Archive for May, 2010

Open All Day and Night

May 28, 2010

Michael Asher’s piece for the 2010 Whitney Biennial involves keeping the museum open for three consecutive days for 24 hours each day.

Asher’s initial proposal was to have the museum open for an entire week but unfortunately it wasn’t financially responsible. Still, I was there the other night at around midnight and the museum gave off a subtly different sort of vibe in the surrounding darkness. There was a decent crowd and people seemed to be enjoying the after-hours experience. Maybe the piece is really just meant to augment our expectations about what one can or should be doing during the day or night. I imagine that the experience would be less subtle and even more transformative at 2:00 am or 4:00 am.

Asher was also the recipient of this year’s Bucksbaum Award, which
is given to one artist featured in the Biennial “whose work demonstrates a singular combination of talent and imagination.”

Today is your last chance to experience Michael Asher’s piece, the museum will stay open until midnight.

Pictures by Women at MoMA

May 27, 2010

The Stewart Sisters, 1992 by Judith Joy Ross

I was visiting MoMA today to get my last dose of Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present which is still on view through May 31, 2010. On my way out, I popped into the 3rd floor photography galleries to find that they had hung a refreshing historical exhibition called Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography.

It’s quite a show and features almost everyone you would expect and a whole slew of artists I had never even heard of. Luckily the exhibition will be on view for almost a year, plenty of time to go back and do some serious looking.

Andrew Phelps – 720 (Two Times Around)

May 27, 2010

I saw a book maquette of Andrew Phelps 720 (Two Times Around) a few months ago and I’m glad to see what the finished version of the book looks like.

The spiral binding and the way the images meet across the gutter are probably two of my favorite details. The book makes another case for the similarities between photography and skateboarding.

Self-published and printed in a limited edition of 100, the books are available now.

Art World Names Pronounced Correctly

May 19, 2010

Just last week I was visiting the Vija Celmins exhibition at McKee Gallery and found myself asking the woman behind the desk a question and completely mispronounced the artist’s name in the process.

I’ve always wondered how one says Vija Celmins (VEE-ya Sell-muns) and now I know. But there are are many other artist’s names I can’t pronounce correctly. Thankfully has compiled a long list I can learn from. I’ll never be embarrassed again.

Learn how to correctly pronounce Edward Ruscha, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy or Rineke Dijkstra along with even more complicated names like Cai Guo-Qiang, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle and Rirkrit Tiravanija.


Too Hard To Keep

May 17, 2010

from the Too Hard To Keep Archive

Jason Lazarus is at it again, first with his bold Heinecken Studies, then this wild upcoming event and now this new collaborative project and blog, Too Hard To Keep.

He needs your help:

I have started an archive of photographs deemed “too hard to keep.”

This may include photos or photo albums of:
ex’s, photos of deceased friends/family/pets, places/objects too hard to view again, etc.

The reason you can’t live with the photo or photo album I do not need to know…

I am creating a repository for these images so that they may exist without being destroyed. You may dictate whether the images you submit to the archive are:
images not to be shown again, or
images that may be exhibited in the future with other submissions to the archive.

If needed, I can pay shipping costs to send any photos to the repository in Chicago.

Jason Lazarus
810 n Wood, 3f
Chicago, IL 60622

I am happy to answer any questions and hope this project helps you part with something in a more graceful manner.

Maya Deren's Legacy

May 15, 2010

still from Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon

Maya Deren’s Legacy: Women and Experimental Film starts tonight at MoMA. The series is an insightful look at Maya Deren’s groundbreaking films as well as her enduring influence on three women directors: Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Su Friedrich.

The series gets off to a great start tonight at 8pm with one film by each director and includes Deren’s most well known film, Meshes of the Afternoon made in 1943 and Schneemann’s intense and intimately experimental film Fuses. There will be a discussion following the screening with Schneeman, Friedrich and Hammer.

The screenings will continue with various programs of all four filmmakers through October 4, 2010. I am not so familiar with Barbara Hammer’s films but can recommend all of Deren’s films, Schneemann’s Viet Flakes as well as Su Friedrich’s Sink or Swim.

Helmar Lerski

May 15, 2010

Helmar Lerski, from the Verwandlungen des Lichts series

My memory is pretty bad but I’ll never forget when a professor in grad school first showed me the book Transformations of Light by Helmar Lerski.

The book was filled with many portraits (as seen above) and it took me a few moments to register that each photograph depicted the same person over and over again through numerous and highly effective lighting set-ups.

I was confounded by this work and hopefully you will be too as Lerski’s dramatic portraiture is currently on view at Ubu Gallery in New York through June 25, 2010.

Film Socialisme

May 15, 2010

The adrenaline induced high speed trailer for Jean-Luc Godard’s new film, Film Socialisme, which is having it’s premiere at The Cannes Film Festival next week. Supposedly, the trailer shows the entire movie in ultra-fast motion.

Access & Intentionality

May 11, 2010

The most interesting moment in the Thomas Struth conversation with Gil Blank last night at SVA came about when someone from the audience brought up the issue of access and how so much of contemporary photography seems to be as much if not more about a photographer gaining access to special, hidden or exclusive sites as it is about the actual photograph of that site put on display.

A direct reference was made to Taryn Simon’s An American Index of The Hidden and Unfamiliar as well as not directly made to other big name photographers who work in a similar vain.

Struth (with Blank concurring) answered the inquiry by essentially walking around the question, saying (I’m paraphrasing) that it’s not access that mattered but intentionality. That even if everyone was given similar access to the places he photographs, the images would be completely different as it’s the person behind the camera that matters most.

Enter the Void

May 5, 2010

The typographically speed-induced opening title sequence from Enter the Void, the new film by Gaspar Noé.