26.9.11

DUMBO arts festival

Last night some friends and I roamed about the last moments of the Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass arts festival. Here are a couple of snap shots of pieces we liked.

Immersive surfaces,,
In a tunnel underneath the Manhattan bridge was an incredible video projection by a group of 15 international artists and curators. This made for a huge moving piece that floated across the landscape of the walls and surface of the bridge.

Video_Dumbo,,,
This space was dark, eery and filled with various films and video pieces, many of which were interactive.

22.9.11

About Looking

Things are certainly starting to speed up around here. Jill, Monroe and I will be moving into our new home this next Saturday. This is great, but it also meant that I've been away from my books and art supplies for the last month which is really getting me down. BUT, the library is a great place to find other great things to read. Like, About Looking, essays by John Berger. I've read this before, but a re-read is always nice. Here are a couple of favorite essays from this little gem.

Photographs of Agony

This essay helps to facilitate one of the primary functions of the photograph. The function of photography has since become more complicated but I enjoy how this essay gives a basic premise.
"As we emerge from the photographed moment back into our lives, we do not realise this; we assume that the discontinuity is our responsibility. The truth is that any responce to that photographed moment is bound to be felt as inadequate. those who are there in the situation being photographed, those who hold the hand of the dying or staunch a wound, are not seeing the moment as we have and their responses are of an altogether different order."
A lot of the content that becomes photography has much to do with the dichotomy between what is being perceived from a gazing viewer and the reality of the experience of those in the photograph who are living that moment.



Francis Bacon and Walt Disney

This essay about Bacon discusses his relevancy as a British painter, his remarkable consistency, his extraordinary skill and how his work is in complete oppositions to many of the ideals within the work of Walt Disney.
"Bacon's art is, in effect, conformist. It is not with Goya or the early Einstein that he should be compared, but with Walt Disney. Both men make propositions about the alienated behavior of our societies; and both, in a different way, persuade the viewer to accept what is. Disney makes alienated behavior look funny and sentimental and, therefore, acceptable. Bacon interprets such behavior in terms of the worst possible having already happened, and so proposes that both refusal and hope are pointless."
Disney makes life's moments sentimental, and Bacon makes them pointless. I love that opposition.

19.9.11

Famous Artwork Day

The last couple weeks have been busy. I’m a hostess for the John Dory Oyster Bar and am having a great time getting to know all the great people who work there. I’ve been going to openings, including Jenny Saville’s opening last week, of course no photography was allowed but I did get to see Chuck Close in the flesh. Anyway, the paintings were stunning, the only question we had for Saville was, why so many paintings of the same face? Four paintings of one little boy, 5 or 6 works of the same woman with children. Interesting. Today I went to the de Kooning retrospective at the MoMA, (Again, no photography allowed for this special exhibit.) I met many famous pieces of work, my mind was blown, and then my eyes fell out of my head. Here are some of them!


Paul Klee, Cat and Bird


Vasily Kandinsky


Marcel Duchamp


Robert Rauschenberg, Bed 1955


Louise Bourgeois, Little Girl 1968


Joseph Beuys, Eurasia Siberian Symphony 1963


James Lee Byars, Dress for Five Persons 1969


Daniel Buren


Paul Gauguin, Still Life with Three Puppies 1888


Cy Twombly, Leda and the Swan 1962


Andrew Wyeth, From Christina's World


Amedeo Modigliani, Anna Zborowska


Alberto Giacometti, The Chariot 1950


Dan Flavin, untitled (to the "innovator" of Wheeling Peachblow) 1968

11.9.11

FAILURE: Experiment and Process

I am pleased to say that in the middle of finding a job and a place to live, I was able to finish the final section of this lovely little MIT Press collection of essays. GOOD NEWS, to have a job and a place to live! Will and I have been running around the city meeting and greeting and that has been wonderful. Not so wonderful was sending him on his way, he’ll be in London next week. The Slade is calling him and New York is calling me.


Sol Lewitt, Model for Brick Structure, 2003,painted form on board

Robert Smithson
Conversation with Dennis Wheeler//1969-70

Smithson is full of well meaning knowledge. The conversation begins with Smithson.
“My attitude towards conceptual art is that essentially that term was first used by Sol Lewitt in a personal way and then it established a certain kind of context, and out of it seems to have developed this whole neo-idealism, kind of an escape from physicality...I’m concerned with the physical properties of both language and material, and I don’t think that they are discrete. They are both physical entities, but they have different properties, and within these properties you have these mental experiences, and it’s not simply empirical facts.” Smithson talks about language and material in a way that makes them equal. I understand how this could have been controversial, giving conceptual ideas the same weight as materiality was a big claim at the time. However, I like to think about this equality in a very literal way. That the material is dependent on the concept, concept dependent on materiality, and there should be a harmonious or at least intentional relationship between the two.


Will Bradley
The Village//1997

I found this to be an excellent short tale of how a concentrated celebration of failure lead to the success of an artist. In the end his mentors see his rise to fame as uncompromising. Good to stay humble I think.“One by one they visited his studio, never letting slip that they were anything but honest, country folk. Subtly, over time, criticising his successes, encouraging his mistakes, applauding his failures, they destroyed the young man’s work.”


Yoshua Okon, Chocorrol, 1997

Eduardo Abaroa, Sam Durant, Gabriela Jauregui, Yoshua Okon, William Pope L.
Thoughts on Failure, Idealism and Art//2008

Each of these people made excellent points on the problems behind believing in the notion of progress of humanity. Yoshua Okon stated, “I think that we can let go of the modern myth of progress - the grandiose meta-narrative of humanity gradually marching towards a better world; ‘the progress of mankind’ - and maintain a relationship to failure, just as long as we don’t understand failure in the same absolute terms. In other words, we can maintain a relationship to failure just as long as ‘failure’ loses its negative connotations and is viewed as an integral (and inevitable) part of the process of being alive.” When you take big risks, you have a greater chance of failing miserably. Failure shouldn’t be so miserable.


Liam Gillick, Rescinded production, 2008

Liam Gillick
Transcript from Three Perspectives and a Short Scenario//2008

The final essay of this book didn’t fail to please. I like to imagine reading this in a very loud voice. “AS THE SNOW STARTED TO FALL. THREE PEOPLE WERE SEEN. THEY WALKED ONE BEHIND THE OTHER. IT HAS BEEN COLDER. TODAY THERE WAS THE SENSE THAT A THAW WAS COMING, IN THE DISTANCE WAS A LARGE BUILDING. LIGHT COULD BE SEEN FROM GAPS IN THE STRUCTURE. YOU COULDN’T DESCRIBE THE GAPS AS WINDOWS.” And so on until the end.