must see | Frieze Art Week
Frieze art fair is back in NYC. The weather is stunning and the days are packed with events. Below is the list of events we are attending. If some of you are out and about message us @CTSart and let us know what else we should swing by to see.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 8th 2013.
11:30 AM - 1 PM ZABLUDOWICZ COLLECTION BRUNCH (RSVP required)
6 PM - 8 PM JEFF KOONS EXTRAVAGANZA, David Zwirner. 525 & 533 W. 19th St.
THURSDAY, MAY 9th 2013.
6 PM - 8 PM JEFF KOONS EXTRAVAGANZA, Gagosian 555 W. 24th St.
(why not go twice… who else gets to show at two of the largest galleries in New York City simultaneously?)
9:30 PM - 11:30 PM NOMI RUIZ PERFORMANCE Liberty Theatre 234 W 42nd St. (RSVP required). thanx @Hyperallergic
FRIDAY, MAY 10th 2013.
oh, how we love art fair marathon day…
10 AM - 2:00 PM NADA: OPENING PREVIEW
4 PM - 6:00 PM PULSE NY OPENING DAY
5 PM - 8:00 PM POOL: OPENING NIGHT
6 PM - 9:00 PM GREENPOINT GALLERY NIGHT
AFTER PARTY: CoCo66 (66 Greenpoint Ave.) from 9pm onward!
SATURDAY, MAY 11th 2013.
is there anything nicer than a boat ride to an island…?
10 AM - 2:00 PM FRIEZE ART FAIR
Gallery Events we really want to get to:
THEY MIGHT WELL HAVE BEEN REMNANTS OF THE BOAT, Calder Foundation, 180 Tenth Ave., New York.
image courtesy Frieze New York and Linda Nylind.
CTS #art musing |
"Andrea Fraser: I criticize cause I care."
by Lynn del Sol
April 30th, 2013.
White lines run across the screen of an old tube television as a grainy film begins. Standing at the center of a marbled room is a young women. She is wearing a tailored grey knee length skirt and matching blazer. Her hair is pulled back in a tight bun and her lips are painted a deep red. Her name is Jane Castleton, she’s obviously well to do, or at least well bred. She draws out each vowel and articulates each consonant. Jane Castleton is a museum docent. It is her pleasure, no - her privilege as a volunteer - in one of the oldest municipal museums in the United States (The Philadelphia Museum of Art), to be able to share with the museum’s visitors her “unique individual qualities.” Qualities that will illuminate the vast holdings of the museum while providing the opportunity to enjoy the “highest privileges of wealth and leisure to all those people who cultivated tastes but not the means of gratifying them.” (1) However, please note, gratification will be limited to this thirty-minute tour.
Ms. Castleton begins at the beginning, describing not only the tour’s agenda, but also slyly introducing the audience to the long history of the avant-garde with her Candide like performance. (2) You see, Jane Castleton is actually American artist Andrea Fraser and the tour - Museum Highlights: A Gallery Tour (1989), is a performance (3) in which the artist poses as a fictional museum docent. But don’t worry, if a visitor can’t hear (or understand) what it is being said, at any point they are invited to speak up - “Don’t be shy.” Just keep in mind, many people would rather not hear what Andrea Fraser has to say.
“Expertly mimicking the public face of the museum while simultaneously deconstructing it, Fraser came to specialize in deadpan parody, revealing the structural biases, social prejudices and economic underpinnings of established cultural institutions.” (4) For Fraser Institutional Critique as a practice differentiated itself from historic avant-garde groups such as the Futurists or Dadaists, as well as the neo avant-garde groups; the Happenings, Fluxus, or Earthworks, in that Institutional Critique was a means to critically work within the system. It was to be viewed as a social field and not as an attack or tearing down of the institution itself, despite the socio‐political and economical context. She viewed the artist as an active player in the role of the museum. The idea that the artist is a victim of some sort, to her, seemed impossible since the relationship is very participatory. (5)
Deeply influenced by the writings of Benjamin Buchloh, Martha Rosler, and Douglas Crimp, she found a framework for her own practice that complimented the writings on artists from the 60s and 70s which, in the 1980’s, were being reconsidered on new terms. The notion of “Institutional Critique” began to develop and Fraser, a student at the time, considered it revolutionary. She looked to artists like Micheal Asher, Daniel Buren, and Hans Haacke as artists who “investigated the economics of museums.” Guarding against the political and corporate interest that would corrupt the institution of the museum by using art as a tool to polish their public images. (6)
In 1986 Fraser began a series of performative works inspired by Feminism. She was consumed with finding a merger point between two very distinct traditions; the political critical tendencies within Conceptual Art and the investigations of sexuality, subjectivity, and desire coming out of Feminism (especially feminist performance). When she began creating performances as museums tours at contemporary art museums she focused the tour on reacting or speaking to the curators claims and the exhibitions. (7) But by the time she did Museum Highlights: A Gallery Tour (1989) her tours became much more research based. She spent nine months creating a script at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s archive researching the history of museums in general and than Philadelphia in particular. (8) The tour Museum Highlights began with the following introduction on the history of the museum:
An art museum is not just a building, not just a collection of objects. An art museum - particularly a municipal art museum like our own- is public institution with a mission, with a mandate. And the Philadelphia Musem of Art, uh. like all public institutions, was the product of pubic policy. But what was that policy?
In 1922 The New Museum wrote on its Service to Philadelphia; “We have come to understand that to rob… people of the things of the spirit and to supply them with higher wages as a substitute is not good economics, good patriotism, or good policy.
Here the artist uses the character Jane Castleton to set up a kind of hypothesis using the history of the Philadelphia museum as a case study onto which the audience could consider the premise of a museum as a public institution. Highlighting through the use of her script the subtle (and not so subtle) shifts in the political language, Fraser points to America’s transition from the ideals of the “moral compass” of the Enlightenment era (9) to Carnegie’s “Gospel of Wealth.” (10) The role of civic responsibility had become a site of contest in the newly forming public sphere. When comparing Philadelphia’s museum to other types of public institutions in Philadelphia of the same time period, Fraser noted that while there were free public libraries and a zoological center, public institutions, were for the most part, social welfare institutions (hospitals, orphanages, food banks, and poor houses), not cultural institutions.
Fraser concluded that two very different public systems were developing alongside each other, but in opposition. On one hand there was the museum; a palace to the people, a monument to the awards of wealth and to the achievements of mankind. And on the other hand, the social welfare institutions funded directly by the public by means of taxation but maintained at the lowest possible level as a deterrent. As stated during the Museum Highlights tour; (referencing social welfare institutions)
Called living tombs and social cemeteries, vile catchalls for all those in need, squalid warehouses for the failures and cast-offs of society, no one would enter the poorhouse voluntarily.
These two concurrent theories on how the public sphere should function acted as bookends; on one side a carrot, and the other, a stick. Who would have thought that as society became more civil, moving from individual charity to organized philanthropy, that the very basis from which Adam Smith called for a “free market” would be compromised? Without Smith’s societal requirement of “benevolence,” due to the “human’s innate sensitivity to and compassion for others” one is left to question how the “free market” or self-government would function. What would “curb [our] selfish tendencies?” (11)
I ask this in a long line of successors, beginning with Duchamp and following through to Andrea Fraser. (12) I ask this as my own form of Institutional Critique. Post Iraq War. Post Afghanistan War. Post housing market crash. Post global financial melt down. Post Tea Party. Post Arab Spring. Post Occupy Wall Street. Post seemingly unpoppable art bubble. (13) What will “curb [our] selfish tendencies?” (14)
“A recent count by ArtLyst placed international art sales at a whopping $64 billion in 2012, with analysts predicting this figure will only get larger over time.” (15) For Fraser, the writing has been on the wall for some time now. We do not seem to be curbing our selfish tendencies. Writting in the 2012 Biennial Catalogue, Fraser said:
“It is clear that the contemporary art world has been a direct beneficiary of the inequality of which the outsized rewards of Wall Street are only the most visible example. Recent economic research has linked the steep increase in art prices over the past decades directly to this growing inequality, indicating that “a one percentage point increase in the share of total income earned by the top 0.1% triggers an increase in art prices of about 14 %. At all levels of the art world, one finds extreme wealth breezing past grinding poverty.” (16)
Echoing this sentiment is Benjamin Mandel, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank: “Fine Arts are not really part of the overall global economy. Instead, it’s part of the economy of a small subset of the super-super rich, whom some economists call Ultra High Net Worth Individuals, or U.H.N.W.I.’s. And their economy, unlike ours, is booming.” (17)
In 1990 Fraser’s beloved, Benjamin Buchloh posited that; “Conceptual Art truly became the most significant paradigmatic change of postwar artistic production at the very moment that it mimed the operating logic of late capitalism and its positivist instrumentality.”18 Implying that, “conceptual artists of the 60’s were not just keenly aware of the discontents of late capitalism, but [to their credit] also embraced and reproduced its systems of commodity logic.” (19) However, Buchloh would have to agree that no amount of “entrepreneurial convictions” can face down the current precarious economic situation. For example; a young twenty-nine year old art collector brazenly stated that he didn’t take art criticism or news into account when considering a purchase. “No, not at all generally,” said the young collector. “I think I’ve surrounded myself with some good people. To be honest, some relatively important people.” He continued, “People with the inside scoop who have more pull and I am more likely to respect their opinion than the opinion available to the masses.” (20)
Statements like these are viral in the art world as the role of artist, critic, and curator consolidate into the hands of the few, the ultra powerful, and the uber rich. Perhaps it is time to heed the words of Dan Buren and stop all this “exhibiting of the exhibit.” (21) Perhaps in 2013 Institutional Critique is too institutional. If Andrea Fraser is struggling to find ways to continue to participate in an art world left un-mediated, un-critiqued, and un-loved than where does it leave the rest of us? Excuse me, Ms. Castleton I have a question: How can we go on as “defenders of art” (22)?
It has gotten to the point that most forms of engagement with the art world have become so fraught with conflict for me that they are almost unbearable, even as I struggle to find ways to continue to participate. (23)
- Andrea Fraser
Images courtesy of Lynn del Sol for CTSart
(1) Fraser, Andrea. “Museum Highlights.” (1989) In “Museum Highlights: The Writings of Andrea Fraser,” edited by Alexander Alberro, 95. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005.
(2) Dada was born out of a pool of avant-garde painters, poets and filmmakers who flocked to neutral Switzerland before and during WWI. The movement came into being at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich in February 1916. The Cabaret was named after the eighteenth century French satirist, Voltaire, whose play Candide mocked the idiocies of his society. As Hugo Ball, one of the founders of Zurich Dada wrote, “This is our Candide against the times.” http://www.theartstory.org/movement-dada.htm
(3) “Museum Highlights: A Gallery Tour” (1989) was conceived as a live performance, a recorded performance, and finally as a script which was published in the October journal in 1991.
(4) Trainor, James. "Andrea Fraser." Frieze, Issue 66. April 2002.
(5) adapted and paraphrased from remarks made by artist during presentation. Fraser, Andrea. “From Institutional Critique to an Institution of Critique” (lecture). Cooper Union School of Art in New York. 2007. Herein; Lecture
(7) see Fraser’s first performative work The Public Life of Art: The Museum (1988)
(9) Friedman, Lawrence J. “Philanthropy in America: Historicism and Its Discontents,” In Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History. edited by Lawrence J. Friedman and Mark D. McGarvie, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
(10) Carnegie, Andrew. The Gospel of Wealth. Carnegie (1889). Last modified n.d..
(11) Friedman, Lawrence J. “Philanthropy in America: Historicism and Its Discontents,” In Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History. edited by Lawrence J. Friedman and Mark D. McGarvie, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
(12) Fraser, Andrea. “There’s No Place Like Home.” In “Whitney Biennial 2012”, edited by Elisabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders, 28-33. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 2012.
(13) for further reading on the topic see;
“Art Sales Reach £40 Billion In 2012 Outperforming Equities Market” Artlyst. Last modified January 9 2013.
- “Art Market Bubble Dialogue: NYT Invites Readers To Weigh In, And So Do We!” Huffington Post, January 1 2013.
Cole, William. “Invitation to a Dialogue: An Art Market Bubble?” The New York Times, January 1 2013.
- Davidson, Adam. “How the Art Market Thrives on Inequality.” The New York Times, May 30 2012.
Fraser, Andrea. “L’1%, Cest Moi.” Texte zur Kunst, 83. (September 2011): 114.
- Fraser, Andrea. “There’s No Place Like Home.” In “Whitney Biennial 2012”, edited by Elisabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders, 28-33. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 2012.
(14) Friedman, Lawrence J. “Philanthropy in America: Historicism and Its Discontents,” In Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History. edited by Lawrence J. Friedman and Mark D. McGarvie, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
(15) “Art Sales Reach £40 Billion In 2012 Outperforming Equities Market” Artlyst. Last modified January 9 2013.
(16) Fraser, Andrea. “There’s No Place Like Home.” In “Whitney Biennial 2012”, edited by Elisabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders, 28-33. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 2012.
(17) Davidson, Adam. “How the Art Market Thrives on Inequality.” The New York Times, May 30 2012.
(18) Buchloh, Benjamin H.D., “Conceptual Art 1962-1969: From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique of Institutions,” October, 55 (Winter, 1990):105-143.
(19) Stone, Eric Golo. “A Document of Regulation and Reflexive Process: Michael Asher’s Contractual Agreement Commissioning Works of Art” Art & Education. (January 2011)
(20) “Art Market Bubble Dialogue: NYT Invites Readers To Weigh In, And So Do We!” Huffington Post, January 1 2013.
(21) Buren, Dan. “Exhibition of an Exhibition.” In The Next Documenta Should Be Curated by an Artist. edited by Jens Hoffmann, 26-31. New York: D.A.P., 2004.
(22) Fraser, Andrea. “There’s No Place Like Home.” In “Whitney Biennial 2012”, edited by Elisabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders, 28-33. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 2012.
<3 art | Andrea Fraser
watch the performance of “Little Frank and His Carp" (2001)
Filmed with hidden cameras at the Guggenheim Bilbao, in “Little Frank and His Carp” Fraser reverses her well-known role as museum docent, performing instead the position of a museum visitor listening to the official audio guide- which advises visitors, among other things, to caress the building’s “powerfully sensual” curves. “Little Frank and His Carp” was produced by Consonni, Bilbao.
Andrea Fraser’s artistic practice includes performance-based work, video, context art, and institutional critique. In her 1989 work Museum Highlights , she adopts the persona of a tour guide but delivers outlandish information as she leads unsuspecting visitors through the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Little Frank and His Carp is a performance work filmed by hidden cameras at (and without the prior knowledge or permission of) the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Prompted by an audio guide, the ubiquitous tool of the museum visit, Fraser follows its instructions and “interacts” with architect Frank Gehry’s fish-shaped tower at the center of the hall.
In a 2005 interview, Fraser discussed Little Frank and His Carp : What struck me about the audio tour for the Guggenheim Bilbao was the explicitness of the seduction….The audio guide promises transcendence of the social through a transgression: the always forbidden touching of art—or here, architecture-as-art…. The tour distances the museum from the difficulties of “modern art,” claiming that the building’s sensual appeal “has nothing to do with age or class or education.” Freed of social/symbolic restrictions, we can make ourselves at home in the sensual, caring arms of the (mother) museum.
<3 art | International Lecture Series: Andrea Fraser
Andrea Fraser is a New York-based performance artist, mainly known for her work in the area of institutional critique. Fraser made her name in the late 1980s leading gallery tours as docent Jane Castleton. In 1998 Fraser stated that she would no longer impersonate museum guides; henceforth she would perform “as” an artist. In Kunst muss hängen (Art Must Hang) Fraser re-enacts a 1995 speech by a drunk Martin Kippenberger, word by word, gesture for gesture. Fraser’s numerous solo projects have most recently taken place at the Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver. In 2003 the Kunstverein Hamburger organized a twenty-year survey of her work. Fraser has also been selected for the Münster Sculpture Project, 2007.
Video produced by John Verhaeven.
required reading |
We did quiet a bit of reading about Andrea Fraser over the last few days and in doing so, we found a few fantastic reads. Many too good for us to keep to ourselves. enjoy.
Image courtesy of Lynn del Sol for CTSart
Crimp, Douglas. On the Museum’s Ruins.Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1995.
Buren, Dan. “Where Are the Artists?” In The Next Documenta Should Be Curated by an Artist. edited by Jens Hoffmann, 26-31. New York: D.A.P., 2004.
Buren, Dan. “Exhibition of an Exhibition.” In The Next Documenta Should Be Curated by an Artist. edited by Jens Hoffmann, 26-31. New York: D.A.P., 2004.
Fraser, Andrea. “There’s No Place Like Home.” In “Whitney Biennial 2012”, edited by Elisabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders, 28-33. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 2012.
Fraser, Andrea. “An Artist Statement.” (1992) In “Institutional Critique : an anthology of artists’ writings,” edited by Alexander Alberro and Blake Stimson, 318. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009.
Fraser, Andrea. “In and Out of Place.” (1985) In “Institutional Critique: an anthology of artists’ writings,” edited by Alexander Alberro and Blake Stimson, 292. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009.
Fraser, Andrea. “From the Critique of Institutions to an Institution of Critique.” (2005) In “Institutional Critique: an anthology of artists’ writings,” edited by Alexander Alberro and Blake Stimson, 408. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009.
Rosier, Martha. “Lookers, Buyers, Dealers, and Makers- Thoughts on Audience.” (1979) In “Institutional Critique: an anthology of artists’ writings,” edited by Alexander Alberro and Blake Stimson, 206. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009.
Fraser, Andrea. “Museum Highlights.” (1989) In “Museum Highlights: The Writings of Andrea Fraser,” edited by Alexander Alberro, 95. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005.
Fraser, Andrea. “It’s Art When I Say It’s Art Or.” (1992) In “Museum Highlights: The Writings of Andrea Fraser,” edited by Alexander Alberro, 37. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005.
Fraser, Andrea. “Werkbeschreibungen / Work Descriptions” In “Andrea Fraser: Works: 1984 to 2003,” edited by Yilmaz Dziewior, 104-115. New York: D.A.P., 2003.
Friedman, Lawrence J. “Philanthropy in America: Historicism and Its Discontents,” In Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History. edited by Lawrence J. Friedman and Mark D. McGarvie, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Hoffmann, Jens. The Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist. e-flux. New York: e-flux/Revolver, 2004.
Miller, Howard. The Legal Foundations of American Philanthropy 1776-1844, Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1961.
Malone, Meredith. "Andrea Fraser, What Do I, As An Artist Provide” St. Louis: Kemper Art Museum, May 11, 2007- July 16, 2007.
Buchloh, Benjamin H.D., “Conceptual Art 1962-1969: From the Aesthetic of Administration to the Critique of Institutions,” October, 55 (Winter, 1990):105-143.
Fraser, Andrea. “May I Help You?A Performance by Andrea Fraser.” Art Lies, 54 (summer 2007).
Fraser, Andrea. “Speaking of the Social World.” Texte zur Kunst, 81 (March 2011):153.
Fraser, Andrea. “L’1%, Cest Moi.” Texte zur Kunst, 83. (September 2011): 114.
King, Jennifer. “Perpetually Out of Place-Michael Asher and Jean Antoine Houdon at the Art Institute of Chicago.” October, 120. (Spring 2007): 71–86
Stone, Eric Golo. “A Document of Regulation and Reflexive Process: Michael Asher’s Contractual Agreement Commissioning Works of Art” Art & Education. (January 2011)
Buchloh, Benjamin. “Allegorical Procedures: Appropriation and Montage in Contemporary Art" Artforum September, 1982
“Dan Graham Interview by Sarah Rosenbaum-Kranson.” Museo Magazine, 2009.
Saltz, Jerry. Supertheory Women. artnet, July 12th 2004.
Trainor, James. "Andrea Fraser." Frieze, Issue 66. April 2002.
Verwoert, Jan. “Andrea Fraser." Frieze, Issue 80. January-February 2004
“Art Market Bubble Dialogue: NYT Invites Readers To Weigh In, And So Do We!” Huffington Post, January 1 2013.
“Andrea Fraser in conversation with Praxis”, (interview). The Brooklyn Rail, October 2004.
Cole, William. “Invitation to a Dialogue: An Art Market Bubble?” The New York Times, January 1 2013.
Davidson, Adam. “How the Art Market Thrives on Inequality.” The New York Times, May 30 2012.
“Art Sales Reach £40 Billion In 2012 Outperforming Equities Market” Artlyst. Last modified January 9 2013.
Carnegie, Andrew. The Gospel of Wealth. Carnegie (1889). Last modified n.d.
CTS #art musing | Unfair at the (UN)FAIR: An UnArmory Evening.
By Daniela Holban
What better way to start Armory week than to attend the opening of the THE(UN)FAIR art fair; the (Anti)Armory event of the season. This one time pop-up exhibition was located just three blocks away from the high roller fair, and was housed in one of the last remaining 19th century manufacturing buildings in Hell’s Kitchen. The short lived exhibition, from March 5th to the 10th, was curated by Ascent Art’s founder, Jennifer Wallace, alongside artist Mikel Glass. The event was sponsored by Ben & Jerry’s, hence the free ice-cream vending machine and the impromptu discarded container sculpture (added to by yours truly, the attendee).
Nothing about this evening was expected; starting with the elevator comedian, the art installations creeping out the windows, the wedding like photo booth, the pile of empty but gorgeous antique frames adorning a corner of “the DJ room”, the avalanche of flavored popcorn. Least of all the eviction notice which spurred the exhibition and the show’s title.
The show had an air of deconstruction with its untraditional use of space and choice of art work on display. It was communal and reminiscent of the artist run spaces found in the late 90s in Williamsburg or the early 60s in Soho. Housed on a single floor, lined with multi colored rooms, exposed brick, hanging wires and pipes, high ceilings and large iron doors, the space itself felt like an art piece in its own right.
One could see why the building is slated for repossession, doomed to be taken away from the many artists that for years have worked in its many studio spaces. 500 West 52nd Street is the most recent in a slew of buildings that have succumbed to a similar fate, as the housing market seizes upon every square inch of the island. The historic venue, in combination with the creative energy oozing from its walls, creates a perfect nest for the artists to act out the final chapter in their group performance.
Mikel Glass’ short and perfectly accurate description sums up the mission and the execution of the show;
"The show celebrates the art spirit, in contrast to the message of commerce represented by the art fairs. The environment is immersive, the work is installed with connectivity between the artists, and the particularities of the hauntingly beautiful space itself are highlighted through an innovative lighting installation."
Initially, Brian Gonzalez created “Seeds that Release” and “Stasis” separately, however the (UN)FAIR was the first place in which both pieces were part of the same installation. It was a seamless and tender way to address both the anonymous nature of show and its 100+ participants, in an exhibition of unusual pairings. The performance ended with the two performers unbound and completely liberated from each other, metaphorically ending oppression, a theme not only expressed by this installation, but the whole (UN)FAIR show.
So what’s so unfair about the (UN)FAIR? The fact that it’s a farewell celebration for the artists that will have to migrate somewhere outside the island of Manhattan in order to continue to work. So far, this is the first art studio building I have visited, on the soon to be “artist prohibited” Manhattan. There was a bittersweet tone in all the conversations that I had with each of the artists, that worked in the building. The industrial feel transports you to Brooklyn’s art scene, but holds Manhattan’s air of centralized superiority; maybe because of the crowd, maybe because of the busy streets outside the window, or maybe because I knew Manhattan was, in theory, the center of the art world. I tried to imagine SoHo as it used to be, how it used to feel, how artists were built into the zoning of the city. It is bittersweet indeed to reminisce upon a fabled past, but surely being present in this place, for this show, allowed me to feel a sense of being a part of the city’s historical art scene.
<3 art |
Oh, so you’re wondering, Who’s so cool? Meet artist Filip Noterdaeme, legendary art collector and director of the Homeless Museum of Art. It was great to see this piece of press about him @huffpostarts. CTS worked with him in 2009 for exhibition 7 in 6 Space vs. Timecurated by yours truly. (Williamsburg Walks. Brooklyn, NY.) A brilliant artist.
required reading | Jerry Saltz on the Ugly American at the Venice Biennale
‘This makes me embarrassed to be an American,’ the megacurator of an extremely well-known U.S. art museum groaned to me. We were standing in front of what was truly a spectacle of American proportions. Directly in front of the American Pavilion in the beautiful Giardini, main site of the Venice Biennale — which opens on Saturday — the artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla have placed a 60-ton Army tank. It’s a real one, shipped from England at who knows what expense, turned upside-fucking-down, turret and gun barrel on the ground, steel treads to the sky. Atop this warlord wedding cake, they’ve installed a treadmill where a world-class runner works out for fifteen minutes of every hour. It’s the health club from Hell, Afghanistan in Venice, and it makes a humongous racket that can be heard all around the Giardini. I looked back at the curator and said, ‘I think being embarrassed to be an American is partly what this is about.’
It was Tanks ‘R’ Us: We Americans are making this incredible noise, flexing our might, playing police force to the world, entertaining ourselves and anyone who’ll watch, being grandiose and goony and needy, all the while trying to stay fit. (The pyramid structure has a runner on top, just where another culture might put a figure of winged victory or a gargoyle.) Yet this monumental Babel-like totem pole in this place at this time — while obnoxious, ostentatious, clamorous, and gross in its implications — is, like a lot of art, also an amazing strange fact.
Allora and Calzadilla have found a way to encapsulate, possibly exorcise, summon, and certainly give visual form to the freaked-out way the world sees the United States. It’s about what people think before they set foot in the American pavilion (just as they, and we, come into the pavilions of Germany, France, Korea, and other countries with entirely different preconceived notions). It’s ever-present but always invisible content, left over from centuries or piled up in only decades. As I walked away from this infernal piece I said to the curator, ‘Now, that’s America.’
Filed Under: art, gloria, guillermo calzadilla, jennifer allora, united states pavilion, venice biennale.
<3 art | Marina Abramovic Art Must Be Beautiful . 1975
<3 art | Marina Abramovic
<3 art | Yves Klein Symphonie Monotone
Anthropométries de l’Epoque bleue (Anthropometries of the Blue Period), at the International Gallery of Contemporary Art, 253, rue Saint-Honoré in Paris. While the Monotone Symphony was being performed, Yves Klein had three nude models cover themselves in blue paint and affix their body prints on the white papers, laid out on the gallery walls and floor. A complex body language, staged by Klein himself, brought the figures to life in a sort of strange ballet, in which the actresses rolled and dragged their hands on the ground, before the audience’s eyes. The formally dressed audience, made up of numerous artists, collectors, and critics, was subsequently invited to take part in a general discussion, in which Georges Mathieu and Pierre Restany participated. read more