there is this tension too I think between the protection and insulation that 'art' practices/ performances have, the way they are performances of money so to speak, , and how when the 'real' public is invited, that is the poor angry, disillusioned, to 'have a say' what gets said. The vandalism of public sculpture for example, for an artist as my self, IS the Fn point. To see the invisible SPEAK. But for most it is a great tragedy. So in Abramovic's piece, for me there is this strange, but I would postulate, joy, in the 'realness' of it. Yoko's too. - Tao Wells
Monday, April 17, 2017
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Malmö Konsthall, Sweden
‘Ad Reinhardt: Art vs. History’ featured approximately 300 of Reinhardt’s original illustrations, collages and cartoons. These included the well-known ‘How to Look’ (1946) series of playful educational strips published in the leftist newspaper PM, which sought to introduce the general public to the basics of modern art, and abstract painting in particular. In How to Look at a Cubist Painting (1946), for instance, a viewer’s incredulous query (‘What does this represent?’) is met with the anthropomorphized painting shouting back: ‘What do you represent?’ This exhibition, which took its title from one of Reinhardt’s essays for ArtNews, marked the first time these works have been shown in Europe, introducing a lesser-known aspect of the artist’s visual production at a moment when discussions on political satire, and cartooning especially, have a particular urgency.
In the few cases when Reinhardt’s drawings have been shown previously, it was largely to illustrate what his paintings were not – a practice in line with the distinctions that the artist upheld between pictures (representations) and paintings (line, shape and colour). But, in 1949, Reinhardt remarked of his painting and cartooning: ‘Contradictory as though these roles may seem, they can be viewed as aspects of a unified stance.’ Although much of the work in ‘Art vs. History’ was made long before the ‘black’ paintings that gained him notoriety, and seems to contradict the strategies of negation and refusal with which he is so strongly associated, for the most part the show left speculation aside regarding how Reinhardt’s freelance commercial work informed the development of his painterly practice.
Instead, the show presented his cartoons, illustrations and collages as art works in their own right. In the process, it rendered Reinhardt as idealistic and crestfallen by turns, yet steadfastly committed to his beliefs in internationalism and equality, as well as to the politics of looking. Smaller works – including spot illustrations and single-panel cartoons – revealed Reinhardt’s virtuosity as a visual communicator and are infused with a lightness nearly unthinkable within the frame of abstract expressionism, much less organized labour. One untitled illustration dated 1943–47 depicted an ‘unorganized employee’ riding a snail on his way to ‘better conditions’. Other works demonstrated the painter’s disdain for social realism, as well as his indebtedness to Russian constructivism, cubism, dada and surrealism. Often ironic and witty, when taken as a whole these works nonetheless registered deep tensions within Reinhardt’s visual practice, as well as his negotiation of concerns surrounding distribution, media and the integration of art and everyday life. It was evident in the collage, too, where photographic material was abstracted into geometrical compositions that he later used in his paintings. Here, it wasn’t purity at stake in modernism but hybridization and complexity.
As Michael Corris noted in his 2008 book on the artist, ‘radical politics, architecture, graphic design, mass media and abstract art: these are the terms of reference that organize and contextualize Reinhardt’s full creative practice’. From this perspective, Reinhardt’s interdisciplinary output also recalls Karl Marx’s oft-cited statement that in communist society, ‘nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he [sic] wishes.’ If today the divisions of labour within the arts are increasingly blurred, and every artist can make claims to being a writer, a designer, an editor, a critic and a curator, then it owes less to practices of cooperation and solidarity than to ragged individualism and economic precarity. What do you represent?
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
I think you can read the Christian gesture in a much more radical way,
This is what the crucifixion scene in Scorsese film shows us, what dies
on the cross is precisely this guarantee of the 'Big Other'. The message
of Christianity here, is radically Atheist. The death of Christ is not
any sort of redemption, or kind of commercial affair, in that Christ
suffers to 'pay' for our sins... . It's simply the disintegration of the
god that guarantees the meaning of our lives. And that's the meaning of
the famous phrase, "Father why have you forsaken me?". - quote I'm
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Friday, April 7, 2017
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
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Wells Tao I think it was Schiller who talked of animals playing as a natural cruelty that the human can not accept and therefore creates pathologies exactly where we build. I see it online, where the emotions of two year olds, reign in a kind of free to roam terror, that to me has great beauty, for it's virtualness. AS if the internet was a nerve system of an animal we've exterorised, to play, to be cruel.
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Barry Thomas I recall a few weeks/months back with the vandalism of Tiffany Singh's work and then another with the theft of a bike with Paul Forrest and found myself saying the same idea really... if you put yourself up in public - expect the very worst... and even that is of value because it is saying... this is what reaction 'my' work stimulates... and is therefore a cultural metaphor/mirror.
Erica Duthie We made a work for Cuba Dupa - lots of prep ground piece - had to struggle with huge crowds walking over it oblivious (not all of course but enough) first time I thought - hey I can understand why people encase their art in glass and big "hands off gold frames" and place them in culturally exclusive institutions... was a weird experience.. encouraging people to touch your wall art is very different to seeing the walk on your art...try to be generous but felt definate flashes of rage...
Barry Thomas Par for the proverb Erica... if you do it in public expect the worst. I mean... with the cabbage patch I deliberately chose that my part would only be illegally occupying the privately owned site, planting the cabbages and I said publicly "The rest is up to wellington..." ie the vandalism as Tao suggests - was designed in from the outset... and my ownership, care was altered to accept that whatever came as a result/reaction was part of it and is/was part of the culture/art.
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Pete O'Blivion Thicko.