“The artist’s home and studio were stacked with his artworks, cast-off items, including three broken refrigerators with the doors still attached. A separate storage room was piled to the ceiling with jumbled junk, more artworks, damaged electrical cords and worn-out clothing.” More
Claes Oldenburg put together an odd collection of kitsch, found objects, souvenirs, trivial everyday pieces and toys plus material and prototyps for his art works. The Mouse Museum was first shown in 1972 at the documenta 5 in Kassel.
Claes Oldenburg was born in 1929, in Stockholm. His father was a diplomat, and the family lived in the United States and Norway before settling in Chicago in 1936. Oldenburg studied literature and art history at Yale University, New Haven, from 1946 to 1950. He subsequently studied art under Paul Wieghardt at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1950 to 1954. During the first two years of art school, he also worked as an apprentice reporter at the City News Bureau of Chicago, and afterward opened a studio, where he made magazine illustrations and easel paintings. Oldenburg became an American citizen in December 1953. In 1956 he moved to New York and met several artists making early Performance work, including George Brecht, Allan Kaprow, George Segal, and Robert Whitman. Oldenburg soon became a prominent figure in Happenings and Performance art during the late 1950s and early 1960s. In 1959 the Judson Gallery exhibited a series of Oldenburg’s enigmatic images, ranging from monstrous human figures to everyday objects, made from a mix of drawings, collages, and papier-mâché. In 1961, he opened The Store in his studio, where he recreated the environment of neighborhood shops. He displayed familiar objects made out of plaster, reflecting American society’s celebration of consumption, and was soon heralded as a Pop artist with the emergence of the movement in 1962. Read more…
‘Located in Brooklin, New York. The Hospital For Broken Things is a fictional shop created by American writer Paul Auster. Dedicated to the restoreation of obsolete devises fro, times past, such as typewriters, record players, radios and rotary telephones. The shop is owned and operated by Bing Nathan. A character in Auster’s 2010 novel Sunset Park.’
Inspired by Lewis & Taggart
With The Museum of Stones Jimmie Durham inverts conventional Western thinking on mimesis, architecture and the museum. Along with found and defunct objects, stone plays a significant metaphoric role in Durham’s work, standing for the representation of state narratives, identity construction, and all things structured: architecture, monumentality, stability—and “belief.” For Durham, stone is the ultimate sculptural form, because each stone is itself a changing entropic sculpture, shaped over time by the elements. He is fascinated by the ways in which seemingly static objects like stones can become incredibly active, a character in an unfolding story—quite aside from how anthropomorphism may call to mind totems or other ritualistic objects.
The exhibition Animism begins with that which we are all familiar with from art and the products of mass culture—the cartoon for example—as animation. Within art, animation is a common effect used to evoke life and vitality, in particular through movement, although it is also present when art works—sculptures or specific pictures—appear to return the gaze of the viewer. However, what we accept as an effect in art is a subject of historical contention beyond its confines. What do we perceive as being alive? When we ask this question outside the field of art it invariably raises questions which call on us to provide further distinctions for the purpose of clarification. The mere effect of vitality is not to be equated with independent life, this appears beyond doubt. But where is the dividing line? What possesses a soul, life, and the power to act? That the border between animate and inanimate matter, or between pure subjects and mere objects, is in no sense a natural given is demonstrated by the simple fact that in different cultures this border is perceived and conceived of in highly different ways. Consequently, there can never be an ultimately “objective” designation of the “correct” division—in order to illustrate this in terms of one’s own culture one only has to think of the imponderables in the debate on the point of death and the definition of so called “brain death.” However, the dividing line is not a “purely” subjective matter either—after all, it is just as important for the organization of our material relations to nature as for the question of the social and political status of living beings in a specific society. Is it possible to examine this dividing line itself, together with the organizing knowledge systems and practices?
Text by Anselm Franke
Image (C) COLIN MCPHERSON
MuseumMAN is an open cabinet of curiosities tracing a history of two cities through an eclectic mix of art and artifact. With its roots in New York City, it has manifested its unique form of a lived in museum from Berlin to Liverpool. MAN has been a temporal home for artists and visitors alike. Local and international artists are invited to participate in a dialogue within the space that is MAN, where a menagerie of spatial interventions – events, performance and exhibitions from live bands to levitating manholes – are regularly hosted. Activities inhabit every room and no space is left vacated, except by the artists’ intention.
Adam Nankervis (Museum Director)is an Australian artist, based in Liverpool and Berlin. He has exhibited globally over the last 20 years. His collaborations with Derek Jarman, David Hockney, Peter Tulley and long-term working partnership with David Medalla – the Fillipino kinetesist, founder of participation, performance artist and conceptualist – have developed a varied experimental practice and participation in a widely diverse set of mediums (…)
MAN was born out of necessity. The fabrication of a “museum” grew from the demand by galleries and artists wanting to exhibit internationally, or inviting me to perform, under the aegis of “host gallery”.
In 1992 New York was in a tangible recession; businesses were closing and boarded up shop fronts abounded. It felt like a plague had hit. A shoe shop on Mercer Street in SoHo belonging to two friends went out of business, with one month remaining on the lease. I offered to take over the space for a series of exhibitions, thus bailing them out and finding a space to show works in the SoHo area, at that time the monolith of the NYC art world.
Metropilos M / nr 1 2012/ An Interview with Seth Siegelaub
Seth Siegelaub is known for his revolutionary attitude in showing and promoting Conceptual Art in the sixties and seventies. His gallery, Seth Siegelaub Contemporary Art, which he opened after having worked at Sculpture Center in NY (‘yes, the same institution with the same name today, but then a far more conservative “garden sculpture” set-up’), was only operational from 1964 to 1966. After closing the gallery, (‘it was a boring experience, but probably necessary for my growing up’) he worked as an independent curator – or whatever it was called back then – organizing shows, projects and working closely with artists such as Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth and Lawrence Weiner. For some time now, he has been living in Amsterdam. There, he heads up the Stichting Egress Foundation, in which his passions for contemporary art, textile and critical theory converge.
Coptic tunic (detail) Egypt, ca. 6th century, wool and linen, CSROT Historic Textile Collection at the Stichting Egress Foundation, Amsterdam
Raven Row Gallery, The Stuff That Matters. Textiles collected by Seth Siegelaub for the CSROT
The first exhibition of the collection of historic textiles assembled by Seth Siegelaub over the past thirty years for the Center for Social Research on Old Textiles (CSROT). The exhibition will feature over 200 items from a collection currently comprising around 650. It will include woven and printed textiles, embroideries and costume, ranging from fifth-century Coptic to Pre-Columbian Peruvian textiles, late medieval Asian and Islamic textiles, and Renaissance to eighteenth-century European silks and velvets. Barkcloth (tapa) and headdresses from the Pacific region (especially Papua New Guinea) and Africa will also be on display.