Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Damage Control" at the Hirshhorn Museum

In January, I briefly mentioned reading the book Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950. Imagine my surprise when it was on view at the Hirshhorn Museum over Spring Break. It featured some of my favorite video pieces including:

Steve McQueen, Dead Pan, 1997

Pipilotti Rist, Ever is Over All, 1997

Bruce Conner, A Movie, 1958 [finally available online = wish that happened when I taught Art and Its Relationship to New Technology]

Robert Rauschenberg's Erased de Kooning Drawing, 1958

I am fairly certain I have seen this Rauschenberg on half a dozen occasions. It is featured in any exhibition that includes aggression (also Target Practice: Painting Under Attack, 1949 - 1978) and suddenly, its presence is expected. I would like to be surprised the next time it makes an appearance - perhaps curated into a show focusing on exercise or meditative actions.

There were some terrific Ed Ruscha works including The Royal Road Test and Los Angeles County Museum on Fire. I was also able to spend time with John Baldessari's Cremation Project and was reacquainted with how often nuclear bombs are featured in artwork. 

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