Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Experimental Jetset | The No-Thing

Experimental Jetset
The No-Thing
San Francisco, USA: The Thing Quarterly, 2017
48 x 68"
Edition size unknown


Issue #32 of The Thing Quarterly is a 100% cotton, machine-washable wearable protest blanket. The Made in the USA blanket is reversible, with one side reading NO! and the other ON!. It is by the Amsterdam graphic design studio named after the 1994 Sonic Youth LP Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star*

It's available on back-order from the publisher here, for $125.00 US. Items are expected to ship later this month.

Above are images of the blanket in use from last week's anti-Trump protests.

* The plan was originally to borrow the name International Jetset from a song by The Specials but when registering it with the Chamber of Commerce a clerk said it was too vague. The group switched it on the spot.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Barbara Bloom | 
Reading Lolita in the Dark

Barbara Bloom

Reading Lolita in the Dark

Toronto, Canada/Paris, France: Art Metropole/Florence Loewy, 1994

27.5 x 22.2 x 3 cm.
Edition of 24 signed and numbered copies

A black box containing a double-hinged frame and an audio cassette
 (of David Case reading the beginning and end of the novel

"Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977), the author of Lolita, is one of Barbara Bloom’s (1951– ) favourite writers. Bloom’s work is contained in a black box with a Braille title, and consists of a diptych that juxtaposes montages of appropriated photographs on one side, with copies of the first and last pages of Lolita on the other. An audiotape accompanies the piece, thereby engaging our sense of sound as well as touch and sight. The incongruity of the images, which have been assembled from various identified sources, provokes discomfort and suspicion in the viewer. Bloom uses the structure of Nabokov’s novel, described as a game of intricate enchantment and nightmarish deception, as a metaphor for this uncanny installation. Lolita is written in the first person, in the voice of a European professor, who in his diary records his lust for a young girl. There are many gaps in the narrative; after all, these are the musings of a madman. Bloom reflects the content and style of the story by grouping disparate and disturbing props; we attempt to understand the events in the novel by making connections between the objects and the text."

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Steven Leiber

Art dealer and collector Steven Leiber died five years ago today, at the age of 54, at his home in San Francisco. Above are some examples of the sales catalogues that he produced of artists' books, multiples and ephemera.

Magazine covers by Artists: Barbara Kruger

"For the cover of New York’s Election Issue, we turned to the artist Barbara Kruger, who had created such a memorable cover for the magazine the week of Eliot Spitzer’s resignation. She came back with this image. Editor-in-chief Adam Moss says that he and the editors “were drawn to it, in part, for the three ways in which it could be interpreted: as Trump speaking (single word epithets being his specialty); as a description of Trump; and as a call on the election result. On this latter point, who knows — and we confess to being a little rattled when the Comey letter news broke just as we were shipping it. But in the end we felt that the power of Kruger’s image transcended any one meaning you could read into it. The issue analyzes many aspects of Trump’s extraordinary candidacy, and an important point is spelled out in the headline we appended to the bottom corner: Trump has already changed America, not much for the better. Which adds a fourth meaning: in that sense we are all losers too.”
- New York magazine editors, pre-election

"Our pre-election issue, with a cover by the American artist Barbara Kruger, went to press on Friday afternoon, October 28. That deadline came up just as FBI director James Comey made his announcement about a newly discovered cache of Hillary Clinton’s emails. Maybe Comey’s letter moved voters decisively away from Clinton or toward Trump; maybe it didn’t. But that was — at least according to polls that we no longer believe — the moment her momentum stalled.

We, and Kruger, had always intended for our cover to convey multiple meanings: certainly that Trump was running behind, but also that America itself was losing, dragged down into a filthy dumb-show campaign. And, Kruger herself adds, “Donald Trump has a keen instinct for locating the most vulnerable place in the character of anyone who disagrees with him — my labeling him with the word he most feared was just a comment on and reenactment of that strategy.” (Not to mention that Trump himself uses single-word epithets so enthusiastically.) After a brief reconsideration that Friday, we stuck with our plan instead of scrapping it, with the knowledge that the cover would be seen by many readers only one way — as a prediction — even as we hoped that the power of the image transcended any one interpretation of its meaning.

Since then, phone calls and social-media posts, particularly on the morning after the election, have made it clear that many readers couldn’t get past the “call”: Wrong, wrong, wrong, as Trump might say. We get that (although, c’mon, the idea that we somehow jinxed the election is beyond the pale). And even as we stubbornly maintain that the image is more complex than a certain notorious, erroneous headline from 1948, it is true that seeing the cover on the newsstand after Election Day makes us cringe — and that the vote turned an image meant to be provocative into one that perhaps feels hubristic instead. (That’s on us, by the way, not Kruger.) Obviously, in one critical sense, we were wrong. And now we can only hope that one of the cover’s other meanings — that this election has turned us all into losers, big-league — is wrong as well."
- New York magazine editors, post-election

Friday, January 27, 2017

Gelitin | Hase

Munich, Germany: Schellmann Art, 2006
75 cm.
Edition of 60 signed and numbered copies

A hand-knit stuffed animal miniature of the collective's giant work of the same named, situated in the village Artesina, in the Italian Alps. The 2005 work was a toilet-paper-pink rabbit (large enough to climb, and reportedly be seen from space) left out in the elements to decay like an actual rabbit carcass.

Artesina can be reached by public transit and the Rabbit is about a twenty to thirty minute walk from there. The Google Maps Link to the location is http://goo.gl/maps/cjv4X.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cary Leibowitz interview from the Bay Area Reporter

Sura Wood: For 30 years you've studiously avoided having a museum show. How come, and why now?

Cary Leibowitz: I wish it was as glamorous as that. I hadn't really been invited, so it's not like I had the option to avoid it. I've been very jealous of other people having shows. I also think maybe I wasn't quite in synch with the times, but now my stuff has a bit of a nostalgic patina. I think being perpetually out-of-step has been a lucky thing.

What's it like putting together three decades of work?

It's a bit nerve-wracking. At one point I realized the packing tape on the storage boxes was older than the friend* helping me organize them. I have to say, after looking at some of the old stuff, I think I haven't really pushed myself enough.

You've said that early on, you were very focused on yourself. I'm thinking of that piece that says, "I'm torn between you, me and my ego." Do you look outward more?

It depends on whether it's a good day or a bad day. Sometimes the work is still pretty personal in the first-person sort of way. I've never liked pointing the finger at anyone or making anyone feel guilty or responsible. There's part of me that's always afraid to make a scene or be impolite.

Are you following in the footsteps of Woody Allen in making inadequacy an art-form?

Probably. I love all his movies, and I do come from that same sort of mindset. I don't think of myself as a loser in a slacker sort of way. It's a more Woody Allen kind of thing.

Do you ever feel marginalized by being labeled a gay artist?

I don't feel marginalized, but I do feel somewhat guilty because I don't feel like I've ever been a strong advocate of pushing political agendas. Even in my art, there's nothing earth-shattering.

When you were 11, what prompted you to write Liberace and request an autographed headshot?

I don't really know why, but around the same time I wrote to him, I also wrote to Liza Minnelli, these people who are now so associated with gay culture. When I got to college and had gay friends, the Liberace photo was my pedigree paper.

Has the Candyass persona provided you with insulation from criticism, like hiding behind a mask?

A little of that, and, in a good way, it's like wearing a favorite garment. It helps me stay strong. I use it as a crutch, not as a persona. Years ago, sitting around with friends, we shared what we were called as sissy kids growing up. One friend said he had been called a candyass. He made me a red-ink rubber candyass stamp, and I started using it as a signature, a Dada-ism. When I began showing my work, people really noticed it, and I went with it.

The country has just elected a president who campaigned against political correctness. Where are you in this debate?

Most political correctness is just moral correctness and should be there. That phrase is an excuse for people to not accept there are a lot of different types of people out there, or that certain things, which might seem funny, really aren't. I'm not a religious person, but I do feel that we should all be humanitarians.

Read the full article, here.

*Mark Ferkul, I'm guessing.

Barbara Kruger turns 72 today

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Magazine Covers by Artists: Arts Magazine by Andy Warhol

[Andy Warhol cover]
Arts Magazine April 1970
New York City, USA: The Art Digest, 1970
68 pp., 12 x 9”, staple-bound
Edition size unknown

A rare copy (exceedingly so when signed, as bottom, above) of Arts Magazine with an "original cover by Andy Warhol" and "Andy Warhol's Travel Piece", both of which feature Factory stalwart, Gregory Battcock in his underwear. Three years later he would be named editor of the magazine.

Battcock had starred in two of Warhol's films (Batman Dracula and Horse), and had previously contributed articles to the journal such as, “Notes on the Chelsea Girls: A Film by Andy Warhol,” 1967, and “Warhol Film,” 1968.

The issue includes contributions by Sol LeWitt and Mel Bochner, and my favorite Lawrence Weiner work (three typewritten rules: 1. the artist can make it work. 2. the work piece can be manufactured. 3. the work piece does not have to be built.)

For other magazine covers designed by artists (included several by Warhol), see the MCBA tag below.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cindy Sherman | Untitled Film Still tray

Cindy Sherman
Untitled Film Still tray
Park City, USA: Sundance Film Festival Editions, 2014
3 x 28 x 20 cm.
Edition of 500

Produced as a fundraiser for the Sundance Film Festival, this transfer-printed porcelain tray features a 1978 image from Sherman and is 'signed' with applied foil to the underside. Produced with designer Todd Oldham.

Monday, January 23, 2017

This Week on Tumblr

This week on Tumblr: Chocolate by artists, including works by Paul McCarthy, Dieter Roth, Barbara Bloom, Joseph Beuys, Janine Antoni and others.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Dora Garcia | News from Second Home

Dora Garcia
News from Second Home
Brussels, Belgium: MOREpublishers, 2017
dimensions vary
Edition of 20 signed and numbered copies [+ 10 H.C.]

A facsimile of a series of letters, which also reproduces the rhythm of the original exchange. Buyers subscribe to the project and receive fifteen envelopes over the course of the year. The correspondence
documents a conversation between Garcia and Agnieszka Gratza a resident of Second Home, London. Second Home is a "creative workspace and cultural venue, bringing together diverse industries, disciplines and types of social businesses."

The facsimile letters will periodically be accompanied by additional items, such as postcards or clippings. The suite of letters constitutes the complete work.

The project is the 85th in the hors série, and follows a similar format to Jonathan Monk's postcard project A copy of Richard Hamilton Whitley Bay, 1965 (#43), and Liam Gillick’s A Question of Development (#66).

The subscription price is 350 €. For more info, please contact info@morepublishers.be