Edvard Munch: The Sun, 1910–11. Oil on canvas. Collection and Photo © Munch-museet/Munch -Ellingsen Gruppen/Bono, Oslo, Norway
Dialogue, one artist addressing the work of another, has always been the most important premise of The Art Section. TAS, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia set out from the very beginning to host meaningful dialogues that cross oceans and continents. During the pandemic, these conversations became even more important.
Giuseppe Gavazza, a composer and experimental musician from Turin, Italy, has written for TAS since the beginning in 2007. In 2008, TAS published an article by Jason Freeman, who is also a composer engaged with music technology as well as Chair of the School of Music at the Georgia Institute of Technology, titled “What I Listen To.” Gavazza embraced Freeman’s ideas and began a correspondence with him. Gavazza and Freeman both collect sounds from life and use them as elements in their compositions. I am so pleased that the conversation between these artists continues in this issue.
Originally, a TAS writer who lives in London wished to write about Tracey Emin. Because of the pandemic, however, she could not write about the exhibition. Emin’s work is currently on view in an exhibition alongside that of early 20th century artist Edvard Munch. Or should I say that her long-term love affair with Munch has manifest itself an exhibition. Emin and Munch were born a century apart, but the dialogue between them is happening now. Emin’s fascination, passion and connection to Munch in her work began when she was still an art student. She curated her current exhibition, Loneliness of the Soul, at the Royal Academy in London, in which her work is paired with Munch’s. Emin thus places herself in the art historical canon of modernism. Both artists take up themes of illness and isolation that perhaps have additional meaning in this time of the pandemic. I hope to be able to see this exhibition in person, perhaps in Oslo, from a post pandemic perspective, but I am glad to be able to write about Emin’s exhibition and her work as painter, video artist, installation artist, and sculptor.
Recently seen here in Atlanta at the High Museum of Art and in Boston at the ICA is Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors, a nine channel video installation from 2012. This video work gains new resonance when seen after a year of isolation. Phil Auslander wrote about Kjartansson for the Migros Museum in Zurich when they commissioned The Visitors in 2012. Auslander gives a reading of Kjartansson’s work through his perspective as a critic who has followed Kjartansson’s work for almost a decade.
As the world begins to open again post pandemic, I hope that conversations accessible to all continue. Zoom conversations, online exhibitions and performances are among the positive outcomes of this very difficult year. By bridging geographical gaps, these conversations and events helped to make the time of the pandemic one of dialogue, experimentation, and thought.
The Art Section
Deanna Sirlin is an artist and writer from Brooklyn, New York currently living and working outside of Atlanta, Georgia.