Posts archive: November 2005

And see some videos made by the following at the new">de Young Museum. Last day to see this series is tomorrow:

Robert Bechtle, Lowell Darling, Paul DeMarinis, Howard Fried, Rupert Garcia, Sharon Grace, Lynn Hershman, Robert Hudson, David Ireland, Paul Kos, Hung Liu, Tom Marioni, Masashi Matsumoto, Jim Melchert, Bill Morrison, Richard Shaw, William T. Wiley, John Zurier.

This is a good chance to catch up with what these artists have done with video. Howard Fried’s structuralist piece sampling from Jeopardy! is topically relevant and worked well by backing up the unedited material of several shows from the focal point of the Daily Double.

Curated by Tom Marioni.
Koret Auditorium
De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

- Cheryl Meeker [Saturday, November 19th, 2005]

Bas Jan Ader, the Los Angeles-by-way-of Holland artist from the 1970’s, is a bit of a mystery. His tiny, but exquisite body of work injected the macho, cold Los Angeles art scene with a much-needed dose of emotion and was cut short by his project “In Search of the Miraculous” in which he attempted to sail from the U.S. to Holland never to be seen again. In a rare event last night Anthology Film Archives screened four of his films and a work-in-progress documentary that a Dutch filmmaker Rene Daalder is making about Ader.

The films are silent, brief and captivating. “Broken Fall (organic)” opens with Jan Ader hanging from a tree limb with both hands above a shallow, muddy creek. He hangs there much longer than you expect him to, clambering down towards the skinny end of the branch, only to let go and plummet into the water below which you quickly realize is only a few feet deep. In the notorious “I’m too sad to tell you” the artist sits in front of the camera and weeps. Because there is no sound, each tear becomes monumental and watching them slowly crawl down his cheeks echoes the suspense of seeing him hanging from a tree.

After the simple visual poetry of the films the documentary was a bit of a let-down. Daalder tried to take a Werner Herzog-like approach and makes himself a central character in the film. However, his approach feels completely tangential. He didn’t know Jan Ader and while they may have a few things in common there is no real or significant relationship between the two men. And his adding of sound effects to Jan Ader’s films reveals a distrust that the artist’s work to stand on its own. Daalder was touted in his introduction as a pioneer of computer animation and takes it upon himself to “bring to life” the relationship between Jan Ader and Piet Mondrian in a series of absurdly hokey animations. Believing that Jan Ader’s work needs to be buoyed with cheap parlor tricks is something of an insult to an artist who made such simple, engaging work.

- Asha Schechter [Friday, November 18th, 2005]

Visual Aid’s 12th Annual Big Deal.

- amy berk [Saturday, November 12th, 2005]

Aussie Gary Sangster is the new director of the Headlands Center for the Arts, replacing Kathryn Reasoner, who is now heading the DiRosa Preserve. Sangster came to the USA in 1990 to take up an appointment as a Curator for The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. After stints as the Executive Director of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore and the Center for Contemporary Art in Cleveland he joined Boston’s Lesley University as Dean/Director of the Art Institute of Boston.

Among the highlights of his curatorial work are collaborative projects with community representatives to organize aboriginal art projects; co-organizing the first U.S.biennale-scale museum exhibition to explore multicultural issues in contemporary art; and in Cleveland he co-organized a joint project with the Cleveland Museum of Art that successfully linked regionally based artists with internationally renowned artists.

- Meredith Tromble [Friday, November 11th, 2005]

From the editors