Posts filed under ‘artist works’

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

Sasha Petrenko

“We House” at Southern Exposure Gallery, 2006

studies for “Pocket House”

Sasha Petrenko’s latest architecturally inspired project is titled Pocket-house. This portable one-person shelter is built with a modified boat building technique consisting of laminated strips of plywood. Conveniently, the structure is perfectly scaled to fit on top of Petrenko’s 1989 Acura Legend. The structure is then transported to various locations in Northern California where the artist temporarily resides and photographically documents her experience inside Pocket-house. The minimal yet comfortable structure features light and sound systems, plus sleeping and storage areas that are powered by either a 12 volt power generated by the Acura Legend or 120 volt supplied by her friendly host.  Inspired by her experiences as an artist attempting to afford a home of her own, Petrenko’s photographs of her project comment on the basic needs of daily living through alternative means, exploring ideas about place, shelter and affordable housing.


September 27, 2006 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

Marjetica Potrc: “Urgent Architecture”

Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrc discovers beauty in the unplanned urban landscapes of shantytowns, trailer parks, and barrios. In her installations in various art institutions across the globe, she sends instructions to the musum staff on how to build her installations–often inspired by a type of shelter found halfway across the world–out of local materials. Here she instructs/constructs a massive installation of housing units based on observations made of temporary shelters and gated communities in Caracas, the West Bank, and West Palm Beach.

Urgent Architecture


September 27, 2006 at 7:08 pm Leave a comment

Artists addressing “the archive” and also casual display tactics

In light of Adam’s “archive” installation portraying his first home away from home I mentioned a few artists that seem to relate in different ways:


21 production still21 production still

Fred Wilson

Commenting on his unorthodox artistic practice, Wilson has said that, although he studied art, he no longer has a strong desire to make things with his hands. “I get everything that satisfies my soul,” he says, “from bringing together objects that are in the world, manipulating them, working with spatial arrangements, and having things presented in the way I want to see them.” Thus, Wilson creates new exhibition contexts for the display of art and artifacts found in museum collections, along with wall labels, sound, lighting, and non-traditional pairings of objects. His installations lead viewers to recognize that changes in context create changes in meaning. While appropriating curatorial methods and strategies, Wilson maintains his subjective view of the museum environment and the works he presents. He questions—and forces the viewer to question—how curators shape interpretations of historical truth, artistic value, and the language of display, and what kinds of biases our cultural institutions express.

Gail Wight

Zoo Kit

wooden box, felt, text
test tubes, DNA in solution
6″ x 12″ x 18″

A small wooden box with racks of test tubes holds the DNA for land, air, and sea animals, the DNA for flora to sustain them, and the DNA for a zoo keeper. A tribute to Fluxus.

In attempts to understand thinking, I have:
made maps of various nervous systems, practiced art while under hypnosis, designed an artificial intelligence to read my tarot, read for hours to fish, conducted biochemical experiments on myself and others, executed medical illustrations in black velvet, worked on cognitive research projects, documented dissections of humans, dissected machines and failed to put most of them back together, freely made up vocabulary as needed, removed my teeth to model information systems, self-induced phobias concerning consciousness in the plant kingdom, donated my body to science and then requested it be returned, observed nerve development in vivo, choreographed synaptic responses, translated EEGs into music, conducted a cartesian exorcism on myself, and attempted to create cognitive models of my own confused state.

Rirkrit Tiravanija

Since the early 1990s, Tiravanija has explored a new aesthetic paradigm of interactivity. He has cooked and served food to his audiences, set up a recording studio in a museum, reconstructed his apartment inside a gallery for visitors’ use, corresponded via the Internet while on an American road trip with Thai students, and provided opportunities for numerous other everyday activities to occur within art spaces. Tiravanija is a catalyst; he creates situations in which visitors are invited to participate or perform. In turn, their shared experiences activate the artwork, giving it meaning and altering its form.

Mark Dion

In many of his works, Dion re-creates the categorization and exhibition practices of museums. In this piece, his concern is to explore how a subjective understanding of nature becomes established as history by a particular group of people at a particular time. The result is a fictive–or personal–view of history that reflects on the subjective and sometimes arbitrary nature of scientific methodology.

Mark Dion, Alexander Wilson-Studio, 1999, wooden structure, mixed media, 8 x 12 x 9ft. (installation view)

Mark Dion, Alexander Wilson-Studio, 1999, wooden structure, mixed media, 8 x 12 x 9ft. (installation view detail)

Mark Dion, New England Digs


Exhibition: “Art of the Encyclopedic”
at the Carnegie Museum, 2003

Art of the Encyclopedic is guest curated by Paul Vanouse, Assistant Professor of Art, University at Buffalo and features the works of digiatal artists Natalie Bookchin, Brian Collier, Julia Dzwonkoski, Omar and Carlos Estrada, Caroline Koebel, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Walid Raad, and Igor Vamos.

Art of the Encyclopedic is a meta-commentary on both exhibition curation as well as the historic function of the Carnegie Art Center (formerly the Carnegie Library). The exhibition is about classification, organization, categorization, archiving and public display. Furthermore, the exhibition is interested in displaying, in actual gallery space, qualities of contemporary information technologies, i.e. the world wide web, that tend toward exhaustive re-cataloging of existing information. For instance, many museum web-sites have hyperlinks to other museum collections, often creating recursive loops of references to one another so that our primary experience is of navigating linkages and information hierarchies and secondarily of the discreet information that they organize.

Art of the Encyclopedic is intended to highlight artworks that embody these systematic, hyper-rationalized processes and, of course, to further organize these works in the exhibition space. The works planned incorporate a variety of media including, photography, video, found-objects, text, and digital media. Read more…

Rebecca Bollinger

“Last Year by Color and Composition” 2002

A digital movie made from every picture stored on my computer during one years time – eBay photos, personal snapshots, search result pictures, work documentation, photos of drawings, travel pictures (mostly anonymous,) pie charts and graphs, quotes, maps and logos – organized by color and composition.
Rebecca Bollinger «Last Year by Color and Composition»

September 27, 2006 at 4:22 am 1 comment

Anna Maltz

“Maggie, Daniell, Finley & Kaizen, San Francisco”, 2003, c-print, 13.5”x20”, ed. of 5.


September 5, 2006 at 1:32 am Leave a comment

Joseph Beuys

Capri Battery, 1985.

Informed by diverse sources, including German history, Shamanism, and Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophy, Beuys’s unique outlook evolved throughout his career. Beuys later expanded his artistic definition to include “social sculpture” which resulted from public interaction and discussion. His work methods can best be seen in his showcases or glass cases containing objects found or created by him. Another essential feature of the exhibition are the artist’s own drawings, which he described as the “energy source” inspiring his work in other media. (more…)

September 5, 2006 at 1:01 am Leave a comment

Fred Sandback

“Untitled (Fourth of Ten Corner Constructions),” 1983
maroon and black acrylic yarn


September 4, 2006 at 10:08 pm Leave a comment

Fischli and Weiss: “The Way Things Go”

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Film still from Der Lauf der Dinge (The Way Things Go), 1986; A film about a chain reaction

Peter Fischli and David Weiss have been working collaboratively since 1979, attempting to recreate on a human scale the states of order and balance that govern and inspire our lives. Their valiant, delicate, beautifully inept efforts to defy mobility, immobility, and gravity are documented in two photographic series titled Wursterie (Wurst Series) and Stiller Nachmittag (Quiet Afternoon), and their film Der Lauf der Dinge (The Way Things Go).

These artworks record the acrobatic and precarious arrangements of such household items as carrots, cheese graters, tires, clothes baskets, and chairs. The characteristics of these objects dictate their interaction, and signify their interdependency and equality. These characteristics and their visual relationships may be extended to symbolize the networks and systems that make up “ordered and civilized’ society. (more…)

September 4, 2006 at 8:31 pm Leave a comment

Sarah Sze

Unravel, 2005, Mixed media

Sze’s sculptures are flowing structures consisting of a conglomeration of small-scale household items that respond to and infiltrate the surrounding architecture. Like the information flow of the World Wide Web, her compositional language takes form by successively linking small bits of discrete information into a complex network. With an intensity born of a laborious patchwork technique that is at once painterly and sculptural, the interplay between individual components and overall structure allows Sze to explore the boundaries between art and everyday life. (more…)

September 4, 2006 at 8:20 pm 1 comment

The Martha Rosler Library

This project grew in part out of artist Martha Rosler’s space problem: she simply had too many books crowding her home and studio. They covered the shelves, piled on the floors, and cascaded down the stairs. We offered her a solution. We asked her if we could borrow her library for a while, to open to the public in the form of a reading room at the e-flux space on Ludlow street. As an artist’s library, her collection suggests multiple meanings and possibilities. She has constantly brought the familiar under closer examination, using text both as a representational strategy and descriptive tool. Given the uncommon diversity of her interests and influences, and their significance in the production of critical positions, we deemed it relevant to open her familiar – and occasionally obscure – sources to readers. (more…)

September 4, 2006 at 7:36 pm Leave a comment

David Ireland

“Confessional, 1989.” Metal chairs and C-clamps. 48 x 20 x 20 inches

“You can’t make art by making art” has been a guiding principle in the work of David Ireland, one of California’s most important and critically acclaimed artists working in the challenging arena of conceptual and installation art. “Ideally my work has a visual presence that makes it seem like part of a usual, everyday situation,” he says. “I like the feeling that nothing’s been designed, that you can’t tell where the art stops and starts.” (more…)

September 4, 2006 at 7:18 pm 1 comment

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