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Is this man about to

take over the world?


Tim Hawkinson
April
2007
Julius Shulman:
The godfather
of architectural
photography
Focus on
Design:
New works from
the Campana
Brothers and
Ross Lovegrove
+ whats gone
wrong with US
design?
Tom Burr:
The rules of
attraction
Milan & Turin:
Our guide to
Italys two
art capitals
issue 10
4.90
US$9.99
LA and the artworld are lucky that Hawkinsons back in the saddle, ears alert for the call of the Sensory Homunculus Scout
The hottest art show
of the summer
Documenta 12
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TALE5 FROM THE ClTY 46
London, Charles Darwent
New York, Jonathan T.D. Neil
FEATURE:
TlM HAWKlH5OH 54
The carnival sideshow
conceptualist, lying low since
his 2005 retrospective, unveils
a host of new sculptures, some
of them animal-based, some
unusually serene and one of
them an enormous sensory
homunculus made from cardboard
boxes pretty disturbing
Doug Harvey
FEATURE:
TOM BURR 66
Somewhere at the heart of a
practice that delves into
portaiture and particularly
self-portraiture the artist
is performing a disappearing act.
Mark Rappolt
FEATURE:
AHDREA5 5LOMlH5Kl 74
The notorious German Fallensteller
a setter of traps, snares and pranks
recently enjoyed a retrospective
at the Museum fr Moderne Kunst, in
which his vicious and comic devices
lured animal victims each according
to its particular weakness
Adam Jasper
MAHlFE5TO 24
This months issue as interpreted
by Tom Burr
Dl5PATCHE5 51
Dana Schutz serves up some fresh
physical possibilities at Zach
Feuer in a series of new paintings
all beginning with How We Would;
painter Luke Gottelier leads us
into a trackless forest starting
at Kate MacGarry; a new Socit
Anonyme, in Paris; MOCA revisits
1970s feminism with WACK!; Dean
Sameshimas coded messages at Peres
Projects; Susan Philipsz feeds Tim
Buckley through a vibraphone at the
Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo; Jude
Tallichets bronzes at Sara
Meltzer; Henry Taylors debut at
the Studio Museum in Harlem; Cult
Fiction illuminates the links
between comics and contemporary
art; Made in China, contemporary
art from China at Denmarks
Louisiana Museum; Frank Cohens new
gallery space in Wolverhampton
COH5UMED 5
Further proof of photographys
boom at Phillips; Damien Hirst
takes wing at Gagosian; Frederick
Kieslers surreal chairs; the
Milan Furniture Fairs Great
Brits and escapism
ARTREVIEW
On the cover: TIM HAWKINSON
photographed by TODD COLE
APRIL 2007
Andreas Slominski,
Hamster Trap, 1999,
metal, wood and bait,
29 x 53 x 15 cm.
Courtesy the artist and
Metro Pictures, New York
p 14,16 Contents AR Apr07.indd 14 7/3/07 14:40:21
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MlXED MEDlA:
MOVlHG lMAGE5 11
In Rosso Babele, the Italian
video artist Grazia Toderi
dreams an ethereal star-spangled
metropolis into being, then
inverts it Skye Sherwin
MlXED MEDlA:
MOVlHG lMAGE5 120
A report from the International
Film Festival Rotterdam
Ian White
MlXED MEDlA: DlGlTAL 150
How device art tackles our
relationship with technology
and raises questions about
mass-produced gadgets
Rgine Debatty
REVlEW5 155
George Condo, Caro Niederer,
Szuper Gallery, David Hammons,
Terence Koh, Super ex, Marc
Newson, Amanda Ross-Ho, Micropop,
Chris Evans, Thomas Hirschhorn,
Vibeke Tandberg
BOOK REVlEW5 150
The Abu Ghraib Effect; Peter Doig;
Mary Heilmann: Save the Last
Dance for Me; How to Read a Modern
Painting
OH THE TOWH 156
Photos from the Chapman Brothers
opening at Paradise Row and
Gilbert & George at Tate Modern
OH THE RECORD 15
ARTREVIEW
FEATURE:
DOCUMEHTA 2
Documenta 12s artistic director,
Roger M. Buergel, and curator,
Ruth Noack, open up to ArtReview
about marketing, international
scenes and the power of art to
change the world. Part I of a
two-part interview
5PEClAL FOCU5:
DE5lGH 7
Ross Lovegroves new designs for
Phillips; Q&A with the Campana
Brothers; Design USA, the short
supply of American designers
exposed; Julius Shulman, godfather
of architectural photography
ART PlLGRlMAGE:
MlLAH & TURlH 10
Historically the most important
art centres in Italy, Milan and
Turin might once again come to the
scene as equals, but in Italy
it is not just art that waits for
better times Paola No
APRIL 2007
Valerio Rocco Orlando,
The Sentimental Glance, 2007
(installation view:
Maze gallery, Turin).
Photo: Michela Formenti
p 14,16 Contents AR Apr07.indd 16 7/3/07 14:41:11
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p 18 Masthead AR Apr07.indd 18 6/3/07 21:59:59
14.02.2007 18:15:48 Uhr
from left:
Todd Cole is a self-taught photographer living in Los Angeles. His work
has appeared in international magazines almost too numerous to list: Purple,
Self Service, i-D, Liberation Style, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine, Big,
Beaux Art, Vogue Hommes International it just goes on and on. Between
shoots, including this months ArtReview cover story on LA artist Tim
Hawkinson, Cole is putting the nishing touches on a book of his Southern
California landscapes and working on another book of photographs of Mike
Millss Humans collection.
Photographer Michela Formenti shot this months art pilgrimage in Turin and
her hometown, Milan. Also a video artist (and sometime actress), Formenti has
exhibited extensively in group shows in Italy, as well as presenting a solo
show of work in 2005 at the Studio Visconti in Milan. She most recently
showed work as part of video art fair Fiav 06, in Tunisia.
New York-based photographer and artist Jack Pierson has mounted solo shows
in New York, London and LA, and has work in the collections at the Whitney
Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.
For this issue he shot artist Tom Burr, a man who, when asked to describe
himself, could offer little more than six foot, dark haired, dark jacket.
See if the portrait does him justice
Adam Jasper is completing his doctorate in art history and theory at the
University of Sydney on minor aesthetic categories, such as kitsch and the
gross. Inspired, perhaps, by his investigations into the traps set by German
artist Andreas Slominski his subject for this months ArtReview he is
currently in the Philippines, attempting to get into prison for Vice
Magazine. He also contributes to Frieze and Cabinet.
New York-based writer Julie V. Iovine covers design and architecture
for The New York Times, The Architects Newspaper, Art & Auction and other
publications. For this months design special she asks the experts why, even
in these boom times, brand-name American designers remain thin on the ground
and discovers its a sore point.
ARTREVIEW
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Tom Burr, Spiraling (The Blood of a Poet) 2, 2005,
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ARTREVIEW
gaze into a landscape, here
a painting hanging on the
wall. In this painting within
a painting the erect line
of a waterfall cuts across
the idealised body of the
landscape, in sharp contrast
to the swollen bloody form of
the mother. Unlike previous
exhibitions, there is no
connecting narrative linking
the new work, but the titles
How We Would Drive, How We
Would Dance, etc. suggest
the action depicted as a
future possibility.
Skye Sherwin
D A N A S C H U T Z :
S T A N D B Y E A R T H M A N
5 A P R I L 1 9 M A Y , Z A C H
F E U E R G A L L E R Y , N E W Y O R K
W W W . Z A C H F E U E R . C O M
Mona, 2007, oil on canvas, 102 x 78 cm.
Courtesy Zach Feuer Gallery, New York
ANATOMY OF HELL:
DANA SCHUTZ
Dana Schutzs paintings,
renowned for their taboo
subject matter, have attracted
a pack of avid fans among
critics and collectors
alike since her debut show
in 2002, and its easy to
see why. She might depict
self-cannibalisers, eyeball
eaters, blindfolded grown-
ups and rampant children
of nature, but amidst this
post-apocalyptic melee,
characteristic of so much
contemporary art, an act
of liberation takes place.
Schutzs depiction of women,
littered with references to
an art-historical past that
takes in Picassos prostitutes
as a Primitive vacuum, or
Gauguins pliant Tahitian
girl-child offering up her
bottom, sets previously
servile muses free. Schutzs
women are presented as
mistresses of their fate,
destroying and regenerating
their own bodies, as in works
like New Legs (2003).
For Stand by Earth Man, her
forthcoming exhibition at
Zach Feuer Gallery in New
York, Schutz has produced
12 new works that further
her uncompromising challenge
to depictions of female
experience. How We Would Give
Birth (all works 2007), for
example, depicts a mother in
labour, her stomach swollen
like a giant beach ball, from
which a phallic, alien-looking
baby is making its exit.
As with another new work,
Mona, the woman turns her
head away from the viewer to
p 31 Dispatches V2 AR Apr07.indd31 31 6/3/07 02:21:57
AND THINGS TO MAKE AND DO ART, MUSIC, ARCHITECTURE, FILM, SHOPPING, NEWS AND THING
ARTREVIEW
This is deceptively smart
(and quietly consistent) work,
anchored most obviously by
a multifarious conception of
subject matter. Darts are
great, he enthuses. Pubs,
jungles, youth club, St
Sebastian, Montmartre, Henri
Fuseli who said about a
students drawing in the Royal
Academy, It is bad, take it
into the fields and shoot it,
theres a good boy.
If youre having issues with
Gotteliers handiwork, hes
second-guessed you. Elsewhere
in the exhibition is a micro-
library of books themed around
jungles authors range from
Graham Greene to Alain Robbe-
Grillet, Edgar Rice Burroughs
to William S. Burroughs
chosen by artist/novelist
Tom McCarthy, and perched on
a shelf made by artist Brian
Griffiths. The connection
is clear: sending viewers
into a trackless forest of
questions about intention,
quality and responsibility
is just what Gottelier does
so well. Martin Herbert
L U K E G O T T E L I E R
2 0 A P R I L 2 0 M A Y
K A T E M A C G A R R Y , L O N D O N
W W W . K A T E M A C G A R R Y . C O M
DISPATCHES
OPENING TIME:
LUKE GOTTELIER
A quick precis of Luke
Gotteliers career suggests
an artist who cant sit still.
A few years ago he quit making
serio-comic photographs
of faux landscapes constructed
from rubbish and turned
his hand to painting,
establishing an ambiguously
expressive style (maybe
tongue-in-cheek, he says) and
a gleefully various approach
to subject matter that
encompassed self-regarding
rabbits, wobbly desserts and
animated springs. Hes now
seemingly shape-shifted again.
The British artists latest
show at Kate MacGarry revolves
around black paintings, some
bearing cartoonish imagery
in white (as if scrawled
on a blackboard): in Penis
Bungalow (2006), the eponymous
edifice emerges from a comical
figures cock. Each canvas is
fringed with darts.
Gottelier, who titled a 2003
painting Pork Scratchings,
clearly enjoys taproom
pleasures, or just plain
debased ones.
COME TOGETHER:
SOCIETE ANONYME
Societe anonyme, or SA, is the French
equivalent of Incorporated, or Inc.
In art parlance, however, the term
is the intellectual property of
Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Katherine
Dreier, who in 1920 stuck the English
abbreviation to the end of the legal
term, creating not just a typically
tiresome Dada word game but New Yorks
first modern art museum, Socit
Anonyme, Inc., a hyperactive arts
organisation with an almost evangelical
mandate to introduce the international
avant-garde to America.
Now an even more ambitious version has
established itself in the north of
Paris. Led by Thomas Boutoux, Natasa
Petresin and Franois Piron, the new
Socit Anonyme doesnt so much seek to
introduce progressive art practices to
the Parisian public as foster a global
reawakening of the avant-garde. Inspired
by the practices of the art groups
invited to participate 16Beaver,
Erick Beltran, b_books, Chto delat?,
among five others Socit Anonyme
is a collective of collectives, a Petri
dish of art and activism in which
transnational and transdisciplinary
ideas are encouraged to spontaneously
cross-breed and pollinate or combust.
Held in the bright, glassed-in space
of Le Plateau, their first vnement
displays the artists and activists
themselves, and the processes that
lead to their collaborative creations:
research, discussions, brainstorming,
plus a few dinner parties and some
general hanging-out. Christopher Mooney
S O C I E T E A N O N Y M E , T O 1 3 M A Y
L E P L A T E A U ( F R A C I L E - D E - F R A N C E ) ,
P A R I S , W W W . F R A C I D F - L E P L A T E A U . C O M Z
Chto delat?, Negation of Negation, 2005 (installation view: Ivan Dougherty
Gallery, Sydney). Photo: Dmitry Vilensky. Courtesy the artist
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p 32-40 Dispatches AR Apr07.indd32 32 3/3/07 04:46:06
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SWING-OUT SISTERS: WACK! ART
AND THE FEMINIST REVOLUTION
WACK!, opening at MOCA LA this month,
examines the feminist movement in the
1970s and the proliferation of its
influences on subsequent generations
of women artists from very different
historical, political, cultural and
social contexts. Representing the work
of 119 artists from 21 countries, this
juggernaut of diversity celebrates the
dynamic and unruly breadth of the art
being made by women in the wake of a
global revolution of ideas about feminine
identity. The intense performance-
based installation and sculptural work
of Marina Abramovic, Yoko Ono and Joan
Jonas, as well as the extreme example
of Orlans repeated plastic surgeries,
all address the physical imperatives
of inhabiting a womans body. The
reassignment of historical perspectives
is shared in the photography of Eleanor
Antin, Cindy Sherman and Martha Rosler,
and in the stridently confrontational
images and writings of VALIE EXPORT and
Valerie Solanas (of 1996s I Shot Andy
Warhol fame). Painters Alice Neel and Jay
DeFeo each mounted a separate assault on
the male-dominated world of Modernism, as
have both Louise Bourgeois and Annette
Messager in their elaborately crafted
and emotionally charged sculptural
objects and installations. Judith Bacas
historical murals and the revitalisation
and recontextualisation in the mixed-
media works of both Faith Ringgold and
Betye Saar all build from the perspective
of the artists ethnic heritages
in conjunction with their gender.
If there is one single idea to take
away from WACK! it is simply that women
artists, like all artists, respond to
their situations as fiercely independent
individuals. Shana Nys Dambrot
W A C K ! A R T A N D T H E F E M I N I S T
R E V O L U T I O N , T O 1 6 J U L Y A T M O C A ,
L O S A N G E L E S , W W W . M O C A . O R G
WHAT HE LOVED:
DEAN SAMESHIMA
Best-known for his photographic
works documenting the gay
club scene in Silverlake, LA
artist Dean Sameshima this
month presents a solo show of
new silk-screen paintings at
Peres Projects, Berlin. Titled
Numbers, the show comprises
a series of dot paintings
delicate, wispy forms whose
shapes are outlined by small
numbered dots. The title is
taken from John Rechys 1967
novel of the same name, in
which the main character
revisits Los Angeles to trace
his sexual past. Dispensing
with the names of former
lovers, the protagonist opts
for an impersonal cataloguing
system, in which each
encounter is referenced by a
number.
Including instructions telling
you where your pen should
start, Sameshimas paintings
recall a childs connect-the-
dots exercise. But as titles
such as Star-Fucker Sucker
(2006) suggest, the subject
matter is far from childish.
If you were to connect the
dots, Sameshima says, an
erotic image would emerge:
The source material comes
from rare issues of Drummer
magazine [a gay US title]
rare in the sense that they
only published a handful of
these erotic connect-the-dots
in the late 1970s and 80s.
The works are also colour-
coded to reflect the artists
own sexual preferences
according to the hanky
code, a signalling system
developed among gay men in
the 1970s that deployed
coloured handkerchiefs
to communicate different
interests. Mourning the loss
of this coded language,
Sameshimas work communicates
a personal nostalgia for these
disappearing aspects of gay
culture. Laura Allsop
D E A N S A M E S H I M A : N U M B E R S
T O 2 1 A P R I L , P E R E S
P R O J E C T S , B E R L I N
W W W . P E R E S P R O J E C T S . C O M
Katharina Sieverding, Transformer (detail), 1973.
Photo: Klaus Mettig. the artist.
C
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p 32-40 Dispatches AR Apr07.indd34 34 3/3/07 04:46:14
18th April 4th May 2007
Joumana
Mourad
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Mourads viewpoint is an
intoxicating close-up, her
colours radiant, almost
phosphorescent, her work...
homing in on the sexual
core of the bloom.
Jane Sellars
Quote: Ar ti st s and I l l ustrator s. Sept 1999.
DISPATCHES
ART, MUSIC, ARCHITECTURE, FILM, SHOPPING, NEWS AND THINGS TO MAKE AND DO ART, MUSIC, ARCHITECT
ARTREVIEW
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3
The Glass Track, 2005 (installation view, BroFriedrich,
Berlin), sound installation, 10 min loop
HER NOISE: SUSAN PHILIPSZ
Susan Philipsz relishes the directness,
the intimacy, of sound. Music, she
notes in a statement on her work, can
transport you to another place and time,
to some far off distant land, without
having to leave your room. However,
hearing someone singing privately can
have the opposite effect. It can heighten
ones sense of self while making you
more aware of the place youre in.
Philipsz has used this quality of the
unaccompanied voice to startling effect
in some unlikely places. She cranks up
the impact by appropriating pop music
with strong cultural resonance.
In Filter (2004), for example, shoppers
in East London heard her sing Radioheads
Airbag (1997) over a supermarket PA
system. Philipsz throws a spotlight on
a paradox in popular culture: what is on
the one hand shared by millions can at
the same time be a completely individual
experience.
Her first installation in Japan, Did I
Dream You Dreamed About Me (2007), is at
the Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo, until 14
April. In it, she marries Tim Buckleys
Song to the Siren (1968) with the clear,
ringing tones of a vibraphone. The
importance Philipsz attaches to location
is clear in her choice of instrument for
the Mizuma site. The vibraphone recalls
the temple bells and wind chimes that
provide a constant reminder, amid the
noise and bustle of twenty-first-century
Japan, of the countrys traditions.
Theres also the added emotional charge
of a solitary voice, untrained and
ordinary. David Shariatmadari
S U S A N P H I L I P S Z : D I D I D R E A M
Y O U D R E A M E D A B O U T M E , T O 1 4 A P R I L
M I Z U M A A R T G A L L E R Y , T O K Y O
W W W . M I Z U M A - A R T . C O . J P
BUY IN, SELL OUT:
JUDE TALLICHET
It is safe to say that
consumption is a concept
that deserves, or rather
demands, some sort of renewed
critical treatment at the
moment. Within popular
political discourse, the
debates over climate change,
energy and the increasing gap
between not just the rich and
the poor but the super-rich
and the (disappearing) middle-
class could benefit from a
deeper historical and material
understanding of how (dare
I say the dialectics of?)
consumption has come to fuel
the engine of capital.
Lucky for us, then, that Jude
Tallichets newest show at
Sara Meltzer Gallery offers
the willing (and hopefully
able) critic, theorist or
historian a perfect occasion
to open a few notebooks
and begin spilling some
ink. For the last few years
Tallichet has left behind
her fascination with noisy
architectural icons and opted
for bronzing some rather
innocuous objects: gas cans
and compression tanks, a hay
bale, fluorescent lightbulbs
and, new for this show, a
table covered with what the
artist calls a fossilised
feast and a corner-stack
of muffins. Such material
transformations recall
certain Fluxus productions
by Robert Watts (who was
more partial to chrome) and
other, more-visible art
historical icons (corner
pieces by Roberts Morris
and Smithson; Dan Flavin
following Vladimir Tatlin).
As an artist of the late
1950s and 60s, Watts targeted
the commodity object and
its associated new culture
of consumerism: surely a
first stop on the track of
what we might as well call
consumption theory. Working
much further on within that
same historical trajectory,
Tallichet expands the horizon
to include the tricky idea
of commoditisation and the
excesses (or is it scarcity?)
that it inevitably breeds.
Jonathan T.D. Neil
J U D E T A L L I C H E T : S A V E I T
F O R M E , T O 2 8 A P R I L , S A R A
M E L T Z E R G A L L E R Y , N E W Y O R K
W W W . S A R A M E L T Z E R G A L L E R Y . C O M
p 32-40 Dispatches AR Apr07.indd36 36 3/3/07 04:46:25
Martin Summers Ad AR Apr07 21/2/07 22:40 Page 1
01
Art in Your Hand, a new
initiative from the Arts
Council England, will give
everyone the opportunity
to put a limited-edition
artwork in their pocket,
for free. Launching at
the end of March, this
is a series of specially
commissioned travel wallets
designed by a slate of
creative types from across
the art spectrum. Artists
contributing include
Grizedale Arts director
Adam Sutherland, German
artist Antje Schiffers and
post-punk dance legend
Michael Clark. Being
distributed at travel
venues across the land,
these will be an on-hand
reminder to think beyond
the everyday.
02
Photographys status in
the auction stakes has
evolved faster than a
Google image search in
recent years, and this
decidedly high end
sale titled Exceptional
Photographs at Phillips
de Pury in New York on
24 April is further
proof of the boom. Works
going under the hammer
evidence photographys
place in the history of
twentieth-century art.
They include Chuck Closes
Self-Portrait Maquette
from 1977 (pictured); an
early example of the use
of gridlines he has so
famously developed
in painting.
WWW.PHILLIPSDEPURY.COM
03
For his first show in
Los Angeles in more than
ten years, Superstition,
at Gagosian until 5 April,
Damien Hirst, the big gun
of British art, has pursued
his most fragile motif:
the butterfly. While his
paintings for the show
are inspired by stained-
glass windows, other items
created especially for
this show take a more
humble form. In addition
to limited-edition prints
and plates, this T-shirt
in delicate pink is as
pretty as a picture,
only more affordable.
WWW.GAGOSIAN.COM
04
Paul Cocksedges
fabulously phallic Light
As Air, a limited-
edition range of lighting
sculptures, grew out of
his experiences working
with blown glass. Applying
the same techniques to
PVC plastic, he has
produced objects that look
like a hybrid of underwater
sea creatures and the wet
clay creations in that
saucy potters-wheel scene
from the movie Ghost.
Cocksedges sculptures
have a super-high-gloss
finish and conceal an LED
lighting source, spraying
light from mouth-like
openings according to
three settings: on, off
or breathing.
WWW.PAULCOCKSEDGE.CO.UK
01
04
ARTREVIEW
5 9 0 1 , 2 0 0
CONSUMED
The pick of this months offerings
from shops, galleries and museums
words JESSICA PRITTY, LAURA ALLSOP & JAMES POND
DISPATCHES
02
$ 1 8 0 , 0 0 0 $ 2 5 0 , 0 0 0
F R E E
03
$ 6 0
p 38-39 Consumed AR Apr07.indd 2 7/3/07 17:15:09
06
The Dsseldorf Contemporary
Art Fair makes its debut
this month. In the
overheated world of the
art fair, DC boasts a
slew of younger galleries
in attendance, including
Londons Laura Bartlett,
Fred London and Alexandre
Pollazzon, who will be
showing work by Glasgow
artist Kevin Hutcheson
(pictured); and bigger
names like Alison Jacques
and Max Wigram, Pariss
Cosmic gallery, New Yorks
Casey Kaplan, Team gallery,
The Project and Parkers
Box, all suggesting that
this new arrival is being
taken very seriously by the
international artworld.
WWW.DC-FAIR.DE
06
05
05
This month hordes of
designers from around the
world will descend on Milan
for the annual Furniture
Fair. Highlights include
the exhibition Great
Brits: Ingenious Therapies.
Representing the best of a
new generation of homegrown
design talent, Peter
Marigold, Hiroko Shiratori,
&made, Eelko Moorer and
Nadine Jarvis will all
be presenting work. From
Marigolds solutions to the
demands of transitional
contemporary living
(pictured), to Shiratoris
interest in ancient
Japanese stories, these are
works that offer escapism
and encourage interaction.
WWW.BRITISHCOUNCIL.ORG
WWW.COSMIT.IT
08
For his ongoing Look at
Your Walls series, shown at
Barry Friedmans stand at
last years Design Miami,
artist Christopher Pearson
takes existing wallpaper
designs and animates
them in uncanny digital
projections. Using classic
designs such as William
Morriss Willow Boughs (1887;
pictured), Pearson weaves
mini-narratives out of his
projections, allowing,
for example, Morriss
boughs to grow and spread.
Hickory Landscape (2004),
a projection of a pastoral
scene in which houses and
churches bob up and down,
is possibly how an opium-
fuelled Victorian would
have viewed rural England.
WWW.LOOKATYOURWALLS.COM
07
1 , 0 9 5
4 8 P E R W E D G E
08
P R I C E O N A P P L I C A T I O N
9 5 0
07
Today Surrealism is
ingrained on our popular
visual culture. Surreal
Things, a major exhibition
at Londons V&A, explores
the far-reaching impact
the movement has had on
the world. While the show
promises more than 300
exhibits, including the
work of Salvador Dal,
Ren Magritte and Elsa
Schiaparelli, the V&A shop
is set to be stocked full
of surreal things. Watch
out for Frederick Kieslers
intriguing chair designs:
the multifunctioning
Correalistic Rocker
(pictured) and Correalistic
Instrument (both 1942) that
act as chair, table or
sculpture.
WWW.VAM.AC.UK
p 38-39 Consumed AR Apr07.indd 3 7/3/07 17:15:17
DISPATCHES
penetrating insight into
the human condition. His
recent works, however, are
often culled from scenes and
gatherings of family and
friends, depicted with an
inherent political slant and
acutely observed details.
They capture the quirks and
transitional moments of an
almost stereotypical African-
American suburban existence.
The loose, buttery feel of
the oil paint and emotional
rawness adds an anything-can-
happen quality to Taylors
work. Some surface areas
are unfinished or completed
with a swipe or dribble of
paint, in a crude, almost
folk-art approach. His strong
painterly compositions and
unabashedly optimistic
Caribbean-influenced use of
colour notwithstanding, the
artist seems to hint at darker
messages. Tasered (2005),
for example, depicts a guy
whom Taylor met in an alley
who had been shot with a Taser
stun gun a chance encounter
that had a profound impact on
the artist. Emma Gray
H E N R Y T A Y L O R : S I S A N D
B R A , 1 1 A P R I L 1 J U L Y
S T U D I O M U S E U M I N H A R L E M ,
N E W Y O R K
W W W . S T U D I O M U S E U M . O R G
OH BROTHER: HENRY
TAYLOR
Los Angeles artist Henry
Taylors North American solo
museum debut, Sis and Bra, at
the Studio Museum in Harlem
this month, comprises ten
portrait paintings of what
Taylor refers to as loved
ones in the case of the
2004 title work, his sister
and brother. Other paintings
reveal a looser sense of
what bra means to Taylor,
with titles such as Fatty
(2006), Low Ride (Free 99)
(2004) and Barbeque (2006),
which features an image of
the artists own head on
a barbecue grill. Taylors
choice of subjects is simple:
I paint those subjects I have
love and sympathy for.
Before committing himself
to art, Taylor studied
journalism, but realised
it wasnt the right way
for me to tell stories, he
says. He was homeless for a
stint, but went on to work as
a psychiatric technician at
Camarillo State Hospital for
a decade before enrolling at
CalArts in his late thirties.
Consequently he approaches
painting with a reporters
eye, combined with a
ART, MUSIC, ARCHITECTURE, FILM, SHOPPING, NEWS AND THINGS TO MAKE AND DO ART, MUSIC, ARCHITECT
KA-POW!: CULT FICTION:
ART & COMICS
Contemporary art has always had a
love affair with comics; think Roy
Lichtenstein or Philip Guston, Raymond
Pettibon, Takashi Murakami and Marcel
Dzama. Comic artists, for their part,
have been lauded as some of the great
visual chroniclers of their times,
luminaries such as Robert Crumb, Herg
or Alan Moore. Yet contemporary art is
now seen as the epitome of cultural
cool, while comics are always seen as,
well, just a bit geeky.
Perhaps to redress this lazy imbalance,
Cult Fiction: Art & Comics, an extensive
Hayward Gallery touring exhibition,
charts the fertile common culture of two
genres that are rarely shown in the same
context, showcasing artists whose work
is steeped in the sensibility of
comicdom Dzama and Pettibon are there,
so too younger artists such as Kerry
James Marshall, Laylah Ali and Paul
McDevitt. Alongside these are the
leading lights of comic art itself
Frances experimental Killoffer,
Canadian Julie Doucet and the deranged
satire of American Travis Millard.
Together they define a level of visual
and conceptual ambition that suggests
that while art and comics are too often
seen apart, they are driven by the same
quizzical, anarchic enthusiasm for
ordinary (and not-so-ordinary) life.
J.J. Charlesworth
C U L T F I C T I O N : A R T & C O M I C S
N E W A R T G A L L E R Y , W A L S A L L , 4 M A Y
1 J U L Y , T O U R I N G T H E U K I N T O 2 0 0 8
W W W . H A Y W A R D G A L L E R Y . O R G . U K
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p 32-40 Dispatches AR Apr07.indd40 40 3/3/07 04:46:32
Vitra Ad AR Apr07 20/2/07 23:06 Page 1
Hangar Biocca Ad AR Apr07 28/2/07 00:08 Page 1
Priska Ad AR Apr07 24/2/07 03:43 Page 1
DISPATCHES
HITECTURE, FILM, SHOPPING, NEWS AND THINGS TO MAKE AND DO ART, MUSIC, ARCHITECTURE, FI
EASTERN PROMISE:
MADE IN CHINA
Chinese art is hot and its big.
Its a sign of the times, then, that
the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
in Copenhagen, one of Denmarks most
prestigious museums, has dedicated
itself to surveying this efflorescence
of activity. The curator, Anders Kold,
has selected around a hundred works from
the New York-based Estella Collection,
a huge private holding of contemporary
Chinese art, in an attempt to provide
a considered introduction to the subject.
As he notes, Westerners tend to interpret
contemporary Chinese works through the
filters of genres that we recognise from
the European avant-garde, or in terms of
traditional Chinese art. Both approaches
are flawed. Unlike the Japanese,
Chinese art has developed in relative
independence from the Western avant-
gardes. Furthermore, the transmission
of traditional Chinese arts was so
disrupted by the Cultural Revolution
that the contemporary connection to them
is tenuous. If there is a leitmotif to
be found, its in corporeality, the
vulnerable integrity of the human body.
With its mutant genres ranging from
cynical realism to political
pop, Chinese art proffers instant
gratification for the enchanted consumer
and disillusioned revolutionary alike.
In the floating world of the newly
capitalist megacities of Shanghai,
Guangzhou and Beijing, its the body of
the individual that is both subject and
object of political and economic forces
too vast to be domesticated. Adam Jasper
M A D E I N C H I N A , T O 5 A U G U S T ,
L O U I S I A N A M U S E U M O F M O D E R N A R T ,
C O P E N H A G E N , W W W . L O U I S I A N A . D K
Z
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Up next is Time Difference,
an exhibition of new work
by Chinese and US sculptors
and painters that focuses
specifically on the Beijing
and LA artworlds. Plans are
to show works on a rotating
basis throughout the year,
the criteria being neither
the exhibition of recent
acquisitions nor big names
exclusively, but rather a
process of discovery for
Frank Cohen and for visitors
to his new space. Initial
Access joins International
Project Space, the Walsall
Gallery, Ikon and the just-
opened Pop Art wing of the
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
as appealing contemporary art
destinations in the Midlands.
Call it the revenge of
the regional art centres.
David Terrien
T I M E D I F F E R E N C E : N E W A R T
F R O M T H E U S A N D C H I N A
T O 2 6 J U L Y , I N I T I A L
A C C E S S , W O L V E R H A M P T O N
W W W . I N I T I A L A C C E S S . C O . U K
HOME GROUND:
FRANK COHEN
What if you built a museum
and no one came? Frank Cohen
doesnt seem like the kind of
person who suffers from doubt,
so if this thought crossed
his mind as he was putting
together plans for Initial
Access, it probably sounded
more like a dare.
Located in two adjoining
metal boxes in an utterly
unprepossessing industrial
park not far from
Wolverhampton (think MoMA
Queens on a West Midlands
scale and minus MoMA), Initial
Access is, as the name says,
a place where Cohen can
begin showing works from his
vast collection, one of the
largest private contemporary
art collections in Britain.
The space opened in January
with Design for Living, an
exhibition of some 20 works
of roughly overlapping art,
architecture and design
Zaha Hadids Aqua Table
(2005), two Campana brothers
chairs, several paintings by
Carol Rhodes and Ian Monroes
quietly stunning Nocturne
Collided (2003), for example
unassumingly displayed in
these twin unadorned spaces.
Installation view, Design for Living,
Initial Access, Wolverhampton
ARTREVIEW
p 44 Dispatches AR Apr07.indd 44 6/3/07 22:05:21
Forum Gallery Ad AR Apr07 21/2/07 22:32 Page 1
DISPATCHES
Was it my imagination, or did
Gilbert & George look a little frail
at the opening of their Tate Modern
show, Major Exhibition? The pair,
dressed in identical fawn suits, seemed
somehow smaller than usual. Perhaps
it was because they were surrounded
by outsize images of themselves, those
hundreds of photographic Gilbert &
Georges spawned by four decades of
practice. Or maybe it was that even
their larger-than-life doppelgngers
were dwarfed by the enormity of the
show as a whole: 200 works, few smaller
than wall-size, occupying an entire
floor of Tate Modern.
Tate Modern lends itself to words
like entire. You can probably reel
off the statistics yourself nine
lifts, six escalators, 375,000 square
feet of floor space but nothing quite
prepares you for the cavernousness of
Herzog & de Meurons building, its
unrelenting bigness. Unusually, this
served G&G pretty well. Their work,
gridded and signed, has always been
about cities, about London. And here
they were with their own chunk of it,
a gallery bigger than the street they
live in; art, volumetrically at least,
imitated by life.
You might say, Tate Modern-wise, that
this was an exhibition waiting to
happen; that no show before or since
has felt so in-tune with the gallerys
urban vastness. And youd be right.
Gilbert & Georges frailness in the
face of their works enormity suddenly
explains something about their 40-
year project: that they have, all this
while, been building a private city
as a bulwark against the one in which
they live. Without the hugeness of the
Tates level four, this revelation
would have been lost; a good example
of what the right show in the right
place can do.
But you also wonder if Major Exhibition
isnt something of a self-fulfilling
prophecy. Since Tate Modern opened
in May 2000, contemporary British art
has been under pressure to big up.
Seven years ago, there was a deal of
agitation at the division of the Tates
into Modern and British, the implication
being that you could be one or the other
but not both. In the event, the split
has been along size lines.
Turner Prize contestants apart, it
is quiet young artists like Ian Kaier
who works on a small scale and in
fugitive materials such as history and
fluff who have tended to be given
shows at Tate Britain. Artists like
Gilbert & George big, brash, famous,
shocking, capable of filling rooms the
size of small counties have tended
to end up at Tate Modern. And there is
no doubt which of the galleries most
new artists would prefer to be in,
and what they have to do, size-wise,
to get there.
Cynical observers might suggest that
this cult of the big has something
to do with the antler-locking of those
two alpha art-males, Nicholas Serota
and Charles Saatchi. It was Saatchi
who encouraged Damien Hirsts descent
into largeness, until Hirsts Hymn
(1996) outgrew the old Saatchi Gallery
and Hirst outgrew Charles Saatchi.
Stung, Serotas nemesis moved into
bigger premises, which happened to
be in Tate Moderns Bankside manor;
at which point, the Battle of the
Giantists commenced.
Its outcome remains to be seen,
although the new, more meditative
mood in British art may be prompted
in part by a disquiet at the Tates
steroidal imperative. The trouble
is that quiet artists like Kaier would
be lost in the gallerys vastness:
even robust oldies like Rachel
Whiteread have been swallowed up by it.
And even such warhorses as Gilbert &
George, dwarfed by their own enormity.
TALES FROM THE CITY: London
HITECTURE, FILM, SHOPPING, NEWS AND THINGS TO MAKE AND DO ART, MUSIC, ARCHITECTURE, FI
Gilbert & Georges
frailness in the
face of their works
enormity explains
something about their
project: that they
have been building
a private city as a
bulwark against the
one in which they live
words CHARLES DARWENT
ARTREVIEW
p 46 Dispatches AR Apr07.indd 46 28/2/07 02:59:05
Bose Pacia Ad AR Apr07 27/2/07 00:25 Page 1
DISPATCHES
Floodwall (2007), a collection of
more than 600 dresser drawers salvaged
from post-Katrina New Orleans, was
installed at the beginning of January
in Manhattans Liberty Street Bridge,
across from the World Trade Center
site. Its a poignant memorial, made
all the more powerful by its proximity
to that other far less natural
disaster, which is still in desperate
need of its own work of mourning.
Last autumn, to secure funding for
the project, which is sponsored in part
by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
(LMCC), artist Jana Napoli created a
prototype of Floodwall by mounting
nearly 50 individual drawers to a
wall in a grid pattern. When another
artist, Sook Jin Jo, saw photographs
of Napolis prototype in November 2006,
she felt a shudder of recognition. In
1997 Sook Jin had made a very similar
work, called Resurrection II, also
composed of about 50 drawers arranged
in a grid pattern on a wall, a piece
that was slated for inclusion this
winter and spring in an exhibition of
the artists work at 125 Maiden Lane,
another LMCC - associated venue.
One would hope that these kinds of
repetitions within the artworld could
be seized upon as opportunities: to
debate the concept of originality,
to ponder the flexibility of meaning,
to wonder if these are not the cases
we need in order to unravel questions
of aesthetic discovery. Sadly, what
we get in turn is something like
the social equivalent of Murphys
Law: given the opportunity to behave
badly, people generally will.
After seeing the photographs of
Napolis prototype, Sook Jin dispatched
a letter to Napoli and to the arm of
the World Financial Center overseeing
the project, claiming that the idea for
the collection of drawers had clearly
come from Sook Jin, given Resurrection
IIs chronological precedence. Further
letters demanded that Napoli recognise
Sook Jins project as the intellectual
and aesthetic inspiration for
Floodwall. To support her claim,
Sook Jin notes that, prior to the
Floodwall project, Ms. Napoli has
never used found objects in her work.
From the other direction, Resurrection
II was excluded from the Maiden
Lane exhibition after LMCC president
Tom Healy expressed concern about
the controversy between the
two projects (and, we might assume,
LMCCs connection to both).
The curator, Elisabeth Akkerman,
was advised that the project could
go in another space, the exhibition
could be postponed or the project
could be pulled. Since the invitations
had already gone out, the only
choice was to pull Resurrection II.
Given that the two projects are
light years away from one another
in terms of artistic meaning (one,
a work of mourning and memorialisation;
the other, a study of personal
symbolism), Sook Jins claim to
intellectual and aesthetic precedence
would seem absurd. Remember, too,
that Sook Jin is laying claim to
configurations of found objects;
this is the realm of the readymade,
the form of which lays waste to the
very claim of originality.
No matter how misguided Sook Jin
Jo may be in her quest, however,
nothing is more disappointing than the
decision to take her work out of 125
Maiden Lane. For an organisation that
dedicates itself so tirelessly to the
promotion of public art projects and
the support of independent artists,
LMCCs only realistic choice given
to Akkerman comes over as cravenly.
As the novelist Jonathan Lethem
recently plagiarised in a Harpers
essay on the inherence of appropriation
to artistic creation, art must be
thought of as a gift, but artists and
writers too often subscribe to implicit
claims of originality that do injury
to [this truth]. And we too often,
as hucksters and bean counters in
the tiny enterprises of our selves,
act to spite the gift portion of
our privileged roles If we devalue
and obscure the gift-economy function
of our art practices, we turn
our works into nothing more than
advertisements for themselves.
No truer words were ever borrowed.
TALES FROM THE CITY: New York
HITECTURE, FILM, SHOPPING, NEWS AND THINGS TO MAKE AND DO ART, MUSIC, ARCHITECTURE, FI
One would hope that these
kinds of repetitions within
the artworld could be seized
upon as opportunities
words JONATHAN T.D. NEIL
ARTREVIEW
p 48 Dispatches AR Apr07.indd 48 3/3/07 04:53:49
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p 54-61 Tim Hawkinson AR Apr07.i54 54 28/2/07 03:34:01
words DOUG HARVEY
photography TODD COLE
GARGANTUA
TIM
HAWKINSON
A Carnivalesque Odyssey from Geekshow to Freakshow
p 54-61 Tim Hawkinson AR Apr07.i55 55 5/3/07 12:33:46
TIM HAWKINSON IS AN ANOMALY IN THE LA ARTWORLD. Hes never
taught at any of the dozen or so post-secondary institutions that dot
the LA-LA-landscape, hes been virtually ignored by the trendiest
museums (and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art only got
around to hosting his 2005 mid-career survey after Lawrence Rinder
at the Whitney put it together), and although hes known for the
tremendous quantity and evident work-intensity of his artistic output,
he rarely outsources it to the army of professional fabricators and artists
assistants that actually produce most of the work in this most industrial
of cultural communities.
Hawkinsons reputation was, in fact, cobbled together from
the detritus of industries far removed, in spirit at least, from the
citys state-of-the-art movie-magic prop houses and digital-reality
simulators. Wandering around the crumbling downtown garment
district surrounding the small converted warehouse space he shared
with painter-partner Patty Wickman for a dozen years, the artist would
often scavenge the basic materials of his art from the dumpsters
outside wholesale distributors and sweatshops fabric swatches,
outsize cardboard tubes, water jugs, bubble wrap supplementing
them with components from thrift-store as-is yards or parking-lot
swap meets.
Over the last couple of years, as Hawkinsons reputation has
mushroomed exponentially, his life and practice have been radically
altered, not least by his and Wickmans relocation studios included
to the pastoral suburb of Altadena (the birth of their daughter,
Hawkinsons 2005 Whitney retrospective, the new allegiance with Pace
Wildenstein and the delay-plagued completion of his most recent
major work Bear, 2005, a 180-ton teddy bear assembled at UC San
Diego from eight enormous uncarved granite boulders might have
had some impact as well).
Since the dedication of Bear, Hawkinson has pretty much
been lying low, but now all of a sudden hes everywhere. His epic
optical player-piano/bagpipe hybrid (and largest indoor sculpture
yet), Uberorgan (2001), is finally making its West Coast debut, at
no less lofty a venue than the entrance hall of the Getty Museum.
Simultaneously, the Getty will be showing four newly commissioned
animal-themed works by Hawkinson in a precedent-setting (and in
the wake of recent institutional scandals and upheavals, reputation-
bolstering) exhibition of contemporary art that the Getty intends as
the first of many.
Meanwhile, in New York, Hawkinsons year-postponed Pace
Wildenstein debut is finally happening opening on May Day, doubly
appropriate for Hawkinsons celebration of laborious craft and the
pagan carnivalesque disorderings of his spectacular installations. As
if that werent enough, collector/curator Tim Nyes project space,
NYEHAUS, will be hosting a concurrent nautical-themed selection
from Hawkinsons oeuvre.
This last, typically idiosyncratic subgenre of Hawkinsons
work is a popular one critics and public alike have singled out the
elaborately rigged H.M.S.O. (1995) and Das Tannenboot (1994) for
extensive positive scrutiny. Among the featured works at NYEHAUS
will be Crows Nest (1998) an actual-size pastel-on-craft-paper
rubbing made from the artists since-dismantled Altadena backyard
deck and hot tub reconfigured to resemble a three-masted sailing
vessel. Crows Nest was one of several major works that were added
to LACMAs superior (due in no small part to Hawkinsons more
hands-on participation in the exhibition design) version of the Whitney
survey. The NYEHAUS installation which also includes a whistling
skeleton made from rawhide doggy treats and a mermaid fin cast from
the negative space between the artists legs promises to possess a
sort of mutant-theme-park vibe as if Bruce Nauman had redesigned
Disneylands (pre-Johnny Depp) Pirates of the Caribbean.
Nauman is one of the handful of geniuses alongside
Leonardo, Gyro Gearloose and Mr Wizard to whom Hawkinson
has been compared in print. While this geekish aura, along with the
artists resistance to market-friendly superficial repetition, have slowed
his broader recognition as a major talent, the artworld has experienced
something of an elephant-in-the-room awakening since the Whitney
preceding, facing and all overleaf pages:
Following a move from downtown LA to the suburb of Altadena, and a hiatus from
the studio, Tim Hawkinson returns to work, here surrounded by half-completed
projects including a buckskin outt for a sensory-homunculus scout, giant Klein bottle
and slide-whistle player
ARTREVIEW
FEATURE TIM HAWKINSON
WANDERING AROUND THE CRUMBLING
DOWNTOWN GARMENT DISTRICT,
THE ARTIST WOULD OFTEN SCAVENGE
THE BASIC MATERIALS OF HIS
ART FROM THE DUMPSTERS OUTSIDE
WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTORS AND
SWEATSHOPS
>
p 54-61 Tim Hawkinson AR Apr07.i56 56 5/3/07 12:33:54
p 54-61 Tim Hawkinson AR Apr07.i57 57 28/2/07 03:34:18
p 54-61 Tim Hawkinson AR Apr07.i58 58 28/2/07 03:35:05
FEATURE TIM HAWKINSON
ARTREVIEW
p 54-61 Tim Hawkinson AR Apr07.i59 59 28/2/07 03:35:36
p 54-61 Tim Hawkinson AR Apr07.i60 60 28/2/07 03:35:41
show. When I recently visited Hawkinson in his clean, well-lit studio,
I wondered if the newfound artworld currency (and concomitant
pressure to produce), combined with physical removal from the fecund
gutters of 12th Street, might have streamlined the look and feel of his
latest work.
I neednt have worried. The first thing encountered on entry was
an enormous distorted headless figurative sculpture pieced together
from grubby crumpled cardboard boxes. Its a sensory-homunculus
buckskin outfit for a sensory-homunculus scout, offered the artist,
helpfully. For the uninitiated, a sensory homunculus is a human figure
whose body parts are scaled in direct proportion to the amount of
space theyre accorded in the somatosensory cortex of the brain: the
more sensitive, the bigger the body part. With its informational moir
of arbitrarily cross-plotted patterns, its a natural for Hawkinson, and
unsurprisingly is a recurring motif in his work.
I started this downtown. I did a hand, and brought these boxes
with me. I kept seeing these piles of boxes they ship the fabric in Im
not sure if theyre reused, but theyre all taped up and mushed and
they really do start looking like leather or some kind of skin. Seeing that
made me want to make something buckskinny. As is often the case,
the result is a cartoonish sort of monstrosity, like a creature out of some
pot-addled 1970s horror flick Garbed only in cardboard buckskin
and doomed to wander the earth for his barbarous treatment of the
American Indian peoples, this time Sensory Homunculus Scout is
hunting for racist scalps!!!
The animal-themed work at the Getty entitled .,-, after
the animal-themed hallucinations associated with delirium tremens
has a couple of freakish hybrids as well: a life-size bat made from twist
ties and plastic bags from electronics hobbyist store Radio Shack, an
elaborately worked over large-scale ink drawing that is simultaneously
a landscape and a dragon, a large photo-collage of an octopus made
from images of the artists mouth and a brontosaurus spine made from
dozens of tiny seated figures gripping oars.
But many of the new pieces are surprisingly serene a giant
Klein bottle (a 4-dimensional mathematical conundrum related to the
Mbius strip) bound for the Pace Wildenstein show is constructed
from bamboo and motorised on twin axes like a giant 3-dimensional
screen saver. Then I built a shell around half of it and then took it off and
cut it into concentric rings and flattened it down so it retained all those
angles I think of it as a Fresnel lens Klein bottle. Knitted together with
toothpicks.
Nearby are several objects featuring an organically fractal
surface made from a bubble-like skein of paint. The first is a giant
backlit egg shape: I guess youd call it a painting. I make the netting by
taking contact adhesive and just painting it on a piece of poly tarping,
and when it dries I rub it and it sort of wads up on itself and these holes
break open and it creates this pattern, then I build it up with paint to
give it a bit of strength and now Im papier-mching it. The other
example is a portal-like soft rectangle, whose contact adhesive netting
has sprouted numerous tumorous nodules. At first I thought they were
eggs, comments the artist, but theyre turning into walnuts.
The other half-constructed anomalies a papier-mch-
covered tiki water-jug totem pole that may spout fire, an elaborate
slide-whistle player triggered by a stream of ant-like metal beads that
creep across the surface of a tree limb, a giant silver quilt depicting
the heavily creased sole of Hawkinsons foot, a self-similar geometric
pattern made from photographs of Kleenex sticking out from
the top of the box (and eerily resembling the veterans graveyard
adjoining the artists alma mater UCLA) and more make it clear
that in spite of his success and time away from the studio, Hawkinson
is in no danger of running out of things that need to be turned
inside out, stood on their head or mutated through some alien grid.
Its good to be back working. A lot of it begins with finding the idea
that needs to exist. Its hard to find an idea with that strong a voice,
really. LA and the artworld are lucky that Hawkinsons back in the
saddle, ears alert for the call of the Sensory Homunculus Scout and his
many peculiar friends.
Zoopsia: New Works by Tim Hawkinson c,ccc
c, |c | -cc c,cc |-, c
|-cc ccc ..c cc |c ` ,-cccccc
|-, c |`||-' |c ` ,c-c
|| |`||-' ||-||-||
||||| || - | |
|'-||||||-|| V||| - ||
||'| |-'|-| |-| ||||||||
||||`|-|| (||||||` ||||
|||-| | || -|||||-|
FEATURE TIM HAWKINSON
ARTREVIEW
p 54-61 Tim Hawkinson AR Apr07.i61 61 5/3/07 12:33:54
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FEATURE TOM BURR
words MARK RAPPOLT
photography JACK PIERSON
THE MAN WHO
WASNT THERE
TOM
BURR
He plays with our notions of portraiture, but will he ever find himself?
DO YOU KNOW WHAT I LOOK LIKE? I am six feet, dark haired, dark
jacket. Thats the text message Tom Burr rattled off to ensure that I
wouldnt have any trouble recognising him in a crowded, dimly-lit
New York bar during this years Armory Show. Go get my gallerist to
describe me, he suggested, after I had tapped out a communication
expressing mild concern that this description might not make things
quite easy enough. So off I went. Yes, thats exactly what he looks like,
said the gallerist in question after I had tracked him down, read out the
minimalist description and waited for his embellishments. Err I cant
think of anything else, he added, apologetically, having furrowed his
brow in an effort to recall some hideous but helpful deformity that might
distinguish his charge. Great. It makes you hanker after that time when
portraiture the ability to describe the features that make someone or
something specific and unique was all that art was about.
But in many ways, this sort of fuzzy identification is exactly
the kind of situation increasingly common in a world structured by
impersonal communications such as text messages and emails that a
lot of Burrs work is all about. Take Burrville (2006), a collection of black-
and-white photographs reminiscent of Robert Smithsons celebrated
study of the picturesque, A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New
Jersey (1967) documenting a Connecticut town. The images include
various road and business signs confirming the name of the place and
suggesting that there is some sort of life to it (theres a sign advertising
a grocery store Burrville Foods for example), but any real traces
of that life are notable by their absence. In the main we are looking
at an accumulation of cracked roads, fallen trees, abandoned drives
and general emptiness. Were looking at Burrville, but there doesnt
seem to be much to say about it; its as if it isnt really there (although
Burrville does exist) a series of signifiers, but no signifieds. And were
also looking at Burrville because it has a nominal relationship to an
artist called Tom Burr. Does this place (not the one in which he lives
or grew up) or his framing of it tell us something about the nature of
the man? Did everyone leave this broken urban pastoral for New York,
like Burr left his own hometown of New Haven, Connecticut, for New
York during the early 1980s? Who knows? Burr isnt really there either.
This piece is a sort of biographical decoy, he explains, a found stage
set that stands in for the notion of revealing. In some ways, Burrville is
the visual equivalent of that moment in Bret Easton Elliss novel The
Rules of Attraction (1987) when Sean Bateman screams, No one
ever knows anyone. Youre not ever gonna know me. But, of course,
the whole notion of portraiture and arts viability as a communicative
medium rests upon the possibility, or hope, that you might.
If you want to know a bit about Burr, hes forty-four, based
between New York and northern Connecticut, and about to have a
major exhibition of new works at the Vienna Secession. His output
features a mixture of appropriation, adulation, contradiction and,
occasionally, desecration, and spans photography, collage, sculpture
and installation (often skirting the edges of architecture) and has been
shown internationally in solo and group shows, among the latter, the
2004 Whitney Biennial.
I would say that Im flirting with this idea of portraiture, and
self-portraiture, Burr continues, fluctuating back and forth between
the two. Seeing myself as other people, seeing myself as other people
may see me, both now, and somehow historically (in a speculative way
who are the predecessors? Who has occupied these spaces and these
shoes before?). >
ARTREVIEW
p 66-67 Tom Burr Opener AR Apr0766 66 6/3/07 16:51:40
>
FEATURE TOM BURR
p 66-67 Tom Burr Opener AR Apr0767 67 7/3/07 17:49:52
FEATURE TOM BURR
ARTREVIEW
Installation view, Complete Break Down, 2005. Galerie Neu, Berlin
DO YOU KNOW WHAT I LOOK LIKE? I AM
SIX FEET, DARK HAIRED, DARK JACKET
Movie Theatre Seat in a Box, 1997,
wood, silver perspex mirror, carpet, theatre seat, chewing gum,
107 x 92 x 92 cm. Courtesy Stuart Shave Modern Art, London
p 68-71 Tom Burr AR Apr07.indd 68 8/3/07 11:45:47
previous pages and all following pages:
Tim Hawkinson at work in his LA studio.... The Lotus Eaters, 20016, lm transferred to DVD.
Courtesy Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, and David Zwirner, New York
Burrville, 2006
photographs, 38 x 53 cm, edition of 4.
Courtesy Stuart Shave Modern Art, London
p 68-71 Tom Burr AR Apr07.indd 69 8/3/07 02:37:20
above: Thomas the Impostor, 2006
plywood, perspex mirror, stainless steel hinges, book, suit trousers, suit jacket,
152 x 81 x 84 cm, 4 parts. Courtesy Stuart Shave Modern Art, London
below: Put Out, 2003, wood, steel, paint,
320 x 149 x 259 cm each. Courtesy Stuart Shave Modern Art, London
p 68-71 Tom Burr AR Apr07.indd 70 8/3/07 02:37:25
As part of his 2006 retrospective at the Muse Cantonal
des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne, Burr exhibited a series of hinged white
boards, arranged in a manner reminiscent of the peaks and troughs of
a graph, of a minimally rendered reclining form or of uncomfortable-
looking concertinaed deckchairs. The last might either be inhabited or
uninhabited, depending on your mood and point of view, by characters
like Truman Capote and Jean Cocteau. But the books, hats, scarves,
photographs and ties draped or fixed casually over the sculptures, as
if their owner might return at any minute to collect them that suggest
the identities of these individuals are no more substantial or enduring
than a splash of cologne. Or a statement about height, hair colour and
costume. If aesthetically they constitute an accessorised minimalism,
conceptually they suggest an expanded nihilism.
A realisation that, in conceptual terms, identity is a fluid and
fragile thing, and a desire to rise to the challenge of either capturing
or releasing that essential liquidity in the fixed and static forms of the
plastic arts (and yes, there is something essentially perverse about
this) lies at the heart of Burrs production. Incidentally, there was once
another Burrville, in Tennessee, named after Aaron Burr, the third vice
president of the United States, but it was renamed Clinton (in 1809, a
mere eight years after it had been named Burrville) once Aaron Burr
was disgraced, having fatally wounded the political theorist Alexander
Hamilton in a duel. Thats how arbitrary these things sometimes are.
Perhaps, when it comes to the problems of capturing this in an artwork,
we might call Burrs concern the Dorian Gray issue the subjects always
changing, but the artwork does not. Or is it, as Oscar Wildes horror
story posits, the other way round? The artworks are always changing,
but the subject identity does not. Burrs repeated reinventions of
modernist, minimalist and pop artworks references to people like
Donald Judd, Robert Morris and Andy Warhol abound, and most
obviously, Burrs Deep Purple (2000) is a two-third scale recreation
(in purple) of Richard Serras Tilted Arc (1981) suggest this might be
the case.
But if you wanted to find a work that really got to the essence of
Burrs practice, perhaps it could be Movie Theatre Seat in a Box (1997),
a dislocated cinema seat, placed on a square of carpet in a three-sided
(left, right and rear) plywood crate that is mirrored on the inside. It is at
once boxed and isolated, yet, thanks to the mirrors and their endless
repetition of the chair, part of an auditorium, a community or a crowd
the memory of the architecture from which it was wrenched. You can
put something in a box, the work seems to say, but it can still elude that
confinement, even if somewhat enigmatically; the elusion is nothing
more than a mirrored reflection or a dream. But with all that autoerotic
voyeurism, perhaps, in the end, Movie Theatre Seat in a Box is nothing
more than a narcissists masturbatorium.
Im concerned, highly concerned (or maybe obsessed is the
right way to put it) with the way built spaces bind and control people,
Burr states, as well as allow them degrees of comfort and security.
The bar in which I eventually found him belonged to the Gramercy
Park Hotel. Designed by 1980s superstar-painter Julian Schnabel,
it offers, according to the hotels publicity material, the following
attractions: unique atmospheres imbued with the same spontaneous,
haute bohemian, eclectic, eccentric and edgy sophistication one would
find in an artists studio or home. The soaring spaces offer an incredible
collection of extraordinary and ordinary items put together with the
flourishes of the artiste. You really couldnt have found a better place
for an encounter with an artist like Tom Burr.
New work by Tom Burr will be on show at the Vienna Secession from 28
April to 24 June
FEATURE TOM BURR
IM CONCERNED,
HIGHLY CONCERNED
OR MAYBE OBSESSED
IS THE RIGHT WAY TO
PUT IT WITH THE WAY
BUILT SPACES BIND AND
CONTROL PEOPLE
ARTREVIEW
p 68-71 Tom Burr AR Apr07.indd 71 9/3/07 13:45:30
Wyer Ad AR Apr07 5/3/07 22:38 Page 1
CIGE Ad AR Apr07 24/2/07 02:44 Page 1
words ADAM JASPER
CAUGHT IN
A TRAP
ANDREAS
SLOMINSKI
Are art lovers the hunters or the hunted?
facing page:
Red Deer Trap, 1999, metal, wood, 384 x 300 x 531 cm.
Courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures, New York
FEATURE ANDREAS SLOMINSKI
UNDER THE HARSH FLUORESCENT LIGHT OF THE GALLERY, a small row
of bushes and a trough of water is laid out. Around each, two large
nets are attached to a hinged jaw that is in turn linked by cords to a
hunters hut. The hut, with its sinister horizontal slits for windows under
a low browed roof, sits glowering over the bait like a predator. Within
it may or may not be the hunter, ready to spring the jaws of the trap.
The complete effect is simultaneously morbid and comical, for as
earnestly malicious as the hut looks, there are not many starlings
to be caught within the gallery. The piece is Andreas Slominskis
Vogelfangstation (Bird Trapping Station; 19989), and truth be told, hes
not hunting starlings.
Towards the end of his life the Australian anthropologist Alfred
Gell composed and published a series of essays and a book about the
problem of constructing a cross-cultural definition of art. In the 1996
essay Vogels Net, Gell recounts a story about trapping from a village
leader of the Fang of West Africa a tribe whose name, as it happens,
means catch in German. Its a tale told in the context of a discussion
of evur, or wisdom.
In my youth I got to know the Pygmies well. The Pygmies belong to the
forest, they are not village people like us I often went hunting with the
Pygmies, they have special traps for every kind of animal, that is why they
obtain so much game. They have a special trap for chimpanzees, because
chimpanzees are like human beings: when they have a problem, they
stop and think about what to do, instead of just running off and crying
out. You cannot catch a chimpanzee with a snare because he does not
run away [and thus does not pull on the running-knot]. So the Pygmies
have devised a special trap with a thread, which catches on the arm of the
chimpanzee. The thread is very thin and the chimpanzee thinks it can get
away. Instead of breaking the thread, it pulls on it very gently to see what
will happen then. At that moment the bundle with the poisoned arrow
falls down on it, because it has not run away like a stupid animal, like an
antelope would.
As Gell observed, this is no mere hunting anecdote. For the
Fang, the story of the chimpanzee trap functions as an allegory about
the Faustian nature of knowledge. Evanescent and elusive, you think
you have it, and then in the next moment you realise that it has you. Its
the chimps caution and curiosity that leads to its downfall.
All traps, according to Gell, are more than mere implements,
they are automatons. The arrow trap in the forest, with its tensed bow
and arrow held delicately frozen by a tripwire, is a physical manifestation
of the hunters will, more dedicated in its unpausing anticipation of
prey than any human could be. The trap is therefore a more faithful
representation of the hunter than any figurative statue; for with the
tripwire as nervous system and the bent bow as muscle, it is a functioning
robot, crystallised intent. What carving, Gell asks rhetorically, which
only shows us our outward lineaments, actually reveals as much about
human beings as this mechanical device? His question could be
squarely directed at Slominski, the German Fallensteller a setter of
traps, snares and pranks who recently enjoyed a major retrospective
at the Frankfurt Museum fr Moderne Kunst.
Slominskis absurd constructions have been notorious in
Germany since the mid-1990s, and well known in Britain since his solo
show at the Serpentine Gallery in 2005. My first encounter with one
was in the 2000 Berlin art fair. A steel box that seemed half the size of
a shipping container, complete with trapdoor, pulleys and a hook large
enough to hang a side of beef upon. I asked the gallerist what it was and
he explained, poker-faced, that it was a trap for the feral St Bernard dogs
that roam the streets of the city of Hamburg (2000).
The huge contraption sat roughly 15 years into Slominskis
ongoing practice of constructing innovative, humorous and sometimes
perverse traps. Ranging from traps for badgers through to traps for
slugs, the objects themselves have been extraordinarily varied in
appearance. Some, such as Trap for Ermine (1997), have been Heath
Robinson-esque contraptions of great size and complexity. Others,
such as Trap for Slugs, have been austerely simple, their purpose
ARTREVIEW
>
p 74-79 Slominski AR Apr07.indd 74 7/3/07 17:07:00
p 74-79 Slominski AR Apr07.indd 75 27/2/07 03:10:26
SLOMINSKIS TRAPS DO NOT HAVE A
RECOGNISABLE STYLE, THE FORMAL
UNITY OF THE WORKS BEING PROVIDED
BY THEIR FUNCTIONAL UNITY AS TRAPS
opaque until the mechanism has been explained. Slominskis traps
do not have a recognisable style, the formal unity of the works being
provided by their functional unity as traps. This aesthetic eclecticism has
led to comparisons with artists ranging from Chris Burden to Joseph
Beuys, although the closest visual analogy is probably to be found in
the humorous play on causality in the Hasbro boardgame Mousetrap,
or in Fischli and Weisss The Way of Things (1987). The attempt to find
visual reference points in terms of other artists conceals, however, the
obvious cause of the diversity of the work: Slominskis traps cannot
have a style, because each trap is directed at a different species.
In Slominskis dark allegory, each animal is lured by an appeal
to its peculiar vice. Birds are motivated by fear, mice by domesticity
and primates, it seems, by greed. The Monkey Trap (2005) that
Slominski exhibited at the Serpentine was even crueller than that used
by the pygmies: a small cage containing a banana, with a hole large
enough to put a hand in but too small to take a fistful of fruit out: and
we all know that it is impossible for a chimpanzee to let go of a banana
it has already grasped. Rats, for their part, are drawn to enter the
comfort of a small model church only to find themselves in a cage
before the scale-model altar. It is part of Slominskis sardonic humour
that the lower the animal, the more laudable its motivations. Worms
are induced into their trap by trust; the first, harmless level is full of
salad, the second inescapable. Slugs are tricked by hope, as they cross
a long, painfully abrading piece of fibreglass only to fall into a perfectly
smooth basin of water. What, then, is the fatal weakness of the highest
of primates?
In one of the better essays written on Slominskis work, Patrick
Frey made the offhand comment that animals have no knowledge
of their own deaths, and therefore can have no consciousness of art
(Parkett 55, 1999, p. 86). Its a Hegelian observation. The insinuation
is that we can come to terms with our knowledge of death, the
terminus that renders all of our life projects utterly pointless, by
consciously engaging in pointless activity; by definition, making art.
But its questionable whether we humans are aware of our own
mortality. Its the sort of thought that is always fleeting, relegated to the
outer limits of speculation and certainly beyond experience. And even
if animals are not aware of the immanence of death, they do have a
finely attuned sense of danger.
The aesthetics of the trap are not, in the first instance, aimed
at a human audience at all, but at the individual animals that it has
been designed to lure. And these aesthetics are in direct violation of
the entire tradition of the Enlightenment. The bait must be attractive,
and this is best premised not on beauty Kants disinterested pleasure
but on the very interested appetites of its prey. The snare, for its part,
must be concealed, or at most a source of indifference. The fine netting
that catches the starlings wings, the tensed stainless-steel jaws waiting
for the foot of a fox, the trapdoor in the half-submerged car that waits
for the long legs of wading birds: all are designed not to disturb the
expectations of their quarry. In the end, the only thing we know about
the synthetic experience of animals is what the trap, speaking with its
mouth full, tells us they dont notice. As Frey helpfully points out, for us,
the being-in-the-World of a garden slug is a total riddle.
Slominskis traps are not readymades, although he would willingly
grant that readymades may be traps. Slominskis earliest traps were
purchased from hardware shops, but since 1985 he has either made
them himself or had them custom-fabricated, leading the viewer away
from the unhelpful association with Duchamp. A peculiar property of
readymades, as objects shorn of context and beached in a gallery, is
that they are mute, indifferent to the attempt of the viewer to conjure
up a justification whether aesthetic or functional for their presence.
Representational art refers to things in the world, and readymades
refer, explicitly, to nothing. Traps refer to themselves. A trap, properly
perceived, is a highly articulate object. Its a miniature dialectic, with
the bait as thesis, the snare as antithesis and the bait, trap and victim,
bundled together, as a glorious and fatal synthesis and confirmation of
the exactitude of the logical progression.
ARTREVIEW
FEATURE ANDREAS SLOMINSKI
facing page, above:
Untitled, 2003, pram, iron, plastic, wood, birdseed, 85 x 72 x 37 cm.
the artist. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London
facing page, below:
Dog Trap, 1999, metal, wood, 105 x 312 x 152 cm.
Courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures, New York
p 74-79 Slominski AR Apr07.indd 76 5/3/07 12:00:06
p 74-79 Slominski AR Apr07.indd 77 27/2/07 03:10:35
p 74-79 Slominski AR Apr07.indd 78 27/2/07 03:11:06
above:
Imprint of the Nose Cone of a Glider, 2005, foam block in chipboard, 102 x 102 x 26 cm.
the artist. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

facing page, above:
Rabbit Trap, 1999, wood, metal, paint, 24 x 26 x 78 cm.
the artist. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London
facing page, below:
Rat Trap, 1999, metal, plastic, electricity, 12 x 104 x 14 cm.
Courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures, New York
ARTREVIEW
Once every ten years the city of Mnster
plays host to a sculpture festival in which works are
distributed throughout the medieval town. The
difficult-to-locate pieces induce a phenomenon
among curators and art critics known as truffle-
pig syndrome, whereby frustrated connoisseurs
search among the architecture for the best-
concealed works. Slominskis Streetlight with Tyre
(1996) set a snare for them. The work consisted
of a bicycle-tyre tube laid around the base of
an ordinary street lamp. But instead of merely
tossing the tire over the top of the lamp, he had
a team of workmen come in and uproot the
light and disconnect all its associated cables. He
then ceremonially placed the tyre tube around
the lamppost from below, before the electrical
wiring was reconnected and the lamp reset in
the pavement. Once the work was complete, all
there was to be seen was a deflated inner tube
on the ground. Within two days it was stolen by a passerby.
Its the same principle that is at play in Slominskis inducement of
a giraffe with the aid and abettment of its keeper to lick a postage
stamp at the Frankfurt Zoo. The stamp was then affixed to an envelope
and posted. We are not told to whom, but we can presume that the
envelope was empty. An empty envelope and also an artwork. But
where is the art? The innocent recipient turns it over, holds it up to the
light: nothing betrays it.
In Freys phrase, Slominskis artworks are traps for the
metaphysically infected eye. The aesthetic is the lure, but a work of
arts success is marked by its ability to interrupt and detain the viewer.
The work of arts hold over us stems from its prestige, itself the result
of the artworks difficulty, or the amount of intellectual and technical
labour crystallised in its production. These observations are truisms,
but Slominski manages to turn them into themes. The principle of
maximum effort for minimum effect effectively throws our normal
model of efficiency on its head.
The works are almost an illustration of Georges Batailles
principle of non-productive expenditure, and of his subsidiary doctrine
that art is prestigious in proportion to how
gloriously useless and resplendently wasteful it
is. Bataille, hard-core pornographer and editor
of the surrealist journal Documents, was also the
author of the only extant textbook of surrealist
macroeconomics, The Accursed Share (1949).
According to Bataille, far too much attention
has been paid to the relatively banal question
of how wealth is accumulated. The most
interesting question in economics is this: how
is wealth destroyed? To escape the eventually
catastrophic cycle of reinvestment, profit must be
consumed, either through luxuries, war or sexual
reproduction. Art, as the fetishism of fetishism, is
the ultimate luxury. The best working definition
we have of it is stuff that is useless. And taken
to its logical conclusion, the best artwork is the
one that produces the smallest possible return in
proportion to the resources invested.
One of the most remarked-upon pieces in the 2005 show
at the Serpentine captures both the eroticism of waste and the
mordant humour with which Slominski fascinates us. All that was to
be seen on one wall of the gallery was a large salmon-pink rectangle
marked by a concavity at its centre reminiscent, perhaps, of Lucio
Fontana or any number of abstract contemporary sculptures. The
title gives away more: Imprint of the Nose Cone of a Glider (2005).
What existed only as a rumour on opening night was that, in the course
of installing the exhibition, Slominski had brought a 40-foot-wingspan
glider up to the gallery and had the French windows unhinged and
the plane brought inside until its nose-cone collided with a prepared
rectangle of expanded polyurethane. He had, so to speak, crashed his
glider, 9/11 style, into the Serpentine. And it is there, caught by the lure
of an enigma that transforms into a reference to terrorism and an unholy
joke, that the trap snaps shut around the visitor. And it is here, exerting
a sickly fascination, that the assorted animal traps reveal themselves
as what they were all along: microcosms of the gallery itself, in which
we are stranded in what, for a moment, is a lurching confrontation
with mortality.
FEATURE ANDREAS SLOMINSKI
IN SLOMINSKIS DARK ALLEGORY,
EACH ANIMAL IS LURED BY
AN APPEAL TO ITS PECULIAR VICE
p 74-79 Slominski AR Apr07.indd 79 5/3/07 12:00:06
A selection of the 6,000 works held by the Essl
Collection with special highlights and artworks that
have never been presented in public before. More
than 400 works of art by 160 artists arranged by 15
themes and curated by Karlheinz Essl. The largest
exhibition since the inauguration of the museum.
35
Th
AnnivErsAry of ThE
EssL CoLLECTion
15.03.

26.08.07
EssL MusEuM / KLosTErnEuBurG / viEnnA / AusTriA
+
43 (0) 2243 370 50 150 / www.EssL.MusEuM
Kukje Ad AR Apr07 21/2/07 22:38 Page 1
photography MAURITS SILLEM
WERE NOT
PROPHETS!
DOCUMENTA

RN Because I think we are very artworld-friendly this time, I think


that we are growing a revolution.
RMB For the artworld? In what sense?
RN Because we are really art lovers.
RMB And the artworld consists of art lovers?
RN I think so, dont you?
RMB No.
RN Maybe not such a high percentage of the artworld, but I think
that art lovers are in that rubric and not in the one of the general
public.
RMB I think that someone has to say something in favour of
the amateur.
AR But that is not going to be you?
RMB No, it is me, now. I think Documenta is closely tied to a certain
concept of aesthetic education which had to do with the German
public facing its totalitarian trauma in the 1950s. I think that this
element of having people amateurs dealing with art is still part
of the investment of Documenta. That is why the show can allow
itself to be popular without becoming populous.
AR And do you think part of doing that, as curators, involves explaining
why people should look at art? And, if so, how do you do that?
RMB Yes. It is very simple, actually: you have to show art and allow people
to take in what they are confronted with. That is also the point at
which it becomes important to focus upon the exhibition as a
medium in its own right, where you have to stop focusing solely on
artists names or even on individual pieces.
RN We have been thinking lots about this. Anyone who has been to
Documenta has this experience of being overwhelmed. I think that
in order to make a successful exhibition you have to find some
solution to this, the question is what happens when people are in
the same space with each other and with works of art.
Every five years the German town of
Kassel hosts Documenta, one of the most
important and influential exhibitions in
the artworld calendar. Founded in 1955,
the exhibition has developed a reputation
for being arts equivalent to the Olympic
Games. Bigger than most biennials, its the
intellectual alternative to market-driven art
fairs, with a new set of curators each time.
In the first leg of a two part interview they
wont talk about the artists theyre going
to be showing theyve become too good
at marketing not to take advantage of the
element of surprise but Documenta 12s
artistic director, Roger M. Buergel, and
curator, Ruth Noack, are happy to discuss
almost everything else: why New York is
dead; how art can change the world; and
where all the art lovers have gone.
FEATURE DOCUMENTA
ArtReview
So whos Documenta for? Is it for the artworld or the
general public?
Ruth Noack
I think it is going to be more artworld
this time, than last.
Roger M. Buergel
But why?
ARTREVIEW
p 82-85 Documenta AR Apr07.indd 82 5/3/07 14:20:05
ARTREVIEW
p 82-85 Documenta AR Apr07.indd 83 5/3/07 14:20:06
AR Is success something that you think about a lot?
RN What are you going to do with success afterwards? There
is nowhere to go from there. I think that it is more of a
responsibility; you think of it in terms of tradition and what has
happened before.
AR But doesnt the next Documenta depend on how well you
guys do?
RMB I am not a prophet, who knows?
RN What is very clear is that if you dont change, that if you dont
keep in this evolutionary moment, then it is going to die. One
of the things that we have noticed is that people in Europe
still believe that they are at the centre. You still have these
repercussions of the New YorkBerlinLondon axis, but if you
travel around you know that within five years this is going to
change completely. And if people are not aware of this now,
then they are going to lose touch.
AR At the same time, if an artist lets say from China becomes
very successful, they move to New York, they move to Paris
RN Its been like it up until now, but this is also going to change.
RMB New York is dead and people realise that...
RN Berlin has the life though...
RMB ...but Berlin functions quite well as a bubble. And so people flock
there for economic reasons, of course but in China its obvious
that people will go back and also in India, not just in the artworld
but also in IT and other businesses.
AR So how can you reflect that in an exhibition thats been located in
the same place for half a century or so?
RMB There are several ways. We are doing a magazine which comes
out in three parts, the first of which, Modernity?, is out now. We
are probably thinking less about our legacy than about creating an
element of anticipation.
AR Other people might call that marketing.
RMB Yeah, and legitimately so. It is marketing, but what we would expect
I think is also what capitalism calls surplus value. Well see if the
magazine will bring this out. At the same time, we strongly believe
in the physical experience because when people come to Kassel
they are not only looking at art, they are also looking at each other,
and I think this element of having a public space is important.
RN In a way when youre talking about a public there are actually
three publics: the general public, the professionals who make their
money off art and the public of artists who are involved in the show.
This is something which is usually not talked about, but its really
important. We are doing this exhibition for the artists, for them to
meet and to have some kind of feedback.
AR So how do you go about selecting artists?
RN They select us.
AR Thats an easy way out. There must have been people you really
wanted to be in it. You must have some criteria.
RN Not one, but its usual to have your favourites and your view on
history, you think that certain positions have been left out that
should be readdressed so were doing that as well. There is a lot
of research involved, the nice thing about Documenta is that,
although you dont have enough time, you have more time than
you would usually have for the Biennale or something. Do we have
things that weve left out? Weve left out lots of places, so its not
UNESCO, we dont cover the earth, thats not possible.
AR You said earlier that the show was about the artists, in a lot of ways
it seems to be about both of you as well.
RMB Only from an outsider perspective. I think from the inside, its
much more undecided because its part of a curatorial discipline to
allow yourself to be worked through by artists. So Ruth is correct
in saying that they select us, because you get addressed not by
galleries sending portfolios to you
ITS NOT UNESCO
WE DONT TRY TO
INCLUDE THE EARTH,
THATS NOT POSSIBLE
p 82-85 Documenta AR Apr07.indd 84 5/3/07 14:20:10
RN although that happens
RMB but on a deeper psychic level. So you start to find
correspondences, which we call migration of form, and
that is a method to connect things. The correspondence is
never one-to-one, but there are similarities. If you look at the
different phases of modernity in different areas of the world,
you realise that artists arrive at similar formal solutions, but
they may mean different things, and this is a way to structure
an exhibition.
AR Youve said before that you want the show to create a public,
which sounds quite open and democratic, but it seems that
youve already got a pretty good idea of what that public is.
RN You work them from both ends. So when we say were relying
on the show to create a public, that doesnt mean that we
arent working at a public at the same time. You cant just wait
for a public. But on the other hand, I think really that once the
exhibition is up, we wont matter.
AR So as well as taking responsibility, youre also giving it away.
RMB Yes, its necessary, because you cannot involve people in a
meaningful way if you dont delegate power.
AR Some people might call that taking an easy way out.
RMB Yeah, maybe, but thats not my problem because Im dealing
with the difficult side of it. But then again, easy is not morally...
RN bad.
RMB Maybe at this point we should differentiate between
audience and public. For me public is also a collective that
thinks through the future of the planet.
AR Is that one of the themes that will be tackled in the show?
RMB Implicitly, yes, of course, because artists are concerned with it.
I think that every good exhibition deals with a free imagining
of the relation between subjectivity and the world. This is
what art is about.
AR Do you think any of that makes a difference to the world in
physical, economic or social terms?
RN I dont think so. If you show a work that deals with the border
of the West Bank and Israel, then this wont directly change
what is happening in political terms, but I do think that if you
give a space in which people can reflect upon the world in
a different mode from that offered by the media then thats
good. Young people feel like theyre paralysed. They dont
have any way of describing whats happening around them.
A lot of art works through these problems, not by mirroring
them, that would be boring, but by finding ways to formalise
the problems in a way that gives you breathing space.
AR Even if that space exists purely in aesthetic terms?
RMB Its necessary that it happen in purely aesthetic terms, because
the aesthetic experience is probably the only mode where you
can actually contemplate those relations. Its not our obsession
to educate, its a demand you have to address one way or the
other. Either by turning people into consumers who are handed
a version of the exhibition they can go home with, or where you
try to communicate the difficulty or even the potential trauma
of aesthetic experiences to them. And that is the solution we are
taking. The people have to make it meaningful themselves thats
the main thing. The general view is that you have to understand art
somehow, which is a big misunderstanding in my view. There are
a lot of myths about curatorial work, and its always reduced to this
subject position of the curatorial super-ego, but I think that this is
an even more irresponsible way to think about curatorial work than
this passive, let-go attitude
RN I think that the exhibition itself will stand as a physical proof you
can argue against. I think that is going to be the true measure and
everything else is just creating fog.
Documenta 12 is at Kassel, 16 June 23 September.
In next months ArtReview Roger and Ruth dish the dirt
on why biennials are terrible things, problems with the
art market and the joys of marketing
THERE ARE A LOT
OF MYTHS ABOUT
THE CURATORIAL
SUPER EGO
FEATURE DOCUMENTA
ARTREVIEW
p 82-85 Documenta AR Apr07.indd 85 7/3/07 17:27:27
The Apartment Ad AR Apr07 2/3/07 06:33 Page 1
Is design just useful sculpture? The distinctions
between the kind of work we expect to see in a gallery
and the kind we normally encounter in a furniture
showroom are becoming increasingly blurred. Last
December, during Art Basel Miami Beach, design took
the city by storm. By January, Gagosians New York
gallery was home to Australian designer Marc
Newsons signature retro futurism; this month Phillips
hosts an exhibition of cutting-edge organicism by Ross
Lovegrove; and the Campana Brothers are at Londons
ALBION in June for the second time this year. So will
Aprils Milan Furniture Fair be as good a place to look
for new art as any art fair? Read on to nd out.
Special Focus: Design
ARTREVIEW
p 87 Design opener AR Apr07.indd1 1 8/3/07 17:26:51
ARTREVIEW
p 88-89 Design Lovegrove AR Apr02 2 9/3/07 09:56:26
Ross Lovegrove
Ginko Carbon Table and Liquid Carbon Bench from Endurance, a collection of new limited-edition furniture designs by Ross Lovegrove,
at Phillips de Pury, New York, until 4 April. Photo: John Ross
p 88-89 Design Lovegrove AR Apr03 3 9/3/07 12:24:01
ARTREVIEW
Campana Brothers

photography TOM CRAIG
p 90-93 Campana AR Apr07.indd 90 6/3/07 03:23:53
ArtReview
Do you think there is a difference between art and design?
Fernando Campana
I guess we establish bridges between them. Today a lot are
being built between art and design, design and fashion, fashion
and food, food and graphics, graphics and cinema, music, etc.
So we cannot, at least in my opinion, set boundaries or establish
boundaries between those activities. The only major difference
between art and design is the function the design piece has to
have. Without that, it is just going to be a sculpture.
AR But when someone buys one of your fruit bowls, do you think
they are buying it because of the function or because of the
aesthetics and sculptural qualities?
FC I guess today its both. People are more aware about design,
the author and the label. So some people are going to buy
one of our fruit bowls because it is produced by Alessi, most
of them are going to buy it because it is Campana and some
of them are going to buy it because of the sculptural approach.
Its very difficult to establish which, because, as I said earlier, the
boundaries are so diluted today.
AR Does art influence your work?
FC Yes, since the beginning. We grew up in the centre of the state
of Sao Paulo and had a lot of rural influences, but we also had a
movie theatre in the town and we saw a lot of beautiful movies
that related to art like Fellini, Kubrick, Polanski. Then, when we
came to Sao Paulo we started visiting the Museum of Art and
started to see art, to see exhibitions, many years before thinking
that we would become designers, we thought it was beautiful
and had something to bring to the world.
AR What about specific artists?

Humberto Campana
Isamu Noguchi, he could work in several fields. He makes
scenography, he makes beautiful lamps and sofas, as well as
sculptures. The important thing is not to be limited. Also Louise
Nevelson and, here in Brazil, Hlio Oiticica and a landscape
architect called Roberto Burle Marx.
FC I like to see everything and then make a rsum of what I like.
But I like the Chapman Brothers their Disasters of War series
is fantastic there is a Brazilian artist called Nazareth Pacheco
who I like very much and is our friend too, Ernesto Neto his
poetry and even the concretism of Lygia Clark and Hlio
Oiticica. I think the last two have instinctively played a big role
in our life because we grew up under the military dictatorship
in Brazil and that was the time of Tropiclia [a movement
encompassing art, music, theatre and literature and endorsing
a form of cultural cannibalism (taking influence from all kinds
of sources) that sprung up in Brazil during the late 1960s
and of which Clark and Oiticica were part]. That movement
can tell you a lot about what we are about. We are sons of
Tropiclia, we were inspired by Tropiclia. Because we were
both in the countryside, in a small town, we had contact with
this movement through music, some exhibitions that we saw
in Sao Paolo and movies. It was fun to live with this dual reality
the new Brazil coming up (or the real Brazil trying to keep its
roots) and the Brazil under the military dictatorship that had
rules for everything what to say, what to create. Umberto and
I were at this borderline, and then we escaped by doing our
furniture in a way that had nothing to do with Tropiclia or the
postmodern; it was just an expression of our feeling.
But I think that we think much more about the contamination
that other fields or other people or other artists can provoke
in our world. And we try to do the same. I think the most
intriguing moment is whenever you can contaminate people
by your art. Even though it is different from what I am doing,
if I see a beautiful movie it is going to influence me, to get
under my skin and Umbertos too, and we are going to feel like
doing something in the same level as that movie or aimed at
the same emotion that we saw. Its the same with music or an
architectural project or a beautiful exhibition
Over the past decade, Brazil-based brothers
Fernando and Humberto Campana have
become one of the most dynamic forces
in the field of design. Their innovative and
often surprising use of materials, combined
with a distinctly Brazilian sensibility, has
found expression in a series of sculptural
objects that lie on the border of art and
design. Having launched their limited-edition
Cartoon Chair, composed of soft-toy Disney
characters and designed to evoke memories
of childhood, at Londons ALBION this
March, the brothers return to the gallery this
June to unveil a new series, Trans-Plastic.
ARTREVIEW

p 90-93 Campana AR Apr07.indd 91 9/3/07 13:39:37


AR Do you think it is important that design tells stories in the
same way that films or art do?
FC Yes, because we are talking with people, we are talking to
reality. We are a witness of our times so we must be alert
and grab all those things and try to translate or process in
our mind a project that tells something new, otherwise we
are going to make the same chair, the same movies or write
the same book.
AR But as you have become more successful over the last
ten years or so has it become harder and harder to do
that? Because people have expectations of Campana as a
brand.
FC Yes, but we live in Brazil, so we can get a certain distance
from all of this. We read the news, read the magazines but
we dont have the same direct contact as we would were we
living in the UK or in the rest of Europe. So we can create
more freely. I dont know how long it is going to last, but we
are going to keep it as long as we can keep it because this
is our strength. Of course, we go once a month to Europe
and we have more contact now, but we can stay 20 days
here, go to the Amazon, go to the middle of nowhere in the
countryside or even in the Sao Paulo markets.
AR With the Favela chair, you are taking something that has a
specific resonance in Brazil, where its an aesthetic, if you
can call it that, that has developed out of the desperation
of poverty, and are transforming it into something quite
expensive that appeals to a mass market.
FC This is a portrait of our reality in Brazil the contrast
between poor and rich. The first prototype of this chair was
made in 1999, long before all of the favela aesthetics that
people have been exploring in movies and in fashion shoots.
We did it without any intention of exploring or entering
anything, we just saw the beauty in this agglomeration, in
this chaotic extension of the favela, and it translated into
furniture. Nowadays I think it is a manifesto for this social
shock that we have here in Brazil, but we didnt mean it to
be expensive or cheap, popular or not popular, we just made
a piece of furniture with a name, with an inspiration, that
could be in the most wealthy neighborhood of Sao Paulo or
Beverly Hills or whatever. This is ironic, you get rich people
sitting down in a Favela, but of course, we are not the ones
establishing the price of the chairs.
AR Do you think the fact that your work is inspired by local
sources goes against the increasing internationalisation of
design?
FC I guess the local thing is the way you process your work; it
doesnt mean it must be green and yellow like the Brazilian
flag or sushi because it is oriental. In fact we reference sushi
in some of our chairs because Brazil has been influenced by
such a huge community of Japanese immigrants. We can
be local and global. Whenever you make a portrait of your
scene you are being local but translating it to the global,
through the aesthetic, through the way you are going to tell this
history. The only thing the designer has to do is to organise that,
to use those notes to create a symphony.
AR Does your work have a political message?
FC No. That comes later. We dont go searching for the answer to
any questions. Sometimes we are talking about the destruction
of the Amazon, sometimes we are talking about favelas and
sometimes we are talking about the melting pot of cultures
in Brazil, but the passion for the materials comes much, much
earlier than anything else. Then we organise the materials into
a form and then we try to find a function and then, in the end,
someone can come and say that this is a political statement,
that this is ironic, that this looks like this, but we are very far away
from any political interest. When we put all the things together
it makes it political or social or ironic, but we never mean to do
that at the beginning.
AR Is that what happened with your new Trans-Plastic series?
FC With Trans-Plastic we started picking up the coffee-shop
chairs that used to be made in straw or rattan and then became
totally plastic, and then try to start contaminating them with
little bits of straw to try and connect to the real, the totally
organic or totally natural fibre chair. We start by investigating
how we could create a cover or continuation or another skin for
the plastic chair and finally we start connecting one to the other
and creating a new form. But the temptation was to get closer
and closer to the natural fibres or to find a totally eco-friendly
plastic.
AR So this is an eco-friendly project? Isnt that a political
motivation?
HC I guess politically we work with materials that dont involve
cutting down trees for example. The furthest we went with
wood was the Favela chair that is done with pine and eucalyptus.
We also made a chair with OSB, which is a compressed wood.
I guess in our work we hope to contaminate other students,
other designers, so that they can explore alternative materials
to plastic. Even if we use plastic in our work we try to fuse it with
other elements, like in Trans-Plastic.
FC But perhaps this is not really political, more like a global necessity
that everyone has to think about that.

SPECIAL FOCUS
Trans-Plastic is on view at ALBION, London,
from 5 June to 17 August

p 90-93 Campana AR Apr07.indd 92 9/3/07 13:39:39


facing page:
Favela Chair, 1991, teak wood edition (2006),
manufactured by Edra, Italy
below left:
Trans-Plastic Chair, 2007, natural bres, plastic,
manufactured by Estudio Campana, Brazil
below right:
Blow Up Fruitbowl, 2004, stainless steel,
manufactured by Alessi, Italy.
All images courtesy the designers and ALBION, London
Cartoon Chair, 2007 (installation view by Tom Craig).
ARTREVIEW
p 90-93 Campana AR Apr07.indd 93 7/3/07 17:46:39
Julius Shulman
I WANT TO LIVE THERE, writes Roland Barthes in Camera Lucida (1980),
reecting on Charles Cliords Alhambra (1854): a photograph of a house in Spain
that seems to embody the idea of the Mediterranean. The sentiment sounds banal:
what is an architectural photograph meant to provoke, if not this kind of domestic
coveting? But the impulse is less about luxury and acquisition than pure utopian
thinking; looking at a great photograph of a thrilling house, I dont merely want to live
in it: I also want to live in that world. And as the architectural photographs of Julius
Shulman attest, in their austere and ravishing record of American (and especially
Californian) Modernism, what I fantasise is in fact limitless time: not space, still less
possessions. If the mid-century West Coast ranch-style house now looks like the ne
plus ultra of consumerist ennui a place of bad sex and worse furniture: (in) every
dream home a heartache the clean lines of Shulmans favoured architecture denote
instead a wealth of time; his photographs make waiting around look erotic in itself.
By his own account, Shulman was in no rush, as a young man, to embark on a photographic
career. The years before the Second World War, he wrote in his book The Photography of Architecture
and Design (1977), possessed the great secret time of which we seemed to have plenty, or at least
enough for a little longer to look at ourselves and our work. At Berkeley, in the mid-1930s, he
photographed old campus buildings and peddled his prints at the bookstore, but still had no obvious
ambitions. In 1936, he took some snapshots of a new house designed by Richard Neutra, and sold
the pictures to the architect. By pure chance but thanks too, he says, to an innate and untutored
sense of composition Shulman drifted into a career that has lasted well past his supposed retirement
in 1986. His vast archive (recently acquired by the Getty Research Institute, in part through the
eorts of Shulmans longtime gallerist, Craig Krull) amounts to a museum of future leisure: a
Californian timescape in which the states golden dream (as Joan Didion describes it) is mirrored in
silver and black.
Shulmans long association with Neutra might be said to have dened the photographers style:
a way of looking at modernist architecture that explains and monumentalises it at the same time. The
architect often insisted on having his buildings photographed before they were nished, so that
Shulman had either to respect the vacant purity of Neutras glass boxes, or soften their lines by
devising his own scenography of furniture, plants and people. Neutras designs were among those
chosen by John Entenza, editor of Arts & Architecture, for the series of Case Study Houses that the
magazine sponsored and published between 1945 and 1966. Intended to showcase the possibilities
for low-cost modern housing, the project largely reected Entenzas strict preference for the
International Style. Though his own taste was more eclectic, Shulman photographed many of the
buildings, and in the process invented a mode of architectural photography that is inseparable from
the Californian Modernism of the 1950s and 60s.
words BRIAN DILLON
portraits JUERGEN TELLER
ARTREVIEW
p 94-99 Design Julius AR Apr07.i94 94 8/3/07 02:38:54
ARTREVIEW
p 94-99 Design Julius AR Apr07.i95 95 8/3/07 11:48:19
SPECIAL FOCUS
Time and again in Shulmans work on the Case Study Houses, what you see is a precise expression of an exiled
European austerity transplanted to a place of (for some) almost limitless luxury. Glass is the material summation of that
meeting: Shulmans interiors almost always include a glimpse of vitrined landscape beyond; his nocturnal exteriors picture
houses that have become pools of habitable light on the hillsides. The latter can also look somewhat unsettling: Shulmans
prowlers-eye view, however formally motivated, is an inadvertent reminder that the buildings transparency is in fact a
symbol of exclusion. In a technically agonising twilight study of a Neutra house in Palm Springs comprising pale western
sky, illuminated interior and darkening foreground a shadowed gure rises anxiously by the swimming pool, as if formal
perfection were suddenly no guarantee of privacy.
The most famous of these images one in a series of photographs of Case Study House #22, built for Buck and
Carlotta Stahl by Pierre Koenig in 1960 shows a house that seems to have oated free of the Hollywood Hills: a bright
pavilion in which two young women ignore the lights of Los Angeles below. The image is certainly a rigorous and
breathtaking account of Koenigs achievement in steel, glass and concrete at the clis edge, but a colour photograph of the
same scene, taken a few minutes later, highlights the eeriness of the black-and-white picture. In colour, the women have
turned to look at the view, which is revealed as a violet dusk; the house, the lights and the two women seem part of an
expanding moment: the city and environs, heading into the night. In monochrome, however, this timeless classic of
architectural photography looks instead as though frozen for eternity: as far as the inhabitants of the modernist dream are
concerned, the world might be unpopulated. Which is exactly the buildings attraction, and at our present distance from its
historical moment, its utter strangeness.
The classic view of Case Study House #22 was a painstaking confection of light and time: Shulman exposed rst for
the lights of the city, then for the ashlit interior: the sense of stasis is actually worked up from separate moments. In fact, the
whole session, like much of his work, was an eort to reect the truth of the buildings form by whatever artice Shulman had
to hand. A snapshot from earlier in the same day shows the photographer perched atop a wall, directing his camera at a
group gathered by the pool, while an assistant fakes a landscaped setting with some framing vegetation. Shulman revealed
this and other techniques in his 1962 book, Photographing Architecture and Interiors: the preternatural calm that one sees in
his photographs the perfect balance, for example, of interior illumination with sunlight is the result of furious energy and
invention going on just outside the frame.
above: Kaufmann House, Palm Springs, California, 1947, negative, 10 x 13 cm
facing page: Case Study House #22, Los Angeles, California, 1960, 1960, gelatin silver print, 26 x 21 cm
p 94-99 Design Julius AR Apr07.i96 96 8/3/07 02:38:55
ARTREVIEW ARTREVIEW
p 94-99 Design Julius AR Apr07.i97 97 8/3/07 02:39:00
ARTREVIEW
p 94-99 Design Julius AR Apr07.i98 98 8/3/07 11:48:34
The most abiding impression, however, looking at Shulmans work in the decades immediately after the Second
World War, is of huge tracts of time unrolling silently in domestic interiors: these houses look like heaven, if heaven is a place
where nothing ever happens. The fth chapter of Photographing Architecture and Interiors is given over to a detailed study
of a house in Bel Air, designed by Harold Levitt and photographed by Shulman for House & Garden in 1961. Apart from the
briey glimpsed, distant silhouettes of a woman, a child and a dog in the driveway, the place is still and empty: the stark
concrete roof overhang shelters nobody, acres of glass reveal no reections, untrod prairies of thick carpet stretch into the
distance. Neutra wrote of architectures relation to the vivid time of our living responses which melt one moment into the
next, and one impression into what follows, while we minutely move the eye, turn and tilt the head, or step through spaces
and past forms. The photographers job, in that context, was to approximate essential memory images, to guide the time
traveller. But Shulman pictures a world without memory, only an interminable future.
In a sense, Shulmans exquisite images are the curiously pristine ruins of a particular vision of Modernism. (In some
cases, it has been merely stealthily eroded: there are carpets on the concrete oors of the Stahl house today, curtains in the
windows and a hot tub next to the pool.) In an interview for the Smithsonian in 1990, Shulman said of the Stahl house: we
had dreamed that this would be the essence of the ensuing decades, generations, of architecture in the Hollywood Hills. But
theres only one house like that. On the other hand, Shulman has ensured, in the remarkable uniformity of his style, that all
the glass and steel constructions of Southern California look as though they might join up to compose one seamless
monochrome modernist fantasia. And if that vision is now revisited only ironically, in the architectural and photographic
fantasies of Andreas Gursky, for instance, it is surely also true that it looked weird and unreal to begin with. Shulman tried to
register the architects designs, but in the process recorded their dreams.
Shulman Portfolios #112; Modernism Rediscovered, edited by Peter Gssel; and Case Study Houses, by Elizabeth A.T.
Smith, edited by Peter Gssel, are all published by Taschen
Case Study House #22, Los Angeles, California, undated, gelatin silver print, 21 x 26 cm.
All photographs by Julius Shulman J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission.
Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
SPECIAL FOCUS
ARTREVIEW
p 94-99 Design Julius AR Apr07.i99 99 8/3/07 02:39:07
Whats gone wrong
with US design?
DESIGN MIAMI LAST DECEMBER was a great place to witness Americas
design culture in full boom. On the rst day of the fair, attended by some 40,000
people, 12 of Marc Newsons Chop Top tables (2006) sold for $170,000 apiece at
Gallerie Kreo within 20 minutes of opening, while the prototype (2006) of Dutch
wunderkind Joris Laarmans computer-grown resin chaise got snapped up for
35,000. Among the designers whose pieces got the rave treatment namely Zaha
Hadid, Marcel Wanders, Maarten Baas there was only one American, Wendell
Castle, a 74-year-old from Bualo better known in the crafts world for his eccentric
wood carvings. And Castle was there with reissues of a plastic furniture collection he
had originally designed more than 30 years ago.
Ask anyone why brand-name American designers are in such short supply, even as design
itself has never been a hotter topic, and its like poking a hot iron into an exposed nerve. Cultural
inferiority, disposable mindset, lack of education, cynicism and disrespect for the man-made are the
quick answers that come tumbling from the mouths of frustrated curators, editors, designers, and even
manufacturers. And maybe it is all that plus something else: design culture in America and in Europe
are just two dierent beasts.
Consider the very splashy opening-night party at the Gagosian Gallery in Manhattan about a
month after the Miami show. The one-man showcase of Marc Newsons latest limited-edition works
signalled to many that design had arrived as a subject worthy of artworld attention and dollars. And
yet, at the after-party, Newsons two-ton marble tables and nickel-plated surfboards were promptly
upstaged by Jonathan Ive, the (British-born) senior vice president of industrial design at Apple,
showing o his prototype of the new iPhone (Can you get porn on there?asked Gagosian. You bet!)
Johnny Ives name may only be known to handful of households, but millions know all the latest
details of the iPhone that his team designed. Here in the land of Xerox, Kleenex and Levis, brand, not
name, has always come rst. People may not know the individuals, but they know the objects, says
Paola Antonelli, a design curator at New Yorks Museum of Modern Art. In the US, design work is
either done by craftspeople working out at the Brooklyn Yards or by gigantic companies where the
names are kept in the background. Whats totally missing are the mid-size companies that push
names forward, like Cappellini, Moroso, Established & Sons.
The career trajectory of young American designers runs the opportunity gamut of A to B at
the International Contemporary Furniture Fair held each May at the icy blue Jacob Javits convention
hall in Manhattan. There, tucked into cramped cubicles, plywood torturers, glass-blowers, rug weavers
and assorted design innovators valiantly stand around for days handing out their hand-stapled press
releases, DVDs and eye-catching non-traditional business cards to all comers. In Europe, young
designers work with well-known manufacturers who understand promotion and publicity, says Susan
Szenasy, editor in chief of Metropolis magazine, a sponsor of the ICFF. Here young designers are on
their own, and they are struggling because theres no funding for innovation. And when manufacturers
do pay lip service to the young, you can be sure that they are only going to hire the most successful,
the most photogenic and the most sexy. One such manufacturer, Herman Miller, is currently working
with Ayse Birsel (born in Turkey); Studio 7.5 (based in Berlin); and Eric Chan (out of China).
words JULIE V. IOVINE
ARTREVIEW
p100-102 USA AR Apr07.indd 100 6/3/07 01:48:58
ARTREVIEW
Quelques Aspects de lArt Bourgeois: Le Non-Intervention,
2006 (installation view). Courtesy Andrew Kreps Gallery, New
York
Wendell Castle, The Black Edition Big Table, 2006, black gel-coated reinforced plastic, 546 x 145 x 74 cm, edition of 8 + 2 APs,
signed and numbered, produced by Wendell Castle Studio. Photo: Timothy Hogan. Courtesy R20th Century, New York
p100-102 USA AR Apr07.indd 101 6/3/07 01:48:59
The legacy of Charles and Ray Eames, Raymond Loewy, George Nelson and the like would seem to have been
drowned out by such Darwinian selectivity. (Szenasy said that that whole postwar owering episode was a uke anyway: the
anomalous by-product of George Nelson being a maverick design director at Herman Miller.) More typically,
manufacturing in the US has been a segmented aair, where design, process and marketing departments are isolated
duchies within an organisation that pulls whatever strings necessary to maximise prots.
The approach works because Americans are largely impervious to good design. And thats a tradition. Observers
spread the blame all around: Americans lack the education compared to Europeans, who have a more rened aesthetic
sensibility honed over the eons; Americans respond to beauty primarily in nature; Europeans as often in the man-made. The
American economy is built on things that are made down and dirty, turning an aesthetic failing into a moral one. Europeans
are tuned into the reality of long-term investment and conserving resources much more assertively. For Americans, its all
about disposability and replaceability, says Michael Maharam, of Maharam textiles, who has raised the prole of a family
business already protable for acoustical fabrics by working with the non-American likes of Konstantin Grcic, Hella
Jongerius and, most recently, Beatriz Milhazes, an artist from Brazil. Maharam states that he looks for designers with an
identiable intellectual approach and look, and that few Americans have it. The exception, he says, is Karim Rashid:
Whether you like it or not, he does have a look.
America might be too big for such nuance. In the land of opportunity, success goes only to products that appeal to
the broadest common denominator: think Michael Graves and his more than 200 cerulean-blue and sienna-red items for
Target. Similarly, why trust your own yen for a Jasper Morrison coee pot when you have the tastemakers Martha Stewart
and Oprah Winfrey, ever at the ready to be the real arbiters of quality and desire?
Things are changing, all agree. Theres a new awareness of design and designers ltering down from fashion and the
luxury market, where it has always been about provenance and the name on the label. Yves Behar, Swiss born but San
Francisco based, and one of Americas few design names to conjure with, is now working not only with elite rms like
Herman Miller and Nike but also Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola. The dearth of American designers is beside the
point: The nationality argument just isnt that important, Behar says. If were really honest, there arent that many known
designers in any country. A Brit will say theres no work in England; the Parisians want to work in the US. And just try to
name a designer on the continent of Africa. What matters is the culture of design. And its growing.
left: Yves Behar, Leaf Personal Lights, 2006, for Herman Miller.
Photo: Nick Merrick, Courtesy Herman Miller
right: Michael Graves, Kettle, 1985, the rst Alessi product
to be designed by an American, Courtesy Alessi
SPECIAL FOCUS
ARTREVIEW
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ART PILGRIMAGE MILAN & TURIN
ARTREVIEW
p108-116 Pilgrimage Milan-Turin 108 108 6/3/07 01:41:52
Milan Turin
THE CITIES ACCORDING TO ART
words PAOLA NOE
photography MICHELA FORMENTI
Milan and Turin have been
without doubt, the centres
of postwar Italian art
Milan with Fontana and
Manzoni, the furniture of
Zanuso and Castiglioni
programmed art
concretism; Turin with
Arte Povera and Boetti. For
decades they were also
equals, engaged in a
fascinating conversation
neither clearly dominating
the other

,
,
:
.
,
,
p108-116 Pilgrimage Milan-Turin 109 109 6/3/07 01:42:04
above right: Gallerist
Francesca Kauffman (left)
and sister Chiara
right: Gi Marconi
preceding pages: Christoph
Girardet & Matthias Mller
lm still from Kristalla,
2006, in the group show
Collateral, 2007,
at Hangar Bicocca
Unfortunately, in recent times the artworld has
come to see them differently; Milan, it would seem,
has been relegated. Due perhaps to the large influx
of funds that the Piedmont region and its capital
received for last years Olympics (when the Turin
Triennale also came into being), Turin appears to be
on the move, full of ideas and rich in initiative and
variety. Milan, on the other hand, remains tied to its
former fame and somewhat counterproductively
for the art and its local artists working in fashion and
design to business.
The real difference, however, exists in their
relations with the public and private sectors, and the
roles the two sectors play in the artworld. For a start,
Milan has no state contemporary art museum (a
1979 contemporary art pavilion, called PAC, seeks to
position itself alongside the German Kunsthalle, but
the comparison is disingenuous, not least in terms of
programming). Milan has long spoken of plans to
build a museo del presente next to the former petrol
depot in the industrial Bovisa area, but it remains
just talk. Turin, on the other hand, boasts institutions
such as the Galleria Civica dArte Moderna and
Castello di Rivoli, the latter Italys most important
contemporary art museum, founded in 1984 with
regional financing but recently receiving significant
private investment. In Milan its up to private
investors to compensate for lack of public spaces
and investment, and the result is foundations
and exclusively private galleries. From among
the city's large number of private collectors, four
important foundations have emerged: the
Fondazione Prada (founded by Miuccia Prada and
husband), the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi (also of
fashion fame), the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro
and Hangar Bicocca.
Art continues to flourish in Milan thanks largely
to the galleries, both new and old. Recently the old
Lambrate, a onetime factory in the northeast of the
city, was partially converted into gallery spaces by
dealers following in the footsteps of the great
Massimo De Carlo, who pioneered the art area,
now known as Via Ventura 5. They include Paolo
Zanis Zero gallery and Francesca Minini, both
young gallerists dedicated to promoting young
artists, many of whom are now receiving international
attention. Turin has no fewer foundations (the
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudegno and the
Fondazione Merz, for example) or galleries (Maze,
Franco Noero and Sonia Rosso, who have for some
time shown at international fairs). Undoubtedly a
convincing scene within the international art arena
could again emerge between these two cities, but
in Italy, art, like so much else, waits for better times
Milan
p108-116 Pilgrimage Milan-Turin 110 110 8/3/07 17:02:31
ART PILGRIMAGE MILAN
GALLERIA CARDI
Piazza S. Erasmo 3
+39 02 62690945
CARDI CO
Corso di Porta Nuova 38
+39 02 29003235
www.galleriacardi.com
Renato Cardi opened his gallery in
1972 and has worked with leading
figures of the Transavanguardia,
including Nicola De Maria, Mimmo
Paladino and Francesco Clemente.
Since then he has worked with both
Italian and international artists, from
Jean-Michel Basquiat and David
Salle to Alighiero Boetti, Gino De
Dominicis and the younger Bertozzi-
Casoni.
MONICA DE CARDENAS
Via Francesco Vigan 4
+39 02 29010068
Monica De Cardenas has worked with
a host of international artists (Alex
Katz, Stephan Balkenhol, Philip-Lorca
diCorcia and Thomas Struth) for
some 15 years, as well as focusing on
young Italians such as Claudia Losi
and Andrea Sala.
GALLERIES
GALLERIA FRANCESCA
KAUFMANN
Via dellOrso 16
+39 02 72094331
www.galleriafrancescakaufmann.com
Francesca Kaufmann has recently
doubled her exhibition space in the
very central Via dellOrso. A charming
and forceful voice for young Italian
artists such as Gianni Caravaggio and
Pierpaolo Campanini, she has also
hosted solo shows for Candice Breitz,
Pae White and Lily van der Stokker.
GIO MARCONI
Via Tadino 15
+39 02 29404373
www.giomarconi.com
Founded in 1990, Gi Marconi moved
into its new space in 2004 and now
occupies four floors. In addition to
Grazia Toderi, one of the gallery's
most important artists, Marconi has
worked with Franz Ackermann, John
Bock, Tobias Rehberger, Elisa Sighicelli,
Vibeke Tandberg and the young
international star Francesco Vezzoli.
ANTONIO COLOMBO ARTE
CONTEMPORANEA
Via Solferino 44
+39 02 29060171
www.colomboarte.com
LIA RUMMA
Via Solferino 44
+39 02 29000101
www.gallerialiarumma.it
Located side by side are collector
and entrepreneur Antonio
Colombos gallery and the Milan
branch of Neapolitan gallerist Lia
Rumma. Colombo supports the
practice of numerous artists through
eclectic shows such as Senza Freni
(No Brakes), for which 20 artists
prepared interpretations of the iconic
Volkswagen van. Rumma opened in
Milan at the end of the 1990s with
a homage to the city in the shape
of Enrico Castellani. She has since
mounted important solo exhibitions
by Gary Hill, William Kentridge and
Granular Synthesis.
ARTREVIEW
Francesca Kauffman from
the knees down, with works
by Gianni Caravaggio,
Waste of Absolute Energy
(2007)
p108-116 Pilgrimage Milan-Turin 111 111 6/3/07 01:42:30
GALLERIA SUZY SHAMMAH
Via San Fermo/via Moscova 25
+39 02 29061697
www.suzyshammah.com
Not far from the Via Solferino, Suzy
Shammahs gallery collaborates with
artists such as Esko Mannikko (with
whom Suzy began her career), Remy
Zaugg and Ingar Krauss, as well as
younger Italian artists such as Alice
Cattaneo.
STUDIO GUENZANI
Via Eustachi 10
+39 02 29409251
www.studioguenzani.it
Claudio Guenzani has long been
a determined promoter of the next
generation of Italian artists, from
Margherita Manzelli and Giuseppe
Gabellone to Patrick Tuttofuoco, Luisa
Lambri and Alessandro Pessoli.
GALLERIA MASSIMO DE
CARLO
Via Giovanni Ventura 5
+39 02 7492135
www.massimodecarlo.it
De Carlo opened his first gallery in
1987 in Via Panfilo Castaldi. After
moves to Via Bocconi and Viale
Corsica, De Carlo arrived in Via
Ventura, former site of Faema coffee
machine manufacturers, as a pioneer in
2003. On his roster are the stars of the
Italian and international artworld, as
well as younger artists such as Roberto
Cuoghi and Paola Pivi.
ROSSANA CIOCCA
Via Lecco 15
+39 02 29530826
www.rossanaciocca.it
Among the artists Rossana Ciocca has
long promoted are Marisa Albanese,
Alex Pinna, Manuela Cirino, Luisa
Rabbia, Helidon Gjergji, Andrea
Massaioli and Rey Akdogan.
GALLERIA RAFFAELLA
CORTESE
Via Alessandro Stradella 7
+39 02 2043555
www.galleriaraffaellacortese.com
In this new space, Raffaella Cortese
pursues work with a number of
internationally renowned artists, nearly
all female. One need only think of the
beautiful shows by Kiki Smith, Roni
Horn and Destiny Deacon. Her only
Italian artist is Marcello Maloberti.
ZERO
Via Giovanni Ventura 5
+39 02 36514283
www.galleriazero.it
De Carlos assistant until 1999, gallerist
Paolo Zani is about to expand his
space in Via Ventura. His programme
features shows by young Italian and
international artists, such as Micol
Assael, Hubert Duprat, Francesco
Gennari, Tue Greenfort, Michael
Sailstorfer and Hans Schabus
FRANCESCA MININI
Via Massimiano 25
+39 02 26924671
www.francescaminini.it
Minini, daughter of Brescian gallerist
Massimo, has chosen Lambrate for
her new space. Among her promising
young artists are Alessandro Ceresoli,
Paolo Chiasera, Gabriele Picco and
Francesco Simeti.
GALLERIA KLERKX
Via Massimiano 25
+39 02 21597763
www.manuelaklerkx.com
Belgian Manuela Klerkx, long resident
in Milan, works with Lorenza Boisi,
Matt Calderwood, Renato Galante,
David Renggli, Josef Schulz, Jennifer
Tee, Simone Tosca and Raffael
Waldner, among others.
top:
Gallerist Suzy Shammah
middle:
Opening night at Galleria
Massimo De Carlo
above:
Milan-based art journalist
Sonia Campagnola at De
Carlo opening
p108-116 Pilgrimage Milan-Turin 112 112 6/3/07 01:43:03
ARTREVIEW
ART PILGRIMAGE MILAN
MUSEUMS
TRIENNALE
Viale Alemagna 6
TRIENNALE BOVISA
Via Lambruschini 31
+39 02 724341
www.triennale.it
PAC, PADIGLIONE DARTE
CONTEMPORANEA
Via Palestro 14
+39 02 76020400
www.comune.milano.it/pac
BOOKS
CORSO COMO
Corso Como 10
+39 02 64831
www.10corsocomo.com
AM BOOKSTORE
Via Tadino 30
+39 02 29527729
www.artecontemporanea.com
ART BOOK MILANO
Via Ventura 5
+39 02 21597624
www.artbookmilano.it
BD STUDIO
CONTEMPORANEA
Via Calvi 18/1
+39 02 54122563
www.bnd.it
B&Ds programming is interesting and
attuned to a wide range of media,
including electronica, video and
computing. Gallery artists include the
Blue Noses, David LaChapelle, Erwin
Olaf and Orlan.
EMI FONTANA
Viale Bligny 42
+39 02 58322237
www.galleriaemifontana.com
The gallerist-curator (as she
defines herself ) Emi Fontana has
demonstrated both courage and
innovation in her promotion of shows.
Early gambles on then-unknown Italian
(Monica Bonvicini) and foreign (Mark
Dion) artists have paid off. Other
artists include Sam Durant, Olafur
Eliasson, Liam Gillick, Ketty La Rocca,
Lovett/Codagnone, Liliana Moro,
Diana Thater, Rirkrit Tiravanija,
Luca Vitone, Gillian Wearing and
many others.
Emi Fontana in her
gallery, with work from
Sam Durants 20067 solo
show Scenes from the
Pilgrim Story: Goodbye
to Merry Mount
RESTAURANTBAR
COFEE DESIGN
c/o Triennale
Viale Alemagna 6
www.triennale.it
FOUNDATIONS
HANGAR BICOCCA
Via Chiese (at Viale Sarca)
+39 02 8535 31764
www.hangarbicocca.it
FONDAZIONE PRADA
Via Fogazzaro 36
+39 02 54670515
www.fondazioneprada.org
FONDAZIONE NICOLA
TRUSSARDI
Piazza della Scala 5
+39 028068821
www.fondazionenicolatrussardi.com
FONDAZIONE ARNALDO
POMODORO
Via Andrea Solari 35
+39 0289075394 www.
fondazionearnaldopomodoro.it
p108-116 Pilgrimage Milan-Turin 113 113 6/3/07 01:43:16
ARTREVIEW
ART PILGRIMAGE TURIN
GALLERIES
MAZE
Via Mazzini 40
+39 011 8154145
www.galleriamaze.it
The Maze space, in a former pinball-
machine factory, features great natural
light and a programme of group and
solo shows by young international
artists such as Pablo Vargas Lugo,
Jesper Just and Richard Woods. Its
not lacking in Italians, either: Flavio
Favelli, Piero Golia, Sandrine Nicoletta,
and Valerio Rocco Orlando.
IN ARCO
Piazza Vittorio Veneto 13
+39 011 8122927
www.in-arco.com
Sergio Bertaccinis centrally located
In Arco has hosted important solo and
group shows by Ross Bleckner, James
Brown, Teresita Fernandez, Timothy
Greenfield-Sanders, Richard Kern and
many others not to mention Italians
Stefano Arienti, Marco Cingolani and
Alessandro Pessoli.
GIORGIO PERSANO
Piazza Vittorio Veneto 9
Via Principessa Clotilde 45
+39 011 4378178
www.giorgiopersano.org
A big name in Turin, Giorgio Persano
has a 30-year history at this location.
In March 2005 he opened his second
exhibition space, in a former industrial
hangar in Via Principessa Clotilde.
Shows there have included exhibitions
by Arte Povera masters as well as
Pedro Cabrata and Susy Gmez.
SONIA ROSSO
Via Giulia di Barolo 11/h
+39 011 8172478
www.soniarosso.com
Rosso, who opened her space in this
former stable in 1998, focuses beyond
the Alps, representing Pierre Bismuth,
Scott King, Peter Land, Jonathan
Monk, Scott Myles and Annika Strm.
Her Italians include Massimiliano
Buvoli and Alice Guareschi.
GUIDOCOSTAPROJECT
Via Mazzini 24 . +39 011 8154113
www.guidocostaprojects.com
Guido Costa opened in 2001 in an
old lithographers studio and has
since focused on the production
of works specifically for the space.
He collaborates with Italian and
international artists (primarily video
artists and photographers) such as
Nan Goldin and Boris Mikhailov.
VITAMIN ARTE
CONTEMPORANEA
Cortile dei Ciliegi
Via Vittorio Andreis 12/C
+39 011 4338836. www.vitaminart.it
Maurizio Degiuli and Marta Goglia,
now bolstered by associates Carlo
Gai, Vito Russo and Roberto Trinomi,
have been in their new location in the
former Porta Palazzo arsenal for a year.
Among their promising young Italians
are Roberto Ago, Marco Maggi,
Donatella Spaziani and Sara Cirac.
Foreigners include Merlin James,
Sun K. Kwak and Valeska Soares.
Turin
Exterior of Maze gallery,
with a view into Valerio
Rocco Orlando, The
Sentimental Glance, 2007
p108-116 Pilgrimage Milan-Turin 114 114 6/3/07 01:43:20
MARCO NOIRE
CONTEMPORARY ART
Via Brichetto 23 (San Sebastiano)
Via Gaudenzio Ferrari 5
+39 011 9191201
www.marconoire.com
Marco Noire, a gallerist and editor,
has worked for close to 25 years with
high-calibre artists such as Mario Merz,
Giulio Paolini, Sol LeWitt and Richard
Long. Attuned to new creations by
artists the world over, Noire fills out
the gallerys programme with special
projects and museum collaborations,
including work with Shirin Neshat,
Miguel Angel Ros and artists
collective Masbedo, who opened his
second space last year.
ARTE CONTEMPORANEA
Via Mazzini 41
+39 011 8129544
www.41artecontemporanea.com
This young gallery focuses primarily on
design and graphic works. Among its
artists are Maurizio Donzelli, Armida
Grandini, Gosia Turzeniecka and
Andrea Massaioli.
PHOTO CONTEMPORARY
Via dei Mille 36
+39 011 889884
Directed by Valerio Tazzetti and
Marco Voena, the gallery, located
on the second floor of a Borghese
palace, is one of Turins temples to
contemporary photography.
TUCCI RUSSO
Via Stamperia 9, Torre Pellice
+39 012 1953357
www.tuccirusso.com
Antonio Tucci Russos gallery, opened
in 1975, is internationally renowned for
important exhibitions by the masters
of Arte Povera and land art, from
Giovanni Anselmo and Pier Paolo
Casolari, to Marisa Merz and Mario
Merz, Giulio Paolini, Richard Long
and Tony Cragg. In 1995 he moved to
Torre Pellice, 60 miles from Turin, to
a former textile factory, and has since
been investing in younger talents such
as Gianni Caravaggio, Francesco
Gennari and Robin Rhode.
FRANCO SOFFIANTINO
Via Rossini 23
+39 011 837743
www.francosoffiantino.com
Franco Soffiantinos newly expanded
location was recently host to an
important show by Tania Bruguera.
Other artists include Maja Bajevic,
Rebecca Belmore, Michael Beutler,
Jimmie Durham, Kate Gilmore, Ryan
Johnson, Petra Lindholm, Katerina
Seda, Nancy Spero, Enzo Umbaca
and Luca Vitone.
FRANCO NOERO
Via Giolitti 52 A
+39 011 882208
www.franconoero.com
Among Turins younger galleries,
Franco Noero has proved itself the
most attuned to the Italian scene.
Artists include Francesco Vezzoli
and Lara Favaretto, as well as Tom
Burr, Jeff Burton, Henrik Hkansson,
Gabriel Kuri, Jim Lambie, Paul
Morrison and Rob Pruitt.
GAGLIARDI ART SYSTEM GAS
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 90
+39 011 19700031
www.gasart.it
Directed by Pietro Gagliardi, this
space focuses on young Italian talents
and foreigners such as Fabio Viale,
Jelena Vasiljev, Margot Quan Knight,
Daniel Glaser and Magdalena Kunz.
top:
Franco Sof antino gallery,
installation view,
Gareth James,
Turning Serious, 2006
above:
Franco Noero gallery,
installation view, Neil
Campbell, Boom Boom, 2007
(top and above left),
black wall painting, 300
cm diameter, and Zero,
2007 (above right), black
and yellow Day-Glo wall
painting, 95 x 95 cm
p108-116 Pilgrimage Milan-Turin 115 115 6/3/07 01:43:23
ART PILGRIMAGE TURIN
FOUNDATIONS
FONDAZIONE MERZ
Via Limone 24
+39 011 19719437
www.fondazionemerz.org
FONDAZIONE SANDRETTO
RE REBAUDENGO
Via Modane 16
+39 011 3797600
www.fondsrr.org
MUSEUMS
CASTELLO DI RIVOLI
Piazza Mafalda di Savoia, Rivoli
+39 011 9565222
www.castellodirivoli.org
GALLERIA CIVICA DARTE
MODERNA
Via Magenta 31
+39 011 4429518
www.gamtorino.it
BOOKS
CO CASTELLO DI RIVOLI
Piazza Mafalda di Savoia, Rivoli
+39 01 19565222
www.castellodirivoli.org
CO GALLERIA CIVICA
DARTE MODERNA
Via Magenta 31
+39 011 4429518
www.gamtorino.it
RESTAURANTSBARS
COMBAL.ZERO
Piazza Mafalda di Savoia
+39 011 9565225
www.combal.org
SPAZIO
Via Modane 20/A Via Milio 15/A
+39 011 3797635
www.ristorantespazio.com
BRASSERIE SOCIETE LUTECE
Piazza Carlo Emanuele II
+39 011 887644
ARTREVIEW
above:
Fondazione Merz exhibition
space, newly reopened following
refurbishment
p108-116 Pilgrimage Milan-Turin 116 116 6/3/07 13:26:22
Bacardi Ad AR Apr07 24/2/07 02:42 Page 1
MI XED MEDI A:
THE TWO TOWERS:
Grazia Toderi
words SKYE SHERWIN
THE ITALIAN VIDEO ARTIST EXPLORES THE MYTHIC CITY
BABEL IS A CITY OF SHIFTING SYMBOLISM a mythical place in which
humankind works towards the shared goal of self-advancement. In
the biblical story that meant building a great library and a stairway
to heaven; in our own era its technological progress and consumer
capitalism. And needless to say, our society, riddled with the fallout
of rampant capitalism, the ramifications of limited fuel resources
and global warming, seems, like Babel, inherently doomed. This
is a duality that Milanese artist Grazia Toderi has explored with a
deceptively delicate touch in her latest videowork. Rosso Babele
(Red Babel; 2006) is a two-screen projection, installed in a gallery
corner, which presents the image of a city rising up like a giant
nipple against a red night sky on one screen, while on the second
screen that image is inverted.
Visually the effect of Toderis Babel has little in common
with traditional depictions. While her tower shares the conical form
described in Pieter Bruegel the Elders 1563 painting (which is itself
based on the Colosseum in Rome), there is none of that works
chock-a-block chaos, with an architecture bound to earth under a
stormy heaven, nor is there the geometrical precision of another
famed imagining, M.C. Eschers 1928 woodcut, Tower of Babel.
Rather Toderi has dreamed into being an ethereal star-spangled
metropolis, created from metropolitan light and circled by what
might be flying saucers or shining will-o-the-wisps. The painterly
red of the sky may seethe with all the glowering gloom of a Rothko
or a revolutions menace, derived, according to the artist, from the
colour that glows from sodium-vapour streetlights, yet the citys
flickering, mutable nature suggests that this is not a place destined
for a final tragic end.
Contemporary conceptions of Babel, like Alejandro
Gonzlez Irritus film of that name, focus on misunderstandings
between different cultures, be it the developed and the
developing world, the everyday frictions between people of
different backgrounds on any city street or the teeming variety
of ideas and voices vying for attention in the information age.
Toderi has identified this last factor as being of special relevance
to her, something Francesca Pasini describes in the catalogue that
accompanied this years exhibition at PAC in Milan, where this
work debuted, as the current excess of communication, which
often translates as an impoverishment of the message.
It is perhaps surprising then that there is no language in Rosso
Babele: the soundtrack is made up of non-human, mechanical city
sounds, the whirr of a chopper or the roar of traffic. While the image
of the collapsing tower has traditionally been read as a metaphor
for the scattering of languages and the castration of phallic pride,
Toderis work stretches beyond this. While the towers destruction
is a warning to the power hungry, the tower itself is a symbol of a
united humanity, of the drive to self-determination and defiance
against a totalitarian God. Toderi has worked with images of the
city before, exploring heavenly viewpoints that are considered to
be similarly out of bounds. In Citt Invisibile (Invisible City; 2003)
and other renderings of London, Milan, Florence and Los Angeles
she used satellite photography usually reserved for military use
to provide an urban perspective denied to most. In these works
Toderi effects a reversal through which a citys flickering lights seen
from outer space appear more like a map of the stars, visually
connecting earth and the cosmos.
Created by layering pictures of a variety of urban scenes,
her Babel is everywhere and nowhere, much like the global
village, but it is also otherworldly, furthering the ideas explored
in those earlier works. The image of the city inverted also implies a
time cycle of perpetually bound opposites destruction and progress,
misunderstanding and clarity, heaven and hell. It presents the city as an
underworld, where the earth and the urban lights hang at the top of the
screen and the dark void of night below. Its a Hades, a land of the dead,
but flip it over and it becomes the buzzing metropolis. The world of life
and death are the same, it just depends on your perspective.
Rosso Babele is on show at fa projects, London, until 19 May
p118-119 Mixed Media Grazia AR A118 118 6/3/07 02:54:23
Rosso Babele (Red Babel), 2006
(installation view, Padiglione dArte
Contemporanea, Milan), two video
projections, loop, DVD, variable
dimensions, colour, stereo sound.
Courtesy fa projects, London
ARTREVIEW
MIXED MEDIA MOVING IMAGES
p118-119 Mixed Media Grazia AR A119 119 6/3/07 02:54:40
words IAN WHITE
ROTTERDAMNED
DONT SIT BACK, BUT ENJOY THE SHOW
ARTREVIEW
MIXED MEDIA MOVING IMAGES
Emma Hart and Benedict Drew, Untitled 1, 2006, performance
p120-121 Mixed Media Film AR Apr2 2 7/3/07 17:31:24
ONE OF THE ONLY DUTCH CITIES bombed during the Second
World War, Rotterdam was rebuilt in the modern vernacular:
clean lines of buildings on a grid of straight roads. Arriving
there from its antithesis, Amsterdam, is like the experience
of breathing again after being choked by the wheels-within-
wheels of that citys pretty canals.
If only that were also true of the International Film Festival
Rotterdam. Of course, all festivals risk suffocating audiences
with relentless screenings, but IFFRs vast schedule is a real
challenge. This year I focused on screenings of experimental,
artists and short films and the supposed jewel in the festivals
curatorial crown, the Seatless Cinema. Understanding the
cinema as an exhibition space is an ongoing project, while
exploring alternatives to the standard experience of narrative
feature films is an avant-garde staple. But removing all the
seats in one small auditorium and replacing them with giant
beanbags raised more questions than it provided solutions,
and ultimately felt like an unnecessary, wilful impoverishment
of the viewing experience.
By day three a rash of folding chairs had appeared
in the Seatless Cinema. Climbing over and into the
beanbags might have encouraged new friendships, but
once youd landed among their massive folds you were
utterly immobilised: perversely viewers became the literal
embodiment of passivity that much experimental film of
the 1960s and 70s railed against, and that the remodelled
auditorium was attempting partly to counter.
One day was given over to Amsterdams cooperative-
modelled underground experimental-film movement Electric
Cinema (196974). Somewhat labouring their credentials,
each programme began with the same bland film by Kurt
Kren (the pioneering Austrian structuralist who made
meticulously edited film-as-art, documenting Viennese
Actionism), showing the Electric Cinemas interior. Its story
echoes its London and New York counterparts, its repertoire
now familiarly canonical: William Raban, Stephen Dwoskin,
Barbara Meter (one of its founders), Carolee Schneeman.
This series and others bravely incorporated expanded
cinema multi-screen projections or performance-based
film/video works. Three works by Malcolm Le Grice (an
eminent founder member of the London Film-Makers
Co-op) included the seminal Castle One (1966; a lightbulb
flashed randomly in front of the screen showing a radical,
austere, incredibly elegant found-footage montage). The
disconcertingly authoritarian VALIE EXPORT performed
some pioneering early works in which the artist or her viewers
directly interact with the screen. After a member of the
audience completed the public drawing that constitutes the
film Auf+Ab+An+Zu (1968), EXPORT insisted on signing
it herself, re-inscribing authorship at the very moment she
seemed to be giving it away. Such contradiction echoed the
problems of this too-literal general re-enactment, and was
reflected in an insufferably dull, self-referential discussion
panel between Le Grice, Meter et al.
The only real transcendence were the outstanding
performances of British artists Emma Hart and Benedict
Drew. In Untitled 1 (2006) Drew stands in front of the screen
holding an electric guitar while Hart monitors a 16mm
projector placed near the audience. The filmstrip travels
from the projector to the guitar, then around several of its
strings, and back. As each splice passes through the guitar
it plucks the strings, with Drew, revealed intermittently by
the projected image of alternate black leader and clear film,
effecting only reverb. Technical aspects of the work were
neither hidden nor visible, creating an effect that was stark
and yet lyrical, limited yet expanding. The result was hypnotic,
tense and utterly entrancing, at once magical and technically
astute, a brilliantly restrained drama between a projector and
a guitar, between a woman and a man.
Elsewhere the competition programmes of American
work organised by Mark McElhatten were coherent both
conceptually and in terms of content, continuing to evince
good curatorship. Michael Robinsons films, emotionally
weaving between formalism, politics and mystery, were
exceptionally beautiful. Why this considered curatorial
approach was reserved exclusively for American works is too
imperialist to consider! Happily enough, a video essay on the
Turkish construction of nationalism, Bayrak (The Flag; 2007),
by Kken Ergun, was one of three prizewinners a surprise
compounded by the artists appearance on the front page
of the Turkish newspaper Milliyet, which in the film festival
context felt like the rare proof that there is at least some kind
of life outside of these bizarre circuses.
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words REGINE DEBATTY
MIXED MEDIA DIGITAL
ARTREVIEW
DEVICE ART HOW CAN YOU ASSOCIATE TWO WORDS THAT SEEM
SO OPPOSITE? And what happens when objects that are apparently no
more than standard consumer electronics lend themselves to the
creation of novel artistic experiences?
Device art doesnt refer to mobile phones clad in gold paint by
some trendy duo of Italian fashion designers. According to media-art
historian Machiko Kusahara, What we call device art is a form of media
art that integrates art and technology as well as design, entertainment
and popular culture.
Be that as it may, device art seems to be associated rst and
foremost with Japanese culture, and its superstar is Ryota Kuwakubo
(not least because he actually denes himself as a device artist). Despite
the fact that many of his works look like mass-produced goods,
Kuwakubo crafts everything himself: a white LED display with a quirky
dancing character that can be worn (and used) as a watch; a tiny device
that plugs into the TV and unleashes that same character onscreen; a
handheld device that jams live electronic sounds, etc.
Examples of device art pop up here and there in the Western
world. Take Buttons (2006), for instance. This networked camera was
designed by German artist Sascha Pohepp as a means of capturing a
moment (but not a landscape or a smile or a family party) at the press of
a button. Buttons doesnt have any optical parts. Made of laser-cut
acrylic, it is black and shiny with a big red button. Press it and the camera
will search the Internet for photos taken by somebody who pressed the
button of his or her digital camera at the very same moment. Shortly a
picture appears on Buttons screen. Youll never know who took it, or why
and in what circumstances. All youll know with certainty is that
somewhere a photographer performed the same action pressing a
button at the same moment as you. A strange feeling of intimacy
emerges, but it is shared with someone it is extremely unlikely you will
ever meet.
Like many pieces of new media art, device art questions our
relationship with technology without ever becoming sarcastic. The works
are made from chips, bits of plastic and buttons, but they still look like
impeccably designed objects when switched o (if youve ever ventured
into the exhibition space of a new media art festival when the show is
over, youll understand what I mean). In fact, their aesthetics is a crucial
element of the artistic experience. Works of device art are playful,
engaging and accessible; they could even be mass-produced. Were it to
happen some of Kuwakubos pieces have been commercialised
would the pieces still be regarded as artworks? I would say yes, not least
because Id rather carry one of them in my handbag than any hyped
designer phone.
Device Art
above left: Ryota Kuwakubo, Bitman, 1998, edition of 256
(binary S/N). Made in collaboration with Maywa Denki. the
artist. Courtesy the artist and Lucy Mackintosh Gallery, Lausanne
left: Sascha Poh epp, Buttons, 2006. Courtesy the artist
WHAT ON EARTH IS IT?
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p135-148 Reviews AR Apr07.indd 135 27/2/07 04:22:53
ARTREVIEW
The Actor, 2006
oil on canvas
127 x 107 cm.
Courtesy Simon Lee Gallery,
London, Luhring Augustine,
New York, and Galerie Andrea
Caratsch AG, Zrich
A few years ago George Condo almost went linear on us. Paintings of psychotic
priests and grotesque bacchanals entitled The Last Days of Enron (2004)
suggested the artist was, for once, angling his funhouse mirrors away from art
history and towards contemporary Americas queasy mix of conservatism and
avarice. If Condos newest portraits speak of his homelands psychoses, they do
so more obliquely. The crassly vivacious female nude in Metamorphosis (2006)
stands in classic 1950s cheesecake pose: dark curls streaming, legs pitched apart
and chest out, crossed arms forming an M behind her head. Condo has done
various surreal violences to this lowbrow and vaguely antiquated ideal: one bare
calf culminates in an elephants hoof, the other in a piratical peg leg. Her face,
meanwhile, speaks of multi-axial schizophrenia. One eye blandly sultry and one
dementedly wide and glassy, a budlike nose and a catlike mouth which, in several
further variations on this portrait, will be cubistically repeated and nightmarishly
squared o: the mindless jaws of a machine.
This is Condos development of Picasso and Braques decisive
fragmentations: images that dont cohere, are apprehensible only in fragments
and signify with wild variation from zone to zone. His women are emblems of
castration fear; gnashing vagina dentata; boldly empowered; obviously exploited;
comedic and ridiculous. The psychotically diagonal eyebrow and wild eyeball of
the Amazonian nude, and of the balding man in target-patterned T-shirt and
furry pants who appears happily harpooned in The Smiling Sea Captain (2006),
carry clear pop-cultural echoes: Bugs Bunny impersonating a manic conductor
in Long-Haired Hare (1949), Jack Nicholson gone theatrically berserk in The
Shining (1979). That this lunacy has no baseline in reality, while Condo performs
the idea of someone compelled to keep echoing it, is the churning mise en
abyme of his recent work.
One can extend this interpretation quite a long way arguing, for
instance, that Condo identies in paintings inherent elasticity and multivalence
a locus for the uncertainty that underpins our wilfully dumb cultural moment.
(Its worth adding that, as such, he comes across as one of a tiny group of
painters to have emerged out of postmodernisms rst wave who still appear
to have anything to say.) But one is also given the impression, beyond some
loosely topical allusions to misadventures during hubristic voyages, that this is
something of an accident. There is a suite of drawings downstairs, compounds
of eroticism and quick brutality that see Matisse-like female nudes importuned
by gures seemingly begun by Chuck Jones and completed by H.R. Giger.
Their cumulative inference is that Condo works out of his head, is deliberately
out of his head when he works and is as dazed and amazed by the results as
we often are. One misstep of self-conscious calendrical indierence clouds
this simulacrum of bohemian immersion: while most of these sketches are
dated by month or year, several are ostentatiously annotated December 25.
Well, nobodys perfect. Martin Herbert
GEORGE CONDO
SI M O N L E E, L O N D O N
7 F E B R U A R Y 21 A PR I L
p136-137 Reviews Opener AR Apr07136 136 6/3/07 23:21:42
ARTREVIEW
REVIEWS GEORGE CONDO
p136-137 Reviews Opener AR Apr07137 137 6/3/07 02:26:45
Caro Niederer continues to address the value of everyday, often
domestic imagery interpreted in a variety of media. Rather than
presenting a straightforward exercise in elevation, relying on the
predictable tension between subject matter and execution, ne
art and craft, the exalted and ordinary, Niederer weaves various
conicting strands into her project, even appearing to question
her own status as an artist. As ever, the basis of her work is the
snapshot sometimes found, sometimes from her own collection
a medium now so familiar and accepted as art that its presence
should automatically set alarm bells ringing about heirarchical
distinctions between high and low. Interpreted on large canvases,
imagery including a party seen through trees, a trio of women
walking through breakers and a bouquet of roses is lent an easy
charm that points to painting as a simple pleasure rather than a
heroic pursuit, in spite of the scale of the work.
Things become more complex and interesting when
similar imagery is translated through the lengthy procedures of
craft. In the case of rugs which are made (one assumes) from
photographs of Niederers paintings, the status of original and
copy is deliberately confused; you are left with reproductions of
reproductions that, like degraded photocopies, take on a strange
life of their own. Fabricated in a factory near Shanghai, the wall-
mounted silk carpets on show arent particularly appealing in
themselves, and yet their dogged and sometimes unintuitive
interpretation of the imagery oers visual snags far quirkier
and more engaging than Niederers canvases. These are most
pronounced where the inky ambiguity of Niederers paintings
becomes fraught with glitches. An expanse of plump white duvet,
for example, becomes absurdly censored with pixelation. The
nuances of marble, chrome and enamel in a hotel bathroom are
levelled by a similarly insensitive translation.
Several of the rugs reproduce sepia-toned imagery which,
referring to the infancy of photography, seem designed to provoke
pangs of nostalgia. But if the idea of turning such imagery into
home furnishings is to instil a sense of cosy domesticity, some
of the rugs serve only to alienate the viewer. Downstairs in the
vault of this former bank, Niederer ups the nostalgia quotient
considerably, charting, in a series of Technicolor silkscreen prints
based on photos from her personal archive, an almost inevitable
descent into kitsch. Here roses and a hotel room (again), a pleasure
park and a toddler in a playground are among the subjects. If
not quite a dead end, this seems an unfullling conclusion. A
crucial aspect of Niederers practice over the years has been to
track her work after it has been sold. By visiting collectors and
taking photographs of her paintings and rugs in situ, she gives
real weight to the dialogue between private and public spheres,
art and everyday life. An exhibition of new work in a commercial
gallery is necessarily limited in this respect but, taking us only from
production to point of sale, the show seems rather more ordinary
than it might. Martin Coomer
Charlottes Birthday, 2006,
silk carpet, 100 x 70 cm.
Courtesy Hauser & Wirth, Zrich and London
CARO NIEDERER:
ALBAS BIRTHDAY:
NEW PAINTINGS
AND TAPESTRY
H A U S E R & W I R T H, L O N D O N
26 J A N U A R Y 10 M A R C H
REVIEWS CARO NIEDERER
ARTREVIEW
p135-148 Reviews AR Apr07.indd 138 27/2/07 04:23:00
In a pristine, signicantly empty apartment in Londons ultra-expensive
West End, blackout curtains cover the windows and walls. Some little
white-painted wooden steps lead nowhere. The only sign of life is the re
ickering in the grate. Three large mirrors placed against the walls multiply
whoever walks between them, paradoxically expanding the emptiness of
the set. For this is indeed a set or stage, the room having been employed
in the making of a video thats on show elsewhere in the at. There are two
production stills mounted on the wall outside the kitchen, and a lonely, limp
T-shirt, as worn by the video cameraman, hangs in the entrance hall.
In the video, recorded in a single 15-minute take and titled Work/
Arbeit/Rabota (2007), seven people of various ages, races and dispositions
wander around the blacked-out room, followed by the camera and its
operator, both occasionally visible within the mirrors, an autocue positioned
above the lens feeding the stalked participants their lines. When the camera
closes in on someone, he or she speaks directly to it: I had this dream. I
am Superman, my grandfather is a Christmas tree, utters a young blonde
woman. Others talk of revolution, of the economic system, or ask, What
is the work? We bought some work, we made some work. Individuals
and their utterances are, by these methods and devices, divorced and
dislocated; we know the actors lines have been chosen for them. This
crude ventriloquism takes a further twist when one discovers that the script
was assembled from interviews the members of Szuper Gallery (Susanne
Clausen and Pawlo Kerestey) carried out with each other, and that the
people in the video stand in, in some not entirely claried manner, for the
artists at an earlier stage of their by now extensive, somewhat variegated
artistic practice.
Its a truism to remark that the current cutting edge of the London
art scene is located in the ostensibly street-credible East End. For Szuper
Gallery to show in a West London space is to make a point about the
separation between artistic production and the everyday habitat of
the moneyed collector, which is strictly Knightsbridge or Chelsea, not
Whitechapel or Bow. The gallery has been closed in on itself, the exhibition
literally a reection upon its own conditions of production and its sleek
yet slightly comical introspective conceits. Yet this closing-in is a kind of
opening-out of potential readings. The people in the video seem to haunt
the apartment now devoid of their presence, an eect further emphasised
through the restaging of the video shoot as a performance during the
exhibitions duration. Artists Studio, organised by artist and curator Shezad
Dawood, is located in partial recognition of the aforementioned East-West
divide, but Szuper Gallery have deliberately sharpened up the broader
political implications of such a division. The videos contributors appear
both condent and displaced, knowing and unsure. Work/Arbeit/Rabota
presents and represents a powerful and intelligent rhetorical stance, one
surely most appropriate at the present time. Peter Suchin
SZUPER GALLERY
A R TISTS ST U DIO, L O N D O N
16 J A N U A R Y 25 F E B R U A R Y
Work/Arbeit/Rabota, 2007, c-type print,
41 x 60 cm. Courtesy the artists
REVIEWS SZUPER GALLERY
ARTREVIEW
p135-148 Reviews AR Apr07.indd 139 27/2/07 04:23:04
Will the moniker Hammons last as long as Duchamp in the one-name
game? This exhibition is the rst legal presentation since 2003 of new
work in New York by the artist formerly known as David Hammons. I know
its legit because he was at the opening; it looks like he hasnt rejected the
artworld entirely. David has been dropped from the title of the exhibition
and the work itself (its one installation); everything has been designated
Hammons. Can the artist and the art be one? Given Hammonss ongoing
if not obsessive relationship with Duchamp, its not at all surprising that this
installation channels the Dada master in numerous ways. Its a wedding, or
at least a union with Rrose Slavy.
Luckily I showed up on the early side of the opening. After being
buzzed though the door of the impressive Upper East Side townhouse, I
walked into the rst room. It contained no art, but rather the rst members
of the party, most of whom it was clear were close friends of the artist,
surrounding him in their nery. The room wasnt empty; a coat rack was
set up against one wall, convenient for the guests and, as it turned out, for
the art, and bringing to mind his earlier use of one in a work called Death
Fashion (1990).
Hammons the installation proved to consist of six nearly-mangy fur
coats displayed on the kind of old-fashioned dressmaker forms that would
have worked perfectly in the early Dada and surrealist exhibitions: the body
made schematic, mechanical, and all that. Their arrangement brought to
mind the malic molds of Duchamps The Large Glass (191523): in the
main room, four of the headless, mannequin-like coat racks stood on the
left and faced towards the entryway, waiting, like patient (cross-dressing?)
bachelors it seems, for some action. A fth player stood alone, in the
opposite corner, as if it were being punished. Something unkind had been
done to the backside of its dowager fur coat, but not by the other four.
Each of them had their own problems, mostly having to do with paint that
had been sprayed, splashed and/or poured on their backsides, although
at least one coat looked like it had also been attacked by an electric razor.
Their anti-retinal (Duchamp again), anti-tactile ( la PETA) and even
anti-high-society aspects have been fused together to become anointed,
annihilated, yet stoic monuments to the staying power of art that refuses
to be aloof, even during the mannerism of today. The nal totem stood
alone on the second oor, the back of its over-the-top coat badly burned.
It smelled as if it had been torched just before the opening, conjuring up
another of Hammonss trickster heroes, Yves Klein. Even if this is not the
case, Im more than happy to let the image of that act in that place and at
this time burn into my brain. Terry R. Myers
DAVID HAMMONS:
HAMMONS
L & M A R TS, N E W YO R K
18 J A N U A R Y 10 M A R C H
Installation view, Hammons,
2007. Photo: Tom Powel.
Courtesy L & M Arts, New York
REVIEWS DAVID HAMMONS
ARTREVIEW
p135-148 Reviews AR Apr07.indd 140 27/2/07 04:23:09
Terence Koh is a New York City art star. His rst solo show at the Whitney Museum consists exclusively of a single movie
spotlight perched on a slender tripod projecting articial daylight and 600 degrees of heat from the lobbys pristine small
exhibition space next to the elevator bank. The lamps light beams across the lobbys agstones, hitting hard against an
opaque white oor-to-ceiling scrim in the opposite window, on which viewers bodies cast long shadows. A security guard, on
duty wearing CIA style sunglasses, herds viewers to the piece, oering them black plastic shades and sternly warning them
not to look directly at the light.
The installation is conceptually, but not too obviously, related to an exhibition of Kohs work at the Kunsthalle Zrich
last October. In a recent article in New York magazine, grandly titled Is Terence Kohs Sperm Worth $100,000?, Koh is
quoted as suggesting that his untitled Whitney installation could serve as a satirical commentary on his luminary status. But
while some critics have disparaged the piece as merely articial light squandering energy to generate unnatural heat, they
are so blinded by the ash of Kohs persona and the installations own radiance that they fail to see its true aesthetic and
intellectual brightness.
Koh was born in 1977 in Beijing, China, raised in Vancouver, Canada, and now lives in New York. In Kohs bricolage
installations, sexuality, death, mourning, race, identity, pleasure and art history are all present. Kohs irreverent and unabashed
love of decadence in all of its money-cum-parties glory has earned scepticism and derision from those who prefer their
artists to be either earnestly critical or dismissively decorative. Yet unlike artists of the 1990s who perpetually and pedantically
called attention to the politics embedded in their work, Koh is genuinely subversive. His body of work as a whole can best be
described as a highly potent cocktail whose ingredients include Butoh, minimalism, Duchamp, Studio 54, Bataille, Warhol,
Yoko Ono and Ali G. Kohs own identity as an Asian gay artist is omnipresent in his work, yet he never nds it necessary to
declaim that he is an artist playing with viewers cultural stereotypes and expectations. As an individual, Koh is one of the most
gracious, generous and genuinely delightful people on New Yorks art scene, so the teasing to which he subjects the possible
prejudices of the viewers of his works doesnt feel malevolent, manipulative or mocking. Instead, the environments he creates
are as joyful and sensual as they are thoughtful, challenging and iconoclastic.
Outside the Whitney during Manhattans bleak winter season, the light coming from Kohs sculpture can be seen
for yards along Madison Avenue. Like the kind of healing glow prescribed for suerers from seasonal depression, it is
super-sharp, but its beams appear cleansing and their clarity calming. Fundamentally it is also an illuminating statement
by Koh as he playfully tries to clear up, or highlight, the confusion that star status casts on his legitimately brilliant art.
Ana Finel Honigman
W H IT N E Y M U S E U M O F A M E R IC A N A R T, N E W YO R K
19 J A N U A R Y 27 M A Y
TERENCE KOH
REVIEWS TERENCE KOH
Untitled, 2007 (installation view, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York).
Photo: Christopher Burke Studio. Courtesy Peres Projects, Los Angeles and Berlin
ARTREVIEW
p135-148 Reviews AR Apr07.indd 141 27/2/07 04:23:12
Arne Jacobsens ubiquitous Ant chair (1952) has bred numerous lookalikes. Its form, a svelte, curvy
line of moulded plywood atop four rened stainless steel legs, is the quintessence of modern
furniture design. Appropriated from high culture to mass-market kitsch, a chair attempting to
harness the aura of Jacobsens original can be had from the nearest outlet of a global Swedish
furniture retailer.
At 1301PE, the collective SUPERFLEX attempts its own manifestation of the original.
On a low white plinth occupying most of the gallery space sit 42 chairs, each with an uncanny
resemblance to Jacobsens Ant. Complete with dust and severed pieces of wood, this display
yields evidence of SUPERFLEXs process and intent: to transform, with the crudeness of a
jigsaw, Jacobsen knock-os (perhaps from the aforementioned retailer) into something much
closer to his prototype.
Like much of their work, SUPERFLEX attends here to the exibility of the mass
commodity, inciting a process whereby globally dissimilar products may be pirated or modied
under specic local conditions. None of the chairs are cut exactly alike; eectively, each copy
of the original becomes an original. SUPERFLEXs display is driven at the commoditisation of
modern originality, speaking to how consumers are sold an original aesthetic look while partaking
in a global market of many originals. Furthermore, they address how the stringency of protected
intellectual property (read: commoditised individualisation) is
brought to bear in a culture that is always already appropriating
and reifying itself.
However, SUPERFLEX moves beyond the terms of
appropriation or readymade. They have not simply copied.
The title of the exhibition at 1301PE, Copy Right, suggests a
contemporary update of those past terms; the right of self-
organised information, to copy for oneself. In a digital era of
free-owing information and an increasing battle over the
legality of intellectual property, the Duchampian object is not
what it used to be. (As original as they were, both Jacobsen and
Duchamp have devolved into o-the-shelf merchandise.) With
Copy Right, originality takes the form of localised customisation.
Originality was the mythologised product of modernity, and
now the author or author function, that mythical originator
of originality is no longer an issue: the illusive corporation has
taken over. As the name SUPERFLEX suggests, the controlling
hand of informations dissemination (formerly known as the
author) has thoroughly disintegrated into a fractal of corporate
identities hybridising and metastasising other corporate and
bureaucratic identities. Certainly these organisations do just
that; they organise as they disseminate, forming control that is
nevertheless devoid of any reticent ngerprint. SUPERFLEX,
however, proposes consumer insurgency in the midst of faceless,
corporate commoditisation, a process in which products are
individuated through self-motivated manipulation of the quasi-
authentic commodity. Chris Balaschak
SUPERFLEX: COPY RIGHT
1301 PE, L O S A N G E L E S
13 J A N U A R Y 10 M A R C H
Copy Right (Single Chair), 2006,
single brown chair, sawdust,
wood cut-outs and platform,
90 x 90 cm, series of 5 + 2AP.
Photo: Fredrik Nilsen.
Courtesy 1301PE, Los Angeles
REVIEWS SUPERFLEX
ARTREVIEW
p135-148 Reviews AR Apr07.indd 142 5/3/07 14:02:34
Dont bother to wonder why Marc Newson exhibited at Gagosian: the
Australian-born, London-based high-end designer has always produced
limited-edition objects while also working on designs with larger production
runs. And at Sothebys last year he proved hes a whiz at such things: a
prototype for his Lockheed Lounge (1985), a metallic chaise longue with the
stage presence of an atom bomb, fetched $968,000, the highest price ever
paid for a work of contemporary design. The market dictated this show, not
any conclusions Larry Gagosian may have made about the rise of design.
Yet it was interesting and disappointing to see how Newson responded
to the opportunity.
We thought that Newson was a modern. This is a man who has
done cars, done aircraft, even, and everything he touches comes out bright
spangled and as if helium inated. As one patron noted, his designs recall
the space programme of the 1960s and 70s. At the fringes of this show, his
rst in the US, there are signs of that. Theres a roomful of dimly-glowing
lollipops called Diode Lamps (all works 2006); elsewhere, a Nickel Surfboard,
the product of a somewhat geeky investigation into uid dynamics. And for
a trio of desk, table and chair, he returns to an older new material, Micarta,
an early and now obscure sheet laminate made from linen and resin,
colouring and polishing it up to a surface that is marvellously modulated
and woody yet also almost pixelated, as if the wood were a digital illusion.
In the case of the table, the material is put to work to produce a thin surface
which dips into deep wells to form the legs, as if it were just the ayed skin
of a table. This is gents club design for the year 3000.
Much more dismaying, though, are the shows centrepiece works.
Their forms are still emphatically modern: his Extruded Tables and Extruded
Chairs have the aspect of moulded plastic components, the sorts of click-
on thingamajigs you nd gone astray below your sofa, yet Newson renders
them in white Carrara and grey Bardiglio marble. They looked their best
close-up, the veining of the marble lending lively sinew to the muscular
forms. At a distance, however, they look like cheap garden furniture,
and the whole notion of recasting the modern in natural materials too
readily recalls how so much radical modern design turned all woody in
the increasingly conservative climate of the 1920s and 1930s. We neednt
worry that this signals some urge to political reaction, its more likely an
unconscious indulgence to the super-rich (this is Gagosian, after all), but
its still disappointing. When Newson is modern, his designs are candied
and sunny; this show might have sun in parts, but its really just the scenery
of life in a beachfront McMansion: classy. Morgan Falconer
REVIEWS MARC NEWSON
Carta Chair, 2006, linen phenolic
composite, 76 x 74 x 80 cm, edition
of 10 + 1 prototype and 2APs.
Photo: Lamay Photo. Marc Newson.
Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, New York
MARC NEWSON
G A G O SI A N G A L L E R Y, N E W YO R K
25 J A N 3 M A R C H
ARTREVIEW
p135-148 Reviews AR Apr07.indd 143 27/2/07 04:23:21
Los Angeles artist Amanda Ross-Ho combines a bare-bones DIY formal
approach with a jaunty, high-minded conceptualism, employing sculpture,
photography and installation to construct dimensional meditations on
how humans occupy space. The exhibition includes several examples of
her mixed-media leaning pieces very large rectangles of Sheetrock
leaning against gallery walls, on which are hung various photographic
and canvas-based images, so that the Sheetrock panels function both as
sculptural elements and as display walls themselves. Theres a great range
to the imagery in these works, but not great profundity; a disinterested
selection of fairly monochromatic, low-contrast fashion ads, diagrams and
random snapshots, placing the attention back on the white Sheetrock.
Further reinforcing that directive, Ross-Ho cuts sections out of the sheets,
small ovals and squares no more than a foot in area, and those holes each
reveal the presence of a hidden object behind the panel. Those things
prosperity sh, water bowls for pets, red bandanas, ritzy fabric swatches,
have colour and symbolic meanings, and contain the most salient emotional
engagement and narrative of the works compositions.
Pieces like White Goddess (all works 2007), made from cut and
painted canvas, and Gran Abertura, cut from Sheetrock, reverse the usual
roles of those materials of pigment and graphic surfaces achieving a
at sculptural eect with shallow mass, like cut-out snowakes or paper
dolls. These languid monuments to pattern-based abstraction also make
use of negative space as an element of composition, like the mock walls
themselves, but move from the architectural to the craft realm. The
masterpiece of the exhibition is the site-specic installation Mantle in the
project room. Built like a paper sculpture, the gallery wall is pierced and
folded out at angles, the structure formed of planks pried out rather than
built up, forming a legible scale representation of a replace with a mantel.
The obligatory trophies on the shelf are the cut-out sections from the
panel pieces in the main room the ones removed to create the peekaboo
reveals; and since every mantel needs art over it, a black-and-white ink-jet
print of the planet from outer space, Negative Earth, hangs coolly above.
The scars left by this de-renovation reveal the guts of the building,
exposed wood beams, installation, jagged edges and, in a surprise twist,
a Polaroid that had fallen behind the wall during Ross-Hos previous
installation in the same space. No better expression of the exhibitions
purpose could be engineered to express her theory about how humans
create personal histories by papering their habitations, and how enduring
and signicant even the small attachments thus formed can be. Adrift in a
sea of impersonal rooms and overlooked details, life is portrayed in this work
as a discursive series of non sequiturs. Nothing matters because everything
matters; and all gestures are equally impotent, equally moot and equally
pregnant with personal synchronicity, hidden meaning and unexpected
private discoveries. Shana Nys Dambrot
AMANDA ROSSHO:
NOTHIN FUCKIN MATTERS
C H E R R Y A N D M A R TI N, L O S A N G E L E S
17 F E B R U A R Y 31 M A R C H
REVIEWS AMANDA ROSS-HO
Double Tragedy, 2006,
c-print, 62 x 91 cm.
Courtesy Cherry and Martin,
Los Angeles
ARTREVIEW
p135-148 Reviews AR Apr07.indd 144 27/2/07 04:23:24
Art critic Matsui Midori has coined the term micropop to describe a trend in Japanese contemporary art that she identies
as having emerged over the past ten years, inspired, she says, by the theory of minor literature advanced by Gilles Deleuze
and Flix Guattari, and Michel de Certeaus thinking on the practice of routine existence. The show Matsui has curated
under that title features work by 15 artists, chiey those belonging to the small-scale avant-garde group born in the decade
spanning the late 1960s and early 70s, who combine fragments of everyday experience to create their own aesthetics and way
of life, spurning reliance on any system of ethics or dominant ideology.
An exhibition by an art critic is bound to recall Ground Zero Japan, curated by Noi Sawaragi in 2000, and also staged at
Art Tower Mito. That challenging project took the history of Japanese contemporary art which, postwar, had been marked
by a sense of inferiority towards the West right back to zero, making the dividing line between art and animation, as well as
other manifestations of Japanese subculture, the starting point for a new orientation in Japanese art. For Micropop Matsui
has attempted to capture artistic expression in Japan since this turn. Unlike the history- and trend-conscious Ground Zero
generation, Micropop celebrates the individual, and values small pleasures. As one might imagine, these works are notable
for their naivety and their preoccupation with the humbler, more intimate aspects of life.
The rst half of the exhibition consists of a vast array of drawings and photographs capturing the beauty in small
things: the poetic photos of Shimabuku standing on a summer beach in a red Santa Claus suit and carrying a blue rubbish
bag; Kaoru Arimas series of tiny drawings on newspaper; and Ryoko Aokis arrangements of cut-outs and drawings in space,
organised as one might lay out a garden. In the second half the show moves on to works by a younger generation of artists,
such as Taro Izumis video Lime at the Bottom of the Lake (2006), in which people captured on a security camera are swatted
like mosquitoes by a giant hand. According to Matsui, drawing and video, in their easy informality and availability, t well
with the micropop genres celebrations of the triing and trivial. Matsui likens artists to groups such as migrants and children,
as losers in an era of globalisation, viewing their tendency to amuse themselves with TV and their immediate surroundings
as a strategy for surviving amid the chaos. One wrong step, however, and this state becomes indistinguishable from the
phenomenon of the one-and-a-half million hermit-like hikikomori, Japans post-adolescent stay-at-home recluses. Are we to
be left with nothing but the innumerable private universes of people turned in on themselves?
In contrast, Tam Ochiai, whose contribution consists of a row of more than 170 drawings casually pinned to the wall,
neatly sidesteps Matsuis voluble interpretation. While the other artists try to precisely organise their own universe, Ochiais
row of light, quick-handed drawings hangs unevenly against a line-level, suggesting an outward-looking interest with the
imperfect and the provisional. Which perhaps paradoxically makes him a true micropop artist, cleaving to nothing and
no one. Chiaki Sakaguchi
THE DOOR INTO SUMMER:
THE AGE OF MICROPOP
C O N T E M P O R A R Y A R T G A L L E R Y, A R T T O W E R M IT O
3 F E B R U A R Y 6 M A Y
REVIEWS MICROPOP
Ryoko Aoki, Flower Range, 2001.
Courtesy Kodama Gallery, Tokyo and Osaka
ARTREVIEW
p135-148 Reviews AR Apr07.indd 145 5/3/07 14:02:40
An Existentialist Retreat, 2006,
airbrush painting on paper,
60 x 26 cm. Courtesy the artist,
IPS, Birmingham and SMBA and
Galerie Julitte Jongma, Amsterdam
The workers village of Bournville, founded by the Quaker
Cadbury brothers in 1879 four miles south of Birmingham
city centre and home today to the International Project
Space, would seem to be an apposite backdrop for a show
titled Militant Bourgeois. The insistent ideology of such
purpose-built architecture impresses itself on the visitor,
evoking a lmic undercurrent of restraint. As Chris Evanss
project considers the power structures of historical patronage
and contemporary communities of support for the arts, the
location would seem to bring another rather viscous layer to a
discussion of idealism and institutional control.
The exhibition itself is a gappy selection of elements,
which, although indicating potential dynamics of the wider
project, remain somewhat inert themselves. A poster
exclaiming militant bourgeois the is replaced by musical
notes is mutely detached from its referent, while a custom-
made wood-burning stove is literally disconnected, adopting
purely sculptural status here. The stove was originally installed
in a sparsely furnished Portakabin sited at a business-like tra c
intersection in Sloterdijk, a non-residential area of Amsterdam.
Evans established the retreat as a twisted take on the
community-building potential of art and the romantic isolation
of the genius artist. His intention was to tap the liberalism
of Dutch government support for the arts, supplanting its
supposed nurturing capabilities with the harsher conditions
of existentialist solitude. The barren community of the
Portakabin, then, becomes an emblem of a godless universe,
where the individual, abandoned by externally constructed
value systems, turns to the contingencies of self-description,
-invention and -evaluation.
Militant Bourgeois rea rms that institutional critique
is only possible with institutional support, folding the system
tautologically back on itself. Keeping the project in the realm of the allegorical, though, Evans does not show
any outcomes of the residencies: no drawings, writings or other vestiges of artistic output, apart from the stove.
This creates an itinerant core to the project: it has no central element, just a series of associations and exchanges.
The stove, for instance, is topped with a tree-like structure of ues shaped like ladders a rather heavy-handed
expression of existentialism, designed by Baron Jan Six, director of the Six art collection and a descendant of
the patron of the same name who was painted by Rembrandt in 1654. A lm projected nearby opens with Jan
Six the younger in an opulent dining room describing his part in the project. The lm then segues into montage
and voice-over, scripted in collaboration with philosopher Nina Power and writer Will Bradley, opening out
into a more elegiac consideration of historical patronage, commerce and privilege before returning to the
present day. Far from a satisfying discussion of concentric inuences of historical and contemporary cultural
conguration, Militant Bourgeois is more a ragged rumination. Unlike the stability of the Cadburys project
outside, art is almost invariably decentred and incomplete often frustratingly so. Sally OReilly
CHRIS EVANS: MILITANT BOURGEOIS:
AN EXISTENTIALIST RETREAT
I N T E R N A TIO N A L PR O J E C T S PA C E, BI R M I N G H A M
18 J A N U A R Y 17 F E B R U A R Y
REVIEWS CHRIS EVANS
ARTREVIEW
p135-148 Reviews AR Apr07.indd 146 27/2/07 04:23:29
Concretion Re is a repetition of Concretion, an installation
shown last year at the Creux de lEnfer in Thiers. In the earlier
version, Hirschhorn suered countless mannequins to wear
giant, elephantiasis-like concretions of brown masking tape,
riddled shelf-loads of mannequin busts with nails or screws
and enslaved groups of mannequins by yoking them again
with masking tape to giant planks of wood. The space was
covered with taped cardboard, and on this signature Hirschhorn surface the artist hung a vertiginous profusion of grotesque
photographs deformities, disgurements, gunshot wounds, war-torn bodies and mutilated body parts. Elsewhere, large
bell-like vessels made of masking tape sat in wooden holders, and heavy rocks were embedded into the walls or suspended
from the ceiling on masking tape ropes.
Concretion, then, in Hirschhorns lexis, borrowing from geology and medicine, as in outgrowth, lump, nodule or clot,
is somehow a repetition and a hardening of being, physically, morally and, for Hirschhorn, artistically. As for the viewers,
forced to wander through the cramped space, unable to x on any single depiction of cruelty because of their sheer quantity,
we harden too, turned to stone, resistant to pressure and, literally, astonished inured to atrocity, eroded by the barrage of
images, unmoved and unmoveable.
To what end? No clear answers were provided at the rst show, but here words abound. A complex taxonomy of
handwritten titles and subtitles identify the contents of a new element giant dioramas and display cases. These contents
are: more deformed mannequins and horrifying photographs; books about geological concretions; books about Goya;
photocopies of Goyas black paintings (18203) and Disasters of War (18103); Spanish porn magazines; and in its own
vitrine, a shrine to Susan Sontag, containing a deformed mannequin and a single copy of her last book, Regarding the Pain
of Others (2003). On one wall, centrefold breasts are collaged with bullet-hole stickers and atrocity photos, while video
monitors, crossed out with masking tape, show the artists talking head, presumably explaining the work, except the sound
is o. All attempts of explanation and information must be relentlessly countered, says Hirschhorn in his fervent press
release. Truth, not Facts, he urges, echoing Alain Badiou, whose philosophy buttresses the work. Like Hirschhorns other
monuments, altars and precarious museums, Concretion Re is not a stand-alone art object but a political manifesto, held
together by masking tape and an elaborate scaolding of theoretical text.
I have read the texts Philosophy as Creative Repetition by Alain Badiou, and Event and Repetition by Mehdi
Belhaj Kacem, Hirschhorn tells us in the press release. Clearly we are meant to also (a stack of Kacems essay stands at the
gallery door). The key text, however, is the Sontag book, which Hirschhorn reincorporates into art, hardening its ercely
committed analysis of camera- and art-mediated images of war into what he calls a non-resigned and non-reconciled
artistic position. Every wound is my wound, one of the few coherent signs tells us. Each injustice is my injustice. And so, too,
by ever-hardening association, ours. Christopher Mooney
THOMAS HIRSCHHORN:
CONCRETION RE
G A L E R I E C H A N T A L C R O U S E L , PA R IS
3 F E B R U A R Y 10 M A R C H
Vitrine Mural (Wounds),
2007 (installation view),
painted mannequins,
printed matter, brown
adhesive tape, cardboard,
plexiglas and neon lights,
165 x 249 x 60 cm. Photo:
Florian Kleinefenn.
Courtesy Galerie Chantal
Crousel, Paris
REVIEWS THOMAS HIRSCHHORN
ARTREVIEW
p135-148 Reviews AR Apr07.indd 147 27/2/07 04:23:36
ARTREVIEW
The rst two frames in Vibeke Tandbergs exhibition The Waste Land, on the wall that divides the entrance
from the gallery space, contain what was the frame of everything else in the show, and which functions as
a reminder of a previous integrity though the visitor cannot know this upon entering. What these frames
contain are paper margins of an original 1922 edition of T.S. Eliots poem The Waste Land, the remains of the
poems few pages once all the words have been cut out.
Tandberg has literally taken the printed poem apart, rst by splitting it into its smallest interpretative
components, and then by sorting the words according to frequency, from those that only appear once to the
206 occurrences of the. Grouping and arranging them in this order, Tandberg has collaged them onto sheets
of white paper, noting their number in the original text next to each. They are arranged in straightforward
blocks and lines, providing a clear order and structure throughout. Auxiliary lines in pencil mark the positioning,
and an inscription in the lower left hand side of each sheet indicates what the particular criterion is. All of these
are framed in light wood, and make for the very unobtrusive and airy appearance of the entire show.
Eliots The Waste Land is often seen as the starting point of literary Modernism. The poem deals with
disorder and chaos, reecting European society in the wake of the First World War. Its known for its extensive
use of notes and references, spanning from Buddhism to Wagner, and is written as a collage of words, merging
dierent stories and inuences without any immediately apparent link or coherent narrative.
Tandberg now creates her own poetic renderings of these inuences and sources. Her lists of words
glued onto paper form examples of concrete poetry. The underlying systematics, despite their strict regularity,
do add poetic coherence, for example through the ensuing alliterations. Words that occur ten times (all works
2006) stands as a poem on its own: dead / do / for / not / nothing / one /
she / this / time / under / up. They also provide considerable information
about the original text, revealing the focus and moods of the poem through
its statistics. Words that occur fteen times, but / O / who, arranged in ve
columns of three rows each, can almost be read as a minimal chant of sorrow.
And the graphic arrangement of Notes on The Waste Land, which sets the
multilingual references in a labyrinthine structure, lets the disarray and
confusion of the original text shine through its disintegration. Axel Lapp
VIBEKE TANDBERG:
THE WASTE LAND
C/O A T L E G E R H A R D S E N, B E R L I N
12 J A N U A R Y 17 F E B R U A R Y
REVIEWS VIBEKE TANDBERG
Installation view,
The Waste Land, 2007.
Courtesy c/o - Atle
Gerhardsen, Berlin
p135-148 Reviews AR Apr07.indd 148 27/2/07 04:23:38
FABIO VIALE: THE MARBLE GAMBLER
Marble, as both a dif cult and lofty material,
presents Fabio Viale, a young Italian sculptor,
with the opportunity to upset all possible
expectations. Viales works balloons, ags,
tyres are made from a material that is exactly
the opposite of what they represent and are
documented in a full-colour catalogue.
Gagliardi Art System / gallery
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 90
10121 Turin, Italy
+39 011 19700031
www.gasart.it/gallery
Contact: Pietro Gagliardi
gallery@gasart.it
HALCYON GALLERY
London, a city of contrasts, is rede ned in a
ground-breaking exhibition entitled Urban
Landscapes, by budding artist Reuben Colley,
recent award-winner for best work on paper by the
Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery. The exhibition
runs until 25 April 2007 at the Halcyon Gallery,
London and is accompanied by a 26-page full-
colour catalogue in a beautiful matt nish.
Halcyon Gallery
29 New Bond Street
London W1S 2RL
+44 (0)20 7499 4508
www.halcyongallery.com
CATALOGUE LISTINGS
HALCYON GALLERY
29 NEW BOND STREET, MAYFAIR, LONDON, W1S 2RL | +44 (0) 207 499 4508 | WWW.HALCYONGALLERY.COM
Reuben Colley
Urban Landscapes
15 March - 25 April 2007
Time to Think, Original Oil, 107 x 142 cm
AERNOUT MIK SHIFTING SHIFTING
Camden Arts Centre
16 February 15 April 2007
A full-colour catalogue published by Camden
Arts Centre to accompany Aernout Mik Shifting
Shifting. This beautiful book, designed by Irma
Boom, with 400 pages and more than 190 images,
and a new essay by Mike Taussig reproduced in
English and German, documents Miks four latest
digital lm installations: Vacuum Room (2005),
Raw Footage, Scapegoats and Training Ground
(all 2006).
Camden Arts Centre
Arkwright Road, London NW3 6DG
+44 (0)20 7472 5500
www.camdenartscentre.org
Contact: bookshop@camdenartscentre.org
GO TO ARTREVIEWDIGITAL.COM FOR COMPLETE LISTINGS
p149 Catalogue Listings V2 AR Ap149 149 6/3/07 02:57:48
It is reasonable to assume, writes Stephen
Eisenman at the start of this slim but suggestive
essay, that a majority of US citizens are not much
bothered by the fact of US torture. In truth, since
the publication of the first photographs from Abu
Ghraib in spring 2004, the facts as such have been
scanted by commentators of every stripe. It is as if
the photographs themselves are actually invisible,
such is the ease with which they are read as mere
avatars of some prior image repertoire: lynching
souvenirs (Susan Sontag, Luc Sante), innocent
hazing (Rush Limbaugh) or pornography (Arthur
Danto, Slavoj iek, Sontag again). The specific
tableaux enacted in those windowless cells
and corridors have been nowhere adequately
described. The Abu Ghraib Effect asks how pictures
of such surpassing horror can vanish in plain sight,
and concludes that their disappearance is largely
a matter of the very centrality of such images to
Western art.
The precise torsion and flexure of the
bodies shown, argues Eisenman, ought not to
recall (as it did for many) the harried figures
of Guernica (1937) or Goyas Disasters of War
(18103), but conjure a more ancient vision of
physical suffering. This pathos formula, he says
(borrowing the term from Aby Warburg), depicts
humans and animals who appear to sanction their
own torture. Thus the struggle of Laocon, the
ecstasy of St. Sebastian, the languorous demise
of Michelangelos Dying Slave (15136): in each
case, and countless others since classical times, we
are urged to accept the (more or less sexualised)
complicity of the victim with his tormentors. The
parallels with Abu Ghraib are clear: in the brutish
attribution of perverse desires to the prisoners,
American soldiers perpetuated a mode of
representation that symbolically absolves the
torturer of responsibility. They did not need to
have studied Bernini to carry on a tradition of
aestheticised agony.
This argument convinces, up to a point.
Eisenman is surely right to adduce an affinity
between the torture photographs and a venerable
motif of Western art; his contention that the
pathos formula perhaps constitutes the only real
unity of that ostensibly humanist and progressive
tradition is audacious and illuminating. What is
missing from The Abu Ghraib Effect, however
apart, oddly, from any sustained analysis of
the photographs themselves is an account of
the political forces that link antiquity to twenty-
first-century Iraq. It is not enough to say that the
popular culture of the last (American) century
resurrects the spectacle of athletic and ravished
martyrdom rather, as Giorgio Agamben has
pointed out, our modernity is conditioned by this
reduction of the human to bare physical being: a
life potentially abandoned, in a state of exception,
to the most extreme misfortunes. Brian Dillon
THE
ABU GHRAIB
EFFECT
By Stephen F. Eisenman
Reaktion Books, 14.95/$19.95 (hardcover)
Books:
p150-153 Books AR Apr07.indd 150 27/2/07 02:44:01
By Adrian Searle, Kitty Scott & Catherine Grenier
Phaidon, 24.95/$39.95 (paperback)
PETER DOIG
Interviewed by Kitty Scott, Doig doesnt
come across as harbouring that kind of ambition.
Rather, hes quietly self-possessed, routinely self-
challenging and a bit nerdy. (And the compound
insight of conversation and essays hes regularly
been in the right place at the right time.) A few
misconceptions are corrected (Ive never made a
single [painting] from a family snapshot), and theres
a fair amount of problem-solving compositional
talk, a recurring discussion of musics contrapuntal
role in his art and an excursus on Doigs cinema
screenings in Trinidad, StudioFilmClub. Interesting
enough, if frustratingly free of speculation about
Doigs influence on the artworld.
But ones eye is swept, as it should be, to
the body of canvases, reproduced in a jumbled
order that casually underlines how various hes
been in his materialising of distant climes: a herky-
jerky evoker of New Yorks 1980s downtown when
he first moved to London early in that decade, a
connoisseur in his claustrophobic lagoon scenes
of what Searle terms ripe decay, a pursuant
of sociable light and pastel atmospheres at the
millenniums turn, a channel for Gauguin-esque
heat and compositional crookedness in recent
years. Ones eye is swept because, regarding
Doigs highpoints, no amount of persuasive
linguistic framing detracts from the feeling that
whatever significances he sparks between the
pastoral and the portentous are ours, and ours
to keep. Even if theres ever less chance of the
paintings themselves being so. Martin Herbert
Theres a painting of a small white boat on the cover
of Peter Doig, but its not White Canoe (19901).
That canvas, described by Sothebys as Doigs
masterpiece, and responsible for making him
Europes most expensive living artist when it was
auctioned in February for a cool 5.7 million, isnt
featured at all in this latest addition to Phaidons
Contemporary Artists strand a volume that
might fairly be called well timed and, given Doigs
estimable role in paintings figurative turn, weirdly
tardy. Naturally, plenty of other skulking watercraft
punctuate its flow of reproductions: Doig, over
the past couple of decades, has worried away
repeatedly at certain motifs (skiers, houses, solitary
sailors) as if they were memories he can neither
grip nor shake. Its as if you were lying in bed trying
hard to remember what something looked like:
Doig on Bonnard, to Hans Ulrich Obrist, in this
books closing paragraph, is obviously also Doig
on Doig.
While most register that shifting quality,
different commentators interpret it in different
ways. For Survey author Adrian Searle, whose
weighted prose and patented descriptions of
artworks as if they were present-tense narratives
admirably suit Doigs cloudy literariness, such
slippages are typically an entre to blankness,
doubt, mystery. For Focus writer Catherine
Grenier, who in her slightly overheated
consideration of Doigs canoeist paintings plays
dogged zoom to Searles sedulous wide-angle,
Doigs art is almost instrumentalised. Its analogical
drift into an unknowable past is potentially, she
states, an embodied permission to reconsider
Modernisms upsides and, potentially, a reinvention
of the world.
ARTREVIEW
REVIEWS BOOKS
p150-153 Books AR Apr07.indd 151 27/2/07 02:44:03
By Terry R. Myers
Afterall Books, $16 (paperback) / $35 (hardcover)
The latest addition to Afterall Books One Work
series is Terry R. Myerss admirable study of Mary
Heilmanns Save the Last Dance for Me (1979).
Each book in the series, of which there will be more
than a hundred, presents a single work considered
in detail by a single writer. Myers examines
Heilmanns iconic pink and black painting with the
ardour of a fan, but the rigour of a scholar.
Relayed in meticulous detail with a breathy
precision, Myerss engagement with Heilmanns
painting has the same jaunty movement he
describes in the work, two-stepping from Henri
Matisse to Piet Mondrian to early-1980s New
Wave. As the painting is a dance between formalist
abstraction and narrative potential, between the
personal and the popular, so Myerss exegesis
twirls between a reading interested in modernist
aesthetics and the postmodern multiplicity of
possible interpretations. The text constantly shifts
and moves through each new ray initiated by
the formal movement of the surface abstraction,
and then in turn refracts them through narrative,
biography and history. As Myerss book mirrors
the painting, it could have suffered from some
of the problems in Save the Last Dance for Me: a
sentimental moment of nostalgia for Modernisms
passing, a connection to the historical cherry-
picking of New Wave. But such problems remain
only theoretical; the subtle ambiguity, ambience
and energy in the painting is also manifest in the
book. The book embodies, as Myers writes of
Heilmanns work, circumstances that are plainly
formal, and yet, as will be argued, are just as much
anecdotal, if not conversational.
Myers is a proud member of what he calls
the Mary Heilmann Fan Club, a widening circle
of champions driving her revival, much as others
have driven the rediscovery of artists such as Vija
Celmins and Lee Bontecou. Perhaps intentionally,
Myerss ardour for Heilmanns work carries over
into the chapter headings, some of which come
from pop songs: the Rolling Stoness Paint It
Black (1966), the Psychedelic Furss Pretty in Pink
(1981). But this enthusiasm is always measured
and weighted with sturdy scholarship and even-
handed presentation.
Myerss elegant and handy-size pocket
book joins an already impressive set in the series,
notably edited by the artist and critic Mark Lewis.
Though sometimes the series format (heavy
description followed by close analysis) feels like a
steady formula brewed thick, the sheer depth and
simplicity of the project is ultimately breathtaking.
From Jan Verwoerts Bas Jan Ader: In Search of
the Miraculous (2006) to this most recent essay
by Myers, these books are a welcome antidote to
art criticism as advertisement or academic-tenure
insurance. Like Myerss book, the One Work series
is a necessary and significant shift in how we
perceive art. Andrew Berardini
MARY HEILMANN:
SAVE THE LAST
DANCE FOR ME
ARTREVIEW
REVIEWS BOOKS
ARTREVIEW
p150-153 Books AR Apr07.indd 152 5/3/07 14:04:34
Modern art is a wonder to view, but its complex
themes and subtle characteristics can intimidate
and baffle the casual observer. So reads the first
line from the back-cover blurb of How to Read a
Modern Painting and, pace the title, its the nearest
thing you get to an explanation of what the book
is about. Modern art is great, it implies, but there
are certain mysteries into which one must be
initiated before one can understand the intricate
references that go into a real knowledge of art.
I like the idea that art can be accessible
to everyone; that you dont need a book like this
before wandering around a gallery or museum. So
I want to hate Thompsons book for suggesting
otherwise, and yet I know that your own
knowledge will only take you so far. Perhaps, then,
the balancing act between saying what makes art
easy (so that anyone can join in) and what makes it
hard (art rather than anything else) is the problem
that any author of a basic introduction to art needs
to deal with.
Thompson doesnt. Instead, he gets Andrew
Brighton to write a preface for him. Its written in
bullet points, like a manifesto, but it comes across
like an embarrassed moderation of the marketing
fluff on the cover. Modern art is art after 1848, it
says, when art stopped being made for a narrow
audience, and the world became a sort of modern
Babel. Jon Thompsons text does not tell us how
to look at modern paintings, Brighton writes
somewhat disconcertingly. We should bring our
own texts to bear. Because naturally, following the
earlier logic, thats what being modern is all about.
Why should we read this book then?
By Jon Thompson
Thames & Hudson, 19.95/$35 (hardcover)
Apparently thats not Thompsons problem
either. Plunging straight into a discussion of
Courbets The Artists Studio (1855) he does a
good job of peeling back its onion skins of meaning,
demonstrating how a little insider knowledge
can take your appreciation a long way. With each
painting presented on a spread, the text taking the
form and content of an aggravated museum-wall
caption, its one down and 199 to go, finishing with
a Warhol self-portrait. While being a recognisably
chronological account of modern art, this is no
orthodox history Warhol comes after Basquiat,
for example, with the self-portrait from 1986, and
several artists appear more than once. For while
his account is structured around particular works
of art, you always have the feeling that Thompson
is struggling between the limits of the format and
a desire to write about specific artists, or perhaps
even something more complex.
Thompson doesnt go for what you might
call the art-historical version of rocket science.
Hes not saying much thats new and he doesnt
have a very entertaining way of saying whats
old and already out there (unlike, say, Matthew
Collings in This Is Modern Art, 2000). Above all,
its never clear who the book is really aimed at:
who is the we he has in mind when discussing
Monets Water Lily Pond at Giverny of 1917 he
mentions the kind of flatness we associate with
Abstract Expressionist painting? But perhaps
Brightons right; all that a book like this should
hope to achieve is to make you go out and work
things out for yourself, and if that makes you into
we, that could be a good thing. Mark Rappolt
HOW TO READ A
MODERN PAINTING:
UNDERSTANDING
AND ENJOYING THE
MODERN MASTERS
p150-153 Books AR Apr07.indd 153 5/3/07 14:04:39
LISTINGS
UNITED STATES
NEW YORK
AIPAD
7th Regiment Armory
67th Street
New York, NY 10001
T +1 202 986 0105
aipad.com
The Photography Show
12-15 Apr
APERTURE
547 West 27th Street
New York, NY 10001
T +1 212 505 5555
aperture.org
BOSE PACIA
508 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001
T +1 989 7074
bosepacia.com
Thukral and Tagra
27 Apr-9 June
CHI
293 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
T +1 718 218 8939
Mon 9-4, Thu-Sun 11:30-8
chicontemporary neart.com
Carri Skoczek to 14 Apr
Marcy Milks to 14 Apr
CHINA SQUARE ART CENTER
545 West 25th Street,
New York, NY 10001
T +1 212 226 7836
chinaquareny.com
JAMES COHAN GALLERY
533 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001
T +1 212 714 9500
jamescohan.com
Nam June Paik
24 Mar-21 Apr
FEATURE INC.
530 West 25th Street,
New York, NY 10001
T +1 212 675 7772
Open Tue-Sat 11-6pm
featureinc.com
Cary Smith 14 Apr-19 May
Thoughts 14 Apr-19 May
FORUM GALLERY
745 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10151
T +1 212 355 4545
forumgallery.com
Oleg Vassiliev to 31 Mar
Art Chicago 26-30 Apr
FRIEDMAN BENDA
515 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001
T +1 212 794 8950
friedmanbenda.com
Opening Exhibition Sept
PRISKA C. JUSCHKA
FINE ART
547 West 27th Street
New York, NY 10001
T +1 212 244 4320
Open Tue-Sat 11-6
priskajuschka neart.com
Emily Noelle Lambert:
Paintings to 28 Apr
Huang Yan 12 Apr-19 May
LUXE GALLERY
24 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
T +1 212 517 2453
luxegallery.com
Axel Pahlavi 28 Mar-
28 Apr
METRO PICTURES
519 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011
T +1 212 206 7100
Open TueSat 10-6
metropicturesgallery.com
Andreas Hofer 24 Mar-21 Apr
NYEHAUS
15 Gramercy Park South
New York, NY 10003
T +1 212 995 1785
Open TueSat 11-6
nyehaus.com
Tim Hawkinson 1 May-16
June
PACE WILDENSTEIN
32 East 57th Street
New York, NY 10022
T +1 212 421 3292
Open Mon-Thurs 9:30am-
6pm, Fri 9:30am-4pm
pacewildenstein.com
Robert Ryman to 7 Apr
Rosalyn Drexler to 21 Apr
James Turrell to 28 Apr
PHILLIPS DE PURY CO.
450 West 15th Street
New York, NY 10011
T +1 212 940 1240
phillipsdepury.com
Ross Lovegrove to 4 Apr
24 Exceptional Photos
Auction 24 Apr
MAX PROTETCH
511 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10001
T +1 212 633 6999
Open TueSat 10-6
maxprotetch.com
Chen Qiulin 4 Apr-5 May
SCOPE
521 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001
scope-art.com
Basel 14-17 June
UNITED STATES
ART CHICAGO
artchicago.com
27-30 April
CHERRY AND MARTIN
12611 Venice Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90066
T +1 310 398 7404
cherryandmartin.com
Amanda Ross-Ho to 31 Mar
UNITED KINGDOM
LONDON
JERWOOD VISUAL ARTS
Union Street,
London SE1
T +44 (0)1372 462 190
Open Mon-Fri 10-5,
Sat-Sun 10-3
jerwoodvisualarts.org
Sculpture Prize 18 Apr-
23 May
OCTOBER GALLERY
24 Old Gloucester Street
London WC1
T +44 (0)20 7242 7367
Open Tues-Sat 12:30-5:30
octobergallery.co.uk
From Courage to Freedom
to 28 Apr
ROKEBY
37 Store Street
London WC1
T +44 (0)20 7168 9942
Open Tue-Fri 11-6, Tue
to 8, Sat 11-4
rokebygallery.com
Gideon Rubin 4 Apr-8 May
MARTIN SUMMERS
FINE ART LTD
Studio 54, Glebe Place
London SW3
T +44 (0)20 7351 7778
Open Mon-Fri 9:30-5:30
ms- neart.com
Beatrice Helg
29 Mar-27 Apr
TIMOTHY TAYLOR
GALLERY
24 Dering Street
London W1
T +44 (0)20 7409 3344
Open Mon-Fri 10-6,
Sat 10-1
timothytaylorgallery.com
Marcel Dzama to 13 Apr
WYER GALLERY
191 St. Johns Hill
London SW11
T +44 (0)20 7223 8433
Open Tue-Fri 10-6
Thu to 8, Sat 10-5
thewyergallery.co.uk
Divyesh Bhanderi
to 21 Apr
UNITED KINGDOM
ANGLESEY ART
HERITAGE
Oriel Ynys Mn
Llanefni
T +44 (0)1248 724444
Museum & Art Gallery
Open Daily 10:30-5
angleseyheritage.org
Nigel Talbot to
25 March
Eoghann MacColl
31 Mar-13 May
FERMYNWOODS
CONTEMPORARY ART
The Water Tower,
Bene eld Road
Brigstock
T +44 (0)1536 373469
Open Fri-Sun 2-6
fermynwoods.co.uk
James Smith: Photographs
of Corby to 15 April
Alex Calinescu
19 Apr-3 June
GLASGOW ART FAIR
George Square
Glasgow
T +44 (0)1412 044400
glasgowartfair.com
19-22 Apr
ISENDYOUTHIS.COM
Lamper Head
Conworthy, Totnes
T +44 (0)1364 653 208
Art Slide Show,
Artist Portfolio,
Gallery Guide,
ARTREVIEW
p154-155 Listings AR Apr07.indd 154 6/3/07 02:17:00
Exhibition Guide
& Artist Directory
HENRY MOORE
FOUNDATION
Dane Tree House, Perry
Green, Much Hadham
T +44 (0)127 984 3333
HENRY MOORE
INSTITUTE
74 The Headrow, Leeds
T +44 (0)113 246 7467
Open Mon-Sun 10-5:30,
Wed 10-9
Closed Bank Holidays
henry-moore-fdn.co.uk
Figuring Space: Mies to
Moore to 1 Apr
FRANCE
GALERIE POLARIS
8, Rue Saint-Claude
75003 Paris
T +33 142 72 2127
galeriepolaris.com
Christian Lhopital
14 Apr-26 May
SUZANNE TARASIEVE
171 Rue Du Chevaleret
75013 Paris
T +33 145 86 0202
suzanne-tarasieve.com
GERMANY
ACADEMY OF ARTS
Hanseatenweg 10
10117 Berlin-Mitte
T +49 (0)30 3038 1836
adk.de
Raum: Orte der Kunst
to 22 April
DESIGNERS GALLERY
GABRIELLE AMMANN
Teutoburger Strasse 27
50678 Koln
T +49 (0)22 1932 8803
Open Mon-Fri 1-6
designers-gallery.org
Zaha Hadid to 22 Apr
DINA PROJEKTE
Theresienstr. 51
80333 Munchen
T +49 (0)89 5238 9040
dina4pojekte.de
Sybille Rath: Am
Wunschbaum to 28 Apr
GOFF ROSENTHAL
Brunnenstrasse 3
10119 Berlin
T +49 (0)30 4373 5083
goffandrosenthal.com
Abetz/Drescher to 12 May
SPAIN
BARCELONA LOOP
loop-barcelona.com
Festival 23 May-3 June
Fair 31 May-2 June
CAC MALAGA
c/Alemania
29001 Malaga
T +34 95 212 0055
cacmalaga.org
GALERIA OLIVA ARAUNA
Barquillo 29
28004 Madrid
T +34 91 435 1808
olivarauna.com
Alexandra Ranner to
21 April
GALERIA ESPACIO MINIMO
Doctor Fourquet 17
28012 Madrid
T +34 91 467 6156
espaciominimo.com
Ian Burn to 14 Apr

GALERIA ESTIARTE
Almagro 44
28010 Madrid
T +34 91 308 1569
estiarte.com
LABORAL ART AND
INDUSTRIAL CREATION
CENTRE
Universidad Laboral s/n
33394 Gijon
T +34 98 518 5577
laboralcentrodearte.org
Opening 30 March
PROJECTESD
8 Baixos 1
08008 Barcelona
T +34 93 488 1360
projectesd.com
ITALY
ARTECONTEMPORANEA
Via Mazzini 41
10123 Torino
T +39 011 812 9544
41artecontemporanea.com
HANGAR BICOCCA
Via Chiese
20126 Milan
T +39 028 5353 1764
hangarbicocca.it
Emergenze to 27 May
BND
Via Calvi 18
20129 Milan
T +39 025 412 2563
bnd.it
Robert Gilgorov to 14
Apr
FONDAZIONE SANDRETTO
RE REBAUDENGO
Via Modane 16
10141 Torino
T +39 011 379 7600
fondsrr.org
Ambient Tour to 31 Mar
Silence 31 May-30 Sept
GALLERIA EMI FONTANA
Viale Bligny 42
20136 Milan
T +39 025 832 2237
galleriaemifontana.com
Elsewhere to 16 May
Tony Oursler 28 May-28
July
GALLERIA IN ARCO
Piazza Vittorio Veneto
1-3
10124 Torino
T +39 001 812 2927
in-arco.com
Dennis Oppenheim 26 May-
16 Jul
TUCCI RUSSO
Via Stamperia 9
10066 Torre Pellice
T +39 012 195 3357
tuccirusso.com
FRANCO SOFFIANTINO ARTE
CONTEMPORANEA
Via Rossini 23
10124 Torino
T +39 011 837 743
francosof antino.com
David Zink Yi to 12 May
TRIENNALE BOVISA
Via Lambruschini 31
20156 Milan
T +39 023 657 7801
triennale.it
30 Mar-10 June
TRIENNALE DI MILANO
Viale Alemagna, 6
20121 Milan
T +39 027 243 41
triennale.it
to 25 Apr
MALTA
JASON LU STUDIO
National Museum of Fine
Arts, South Street
Valletta
T +35 621 233 034
jasonlustudio.com
to 14 Apr
CHINA
AYE GALLERY
Room 601, Unit 3
Yonghe Garden Yard
3 Dongbinhe Road
An Ging Men
100013 Beijing
T +86 10 8422 1726
Open Tue-Sun 10-6
ayegallery.com
RCM GALLERY
72 West Beijing Road
Nanjing No. 10,
210024 Nanjing
T +86 25 8322 3399
Open Tue-Sun 10-6
rcmgallery.com
SHINE ART SPACE
Block 9, No. 50
Moganshan Road
200060 Shanghai
T +86 21 6266 0605
Open Tue-Sun 10-6
shineartspace.com
Art DC 26-30 Apr
KOREA
GALLERY HYUNDAI
80 Sagan-dong
Chongro-ku Seoul
T +82 2 734 6111 3
Open Tue-Sat 10-6,
Sun 10-6
galleryhyundai.com
KUKJE GALLERY
59-1 Sokyuk-Dong
Chongro-ku Seoul
T +82 2 735 8449
Open Mon-Sat 10-6,
Sun 10-5
kukjegallery.com
Louise Bourgeois
20 Apr-29 June
PKM GALLERY
137-1 Hwa-dong
Jongro-gu Seoul
T +82 2 734 9467
Open Mon-Sat 11-6,
pkmgallery.com
Olafur Eliasson to
13 Apr
ARTREVIEW
p154-155 Listings AR Apr07.indd 155 6/3/07 02:17:01
9 February
Chapman Brothers: Two Legs Bad, Four Legs Good, Paradise Row, London
13 February
Gilbert & George: Major Exhibition, Tate Modern, London
photography DAFYDD JONES
ARTREVIEW
ON THE TOWN
A
B

C
ARTREVIEW
p156-157 Party Pages AR Apr07.in156 156 5/3/07 14:06:03

Wang Qingsong
CHAPMAH BROTHER5: PARADl5E ROW
A Sophie Hunter & Nick Hackworth
B Timur Khan & Conrad Shawcross
C Rose Chapman & Jasmine Guinness
D Cristina Restrepo
E Maya van Malden
F Dinos Chapman
GlLBERT & GEORGE: TATE MODERH
1 Norman Rosenthal with Gilbert & George
2 Grayson Perry
5 Tracey Emin
4 Zaha Hadid
5 Johnny Shand Kidd
6 Ronnie Wood & Bryan Ferry
7 Thea Westreich & friend with Gilbert & George
Sir Nicholas Serota
7

D
4
5
6
7

E
F
p156-157 Party Pages AR Apr07.in157 157 27/2/07 03:03:04
ARTREVIEW
ON THE RECORD
Contemporary art, for many years considered too di cult
for all but the especially educated, has now become a fun day out for all the
family. Going down a slide at the Tate Modern is just an extension of
the phenomenon that has seen visiting work by Damien Hirst or
Tracey Emin become an alternative to a day out at Alton Towers
PEOPLE ALWAYS
ASK US WHAT WE
WILL DO IF ONE
OF US GETS RUN
OVER. WE SAY:
FEAR NOT! WE
ALWAYS CROSS THE
ROAD TOGETHER
MARK RAVENHILL, THE GUARDIAN
GEORGE, THE OBSERVER MAGAZINE
DOCUMENTA 12S ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ROGER BUERGEL, EMPHASISING
THE FACT THAT HELL BE PROVIDING THE COOLNESS, ON RECEIVING
THE KEYS TO A WHITE SAAB 9-3 CONVERTIBLE, ONE OF FIVE CARS
PRESENTED TO THE DOCUMENTA TEAM BY ONE OF THEIR MAIN SPONSORS
LE MONDE ON THE THEFT OF A 12 KG SOLID GOLD BAR
($271,480), PART OF AN INSTALLATION BY GARY HUME,
FROM THE FONDATION CARTIER IN PARIS, AS REPORTED
ON ARTFORUM.COM
SURELY
POLITENESS
AND
BALANCE ARE
NEVER
QUALITIES
WE VALUE IN
AN ART
CRITIC
In California, the art market is worse
than the real estate
A COLLECTOR COMPLAINS ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO SECURE WORK
BY CERTAIN ARTISTS, ARTFORUM.COM
WALDEMAR JANUSZCZAK, THE SUNDAY TIMES
p158 Quotes AR Apr07.indd 158 5/3/07 14:09:37
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