Archive for April, 2011

Palimpsest 8

04.29.2011  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

“Palimpsest, i.e., a parchment from which one writing has been erased to make room for another.” H.D.

“The practice of painting is much more a habit, rather than being something exquisite.”

Luc Tuymans

ODE TO L.T.

blank spots and

areas of color

where details are erased, left out—

particular areas of bold, deep color, [Orchid]

more quiet faded-looking color

or grays and

black but areas are filled

up with color

salient is the

puzzle-like quality

translations

of photographs,

drawings, translated

from reality

from somewhere else?

laterality, aqua or

cerulean, ultramarine

or navy

roses in a yellow sky

like a hangover from

witless seeing

darklit sun

from the awareness

of windows

areas like objects

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Art School Confidential

04.28.2011  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Spring, at art school, is an emotionally schizophrenic season. The weather tends to be glorious (and pollen-filled), as it was today, and campuses pulse with alternating currents of stress, anxiety, hope, exhaustion, and celebration as everyone lurches to the finish line. That was definitely the mix at SFAI this evening, when the campus was buzzing... More

Positive Signs #14 & 15

04.27.2011  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Positive Signs is a weekly series of interpretive diagrams, quotes, and speculations on creativity, optimism*, and the lives of artists, published every Wednesday through June.

*Notwithstanding brief forays into the nature of space, stuff, experience, and cognition.


Next Wednesday: Positive Signs #16, 17, & 18 on pervasiveness, permanence, and personalization.
See all Positive Signs to date.

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Shop Talk 2 Respondent: Clark Buckner

04.25.2011  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Conversations

[On Thursday, April 14, Open Space and Art Practical hosted the second of three conversations organized loosely around issues and themes raised by Stephanie Syjuco's multiartist project Shadowshop, on view now. Today we present three responses to that evening. Do join us for the last evening of discussion, on Thursday, May 12. Please welcome critical theorist Clark Buckner.]

 

Would the Real Artist Please Stand Up?

The second round of Shop Talk was framed by the central question posed by organizers Suzanne Stein and Patricia Maloney: “What is the perceived value of the artist’s production, or practice, and how does it change as art or artist traffic in different environments? The question developed out of the issues raised during the first gathering of Shop Talk, concerning whether Stephanie Syjuco’s project for the museum, Shadowshop, was beneficial for or ultimately at the expense of the artists who participated in it. Originally these issues were posed primarily in terms o... More

Shop Talk 2 Respondent: Jasper Bernes

04.25.2011  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Conversations

[On Thursday, April 14, Open Space and Art Practical hosted the second of three conversations organized loosely around issues and themes raised by Stephanie Syjuco's multiartist project Shadowshop, on view now. Today we present three responses to that evening. Do join us for the last evening of discussion on Thursday, May 12. Please welcome poet and critic Jasper Bernes.]

The second Shoptalk seemed to run aground, rather quickly, on the question of whether Shadowshop “devalued” art and artists by asking them to submit to various mercantile (and mercenary) constraints. People in the room espoused what seemed to me a surprisingly expansive sense of the artist’s vocation, and were quick to produce hoary notions about the specialness or freedom of art. Which is fine, I guess. Except that this freedom turned out to mean not freedom from mercenary concerns but participation in a very special market — the gallery system — whose chief distinguishing feature is that it allows everyone ... More

Shop Talk 2 Respondent: Erika Staiti

04.25.2011  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Conversations

[On Thursday, April 14, Open Space and Art Practical hosted the second of three conversations organized loosely around issues and themes raised by Stephanie Syjuco's multiartist project Shadowshop, on view now. Today we present three responses to that evening. Do join us for the last evening of discussion on Thursday, May 12. Please welcome poet Erika Staiti.]

Suzanne Stein, community producer at SFMOMA, and Patricia Maloney, editor of Art Practical, begin the second Shop Talk conversation with opening remarks and a useful framework. They pose two questions [What is the perceived value of the artist’s production, or practice, and how does it change as art or artist traffic in different environments? and What are the economic realities for artists?]; identify six overarching categories [sustainability, autonomy, transparency, authorship/anonymity, valuation, and motivation]; and use quotes from the respondents to the first conversation to provide context for the group.

Amanda Hughen, Sh... More

Release Ai Weiwei—An Overseas Chinese Perspective

04.25.2011  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

As previously stated on this blog, arts institutions and concerned citizens are calling for the release of artist Ai Weiwei, who was detained by Chinese authorities.

Ai’s whereabouts are still unknown. According to FreeAiWeiwei.org, today marks the 22nd day since Ai disappeared.

Readers seeking additional perspectives might see “Release... More

JACK SPICER: A Non-Tragic Universe

04.23.2011  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

Because April 2008 was when Open Space first appeared, I thought it might be nice to mark its third anniversary with an interview with the poet Jack Spicer from June 17th, 1965. It is published by Jacket magazine online. Click HERE to read it.

And to get a sense of the impact he has had on the San Francisco creative community click HERE to read a s... More

Palimpsest 7

04.22.2011  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

“Palimpsest i.e. a parchment from which one writing has been erased to make room for another.” H.D.

Speaking of rhyming and dreaming,

“That one image may recall another, finding depth in the resounding, is the secret of rhyme and measure. The time of the poem is felt as a recognition of return in vowel tone and consonant formations, of pattern in the sequence of syllables, in stress and in pitch of a melody, of images and meanings. It resembles the time of a dream, for it is highly organized along lines of association and impulses of contrast toward the structure of the whole. The impulse of dream or poem is to provide a ground for some form beyond what we know, for feeling ‘greater than reality’.”

Robert Duncan, The HD Book, p.99

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6pOXjQLh7Y

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Positive Sign #11, 12 & 13

04.20.2011  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Positive Signs is a weekly series of interpretive diagrams, quotes, and speculations on creativity, optimism* and the lives of artists, published every Wednesday through June.

*Notwithstanding brief forays into the nature of space, stuff, experience, and cognition.

Next Wednesday: Positive Signs #14: Explanatory Style & 15: Learned Optimism.
See all Positive Signs to date.

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Tracing the Plot

04.19.2011  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

The 10th Sharjah International Biennial — cocurated by Suzanne Cotter, curator at Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and Rasha Salti, creative director at ArteEast, with associate curator Haig Aivazian — is titled The Plot for a Biennial. The exhibition draws on the idea of “a treatment for film, replete with a plot, characters and motives,”... More

The Adjustment Bureau

04.19.2011  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

I went to go to see The Adjustment Bureau (2011, dir. George Nolfi) with the artist Kenneth Lo. We saw it at the mall. I got there a little early, and after buying our tickets I paced around this massive paper hammer advertisement for the movie Thor. I wanted it.

Ken arrived with a bottle of Laphroaig. We found seats and poured the whisky into waxed paper cups they had given us free water in. The whisky tasted like a slow-burning campfire. It melted the cups. We drank it and watched the movie.

Afterwards, we walked to Otis Lounge in Maiden Lan... More

Frank Smigiel: Individual Actions and Small Change, or Artists as Producers

04.18.2011  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Projects/Series

The exhibition The More Things Change samples SFMOMA’s collection to present a range of works made since 2000, offering a selective survey of the art of the last 10 years and a thematic and psychological portrait of the decade. The exhibition is also an unusual collaboration among all five curatorial departments at the museum, and over the... More

Empty Chairs

04.17.2011  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

After noticing, on Facebook, natch, that Jerry and Roberta were out demonstrating in New York, I cruised down Geary on Sunday afternoon looking for the chair-themed Ai Weiwei protest to witness the determination of SF art folks. I ran late — though not that late — and by the time I got there, the only crowds I saw nearby seemed to have taken their seating to the Cherry Blossom Festival across the road. Perhaps the the concurrent events were ill-timed, there being crowd control officials already in the neighborhood who chased them away beca... More

Inbox

04.16.2011  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

Palimpsest 6

04.14.2011  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

“Palimpsest i.e. a parchment from which one writing has been erased to make room for another.” H.D.

Thinking “these clouds work well together,” I’m on a plane leaving Charles De Gaulle Airport coming home to San Francisco. In an idle moment over the Atlantic, just past Ireland, almost at Iceland, with 7282 km to go, I open Magazine Air France, and on the front page a snow scene. Moscou ( Moscow). Turning the page, I’m looking at a spread, a few sentences with the title “Moscou en hiver” [Moscow in Winter] on the left hand page, ... More

Let’s Not Bash Detroit (or Fetishize It, Either)

04.14.2011  |  By
Filed under: Essay

Looking down Woodward Avenue on a February morning, 2011

It was easier to tweet when I was in Detroit than it’s been to blog after returning home. It’s quite a stretch to fly from warm, wet and crowded San Francisco to cold, dry and quiet Detroit, and the minute you land in snowy Romulus and drive into town you are reminded of the Thre... More

SFMOMA joins museums around the world to support the release of artist Ai Weiwei

04.13.2011  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Field Notes

FROM THE GUGGENHEIM:

In response to the recent arrest and detainment of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in Beijing, the Guggenheim has launched an online petition to express concern for Ai’s freedom and call for his release.

In response to the recent arrest and detainment of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in Beijing, the Guggenheim has launched an online petition to express concern for Ai’s freedom and call for his release. Leading museums around the world have joined and launched the online petition through their Web sites, Twitter, and Facebook sites,... More

Positive Sign #9 & 10

04.13.2011  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Positive Signs is a weekly series of interpretive diagrams, quotes, and speculations on creativity, optimism* and the lives of artists, published every Wednesday through June.

*Notwithstanding brief forays into the nature of space, stuff, experience, and cognition.


Next Wednesday: Positive Signs #11, 12 & 13 on optimists and pessimists.
See all Positive Signs to date.

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150th Anniversary of the Civil War Today

04.12.2011  |  By
Filed under: Back Page

On April 12th, 1861, Fort Sumter, a Union fort, was attacked, marking the start of the Civil War. The War would went on to claim over 600,000 lives and pit brother against brother, as they say.

In 1863, after centuries of institutionalized slavery, President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation created the legal framework for the freei... More

Collection Rotation: David Mahoney

04.11.2011  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Projects/Series

Our regular feature, Collection Rotation. Every month or so I invite someone to organize a mini-“exhibition” from our collection works online. Today, please welcome SFMOMA trustee David Mahoney.

Busted Flush

I was thrilled to be asked to create one of these collection rotations, as I have had the opportunity over the past fifteen years to watch... More

Who Is Ai Weiwei and Why Is He in Jail?

04.09.2011  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Any artist that points out injustices or asks hard questions about society is going to make enemies sooner or later. That’s because nobody likes a critic — especially repressive governments. All critics ever seem to do is complain, and artists are sometimes the worst offenders. Their views take the form of paintings, photographs, writing... More

From UAE to USA

04.07.2011  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Bohemia of Finances (pt. 5)

04.07.2011  |  By


In “I Dreamt I Was A Nymphomaniac,” Kathy Acker somewhat wryly describes the art world as “the bohemia of finances.” Still, questions of money and capital in the art world continue to transpire. Occasionally I will post discussions with artists and curators about the economics of their practice. This fifth installment is an e-mail conversation with local artist Stephanie Syjuco.

BB: Could you describe your practice for SFMOMA blog readers in broad terms? Here it would be great to have an introduction to Shadowshop of course; but what other kinds of works have made up your practice over the last few years? How have these pursuits interpenetrated with the necessity of “making a living?” (say as much as you feel comfortable)

Stephanie Syjuco: My recent projects have been interested in how people relate to objects, with a focus on how things are crafted, traded, valued, and exchanged. I actually come from a fairly traditional sculpture background and feel strongly that... More

Positive Sign #7 & 8

04.06.2011  |  By
Filed under: Projects/Series

Positive Signs is a weekly series of interpretive diagrams, quotes, and speculations on creativity, optimism* and the lives of artists, published every Wednesday through June.

*Notwithstanding brief forays into the nature of space, stuff, experience, and cognition.

Next Wednesday: Positive Signs #9 & 10 on distractions and the ambitiousness of tasks.
See all Positive Signs to date.

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Ai Wei Wei

04.05.2011  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Artist and human rights activist Ai Wei Wei was detained at Beijing Airport as he attempted to board a plane to Hong Kong. China’s best-known artist, he is an outspoken critic of the government. The international community seeks more information on the detainment and disappearance of Ai Wei Wei, and calls for his release.

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Shop Talk Respondent: Helena Keeffe

04.04.2011  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Conversations

[On Thursday March 24 Open Space and Art Practical hosted the first of three conversations organized loosely around issues and themes raised by Stephanie Syjuco's multiartist project Shadowshop, on view now. Today we present four responses to that first evening. Do join us for Shop Talk round two, on Thursday, April 14. Please welcome artist Helena Keefe.]

Out from Behind the Shadow
It was obvious from the discussion Thursday night that Shadowshop is many things to many people. Artists who have contributed seem to have mixed feelings about their... More

Shop Talk Respondent: Jasper Bernes

04.04.2011  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Conversations

[On Thursday March 24 Open Space and Art Practical hosted the first of three conversations organized loosely around issues and themes raised by Stephanie Syjuco's multiartist project Shadowshop, on view now. Today we present four responses to that first evening. Do join us for Shop Talk round two, on Thursday, April 14. Please welcome poet and critic Jasper Bernes.]

I think I’ve been invited to comment on last Thursday’s panel on Shadowshop in part because I spend a lot of time thinking about value and money, labor and exploitation, and maybe also because I have a longstanding interest in works of art that put their own value — economic or otherwise — into question, artworks that attempt to either overcome their own bewitchment by economic value or demonstrate its utter contingency. There is, as many readers will know, a long history of this kind of thing, whether it’s Marcel Duchamp issuing bond notes to finance his own roulette excursions, or Maria Eichhorn incorporating h... More

Shop Talk Respondent: Erika Staiti

04.04.2011  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Conversations

[On Thursday March 24 Open Space and Art Practical hosted the first of three conversations organized loosely around issues and themes raised by Stephanie Syjuco's multiartist project Shadowshop, on view now. Today we present four responses to that first evening. Do join us for Shop Talk round two, on Thursday, April 14. Please welcome poet Erika Staiti.]

The first Shop Talk conversation took place on March 24. I took lots of notes. My notes look like a skeleton of the conversation. I’m sort of fascinated by this skeleton because it is totally not useful.

What I have gathered from scanning my skeleton and my memory of the event is that the best use of my space here will be to organize the conversation thematically rather than episodically. This method leaves many large holes in my account. My intention is mainly to distill certain items from the first conversation for possible elaboration and rumination during the second conversation on April 14. I am inserting some of my own questions... More