Kunsthalle Basel presents “In Ekstase,” a solo exhibition by British contemporary artist P. Staff (b. 1987), on view through September 10. The show is the young artist’s largest to date and includes new video works and holographic installations.
The flashing images of the exhibition’s holograms and videos are both uncomfortable and attractive to the viewer, creating an ambiguous yet urgent atmosphere in the gallery.
The artist suggests that the world is on fire and that modern life is like a state of ecstasy, where pain and pleasure are mixed and unable to deal with. With the reality of a world on fire, the exhibition aims to ask what it means to truly live in a world on fire, referring to the way capitalism regulates marginalized lives, bodily subjectivity, and trans identity as urgent issues.
Berlin’s Bastian Gallery presents British artist Damien Hirst’s (b. 1965) solo show “Oranges and Lemons” through August 5.
The exhibition’s centerpiece, Oranges and Lemons (2008),’ is a diptych featuring butterflies against a vibrant orange and yellow background. In Western art tradition, butterflies symbolize the immortality of the soul. The background colors are bright and vivid. However, the title ‘Oranges and Lemons,’ is taken from an English 18th-century nursery rhyme about a man whose throat is cut and dead.
By combining the butterfly that symbolizes immortality with a nursery rhyme about death, the artist invites the viewer to feel the tragic fate of mortal beings from the beauty of the butterfly and experience ambivalent feelings.
The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris presents a solo exhibition by Ron Mueck (b. 1958) through November 5. Mueck is an Australian sculptor known for his hyper-realist sculptures that depict human skin, hair, and clothing in meticulous detail. Mueck has exhibited at the Fondation Cartier since 2005, and this exhibition presents his recent works alongside his best-known works.
The exhibition centers on the 2017 work ‘Mass.’ The artist created large sculptures in the shape of a human skull and stacked them in several locations. The meaning of the title is ambivalent. In English, ‘Mass’ indicates a disorganized heap, but also refers to a religious service.
Another work, ‘Dead Weight (2021),’ is a cast iron sculpture of a human skull weighing nearly two tons. Both works represent a new direction for the artist attempting to move anew from his previous style.