Category:interviews

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[l to r] Viola Farber, Bruce King, Remy Charlip, Carolyn Brown & Merce Cunningham performing Nocturnes in 1956. photo CDF/Louis A. Stevenson, Jr. via the estate project

Remy Charlip was an early collaborator in Merce Cunningham's orbit. Years before he began his second or third acclaimed career as a children's book illustrator and author, Charlip danced with Cunningham and Martha Graham in New York and at Black Mountain College. He created the programs for the August 1952 Cage et al performance at BMC which is considered the first "Happening." They were printed on cigarette paper, and were placed at the entrance next to a bowl of tobacco, with an ashtray on each seat.

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image of what has to be a Charlip program for a different Cage performance, via The Arts at Black Mountain College

Though he's a bit off on the dates, what with Cage only buying the VW bus in 1959, John Held's Charlip biography lays out the basic configuration of the bus:

As if BMC was not enough, Charlip received continuing post-graduate work from 1956-1961 in the back of a Volkswagen Microbus driven by John Cage, navigated by Merce Cunningham, enlivened by Robert Rauschenberg, with traveling companions Nicholas Cernovich and dancers Carolyn Brown, Viola Farber, Steve Paxton and others.
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[l to r] Carolyn Brown, Steve Paxton & Merce Cunningham, 1961, image via cepress

A couple of weeks ago, Paxton talked to the Washington Post about the bus: Later that year [1960? '61? -ed.] Remy resigned, and I was invited into the smaller company. This meant touring around the U.S. in a Volkswagen bus, which, I was informed, it was my duty to pack. And unpack. And distribute and later collect all the items packed. There were the spaces under the seats, a compartment in the back, and a roof rack to transport nine persons' personal luggage, the equipment of John Cage and David Tudor for various musical adventures, and the sets and costumes for the tour. The bus was heavy laden, and it never let us down, including at least two tours the the West Coast.

John or Merce drove, and John liked to play Scrabble when off-duty. The rest of us conversed and Viola [Farber] knitted. It was rather like a family around the hearth. Long silence, naps, breaks to stretch and walk about, and usually some amazing treat produced by John, a huge salad perhaps, or once Rogue River pears at perfect ripeness with pear liquor to accompany. David was quiet, Marilyn Wood chatty, Carolyn [Brown] and Viola made comment, Merce sometimes spoke, John and Bob laughed a lot, and both were great story-tellers. I remember the actual driving fondly.It may have been amidst family-like intimacy of the bus that Paxton and Rauschenberg started the relationship that ended the relationship between Rauschenberg and Johns in 1961-2.

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Robert Rauschenberg & Steve Paxton, with Alex Hay [l] and Trisha Brown [r] rehearsing Spring Training, 1965. image via SAAM Rauschenberg catalogue, 1976

December 17, 2011

The VW Years: Ch. 1

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John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and Robert Rauschenberg photographed in 1960 by Richard Avedon

In a few days, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company will perform for the last time. I have not been a close follower of Cunningham's work, except in the New Yorker way, how, for the two decades since I moved to the city, Merce and his company were an integral part of the cultural fabric. Merce? You're soaking in it!

I was always more of a Cage fan. And so it's been fascinating, and enlightening, and continually surprising over the last year or so, as I've been digging into the early days of Rauschenberg and Johns, trying to understand their formative work and context, to see how closely connected they were with Merce and John. How small the circle of artists was which generated so many incredible works and ideas. And yet how infrequently I consider their work in relation to each other, or consider the nature of their collaboration beyond the basic namecheck.

In a way, I guess Rauschenberg and Johns and their intense, but short-lived collaborative period serves as the antithesis of Cunningham and Cage's lifelong partnership. But they all began so close, and so much together.

Anyway, as I've become more familiar and more admiring of Cunningham's work and Cage's work with him, I've begun trying to piece together the world they inhabited in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when they were just starting out. And one thing that comes up in every story about those days is the VW microbus Merce and his fledgling company would pile into to tour the country. Cunningham's longtime principal dancer Carolyn Brown even titled the chapter in her 2007 memoir "The VW Years."

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But I'll get to that. First, the story of the VW bus itself, how John Cage bought it, and how it figured into various peoples' accounts of those crazy, early days.

cage_milan_peggy_guggenheim.jpgIn 1958, Cage had performed at a blowout retrospective concert organized by Johns, Rauschenberg, and hustler/activist/filmmaker Emile de Antonio; and he'd exhibited his scores at Stable Gallery. Then in the taught and performed in Europe, including at Expo '58 in Brussels, and then settled into a several months' residency in Milan at RAI, Italian state television. In February of 1959, after hanging out with Peggy Guggenheim at her Venetian palazzo, he appeared on Lascia o Raddoppia, the local equivalent of the $64,000 Question, where he performed new compositions, became famous by the end of the week--and ended up winning 5 million lira in a series of ridiculously rigged questions about mushrooms.

And so he took his winnings and Italian fame back to the US, where he used part of the money to buy a piano for himself, and a white VW microbus for Merce and the company to tour in.

The most extensive accounts of the Italian game show boondoggle and the VW van purchase are from Begin Again, Kenneth Silverman's Cage biography, and Stefano Pocci's guest post on the John Cage Trust blog.

Lascia o Raddoppia, Milan, 1959 [johncagetrust]

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Byron Kim, Untitled (for S.B.), image via jamescohan.com

Byron Kim's first show at James Cohan consists of large, nearly monochromatic paintings of the night sky in Brooklyn. Or perhaps they're of memories of the night sky in Brooklyn, or evocations or references to specific phenomena of the night sky in a city. From the press release:

In this new series of work, Kim paints night in the city, evoking the quality of light and hazy cloud formations in the transition from dusk to dark and beyond. He depicts the state of constant suspension that city dwellers experience; the omnipresent lights block their view into the cosmos and deny a resolution to the day that true darkness delivers. The paintings in this ongoing series, measuring 90 x 72 inches, often have hard-edged, painted borders on two or three sides that act as reminders of the architectural elements like windows, cornices and facades of buildings that frame our views of the city sky. Kim paints his crepuscular skies from memory, creating open spaces that act as trigger points for the viewer's inner dialogue, giving the imagination room to resonate and remember.
Art in America's Faye Hirsch talks with Kim about the work, which is somewhat related to his ongoing Sunday Painting series, quick renditions of the daytime sky, which are much more representational [or maybe not? Some of those Dark paintings seem very atmospheric, and the borders do feel like architecture.] And they all kind of remind me of the varied blues of Donald Moffett's monochrome photographs of the sky, which always felt very poetic to me, and which were always framed and matted in strong white so they looked like windows. Which all makes me wonder if the other unmentioned reference here is James Turrell's PS1 piece.

Byron Kim, Nov 4 - Dec 17, 2011 [jamescohan.com]
Night Rider: Q&A with Byron Kim [artinamerica.com]
previously: what I looked at today: NGA monochromes, [including Byron Kim]

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The Tate video of Nic Serota and his team in Gerhard Richter's studio is nice for many reasons: it includes some squeegee action scenes from Corrina Belz's Gerhard Richter Painting [which I'm trying to get a copy of; Is there anyone in London who can pick up a DVD for me? Or in the UK anywhere who can accept a shipment and forward it onto me?]

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For filming, they moved the model of Tate Modern's galleries into the main studio room, which was full of strips of the Strips series [and hey-ho, a bent strip too, what's up with that?]

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But the most interesting thing to me, anyway, is this exchange from Serota's interview of Richter, about leaving East Germany:

GR: We had also the possibility to go every a year at least twice to West Berlin, to saw movies and exhibitions. It was the first time I saw the wonderful Family of Man
it was a famous exhibition.

NS: This was the exhibition made by Edward Steichen

GR: Uh-huh, and this was a real shock for me, this show.

NS: Why?

GR: Yeah, so, to see these *pictures,* and I only knew paintings, I was very interested. And they showed so much, and they told so much, these pictures, these photographs. They told so much about modern life. my life.

NS: So was this the moment when you discovered photography? Or the power of photography?

GR: Let's say the power, yeah, of what photography can do.

steichen_berlin_family_moma.jpgSerota delivers that question with an intensity that makes it feel like a scoop, and I don't think his reaction is [just] for the camera. I haven't found any previous mention of Family of Man either by Richter or in relation to his work. Steichen isn't in the index for the collected writings. There's no mention of it in Christine Mehring's study of Early Richter. And though Elger's bio for the period in question--Family of Man opened 17 September-9 October 1955 at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste--mentions Richter's trips to West Germany during what was his last year studying mural painting at the Academie in Dresden, there's no mention of the photo exhibit itself.

As for Richter's nascent interest in photography, the artist did tell Rob Storr that he received copies of Magnum magazine from an aunt in the West. And Elger notes that his family photo album was "one of the few belongings Richter would take with him when he fled to the West." But the artist now adds Family of Man to the list of his early photographic influences. It makes me wonder what the show actually showed Richter about photography's power, and whether the artist went on to study Steichen's other MoMA photo exhibits, the ones that didn't travel to Berlin.

Image above: Edward Steichen in the Berlin installation of Family of Man, 1955, via moma.org

Tate Channel | Gerhard Richter (21:58) [tate.org.uk via @aodt]
Previously: The Family of the Family of Man: Steichen, Miller, Rudolph, Stoller

I'm sure photomural historians out there are chuckling, wondering when I was finally going to catch up on this, but

HOLY CRAP, PEOPLE! ANSEL ADAMS PHOTO MURALS!

Alright, it's not quite so unknown. The Polaroid ransacking auction last year at Sotheby's included a very large print, what Adams called "mural-size," of the photographer's iconic image, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.

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But The Mural Project was actually an Adams thing, a series of images commissioned by the Department of the Interior. Adams traveled around the US, shooting--he took Moonrise on the same trip, and because he hadn't expensed that day, the photo was his, not the government's. World War II derailed the project, though, and it was sort of forgotten. Until last year, apparently. When Adams' original prints were rediscovered in a file somewhere [really?? looking into it. Hmm, this book of the images, which are now in the public domain, was published in 1989.], Interior Secretary Ken Salazar gave the OK in 2010 to install full-scale versions of The Mural Project for the first time. They're still there, at the Interior Dept Museum. Viewing them requires a reservation.

Adams wrote an essay/letter titled "Photo-Murals" for the November 1940 issue of U.S. Camera [looking into it] in which he argued for large-scale prints, permanently mounted on panels, over wallpaper-style murals. He made such "mural-size" prints for the lodge at Yosemite, and for various exhibitions, but he also took orders for large prints. Most were smaller, around 40x60, but they did get bigger, up to 6x9 feet. The 2003 show of monumental Adams photos Andrew Smith Gallery spent ten years assembling included one such 6x9 print.

But not a screen. Because apparently Adams would occasionally make photo screens, giant prints on multi-panel, folding screens. Which, what?

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Clearing Storm, Sonoma County Hills, image via christies.com

He didn't make very many, though; when they sold a big, awesome 1951 screen a couple of weeks ago, Christie's said there were between 12 and 15, mostly in museums and the Adams Estate. Apparently, he sold one to Interior Secretary Harold Ickes in 1935, though, a deal which according to biographer Jonathan Spaulding, led to the Mural Project commission.

The screen he made for the Skirballs originally had an image on each side; the lot description says how when Jack Skirball invited Adams to come visit in 1981, they were "most anxious to have your opinion on what Audrey has done with the panels of the screen. I don't want to tell you more until you see them." It sounds like she remade them into a set of five one-sided panels. No word on what she did with the other image--or what Adams' reaction was. Even so, the ex-screen sold for $242,500.

Though Adams was always very cognizant of the particular physical qualities of his prints, these screens seem to pose an entirely different argument for the concept of photo-as-object. If murals are related to frescoes, and "mural-size prints" evoke paintings, then Adams' photo screens--printed to human scale, mounted in angled strips, freestanding in space, where they are intended to be viewed and experienced by moving around them--are akin to sculpture. Photographic sculpture.

Or maybe they're also sculpture. Because check out this one, Grass and Pool, a three-panel landscape photo and abstract action painting and freestanding object, all in one, and made in 1935. Oh wait, never mind. The image is from 1935, the screen is from the mid-50s. No need to rewrite the history of abstraction today. It was made for David McAlpin, a banker and collector who, as a trustee at MoMA, helped found the photography department in 1940.

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Grass and Pool, sold in 2001 at Christie's

Adams talked at length with Ruth Teiser about his photomurals and screens--actually, he talked at length with Teiser about everything; she recorded and edited 24 interviews with Adams between 1972-4 for UC Berkeley's Regional Oral History Project, and later published the 818-page transcript as Conversations with Ansel Adams.

I transcribed some excerpts about photomurals from the Internet Archive after the jump. Adams' main concern was the quality and character of large-scale prints, a topic which regularly veers into details of what an expensive, annoying, labor- and material-intensive pain in the ass it was to make good, big work.

October 15, 2011

Doug Rickard At Pier 24

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ce ci n'est pas un Razzle Dazzle? Ellsworth Kelly, Study for Meschers, 1951, moma

When tiny scans of Gwyneth Paltrow's Interview interview with Ellsworth Kelly first appeared on tumblr, the only thing you could read was his pullquote about his tour of duty in World War II:

I was in what they called the camouflage secret army. The people at Fort Meade got the idea to make rubber dummies of tanks, which we inflated on the spot and waited for Germans to see.
Which, nuts, right? I guess I'd heard of Kelly's camouflage involvement before, and I remembered somewhere that Bill Blass had also been in a camouflage division, but I'd never put it all together that these guys were in the Ghost Army, whose operations remained largely classified and unknown until the mid-1990s.

Here is Kelly's fuller quote, and his photo of himself standing next to a burlap jeep:

ellsworth_kelly_burlap_jeep.jpgPALTROW: Did you design camouflage while in the army?

KELLY: I did posters. I was in what they called the camouflage secret army. This was in 1943. The people at Fort Meade got the idea to make rubber dummies of tanks, which we inflated on the spot and waited for Germans to see through their night photography or spies. We were in Normandy, for example, pretending to be a big, strong armored division which, in fact, was still in England. That way, even though the tanks were only inflated, the Germans would think there were a lot of them there, a lot of guns, a whole big infantry. We just blew them up and put them in a field. Then all of the German forces would move toward us, and we'd get the call to get out quick. So we had to whsssh [sound of deflating] package them up and get out of there in 20 minutes. Then our real forces, which were waiting, would attack from the rear.

PALTROW: So in a way, it was just like an art installation! That's amazing.

KELLY: One time, we didn't get the call and our troops went right by us and met the Germans head on. Then they retreated, and they saw our blow-up tanks and thought they were real and said, "Why didn't you join us?" So, you see, we really did make-believe.

PALTROW: It's the perfect job for an artist in combat.

KELLY: We even had the tank sounds magnified because tanks would go all night long.

It sounds like Kelly was actually in the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion, one of four units in the 23rd HQ Special Troops, which entered France just after D-Day and ended up seeing quite a bit of action, all with balloons and loudspeakers instead of actual weapons.

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As Edwards Park explains in a fairly detailed history, the 23rd's main objective was to impersonate various active divisions in order to cover or obscure troop movements. The inflatable weaponry was designed to fool aerial reconnaissance, but the 23rd also acted out the operations of the units they were impersonating/replacing, visiting fake garbage dumps, and laying fake tank tracks at night under the cover of pre-recorded troop sounds and fake radio broadcasts. And they created fake badges and mingled with local civilian populations, passing along disinformation. As Park puts it, "It wasn't long, in fact, before the 23rd had a voluminous file on visual identifications and the men suffered many a bloody finger sewing bogus shoulder patches on their uniforms before going into action."

It's one of many not-too-thinly veiled references to the 23rd's apparently fruity reputation. I'm sure there's at least one queer studies dissertation out there on masculinity, war, and the confluence of camouflage, artsiness, and passing for "real" soldiers.

As NPR reported in 2007, most camo/deception soldiers were apparently ordered never to discuss their wartime efforts. But Jack Masey was never told to keep quiet--waitaminnit, Jack Masey? The USIA design director and serial Expo geodesic dome commissioner? Holy smokes! It all makes filmmaker Rick Beyer's documentary Ghost Army feel like a race against time. I hope he got some good stuff.

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Meanwhile, I guess I'm on the hunt for some 23rd material myself. In 2004, Sasha Archibald wrote in Cabinet about the Ghost Army's unauthorized insignia for itself, which featured the three-legged triskelion and the motto, DECEIVE TO DEFEAT. [Christoph Cox's excellent history of sonic deception in the military leads me to believe that everything I knew about the 23rd I learned in Cabinet Magazine.]

And I guess it's too optimistic to imagine any rubber tanks or vintage camo have survived all these years; I can't imagine if the top secret thing preserved such artifacts or doomed them. But at the least I could start tracking down some of those Ellsworth Kelly posters.

OK, Meyers' site points to this 1992 video by/about the WWII paintings of Harold Laynor, who describes himself as part of the "famous Ghost Army," and says its activities were "unknown to the general public until well after 1980." Hmm. Laynor also says there was an initial plan in 1942-3 for the 603rd to focus on domestic camouflage. But that the British successes with battlefield camo in North Africa inspired the US to deploy the deception unit in combat.

Related: British WWII bullshit camo stories
The Civilian Camouflage Council, included a lot of folks at Kelly's school, Pratt

Sounds so-so, but full of facts/details: military historian Jonathan Gawne's 2002 book, GHOSTS OF THE ETO: American Tactical Deception Units in the European Theater, 1944 - 1945

October 11, 2011

It's Dick's Chick In A Box

You know, for a couple of weeks now, I've had this thing Bomb Magazine tumbld sitting in my browser, some teaser for their archive about Richard Serra dangling a chicken in Rauschenberg's face at Yale, which, of course, he did, in 1966.

Here's the actual quote from David Seidner's 1993 BOMB interview with Serra:

DS Here's another question you're not going to like. Can you define early Serra and late Serra?

RS If you talk about the pieces that were done in '66, that's early work. If you talk about the work I'm doing now, I wouldn't call it "late work." But I would call it work that's certainly more developed.

DS Speaking of the early work, is it true that at Yale you put a live chicken in front of Rauschenberg's face?

RS No, I actually tied it to a dowel, which was anchored into a block and the chicken was in a box. And when Rauschenberg opened the box, the chicken flew up in the air about fifteen feet, and then stopped, because it was tethered. It began to flap its wings, it crowed and shit. (laughter) They kicked me out for two weeks. They told me I wasn't "polite to guests." How can they kick you out of art school?

1966, when Rauschenberg was a full decade beyond his own Chicken Period, but when his taxidermied Combines were getting their first sustained public attention in museums.

What I hadn't noticed, because I'd stopped at the chicken, and then had been stopped by a tall image of Stacked Steel Slabs, is the next part, where Serra discusses what might be called his High Chicken Period. Oh wait, that's right, Time Magazine already dubbed it his "Zoo Period":

DS Why did you give up painting?

RS I was using paint with a certain disdain, with the attitude that any material was as good as any other material. And once you find that you're not using paint for its illusionistic capabilities or its color refraction but as a material that happens to be "red," you can use any material as equally relevant. I started using a host load of materials. I was living in Fiesole outside of Florence at the time and I started using everything that was in the parameters of my surroundings: sticks and stones and hides. I did a whole show of 22 live and stuffed animals.

DS Cages.

serra_salita_animal_habitat.jpg

RS Well, cages and habitats. I got very fascinated with the history of zoos. The first zoos were in Florence and the Florentines saw zoos not only scientifically but as aesthetic displays.

DS That was the bridge for you between painting and sculpture?

RS Yes, that was the bridge, I referred to Jasper John's beer can (Is it real, is it painted?). At one stage, I had a double cage with a live chicken and a stuffed rabbit. I showed the work in Rome and all the Italian artists came and screamed, "ignoble, brute."

DS The Arte Povera artists?

RS Arte Povera hadn't started at that time, a year and a half later Arte Povera began and they were all too willing to line horses up in a basement but up to that point they looked at my work as not being legitimate, it wasn't even Dada.

Dada, again, was the charge/context leveled early on at both Rauschenberg and Johns. Buchloh had brushed off Serra's first solo1 show, at the influential Galeria la Salita in Rome as "rather literal responses to Rauschenberg's combines," yet here is another example, from 1993, pre-Torqued Ellipse revival, of Serra discussing this early show as a "bridge" from painting to sculpture and his early work in direct relation/response to both Rauschenberg and Johns. [Johns' studio, of course, was also the site of Serra's first thrown lead corner piece.]

I think the power [or assertions] of Serra's subsequent achievements overwhelm this first, early body of work. But Serra repeatedly brings it up and has now[once, at least] connected it to his move into sculpture. Whether it ends up being major, earth-shattering work, it is important to Serra's beginnings and should really be looked at more thoroughly.

1 Serra made the work in the show with his then-wife, fellow Yale classmate and sculptor Nancy Graves. The type of work, and now, Serra's mention of early Italian zoos, all have direct resonance with Graves's early animal/taxidermy/museum display work. Much of it will probably never be known now, but there is a lot more to the story of this show.

Just read the whole thing, it's pretty loopy, with some good comments on Richter, Polke, Tuttle, and Hesse: Richard Serra by David Seidner,
BOMB 42/Winter 1993
[bombsite]

October 10, 2011

On John Neuhart, 1928-2011

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I was very saddened to learn that the great designer John Neuhart passed away last month. He and his wife and fellow designer Marilyn were early and influential colleagues of Ray and Charles Eames, and have been heavily involved in documenting and propagating the history of the Eameses and the Eames Office.

I have long admired Marilyn Neuhart's work with Alexander Girard, but I most wanted to meet John someday and ask him about his first and [to my mind] greatest project for the Eames Office, creating the Solar Do-Nothing Machine [image above via the scout]

In 2000, Neuhart told the LA Times the story of the making of the Solar Do-Nothing Machine:

I was hired as a graphic designer in the summer of 1957 and was immediately put to work building the mechanical motion displays for the Alcoa solar energy toy, christened the "Do-Nothing Machine." (Part of a national ad campaign forecasting future uses of aluminum, the Eames Office contribution was one of many solicited from designers nationwide.) Past experience building model airplanes, bookshelves and learning to cut metal in my jewelry class at UCLA had hardly prepared me for what I faced. And the pressure was on; several starts and attempts had been made before I arrived, and the office was facing a looming deadline. We were experimenting with new technologies for which there was little existing experience to fall back upon, adding pressure to the project.

I battled my way through four months of ad hoc, trial-and-error attempts fraught with anxiety. Would I still have a job if this fails? Would my 7-month-old marriage survive the all-night sessions and constant stress? Would I ever get back to graphic design? Was Parke Meek's ulcer contagious? Finally, I seemed to be on the brink of success. I managed, with advice from co-workers Don Albinson, Parke and Charles, to arrive at a workable system that harnessed solar energy through photovoltaic cells to drive six small electric motors that set in motion a series of decorative pinwheel shapes mounted on an elliptical aluminum platform. We had enough to produce the desired end result--the photograph that would appear in national magazines. My next lesson about the Office was that no one was allowed to even contemplate basking in the glow of success (or to expect praise). It was always on to the next project--in this case, shooting the photograph, wherein I was destined to learn the answer to the age-old question: What did Ray Eames actually do?

At noon one day we started to set up the solar machine and the lights, and by 3 a.m. the next morning we had it placed on a mound of dirt and rocks in front of a sky backdrop that suggested a desert scene. We were all exhausted and irritable by the time Charles started shooting the 8-by-10 images. After a couple of hours, he was on the last sheet
of film. Suddenly Ray screamed, "It isn't shining!"

Charles emerged from under the camera's black hood, his hair standing up like a cock's comb. We all groaned. "What isn't shining?" he yelled at Ray. "The diamond isn't shining," she moaned. "Does anyone know what she is talking about?" growled Charles. "I do," I said. "She means the diamond-shaped intermittent wheel at the upper part of the machine." There was stunned silence. Getting it lighted meant more scrambling onto ladders and readjusting the lights. "OK," said Charles, "If you can get a light on it within 10 minutes, we'll do another shot." I ignored the exasperated looks from my fellow staff members and climbed to the top of the ladder to maneuver the light around until Ray shrieked, "It's shining! It's shining!"

Charles made the last exposure and we all went home. The next day, when we looked at the six sheets of developed film, you can guess which one was chosen--the one with the shining diamond. I had just passed another rite of passage and now understood Ray's position in the Eames equation: shining. And, yes, I had a job, my marriage survived and, after more tangential trials by fire, I finally did get back to graphic design. Parke had surgery for his ulcer and made Charles pay for it.

And here is a very nice interview from last year, when Marilyn released her encyclopedic reference book, The Story of Eames Furniture:

October 5, 2011

Richter Schtick

For the record, I think a press conference is a pretty suboptimal forum for discussing art, even worse than for discussing film.

So while I was first leaning towards laughing at Gerhard Richter's apparently gruff, uselessly short-for-a-sound-bite answers at yesterday's Tate press preview, now that I read the mostly stupid questions, I will cut him some slack. If I were a museum marketing guy, I might wish for the artist's quotable help in promoting a big show, but that is also clearly not Richter's M.O. He paints, they shoot, he leaves.

This exchange toward the end, though is pretty damn funny:

Q: Members of the press may be surprised to hear that the published version of your collected words runs to more than a thousand pages (laughter) all of which are fascinating and enlightening. And I wondered if you still write about your work?

GR: "No. not enough!" (laughter).

Gerhard Richter talks about Panorama at Tate Modern [phaidon.co.uk]

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Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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about this archive

Category: interviews

recent projects, &c.


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Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

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Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

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Chop Shop
at SPRING/BREAK Art Show
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

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eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

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It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

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TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -
about

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Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

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"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots


HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.


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Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

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Canal Zone Richard
Prince YES RASTA:
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
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