Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Field Trip: John Baldessari

John Baldessari's Six Colorful Inside Jobs 1971

Q To some degree would you say that Baldessari’s work is like an encyclopedia of maleness?

A Hard to say no to that question. I’d say that’s one of the bigger yeses in the history of answers.

Q To use or misuse the regularly bastardized word, does he deconstruct the male? 

A How could he not?

Q Does Baldessari’s gaze around and through the male gaze render a double-dude staredown? 

A Affirmative. There’s a German phrase for it.

QWissenschaftler der mannlichen Schwierigheit?

A Scholar of male complexity.

-- Benjamin Weissman on John Baldessari, in 'Men Swallowing Swords, Men Blowing Out Candles" frieze 126 (link)

John Baldessari talks to Jessica Morgan (curator of his upcoming retrospective at Tate Modern) in TATE ETC 17 (link)

John Baldessari: Pure Beauty at Tate Modern 13 October 2009 till 10 January 2010 (link)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Baron Grayson on Magoo

High Seas Pirate Ship, Sanctum Ruins (partial), Aghamora Irish Cottage

From the notecard: The first version of this ship was built as part of an inworld adventure headed by Keith Extraordinare in 2005 for Burning Life.

Mab rezzed these structures temporarily on Magoo while it was empty to see what they looked like and took the opportunity to wear a pirate lady's dress she had in her inventory but had never unboxed (RFL outfit from M'Lady's, jewelry by Sue Stonebender) . They're vanished now but will be back in some form eventually. In some of the pictures Eryri can be seen in the background. The great white whale floating in the sky was made by Soup artists Penumbra Carter and Dekka Raymaker for the closing party of the SLon des Refuses, and the trees in silhouette are made by Sue Stonebender, as is the big house.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Field Trip: Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman's Doll Clothes 1975

One of the First Cindy Sherman's super-8 film,"Doll Clothes" has not been viewed since 1975, the year it was made. It comically crosses Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase with animated paper dolls in a sly, funny and clever precursor to the concerns that became signature elements in Sherman's remarkable body of photographic work.

More at UbuWeb (link)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Field Trip: Torbjørn Rødland

Torbjørn Rødland ACV10 (2009) showing at Standard (Oslo) till 26 September 2009

Perverted photography doesn’t sell a product or communicate a message. It’s not meant to be decoded, but to keep you in the process of looking. It’s layered and complex. It mirrors and triggers you without end and for no good reason, and that is erotic.

-- Torbjørn Rødland

More (link)

Torbjørn Rødland (link)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Field Trip: Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin, Untitled @Hirshhorn Museum (Music: Sigur Ros)

I couldn't find an image to illustrate the story of the stairwell so am using this video of Untitled instead.

"Then I ran into a utility stairwell which presented a very interesting situation. There were a couple things that were very nice about it. One was that while the front stairwell was very formal, with floating steps and everything, and was the architect's attempt to be very 'designed,' very artistic, in a way–I didn't like it particularly–this utility stairwell was simply that, a utility stairwell. It had the minimum. It met all the legal requirements, period, and nothing else. How steep it was–I don't think it could have been any steeper. It had those kind of institutional railings. The corners had an angle on them. It was the simplest kind of concrete shaft; I mean, in terms of architecture, there was no attempt to modify or make that space interesting at all. Institutional light fixtures, the whole thing, just by the book.

"But there was one thing funny about it: the architect, in wanting to continue his illusions about the building from an architectural point of view, did not want the exterior facade of the building to stop at a certain point; so he continued it on to include this utility stairwell, which was very funny, in a way, because it had nothing to do with the stairwell at all; it had all to do with this idea about facade. In other words, he ran this series of windows the entire length of the building so as to fit his modular conception.

"But the unintended effect of all of that was that that utility stairwell was quite a nice place. One of the things that was very nice about it was that all the light in there was reflected light. Only in the morning was there a little slit of direct light, but most of the light was reflected. And interestingly enough, in this situation it was reflected off an awful lot of different kinds of surfaces–a very red building across the way, some very strong green grass; it depended on the time of day you were there as to the color the stairwell was. I mean, it was subtle. Most people would have probably said it was white all the time; but to me, you'd walk in there, and at a certain time of day it was violet, and another time of day it was green, and another time of day it was a subtle mixture of colors. It was a very loaded kind of situation.

"So I did a lot of things in that stairwell. I changed a lot of things. I neutralized things and blocked things and removed things. I fooled around with the covering of the baseboard; there was a situation in terms of one of the windows where I made it look as though it continued where in fact it didn't. I covered up one section of one window so that the far corner looked as if it were angled as all the other corners were angled. All sorts of things like that, which no one really saw–which, by the way, they weren't intended to see; it was just the presence of the situation which I liked.

"Then, I think, I probably made an error, and it probably had a little bit to do with my not being on top of the situation. I put a piece of scrim material up near the second floor, up high, and stretched it out flat. It did a nice thing; I mean, it did work in the room in a way. But in a way it also defeated me in the sense that the few people who did deal with the stairwell at all finally said, 'Oh that's it,' and pointed, dealt with the scrim as though it were the art; whereas it was simply a device that I had used hopefully to try and get the situation maybe a little more strongly identified. Without the scrim I don't know if anybody would have seen it–maybe one or two people. And a curious thing, when the show eventually came down, I went back there and found a number of the things which I had done had not been removed. For some reason they either didn't notice them or didn't know that I had put them there. But in a funny way, even with a lot of the things removed, that stairwell still was doing exactly what it did so well. It didn't need my scrim. And in a funny way, maybe it didn't need any of the details I added. What was really essential was going on there anyway."

-- Robert Irwin to Lawrence Weschler, seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees by Lawrence Weschler

Robert Irwin (link)

Robert Irwin @Hirshhorn (link)

Untitled (a variation) @MoMA (link)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Field Trip: John Cage

Changing Installation, 1991
Mattress Factory

More here (link)