In the world of museum installation, there is no bigger challenge - or greater claim to bragging rights - than rigging Richard Serra’s massive sculptures. Here’s an interview with the artist by a preparator from LA’s Geffen Contemporary, in which we are treated to the artist’s views on what makes a good rigger, the wonder of forged steel, and the lay of the land.
to knock a performance by a seminal artist who’s suffered a stroke, or is it simply a case of stating that the emperor has no clothes? You decide.
The other day was music day in Paris. Hundreds of free live shows ranging from folk to classical. I went to see one in a 17th century private mansion courtyard.(a palace really). They were doing minimal tech house as a soundtrack to a 1930 b/w silent fim about Paris. the band was from England, and was called swayzak. 2 guys. Instead of showing up with records, they were playing 2 laptops, so the sound was live. It was really good, stretching the limits of house in unlikely areas. sparse, austere, but the groove was definitively there..
as MOMA moves to Queens with a bang and a whistle. As far as publicity stunts go, at least this one seems like good spectating.
Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts survived the initial shakeup of its new director, but he’s not finished. So is Malcolm Rogers a CEO or an educator?
If so, you’ll notice a lot of dead airspace out there…Soma FM and most other stations have reacted strongly to the Librarian of Congress’ June 20th decision on webcasting royalty rates - they shut down. The fight shifts to the courts - they can file an appeal within 90 days. Advocacy groups suggest you contact your congressperson.
The latest art-SITES guide to contemporary art, art-SITES PARIS by Sidra Stich, has just been released. Stich subtitled it “The Indispensable Guide to Contemporary Art—Architecture—Design” and you know what? It is. If you’re headed for Paris, get it. It’ll be the best-spent $19.95 (22.95, euros) of your trip.
Okay, okay, there’ve been ALMOST enough Yoko blogs. But her performance at SFMOMA today deserves a report. Ono took the stage with curator Paul Schimmel (MOCA, LA) for an opening conversation. She sweetly answered a series of questions about her early life (telling a touching anecdote about her first memory of San Francisco—if you really want to know, e-mail me.) Then Schimmel calls for video of her famous performance Cut Piece (in which Ono kneels silently as members of the audience cut off her clothes). The video rolls; Ono beckons a surprised Schimmel to crawl into a stretchy black bag with her. The fabric ripples and bulges,hands thrust clothing out of the bag onto the stage. A shirt, a watch, a shoe, another shoe… until the video ends. Nine minutes don’t seem to be enough to undress completely while lying on the floor in a dark bag. Schimmel and Ono emerge partly clothed and big-time curator boy hustles off stage barefoot and tucking in his shirttails. After that ice-breaker, Ono performed two intense vocals, accompanied by a harpist and her son Sean on guitar. Finally, she accepted questions from the audience, appearing to do her best respond in a straightforward way to whatever was asked. It got a little therapeutic at the end there; people poured their stories out to her listening ears. But Ono is the real deal. Her performance knit the crowd together and shifted the energy in a way you could feel. It may be ‘60s, but it’s not stale. Thanks, Yoko.
the New Art Examiner is down the drain, if the sucking sounds are to be believed. Contemporary, a newish magazine based in London, will debut a column by David Bonetti in the September issue. Bonetti, previously an art critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, will bring news from the West Coast to a largely European audience.
Will her celebrity open minds to conceptual art? Her fey sensibility and stinging humor may just slip Fluxus into (more) mainstream culture.
Michael Knight with an argument for free admission to LACMA, and art museums in general—how much money comes from admission fees? And how do museums calculate attendance anyhow?
Nina Bovasso at Jack Hanley—why, it’s psychedelicious! Opens tonight, on view until July 13.
Just back from Dokumenta11, Kassel Germany. With few exceptions, works tended toward heavy-handed didacticism and exemplified an old-school multicultural political agenda. All this was the predictable result of the process-heavy path of so-called “platforms” that had led there over the past five years. Disturbing trends: artists pretending to be anthropologists, the return of text heavy, social/political “art” and so-called video installations that are nothing more than screening rooms for videos being projected on a wall. Watch for my upcoming (and a bit less ornery) rundown.
at L’Espace Electra, an exhibition space funded by Electricite de France (yes, the electric company!) Melies, Magic and Cinema, a wonderful little show about the groundbreaking early cinema experiments of Georges Melies, best known for his film, Voyage dans la lune. The show runs through the end of August.
Another departure for Harvard. Even the development of a new Renzo Piano museum on the Charles couldn’t keep director Jim Cuno there, as he takes the helm at the University of London’s Courtauld Institute of Art.
read the conversation about how critics Peter Schjedahl and Linda Nochlin look at art, moderated by George Plimpton.
says Carlin Romano. (He must not have visited Stretcher recently.) Read his thoughts on the reasons, and see some scary statistics, in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
do yourself a big favor and have a gander at any combination of the following: the sexy stripes of Linda Besemer at Cohan, Leslie and Browne; the inner workings of Ellsworth Kelly’s mind as shown in his drawings and clippings at The Drawing Center; Brice Marden’s whallop of a show at both Matthew Marks spaces in Chelsea; Wayne White’s textual landscapes at Clementine; Martin Puryear’s perfectly rough new sculptures at McKee; and the nostalgic family photo paintings by newcomer Isca Greenfield-Sanders at Lombard-Freid. You won’t be disappointed, promise.
The weather is fabulous and so is the food and drink. Checked out Palais de Tokyo yesterday, a huge, raw, industrial space right next to Musee de Modern Art in a tony section of town. San Francisco badly needs such a space - not only for the adventurous work on view but the successful attempt to attract a hip, twenty-something crowd that hangs out in a cafe that serves terrific, reasonably priced food - and all to a soundtrack of the latest grooves echoing through the space. More on the shows on view there later.