A daily bulletin of news & opinion

4 April 2014


Phoenix Film Festival

The Phoenix Film Festival in Arizona is in full swing this weekend at the Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatre on Mayo Boulevard. Almost 200 films from the US and around the world are being screened, from shorts by independent local filmmakers to documentaries and possibly soon-to-be blockbuster hits. US director Richard Shepard will be in attendance for Sunday’s screening of his latest film Dom Hemmingway, which stars Jude Law as a rambunctious safecracker who decides to reconnect with his estranged daughter played by British actress Emilia Clarke. Less mainstream fare on Sunday includes the short documentary ZOOM!, telling the 1950s story of Zoom Records – one of Tuscon’s first, yet shortest-lived, record labels.

Harkins Scottsdale 101, 7,000 E Mayo Blvd. See website for screening times. Until 10 April.


Susan Hefuna: Beyond Nothing

Pi Artworks in Istanbul welcomes Egyptian-German multimedia artist Susan Hefuna’s second solo show at the gallery. This is Hefuna’s first exhibit dedicated solely to her textile works, inspired by African and Japanese aesthetics and the Egyptian art of appliqué. Each piece has a unique message written across the Egyptian cotton fabric, surrounded by dynamic geometric shapes. The graffiti-like textile pieces allude to the artist’s multicultural background with writings referring to popular Egyptian songs or traditional sayings in Arabic, English and German – a complex message delivered in a simple, time-tested format.

Pi Artworks, Istiklal Cad. Misir Apt 163/4. Open Monday to Saturday from 10.00-19.00. Until 3 May.


Matthias Bitzer: Saturnine Swing

Stuttgart-born multi-disciplined artist Matthias Bitzer is making his solo debut in New York this weekend with a selection of his latest drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations. Taking place at the city's two Marianne Boesky Galleries, the exhibition showcases Bitzer’s fondness for geometry – he skillfully incorporates angular shapes to make them an integral part across all his works. The titular piece, “Saturnine Swing”, is an intricate pencil-drawn image on wood that simply and gracefully tessellates diamond shapes. The pattern suggests a three-dimensional illusion and challenges our perceptions of space.

Marianne Boesky Gallery, 118 East 64th Street and 509 West 24th Street. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00-18.00. Until 26 April.


Richard Mosse: The Enclave

Irish photographer Richard Mosse has collaborated with New York-based cinematographer Trevor Tweeton for his multichannel video installation, The Enclave, now screening at London’s Vinyl Factory Space. Filmed in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, it explores the region’s rebel enclaves while blurring the lines between documentary and art. Mosse and Tweeton probe what lies beneath the surface of war and tragedy by choosing to work with a discontinued type of infrared film, which gives The Enclave its Technicolor quality. The final result is screened on eight double-sided panels in a dark room, enveloping viewers with a haunting yet surreal sensation.

The Vinyl Factory Space, Brewer Street Car Park,17 Peter Street. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11.30-17.30. Until 26 April.


Jamaica: Ventura

The French have an odd knack of taking the most uncool elements of pop culture and repackaging them as something stronger, (harder?), better, faster. Daft Punk did it with over-polished disco-by-numbers, Phoenix are an only slightly tidier version of drippy 80s MOR, and now here comes French duo Jamaica playing super-charged power pop like it never went out of fashion (it didn’t, by the way). The clipped, urgent tunes on Ventura sound like the kind of fare that would’ve come racing out of the blocks circa ’81 by bands in waistcoats and skinny ties just a little too smart to be punks, not flamboyant enough to be New Romantic, but maybe feeling just about weird enough to tinker with the odd synth. It feels like you’ve known songs like these forever – and you probably have.

‘Ventura’ is available to buy now.


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