1. hyperallergic:

    (via The Vivian Maier “Discovery” Is More Complicated Than We Thought)

    Finding Vivian Maier, the documentary about the nanny who’s gained incredible posthumous fame for her previously unseen work as a photographer, was released this past weekend in the UK. But in addition to garnering reviews, it’s also bringing a longstanding but little-covered conflict over Maier’s work and archive to light. The film’s release has “fuelled a row between the men whose accidental discovery of her work … led to Maier belatedly coming to the world’s attention and garnering a posthumous reputation on a par with Henri Cartier-Bresson,” the Independent reported.

    READ MORE

     

  2. "Ways of Seeing Instagram" by Ben Davis

    http://news.artnet.com/art-world/ways-of-seeing-instagram-37635

    image

    Left: Attributed to Leonardo Alenza y Nieto, Maja Dormida (1867); right: Kim Kardashian post tagged “#TBT day dreaming,” from Instagram.

    "Isn’t it striking that the most-typical and most-maligned genres of Instagram imagery happen to correspond to the primary genres of Western secular art? All that #foodporn is still-life; all those #selfies, self-portraits. All those vacation vistas are #landscape; art-historically speaking, #beachday pics evoke the hoariest cliché of middle-class leisure iconography. (As for the #nudes, I guess they are going on over on Snapchat.)

    Why this (largely unintentional) echo? Because there is a sneaky continuity between the motivations behind such casual images and the power dynamics that not-so-secretly governed classic art. Last year, Slate speculated about how Instagram’s photo-boasting tends to amplify feelings of isolation, perhaps even more so than the more textual braggadocio of Facebook and Twitter. (“Seeing,” Berger writes, “comes before words.”) One expert described how Instagram in particular might accelerate the “envy spiral” of social media: “If you see beautiful photos of your friend on Instagram,” she postulated, “one way to compensate is to self-present with even better photos, and then your friend sees your photos and posts even better photos, and so on. Self-promotion triggers more self-promotion, and the world on social media gets further and further from reality.””

    (…)

    Berger believed mightily in the power of painting (he was almost a romantic, if you ask me), but Ways of Seeing was, above all, an attempt to demystify its subject. He thought that the preachiness and preciousness around fine art was used, ideologically, to whitewash the past that produced it. In key ways, Ways of Seeing is about the democratic potentials of mass media in making the classics accessible to the average person, by allowing images to slip free of the stilted atmosphere of the museum, and be reintegrated into life. (He was openly indebted to the Marxist philosopher Walter Benjamin’s reverberant essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.”)

    (…)

    Thus, in Ways of Seeing’s most famous section, Berger set out to illustrate how the conventions of the average European nude, when you stripped away all the mythological rhetoric, were actually quite similar to the conventions of a pinup, with female bodies contorted to appeal to the implied male spectator. And in one long, audacious section, Berger connected the motivations behind European oil painting with the rhetoric of advertising photography (full-color glossy magazine ads were just a decade and a half old at the time Berger was writing). Painting, Berger argued, had not on the whole been about presenting the truth, but aboutadvertising the lifestyle of the rich as fantastic and powerful.

    “Oil painting, before it was anything else, was a celebration of private property. As an art-form it derived from the principle that you are what you have,” Berger wrote. “It is a mistake to think of publicity supplanting the visual art of post-Renaissance Europe; it is the last moribund form of that art.”

    Of course, he also knew that there are differences between art and ads—the average work of European art, the product of an aristocratic society, was commissioned to glamorize and ratify the power of an elite, while modern consumer advertising is about promoting aspirational desire. Berger just thought that the continuities were illuminating to both, making visible the power dynamics beneath the innocent surface. Making the leap into our own time, you can see the same kinds of continuities pop up in unexpected places.”

     
  3. motion sickness and photographic experiments in Bryce Canyon, UT

     
  4. MANY PLACES AT ONCE

    April 17-July 12, 2014 / Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

    Featuring works by Martin Soto Climent, Rana Hamadeh, Li Ran, Cinthia Marcelle, William Powhida, Ian Wallace, and Real Time and Space.

    Many Places at Once is an exhibition curated by the graduating class of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts with the support of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. The eleven curators are: Kenneth Becker, Patricia Cariño, Marion Cousin, Pierre-François Galpin, Leila Grothe, Callie Humphrey, Danielle Jackson, Marie Martraire, Lauren O’Connell, Marja van der Loo, and Megan Williams.

    Decades after the “post-studio” turn announced by Minimalism and Conceptual art in the 1960s, Many Places at Once reconsiders the place of artistic production in our era of creative industries and flexible labor. Featuring new commissions and existing works by seven international artists, the exhibition presents artworks that call attention to the nuanced circumstances that characterize the economic, social, and technological conditions in which artists work today.

    The exhibition departs from the performance entitled At Work 1983 by the Vancouver-based artist Ian Wallace (b. 1943, Shoreham, England), in which the artist presented himself in the window of the artist-run Or Gallery in Vancouver, late at night, seated behind a simple desk, engaged in reading, thinking, and drawing. Staging himself before the city’s nightlife as an intellectual worker rather than a paint-spattered bohemian, Wallace embraced the new nature of art as thought over making, while reflecting on his new identity with tongue firmly in cheek. Many Places at Once includes a video of his original performance and large-scale drawings he produced during his tenure in the gallery window. New photographs in Ian Wallace’s Hotel series (1986–ongoing), made for this exhibition, marry photography and painting, and show the temporary “studios” that are the hotel rooms he occupies as he travels.

    Alongside Wallace are recent works by other artists that embody different notions of the place of artistic production. Cinthia Marcelle (b. 1974, Belo Horizonte, Brazil) produces drawings while attending art events such as artists’ talks. Martin Soto Climent (b. 1977, Mexico City) makes the pages of his journals and notebooks his site of production. Rana Hamadeh (b. 1983, Beirut, Lebanon) creates sculptural cabinets and vitrines where her archives are displayed, which she animates through performances. William Powhida (b. 1976, New York) generates diagrammatic drawings that reflect critically on the art world and the network it represents. Through videos and performances, Li Ran (b. 1986, Hubei, China) uses mimicry, satire, and irony to challenge the representation of artists’ identity and work. In dialogue with the above, the shared studios of Oakland-based Real Time and Space (established in 2011) evidence a continuation of the artist’s studio as a physical location, with the added dimension of group self-organization.

    Taken individually, each contemporary work presents a site: a hotel, a notebook, an archive, a network, an event, or a theatrical stage. Together they constitute the “many places”—physical and conceptual—that “at once” constitute a reimagined artist’s studio.

    An accompanying publication will provide an opportunity for further engagement with each featured practice through interviews with the artists, focusing on their processes and places of production.

    The exhibition’s programming will engage the Bay Area arts and education communities to develop dialogues on the pressing issues facing artists and creative professionals, with several conversations and public roundtables. Many Places at Once will also feature performances or events by Rana Hamadeh, Li Ran, and members of Real Time and Space. For a schedule of these programs, please visit the Wattis calendar.

    An accompanying publication will provide an opportunity for further engagement with each featured practice through interviews with the artists, focusing on their processes and places of production. Download publication here.

    About CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice
    Founded in 2003, CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice offers an expanded perspective on curating contemporary art and culture. Alongside traditional forms of exhibition making, this two-year master’s degree program emphasizes the momentous impact over the last half-century of artist-led initiatives, public art projects, site-specific commissions, and other experimental endeavors that take place beyond the confines of established venues. It is distinguished by an international, interdisciplinary perspective, and it reflects San Francisco’s unique location and cultural history by placing a particular importance on the study of curatorial and artistic practices in Asia and Latin America. For more information, visit cca.edu/curatorial-practice.

    Installation views by Johnna Arnold (c) Wattis Institute 

     
  5. Ulay/Marina Abramović, Gold Found by the Artists, 1981.

    German-Serbian artist duo Ulay/Marina Abramović-Marina Abramović/Ulay, Gold Found by the Artists photographis an example of a situation, a performance, staged for the camera, where the artist partners pose as tango dancers.

    According to the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Australia), the series Gold Found by the Artists consisted of twenty-two performances by Abramović and Ulay initiated in 1981, notably with the performance recorded in Vision #5, titled Anima mundi: tango, that took place at the First Australian Sculpture Triennial, in Melbourne. 

     
  6. Rana Hamadeh - Interview by Pierre-François Galpin

    After meeting for the first time at Rana Hamadeh’s Rotterdam studio in January 2014, she and the curator Pierre-François Galpin met virtually to talk further about Hamadeh’s projects, her work to be featured in Many Places at Once, and her artistic practice in general. This interview is the result of a series of conversations via Skype, Google Docs, and email, sent between San Francisco (in the mornings) and Rotterdam (in the evenings) during February and March 2014.

    "Pierre-François Galpin: Within the concept of the exhibition Many Places at Once we, the curators, attempt to identify places (physical and conceptual) of contemporary artistic production. Traditionally, the studio is a physical space where objects are produced. How would you define your studio: as a space, a practice, an idea, or maybe something else?

    Rana Hamadeh: I am not sure how to think of the term “studio.” I have never attached this term to my practice, particularly since I have never seen myself as an artist who produces objects (even though I do use objects in my work). I see my practice as an effort to script, map, and choreograph ideas and thoughts, associations, hypothetical and theoretical gestures, conversations, and so on. For me this effort attempts to generate a space within which a discussion can happen—a possibility to open up a discursive space. In this sense, if I have to identify an operational space within which I can think and produce work, I would think of this space as my mapping process. 

    This mapping involves the construction of particular relations among certain objects, thoughts, texts, and documents that I continually collect over time. But I also obtain and collect many of these elements through this mapping process itself. The collection and the mapping are simultaneous processes. In this sense, I see my space of work as the possibility itself to think. I do not take this possibility for granted.

    (…)

    The way I work now is to construct situations in which objects are displayed and used as part of a story that I create. For instance, take the work Al Karantina (2013), which is part of the project Alien Encounters and will be featured in your exhibition Many Places at Once. In this work, I display some sort of cabinet of wonders—a museum-looking mode of display—whose drawers contain photographs, objects, and artifacts. Yet this cabinet is built particularly as a “stage,” or as the scenography for a play. It is a stage that uses and appropriates its seemingly archival function. In this sense, I am not only appropriating documents and objects, but actively constructing an entirely different meaning of their context: not only what the objects themselves mean, but also how they have been institutionalized and presented.”

    Read the rest of Rana Hamadeh’s interview, as well as the catalogue essay and other artists’ interview, in the Many Places at Once online catalogue.

    Many Places at Once is on view at the Wattis Institute until July 12.

    Image: Rana Hamadeh, Al Karantina, 2013. Lecture-performance; cabinet with various objects from the artist’s collection. Originally commissioned for the Magic of the State exhibition, Beirut in Cairo, Egypt.

     
  7. "Bad dreams in the night.

    They told me I was going to lose the fight,

    Leave behind my Wuthering, Wuthering

    Wuthering Heights.”

    - Kate Bush, Wuthering Heights, 1978.

    (Inspiration is never left behind.)

     
     
  8. grupaok:

    Instalação de Cinthia Marcelle, “Sobre este mesmo mundo”, 2009-2010

    Six drawings from Marcelle’s OPINIÃO³ series appear in the upcoming Wattis Institute exhibition Many Places at Once, opening April 17.

    (Source: noelbsb.blogspot.ca)

     
  9. Robert Heinecken: Object Matter, Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 15-September 7, 2014.

    Heinecken described himself as a “para-photographer” because his work stood “beside” or “beyond” traditional notions of the medium. He extended photographic processes and materials into lithography, collage, photo-based painting and sculpture, and installation. Drawing on the countless pictures in magazines, books, pornography, television, and even consumer items such as TV dinners, Heinecken used found images to explore the manufacture of daily life by mass media and the relationship between the original and the copy, both in art and in our culture at large. Thriving on contradictions, friction, and disparity, his examination of American attitudes toward gender, sex, and violence was often humorous and always provocative.”

     
  10. via darksilenceinsuburbia:

    Ren Hang.

    Photography 2014

    Tumblr

    (via adsertoris)

     
  11. Avalanche #1 - Fall 1970

    Avalanche, founded in 1968 by Willoughby Sharp and Liza Béar, was an avant-garde magazine that focused on art from the perspective of artists rather than critics, and investigated new forms of art, notably conceptual, in the United States and Europe. Thirteen issues were published between 1970 and 1976. 

    As Gwen Allen noted in Artists’ Magazines, “Avalanche fostered a more direct channel for the artist’s voice and helped to forge a new understanding of the artists’ magazine as a site of artistic identity and community that would be influential through the 1970s.”

    Avalanche’s very first Fall 1970 issue featured documentation of artists’ processes and works such as Joseph Beuys installing his work in the exhibition When Attitudes Become Form at the Kunsthalle Bern, in March 1969 . In the same issue, Carl Andre expressed to Avalanche’s founders Willoughby Sharp and Liza Béar his doubts about photographs of his works presented alongside the interview. “I’m afraid we get a great deal of our exposure to art through magazines and through slides and I think this is dreadful, this is anti-art because art is a direct experience with something in the world and photography is just a rumor, a kind of pornography of art.”

     

  12. "Passive, or indifferent, tourism might be seen as ‘memory without consequences.’ ‘The shape of memory cannot be divorced from the actions taken in its behalf,’ writes James E. Young in his brilliant book The Texture of Memory. ‘Memory without consequences contains the seeds of its own destruction.’ Historical tours are billed as educational fun but can equally function as anecdotes to the onset of amnesia, which is perhaps the ultimate tragedy. The closer we are to forgetting, the closer to the surface of events and emotions alike the further we are from the depths where meaning and understanding reside. Public memorials and visited sites are the battlegrounds in a life-and-death struggle between memory, denial, and repression."
    — Lucy R. Lippard, On the beaten track: tourism, art, and place, 1999.
     
  13. Tom Marioni, Museum of Conceptual Art, n.d., black-and-white photo-offset-litho, 8 x 10 inches. / In Vision #5 - Artists’ Photographs, edited by Tom Marioni and published by Crown Point Press, 1982.

    As a magazine series rooted in Conceptual art practices, Vision is an international publication in scope and ambition, but a local initiative specific to the Bay Area Conceptual art scene. It seems impossible to separate Vision and its fifth issue from this context and Marioni’s own career path as Vision’s editor, MOCA’s curator, and artist. His own photograph is included in Vision #5, titled Museum of Conceptual Art, and shows the building in which MOCA was located. The image depicts the ‘Breen’s – Fine Food’ diner on a street at night, the place below his museum—which was on the building’s upper floor. The photograph is overexposed, so that the scene is barely discernible; on top of the image, the letters “MOCA” are printed in white and an elegant font. Marioni made this photograph to suggest the end of the museum, as the image and MOCA were fading away. In his memoir, Beer, Art and Philosophy (2003), he speaks about the concluding era of his museum in the early 1980s:

    At this point I wasn’t receiving NEA grants anymore. I was too elitist for them. [] In 1984 I closed MOCA. I lost the building, but also it was the end of an era, and I hadn’t done any shows since 1981. Conceptual Art has come back now, but it was dead in the ‘80s. Art schools were starting to have Conceptual Art departments. It had become an academy. 

    Vision #5 was published two years before MOCA closed, in a period identified by Marioni as the end of Conceptual art—until its contemporary revival. The institutionalization of, and the development of the market for, Conceptual art practices seemed to be an issue he was very sensitive to.