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And architecture had Eliel and Eero Saarinen, the Finnish father-son duo who revolutionized the way people thought about buildings in the Modernist boom after World War II. Their plans for nine buildings at Drake University, which borrowed more elements from boxy factories than columned academia, identified the school as "a forward-looking, modern university that was committed to innovative design," according to Maura Lyons, who curated a new show about the architects that opens next weekend in the Anderson Gallery.
The first time I met Enzo Mari, he was giving a talk at the Serpentine Gallery in London. It turned out to be more of a rant, as the great Italian designer railed scornfully against his pet hates. Design - dead. Architecture - dead too. Western civilization - ditto. Spotting the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas among the audience, he denounced him as "a pornographic window dresser."
Afterward I asked Mari if there was any aspect of contemporary life that pleased him. A lengthy silence followed, until he said: "Bread and terrorism." Why terrorism? "Why not?" snorted Mari. "People think it's bad, but if they thought about it, they'd realize it isn't all bad. It changes things."
If Brad Cloepfil's new Museum of Arts and Design were simply another white box for art, it would be just plain mean not to give it a decent grade. It's humanly scaled, nicely detailed, and allows light to flutter into the galleries through strategically placed horizontal and vertical slits. Visitors get intimate bird's-eye views of Central Park and Columbus Circle, along with congenial spaces to contemplate art. It's a conscientious if unspectacular effort.
Yet it's impossible to forget that this decorous little tower was once something flamboyant, fun, and maybe even a little foolish, a swinging '60s art museum designed by Edward Durell Stone for the eccentric heir to the A&P fortune, Huntington Hartford.
Cloepfil and his team at Allied Works Architecture literally wrapped their new museum around the concrete bones of Stone's white marble folly. But they failed to exorcise its ghosts, and now they hover in eternal reproach. It feels as if all the idiosyncrasies were focus-grouped out of the place.
barny is a nasty little shit. just like his dad
Thirty years ago photography was art if it was black and white. Color pictures were tacky and cheap, the stuff of cigarette ads and snapshot albums. So in 1976, when William Eggleston had a solo show of full-color snapshotlike photographs at the august Museum of Modern Art, critics squawked.you know there are two schools of thought on this.
Shirley concurs. “He calls me up every now and then, asks how I’m doing, and I say, ‘Good,’” she says, fond but firm. She is pleased to own an Eggleston photograph at home and proud of his success, but, like the Lamp’s regulars, her feelings for her famous neighbor are complicated. “I like Bill, but he can’t come in here. Will you be sure and tell him I said hello?”his "pub crawl" documentary stranded in canton is excerpted here on you tube.
enjoy more of his work at eggleston trust website
As I made my way through the 152 booths, I thought about the moment in Titanic when the designer of the doomed luxury liner warns Kate Winslet to find a lifeboat because "all this will be at the bottom of the Atlantic." When I tried this idea out on attendees, several said I was "a buzzkill." I asked, "Isn’t the buzz already beginning to disappear?"moo moo >squeeeek clank< (sound of barn door closing)
If the art economy is as bad as it looks -- if worse comes to worst -- 40 to 50 New York galleries will close. Around the same number of European galleries will, too. An art magazine will cease publishing. A major fair will call it quits -- possibly the Armory Show, because so many dealers hate the conditions on the piers, or maybe Art Basel Miami Beach, because although it’s fun, it’s also ridiculous. Museums will cancel shows because they can’t raise funds. Art advisers will be out of work. Alternative spaces will become more important for shaping the discourse, although they’ll have a hard time making ends meet.
As for artists, too many have been getting away with murder, making questionable or derivative work and selling it for inflated prices. They will either lower their prices or stop selling. Many younger artists who made a killing will be forgotten quickly. Others will be seen mainly as relics of a time when marketability equaled likability. Many of the hot Chinese artists, most of whom are only nth-generation photo-realists, will fall by the wayside, having stuck collectors with a lot of junk.
fails to sell
malevich sold for record $60 million
HF on ZH
Theory and Design in the First Machine Age Reyner Banham
HF: Well look, I think avant-garde culture historically needed a fairly confident bourgeoisie--not just to shock--but there was a way in which the bourgeoisie wanted to be tested too, wanted to see its values worked out another way.
BC: As Gombrich said they wanted a 'crunchy diet'.
HF: (Laughs) I think, you know, the classical idea of the avant-garde that we have now, of these extraordinary movements in Paris, they required a bourgeoisie that was informed enough to press them--the artists. I think there was a way in which a version of this relation is all that's needed. That's what I don't see. It doesn't come from the States, it doesn't come from a few rich people. I think there is enormous withdrawal from contemporary culture, just in general, for all kinds of reasons in the States. So those old conditions of avant-garde culture have to be replaced by other ones. Whatever the other conditions are they're never particularly happy--there's too much state; not enough; too much private interest; not enough. These are all in there by default. By default of a self-critical bourgeoisie.
PS: Presumably we're talking about a notion of the avant-garde. Something that one wants to bring with this notion is the idea of political change. Not simply a new set of artists who happen to be the ones who get discussed in all the articles for a while. You want something that's more 'radical' for want of a better word.
HF: Yeah. The avant-garde, again, is this term that in the past articulated the artistic and the political. I don't think that necessarily you go seek out the political in this neighbourhood or that province. I don't think it's ready-made in any community. I think sometimes it happens in form. I'm modernist enough to believe that you can still be political within the materiality of your own work.
PS: Well in a sense it has to be in terms of art practice, that's what it must be surely. Otherwise it's just politics layered on.
HF: Yeah, like it's illustrational. There's a lot of problems: there's theory illustration, there's political expressionism. There's lots of problematic formulations it seems to me right now. Maybe the pressure to form all these things together in work that is also innovative in its own terms is too much to ask.
BC: The grand unification theory of the avant-garde.
HF: I don't think that's a grand theory--it can't be guessed beforehand, I think it happens.
PS: But that's a very different position from a modernist position of De Stijil or some sort of group like that, where they're trying to make the future happen in a certain way.
HF: No, that's beyond us, thank God.
BC: You're talking about the rediscovery of past artworks. I think there's an industry about destroying people's reputations, but even just re-readings. One is constantly surprised though by the facts. I remember finding out that Jackson Pollock's tutor was Thomas Hart Benton. Early on you'll see Pollock making these big floats for political demonstrations with stereotypical capitalist effigies. Then again you have this thing that when the state did intervene in the arts in America with the WPA, that gave rise to this massive grouping which was then again taken up by the state through the Congress for Cultural Freedom and all that: it was done twice. Is that what you long for?
HF: (Laughs) Not exactly. I don't see the early work of Pollock as that divorced from the later work. For me there's not a huge divide between those moments in Pollock. There is a moment where the political, the aesthetic and the institutional come together in the work. It's obviously canonical, classical now, but there's a way in which Pollock really knew where painting was at that moment. He saw that innovation in form could also be political in the sense that there was still enough of a structure to old ideas of painting that if they were messed with, that would have political ramifications. I think it did, liberating ones at least. That's an example, obviously a very privileged one, but I don't think it's unique and I don't think it will never come again.
BC: It's fundamentally presented as some kind of aesthetic leap, as if it's some sort of scientific breakthrough. If you look at his work, OK he does break, but he's also coming back to something, it's still drawing.
HF: But not at that time. Smithson is another example of a person who 'leapt' in this league, gathered up all these different forces in ways that could not be expected. Those are two heroic examples, I think you could find humble ones too.
LF: The thing about photography and the use of attempts at justification through the use of a painterly language: Pollock talking about drawing or anything else can be as much about a sense of justification--in the same way that photography went through, and still is.
BC: But it's also very, very hyped. That film he made, the Time magazine article. And it's the same with Duchamp and the urinal: who took the photograph?--Stieglitz. Who's show was it?--Stieglitz's, he put up the money. Duchamp even wrote the 'scandalous' article. What did he set up afterwards? The Société Anonyme--taking all that money from little old ladies and ambassador's wives (laughter). I'm not condemning it, don't get me wrong, I'm drooling with jealousy. But there has to be these readings too.
HF: (Laughs) Oh sure.
BC: Lets not get too romantic about it.
HF: Oh I'm not romantic about it at all. That's what I meant about my longing for a proper bourgeoisie. It may sound absolutely perverse but...
PS: It's like Hegel's master slave dialectic, you need a bogeyman to have an avant-garde.
BC: Well look at those Yves Klein photographs, the ones with the naked women and that extraordinary audience.
HF: Yeah, there was a great moment when Benjamin Buchloch, in October, a long time ago, reproduced the image of Klein's audience with Malevitch and Lissitzky and students headed to Moscow, and this very different sense of a practice collective etc. His whole deal, Benjamin's, was a before and after: this is real collectivity and this is spectacle. But there's a way in which this is true. That's his story--of massive precipitous decline, you know. I think the other way is to see other possibilities. I think it's important to be grim, as grim as possible, but there's always possibilities.
PS: Because if there weren't presumably culture really would be sewn up by the powers at be.
HF: Yeah and we can all go home.
frank stella 1958
In sum, if Beckett made us “wait for Godot” in his 1956 U.S. premiere, Stella made us wait breathlessly for his next chess move after Morro Castle. We propose that the stakes were much higher than deciding whether Stella best fit the Greenbergian or Minimalist camp. There was, we believe, another layer that Stella could not himself confront at the time. He took us to the edge of a dark abyss. And then he recoiled. What would soon emerge were works that offered more “certitude and joy” — paintings more Matisse than Beckett in feeling. But what a magnificent moment of black doubt Stella shared with us in 1958.
"its about nothing..."
RK: I hate visual culture.
SR: You hate visual culture?
RK: In fact, October magazine, which I coedit and cofounded in 1976, recently did a special issue that was an attack on the visual culture project. Like cultural studies, visual culture is aimed at what we could call pejoratively, abusively, deskilling. Part of that project is to attack the very idea of disciplines which are bound to knowing how to do something, certain skills. Obviously, in French literature you would to be able to read French very well, not just modern French but Medieval French. In art history there are also skills, like connoiseurship, and at least some slight knowledge of conservation.
Once you decide, as does cultural studies, that these disciplines themselves are retrograde, you are bound to attack them in the name of a kind of super discipline for which the original model was comparative literature. When complit started, it required more rather than fewer skills. But when it began to be the center of what now is called theory, it increasingly became an enterprise in which all works are read in English (including the theoretical texts themselves), and it is now a very different project from the original one. And out of that project of comparative literature has come cultural studies which is involved in an attack one disciplines and therefore what I believe to be a massive deskilling of student. I think ultimately (and this is the really paranoid part of it) that many university administrations would like to get rid of the departments. The separate faculties in universities have a great deal of power which the administration would like to usurp.
SR: Well, I understand that a university might want to undermine the power of individual departments to better control them, but I don't really see how that works. It seems to me that most of these changes are being driven by faculty, not the administration.
RK: Although I'm certainly not talking about Harvard, administrations are often very happy to form "programs," like a program in cultural studies, or women's studies. Now you generally think those programs come from the left of the spectrum of possibilities, but they're not always from the left; they're also, as in Medieval studies, from the right. Such programs are not part of the faculty structure, and when the administration pushes to have faculty members head these study programs, those appointments often fall between the faculty or even outside it completely. Then those budgets and those people become directly beholden to the administration. We tend to think of it as a good thing, that it's about a radicalization of the disciplines, that it's been about getting rid of the apparatus that has been the intellectual support for various authoritarian projects. I think that is a self-defeating fiction and I think that it's dangerous.
SR: It really surprises me to hear you say this, because when I think of your writing and the writing in October, it seems that your work may have fostered and supported many of these changes both in art history and even more broadly. This is why I was puzzled by your distaste for the "paranoid scenarios," which I had always thought you were instrumental in bringing to the discipline.
RK: I certainly have been involved in critiquing certain controlling ideas that have been the ways of forming objects of study. For example, the work I've done on Jackson Pollock has been involved in trying to show that to continue to think of Pollock as a biographically contained subject who is a volitional agent is a benighted idea. For me, the only way to think about Pollock is through the sort of force field that was warring over his interpretation. That's an example of a sort of "death of the author" theory, and that's not a "paranoid scenario."
When I say "paranoid scenario," I have certainly participated and even formented various ways of attacking what Michel Foucault called the unities of an epistemological field that work in terms of a set of unified objects. I believe that some of those unified objects dissolve as you begin to look at them. So it's not as though I'm resisting new departures in art historical method, but I suppose I feel very strongly that that kind of critique is powerful and productive when it's conducted within a discipline, when a discipline renews itself. So what I have against "visual studies" is the project of getting rid of the disciplines. People say "film studies, what's that?" or "art history, jene connais pas." That's just forgetting about the fact that there are certain skills involved in both the fabrications of certain objects and the unpacking of those objects.
SR: Well, I think it's important that you clarified the distinction between carrying out your critical project, or any critical project, within a discipline, as opposed to dismantling all the disciplines and regrouping them under a different rubric, like women's studies.
RK: I think a lot of first generation feminists are deeply disturbed that while they had certain skills and commitments to literary texts, they realize that their students and certainly the students of their students don't have the same knowledge or skills. And then these feminists are wondering what the point of the critique is anymore. So, this unease that I'm expressing is not unique to me or to a few people; I think it's fairly wide spread.
SR: I would contend that feeling is shared by students, too.
RK: I think that students are particularly bored by the "paranoid scenarios." I suppose Harvard students are really voracious for learning and the problem with "paranoid scenarios" is that once you've said it, it's very hard to develop very much. It just gets repetitive. I mean once you expose patriarchy then what? Any way, I know this is all very shocking stuff, but...
SR: Actually I don't think that it is very shocking, because the comment you just made about first generation feminists worrying that their students wouldn't have the tools or the commitment, but a feminist scenario, comes across a lot in your work. In terms of feminism, I'm thinking of your book on the photographer Cindy Sherman, because you not only identify the feminist scenario, what is being signified, but you ask how it's being signified...
Trustees at the Tate Gallery turned down 21 paintings by the American artist Mark Rothko in the late 1960s which could now be worth as much as $1 billion (£630 million), according to notes written by its late director. Rothko was in talks with Sir Norman Reid to bequeath 30 works to the London gallery, but in the end Tate took only nine, according to The Art Newspaper. Now it has emerged that the abstract artist, who painted vast canvases of reds, mauves, blacks and greys, "touched on the possibility of giving all the paintings to the Tate".
Warhol understood that fame is a social fig leaf on personal vacuousness. Peyton thinks it is the fullness of being, showing how shallow her understanding of celebrity is compared to Warhol’s. His awareness that fame dies -- thus the fame of his death imagery -- was his way of debunking it. Peyton blindly embraces it, not knowing it is the kiss of death. Thus she is the victim of fame rather than its master, like Warhol. He made the famous jump through his photographic hoop, like animals in a circus, while Peyton adores and pets them, never realizing, as Warhol did, that they are beasts one doesn’t dare get close to. Peyton cozies up to her human subject matter, while Warhol coolly stares it down, for he knows that it is just another matter of social fact, and he knows its secret vulnerability.
a change is gonna come
20 abandoned cities world wide
rip yma sumac ( apparently not amy camus from long island after all )
If you liked WFMU's RNC Remix in 2004, you're going to love what we've got in store for Election Day. While our normal Tuesday programming airs online and over the airwaves, we'll be running a separate webstream to appease our most politically-obsessed listeners. WFMU's Electile Dysfunction '08 features political music, comedy, commentary, and audio art. And when the first polls close at 6pm, we'll bring you live election returns coverage hosted by Chris T., Billy Jam, Clay Pigeon, and Evan "Funk" Davies. The full schedule is after the jump.