Art Experience NYC Fall 2013
BY AUGUST 25, 2012 the spacecraft Voyager I left Solar System, entering in an interstellar space. According to Science magazine, the spacecraft is now almost 19 billion kilometers away from Earth. It has been wandering across the space for over a quarter of a century, still sending signals, which take over seventeen hours to arrive to our planet. These radio waves are weak and hard to decode, but the Voyager I ?urney just opened a new Era for Astronautics. The spacecraft was launched in 1977. Sixteen years before, in 1961, Italian-Brazilian American artist Aldo Tambellini (b. 1930), wrote over a painting on paper are the Primitives of a New Era.? painting may look like a late Abstract Expressionist work, if not for these poorly handwritten words, displayed in a manner that rather anticipates the so-called ?painting? the anti-aesthetics of the late seventies and early eighties. On the left side of the paper there is a black circle. On the right is a smaller one, drawn with a pencil, with a dark spot inside it. These forms, in their tension, may tell us a little bit about Tambellini?nterest in interstellar space, just a few years after the first manmade object orbited the Earth. After meeting Tambellini, I would say these circles also embody his obsession for the unexplored. He is an artist whose work was definitively ahead of his time.
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2012 Toronto International Film Festival: Wavelengths 4
Culling from archival news footage and displayed in 16mm split-screen dual projection, Tambellini’s screens act as distorted television sets, playing off each other’s frenetic images and invasive snow. White noise mutates into an electronic heartbeat as the images begin to pulsate, creating a dynamic force field. Close-ups of faces frozen in shock and terror are matched by choked voices and layers of screams, repeated variations of “Senator Kennedy has been shot” and exclamations of “Oh God! Oh no!”
I did see a handful of older titles in Wavelengths, including, most stunningly, Aldo Tambellini's Black TV from 1968, a duel 16mm projection of television screens in grainy black and white centering on the Robert Kennedy shooting and forming a hectic, snowy tapestry of televisual chaos going in and out of sync with reported terror (obvious shades of Bruce Conner's Report). It catches and re-expresses in its own terms the sense of information overload of the television age ...
2011 Boston Cyberarts Festival
If “to dislocate the senses of the viewer” was one of the goals behind Aldo Tambellini’s Black Films, the outcome has been a highly successful one. The abstracted forms and images in the films recall the palpability of Abstract Expressionism, in the sense that one sees an Abstract Expressionist painting and our immediate is to want to feel the texture. The work of Tambellini is a “primitive, sensory exploration of the medium, which ranges from total abstraction to the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, the Vietnam War, and black teenagers in Coney Island.” Black for Tambellini is a color, a color he has developed a profound relationship with throughout his artistic career.
The Tanks at Tate Modern: Aldo Tambellini
Considered a pioneer of Expanded Cinema, Aldo Tambellini came to prominence in the 1960s with his experimental work in television and cinema. Fascinated by the blurring of boundaries between creative disciplines, he began to fuse film projections with music, dance, painting and spoken word, producing kinetic, sculptural installations. For the Tanks: Art in Action, Tambellini revisits his early works 'Moondial' and 'Black Zero'.
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Black is the Colour: Femficatio's interview with Aldo Tambellini
Running down the street; that?w all meetings begin with Femficatio. Kamaria waiting downstairs, as she?ther early or she?te. It was the 14th of October, the day after we saw a live performance of Black Zero and Moondial at the Tate Tanks; And though we were dog tired from the night before (which will be explained) we were feverish with excitement. We arrived on the 13th of October to Tate Modern at 6pm on a blustery London day that threatened and drizzled rain. 6pm was when Tambellini?hibition, Retracing Black was to begin, with a film showing that would lead to the live performance of Black Zero 1965 and Moondial 1966.
Read more: femficatio.com/2012/11/29/black-is-the-colour-femficatios-interview-with-aldo-tambellini/
Sight and Sound: Paint It Black
Until a spate of recent film and video retrospectives rescued his name from obscurity, Aldo Tambellini was virtually unknown except among a few diehards in New York. His neglect might partly be explained by his decision to leave the city that had been his muse in 1976, following a period of intense activity in the 1969s that culminated in the Black Film Series – a sequence of boldly experimental black-and-white shorts deploying a range of cameraless techniques and equally inventive, noise-ridden soundtracks – and the dazzling Electromedia environments, which fused different art and media forms and influenced Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic.
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Artforum January 2013
THE CHOICE OF VENUE could not have been more perfect. The huge, unlit, cylindrical spaces of the Tate Tanks seem to call for an artist whose preferred shape is the circle and whose key motif is darkness or, to be more precise, blackness, in all its forms and with all its connotations. Neither white cubes nor black boxes, the Tanks project a spirit of "activity" that is equally apposite here: Aldo Tambellini has been a media artist since
the early 1960s, and his use of video, film, and slide projections has always been about environmental manipulations and sensorial onslaught, not about presentation per se. His work is concerned with physical forces, not images. But those physical forces are deployed in ways that open onto questions of social forces. Ultimately, his artistic strategy is one that works
to expose a troubling ethics of the image and of imagining or picturing as a social act.
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FlashArt November 2012
"RETRACING BLACK," la rassegna dedicata ad Aldo Tambellini alla Tate Modem di Londra, a cura di Corner. Bursi e Bolognesi, segna un primo passo fondamemalc, dopo la rassegna dei suoi "Biack Films" al Centre Pompidou, per la definitiva scoperta di questo artista italo-americano che, a eccezione di un circuito rlstretto di conoscitori, è rimasto finora inspiegabilmente sconosciuto.
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“The Sun and the Last Star Have Burned Out”
For all the attention directed, in the medium of film, at that which is unexposed (emphasized in the work of a cinematographer like Gordon Willis), few filmmakers seem to take it as seriously as Cambridge, Massachusetts artist Aldo Tambellini. So dedicated is he to building with and manipulating the black side of black-and-white, that he often forsakes the process of photography altogether, or at least gives it backseat status behind the tactile, solid, and confrontingly textural. To him, black is not blank, and it does not represent a world of shadows – it is, simply, a blotting-out of everything else, and in a series of maximalist, abstract films he did in the 1960s, he boils down images, materials, poetry, to their black cores, and then continues to boil them before our eyes.
Read more: http://voicethrower.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/the-sun-and-the-last-star-have-burned-out/
Feel the Art
1965 was the beginning of the space age. Two years before that America put man on the moon. History was zooming past us as technology became better. The space age greatly influenced Black Zero because the piece itself represents the rate at which everything is changing and the chaos that comes with it. Please enjoy my thoughts on Black Zero.
Zero is a starting point. And an ending point. A potentiality awaiting realization. Zero is the point in space where the earth’s meridians meet the Sun’s rotation on the ecliptic. Zero marks the longest day on earth and the longest night, the absolute beginning of a solar revolution (Zero Aries) and absolute ending (Zero Capricorn). A nothingness and simultaneously a fullness, Black Zero is where the opposites of the universe converge.
Lisa Paul Streitfeld
Best in Show: Aldo Tambellini at Chelsea Art Museum
Apocalyptic, mystical, and almost always black, the art of multimedia visionary Aldo Tambellini—collected here in a marvelous retrospective that includes paintings, films, and sculpture—runs through the gallery like the 50-year chronology of an obsession. Suggested by a youthful and mysterious visitation, the dark circle or swirl became for the artist the subject of a lifelong study. Thickly brushed or delicately applied in graphite, the form appears again and again—a dead star, a forbidding storm, a hostile god. In the late 1980s, he spread the black masses across upside-down schematics or maps, depicting (it would seem) the obliteration of petty, earthly concerns as an act of transcendence. All this speaks to a kind of atavistic spiritualism, particularly evident in the primitive markings and roughly punctured surfaces of Tambellini's first abstractions, which resemble cave paintings.
The Wire | Cross Platform
This month, a retrospective of Tambellini’s work, which in New York in the 1960s took on radical new forms, will be hosted by London's Tate Modern in the fuel storage tanks adjoining the main museum that have been newly repurposed into spaces for live art and perfomance. Assembled by Tambellini with the assistance of Anna Salamone, his devoted archivist and manager, Aldo Tambellini: Retracing Black looks to resurrect some of the epochal sights, sounds and states of mind from the heroic era of intermedia art, with a programme of films and videos projected against a wall of noise. Tambellini’s art – pitched somewhere between installation and performance – works at a visceral register, fated to engage whatever present it happens to occupy.
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Aldo Tambellini: I can’t tell you about Black Zero unless I tell you the beginning, which was called Black. [...] When I came to New York I ended up working with black without thinking why. There was something about the area I was in, in the Lower East Side. Somehow, spontaneously, my work began to be a circular in form, and black. […] I was doing sculpture, and then I was also doing painting, which was black.
Read more: http://blog.art21.org/2012/09/13/transmission-an-interview-with-aldo-tambellini-black-zero-avant-garde-jazz-and-the-cosmic-void/
Arte e Critica
Il contributo di Aldo Tambellini all’arte internazionale, nel passaggio dal Modernismo americano alla nuova era di sperimentazione postmediale, è da considerarsi fondamentale e pionieristico nella storia dei media. Sperimentando e connettendo fra loro i più diversi mezzi artistici e tecnologici contribuisce alla nascita di una serie di fenomeni poi ribattezzati con diverse definizioni, quali electromedia performance, intermedia, multimedia, expanded cinema, etc.
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Alla (ri)scoperta dell’opera di Aldo Tambellini: intervista a Giulio Bursi e Pia Bolognesi, curatori della retrospettiva dedicata dal Centre Pompidou al grande creatore d’immagini nordamericano.
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Osnabrucker Zeitung: "Our Theatre Was Always Crowded"
"War is insane." A clear statement of Tambellini. And he adds: "War makes
people insane as well." This man knows what he is talking about. Even though he was born in the USA, Aldo Tambellini grew up in Italy, where he had first hand experience with WWII. He survived an American air raid by chance, in which his whole neighborhood was destroyed. This was traumatic, also for his mother who later spent some time in a mental hospital. Since then, Aldo Tambellini sees himself as a political artist who fights against injustice, using poetical means. But it was not just his childhood in Lucca that shaped him, but also New York. "The city became my artistic home, especially the East Village" says Tambellini. "The rent was cheap in those days and Allen Ginsberg was one of my neighbors." A melting pot even in the artistic point of view. "We were running a film theatre where we showed experimental films from Japan, Europe, from everywhere. And the theatre was crowded each time, even with ordinary people."
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Cahiers du Cinema: Le Journal
Electronic tools generate technologies that flow and erase: which is a major problem for activists as for historians. At the crossroads between these two disciplines, many filmmakers invent categorical blueprints to activate images, display their political significations, and revive debates, whether or not they have already been archived before this memorial gesture.
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BLACK ZERO CATALOGUE / BORIS LURIE ART FOUNDATION
A-11, 1989. Acrylic on architectural paper