Monday, April 30, 2012

Lawrence Weiner enamel pins

Lawrence Weiner
Stars Don't Stand Still in the Sky
Santa Monica, USA: Peter Norton Family, 1991
4.7 x 5.5 cm.
Enamel Pin in box

Lawrence Weiner
Learn to Read Art
New York City, USA: Printed Matter, Inc., 1999
2 x 2.5 cm
enamel pin

Available here, for $7.50.

David Weiss obits

David Weiss of the artist duo Fischli & Weiss died of cancer last Friday, at the age of 66. Several obituaries are now online, including The Guardian, Forbes and Artlyst.

And Stopping Off Place, where I first learned that Weiss had designed the covers for excellent Lilliput/Kleenex records, has a series of posts with scans from the duo's books and sleeve designs, here.

Kelly Mark | Everything is Interesting

Kelly Mark
Everything is Interesting
Birmingham, UK: Ikon Gallery, 2003
38 mm diameter

Available here.

Jackie McAllister (1963–2012)

Artnet reports that the New York-based artist and writer Jackie McAllister has died at aged 49. A brief obituary/reminiscence by Charlie Finch, can be read here.

Exchange (for Sol Lewitt), 2010

Raymond Pettibon

Promotional band buttons by Raymond Pettibon, for Black Flag, the Californian post-hardcore group Saccharine Trust, and Sonic Youth's Goo.

Mark Pawson | My Favourite Shirt

Mark Pawson, whose parcel today arrives with a sticker admonishing "Wear More Badges", has been making buttons for more than twenty years, out of every imaginable surface. He has produced badges from microfiche, letraset, cassette tape, human hair, seaweed and a myriad of other materials. My friend Scott Rogers sent me a set of Pawson's great John Cage buttons last year, which I think are part of the valentine's day post.

For the My Favourite Shirt project, the artist asked friends and peers to send him their favorite old shirt to be cut up and transformed into badges. Fifteen people participated and the resulting work became a series of four small (25mm) badges produced in an edition of 99 and a collection of four larger (38mm) badges in an edition of 30. The packages are signed and numbered and contain a small bookwork, telling the stories of the shirts. The set that I received includes Arnaud Desjardin, Les Coleman, Charlie Phillips and Stephen Bury, the author of many texts on artists' multiples, including the last major book on the subject, Artists' Multiples, 1935-2000. His is the floral pattern, above.

For more information about the project, visit the artists' site, here.

All week long: buttons! Future posts to include the usual suspects: David Shrigley, Jonathan Monk, Michael Snow, Iain Baxter&, Kelly Mark, Lawrence Weiner, Keith Haring, Yoko Ono, Cary Leibowitz, Jenny Holzer, etc. etc.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

David Shrigley | Wall-Mounted Ear

David Shrigley
Wall-Mounted Ear
Berlin, Germany: Little and Large Editions, 2011
Boxed bronze ear (with hole for earring)
Edition of 40

Sold out

Hanne Darboven | Quartett '88

Hanne Darboven
Quartett '88
Cologne, Germany: Buchhandlung Walther Konig, 1990.
[792 pp], 22.8 x 16.2 cm.
Edition of 1000.

"The materials consist of paper and pencil with which I draw my conceptions, write words and numbers, which are the simplest means for putting down my ideas; for ideas do not depend on materials. The nature of ideas is immateriality." -Hanne Darboven

"No book by Hanne Darboven is merely an account of the exhibition. Darboven has always seen exhibition and printing as parallel, albeit radically different, experiences. The books offer a more intimate interaction with her mathematically convoluted systems and diaristic notation. The artist's hermetic and cerebral form of poetry receives one of its most careful presentations in this splendid artist's book. Quartet >88<, shown at The Renaissance Society in 1989, is a powerful homage to Gertrude Stein, Rosa Luxemburg, Marie Curie and Virginia Woolf, and continues the artist's long investigation of time, memory, and what the act of writing can mean. In her works, writing becomes a task in and of itself, removed from notions of narration, a persistent labor enacting the human desire to record the passing of time. Darboven's installation consisted of over 700 framed tableaux that covered the walls of the gallery, each of which is reproduced in this hardcover volume." - The Renaissance Society

Darboven would have turned 71 today (she died in 2009).

Saturday, April 28, 2012

agnes B Point D'Ironie

This ends the two day blitz of Point D'Ironie newspaper posts. I couldn't find decent images for the remaining issues. The shots below illustrate the magazine's dual function as posters, both in gallery and private settings.

Harmony Korine interviews agnes b

Harmony Korine: Do you believe in aliens ?
agnès b.: Oh, yes!

H.K.: Have you ever seen an alien?
a.b.: Some people are aliens for me and the great thing is that artists, like you Harm, are able to create aliens and I like it.

H.K.: Would you ever date a man if he was missing both of his ears?
a.b.: Yes I would... I would put flowers in his holes and whisper into them. I would suck his brain.

H.K.: Do you believe that animals have feelings?
a.b.: Of course. They have feelings, memory, language, happiness, sadness, sorrows...

H.K.: Have you ever had an out-of-body experience?
a.b.: Yes… Have you ever risen from your lying body to fly away, going through the walls?

H.K.: Do you think animals can communicate in secret languages?
a.b.: They do! They have their own intelligent communication ways… Animals are so diverse, much more than we are. We are basic.

H.K.: Would you ever go onto a crowded dance floor and dance with a man who only had one leg? Is there a circumstance where you could imagine doing this?
a.b.: Of course I would… no problem. I would be his artificial limb so he would have three legs and we could dance perfectly. We would be a tripod couple. Anyway, I love Tod Browning’s “Freaks.”

H.K.: Do you ever pray?
a.b.: I pray a lot, anywhere - in a traffic jam, swimming, driving, or lying in the grass.

H.K.: Have you ever been completely bald?
a.b.: Not yet…..!?

H.K.: Could you fall in love with a blind man?
a.b.: Yes… It must be so comfortable when the words become so important. Every word and thought would be even more important. I’m sure you could understand each other even better than with anyone.

H.K.: Would you rather be reincarnated as a fish or a turtle, and why?
a.b.: I don’t want to choose my reincarnation. I prefer having a surprise.

H.K.: Could you eat 10 lemons in a row without puking?
a.b.: For sure I could, but not 10 hard boiled eggs. I would collapse!

H.K.: I love you.
a.b.: Love you 2.

Point D'Ironie #50: Christian Boltanski

An interview with Christian Boltanski (who co-conceived the project, and is one of only two artists from the series who has contributed more than a single issue), with curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist:

Do you remember the first conversation we had about point d’ironie?

I believe at first it was linked to the idea of the artists’ book, because artists’ books have undergone changes over time. There was a time when these were extremely precious; you had to wear white gloves to handle them, they were very expensive. That was the first stage. The second stage was born with Ed Ruscha or Hans-Peter Feldmann, when artists’ books became cheap and infinitely reproductible, but were in fact printed in 200 to 800 copies. I’ve worked a lot within these books. Point d’ironie could have been, in practice, a series of artists’ books in 100 or 300 copies. But there came a time when we wanted to go beyond that to reach a greater number. It’s simply a question of economy of distribution. Today I think the Internet might replace point d’ironie, because with the Internet one can reach an even greater number of people. But point d’ironie achieved something important at a specific time, which was to go from 800 to 100,000 copies.

There was also the idea of reaching other contexts and other geographies where there weren’t any art bookshops. You wanted us to be able to send the paper free of charge to art schools, to everyone… you thought we should invent our own circuit.

 Because the number is so great, it is no longer aimed at specialized bookshops only, or at art lovers, but becomes like a message in a bottle that anyone might find in a café or receive through the post.
I will always remember when I arrived at the airport in Bogota: rather than greeting me with my name, they greeted me with my point d’ironie. That was because the point d’ironie was in Bogota. That’s what point d’ironie is about: it travels the world and no one knows where it’s going to end up. Most of the time, it ends up in the bin, but one never knows who has hung it up on the wall. 
Near my home, there is a psychiatric clinic. One day I went past it and saw a whole wall of my point d’ironie. In other words, a psychiatrist thought it might be a good idea to cover a wall of his office with my point d’ironie. I have never met this man, and I don’t think he is particularly interested in art. He must have found it one day in a café and took thirty copies of it, and it looks good on a wall, that’s it.

Let’s talk about the two issues you made, which are similar but also different at the same time. The first one forms like a serial image, we could indeed hang it like wallpaper, whereas the second one is almost abstract until we form the one unique image.

: In both, because I like to complicate things, in order to have the full image, you have to take two copies of point d’ironie. If you take only one, you have only half of the image. In the first issue, a part of the image is visible even with one copy. In the second issue however, with one copy, not only do you have only half of the image, but the image isn’t visible. In both cases there was the desire to complicate the system a little – the paper could be read as a unit, but at the same time one copy is not sufficient.

If I remember correctly, the idea was that, to produce in 2000 copies or in 100,000 copies, there wasn’t a big difference in price. So in that case, we could produce in large quantities. This is a general rule in publishing today -- the problem is not to produce a book, but to distribute it. To produce a book of poetry in 100 copies or in 20,000 copies is the same price, but how do you distribute a poetry book in 20,000 copies? What we brought about with point d’ironie is an advance in distribution. As far as the fabrication is concerned, other projects with a similar spirit had been done before, the conception is not an extraordinary thing. The extraordinary conception is the enormous number of copies and, thanks to agnès b.’s network, the possibility to send them to countries all over the world.

A bit like with DO IT actually. Through the DO IT book, the exhibition goes out into the world, it’s a mobile exhibition like point d’ironie.

 Yes, because the idea was to do something visual (even if they were not all like that) with which anyone could make his or her own exhibition. It destroyed the idea of original. Classically, if you have a photograph or a print, it’s in fifty copies; you are proud of it, you can sell it. The large number abolished that, and enabled each student or employee to hang it up at home. The material no longer has any value. The more you have, the less value an object has, as we all know. I think it was quite a rare idea in art, because art always functions in small circles. When you say “I produced this video in an edition of ten”, it seems huge. Art is always about small numbers, even when dealing with lithography and engraving. We tried to work in almost industrial quantities; when you go beyond 100,000, you reach industrial numbers. It’s a little evolution in the art world. 

It was not only about form, because the rule of form is rather simple: to make a paper like those that already exist in several countries, with as little text as possible, rather more with images…

… which could be a newspaper and-or folded posters simultaneously.

That was the rule of the game at first, then to print off large numbers, and then to scatter it around the world. 

On day it would be amusing to research all the places where people decided to put it up on the wall. There have been exhibitions of point d’ironie that we know of, but I am convinced there have been lots of private exhibitions. There may have been hundreds of exhibitions in unlikely places.

In a restaurant in Tokyo, there was a whole wall covered in the issue by Louise Bourgeois. It goes to the extent where, for example, the point d’ironie by Gabriel Orozco was used as wrapping paper.

 Yes, I remember one Christmas when everyone took it to wrap presents! These utilizations are something that seemed interesting and innovative to me; the object no longer has value as such, it only has an emotional value. With few exceptions, no one ever took that point d’ironie thinking it would be of saleable value one day. It is a disposiblething: you hang it up, it gets damaged, you throw it away and put another one up. That is why it is something new in the art world.

We now have a list of approximately forty issues, most of them created by great artists. There was a mass distribution of a million copies over the summer at Documenta11. At the moment we are preparing the retrospective in Ljubljana. Where do we go from here? Wouldn’t it be necessary to go elsewhere after a certain point -- for it to become a real paper, or a different kind of tool… to change our strategy ?

I think point d’ironie should evolve. It’s a good club, and I think that today there might be other things to find. It could be good to play around with DVDs and CDs, which have become cheap. Indeed, when the Inrockuptibles [French weekly mag on culture] put a CD in their magazine, it’s a bit like a point d’ironie if you will. 

What is also wonderful, is that the name of the artist is written in very small letters, and that the majority of the artists are known within a rather small circle. Most of the people who took the issue by Orozco had no idea that it was by Orozco, they took it because they liked it. They picked it up like one picks up an advert that one likes.

 Is it important for you that the pieces assert themselves independently, rather than through the name of the artists ?

 Yes. For both issues that I made, I thought it was important that they be visual.

I would like to talk about your first issue, which seems a little more abstract at first glance.

The second one comes from an image I saw in a documentary on television, that moved me. Two young people dancing. But outside of that, what interested me was that the image is like a key to a secret message. You have to discover the message. When you look at the cover of the paper, what you see is rather pretty, but it’s like a Chinese painting or an abstract painting, sort of refined. When you put two copies together, and look at them from a certain distance, you see an image. It’s the coded message, the secret, that was important to me.

Thank you ever so much.

Obrist and Boltanski have a friendship that dates back many years, and the artist was the first ever to sit for an interview with the then-aspiring curator. The story of how they met can be read here.

Point D'Ironie #18: Rosemarie Trockel

“I had just decided to photo-fix my body. I wanted to hone my abilities to draw the human figure; and, since no one was prepared to put his or her anatomy at my disposal for hours on end, I had to use my own. I worked out a number of poses in my head, briefed the boyfriend, and set off. It was a fine day, and we found a quiet spot... not too dark, but not too open either, safe from the prying eyes of lone strollers or fanatical forest hikers. I hastily undressed and rapped out instructions to my boyfriend: now, that's it, left a bit, OK... I worked my way through the whole of academic art history in a lightning succession of poses. We shot off a roll of 36 slides, then I put my clothes on and we hurried out of the forest. My friend found the professionalism of it all rather frustrating. No doubt he had expected something more. Back at home, after dark, night after night, I drew outlines, ribs, shoulders, armpits and mounts of Venus. All in the strictest privacy, of course. Naked in front of my parents? Unthinkable! This needs to be understood in the context of my prudish and body-hostile upbringing. I saw my mother's breast for the first time when it was no longer there. So, it was top secret all the way. Then my sister came back in high spirits from her first trip to the French Riviera with her boyfriend, and she set up a slide-show evening. Of course I forgot all about my do-it-yourself drawing class and left my slide models in the projector. I suppose I don't need to tell you how the evening turned out.”
- Rosemarie Trockel (translated from German).

Point D'Ironie #30: Claude Closky

“My project is called “Tables of Comparison”. It is composed of two pairs of tables, reframed to conceal the objects being compared (the headings are nearly totally cut off). Only data with no information value remains, devoid of all functionality. So that although each table presents results opposite to it’s mate, they seem to indicate equivalent evaluations.”

- Claude Closky