensteining them together with glitter, whimsy, and blatant artifice,” Hansen says. Her materials evoke the provincial places she explores in her work. “I still love looking at the way certain things are put together in small, rural towns, the aesthetics of some backwards, makeshift way of getting something done,” Hansen explains. “The objects I make all seem to have a frivolity about them. They look like they could be broken down, packed away, and wheeled to the next town — kind of like a traveling circus.”
“Hansen’s work reminds me of happening upon a desert sunset at the same time you catch yourself laughing at what was just whispered in your ear.” —Sarah Cain