Weekend Agenda 23/24 November - Monocolumn | Monocle


A daily bulletin of news & opinion

23 November 2013


This is the Story of America: Everybody’s Doing What They Think They’re Supposed to Do

In Milan, the Brand New Gallery uses the classic American novel – Jack Kerouac’s On the Road – as the base point of their latest exhibition The Story of America. The show celebrates diversity and unfettered experimentation found among 21 young contemporary artists all from the US.

Highlights include Joshua Abelow, whose basic paintings borrow Kerouac’s pursuit of life’s simple and immediate pleasures, while Ben Wolf Noam’s works incorporate flora and fauna found around his two studios in LA and New York to reflect the US from coast to coast. The art on show will be interpreting the full spectrum of American life, so it might be best to leave any expectations at the door.

Brand New Gallery, Via Farini 32. Open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11.00-13.00 and 14.30-19.00. Until 11 January.



Depot Basel venue hosts a video and photography exhibition this weekend that documents a roundtable discussion moderated by Swiss-born cultural scientist Claudia Mareis. To tackle the question of whether her country is still an incubator of innovation and design, Mareis brings together five local designers from different generations and backgrounds – Verena Huber, Claude Lichtenstein, Jörg Boner, Stefan Rechsteiner and Meret Probst. Delving into topics from cultural heritage to politics, the 50-minute video is accompanied by a series of photos exploring the heritage and heredity of objects as they pass from one generation to the next.

Ort für kontemporäre Gestaltung Voltastrasse 43. Open Friday to Sunday, 14.00-19.00. Until 18 December.


Wang Guofeng: News

News is a new series of works by Chinese artist Wang Guofeng that challenges viewers to question conventions of the international media and the manipulative power of imagery. Wang, who conceived the series after his tenure as official photographer to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, superimposes both English and Chinese text on blurred out but familiar images of critical global events to convey the notion that “what we see may not be true, what is true may not be seen.” Viewers will be left wondering if the blurred but recognisable faces such as Barack Obama in the situation room or Kim Jong-il are really genuine.

De Sarthe Gallery, 8/F, Club Lusitano Building, 16 Ice House Street, Central. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11.00-19.00. Until 21 December.


The Disturbingly Sensual World Of Kyosuke Tchinai

The Japanese artist Kyosuke Tchinai, who works extensively in Tokyo, has a solo show over the next couple of months at the Elena Shchukina Gallery in London. Tchinai portrays sensual female figures among dreamy and surreal backgrounds using a style reminiscent of 16thcentury Japanese painting. He combines traditional Japanese materials and that detailed approach to painting with western themes and a modern patchwork of gold and platinum leaf. This combination of old and new makes Tchinai’s art an ideal fit for the Elena Shchukina gallery, which weaves together art, antiques and contemporary design in a space tailor-made for a relaxing weekend visit.

Gallery Elena Shchukina, 10 Lees Place. Open Tuesday to Friday, 9.00-18.00, Saturday 9.30-18.00. Until 25 January.


Nils Frahm: Spaces

Berlin contemporary composer Nils Frahm combines the repetitive, mechanical, rhythmic styles of greats such as Philip Glass with the warmth of analogue recording techniques and the inherently lived-in personalities of vintage instruments. On his latest album, Spaces (what most might regard as simply a ‘live’ album) he incorporates the ambience of the venue and qualities of the space he’s in to further enrich his expansive instrumentals. From the frantic staccato build-ups of “Hammers” to the meditative, barely there quality of the 11-minute “Unter – Tristana – Ambre”, Spaces is an intimate, tactile listen from the hands of a master.

Spaces is available to buy now.


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