Tag Archives: Object

Jim SHAW

25 Sep

XXXL Painting brings together new and existing works. In the months leading up to the opening, the artists have been busy at work in the building, creating the exhibition on site. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen wishes to demonstrate the resilience and energy of the art of painting with a true ‘battle of the Titans’ between the three artists.MUSEUM

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BOIJMANS VAN BEUNINGEN (Rotterdam) 8 June – 29 September 2013

Second House

27 May

richard prince house

SECOND HOUSE is perfectly camouflaged in its surroundings—at first glance, it appears to be an utterly ordinary single story ranch house. Yet when approaching it from the long hillside driveway, the overgrown grass strategically obscures the identity of who or what lies within. Like so many other domestic buildings in the area, SECOND HOUSE looks kind of decrepit or unfinished (passersby must wonder: did the owner run out of money and abandon construction?). Its façade is missing—only a thin, silvery skin made of insulation panels covers the exterior. An abandoned 1973 Dodge Barracuda is parked out back, quietly rusting in the tall grass; an inside-out tire planter adorns the completely unlandscaped front yard. The inside seems as unfinished as the outside. The walls and ceilings are partially painted, leaving the spackled drywall joints visible in many spots. Plywood sheets cover the floors. Exposed fluorescent tubes provide an even, cold light in the five rooms of the house. While the rawness of the interior décor suggests an uninhabited space, SECOND HOUSE is far from empty. The objects and images sheltered within its walls mirror the landscape outside: it’s pure Americana (that has been “stolen,” cropped, and edited by Richard Prince).

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More links:

Richard Prince’s page

Parket 72 – 2005

Guggenheim Museum to acquire RICHARD PRINCE’S SECOND HOUSE, 2005

Lightning Devastates Guggenheim-Acquired “Second House” by Richard Prince

27 Gnosis

19 Mar

Michael Portnoy-27-gnosis-2

27 Gnosis by Michael Portnoy is inspired by the quest for a philosophical or taxonomic language which gained steam in the 17th Century at the hands of Leibniz, Dalgarno, Wilkins and others. The idea was to develop a language based on the reduction of all knowledge into an “alphabet of human thought”, comprised of irreducible semantic primitives or radicals, in some cases represented by symbols or characters, the combination of which would produce any possible idea. A feature of these languages distinct from any natural language is that within each word is revealed that word’s place within the entire taxonomy of genera, difference and species (ex: frenzi, a table game, is a type of game (renzil), which is a type of rest (renzi), which is the opposite of motion (enzi), which is a type of action, etc. etc.) The game borrows structurally from these languages’ ontologies as well as elements of contemporary conlangs (invented languages) such as aUI, Ro, Ilaksh and Ygede.

Performed at The Kitchen in March 2013

Video – 27 Gnosis by Michael Portnoy

Frieze blog

Laurie Simmons

25 Jan

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Interview with Laurie Simmons in Dirty Magazine

Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

3 Jan

Frances Glessner Lee (1878–1962), a New England socialite and heiress, dedicated her life to the advancement of forensic medicine and scientific crime detection. The seeds of her interest began when her brother’s college classmate, George Burgess Magrath (1870–1938), vacationed with the Glessner family at their summer home in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Magrath, then a medical student, went on to teach legal medicine at Harvard and to become the chief medical examiner of Suffolk County (Boston). In 1931 Mrs. Lee helped to establish the Department of Legal Medicine at Harvard, the only such program then in existence in North America. From that time on, she became a tireless advocate for forensic science. In 1934 she presented the department with a collection of books and manuscripts, which became the Magrath Library of Legal Medicine, and in 1936 endowed the department with a gift of $250,000 (adjusted for inflation, the equivalent of $3,367,000 in 2005 dollars).

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Mrs. Frances Glessner Lee at work on the Nutshell Collection, 1940s-1950s, 
Glessner House Museum, Chicago, Illinois
In 1943, Mrs. Lee was appointed captain in the New Hampshire State Police, the first woman in the United States to hold such a position. Around the same time, she began work on the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death—a series of eighteen miniature crime-scene dioramas for student analysis. The Nutshells allowed Mrs. Lee to combine her lifelong love of dolls, dollhouses, and models with her passion for forensic medicine. She originally presented them to the Harvard Department of Legal Medicine; later they came into the possession of the Maryland Chief Medical Examiner’s Office. Erle Stanley Gardner, the writer best known for creating the Perry Mason mysteries, and Mrs. Lee’s close friend, wrote that “A person studying these models can learn more about circumstantial evidence in an hour than he could learn in months of abstract study.”

Petros Chrisostomou

21 Sep

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Petros Chrisostomou photographs small-scale, ordinary, ephemeral objects in architectural models that he constructs himself, and then dramatically arranges, often employing lighting and staging conventions of the theatre. ..

Brooklyn Museum, Project Go!, December 1, 2012–February 24, 2013

Petros Chrisostomou website

Marcel Duchamp’s studio

3 Jul

Henri Pierre Roché, Marcel Duchamp’s Studio, c. 1916-18. Courtesy Jean-Jacques Lebel.

Elena Filipovic / A Museum That is Not

One could say that everything begins and ends in Marcel Duchamp’s studio. His first New York studio is perhaps best known from a series of small and grainy photos, some of them out of focus. They were taken sometime between 1916 and 1918 by a certain Henri-Pierre Roché, a good friend of Duchamp. Roché was a writer, not a professional photographer, clearly. He was the same guy who would go on to write Jules et Jim, arguably a far better novel than these are photographs. But their aesthetic quality was not really what mattered. Duchamp was attached to those little pictures. He kept them and went back to them years later, working on them and then leaving them out for us like his laundry in the picture. Or like clues in a detective novel.

There isn’t a single photograph among them that shows his studio (which was also his home, in this case) cleaned up. Duchamp’s drawers are open, his shoes and pillows are strewn across the floor, dust has collected in the corners. The supposed cold conceptualist, the guy who epilated his entire body because he seemed not to like the unkemptness of body hair (and requested that his partner at the time consider doing the same), the artist of the industrially produced readymades—lives in a pigsty.1 This is not the first nor will it be the last of many Duchampian paradoxes. Still, Duchamp’s sense of housekeeping and the dust that he bred in his apartment is not so much my point as is his arrangement of objects. While he might live with a mess, everything also has its place. The small photographs reveal that the shiny porcelain urinal on view is not in the bathroom (although there might be another one there), or even tucked in a corner—it’s hung over a doorway. The disorder of the room might appear careless, except that a urinal simply doesn’t get up there by accident. Duchamp’s snow shovel is not casually leaning against a wall waiting for use—it is suspended from the ceiling. And his coatrack lies inconveniently and ridiculously in the middle of the room, nailed to the floor. Selected objects in chosen positions.

 Remember, this is sometime around 1917, several years after the artist first started to bring everyday objects into his studio. Back then, he had a Paris atelier, which his sister cleaned up when the artist moved to New York, throwing the first readymades into a dustbin, where she innocently thought they belonged…

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Things (introducing a new category)

13 Jun

Lee Lozano

Martin Heidegger ( (1889–1976)) is famous for his early analysis of tools, and equally famous for his later reflections on technology. This might suggest an easy literal reading of these themes in his work along the following lines: ‘Heidegger began his career fascinated by low-tech hardware such as hammers and drills, but later took an interest in advanced devices such as hydroelectric dams’. But such a literal interpretation would miss the point, since neither Heidegger’s tool analysis nor his views on technology are limited to a narrow range of specific kinds of entities. When he speaks of ‘tools’, his analysis holds for trees and monkeys no less than for hammers; when he speaks of ‘technology’, he has little to tell us about specific high-tech instruments. In both cases he is more concerned with a general ontology than with a theory of tools or technology. Hence, this article will focus on the basic ontological background of Heidegger’s reflection on these themes; there is more to say about his ontology of things than about his relatively sparse discussions of technology per se.

The tool analysis is probably Heidegger’s most important contribution to philosophy, and contains his other breakthroughs in germinal form. The tool analysis was first published in 1927 in his masterwork Being and Time (Heidegger, 1962) but dates back to his 1919 lecture course during the so-called Freiburg War Emergency Semester (see Heidegger, 2000). Thus, the occasional claims that Heidegger stole the tool analysis from Edmund Husserl’s unpublished works of the early 1920s result from a flawed chronology and can be dismissed without further comment.1 In fact, the tool analysis marks Heidegger’s definitive break with Husserl, not a plagiarism of his teacher.

Read article

About Martin Heidegger

About Lee Lozano

Takeshi Yamada’s Museum of World Wonders

22 May


The Shell (A conversation between Issa Samb and Antje Majewski)

6 May

Issa Samb’s space in the centre of Dakar. There is an enormous tree in the middle from which cords are strung that criss-cross the whole yard and surrounding buildings. The lines are connected together and hundreds of objects hang from them: clothes, old photos, dolls and a wide variety of knotted things. In the corners, there are sculptures and assemblages. Everything is covered with dust. Paintings hang inside the arcades that surround the yard and there are other relics from the activities of the group ‘Laboratoire Agit’Art’. Issa Samb slowly sweeps the ground and forms heaps of big leaves that keep tumbling down. I sit with Abdou Bâ on some old chairs under the tree. Nearly every day, friends come by and often sit here for hours, talking with Issa Samb. Abdou Bâ is a long-time friend of Issa Samb and a member of the Laboratoire Agit’Art. After a while, Issa Samb puts down his broom and sits next to us.

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IS: Objects speak their own language. The wind speaks. It speaks its own language. Birds speak. They speak their own language. There you are. Personally, I think that with an object that was born in China, and that makes a trip from China to Europe, from Europe to Africa and from Africa to Europe, you can’t say that this object is meaningless. Even if you wanted to deprive it of meaning and make nonsense of it. Even if you felt like doing that, you couldn’t. Or if you did, it would be an arbitrary, scientifically inadmissible decision. And if you did it simply for an intellectual peer group or for some kind of aesthetic snobbism then you would be doing something very fascistic and dangerous.

AM: Why?

IS: Because through the object you would be denying the culture of the Other. That is terrible. You would be denying all its charge. Because no matter how small an object is, even if it is an object that breaks quickly—because which of the mass-produced goods by the Chinese, Japanese, or European market wouldn’t break quickly—it still brings with it the whole of China and beyond China, all of humanity. So the problem is not that the object breaks quickly; the problem is that the object that breaks quickly, that has come to us from China—what moment in the historical time of China does it bring with it? It brings that moment in which China heads off into a new direction down the capitalist road of development in the face of globalization, a globalization which doesn’t permit the polite rivalry of deferential bows, the story of nice people. It is a ferocious rivalry. An object has to be ready to get onto the market quickly. You have to go in there fast to sell it. It has to break fast, so you sell it quickly in order to make money. That object there carries meaning. It teaches us about ideological situations not just in China but in the globalized world system. Globalization as the dominant ideology of the current world.

AM: So, I’d forgotten that when I said I had no African object, I had forgotten one object. But at the same time as being African, it is also a natural object; that’s why I didn’t really think about it, but I’ll show it to you.

IS: If you wish.

AM: So that’s it.

 I unpack the shell and show it to him. Abdou Bâ picks up the video camera and points it at me (…)

More on the website 

Animism exhibition

The World of Gimel curated by Adam Budak