Photography & Intermedia


John Cage by Adriane
February 1, 2017, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Intermedia, repost, Sound Art

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“It was at Harvard not quite forty years ago that I went into an anechoic [totally silent] chamber not expecting in that silent room to hear two sounds: one high, my nervous system in operation, one low, my blood in circulation. The reason I did not expect to hear those two sounds was that they were set into vibration without any intention on my part. That experience gave my life direction, the exploration of nonintention. No one else was doing that. I would do it for us. I did not know immediately what I was doing, nor, after all these years, have I found out much. I compose music. Yes, but how? I gave up making choices. In their place I put the asking of questions. The answers come from the mechanism, not the wisdom of the I Ching, the most ancient of all books: tossing three coins six times yielding numbers between 1 and 64.”
–John Cage, 1990

UBUWEB:SOUND


John Cage “4’33”


John Cage “4’33”



Dick Higgins: STATEMENT ON INTERMEDIA by Adriane
January 31, 2017, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Intermedia, repost, Video Art

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Art is one of the ways that people communicate. It is difficult for me to imagine a serious person attacking any means of communication per se. Our real enemies are the ones who send us to die in pointless wars or to live lives which are reduced to drudgery, not the people who use other means of communication from those which we find most appropriate to the present situation. When these are attacked, a diversion has been established which only serves the interests of our real enemies.

However, due to the spread of mass literacy, to television and the transistor radio, our sensitivities have changed. The very complexity of this impact gives us a taste for simplicity, for an art which is based on the underlying images that an artist has always used to make his point. As with the cubists, we are asking for a new way of looking at things, but more totally, since we are more impatient and more anxious to go to the basic images. This explains the impact of Happenings, event pieces, mixed media films. We do not ask any more to speak magnificently of taking arms against a sea of troubles, we want to see it done. The art which most directly does this is the one which allows this immediacy, with a minimum of distractions.

Goodness only knows how the spread of psychedelic means, tastes, and insights will speed up this process. My own conjecture is that it will not change anything, only intensify a trend which is already there.

For the last ten years or so, artists have changed their media to suit this situation, to the point where the media have broken down in their traditional forms, and have become merely puristic points of reference. The idea has arisen, as if by spontaneous combustion throughout the entire world, that these points are arbitrary and only useful as critical tools, in saying that such-and-such a work is basically musical, but also poetry. This is the intermedial approach, to emphasize the dialectic between the media. A composer is a dead man unless he composes for all the media and for his world.

Does it not stand to reason, therefore, that having discovered the intermedia (which was, perhaps, only possible through approaching them by formal, even abstract means), the central problem is now not only the new formal one of learning to use them, but the new and more social one of what to use them for? Having discovered tools with an immediate impact, for what are we going to use them? If we assume, unlike McLuhan and others who have shed some light on the problem up until now, that there are dangerous forces at work in our world, isn´t it appropriate to ally ourselves against these, and to use what we really care about and love or hate as the new subject matter in our work? Could it be that the central problem of the next ten years or so, for all artists in all possible forms, is going to be less the still further discovery of new media and intermedia, but of the new discovery of ways to use what we care about both appropriately and explicitly? The old adage was never so true as now, that saying a thing is so don´t make it so. Simply talking about Viet Nam or the crisis in our Labor movements is no guarantee against sterility. We must find the ways to say what has to be said in the light of our new means of communicating. For this we will need new rostrums, organizations, criteria, sources of information. There is a great deal for us to do, perhaps more than ever. But we must now take the first steps.

Dick Higgins
New York
August 3, 1966



FLUXUS by Adriane
January 30, 2017, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Intermedia, repost, Video Art

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Walid Raad / The Atlas Group by Adriane
January 23, 2017, 4:30 pm
Filed under: Appropriation, Intermedia, Video Art

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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
Date: 1991
Attributed to: Dr. Fadl Fakhouri
Plate 55:
Nissan
4WD
White
May 23, 1985
14:00
Beirut
55 killed
174 injured
300 kg. of TNT
Hexogen
500 meter perimeter
35 cars burned
Plate 56:
BMW
2002
Grey
June 14, 1985
19:55
Beirut
7 killed
39 injured
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.

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Exhibition view, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin

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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
Date: 1998
Attributed to: Walid Raad

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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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

continue reading on http://u-in-u.com

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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
Date: 1989
Attributed to: Dr. Fadl Fakhouri



John Stezaker by Adriane
January 21, 2017, 4:30 pm
Filed under: Appropriation, Intermedia, Photography, Video Art

Mask XIV 2006 John Stezaker born 1949 Purchased 2007 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T12347

Mask XIV 2006 John Stezaker born 1949 Purchased 2007 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T12347


Postcard on paper on photo-etching on paper
Unconfirmed: 240 x 200 mm

Mask XIV is a collage created by superimposing a postcard on a black and white photograph. The photograph is a film publicity portrait of an unidentifiable actor taken during the 1940s or 1950s. The postcard is a colour image mounted over the actor’s face. It shows a rocky cavern in which a sandy track curves around a central pillar. On the bottom left the card is captioned ‘Zig zag path, Folkestone’. At this point it covers part of the actor’s signature on his portrait above his right shoulder. Part of his first name – ‘Barry’ – is visible on the print. The postcard photograph appears to have been taken from inside a cave or under a bridge looking out through two openings towards the light. Stezaker has positioned the card on the actor’s face so that the dark silhouette of the rocky openings and the curvature of the cavern line up with the contours of the actor’s face. This placement causes an anthropomorphic reading of the postcard image – the two openings to the light suggest eyes connected by the rocky central column which covers the actor’s face in the position of his nose.

Initiated around 1980, the series of Mask collages developed from the Film Still collages, such as The Trial, The Oath and Insert (1978-9, T12341-3). The Masks all follow a similar and deceptively simple format: a film publicity portrait of a star whose face is covered by a postcard – ostensibly a mask – which opens a window into another space, paradoxically suggesting a view behind the mask constituted by the actor’s face. Initially the postcards were images of bridges and caves which in some instances united two or more protagonists. Over the years Stezaker has extended his range of imagery to include tunnels, caverns, rock formations such as stalactites and stalagmites, railway tracks, historic ruins and monuments (as in Mask XIII, 2006, T12346), woodland clearings and paths, as well as streams, waterfalls (as in Mask XI, 2005, T12345), lakes and the sea. Stezaker began collecting film stills in 1973 but was not able to afford photographic portraits of film stars until the early 1980s when their price dropped. The first portraits the artist used were damaged or of forgotten film actors, unnamed and anonymous. He has commented:

The Masks were inspired by reading Elias Canetti’s essay on masks and unmasking in his wonderful book Crowds and Power which inspired so much of my work at this time … I was also teaching a course on Bataille and the origins of art which focused on the mask as the origin and point of convergence of all the arts. Canetti’s idea of the mask as a covering of absence and, in its fixity, as a revelation of death, alongside my discovery of Blanchot’s Space of Literature, was an important turning point in my thinking and in my approach to my work. I usually think of the key dates being 1979 and 1980 as marking a yielding to pure image-fascination and as a release from any function societal or transgressive in the work. The Masks were a response in practice to the Canetti/Blanchot idea of the ‘death’s space’ of the image and consolidated the sense of pure fascination and the desire for ‘exile from life in the world of images’, an ideal I saw in the practice of Joseph Cornell.

(Letter to the author, 26 October 2007.)

Stezaker shares with Joseph Cornell (1903-72) the Surrealist technique of apparently irrational juxtaposition and the evocation of nostalgia through his focus on outdated imagery, collected and pondered over many years. While Stezaker’s use of film stills and publicity portraits of the 1940s and 1950s stems from his boyhood experience of encountering these images on the outside of cinemas advertising films from which he was excluded because of his youth (letter to the author, 26 October 2007), his choice of postcards tends towards the Romantic tradition of nature and the sublime. The image of the zig-zag path relates to the woodland path or holzweg, a path leading – in German folklore such as that published by the Brothers Grimm in the early years of the twentieth century – to possible danger and death. Stezaker became interested in the historical phenomenon of the holzweg through his reading of Landscape and Memory (published New York, 1995) by the British art historian, Simon Schama (born 1945).

The artist’s juxtaposition and careful alignment of the postcard image with the publicity portrait create an effect related to the concept of the uncanny as described by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) in his 1925 essay, ‘The Uncanny’. Freud analysed the feeling of the uncanny aroused most forcefully by the fantastic stories of the Romantic writer E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822), in particular his tale The Sandman (first published in Nachtstücke, 1817). He relates the sense of horror experienced by the protagonist Nathaniel not only to the mechanical doll Olympia, who appears real, but more significantly to a fear of losing ones eyes which he connects to the Oedipal castration complex. In the Masks the subjects’ eyes are covered; the collage intervention substitutes blankness or holes – dark and empty or leading into other spaces – creating the disturbing sensation of seeing death beneath the features of a living being.

Further reading:
John Stezaker: Marriage, exhibition catalogue, The Approach W1, London 2008.
Mark Coetzee, John Stezaker: Rubell Family Collection, exhibition catalogue, Rubell Family Collection, Miami 2007, pp.17-19 and 57-75.
Michael Bracewell, ‘Demand the Impossible’, Frieze, issue 89, March 2005, pp.89-93 and front cover.

Elizabeth Manchester
November 2007

www.tate.org.uk

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Richard Prince by Adriane
January 20, 2017, 4:30 pm
Filed under: Appropriation, Intermedia, Photography, Video Art

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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.

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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.

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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.

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continue reading on www.theguardian.com



Sherrie Levine: After Walker Evans by Adriane
January 19, 2017, 4:30 pm
Filed under: Appropriation, Intermedia, Video Art

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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.

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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.)

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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.)

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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.)

http://www.metmuseum.org

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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.

www.aftersherrielevine.com