Category:interviews

I'll probably write some more about Andy Warhol's Shadows, but I want to find more details about its creation and Heiner Friedrich's involvement. In the mean time, though, I just came across a 1985 Richard Serra quote from the Pratt Journal of Architecture that directly relates to seeing Shadows, which extends more than halfway around the Hirshhorn's curved wall:

i keep thinking of a very simple phenomenon that struck me when i was a little kid. i used to walk to the beach every day, down to the end of a jetty and back the other way, and it always struck me as being completely significant that the ocean was on the left when i was going down, and when i turned around, it was on the right, and i had a totally different experience just from turning around and walking the other way. i always thought this was very curious. i always thought there were two different places. everybody knows that you don't have the same experience in turnabout - your relation to the sun has completely changed, left/right brain coordinates are off - everything is different. in fact, you probably have a side you favor as you walk. you probably think differently in each direction. your anticipation and memory change. to me, that's a sculptural concept. if a sculpture allows for that experience, it implies self-awareness. the content of the work is that the viewer looks at himself in relation to what he's looking at...
The no-caps is a big clue, but I found the quote in a 2007 post on Airform Archives. As in so many things, Steve Roden was there first.

thinking differently in each direction [inbetweennoise]

September 30, 2011

On The Nightmare Of The Rack

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Kriston Capps' tweet to Powhida about art and immortality instantly reminded me of RH Quaytman's conversation with Steel Stillman, which ran in Art in America last summer, and which upended my own comfortable memory of first encountering Quaytman's little storage rack sculpture back in 2008:

rh_quaytman_rack_anaba.jpgSS For "Ark, Chapter 10," which was the three-person show you organized at the end of your time at Orchard, you made paintings that related to Orchard's history, and displayed several of them on storage racks similar to ones you have here in your studio. The display of paintings became a sculpture [From One O to Another].

RHQ I felt I needed to acknowledge--within the structure of the pieces themselves--the fact that I would be showing my own works, becoming, in effect, my own dealer. The storage racks, like the racks in a typical gallery's back room, enabled visitors to pull out the paintings the way a dealer might, when showing them to prospective clients.

SS The racks addressed the nightmare, which perhaps all artists have had, that their work will never be seen.

RHQ Making the storage-rack pieces reminded me of the trauma of putting my stepfather's and father's works in storage after they died. Those experiences and the questions they raised--about artists' estates, and about the life of the work itself once the artist has gone--left a big impression on me.

SS In 2008, you made a book, Allegorical Decoys, whose centerpiece is an essay you wrote about the development of your work. Having been your own dealer, you became, in effect, your own historian and publisher.

RHQ I realized instinctively that, in some sense, the paintings wouldn't exist unless they were written about and collected. Otherwise, they would be like trees falling in the forest with nobody there to hear them. Writing that essay was an opportunity not just to reflect on my practice, but to locate my work within a larger critical conversation on my own terms.

[image: [From One O to Another], via anaba]

Features | RH Quaytman, June 2010 [artinamericamagazine]
Previously, Jan. 2010: Nice Rack! RH Quaytman on MoMAPS1's blog

I'm going to assume you're as freaked out as I am that neuroscientists at UC Berkeley have constructed video from the brain activity of what someone is seeing. Gizmodo has a bit longer explanation of the research, and here's a making of video, but basically it involves mapping the brain into voxels [volumetric pixels], and monitoring activity across the brain with an fMRI scanner while the person watches video, and then reverse engineering the imagery from the voxellated activity. Once a database of visual/voxel connections was created, they could replicate the process with new video.

And so now they can see the images inside your head.

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Which is all freaky enough--even if it didn't end up looking exactly like Wim Wenders said it would, twenty years ago. BUT IT DOES.

Wenders' 1991 film, Until The End Of The World is set in 1999, where a neuroscientist's son [William Hurt] is being chased around the world as he records the neural record of images with a secret device that will enable his blind mother to play them back, and thereby see again. After all the electronics in the world are wiped out by the EMP blast from nuking a renegade satellite that's about to crash into the earth [holy crap, people], the neuroscientist [Max von Sydow] converts the device to read dreams. And then moody, overwrought German actresses [Solveig Dommartin] become addicted to watching their dreams until the batteries run out. Because seriously, who could have predicted the iPad's amazing battery performance, amiright?

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Anyway, Until The End Of The World was the first film to use HD, for the dream sequences, which were developed with NHK. And this is what they look like.

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Here's the Dream Junky scene on Vimeo, taken from the original theatrical cut.

Wenders was never satisfied with the 158-minute version released in the US, which he had cut down from a "definitive," 280-minute, director's cut. In 2001, the director revealed that he had kept the uncut negative of the film, and that the original, chopped version he had handed over to the distributor in 1991 had been a duplicate positive. And so he was able to re-create his original 280-min version from the original negative. Which he did, and which was released on DVD in 2004.

He presented the director's cut in 2001 at a screening at DGA in New York. The Q&A didn't start until after midnight.

part 2, part 3 [which has a fascinating story about using Vermeer as a visual inspiration, about 10:00 in, and then aroun 12-13m, he starts talking about the dream sequences] and part 4 [cont'd].


Until the End of the World (Bis ans Ende der Wel ) (Jusqu'au bout du monde) on four Region 2 DVDs

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Gotta get a piece of that Gerhard Richter Painting. After completing a documentary about the artist's Cologne Cathedral stained glass windows in 2007, filmmaker Corinna Belz began working on another project, filming Richter at work in his studio. She waited a year and a half for the artist to begin a new series of abstract paintings, and then she pretty much filmed the whole process.

It's kind of crazy how jazzed I am after just watching the trailer. Those squeegees are so huge. And they're clear. And he wields them by hand. Some of this we [I] knew, but it's still kind of riveting to watch. Belz in an interview:

Books are a better medium to articulate theoretical positions. And the actual act of painting is hard to describe in words: The way Richter mixes primary colours on the canvas, generating such a complex colour system. How layers are built up and submerged, how sculptural they appear on canvas. The most important thing for me in this film was to show something uniquely visual.
In related news, I now have new iPad wallpaper [above].

Gerhard Richter Painting, dir. Corinna Belz [gerhard-richter-painting.de via scahweb]

Between 1981 and 1985, Paul Tschinkel and Marc H. Miller produced 17 episodes of ART/newyork, a subscription-based video magazine about contemporary art for use, incredibly, in public schools and libraries.

serra_82_intvu_artnewyork.jpg

Their 1982 interview with Richard Serra, a Yale classmate of Tschinkel's, came just as the Tilted Arc controversy was heating up. And speaking of heating up, hoo-boy, does Serra get going about the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Agency conflict with Robert Venturi. Fiery fun stuff.

His 1980 interview with Douglas Crimp covers a lot of the same PADC territory with a bit more specificity. By pointing out, for example, that Venturi's proposed motif was also favored by Albert Speers, not just that they might as well stick swastikas on Pennsylvania Avenue.

But his story about being told that he'd never get work in this town again is basically the same.

Also interesting, if less incendiary: Serra used to exhibit models of site specific projects-in-progress, such as this rather sexy steel tabletop version of Twain. Do want.

serra_twain_table_artny.jpg

ART/newyork - Richard Serra's Tilted Arc artist interview [98bowery.com]
order copies of ART/newyork to this very day [artnewyork.org]

Chiang Mai farmer/laborer Lung Neaw has worked with RIrkrit Tiravanija for several years now. He helped build the artist's house. Tiravanija's footage of him has appeared in various gallery and museum installations.

And Saturday, Tiravanija's film, Lung Neaw Visits His Neighbors, will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Maybe there should be a spoiler alert somewhere, because from the synopsis, the title pretty much gives the entire 2.5 hour movie away.

In a Q&A on the Lung Neaw website the artist says he sees the film not as "a documentary and not a narrative, perhaps it's more of a portraiture."

He and his longtime Mexico City dealer's brother Christian Manzutto shot a week or so at a time:

So we shot over a period of two years and another to edit and postproduction, the film was really made very simply and with very little by way of crew and equipment, in that relationship for me very much like a documentary but also very much like how an artist would approach the production, also with very small but cost-effective budget. We shot in film (super 16mm) so rather small and light unit but with frames and quality which was not video.
An interesting choice, and an interesting approach. Two of his galleries, kurimanzutto and Gavin Brown's Enterprise, have associate producer credit.

See the Lung Neaw Visits His Neighbours trailer [vimeo]
Thai media article on the project: Lung Neaw goes to Venice [nationmultimedia.com]

August 26, 2011

Autoprotestazione

mari_cartier_designboom1.jpg
image: designboom

Enzo Mari was brought in to design the exhibition at the Fondation Cartier, Vaudon-Vodun, African Voodoo Art from the Collection of Anne and Jacques Kerchache. It's simple and spectacular, and designboom has, as usual, rather comprehensive visual coverage of the project.

Above, a "film set" Mari calls The Village, autoprogettazione-esque backdrops to evoke the original context in which Kerkache would have first encountered the impressive household guardian figures. At least that's how Mari explains it in the exhibition's making-of interview video:

mari_cartier_vodun_3.jpg

Holy smokes, filmmakers having Mari manhandle one of the guardians! Whether it's our aging Maestro or the conservators, your insanely staged B-roll stunts are gonna give someone a heart attack!

mari_cartier_vodun_2.jpg

You don't bring in a legend like Mari for his finesse at grouping sculptures. You bring him in to fill your glitzy Nouvel folly of a museum with endearingly humble-deluxe, purpose-built pine furniture!

mari_cartier_designboom2.jpg
image: designboom

For the major autoprogettazione moment in the film/lecture/reference/public event space, with EFFE tables and SEDIA I chairs. Mais, qu'est ce-que c'est ca? New additions to the series? What's that wood-framed flatscreen?

mari_cartier_vodun_1.jpg

And are those DIY display vitrines ringing the room?

mari_cartier_designboom3.jpg
images above via designboom.com

Because the laborer should be able to knock together his own home theater--autoprogezzione?--and a case for his ephemera collection in a weekend using just the most humble materials from the corner hardware store. Or as designboom puts it, and quotes Mari:

the showcases, designed for this exhibition, partake of the same vocabulary.

"'autoprogettazione' has been a project for making furniture that the user could assemble simply from raw planks of wood and nails. a basic technique through which anyone with a critical mind could address the production of an object."

So it's for the [vitrine] user with a critical mind. Autoprogettazione as Institutional Critique. Can I have my show now, please?

Let's go to the tape: "There's a display stand."

mari_cartier_stand_1.jpg
No no, no pressure, just Enzo #$()%ing Mari watching you build his iconic chair there.


"It must be simple." Oh no, you B-roll knucklehead don't do--

mari_cartier_stand_2.jpg

"A stand without the arrogance" YOU DID IT! YOU MADE HIM PICK UP THE HAMMER!

mari_cartier_stand_3.jpg

Oh, the horror. Why not just take him to a computer and make him fake type something for you? Or walk faux-purposefully down the Boulevard Raspail? How could-- No.

mari_cartier_stand_4.jpg

You did not just ask Enzo Mari to hammer something while he was holding it. If you can't get your $#)(%ing shot, that's your problem, don't take it out on a great man like Prof. Mari. "It needs a carpenter's hammer"? It needs a revolution. Langlois did not lose his job at the Cinematheque so that museum marketing video directors could wrap their late capitalist tyranny in the honorable flag of auteur theory. To the autoprogattazione barricades!

Right after we lock down the salvage rights to those 30 chairs, four tables, eight vitrines--and one flatscreen.

_
Here's a shot, though, from Comrade Elena Vidor's flickr.

UPDATE woo-hoo, and here's an update from Venice, where Bruno Jakob has installed Breath, a very similar-looking, seven-part series of invisible paintings in and around the Arsenale.

bruno_jakob_breath_arsenale.jpg
Breath, 2011, via peterkilchmann

Vaudou-Vodun, runs through Sept. 25 [vaudou-vodun.com]

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I didn't read it earlier, and I have to read it now, obviously, now that it's finally been published in the US. But I wonder if my first short film may be an inadvertent adaptation of Geoff Dyer's 1994 essay on World War I and the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme at Thiepval, France.

The Millions has a nice interview with him about it:

TM: You write in the book, "The issue, in short, is not simply the way the war generates memory, but the way memory has determined - and continues to determine - the meaning of the war." Can you describe the meaning of the war?

GD: Always in the book I'm just trying to articulate impressions of it. It's certainly not a history book. I always have faith in this idea that if I remain honest and open about my own confusion, the blurriness of my impressions - it's not because I'm short-witted or stupid - the chances are those feelings will be shared by other people. And I just had this very distinct sense of the First World War as being something rather buried in its own memory. There's so much discussion, as the war is going on, about how it will be remembered, or if it will be forgotten. So right from the start it just seems preoccupied with how it will be remembered. The other crucial thing is that distinction I make with the Robert Capa pictures of D-Day, where it all seems to hang in the balance and there's a great sense of immediacy. With the First World War there's no immediacy to it. It comes buried in so many layers of myth and memory.

Hmm, actually, maybe not. Or maybe the opposite. In 2001-2, I was looking at what a place of horrible destruction was like when there was no one left who did remember it. The difference between remembering and knowing, perhaps. Or the past and the experience of the present.

Also, Spiral Jetty first re-emerged in 1994, not 1999. I'd have thought the New Yorker would've caught that.

The Millions Interview | Geoff Dyer on the London Riots, the Great War, and the Gray Lady [themillions.com]
The Missing of the Somme (Vintage) [amazon]

So wonderful. William Smith writes about visiting Robert Breer's home studio as part of Triple Canopy's publication in residency last Winter at MOCA Tucson. Which sounds like the awesomest boondoggle ever, btw:

Breer famously composed most of his films one frame at a time by photographing individual drawings he made on index cards. Thousands of these drawings were filed away in his Tucson studio in what looked like old card-catalogue cabinets. As we asked about his films he would reach into the files, pull out a sequential handful of cards, and make an impromptu flip book, animating a short clip with his hands. The setup recalled the earliest days of cinema, when filmmakers would submit still prints of every frame of a movie to the Library of Congress for copyright purposes and, eventually, preservation. One can only hope that Breer's trove of drawings will find such a home.
Meanwhile, from another dormant browser tab, here's a screengrab of a video from 2003, an exhibition of E.A.T. at NTT's ICC, the Inter-Communication Center, a multimedia arts space in Tokyo.

breer_eat_ntticc_2003.jpg

I love the kind of unabashed way the giant-but-not-lifesize photomural of E.A.T.'s Pepsi Pavilion relates to Breer's full-size Floats. I'd assumed these floats were refabricated for Tokyo, but maybe Pepsi has kept them all this time. I think they're at the Baltic Center retrospective now. Maybe someone could find out and let me know.

Float on: Robert Breer, RIP [canopycanopycanopy]
◎ E.A.T.─芸術と技術の実験 [ntticc.or.jp]

pepsi_pavilion_mist.jpg

I've had Michelle Kuo's interview with Robert Breer [artforum, nov 2010] open in my browser tabs for months now, ever since Steve Roden posted about his incredible little toy Float, which was sold at MoMA's gift shop in 1970, at the same time one of Breer's original Pepsi Pavilion Floats had been liberated from Expo'70 in Osaka and set loose in the Abby Aldrich Sculpture Garden. [A PDF of The Modern's Aug. 25 press release for the piece, titled Osaka I, said the toy Floats would be sold for $7.95, or two for $15," in the Museum's Christmas Shop.]

breer_float_roden.jpg

Kuo's is one of the best interviews I've seen with Breer; most never got past the basic, "how did you get into animation?" "So you lived in Paris on the GI Bill?" chestnuts. With what is now a terrible lack of urgency, I'd made a few attempts to track down Breer this year, in hopes of following up with him about what he'd probably consider the least important aspects of his creative practice: the commercial work and product design and TV animation [including still unidentified segments on The Electric Company] he would bring up--and then insist be kept separate.

Because Breer's consistently innovative filmmaking and playfully minimalistic/animalistic sculptures--and the fact that he did his most monumentally awesome art work for Pepsi--hinted at the potential relevance of the work he kept in his commercial closet.

Which, amusingly, is not really the point, except to say I want to find a Float of my own, please.

No, the immediate point is, wow, how awesome is Breer's 1966 sculpture, Rug? This was the work that introduced Breer's sculpture to me, at a show that also opened my eyes to the revelatory breadth of his filmmaking. It was recreated for the first time in decades in 1999 at AC Projects. Their small second floor space in off-Chelsea was creeping and crawling with little Breer sculptures, while the Mylar Rug slowly shifted around in place. The other works felt alive, droid-like. Rug's movements were creepier, more ominous, like something was alive underneath it.

Good for the Walker, it looks like they acquired the mylar Rug [there are others, in other colors/materials] just this year.

robert_breer_flag71_gb.jpg

Anyway, while poking around GB Agency, Breer's Paris gallery, I came across this sketch, dated 8/71, which includes an incredible proposal for a Rug piece made from an American flag. [The text underneath reads, "float flat on floor (flags) + motors".] The storyboard-like drawing not only ties Breer's sculptural and animation projects together nicely; the other three sequences--"cloud in sun," "bushes in breeze," and "daisies"--help site Breer's work in observation, duration, and the natural world. Which may have mitigated the political implications in 1971 of something lurking under a crumpled US flag.

In any case, I expect, if not exactly look forward to the day when, this work will be realized for a future Breer retrospective.

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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
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about this archive

Category: interviews

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Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
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Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
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Madoff Provenance Project in
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11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
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Chop Shop
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1-7 March 2016

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eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
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It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
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TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -
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Standard Operating Procedure
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CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
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"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
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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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