Archive for October, 2006

Doris Salcedo


Doris Salcedo, born in 1958 in Bogota, Colombia, is a leading member of a new generation of artists who have achieved international acclaim during the past five years, partly as a result of their choosing to live and work in their countries of birth…

In Colombia, where Salcedo lives and works, the incidence of violent death has risen over the past fifty years to the point where it has become the primary threat to the social fabric. Although this violence does not discriminate between urban and rural victims, its most devastating effects can be witnessed in the less developed regions where Salcedo has traveled on a regular basis during the past decade. Seeking out and interviewing the survivors of violence, the artist is completely absorbed in acting as a secondary witness to the event, to the point where it becomes impossible for her to even try and revisit or reconstruct the original traumatic act for us. As she explains:

“I have come to meet people that have had the generosity of sharing with me their pain. Pain is constantly being revived. I think that allows for the establishment of another type of relation with reality. The distance between them and me disappears, allowing their pain to take over me, to take over my center. If I manage to make a good piece that circulates in the center of society, then their pain will enter into the core of this society. The victims will become the main protagonists.”

Like much of Salcedo’s work of the recent past, Unland incorporates elements of architecture and domestic life that are indirectly connected to the individuals whose stories she has committed to heart. By creating the semblance of shelter, the artist constructs a site where the careful addition of personal effects and/or human and animal fragments signals the transformation of ordinary materials into an intimate encounter with the reconstructed memory of loss. In his catalogue essay for this exhibition, Charles Merewether details the effect of such encounters in Salcedo’s work of the early 1990s:

“Plates, clothing, buttons, zippers and bones are grafted, compressed, and compacted into the surfaces of pieces of furniture. Chairs are covered by a fine skin of lace as if seared into the wood, bones are embedded into the side of a cabinet, a spoon forced between the seams of wood of a kitchen bureau. We may say the furniture appears wounded, both physically and psychically.”


October 12, 2006 at 7:43 am 1 comment

Tim Lee

Following previous work that often used humor and slapstick comedy as a vehicle for comprehending specific moments in popular culture and art history, Tim Lee presents a series of new works that operate within the loose confines of an artistic-social laboratory/studio experiment in order to offer a complex inquiry into the connection between highly charged socio-political movements and their transformative impact on the artistic avant-garde. With sources ranging from Alexander Rodchenko, Ad Reinhardt, Bruce Nauman and Public Enemy, the artist combines the templates of varying artistic entities into one cohesive body of work – including video, photography, sculpture and painting – in order to glean a greater (or askance) knowledge of each.

In Party For Your Right To Fight, Public Enemy, 1988, the artist simultaneously re-visits the conventions of early video art as practiced by Bruce Nauman in the late sixties, and Public Enemy’s landmark
It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, Public Enemy, 1988 and Fear Of A Black Planet, Public Enemy, 1990 are two photographs that document in explicit detail the artist’s attempt to lie perfectly still on the studio floor for one hour. With exposures timed to last with the length of each Public Enemy album, the artist uses various performative strategies -¬ including poses of street protest, Nauman’s early endurance videos, the imagining of the body as a piece of modernist sculpture, and the psychic possibility of levitation – in order to conflate an understanding of these histories. Accordingly, Retrospective, Public Enemy 1988-91 is a two-channel video installation that features the artist repetitively drumming a selection of drum beats taken from Public Enemy tracks that are, in turn, sampled from previously recorded LPs. Recorded live and continuously over the stretch of one hour, the artist makes a contemporary attempt to return, in 2006, late 80s/early 90s electronic drum samples back to its 60s/70s acoustic origins.

Born in Seoul, Korea in 1975, Tim Lee lives and works in Vancouver. His work is represented in public collections worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery of Canada; Collection de Arte Contemporanea Fundacion, Madrid; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Vancouver Art Gallery; and Tate Modern, London. Recent exhibitions include New Work/New Acquisitions, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Intertidal, MuHKA Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Belgium; and Appearances, Musée d’art contemporain, Montréal. Upcoming projects include group exhibitions at Klosterfelde, Berlin, and the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, and a solo exhibition curated by Jens Hoffman at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London in 2007.



October 12, 2006 at 7:06 am Leave a comment

Bomb magazine interview with Paul Pfeiffer


Paul Pfeiffer, Study for Morning After the Deluge, 2001, LCD monitor, metal armature, DVD player and digital video loop, 5 1/2 x 6 1/2 x 60″. All images courtesy of the artist and The Project, New York.
Winner of the Whitney Museum’s first Bucksbaum award in 2000, Paul Pfeiffer has received attention over the last few years for his provocative digital video production. I first became interested in Pfeiffer’s work when I saw John 3:16, a mesmerizing image of a basketball floating in the center of the screen while the court, spectators and the hands of the players seem to spin around its fixed center. As an unending loop, the work anchors the title’s biblical connotations of eternal life, while the cropped and spliced NBA footage makes reference to the almost religious spectacle of professional sports. Many of Pfeiffer’s works use found footage and images from popular culture to explore the relations among race, religion, art and human thought. They also link practices of image-making across historical periods, from painting and theater to cinema and television, inviting the audience to reflect on the conditions that delimit or define both spectacle and spectator. One such work, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, consists of four photographs of Marilyn Monroe from which the movie star’s image has been digitally removed, leaving only a monochrome background. A different kind of erasure is at play in The Long Count, in which the original television broadcasts of Muhammad Ali’s major championship fights are digitally edited so that the bodies of both boxers are removed from the ring, leaving only ghostly outlines to dance across the screen. Both works use digital editing to address the question of historical visibility or invisibility, emphasizing the power of image culture to confer the status of the “real” onto the past or onto human bodies in the present. Last fall Paul asked if I would like to have a dialogue with him about our mutual interests in image production, digital media and race politics for Bomb. The resulting transcript is less an interview than a conversation inspired by critical themes in Pfeiffer’s work.

read article:

October 12, 2006 at 6:58 am Leave a comment

“Thing: New Sculpture in Los Angeles”

February 6 – June 5, 2005

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

Including work by 20 Los-Angeles-based artists, THING uncovers the most innovative contemporary sculpture from the up-and-coming generation. Probing the formal and conceptual trajectories of sculpture in Los Angeles, THING includes a broad selection of works and addresses a wide range of sculptural practices, attempting to make sense of new materials, forms, methods, and concerns of this promising generation of emerging Angeleno artists. THING offers viewers a chance to examine how the vital and provocative sculpture being produced by L.A.’s younger set extends local traditions and lineages, and also taps into and shapes broader cultural streams. As Los Angeles has become a defining force in international contemporary art, the exhibition, though focusing on Los Angeles, provides a compelling view into the state of sculpture today.

Taft Green
Reaction Facets: International Seaport; Port 1 of 2; energy distribution, holding light, memory of Vermeer


Domestic and imported hardwoods, paint, steel, fabric.

Nathan Mabry
A Touching Moment (Tooting My Own Horn)


Terra-cotta, wood, paint.

LINK: Exhibition website

October 12, 2006 at 6:56 am Leave a comment

Beuys goes pop

 Just to prove that Joseph Beuys stayed current with the times…

Joseph Beuys (1921 – 1986)

Sonne Statt Reagan

4 mb (.mov), 1′ 57″

MP3 of Sonne stat reagan from the Fluxus Anthology

Beuys tried his luck as a pop singer as part of his political commitment. His song ‘Sonne statt Reagan’ attacks Ronald Reagan’s arms policy. The song was issued as a record and Beuys appeared before big audiences with it during the peace movement’s demonstrations and also with the group Die Desserteure in the ARD television broadcast ‘Bananas’ on 3.7.1982.

‘Regen”, pronounced like ‘Reagan’, is the German for ‘rain’. 

October 5, 2006 at 4:55 pm 1 comment

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