Notebook volume 38: Already been in a lake of fire
Document title: Notebook volume 38: Already been in a lake of fire
Category_File_Type_Volume_Plates: [cat. A]_Fakhouri_Notebooks_38_055-071
Media: Color photographs
Plate dimensions: 30 x 40 cm
Attributed to: Dr. Fadl Fakhouri
May 23, 1985
300 kg. of TNT
500 meter perimeter
35 cars burned
June 14, 1985
30 kg. or 200 kg. of TNT
2_120mm shells or Hexogen
The Atlas Group – Walid Raad
The project of the artist from Lebanon exhibited at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin.
Exhibition view, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin
Let’s be honest, the weather helped.
Document title: Let’s be honest, the weather helped.
Category_File_Type_Plates: [cat. A]_Raad_Photographs_001 – 007
Media: Color photographs
Dimension: 46 х 72 cm
Attributed to: Walid Raad
Sweet talk: The Hilwé commissions (1992-2004)
The Atlas Group (1989-2004). A Project by Walid Raad
The project of the artist from Lebanon exhibited at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin.
By Kassandra Nakas | Sep 2006
Existing since 1999, The Atlas Group participated in major international exhibitions like the Documenta 11 and the Whitney Biennial 2002, which has made some of its works known to a broader public. In shifting constellations within the Atlas Group collective, Walid Raad (born in 1967 in Chbanieh, Lebanon), who founded the project, has created a complex of works with an abstracting/reducing aesthetic that raises many-layered questions about themes like experience and memory, authenticity and authorship, and how history can be depicted.
The exhibition “The Atlas Group (1989-2004). A Project by Walid Raad” in the Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin is showing the most extensive overview yet on this project. The years given in the exhibition title signal a temporal closure that, like most factual information in the context of The Atlas Group, should not be understood literally, but rather put in doubt. The Atlas Group set itself the goal of documenting and researching the present and history of Lebanon, in particular the years of the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990/91), so its theme is also always the continuing effect of all the individual and collective experience that constitutes history in the first place. The archive set up by The Atlas Group brings together not only found, but also intentionally invented photographic, audiovisual, and written “documents” of everyday life in Lebanon.
continue reading on http://u-in-u.com
Notebook volume 72: Missing Lebanese wars
Document title: Notebook volume 72: Missing Lebanese wars
Category_File_Type_Volume_Plates: [cat.A] _Fakhouri_Notebooks_72_131_149
Media: Color photographs
Plates dimensions: 32 x 25 cm
Attributed to: Dr. Fadl Fakhouri
ZZ. What led you to appropriation and remix and how are they significant in your work?
M. Appropriation and remix have a long artistic tradition, beginning with Picasso’s collages. As early as the 1920s, Hannah Hoch and the Dadaists used this mode of expression to create major photographic works. In music, for example, from today’s DJs and Pop to Glenn Gould and Miles Davis, the practice of remix, collage and appropriation has been an essential part of their production. What I mean is that as an artistic concept, appropriation and remix are pretty standard and not particularly groundbreaking.
The interesting question is why their aesthetic power has been reasserted in photography precisely now. And I think one possible answer would be the combination of the formal exhaustion of the linear perspective as a photographic representation of the world and the huge impact digitization is having on every aspect of our lives. I would answer your question by turning it around and saying I find it hard to think of a truly relevant form of photography for the world we live in that continues to respect the Eurocentric, reactionary structure of the dark room.
ZZ. What do you mean by Eurocentric and reactionary?
M. The linear perspective, the visual structure resulting from the dark room, is a very particular and ideological way of visualizing the world. Panofsky has a text about it he wrote in 1927, a real classic, that is a pleasure to read.
But what is really remarkable is that it is an exception in art history. In 10,000 years of history, the linear perspective spans only 500 years and is located exclusively in the West. It has never been of interest to Asian, or pre-Columbian or African art … it is a European way of seeing in a period beginning in the Renaissance and ending in the 19th century.
And this is no coincidence because its ideological content is well known. The linear perspective arranges the world from the point of view of an autonomous individual whose individuality is the world’s principle of meaning. It is pure Descartes. And we all remember Descartes’ Fifth Meditation, which states that since the essence of matter is its extension, geometry is an essential instrument for understanding nature. Modernity can be defined as the advance of abstraction and the prevalence of the quantitative over the qualitative in which the mathematical-scientific order is regarded as the only source of valid knowledge. There is so much contemporary thought that debunks this narrative that I won’t repeat it here.
Thus, surprisingly, my earlier comment is still valid. Why should digital photography continue giving priority to a functionally and ideologically devalued visual structure?
ZZ. Why do you think digital photography changes the way we understand appropriation and remix?
M. Digital technologies are leading us towards the radical transformation of our world. By replacing the industrial economy with a bio-cybernetic system, digitization is modifying our environment, our subjectivity and soon, our bodies. This is the technological phenomenon that will define our era and therefore our culture.
Unlike an analog file, a digital file is invisible. It is a code whose visual expression is a translation highly mediated by default algorithms, whose most prominent feature is precisely its immateriality.
This technical structure fits our current era of abstraction and non-referentiality and the digital financialization of the economy. How do we see the world today? We have the answer on our computer and Smartphone screens. What is the essential aspect of the financial economy? The recombination of existing information units to create new information, in other words, “constructive compositing”. Digitization has definitively invalidated linear narrative, the monocular perspective and the author’s “authority”.
continue reading on zonezero.com
Instagram, an artist and the $100,000 selfies – appropriation in the digital age
Richard Prince has turned borrowing online images into high art – and hard cash. But is the artist’s work anything other than genius trolling?
Hannah Jane Parkinson, Saturday 18 July 2015 05.00 EDT
It’s a question as old as art itself: “Yeah, but is it art?”
Type it into Google and get 1.26 billion results. It lends itself to book titles, television series and conversations between white walls, whetted by prosecco.
It’s a question asked of a shark in formaldehyde; an unmade bed; a sleeping footballer; two humans meeting in silence across a table, and before those of John Cage; Mondrian; Pollock.
This question, the distant cousin of “my kid could have done that”, has quietly endured.
The decibel levels rise, however, when it comes to appropriation. Appropriation is the practice of artists taking already existing objects and using them, with little alteration, in their own works. The objects could be functional, everyday objects, or elements of other art pieces; commercial advertising material, newspaper cuttings or street debris. Anything, really.
It’s interesting, though, that some appropriation in art is seen as acceptable in the public consciousness, some not. Warhol: of course. Sampling at the birth of hip-hop – well, sure. Found object art like Duchamp’s Fountain? Hmm.
Richard Prince and the art of ‘rephotographing’
Richard Prince is a New York-based artist famous for appropriation. His work relies heavily on the work of others. Not all of his pieces or projects are appropriated, but his most famous pieces owe their existence to the technique.
Take, for instance, Prince’s “rephotographing” of Marlboro cigarette advertisements, specifically those featuring the Marlboro Man (originally shot by Sam Abell). The series, entitled – and some might say, appropriately – Cowboys, began in the 1980s. A more recent piece from the series (2000) sold for more than $3m (£1.9m) at a 2014 Sotheby’s auction.
There’s a rather brilliant PDN interview, in 2008, with Abell, who speaks about Prince’s appropriation of his photographs. At the beginning of the interview, Abell states: “I’m not angry, of course”. He then speaks for three minutes, getting angrier and angrier.
I’m not particularly amused … it’s obviously plagiarism, and I was taught by my parents the sin of that … it seems to be breaking the golden rule … he has to live with that.”
Abell’s Marlboro photographs are not the only pictures to be repurposed by Prince. In 2014, Prince settled a three-year-long copyright case with the photographer Patrick Cariou after the former used Cariou’s Yes, Rasta, a book on the rastafarian community, as part of his Canal Zone series. He’s also been known to hand out copies of A Catcher in the Rye with his own name on the cover.
Now, Prince is back in the spotlight. His current exhibition – New Portraits – opened in June at the Gagosian gallery in London, having debuted in New York in 2014.
The portraits, however, are not new to everyone – and certainly not new to their subjects.
This is because Prince’s New Portraits series comprises entirely of the Instagram photos of others. The only element of alteration comes in the form of bizarre, esoteric, lewd, emoji-annotated comments made beneath the pictures by Prince.
Prince’s pieces sold for up to $100,000 (£63,700) at New York’s Frieze art fair, according to CNN. This might not sound a lot, given the prices fetched for oher artists’ works at the Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions in London this month – including $32.1m (£20.9m) for a Warhol painting of a $1 bill – but it is what mothers around the world would call “better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick”.
As collaborations go, if Jay-Z and Beyonce duetting represents a bringing together of the best of hip-hop and R&B, and Scorsese, Nicholson and DiCaprio a filmmaking supergroup, then Richard Prince and the internet are an appropriation dream team.
So it is that one of the oldest questions (“but is it art?”) collides with one of the most pressing, current global debates: that of online privacy and ownership in the digital age.
continue reading on www.theguardian.com
Sherrie Levine (American, born 1947)
After Walker Evans: 4, 1981
Gelatin silver print, 12.8 x 9.8 cm (5 1/16 x 3 7/8 in.)
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a group of artists including Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, and Sherrie Levine—at the time dubbed the “Pictures” generation—began using photography to examine the strategies and codes of representation. In reshooting Marlboro advertisements, B-movie stills, and even classics of Modernist photography, these artists adopted dual roles as director and spectator. In their manipulated appropriations, these artists were not only exposing and dissembling mass-media fictions, but enacting more complicated scenarios of desire, identification, and loss.
In 1981, Levine photographed reproductions of Depression-era photographs by Walker Evans, such as this famous portrait of Allie Mae Burroughs, the wife of an Alabama sharecropper. The series, entitled After Walker Evans, became a landmark of postmodernism, both praised and attacked as a feminist hijacking of patriarchal authority, a critique of the commodification of art, and an elegy on the death of modernism. Far from a high-concept cheap shot, Levine’s works from this series tell the story of our perpetually dashed hopes to create meaning, the inability to recapture the past, and our own lost illusions.
Sherrie Levine (American, born 1947)
After Walker Evans: 1, 1981
Gelatin silver print, 8.6 x 12.9 cm. (3 3/8 x 5 1/16 in.)
Sherrie Levine (American, born 1947)
After Walker Evans: 10, 1981
Gelatin silver print, 9.6 x 12.7 cm. (3 3/4 x 5 in.)
Sherrie Levine (American, born 1947)
After Walker Evans: 11, 1981
Gelatin silver print, 12.9 x 10.2 cm. (5 1/16 x 4 in.)
In 1936 Walker Evans photographed the Burroughs, a family of sharecroppers in Depression era Alabama. In 1979 in Sherrie Levine rephotographed Walker Evans’ photographs from the exhibition catalog “First and Last.” In 2001 Michael Mandiberg scanned these same photographs, and created AfterWalkerEvans.com and AfterSherrieLevine.com to facilitate their dissemination as a comment on how we come to know information in this burgeoning digital age.
Here on AfterSherrieLevine.com you will find a browsable selection of these images. Links to the high-resolution exhibition-quality images to download and print out. Along with a certificate of authenticity for each image, which you print out and sign yourself, as well as directions on how to frame the image so that it will fulfill the requirements of the certificate.
By building the image’s URL into the title – the image to the left is “Untitled (AfterSherrieLevine.com/2.jpg)” – the images are locatable and downloadable by anyone who sees or reads about the image. By distributing the images online with certificates of authenticity, the images are accessible by anyone. Unlike the work of the late Felix Gonzalez-Torres ‹ known for his spills of candy and stacks of paper from which the viewer can take a piece of, though the sculpture stays complete because the owner possesses the certificate of authenticity, the right to reproduce ‹ the certificates here are used to insure that each satellite image be considered with equal authenticity, not the opposite. This is an explicit strategy to create a physical object with cultural value, but little or no economic value.
Untitled (Your body is a battleground), 1989
photographic silkscreen on vinyl
112 x 112 in. (284.48 x 284.48 cm), The Broad
Barbara Kruger addresses media and politics in their native tongue: tabloid, sensational, authoritative, and direct. Kruger’s words and images merge the commercial and art worlds; their critical resonance eviscerates cultural hierarchies — everyone and everything is for sale. The year 1989 was marked by numerous demonstrations protesting a new wave of antiabortion laws chipping away at the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Untitled (Your body is a battleground) was produced by Kruger for the Women’s March on Washington in support of reproductive freedom. The woman’s face, disembodied, split in positive and negative exposures, and obscured by text, marks a stark divide. This image is simultaneously art and protest. Though its origin is tied to a specific moment, the power of the work lies in the timelessness of its declaration.
About Barbara Kruger
The large, bold artworks of Barbara Kruger assimilate words and images from the deluge of contemporary mass media. Employing media effects and strategies, Kruger creates her own sexual, social, and political messages, challenging the stereotypical ways mass media influences society’s notions about gender roles, social relationships, and political issues.
Untitled (Your body is a battleground), 1989, exemplifies Kruger’s interest in addressing and interpreting heated political issues of the moment. Using a silkscreened frontal photograph of a model’s face, the artist gives the image additional meaning by dividing the large canvas it occupies into sections; from left to right, the bisected image reverses from positive to negative, and from top to bottom, the face is divided by the emblazoned slogan “Your body is a battleground.” Kruger critiques the objectified standard of symmetry that is applied to feminine beauty and perpetuated by media and advertising. The composition originally included more text and was designed as a poster for the massive pro-choice rally that took place on April 9, 1989, in Washington, D.C.
Untitled (If you’re so successful, why do you feel like a fake?), 1987, is a direct interrogation of the motivations of contemporary society—career building, money, and the appearance of success and good living. Kruger’s assertive display demands an answer from viewers. Unlike in advertising, which may ask a question to compel a purchase, Kruger’s work uses the same techniques to compel ethical change and reflection.
One of the most famous chapters of post-war Japanese art is Genpei Akasegawa’s 1000-yen Note Incident.
In 1963, the young han-geijutsu (‘Anti-Art’) artist had printed several hundred single-sided monochrome 1000-yen note semblances, mailing them in the post office’s cash envelopes as invitations to his exhibition of collage works in Tokyo. In the following months he made several thousand reproductions of the image, burning some of them in a performance and using others to wrap objects, like the bag pictured below. Nobody took much notice outside his own circle of artist friends.
The following year, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police launched a criminal investigation on Akasegawa, referring to an old, vaguely termed law prohibiting manufacture of objects with an exterior that “may be confused with currency.” This led to a highly publicised and drawn-out trial at Tokyo District Court which raised more provocative questions and reached more people than Akasegawa’s art works could ever have managed to do without the state intervention.
The case (which has been recounted in recent years by Reiko Tomii and William Marotti) necessitated a close consideration of the boundaries of legality and of art. Backed by a group of like-minded artists and critics, Akasegawa stressed the blatant unusability of his notes, arguing that they weren’t counterfeit because they weren’t pretending to be real or true – they only referred to real and true money (albeit aiming thereby to disrupt its imagined reality and truth). The uselessness of the notes gave them their status as art objects, but the court’s response was that what he did may well have been ‘art’, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t criminal. After two appeals, the supreme court upheld the lower court’s indictment in 1970, activating the artist’s sentence of three months incarceration and one year probation.
An ironic side effect of the incident was that it cemented the otherwise barely noticed work in the public consciousness, and in art history. The event is remembered as a forensic interrogation of the nature of representation, replication, imitation and simulation – which, it turns out, are all quite different things. Akasegawa named his notes ‘models’ – they weren’t intended as currency but as images of currency, money abstracted from monetary value.
The aforementioned Ming Dynasty bank notes were printed with warnings that forgery was punishable by death. This serves today as a reminder that due to the huge gulf between the low material value of a piece of paper and the high promised value of the state-issued symbol, the risk of counterfeit has been a concomitant part of every paper currency. One of Akasegawa’s responses to the trial was to create the Greater Japan Zero-yen Note (1967) (above), which was ‘money’ that made explicitly clear the fact that it had no monetary value. People were invited to exchange three hundred real yen with him for an ‘original’ zero-yen note, his ambitious idea being that once he swapped it all, there would be no ‘real’ money issued by the state left in circulation.
A member of the avant-garde art collectives Neo Dada (initially Neo Dadaism Organisers) and Hi Red Centre, Akasegawa was associated with the radical han-geijutsu or ‘Anti-Art’ movement of the 1950s and 60s. In later years he would develop a theory of cho-geijutsu or ‘Hyper-Art’, which was less overtly political but would continue to seek intersections of the spaces of art and daily life, and interrogate notions of individual authorship and originality.
He also went on to be a prolific author under the pen name Katsuhiko Otsuji, and wrote the screenplay for the 1989 film Rikyū (by Hiroshi Teshigahara of Woman in the Dunes fame), which chronicles the life of the sixteenth century master of the Japanese tea ceremony. At one point in the film, Sen no Rikyū looks upon a statue made in his image and says, “I now see that I am little more than an effigy myself.” Here, the copy doe not reinforce the originality of the original – in Baudrillard’s terms, the copy suffices to “render both artificial.” This harks back to the institutionalised fear that abounds around semblances of money; mechanical reproductions of mechanical reproductions, they threaten to destabilise the consensual authority of money, and the precarious apparatus of faith required for homogenised symbolic value to function.
Appropriation in art is the use of pre-existing objects or images with little or no transformation applied to them. The use of appropriation has played a significant role in the history of the arts (literary, visual, musical and performing arts). In the visual arts, to appropriate means to properly adopt, borrow, recycle or sample aspects (or the entire form) of human-made visual culture. Notable in this respect are the Readymades of Marcel Duchamp.
Inherent in our understanding of appropriation is the concept that the new work recontextualizes whatever it borrows to create the new work. In most cases the original ‘thing’ remains accessible as the original, without change. Wikipedia
Culture jamming (sometimes guerrilla communication) is a tactic used by many anti-consumerist social movements to disrupt or subvert media culture and its mainstream cultural institutions, including corporate advertising. It attempts to “expose the methods of domination” of a mass society to foster progressive change.
Culture jamming is a form of subvertising. Many culture jams are intended to expose questionable political assumptions behind commercial culture. Tactics include re-figuring logos, fashion statements, and product images as a means to challenge the idea of “what’s cool.” Culture jamming often entails using mass media to produce ironic or satirical commentary about itself, commonly using the original medium’s communication method.
Culture jamming is employed as a reaction against social conformity. Prominent examples of culture jamming include the adulteration of billboard advertising by the Billboard Liberation Front (BLF), and contemporary artists such as Ron English. Culture jamming may involve street parties and protests. While culture jamming usually focuses on subverting or critiquing political and advertising messages, some proponents focus on a more positive (often musically inspired) form which brings together artists, scholars, and activists to create new types of cultural production that transcend—rather than merely criticize—the status quo. Wikipedia
The Yes Men
The Yes Men
The Yes Men
The Guerrilla Girls
The Guerrilla Girls
The Guerrilla Girls
Banksy – Guantanamo
Banksy – No Loitering
Banksy in Palestine – Cut Out
Museum Hosts ’24 Hour Psycho’ — Literally
February 29, 200412:00 AM ET
Heard on All Things Considered
Douglas Gordon’s ’24 Hour Psycho’ Freezes actress Janet Leigh in Psycho, the Hitchcock classic.
For 24 hours straight, Washington’s Hirshhorn Museum screened Scottish artist Douglas Gordon’s video and installation work 24 Hour Psycho. The project slows Hitchcock’s classic 1960 film down to a glacial pace, stretching what was originally a 109-minute movie into a day-long art event.
Gordon, whose other work includes duelling projections of the “You talkin’ to me?” segment of Taxi Driver and a series of self-portrait still photographs, was on hand for the marathon projection. The event, part of the first North American survey of the Scottish artist’s work, drew the curious and the dedicated alike — some for a few minutes, and some for far longer.
NPR’s Susan Stone visited the museum at several points during the movie — including its pivotal shower scene.
Jillian McDonald is a Canadian artist who lives in Brooklyn and dreams of the North.
Solo shows and projects include the Esker Foundation in Calgary, Air Circulation and Moti Hasson in New York, The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Centre Clark in Montréal, and Hallwalls in Buffalo. Her work was featured in group exhibitions and festivals at The Chelsea Museum and The Whitney Museum’s Artport in New York, The Edith Russ Haus for Media Art in Germany, The International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Venezuela, The Sundance Film Festival in Utah, La Biennale de Montréal, and the Centre d’Art Contemporain de Basse-Normandie in France.
She was featured in a 2013 radio documentary by Paul Kennedy on CBC’s IDEAS, and reviewed in The New York Times, Art Papers, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Border Crossings, and Canadian Art. Critical discussion appears in books including The Transatlantic Zombie (2015), by Sarah Juliet Lauro and Deconstructing Brad Pitt (2014), edited by Christopher Schaberg.
McDonald has received grants and commissions from The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Canada Council for the Arts, Turbulence, The Verizon Foundation, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Experimental Television Center, and Pace University. In 2012 she received the Glenfiddich Canadian Art Prize, and she has attended residencies at The Headlands Center for the Arts in California, Lilith Performance Studio in Sweden, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace in New York, and Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta. In 2016 she is in residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Process Space on Governor’s Island, NYC; the Klondike Institue of Arts and Culture in Dawson City, The Yukon; and at Plug In ICA’s Summer Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Yinka Shonibare MBE was born in 1962 in London and moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three. He returned to London to study Fine Art, first at Byam School of Art (now Central Saint Martins College) and then at Goldsmiths College, where he received his MFA.
Shonibare’s work explores issues of race and class through the media of painting, sculpture, photography and film. Shonibare questions the meaning of cultural and national definitions. His trademark material is the brightly coloured ‘African’ batik fabric he buys in London. This type of fabric was inspired by Indonesian design, mass-produced by the Dutch and eventually sold to the colonies in West Africa. In the 1960s the material became a new sign of African identity and independence.
Shonibare was a Turner prize nominee in 2004, and was also awarded the decoration of Member of the ‘Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’ or MBE, a title he has added to his professional name. Shonibare was notably commissioned by Okwui Enwezor at Documenta 11, Kassel, in 2002 to create his most recognised work ‘Gallantry and Criminal Conversation’ that launched him on to an international stage. He has exhibited at the Venice Biennale and internationally at leading museums. In September 2008, his major mid-career survey commenced at the MCA Sydney and then toured to the Brooklyn Museum, New York and the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. He was elected as a Royal Academician by the Royal Academy, London in 2013.
Shonibare’s work, ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’ was the 2010 Fourth Plinth Commission, and was displayed in Trafalgar Square, London, until January 2012. It was the first commission by a black British artist and was part of a national fundraising campaign organized by the Art Fund and the National Maritime Museum, who have now successfully acquired the sculpture for permanent display outside the museum’s new entrance in Greenwich Park, London.
In 2012, the Royal Opera House, London, commissioned ‘Globe Head Ballerina’ (2012) to be displayed on the exterior of the Royal Opera House, overlooking Russell Street in Covent Garden. The life-sized ballerina encased within a giant ‘snow globe’ spins slowly as if caught mid-dance, the piece appears to encapsulate a moment of performance as if stolen from the stage of the Royal Opera House.
In 2014, Doughty Hanson & Co Real Estate and Terrace Hill, commissioned ‘Wind Sculpture’ and it is installed in Howick Place, London. Measuring 6 metres by 3 metres, it explores the notion of harnessing movement through the idea of capturing and freezing a volume of wind in a moment in time.
Shonibare’s works are included in prominent collections internationally, including the Tate Collection, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome and VandenBroek Foundation, The Netherlands.
Since 1991 British artist Vicki Bennett has been working across the field of audio-visual collage, and is recognised as an influential and pioneering figure in the still growing area of sampling, appropriation and cutting up of found footage and archives. Working under the name People Like Us, Vicki specialises in the manipulation and reworking of original sources from both the experimental and popular worlds of music, film and radio. People Like Us believe in open access to archives for creative use. In 2006 she was the first artist to be given unrestricted access to the entire BBC Archive. People Like Us have previously shown work at Tate Modern, The Barbican, Centro de Cultura Digital, Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, Pompidou Centre, Maxxi and Sonar, and performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. The ongoing sound art radio show ‘DO or DIY’ on WFMU has had over a million “listen again” downloads. since 2003. The People Like Us back catalogue is available for free download hosted by UbuWeb.
Dir: Johan Grimonprez
Official Selection: Sundance
Official Selection: Berlin
Official Selection: IDFA
Johan Grimonprez’s Double Take looks at events around Alfred Hitchcock’s 1962 classic The Birds. Hitchcock, famous for cameos in his own works and his pranks, is rumoured to have come second in a Hitchcock look-a-like contest.
Obsessed with the double throughout his work, Hitch met his doppelganger (or was it his future self?) on the set of The Birds, and as Hitchcock or possibly a skilled impersonator states: “if you ever meet your doppelganger, you’re supposed to kill him, or he’s supposed to kill you.”
While Alfred Hitchcock’s presence defines this wonderful movie, the film also examines the very nature of filmmaking and television, Cold War politics, coffee adverts and the early years of the space race.
A more than worthy successor to Grimonprez’s Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, Double Take shifts from documentary to essay to speculation, capturing the essential stylistic pleasures of Hitchcock’s works: the MacGuffin, mistaken identity, and the chase. Absolutely essential viewing.
written and directed by Johan Grimonprez
© Zapomatik, 2009
MR. HITCHCOCK WOULD LIKE TO SAY A FEW WORDS TO YOU
How do you do? My name is Alfred Hitchcock and I would like to tell you about my forthcoming lecture. It is about the birds and their age-long relationship with man.
SENATOR LYNDON B. JOHNSON (voice):
There is something new in the heavens. Something that has never been there before.
REPORTER DOUGLAS EDWARDS, CBS NEWS (voice):
Until two days ago, that sound had never been heard on this earth.
REPORTER DOUGLAS EDWARDS, CBS NEWS (voice):
Suddenly it has become as much part of 20th century life as the whirr of your vacuum cleaner.
REPORTER DOUGLAS EDWARDS, CBS NEWS (voice):
It’s a report from man’s farthest frontier: the radio signal transmitted by the Soviet’s Sputnik, the first man made satellite as it passed over New York earlier today.
(translated from Russian)
A new moon born of our earth: Sputnik!
THE KITCHEN DEBATE #2
There are some instances where you may be ahead of us, for example in the development of your rockets for the investigation of outer space. There may be some instances, for example color television, where we are ahead of you.
And here it is! Seven function remote controlled color television. So beautiful it enhances any décor!
But in order for both of us… , for both of us to benefit… , for both of us to benefit….(laughs). You see, you never concede anything!
(addresses Nixon in Russian; taken over by translator)
In what are they ahead of us? Wrong! Wrong!
REPORTER WALTER CRONKITE, CBS NEWS:
The competition for leadership in space, the race run by rockets, where is the finish line? Do we end up in a nuclear war? Or do we try to live with the constant fear of one?
(addresses Nixon in Russian; taken over by translator)
I share the enthusiasm of Soviet engineers about the cleverness of the American people, but we too, as you know, don’t kill flies with our nostrils. For forty-two years we’ve gone ahead and when we shall overtake you at the crossroads we shall wave at you.
U.S. SENATOR LYNDON B. JOHNSON (voice):
It took the Soviets four years to catch up with the atomic bomb. It took the Soviets nine months to catch up with the hydrogen bomb. And now, tonight, the communists have established a foothold in outer space.
Film & Animation
Standard YouTube License
SVA MFA Fine Arts Department // Spring 2015 Lecture Series
Johan Grimonprez // January 31st, 2015
Pop Art: A Brief History
In the years following World War II, the United States enjoyed an unprecedented period of economic and political growth. Many middle class Americans moved to the suburbs, spurred by the availability of inexpensive, mass-produced homes. Elvis Presley led the emergence of rock and roll, Marilyn Monroe was a reigning film star, and television replaced radio as the dominant media outlet.
Yet by the late 1950s and early 1960s, a “cultural revolution” was underway, led by activists, thinkers, and artists who sought to rethink and even overturn what was, in their eyes, a stifling social order ruled by conformity. The Vietnam War incited mass protests, the Civil Rights Movement sought equality for African Americans, and the women’s liberation movement gained momentum.
Jasper Johns; Three Flags, 1958. Encaustic on Canvas, 30 7/8 x 45 1/2 x 5 inches
Inspired by the Everyday
It was in this climate of turbulence, experimentation, and consumerism that a new generation of artists emerged in Britain and America in the mid- to late-1950s. Pop artists began to look for inspiration in the world around them, representing—and, at times, making art directly from—everyday items, consumer goods, and mass media. They did this in a straightforward manner, using bold swaths of primary colors, often straight from the can or tube of paint. They adopted commercial methods like silkscreening, or produced multiples of works, downplaying the artist’s hand and subverting the idea of originality—in marked contrast with the highly expressive, large-scaled abstract works of the Abstract Expressionists, whose work had dominated postwar American art. Pop artists favored realism, everyday (and even mundane) imagery, and heavy doses of irony and wit.
Yet Pop artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein were very aware of the past. They sought to connect fine art traditions with pop culture elements from television, advertisements, films, and cartoons. At the same time, their work challenged traditional boundaries between media, combining painted gestures with photography and printmaking; combining handmade and readymade or mass-produced elements; and combining objects, images, and sometimes text to make new meanings.
An interaction between physical objects/space and film. I was trying to find an unique way to use footage without projecting it onto a screen. I thought it would be interesting to use/film green liquid on a surface and key it out.
The liquid was created by mixing milk and food coloring. Too poor to buy paint.
As for the content/theme, it came to me while watching Stan Brakhage’s “Window Water Baby Moving”. I wanted to play around with archival footage.
Archival footage was taken from archive.org.
“Oozewald” by Cady Noland, 1989
Cady Noland was born in 1956 in Washington, D.C., the daughter of painter Kenneth Noland. After earning a BA from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, she settled in Manhattan. She began to create artworks with found objects in 1983 and had her first solo exhibition five years later at White Columns in New York. Her collages, sculptures, and mixed-media installations examine the underbelly of the American psyche, specifically our fascination with celebrities, violence, and psychopathological behavior. Her aesthetic vocabulary integrates strategies historically associated with Pop art, Minimalism, and Post-Minimalism, with its specific antecedents in the anti-form and scatter sculpture of the late 1960s.
Noland’s early work incorporates press photographs, newspaper copy, and advertisements. Guns (1986–87) is a black-and-white photocopied image of a pistol leaning against a can of Diet Pepsi riddled with bullet holes. A collage of images along the right edge offers instructions on how to reload the weapon. Firearms also figure in Noland’s series of cowboy sculptures. Cowboy Blank With Showboat Costume (1990) presents the silhouetted aluminum cutout of a cowboy punctured by four holes. He crouches and discharges his weapon toward the viewer, while sporting a delicate bow tie around his hat as well as an ostrich plume and bandanna in his belt. Injured and feminized, disabled by gunfire, Noland’s cowboys are impotent. The artist addressed the same theme in Saw Action/Duty (1986), an orthopedic walker draped with police equipment.
In the late 1980s Noland began a series of sculptures and installations examining the masculine underpinnings of the American dream, embodied in men’s beer consumption. Crate of Beer (1989) is a wire-mesh basket full of empty Budweiser cans. In her 1989 untitled installation at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, Noland stacked six-packs of Budweiser atop one another. Metal scaffolding transformed these mountains of alcohol into a construction site. For the artist, Bud cans are as potent an American symbol as Old Glory, both being red, white, and blue. Flags, too, populate Noland’s work. In The American Trip (1988), Cheap and Fast (1989), and related works, the flag is draped or hung, limp or pierced, like Noland’s cowboys.
Also in the late 1980s, Noland delved deeper into the disturbed American psyche and focused on the public’s prurient interest in violence, a phenomenon exemplified in the media’s transformation of criminals into celebrities. For Noland, such a perverted process is symptomatic of the compulsion in American culture to objectify individuals for purposes of entertainment. Tanya as a Bandit (1989) and Untitled Patty Hearst (1989) address this phenomenon. Both consist of cutout press photos of Patty Hearst, enlarged and silkscreened onto sheets of aluminum. In the former, the publishing heiress-turned-terrorist brandishes a machine gun, having joined the cause of her kidnappers. The latter documents her conversion, showing images of Hearst as communicant, cheerleader, revolutionary, and bourgeois housewife along with a photo of her grandfather, William Randolph Hearst, the inventor of yellow journalism.
In recent years, Noland has forsaken mass-media imagery in favor of a more sculptural vocabulary. Beltway Terror (1993–94) is a square of wood covered in smooth aluminum with five neat holes, resembling a pillory. Untitled (1999) consists of a piece of plywood supported by a set of white plastic barricades as used by police. While both works echo Minimalist geometric formalism, they also continue Noland’s exploration of the dysfunction of American culture in their allusion to torture, public humiliation, and physical confinement.
Cady Noland, Objectification Process, 1989
Solo exhibitions of Noland’s work have been organized by the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York (1994), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam (1995), and Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut (1996). Her work has also appeared in Strange Abstraction: Robert Gober, Cady Noland, Philip Taaffe, Christopher Wool at the Touko Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo (1991), Documenta 9 (1992), and MONO: Olivier Mosset, Cady Noland at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich (1999). Noland lives and works in New York.
Though Wang Guangyi’s work has erroneously been associated with Chinese Political Pop, in reality one of the main themes of his art can be found in its relationship to the transcendent. Juxtaposing revolutionary images with consumer logos, Wang’s canvases provocate with their duplicitous message, highlighting the conflict between China’s political past and commercialised present. Stylistically merging the government enforced aesthetic of agitprop with the kitsch sensibility of American pop, Guangyi’s work adopts the cold-war language of the 60s to ironically examine the contemporary polemics of globalisation.
Through his critique, Guangyi’s paintings weave intricate narratives, implicating the role of the artist as an active participant (both as subjugator and subservient) in economic and social policy. Guangyi treads a very delicate line between moral dictum and capitalist endorsement; the interpretation of his paintings alternates with the subjectivity of context. Amalgamating, confusing, and blurring opposing ideological beliefs, Guangyi’s billboard sized canvases readily sell out national valour, while simultaneously devaluing status symbol luxury for the proletariat cause.
The World Through The Eyes Of Sammy Slabbinck
KIRIAKOS SPIROUDESIGN25 NOVEMBER 2013
Playfully distorting proportion and cultural context, Belgian artist Sammy Slabbinck’s work comprises surreal collages and illustrations that somewhat unexpectedly combine vintage with contemporary images. Slabbinck likes to play around with different styles and proportions with the aim of creating powerful yet simple visual works that are permeated by a subtle sense of humour. His carefully composed images create startling juxtapositions and present new meanings through a masterful combination of completely heterogenous elements and a clever use of scale and form. An avid collector of magazines and books from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, the artist takes full advantage of the muted tones and rich textures that he finds in his source material, namely vintage advertisements, photography and print.
”Mid-century advertisements have a certain look that appeals even up to this day. There is a sense of innocence in them that’s very inviting to work with. Putting these images out of their normal frame and juxtaposing them with modern elements can give an exciting and surprising effect. The characters in these ads can function as actors in the collage, and I, as the director, can give them a second life by putting them in a new surreal landscape.” Sammy Slabbinck
‘Buy one get one free’ is a visual catalogue of mixed anti-branding and culture-jamming campaigns, illustrated to inform, engage and entertain the audience with ideas and concepts that both challenge and rebel against the capitalistic consumer culture that dominates our society and influences our daily lives.
To enhance the experience of culture-jamming certain pages can be viewed by launching the ‘BOGOF’ iPad application. Holding the devices camera directly over the page will instantly transform the original image into a culture-jammed counter-part by a technique known as ‘augmented reality’.
Jeff Koons’ Controversial Michael Jackson Sculpture: The Story Behind It
7/8/2014 by Kate Sutton
As a major retrospective of the artist’s work rolls into New York, the artist talks about the making of one of his most iconic pieces: a larger-than-life rendering of the King of Pop and his beloved pet chimpanzee.
Weeks after Michael Jackson’s virtual performance at the Billboard Music Awards, another surreal – and controversial – avatar of the King of Pop will embark on a world tour of sorts.
Jeff Koons/courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art
Jeff Koons, Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1998. Porcelain; 42 inches by 70.5 inches by 32.5 inches. Private Collection.
On June 27, Jeff Koons’ “Michael Jackson and Bubbles,” the larger-than-life gilded porcelain sculpture of the late artist and his cherished pet chimpanzee, returned to New York as one of the highlights of “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective,” the largest solo exhibition of an artist ever mounted at the Whitney Museum, and the last the institution will mount before moving downtown. Come October, the exhibit travels to the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain.
Like Jackson, Koons, 59, has a knack for genre-bending. His message of acceptance and tolerance for all aspects of culture has garnered him more than a few celebrity fans: Lady Gaga commissioned Koons to create artwork for her 2013 album, “Artpop”; Pharrell Williams collects his work; Jay Z name-checked him in “Picasso Baby”; and Kim Kardashian posted an Instagram photo of the artist with her and Kanye West’s infant daughter, North, at Art Basel Miami Beach in December. The caption read: “Art Lessons!”
Michael Jackson with Bubbles
In a recent public conversation with Koons, filmmaker John Waters referred to the sculpture as the artist’s “scariest piece,” but Jackson himself was “very supportive” of the project, even sending over press photographs at Koons’ request. The artist opted for one of the musician and Bubbles fresh off the Bad world tour, wearing matching red jackets on the singer’s lawn. “This was a time when Michael was going through a lot of plastic surgery, so I had to use multiple pictures to keep up with it,” says Koons.
Koons took artistic license with some of the details, shifting Jackson’s position slightly so that it echoed the historical art tradition of the Madonna and child. When the sculpture was first revealed – four editions were produced, including an artist’s proof – fans took offense at how the glazed porcelain made Jackson appear white-skinned and very feminine, with heavily lined eyes and sensuous red lips. Koons shrugs off the complaints over Jackson’s androgynous appearance with a nod to the ancient world. “When Apollo played music, he inspired a transformation that transcended gender, so that the male became more female. Michael is the modern Apollo.”
The artist and Jackson never did meet, although they had a number of near misses. Once, when Jackson was heading to New York to play Madison Square Garden, says Koons, “I received a call that he wanted to visit the studio. I was actually in Northern Italy, where we were still in the process of making the sculpture, but I had images I could show him. So, I flew back to New York to meet him.” But Jackson’s health problems led to the get-together being canceled.
The artist did get to work with Bubbles, however, when he hired photographer Greg Gorman to shoot a series of tongue-in-cheek ads to publicize “Banality.” One never-before-seen outtake from these sessions features a leather-jacketed Bubbles, posing with Koons and 1980s “it” girl Katie Wagner. “I remember I was more excited about working with Bubbles than about working with Jeff,” recalls Wagner. “I really just didn’t know anything about who Jeff was at the time, other than that we were both young and hot.”
Now approaching 60, Koons may be young only at heart, but he’s certainly hot. This past year he had simultaneous shows at two of New York’s biggest galleries – Gagosian and David Zwirner – taking time to pose naked for Vanity Fair. In November, Koons revealed a sculpture of Gaga, which fits into a series of works juxtaposing nude sculptures of classical figures like Apollo and Venus with blue gazing balls.
Koons’ Gaga is naked, cupping her breasts, with a giant blue orb between her legs. The sculpture cannot be viewed without being confronted with one’s own reflection. Gaga describes its effect in her song “Applause”: “One second I’m a Koons, then suddenly the Koons is me.” Fitting that the artist who dreamed of becoming the King of Pop would come to embody transcendence for those who would seek the throne.