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Article

Sarah Urist Green

(b Kabul, June 5, 1973).

Afghan video and performance artist and photographer, active also in the USA. After fleeing Soviet-occupied Kabul with her family in the late 1980s, Abdul lived as a refugee in Germany and India before moving to Southern California. She received a BA in Political Science and Philosophy at California State University, Fullerton, and an MFA at the University of California, Irvine, in 2000. Abdul first returned to a post-Taliban Afghanistan in 2001, where she encountered a place and people transformed by decades of violence and unrest. Since that time, Abdul has made work in Kabul and Los Angeles, staging herself in performances and creating performance-based video works and photography that explore ideas of home and the interconnection between architecture and identity.

Beginning in the late 1990s, Abdul made emotionally intense performance art informed by that of Yugoslavian artist Marina Abramović and Cuban-born American artist Ana Mendieta. At the time unable to travel to Afghanistan, Abdul created and documented performances in Los Angeles that probed her position as Afghan, female, Muslim, a refugee and a transnational artist. In ...

Article

Francis Summers

revised by Jessica Santone

(b Belgrade, Nov 30, 1946).

Serbian performance artist, video artist and installation artist. She attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade (1965–70) before completing her post-diploma studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb, in 1972. Her early works included sound recordings installed on bridges, paintings of truck crashes, and experiments with conceptual photography (see Widrich, pp. 80–97). In her first significant performance, Rhythm 10 (1973), she repeatedly and rapidly stabbed the spaces between her fingers with various knives. Later, in Rhythm 0 (1974; see Ward, pp. 114–30), she invited gallery visitors to choose from 72 available objects to use on her body, as she stood unresponsive for 6 hours. Her infamous performance Thomas’ Lips (1975; see M. Abramović and others, pp. 98–105), in which she cut, flagellated, and froze herself, established her practice as one that dramatically explored the physical limits of the human body, as seen in the work of Gena Pane or Chris Burden (...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1953, in Troyes.

Sculptor, draughtsman, installation artist, video artist.

Hélène Agofroy lives and works in Paris. The origins of Hélène Agofroy's sculptures can be found in the paintings of the Quattrocento. She is interested in the positioning of objects in Italian frescoes and paintings. She studies their multiple perspectival effects, then incorporates them into her sculpture. From common elements, such as wood, plaster and resin, Agofroy builds light, open worked sculptures of complex geometric design. They invoke overturned hulls, light cradles, or, as in ...

Article

Finnish, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in Helsinki.

Born 1959, in Hämeenlinna.

Video installation artist, film producer, photographer, performance artist.

Conceptual Art.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila was a student at the university of Helsinki from 1980 to 1985 and studied film and video at the London College of Painting. In ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Hameenlinna, Finland, 1959).

Finnish film maker and video artist. She studied at Helsinki University (1980–85), the London College of Printing (1990–91) and then at both UCLA and the American Film Institute, Los Angeles (1994–5). In 1990 she was awarded the Paulo Foundation Prize for Young Artist of the Year. After experimentation with photography, installation art and performance art, Ahtila turned to film and video in the 1990s. The three mini-films Me/We, Okay and Gray (1993) each lasting 90 seconds and written and directed by her, were shown separately and as a trilogy, as trailers in cinemas, on television during commercial breaks and in art galleries. They are noted for their use of narrative conventions derived from film, television and advertising, through which they explore questions of identity and group relations. Ahtila’s main preoccupation with narrative and what she terms ‘human dramas’ was continued in the film ...

Article

Els Maréchal

(b Brussels, Oct 19, 1927).

Belgian painter, draughtsman, printmaker and film maker. He studied book illustration and typography at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et des Arts Décoratifs from 1944 to 1946. In 1947 he became a member of the Jeune Peinture Belge group and had his first one-man exhibition in the Galerie Lou Cosyn in Brussels. In 1949 he became a founder-member of the Cobra movement after meeting Christian Dotremont. With a number of artist friends he set up a type of research centre and meeting-place in Brussels, the Ateliers du Marais. Towards the end of 1951 he went to Paris, moving to Japan in 1955 to study the art of calligraphy, also making a film called Calligraphie japonaise (1956). He adopted the Oriental manner of painting, whereby the paper is spread on the floor and the artist leans over the work holding the bottle of ink, allowing a greater freedom of movement. In ...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 30 October 1971, in Wigan.

Sculptor, film maker, video artist.

Young British Artists.

Darren Almond graduated from Winchester School of Art in 1993. He won the Toshiba Art and Innovations Prize in 1996. He was nominated for the 2005...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(James)

(b Wigan, Oct 30, 1971).

English sculptor and film maker. He graduated from Winchester School of Art in 1993 and in 1995 had his first solo exhibition in London, showing a single work, KN120, which consisted of a large ceiling fan installed under London’s Westway and wired to his studio. He was awarded the ICA/Toshiba Art & Innovation Prize in 1996. For the exhibition Something Else (London, Exmouth Market, 1996), Almond displayed A Real Time Piece, a video-projected live satellite broadcast from his West London studio to the exhibition venue. His absence from the studio was highlighted by the amplified time-keeping of an industrial flip-clock. He repeated this procedure on 7 May 1997 for the installation HMP Pentonville (London, ICA), this time broadcasting live from an empty cell in Pentonville Prison to a gallery space. Both these works indicate his preoccupation with questions of time and endurance. Fan (wood, plastic, micro-processors, paints and motors, approx. diam. 4.5 m, ...

Article

Belgian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Mexico.

Born 1959, in Antwerp.

Painter, draughtsman, video artist, photographer, installation artist.

Francis Alÿs is of Belgian origin but has lived in Mexico since 1986. He trained as an architect at the Instituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice....

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born January 1957, in Montpellier.

Painter, draughtsman, photographer, film maker.

Amarger met the group Letters and Signs in 1981. Since then he has participated in the groups activities, especially, according to him, in the domains of film and theatre.

His sculptural works occupy the domain of letters and the hypergraphic, meaning that of new signs having no previous meaning. Most often his graphic compositions in mixed media contain photographic materials....

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1955, in Caen.

Painter, draughtsman, installation artist. Posters.

As well as being a painter and an installation and video artist, Jean-Luc André is also a theoretician and a member of the experimental music group Déficit des Années Antérieures (DDAA). He also teaches at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Bourges. He has initiated a series of movements, among them the Front de Brouillage International in ...

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 1912, in Ferrara.

Film maker, painter, writer. Landscapes.

An intuitive painter, Michelangelo Antonioni uses watercolour, oil and sometimes unexpected materials. He then makes photographic enlargements of his paintings and exhibits the enlargements. On several occasions he has taken his painter's brush to his films, colouring in natural settings artificially, notably in ...

Article

Greek, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Germany.

Born 1954, in Athens.

Draughtsman, engraver, sculptor, video artist. Multimedia.

Michalis Arfaras first studied painting at the school of fine arts in Athens between 1972 and 1974. He continued his studies at the college of fine arts in Brunswick in Germany where he specialised in engraving and produced book illustrations and comic strips. He now lives and works in Hildesheim where he teaches graphic art at the university....

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in California.

Born 1940, in Cleator Moor (West Cumbria).

Painter, ceramicist, print artist, film maker, photographer. Textiles.

Conrad Atkinson graduated from Carlisle College of Art (1961), Liverpool College of Art (1962) and the Royal Academy Schools in London (...

Article

Ulrike Gaisbauer

(b Pressburg, Aug 28, 1940).

Austrian painter, writer, film maker and musician. While still at school he wrote short novels and songs, drew comic strips, composed pieces for ocarina and piano and was three times Austrian junior national yachting champion. From 1957 to 1963 he was a student at the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna. His sensual pictures, which express a totally egocentric personality, sparkle with lively imagination. They incorporate the idea of metamorphosis as a consistent leitmotif and are therefore always undergoing a process of transformation. The idea of beauty, as part of a wide-ranging aesthetic view of the world, often forms the core of his artistic statements and is the basis of his numerous actions.

Attersee’s invented words and objects, for example Food-ball or Prosthesis-alphabet, are the result of an intellectual exploration of ordinary objects in everyday reality, as well as of current linguistic patterns. From 1967 to 1968 he produced his ...

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1921, in Gentbrugge; died 1990.

Painter. Urban landscapes.

Marcel de Backer was a self-taught photographer, film maker and writer. He painted the old streets of his hometown in shades of grey.

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in the UK.

Born 1958, in Georgetown, Guyana.

Video artist, film maker, photographer, journalist, broadcaster. Scratch videos.

George Barber has a BA from St Martin’s School of Art in London (1980) and an MA from the Slade School of Art in London (...

Article

French, Moroccan, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1971, in Paris, France.

Photography, video, film, installation, sculpture.

The Tangier-based artist Yto Barrada studied political science and history at the Sorbonne in Paris before she moved to New York to study photography at the International Center of Photography. Her practise focuses on Tangier and the physical, political, and psychological barriers its inhabitants face, as well as the oppositional forces between the West and East. Her photographs investigate the attractions of Western Europe for the people in Tangier, while also demystifying and de-exoticizing Western ideas of the East and Northern Africa....

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1953.

Installation artist, video artist.

Catherine Beaugrand took part in 1995 in the Lyons Biennale Arts Festival, with the work America is an Error ( L'Amérique est une Erreur) (1995), set around a quotation by Freud. She shows her works in solo exhibitions, including: ...

Article

Croat, 20th century, male.

Active in Great Britain since 1991.

Video artist. Multimedia.

Breda Beban is from Zagreb. He settled in London in 1991 and produces videos.