Monday, January 31, 2011

The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today

I am slowly perusing my Christmas book acquisitions. This was the exhibition I wanted to see at MOMA badly but was unable to go to NYC at the time to view it. Here are some images that I am interested in (scale and a beheaded perspective, an unusual Marcel Duchamp photograph and a photograph of his artwork displayed in a way that I had not seen before and the Bruce Nauman I could recreate in my house right now).

Alois Locherer, Transporting the Bavaria Statue to Theresienwiese, 7 August 1850

Marcel Duchamp, Cigarette Covers, 1936

John D. Schiff, The Large Glass Installed Before a Window Overlooking the Garden at Katherine S. Dreier’s Home, Milford, Connecticut, c. 1948

Bruce Nauman, Composite Photo of Two Messes on the Studio Floor, 1967

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's That Auction/Raffle Time of Year Again

I used to work at the Houston Center for Photography and the print auction was the biggest fundraiser. Unfortunately, it was a little too easy to purchase artwork for one's personal collection rather than observing everyone else empty their wallets (although I have no regrets in acquiring Abandoned Car from Lori Nix's Accidentally Kansas series).

Each year I receive an email from HCP advertising their next auction, I will admit to checking out the inventory to see if I can purchase a Ruth Thorne-Thomsen print like the one I no longer have (Dot Lady, WI, 1983).

No Thorne-Thomsen this year but had I all the money in the world, I would walk away with William Lamson's Horizon, 2009.

What all this really amounts to is that I'm procrastinating making my print for the Society for Photographic Education raffle that I was asked to donate to this year. What image you ask? Surely a cake but which one? Someday I hope to get over my fear of auctions (i.e. rejection) and not endlessly sweat over whether or not I will be giving away something that someone else deems desirable.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

RIP Dennis Oppenheim

Sad news discovered this evening. Dennis Oppenheim died last Friday at the age of 72. From the New York Times:

"He first became known for works in which, like an environmentally inclined Marcel Duchamp, using engineers’ stakes and photographs, he simply designated parts of the urban landscape as artworks. Then, in step with artists like Robert Smithson, Walter De Maria and Lawrence Weiner, he began making temporary outdoor sculptures, soon to be known as land art or earthworks. “Landslide,” from 1968, for example, was an immense bank of loose dirt near Exit 52 of the Long Island Expressway in central Long Island that he punctuated with rows of steplike right angles made of painted wood. In other earthworks he cut abstract configurations in fields of wheat; traced the rings of a tree’s growth, much enlarged, in snow; and created a sprawling white square (one of Modernism’s basic motifs) with salt in downtown Manhattan."

I have been thinking about Oppenheim's Annual Rings seen recently in a previous post. While perusing his website I found One Hour Run also featuring snow. Like much of his earlier work, it is a duration piece. I've always been drawn to his ephemeral approach to earthworks and body art.

One Hour Run, 1968 (six mile continuous track)

Here are four of my favorite Oppenheim works of art:

Rocked Hand, 1970

Parallel Stress, 1970

Reading Position for Second Degree Burn, 1970

Annual Rings, 1968 (a better version)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Douglas Huebler is the Man

"By late 1967, I was looking for an alternative to object-making and found it in the idea of the map; the perfect conceptual model, with its reduced visual signs juxtaposed with descriptive language. I created a new body of work which added photographic “documentation” to the implications of mapping." Douglas Huebler

"Your Name in Lights" Update

Knowing I would completely forget about my name in lights, I told my mom about it and she woke up just to photograph it for me! Her response:

"I got up at 2:45 and set up my camera and watched carefully from 2:57 to 3:06 AM but your name did not come up. I took photos of several of those that did come up then, but alas, the time must have been wrong. Back to bed now."

This was the one Russell that did appear in that time period but it wasn't me. No fireworks either. I quadruple checked the time difference too. Thanks for trying, Mom!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Slightly Pink Snow Cake

I brushed off the new snowfall and the yellow is completely gone but there remains a trace of the pink. I don't care about longevity with this project but was curious to see how long the color lasted.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"I'm Not Crazy, I'm Just Asleep"

Excerpt from Adam's website:

" night in a dream that even by my standards was pretty unusual and worthy of professional analysis. In it, a young and hipsterish homeless guy asked if he could live with me. Without a pause I replied- sorry, I have no room. He then countered by explaining that he was like a cat and I would never even notice him. Somehow, this extremely week rebuttal must have convinced me because I let him stay. I attribute my doppelgangers inability to stick to his guns to the prior conditioning that took place in real life over my summer stint in Spain. Sure enough, within minutes of becoming my roommate, the guy started crawling around on all fours, meowing, and spent the majority of his days living under my bed. We got a long for what seemed like a long time under the conditions of this arrangement, but all that changed one day when he started barking like a dog. I promptly told him that our roommate situation was not working any longer, that I could handle living with a cat but not a dog. I told him that he had to go, but before doing so, would need to make a public announcement as to what was going on in my house. Apparently, I lived a life in the public eye and was very concerned about the damaging potential of false rumors that might begin floating around regarding our living arrangement. He kindly agreed and later that day announced to the Associated Press that although we lived together, our relationship was a strictly platonic roommate arrangement that came to an end simply because he could no longer live as a cat when he knew that deep down, he was really a dog."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

John Baldessari's "Your Name in Lights"

I thought this would be a good idea at the time since John Baldessari's artwork might as well be my theme song for the semester. For the Sydney Art Festival, he is creating a piece entitled Your Name in Lights. From the website:

"Your Name in Lights reflects the changing cult of celebrity in modern society and recalls Andy Warhol's prediction that in the future everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame. Drawing on imagery from Broadway theatre displays and Hollywood films, this ambitious new work will involve more than 100,000 participants."

Alas, my scheduled time
for 15 seconds of fame is way too early to view on the webcam in Indiana - it is Friday 28th January 2011 at 5:04:40 AM Eastern time. It will be 9:04 PM in Sydney so at least it will be dark when it is viewed. Perhaps it will look something like this minus the fireworks.

Register here if you are interested.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Snow Cakes Attempt #2

These are color tests only (a learning experience nonetheless) so ignore the shape. I was trying to get them out of the house quickly before they melted and wasn't as concerned with the structure. The pink Kool-Aid worked perfectly as far as the hue I wanted. The yellow looked a little green so I'm not sure I like that as much. The downside is that it required too much water to mix with the snow to get the right color. This resulted in material resembling a slushee. The texture was nowhere near the "polenta cake" made earlier but that could have also resulted from more powdery snow and a warmer house. In any case, I am relieved that I only want to do one of these. I was getting overzealous with the last two images and just wanted to cover the bush in the front yard. They look like gumdrops from Candy Land through the front window.

The Artist's Studio

Francis Bacon's Studio, 1992

Robert Rauschenberg in his studio, 1953

Donald Judd's Studio, Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas

Nick Cave's Studio with Assistants

Willem de Kooning in his studio, 1989

Allan McCollum, 1989

Bruce Nauman, On Mapping the Studio, 2001

James Luckett's studio #3N, 2010

Although this video makes me ill with the handheld camera movement, here's Alec Soth's studio.

The studio where I grew up that encompasses most things I think of when I dream of my own space: scale, light, the couch and chair, drafting table, sink, and oddly enough, the pencil sharpener (which i now own). Thinking heavily about the feasibility of getting my own studio outside the spare bedroom these days.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Put a Bird on It!"

Portlandia: Portland Dream of the '90s - Portlandia - Series - On Air -

Thanks to my friend Renee, I am now hooked on Portlandia. All stereotypes are officially covered in my former home of Stumptown where "the tattoo ink never runs dry." As a lover of most things birds, the clip from the above photograph is particularly humorous.

The recent review in the New York Times indicated that this show might have a limited audience which might be true. I'll enjoy the six episodes while I can trying hard not to envision Fred Armisen as Barack Obama and Carrie Brownstein in Sleater-Kinney's very last show at the Crystal Ballroom in August 2006.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow Part 2

Hmmm... new snow accumulation, no school Friday, Kool-Aid in the cupboard.... snow cakes tomorrow?

Karen Laval, Untitled #1 (Norway), 2003-2004

Scott Peterman, Papoose, 2003

Thomas Flechtner, Passes #51, 2001

Amy Blakemore, Dog in Snow, 2003

David Hockney,
Gregory Watching the Snow Fall, Kyoto, 1983
Alexis Pike, Snow Pile from Claimed: Landscape

Olafur Eliasson, Your Waste of Time, 2006

"Several blocks of ice from Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Iceland, were removed from the glacial lake Jökulsarion ... Part of the ice is thought to have been formed around AD 1200. Weighing 6 tons in all, the blocks were transported to a Berlin gallery where they were exhibited in a refrigerated space." Via.

Dennis Oppenheim,
Annual Rings, 1968

Joseph O. Holmes, The Urban Wilderness

Wilson "Snowflake Bentley: "Fascinated by the snow crystals and their composition this man was the first person to successfully produce a photograph of snow or ice crystals. He did this by magnifying the crystals he gathered at 69 to 3,000 times on glass plates...He attached bellows to the microscope, along with wood splints, turkey feathers and a black board. Through the images he captured he discovered that every ice crystal is unique and grows symmetrically in a 6-sided hexagon around a tiny nucleus."

Bruce Davidson,
Winter in Paris

Paula McCartney encore

Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty by
Greg Lindquist

James Turrell, Roden Crater with Snow, nd