Sunday, July 31, 2011

Artist's Intervention: Jody Servon's "You know..."

Jody Servon, You know you have made it as an artist when your work is on a postcard in a museum gift shop. An ongoing project. Here's to wishing I could plant these for Jody at the Uffizi.

Installation at the Louvre, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Martin Parr from "Small World"

Martin Parr, Florence, Italy, 1987-94

Martin Parr, Pantheon, Rome, 1987-94

Martin Parr, Pisa, Italy, 1987-94

Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy, 1987-94

Friday, July 29, 2011

Paul Strand's "The Lusetti Family, Luzzara, Italy, 1953

From The Getty website: "In the early 1950s Paul Strand spent six weeks in the rural northern Italian town of Luzzara, located on the Po River. He traveled the countryside with local townsman Valentino Lusetti, whose family Strand photographed arranged across the front of their family home. This group portrait includes Valentino's widowed mother Anna, standing with a solemn expression in the darkened doorway, and four of his brothers: Bruno, Guerrino, Afro, and Nino, none of whom look directly at the camera."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Artwork I was most surprised to learn was created in Italy

Robert Smithson's Asphalt Rundown, Rome, Italy, 1969

[For the record, Smithson also did a glue pour in Vancouver and a concrete pour in Chicago the same year.]

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Henri Cartier Bresson's Italy

Tuscany, Italy, 1933

Scanno, Italy, 1951

Salerno, Italy, 1933

Rome, Italy, 1959

Naples, Italy, 1960

Torcello near Venice, 1953

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Richard Wentworth - "Genoa, Italy," 2004

Richard Wentworth, Genoa, Italy, 2004

In addition to the photograph above, Wentworth's past work includes installations featuring books. I wish I knew the dimensions of this work below. It looks like it's too short to walk underneath while standing up straight but I'd like to be proven otherwise.

Richard Wentworth, False Ceiling, 1995

Monday, July 25, 2011

Corriette Schoenaerts - "Europe," 2005

Corriette Schoenaerts: "For the traveling issue of Magazine Magazine, I made this fashion series. Rather than showing the clothes on a body, I decided to be inspired by maps and other landscape elements."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Christoph Niemann's "72 Hours in Venice"

Niemann created this series last month during the opening weekend of the Biennale. "72 Hours in Venice" features standing in line behind Jeff Koons to climb Doug and Mike Starn's Big Bambu at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, awoken by a mysterious honk in a city that doesn't have cars, and some of his favorite works in the Biennale:

"4:58 p.m.
My favorite piece so far: a 24 hour video titled “The Clock.” The whole movie is chronologically cut together from movie scenes in which a clock with a specific time is featured prominently. The time in the movie is also synched with the time of the presentation. As I walk in, Jack Nicholson is staring at a wall clock in the terrific opening scene of “About Schmidt”. It’s 4.58 p.m. Mr. Schmidt is ready to leave. So am I."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Paolo Ventura's "Venice, 1943" from "The Automaton" Series

I've always enjoyed Paolo Ventura's historical recreations in miniature. The following images are from the series The Automaton. Fortunately, I will be able to see some of Ventura's photographs in the Italian Pavilion at the Biennale.

The Automaton takes place in the Jewish Ghetto in Venice in 1943.

"A bored and lonely watchmaker decides to construct an Automaton (an autonomously functioning mechanical device often constructed to resemble living and human forms) to keep him company when few people remained in the ghetto." Via.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Venice, Italy

Abelardo Morell, Upright Image of the Piazzetta San Marco Looking SE in Office, Venice, Italy, 2006

Thomas Struth, San Zaccaria, Venice, 1995

Petra Wunderlich, Venice, 2003

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Venice Biennale Intervention: Swoon

In 2009, the artist Caledonia Curry, AKA Swoon, built three boats made of salvaged materials, including a Mercedes car motor, and along with 30 other artists and musicians, crashed the Venice Biennale. Here is a good article written prior to the event (and source of the above and below images - check out the slide show).

The piece is now known as the "Swimming Cities of Serinissima." I wonder if "crashing" is a particular accurate definition since everyone knew about it (published articles, date of arrival known in advance) weeks before the event took place.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sophie Calle's Suite Vénitienne

This is one of my favorite projects by one of my favorite artists that focuses on Venice, Italy as a location. From Stuart Jeffries's 2009 article in The Guardian:

"Calle went to Venice to follow a man she had met at a party, phoned hundreds of hotels until she found out where he was staying, and then persuaded a woman who lived opposite to let her photograph his comings and goings from her window. The result was a book called Suite Vénitienne, published in 1979."

Take Care of Yourself was one of the most talked about exhibitions at the 2009 Venice Biennale. I was fortunate enough to see it in 2009 at the Paula Cooper Gallery in NYC and now own the catalog. I can only imagine what it looked like in the French Pavilion.

I received an email telling me it was over.
I didn't know how to respond.
It was almost as if it hadn't been meant for me.
It ended with the words, "Take care of yourself."
And so I did.
I asked 107 women (including two made from wood and one with feathers),
chosen for their profession or skills, to interpret this letter.
To analyze it, comment on it, dance it, sing it.
Dissect it. Exhaust it. Understand it for me.
Answer for me.
It was a way of taking the time to break up.
A way of taking care of myself.

-Sophie Calle

Monday, July 18, 2011

Days 51 - 65: Italia

Ed Ruscha, Hello I Must Be Going

In an effort to pack light for the first time in my life, I will not be bringing my laptop to Italy. I've struggled with this decision for weeks, thinking about buying an iPad so I could update the blog but still be weighted down with my big camera. That wasn't the greatest solution either so I acquired a small camera (that I've plugged incessantly in previous posts) and my only access to the world online will be through my phone at irregular intervals. It's the first time my summer project will not be updated as the work transpires. I don't think it's an ideal situation but that's the way it is has to be for my own sanity as I traipse across Northern Italy through big cities, small towns, over land and water with minimal luggage. I am off for a couple weeks but never fear... one entry will be posted a day until I return... all but one are Italian centric.

This is all in an effort not to look like this:

Alec Soth, Untitled from Perfect Strangers, 1994

VB Assignment: Leaving California

Still working on this one... it's going to be part of that other series I am simultaneously collecting images for: Autobiography.

Where Highway 1 meets Bonny Doon Road just north of Santa Cruz, CA.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Days 49 & 50: Progress

Packing = check
Never leave home without them (especially when your front teeth are going to fall out and you can't bite into things).

One last dip in the inflatable pool = check

How many hours spent on Florence, Cinque Terra, Lucca, and Pisa? Too many! Well actually, 12.25.

VB Assignment: Clear Water Samples: Pacific Ocean

I am enamored with collecting clear water samples everywhere I am outside Indiana these days. It began in Oregon when I asked my brother if I could borrow a drinking glass as we trekked to the coast to burn some artwork. I wasn't too happy with the image (below) but thought the idea was worthy enough to pursue.

Fort Stevens State Park, OR - 22 May 2011

It continued throughout the California trip. It's this summer's performance in progress - I'm heading to Italy with small graduates that arrived just in time (below image with help from my studio assistant) from Nate Larson, scholarly specs, and green gloves (as I'm sure willing to bet the water won't be as clear there). Hmmm... maybe I need some tongs as well or I could save those for the White (Brown) River in Muncie.

In the US, the goal was to borrow a drinking container and it was not up to me to see what I would be given. I don't think I will have that luxury in Italy, hence the reason I am collecting my own supply. Overall, the biggest surprise is how clear each sample is... certainly worthy of cake floating (in a previous life).

La Jolla Cove, CA - 19 June 2011

Venice Beach, CA - 21 June 2011

Pismo Beach, CA - 24 June 2011

Point Lobos, Big Sur, CA - 25 June 2011

I've always been attracted to samples of materials and I suppose this relates back to 1998 when I collected sand from every beach I visited on Stewart Island and placed photographs of that location in the containers.

These were one of the few art items that I rescued from the burn pile in May. I've always been amazed that the image from Lee Bay has not deteriorated but the other three are now nearly unrecognizable.

Halfmoon Bay & Lee Bay, Stewart Island, New Zealand

[The last two images plus the new sample containers were taken with the new G12 which one might say is far better than the i-phone camera.]

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Vik Muniz, Sugar Children Jars, 1996

Wolfgang Laib, Jars with Pollen, 1977-97

Daniel Shea, Contaminated Waters, From the series Removing Mountains

Days 47 & 48: Progress & New Camera

I have a new camera! It's a small point and shoot (yikes) but it shoots RAW (which makes it okay somehow).

Thanks to Mark AKA Artist Slash Something or Other for suggesting this one (featured below taking the fifth photograph ever on this thing - i didn't have the one of Kristina set to a good shutter speed & the flash was only on 1/4 capacity so it was too dark to include):

It's hard to know if hours in preparation for a trip count toward the summer stipend so I'll be on the safe side and say no. 6 hours on art stuff the last two days. Many other hours on generic trip prep.