NPR chooses our cover design for Rook as the 2nd best of all time

What Are Your Top Five Album Covers?

by ROBIN HILTON

April 22, 201312:40 PM

This past week we lost one of the greatest album cover art designers of all time. Britain's Storm Thorgerson, who died last Thursday, was just 69 years old. He'd spent more than 40 years designing and orchestrating some of the most iconic album covers of all time. Even if you don't know the name Storm Thorgerson, you know his work. That prism on the cover of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon? That was his.

The work of designers Richard Selesnick and Nicholas Kahn reminds me quite a bit of Storm Thorgerson's. They've done all the cover art for the band Shearwater and this one is my favorite. The group's name is also a type of seabird, and frontman Jonathan Meiberg is seriously into ornithology, all of which is captured in this magical, mysterious image. It might be my favorite cover of any from the past decade or more.

interview about mars

Alternative Astronauts

Are we noble savages or simply savages?

 
TEXT: Andew Ütt
PHOTOS: Nicholas Kahn & Richard Selesnick
 
Kahn & Selesnick, an art collective from the US and England who have worked together for over twenty years, recently embarked on a project to imagine what a human civilisation would be like on Mars. Provided with images from NASA from their first rover on the surface of Mars, Kahn & Selesnick have adapted the modern Mars into a broad spectrum of relics of past civilisations and future utopias.
 

The ultimate question of human existence that hovers above us is – are we noble savages or simply savages? It is this question that defines our morals and ethics and how we treat others and our world. As noble beings we see utopia as a possibility – almost a probability. But as savages, neither utopia nor dystopia exist in the future. The savage relies upon destruction and consumption as moral right.

“We are part bonobo and part bad chimp,” states Nicholas Kahn. “We can dream and plan for amazing things, but petty human jealousies and tribalism almost always undermine any utopian dreams.”

200 million kilometers away
Kahn and his art partner-in-crime, Richard Selesnick, recently explored our noble (and savage) existence in their series Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, which takes images of Mars, captured by the NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity, to build a future world that recognizes the failings of civilisation’s past.

It was shortly after presenting their series Apollo Prophecies, about an Edwardian journey to the moon, that Kahn & Selesnick were approached by Bert Ulrich, NASA’s Media Relations contact. He asked them to create a panorama artwork about their mission to Mars (with Spirit and Opportunity) and provided them with high-resolution images taken by the rovers of the surface of mars. The panorama soon grew into a larger series of works about a future, habited Mars.

The final product is a collection of images that are constructed through actual Mars images and other, earthly images, mainly taken from the Utah landscape in the United States. The process of construction took many months to not only compile pieces of images, but also to create completely new objects through various textures. “Richard created a lot of surfaces from scratch,” acknowledges Kahn. Accompanying the images are various sculptures (props) and drawings based on the inhabited Mars world.

Syrtis Major
In 1659, the first documented surface feature discovered on another planet was titled The Hourglass Sea. It is a crater on Mars now known as Syrtis Major – a shield volcano, black from the volcanic rock and lacking the signature red dust of Mars. The original name of this area on Mars inspired the investigation into the appearance and the lack of appearance of time in Kahn & Selesnick’s story.

“We were interested in trying to give the viewer a sense of vast geological time periods,” says Selesnick in an interview with Wired Magazine. “This sense of a kind of geological detective story came especially clear to us photographing in Utah when we came across hematite deposits similar to those found on Mars.”

In Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, time takes on an essential role. Much like Kubrik’s film 2001, time is skipped, lapsing a complete history of existence on Mars. But many questions arise – did these new inhabitants come to this new planet and find these ruins or are they the descendants of these ruins? Are these images from a long distant past or a soon-to-be future?

Utopia – a woman’s world?
The new inhabitants of Mars are two women who have learned how to reproduce without the need of men. They wander the landscape, admiring the relics of the past – large sculptures that acknowledge the existence of others before them. The women live both in their present (or future) world while learning from the downfall of the past. To Kahn, the Mars project reflects an earthly issue concerning our vision toward a utopian future and that of dystopia.

“It feels like we’re in a grand empire, but we’re also on the verge of some wonderful possibilities. Whether the force of possibilities can win through the fascist corporations sucking the planet dry. It also feels as if we’re on the verge of a huge ecological collapse and there will be ruins of our civilisation and all these possibilities. The Mars series is a sort of warning about this collapse.”

“I see the Mars series as a possibility of exploration and doing something good – re-greening Mars,” Kahn declares. “Bringing it back from the brink of where it was. I hope for the best and fear the worst.”

So, would the world be better with less men?
“It would be more likely,” says Kahn. “If the world was rid of men, there would be more utopia.”

Both Kahn & Selesnick grew up with scientific inspirations and alternative worlds that exist just after the apocalypse. Planet of the Apes is the result of the demise of human civilisation and the rise of Apes, Logan’s Run analyses the future attempt to regulate overpopulation through the willing execution of people on their 30th birthday. And in Margaret Atwood’s 1985 book A Handmaid’s Tale, the future tells a sobering story of the obliteration of the US government and subsequent conversion into a theocratic, male chauvinist society where women lose all their rights.

“It’s unlikely it could truly work. Though one senses that the world would be a better place (without men) – there wouldn’t be so much war without male desires,” says Kahn.

The future of Mars
As the Mar’s rover Curiosity actively roams the surface (having now discovered the former existence of water), Kahn & Selesnick have begun thinking about adding to their project Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea.

With new color photos in high-resolution, they plan on shooting new Earth-based images to accompany those from Mars and to complete the project with a book. Hopefully next fall we’ll see the launch of a new set of artworks.

In the meantime, you can check the duo’s Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea website as well as their personal site with examples of past artworks. Or you can see their artwork in person at one of their numerous planned exhibitions in the next year.
 
Exhibitions:
 
Nature’s Toolbox
The Field Museum
Chicago, Illinois, USA

January 6, 2013
Truppe fledermaus
Kopeikin Gallery
Los Angeles, USA

January 22 – August 5, 2013
Nature’s Toolbox
The Leonardo
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
 
March 2013
Truppe fledermaus
Robischon Gallery
Denver, Colorado, USA

April, 2013
Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea
Galería MÜ
Bogotá, Colombia

May, 2013
Truppe fledermaus
Carroll and Sons
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

May, 2013
Animal vegetable mineral
Florence Griswold Museum
Connecticut, USA

August 31 — December 17, 2013
Nature’s Toolbox
Ulrich Museum of Art
Wichita, Kansas
 
2015
Wonder
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art

Artikel im Magazin lesen

Gefällt mir

0

 

dates of our future shows (some may change)

http://vangardist.com/node/3487

 Upcoming Exhibitions:
 

March 24 to May 24th 2014 , approx  Opening reception with the artists april 25th

Lecture by the artists at the center 

 Utopias and Distopias: Apollo Prophecies and Mars Photos, 

Queensland Photographic Center, Brisbane Australia

 

April 8th to May 8th,  the galleries at Bennington College, Bennington VT, "Uncanny Spaces"

work from Truppe Fledermaus in a show about installation art.

 

May 15th to July 3rd

Truppe Fledermaus 

Yancey Richardson Gallery, w 22nd st NYC.

 

Autumn 2014 ,  Hammer Gallery, Chicago, 

 

March 2015,  The  Gallery at the Millbrook School,  Millbrook NY. Truppe Fledermaus.

 

May 2015 , "Wonder"
MassMOCA

Artikel im Magazin lesen

 

 

kopeikin gallery los angeles show

Kahn & Selesnick

"The Carnival at the End of the World"

January 12 - February 16, 2013

Reception with the Artists

Saturday, Jan. 12th from 6-8

Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick's latest project concerns a fictitious cabaret troupe, the Truppe Fledermaus, who travel the countryside staging absurd and inscrutable performances in the abandoned landscapes beyond the town's edge. To create this 'Theater of Memory', the Truppe are as apt to commemorate the passing of an unusual cloud as they are to be found documenting their own attempts to flee the rising waters of a warming planet, or using black humor to comment upon mass extinction. In addition to using this concept to address ecological themes, Kahn & Selesnick also use it as a metaphor for the manner in which seemingly inexhaustible quantities of information are disseminated to us in the modern world. 

Richard Selesnick and Nicholas Kahn have been collaborating as Kahn/Selesnick since 1988 on a series of complex narrative photo-novellas and sculptural installations. They were both born in 1964, in New York City and London respectively and both are British citizens. They met at Washington University in St Louis where they collaborated informally from 1982-86 as photography majors. After graduation and a couple of years of showing their art separately they migrated to Cape Cod, Massachusetts to work on an evolving series of projects, some painting based, some photo based, all involving fictional attributions and narratives. 

Kopeikin Gallery

2766 La Cienega Blvd (just north of Washington)

Los Angeles, California 90034

Our hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 - 5:00

310-559-0800

www.kopeikingallery.com

info@kopeikingallery.com

STUDIO TOUR, PART OF ARTSWALK, HUDSON,

http://cccaartswalk.webs.com/art-landscape-studio-tour

OCT 6  FROM 4PM TO 8 PM AS PART OF COLUMBIA COUNTY'S ARTWALK, THE KAHN & SELESNICK STUDIO ON WARREN ST IN HUDSON WILL BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, MORE INFORMATION FROM THE WEBSITE ABOVE CLOSER TO THE DAY OF THE EVENT.

INTERNMENT AND BARTER

PLEASE CONTACT US IF INTERESTED IN INTERNING /COLLABORATING WITH US,

UNPAID EXCEPT IN ARTWORK AND SKILLS

WE ARE IN RHINEBECK NY AND HUDSON NY BUT ALSO WELCOME HELP FROM AFAR

IF IT IS IN SOMETHING THAT CAN REALLY HELP BUILD OUR CURRENT PROJECT.....

WE ALSO WELCOME DONATIONS OF MATERIALS AND COSTUMES FROM THE 20'S TO 40'S

AS WELL AS ECCENTRIC OBJECTS AND TAXIDERMY THAT SEEM TO HAVE ESCAPED FROM OUR WORLDS, TRADES POSSIBLE FOR THE SPECTACULAR.