Tired of Christmas carols and bells a ringing? Here are a few alternative audio projects for your holiday listening:
An obsessive take on Beatles fandom and collecting informs Rutherford Chang’s The White Album (2014).
From the description: Created by layering 100 unique copies of The Beatles' White Album, this 96 minute double-LP captures how every copy of the iconic album has been distinctly shaped by its history, both visually and sonically. The 45 year-old albums, with scratches and physical imperfections accumulated with age, all play slightly differently, causing the 100 layers to gradually drift out of sync over the course of each side. The gatefold cover and disc labels are composites of the weathered and graffitied originals. Also included is a 24 x 24 inch poster insert featuring images of the individual covers. This album was made from an ongoing collection of over 900 first-pressings of The White Album.
In SABREEN-Live in Jerusalem 2010 (2014), Michael Rakowitz extracts geo-political ramifications from the Beatle’s break-up.
From the description: In 2010, conceptual artist Michael Rakowitz produced a probing 10-part radio series for a Palestinian radio station in Ramallah, later developing it into a dynamic multimedia event and exhibition titled “The Breakup.” The title refers to the Beatles' disbandment, and by extension the concurrent collaborative, political, and social undoing of Pan-Arabism in the Middle East. This compilation, SABREEN-Live in Jerusalem 2010, is a limited edition, 12" gatefold vinyl LP record of the Palestinian band Sabreen’s live performance, pressed on sky-blue vinyl with a code for an mp3 download. A period-style poster for a never realized 1969 Beatles' concert in Libya and the catalog for “The Breakup” (with essays by Sukhdev Sandhu and Anna Della Subin) are also included.
Who isn’t a believer? Marcel Dzama collaborated with Arcade Fire to produce the soundtrack to Une Danse Des Bouffons (2014). It was distributed in The Believer magazine.
From the description: Marcel Dzama’s art film Une Danse Des Bouffons (translated as The Jester’s Dance) has received a 7″ vinyl soundtrack release. The score is by Dzama with Arcade Fire members Will Butler, Jeremy Gara, and Tim Kingsbury. It consists of four largely instrumental music songs.
-- Jim Drobnick
Jim Drobnick is a critic, curator and Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory at OCAD University, Toronto. He has published on the visual arts, performance, the senses and post-media practices in recent anthologies such as The Multisensory Museum (2014), Senses and the City (2011), and Art, History and the Senses (2010), and the journals Angelaki, High Performance, Parachute, and Performance Research. His books include the anthologies Aural Cultures (2004) and The Smell Culture Reader (2006), and he has co-edited special thematic issues of Public (Civic Spectacle, 2012) and The Senses & Society (Sensory Aesthetics, 2012). In 2012, he co-founded the Journal of Curatorial Studies. He is a co-founder of DisplayCult, a curatorial collaborative (www.displaycult.com).
Saturday, December 20, 2014
"The death two years ago of the obsessive San Francisco collector and dealer Steven Leiber left a gaping hole in the scholarship of late-20th-century art books and ephemera. But his legacy will live on at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, which has acquired Mr. Leiber’s vast collection of Conceptual art and art materials, as well as his library of reference and artists’ books related to Conceptualism and the Fluxus movement.
In his obituary in 2012, Roberta Smith of The New York Times wrote that while working as a private dealer selling prints, drawings and multiples, Mr. Leiber “bought 21 boxes of ephemera relating to the performance-oriented Fluxus art movement of the early 1960s, the Beat and Concrete poetry movements and the 1960s counterculture,” and “after a year of sorting and organizing the material, he had a new field of expertise: the ephemeral.”
The growing collection, which Mr. Leiber oversaw from an office in the basement of his grandmother’s house, became an essential stop for scholars, artists and curators. The archive included work by influential artists like Michael Asher, John Baldessari, Marcel Broodthaers, Hanne Darboven, Allan Kaprow, Joseph Kosuth, Lee Lozano and Bruce Nauman.
The Berkeley museum – whose new home in downtown Berkeley, designed by the firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro, is scheduled to open in early 2016 – will name the area of the new building that will house the collection the Steven Leiber Conceptual Art Study Center. With the acquisition, which was a partial purchase and partial gift from the Steven Leiber Trust, the museum and film archive will become one of the world’s most important centers for the study of Conceptual art."
- Randy Kennedy, The New York Times, December 18th, 2014
Labels: Steven Leiber
Friday, December 19, 2014
HEARD ABOUT A PLACE ONE DAY - Devon Knowles
Knowles does a lot of process based, material-oriented works where she explores a complex collision of how we both understand culturally and experience physically. At the moment this multiple seems to be a rare opportunity to own something that let's us into her process-at-large, including her tendency to collaborate.
"As part of the Properties exhibition (May 3 – June 16, 2013), Devon Knowles removed her large glass beam sculpture from the exhibition space and deposited it directly into the earth beneath the floorboards of the Western Front gallery for an undetermined period. Heard About A Place One Day is a limited edition artist book accompanying the project and features poetry by Jen Hutton and Laura Matwhichuk, an essay by curator Jesse Birch, photo documentation, earth prints of the sculpture, linocut prints and more." (http://western-front.myshopify.com/products/heard-about-a-place-one-day)
You can find it here through Western Front, here, for $15.00.
PROMISED LANDS - Robert Hengeveld
Robert does some fairly involved kinetic installations that are kinds of fictional environments. His multiples are a great opportunity to have a slice of his object making. Most recently there's
"Promised Lands: Abridged and Appended", a pop up he produced in conjunction with one of these large scale works.
"The pop up emerges as a visual summary of and reflection on the entire exhibition Promised Lands which took place at the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph, ON, 2014. It represents a condensed collection of thoughts, as well as a few post-production ideas, sandwiched between two pages. It packages a 4000 sq. foot exhibition into 10 sq. inches." (http://roberthengeveld.com/projects/promised-lands-abridged-and-appended/)
Available through email@example.com or through Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects. The pop up is included in 75 of the exhibition catalogues as a limited edition for $130.
Robert has a few other multiples that I'd like to own. His slowly rotating take-away coffee cup can be found on Art Metropole's site, here, for $110 and his his salt and pepper shakers that seem to spontaneously break into Morse code can be found on his site http://roberthengeveld.com.
Marla Hlady draws, makes sculpture, works with sites and sounds and sometimes makes video. She is represented by Jessica Bradley Gallery. Upcoming is a concert at the Music Gallery (Toronto) with Alison O'Daniel and Gordon Monahan and a collaborative performance with Christof Migone at Errant Bodies Project Space (Berlin).
Visit her site, here.
The Solitude of Ravens (or, commonly, "Ravens")
1986 (first edition; various other editions in circulation)
Masahisa Fukase's "Ravens" is utterly chilling. It drips with affect, sorrow, and that un-dead un-presence that undergirds even the most mundane photography and that is palpable in the best photography.
Fukase shot like an obsessive, and he advised his students to do the same--I once heard him quoted as having said that the only difference between a great photographer and a merely mediocre one is that the former understands just how many (many, so many) useless images they'll have to shoot before they get a good one. It should be little surprise, then, that Fukase's "Ravens" is the result of perpetual, compulsive photographic capture of the birds that fascinated him.
His subject is not known for playing nice, obviously, and clearly Fukase has placed his emphasis on punctum over studium--shots are over- or under-exposed, film grain enhanced, enlargements pushed to the point of image degradation. But there's a poverty of means echoing the Zen aesthetics of Japan's history; the work is both hard to parse and deeply seductive. It's a paean to noise and flurry and absence.
A fitting gift for a grieving friend, or just someone you love a whole lot.
(For those interested but not ready to take the $500+ plunge, Fukase-san wrote an excellent piece about shooting "Ravens", and other things, for the Aperture publication "Setting Sun: Writings by Japanese Photographers", which gives a glimpse into his character, though obviously with less of the visceral punch of his photographic opus.)
In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning
Toronto, Canada: Nothing Else Press, 2014
9 x 7 x 3 cm
Edition of 50 signed and numbered copies.
This work has been profiled on the blog elsewhere, but here’s what I especially love about it as a holiday gift:
1 - It requires upkeep and refuelling (with fresh potato corpses every once in a while), so it’s up front about its duality as a “Gift", which is to say as both a generous gesture and an obligation to future action on the part of the recipient.
2 - Given its temporal/consumptive nature, it can easily become a seasonal household tradition (“Hey, honey, it’s mid-December and you still haven’t put up the tree or gotten new potatoes for the Sasaki…”).
3 - It uses up said potatoes, leading to the corollary of the above (“Seriously, dear, it’s late-January and you still haven’t thrown out the tree or those dead potatoes…”).
4 - You can appease your inner dad by wrapping the potatoes in foil as stocking stuffers first... it helps if you’re prepared to make “lump of coal” jokes as your loved ones open said stockings.
5 - The mechanism spells out precisely what so many of us are thinking in the middle of familial obligations. Imagine how comforting it would be during Christmas dinner—while sandwiched between your overaffectionate Aunt Agnes and your uncle with the drinking problem, wondering how you’re going to gracefully get out of having to try the aspik salad—to just look over to the mantle and find some potato-powered sympathy in the form of a silent plea for “HELP.”
Lee Henderson is a contemporary artist in Toronto, Canada. Since completing his MFA in Intermedia (University of Regina, 2005), he has been furthering his time- and lens- based artistic practice while teaching conceptual photography and media art (currently at OCAD and Ryerson Universities in Toronto). Notable recent exhibitions and screening venues include The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Magenta Festival Boston, The Zero Film Festival (USA); The Dunlop Art Gallery, Mendel Art Gallery, The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, YYZ Artist-Run Centre, and gallerywest (Canada); Takt kunstprojektraum Berlin (Germany). He works in contemplation of mortality, between the persistence of collective histories and the brevity of individual lives.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Masanao Hirayama's (HIMAA) "book and edition: 5182," the paper wallets the artist makes which "last about a month".
What says the holiday season more than the smell of a new leather, ahem, paper wallet wrapped and sitting under the tree? I've gone through two of these lightweight cash and card holders so far which I get far more than a month out of. They come in two colours: the first edition in a yellowy ochre, the second edition in gray. He has also made wallets out of Chanel and other brand name paper shopping bags (I can't seem to find an image of these online, but Art Met has carried them), and most recently he is offering a "Special Wallet" which offers a reward if found. Available here.
Perhaps this is the wallet I should be investing in this Christmas as I started using these paper wallets about six months ago, when my slim leather wallet with money clip (that I quite coveted) was stolen out of my jacket pocket while I was eating lunch in a food court...!
Jonathan Shaughnessy is Associate Curator, Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada whose recent exhibitions include “100 Years Today,” in Shine a Light (2014), the NGC’s third Canadian Biennial; Vera Frenkel: Ways of Telling (2014) at the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art (MOCCA); Misled by Nature: Contemporary Art and the Baroque co-curated with Josée Drouin-Brisebois and Catherine Crowston at the Art Gallery of Alberta and MOCCA (2013-14); Builders: Canadian Biennial 2012; and Louise Bourgeois: 1911-2010 (2011-2013). In 2010, he was coordinating curator of the exhibition Pop Life: Art in a Material World for the NGC, organized by Tate Modern. He has written essays and catalogues on the work of many Canadian and international artists, sits on numerous advisory boards and committees including Art Metropole, the Toronto Kunstverein, and the Terra Nova Art Foundation, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa.
Last year while participating in Art Athina we were booth buddies with Cube Art Editions, a great Greek publication house that we all fell in love with. This publication is the latest in a long string of great editions.
Cube Art Editions were founded in 2001 by Eleni Saroglou, publishing art books, art-theory books, reference books and artists’ books.
Christos Lialios and Katerina Vazoura
Day by Day
Athens, Greece: Cube Art Editions, 2014
416 pp., 14 x 19 cm., softcover
Edition of 500
A diary for 2015 by Christos Lialios and Katerina Vazoura, published by Cube Art Editions, in a limited edition of 500 copies. Diaries are an ongoing project that Christos Lialios has been doing since 2010. This year a common wall diary is photographed to create a new one. Each month it is placed in a different setting to focus on the recurrence of time through its movement in space. One movement, one day, one page.
Price: 20 €
Cube Art Editions
114 71, Αθήνα
We are VSVSVS (pronounced versus versus versus), a seven-person collective and artist-run centre based out of a warehouse in the portlands of Toronto. Formed in 2010, our activities encompass collective art making, a residency program, a formal exhibition space, and individual studio practices. Our collective work focuses on the collaborative production of multiples, drawings, video works, sculpture, installations, and performance. VSVSVS is included in a year long group exhibition at the Jackman Humanities Institute, through Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, curated by Yan Wu. We will be travelling to Centre Bang in Chicoutimi for a late winter residency/exhibition. VSVSVS will also have a summer exhibition at Mercer Union.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
I Can Not Repeat What I Hear
Hamburg, Germany: Spector Books, 2014
139 pp., 24 x 33 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown
Berlin’s Natalie Czech creates uncanny limit-case poems that point to the end of erasure texts, each piece a seemingly impossible conjuring of texts within texts.
Czech’s I Can Not Repeat What I Hear is an awe-inspiring book of literary conjuring. I Can Not Repeat What I Hear places text-based visual poems within larger textual fields, embedding them into the margin-to-margin written from which they assert themselves. Every page tests what we, as readers, can accept as plausible, as reasonable, as do-able. Czech is a literary magician.
I Can Not Repeat What I Hear catalogues Czech’s recent exhibition of text-based art and includes excerpts from several distinct pieces, each of which is astonishing.
Czech has commissioned friends to write letters in her voice on each of the colours described in Rimbaud’s poem “Voyelles,” an uncanny mirror-house folding of correspondence where voice and exchange becomes blurred behind the potentials of Rimbaud’s original poem.
Czech has also scoured an unfathomable number of magazines and popular culture scraps and has found embedded—in a mind-blowing act of literary archaeology—evidence of famous modernist poems embedded in larger blocks of texts like fossilized dinosaur feathers preserved in the crush of shale. Czech simply highlights the uncanny occurrence of entire poems, photographs them in situ and exhibits these bravado acts of poetic discovery as troubling the line between poetic and photographic documentation. A single example of this seemingly impossible task is enough to incite jealousy and wonder at the audacity of Czech’s find.
Complimented by a pair of explanatory essays, one by Julien Bismuth and one by Kenneth Goldsmith, I Can Not Repeat What I Hear is an exceptional example of what can be done with a non-poetic poetic.
derek beaulieu is the author or editor of 15 books, the most recent of which are Please, No more poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013) and kern (Les Figues press, 2014). He is the publisher of the acclaimed no press and is the visual poetry editor at UBUWeb. Beaulieu has exhibited his work across Canada, the United States and Europe and currently teaches at the Alberta College of Art + Design. He is the 2014-2016 Poet Laureate of Calgary, Canada.