Blogs Untitled (Blog)

The Art of the Getaway: Winter trips featuring work by Walker artists

In the spirit of the season, when various media outlets take to recommending more or less extravagant “winter getaways,” we suggest basing a trip on some favorite recent additions to the Walker collections. If you enjoyed swaying in the hammocks that were part of the Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida’s CC5 Hendrixwar/Cosmococa Programa-in-Progress, on view […]

In the spirit of the season, when various media outlets take to recommending more or less extravagant “winter getaways,” we suggest basing a trip on some favorite recent additions to the Walker collections.

If you enjoyed swaying in the hammocks that were part of the Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida’s CC5 Hendrixwar/Cosmococa Programa-in-Progress, on view at the Walker last summer … 

… then book a flight Los Angeles, where you can plunge into the artists’ psychedelic swimming pool: 

 162548.CA.1202.swimm#731A98

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)  has just opened Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color, and Space, described as “the first museum exhibition to situate pioneering Latin American artists among the international canon of those working with light and space.” Its highlight is Cosmococa-Programa in Progress, CC4 Nocagions (above), which, according to the LA Times’ Culture Monster blog, was never realized during Oiticica’s lifetime. But at MOCA, this 90-centimeter-deep pool even comes with a lifeguard and a changing room. Bring your own suit, or buy a disposable one on site. (On view through February 27, 2011.)

It’s hard to see in the image above, but the pool in Cosmococa-Programa in Progress, CC4 Nocagions is surrounded by projections of images from a book by John Cage; that composer’s work is also featured in a stunning installation by Tacita Dean that just opened at the Walker December 16: Merce Cunningham performs STILLNESS (in three movements) to John Cage’s composition 4’33” with Trevor Carlson, New York City, 28 April 2007 (six performances; six films):

loading image

Fans of this work may wish to jet off to Glasgow for an experience quite the opposite of an L.A. swimming pool. Do as Guardian UK arts blogger Charlotte Higgins did: Trudge through a picturesque snowy park to a “small and exquisite exhibition” of Dean’s work at a gallery intriguingly named The Common Guild, whose attentive staff may even welcome you with a cup of hot tea. It includes the work below, part of the series ‘Painted Kotzsch Trees’ I- VI (Through February 5)

http://www.thecommonguild.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/TD_KotzschI_low-res-359x428.jpg

 

For something rather more monumental from the British artist, wait until October and go to London. That’s when the Tate Modern will unveil Dean’s installation in the cathedral-esque Turbine Hall, which follows Ai Wei-Wei’s current installation of 100 million hand-made porcelain sunflower seeds.

 

 
 

The amateur effect: Alec Soth’s winner for Flickr assignment #3

Alec Soth writes: Thanks to everyone who participated in the 3rd From Here To There Flickr assignment. The assignment was to take a picture of a non-photographer and then have this person take a picture of you. My hope was to illustrate that amateur photographs are often as good or better than those made by ‘serious’ […]

Alec Soth writes:
Thanks to everyone who participated in the 3rd From Here To There Flickr assignment. The assignment was to take a picture of a non-photographer and then have this person take a picture of you. My hope was to illustrate that amateur photographs are often as good or better than those made by ‘serious’ photographers. An inspiration was a project I saw in Foam Magazine called Manélud. In this series, the photographer Breno Rotatori would snap a picture of his 82-year-old grandmother at the same moment that she photographed him:

What I love about Rotatori’s project is its utter simplicity. Neither he nor his grandmother are trying to make great art. But the combination of their images allows the viewer to see things in a new way.

My favorite Flickr #3 participant, Andie Wilkinson, also captured this quality of effortlessness.

Thomas

Some of this can be attributed to the fact that Andie was working with children (As some of you know, I have my own interest in his area). But I don’t want to downplay Wilkonson’s excellent work. You might remember that she nearly won our first Flickr contest with these entries. What I love about her submissions to this assignment was the way her images worked so well in combination with her subject’s pictures:

Frank

So bravo to Andie and to her collaborators. Stay tuned for the fourth and final assignment.

UPDATE – Alec just announced Flickr Assignment #4:

So much of the photography I love is less about a particular subject than it is a communication of the photographer’s process. What all of the previous assignments had in common was that they were an excuse to get out the door and encounter the world. For the fourth and final assignment, I want to make the communication of these encounters even more explicit through the use of narration. This is as much a writing assignment as it is a photo assignment. But I also want the writing to be visually compatible with the photographs.

One could approach this in a similar way to the earthworks artist Richard Long:

Richard Long: One thing leads to another - Everything is connected

Or one might use handwriting like Jim Goldberg:

No fun [by Jim Goldberg]

The point is to communicate your experience through the combination of text and image. Just remember, less is more. Elaborate photographs and flowery text are incompatible. Simple pictures and simple text generally work best.

So here is the final assignment:

1)   Plan an encounter (meet a stranger on Craigslist, find the highest place in your city, go on an eight mile walk, etc).
2)   Document your encounter with photographs & text
3)   Important: combine your text and image in a single file
4)   Submissions are due by December 28th. Winners will be announced by January 1st.

Enjoy the ride…

Alec

#YvesKlein: Texts from ’20 Days of Klein’ on Twitter

For the 20 days leading up to the opening of Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the staff decided to try an experiment in the realm of the internet, specifically through Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter. Their goal was to introduce different aspects of Klein’s prolific career and […]

For the 20 days leading up to the opening of Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the staff decided to try an experiment in the realm of the internet, specifically through Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter. Their goal was to introduce different aspects of Klein’s prolific career and illustrate the range of his projects and the scope of what would be presented in the exhibition itself. They presented photos, video, audio, and written texts that let Klein himself explain his goals, process, artworks, and projects to the audience.

They have handed these carefully curated resources over to us to present during the run of our presentation of the exhibition, and specifically, during the run of École de Klein, a series of lectures, gallery talks, art labs, film screenings, and experimental moments which explore the spectrum of Klein’s curiosities, life, and work.

You can check out what we’ve posted so far by visiting the École de Klein set on the Walker’s Flickr page. You can receive further updates by following us on Twitter.

We’ll be posting all the lengthy written content on this blog post: texts, transcripts, etc. Updates will continue as “20 Days of Klein” goes on.

Radlodiffusion—Télévision Française: transcript of interview
A letter to President Eisenhower
A letter to the President of the International Conference for the Detection of Nuclear Explosions
A letter to the Secretary General of the International Geophysical Year
Yves Klein presents: Dimanche, 27 November 1960. The Newspaper of a Single Day.
Paris—New York: what does it mean today?

(more…)

Alec Soth’s Third Flickr Project Well Underway

Alec Soth’s third and latest Flickr project is in full gear aiming to have partiicpants find answers to the question, “Why are amateur photographer’s so damn good?” Soth has directed participants first to take a picture of a non-photographer; then have the non-photographer take a picture of them using either the same camera or a […]

Alec Soth’s third and latest Flickr project is in full gear aiming to have partiicpants find answers to the question, “Why are amateur photographer’s so damn good?” Soth has directed participants first to take a picture of a non-photographer; then have the non-photographer take a picture of them using either the same camera or a different one. These images are then placed side by side with a brief description of who this person is (friend, lover, stranger, child, etc.). By asking participants to be photographed themselves, it appears that immediately this assignment has them adventuring outside of their comfort zone behind the lens.

9stars:comments:

It’s uncomfortable having my camera pointed at me, but I’m enjoying seeing what they do with it. I think both of their pictures are better then the ones I took but obviously it’s because I’m such a great model ;) Hahahaha!

No doubt the first of a few additions :)

EvisNP relates assignment 3 to a “directing” experience:

The top picture is me . I directed (directed …whoa!) so much of it not much was left apart from pressing the button …but I had to feel comfortable (didn’t) and I hate having my picture taken. The second one of a pal was a bit experimental but I was pleased that something of the persona still comes through. Oh and we are both chess players. Hence a wee bit of the black and white.

The winning short story for Alec Soth’s Flickr Assignment 2

Alec Soth announced a winner for his second flickr assignment this morning — a challenge that had participants opening a story by photographing a stranger, and asking that person to show them something. As he did with the first assignment, he singled out some honorable mentions first: “I love everything about these Flickr assignments except […]

Alec Soth announced a winner for his second flickr assignment this morning — a challenge that had participants opening a story by photographing a stranger, and asking that person to show them something.

As he did with the first assignment, he singled out some honorable mentions first:

“I love everything about these Flickr assignments except for one thing: having to pick a winner.

How can I choose between 9Stars infectious enthusiasm (1,2,3 assignments!):
www.flickr.com/photos/jessicaalpern/sets/72157625073773324/
www.flickr.com/photos/jessicaalpern/sets/72157625153961228/
www.flickr.com/photos/jessicaalpern/sets/72157625187875712/
Ashly Stohl’s sweet story;
Jen Trail’s Facebook discovery;
Worsham’s trailer park;
Steven Lang’s palm sander;
Meghan Rennie’s childhood neighborhood;
Ramon Mas’s Jesus;
Al Cafone’s wild night

So many good stories…and good pictures too. But some of my favorite images were the ones that Ben Roberts found during his story: five slides, five great pictures:

Why are amateur photographs so damn good?

Then I saw the pictures of Manuela Costalima (iwishiwereinvisible):
www.flickr.com/photos/iwishiwereinvisible/sets/7215762511…

Maybe not ‘professional’ and maybe not perfectly edited, but there is something irresistible about these images. In many ways they reminded me of the light touch of Italian greats like Guido Guidi and Luigi Ghirri. The images have the feeling of an everyday glance. They already feel just as good as vintage amateur pictures.”

Manuela’s short story begins here:

 “i saw this triangle house in my neighbourhood just the other day and thought it would be nice to photograph it. this curious architecture should shelter interesting people…”

photo

and then goes off in some unexpected and delightful directions — click here for the rest

And for Alec Soth’s third flickr assignment, click here.

Bits & Pieces: Yves Klein, Alfons Schilling, Goshka Macuga, Fiona Banner

What’s in a name? Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers, the title of Klein’s newly opened retrospective, definitely radiates a mysterious kind of cool. But what does it mean? Co-curator Philippe Vergne explains the origins of “Avec le vide, les pleins pouvoirs”  in his essay for the exhibition catalogue, noting that it was a comment […]

What’s in a name?
Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers, the title of Klein’s newly opened retrospective, definitely radiates a mysterious kind of cool. But what does it mean? Co-curator Philippe Vergne explains the origins of “Avec le vide, les pleins pouvoirs”  in his essay for the exhibition catalogue, noting that it was a comment left by writer/philosopher Albert Camus in the guest book at Yves Klein’s 1958 exhibition Le Vide (The Void) in Paris. Camus was referring not only to Klein’s aesthetic, but also Charles de Gaulle’s politics: in an attempt to resolve the Algerian War, the French military hero had come out of retirement and seized constitutional “full power”—an act that, Vergne notes, marked “the beginning of a social revolution, and, ultimately, the end of an era.”

 

Touring Minnesota with Walker artist-in-residence Goshka Macuga
Thanks to a surveying error, Walker Art Center founder T. B. Walker and his fellow lumber barons never logged “The Lost 40,” a site that is actually 144 acres, located about halfway between Big Falls and Bemidji in Minnesota’s north woods. Designated by the Department of Natural Resources as a “scientific and natural area,” the Lost 40 boasts the largest stand of old-growth red pine trees in the area, in addition to white pines dating back more than 300 years. Walker artist-in-residence Goshka Macuga visited the site a few weeks ago, along with assistant curator Bartholomew Ryan and staff photographer Cameron Wittig (who took the image posted here — watch the Walker blogs for more from Wittig on the trip). Macuga’s exhibition opens on the other side of winter: April 14, 2011 — for now, here’s a profile on her from Frieze magazine.

New to the Walker collection — and its galleries
Call it the New Old Action Painting: Vienna-based artist Alfons Schilling put a distinctive and kinetic spin, so to speak, on works by Jackson Pollock et al with this work, while also maintaining the enthusiastic claim that he had a hand in inventing spin-art kits for children. The timing is right, since untitled (Ándromeda) spin-painting was made in 1962 (before Damien Hirst, another artist who’s dabbled in this genre, was even born). Designed to whirl at three revolutions per second, Ándromeda is both a powerful object and a performance relic that relates directly to other great works from the era in the Walker collection—which is why it quickly went on display in the exhibition Event Horizon.

A virtual sneak preview of 50/50: Audience and Experts Curate the Paper Collection
Mid-term elections are nigh, but some may be curious about the results of another contest: the audience-selected artworks for this exhibition, which opens December 16. Nearly 250,000 votes were tallied in just six weeks: you can view the results here as a running list — starting with the #1 work shown here, Fiona Banner’s screenprint Break Point –or watch a slideshow of each work (featuring a special zoom tool). Note that until the show is installed in December, there’s no way to know how many of these works will make it onto the walls, given the wide range of sizes among them.

From the Archives: After Hours at the Walker

For Yves Klein the act of showing up was everything. His presence created the art and in so doing he created remarkable events.  Invoking the spirit of Yves Klein — for surely he will be present in that form at tomorrow night’s After Hours party in honor of his retrospective — here are a few ghosts […]

For Yves Klein the act of showing up was everything. His presence created the art and in so doing he created remarkable events.  Invoking the spirit of Yves Klein — for surely he will be present in that form at tomorrow night’s After Hours party in honor of his retrospective — here are a few ghosts of Walker opening parties with some magical moments of their own. (Click on images for a larger view.)

Below is the ‘Party Room’ Otto Piene designed for the exhibition Light / Motion / Space in 1967. 
We are not entirely sure what is going on here but believe that the audience would transmit light
through the space under the hair-dryer-like hoods and thus become part of the artwork as well.

Marcel Duchamp (and martini) creates a memorable image of himself with his ready-made
“Bicycle Wheel” (1913), at the opening of Not Seen and/or Less Seen of/by Marcel Duchamp/
Rrose Selavy
, just over 45 years ago, in October 1965.

Ben Vautier and Larry Miller capture the audience’s full attention during a performance
of Rene Koering’s “Concerto for Fluxus and Boulez” at the opening of In the Spirit of
Fluxus
, 1993.

And at February, 2000 opening for Let’s Entertain, patrons wearing animal costumes
titled Peter Friedl (1998) by Peter Friedl became part of the installation “these restless
minds” by Doug Aitken.

 

Photo credits
Marcel Duchamp and Party Room designed by Otto Piene: Eric Sutherland for Walker Art Center
Ben Vautier and Larry Miller: Courtesy Walker Art Center
Doug Aitken installation: Dan Dennehy for Walker Art Center

Staging Yves Klein’s “Blue Revolution”

Walker staff photographer Cameron Wittig took these images last Friday as curators and crew installed artworks for the Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers retrospective. One visitor at the presentation at the Hirshhorn in Washington, D.C. called it “flawlessly curated,” “an utter delight,” and “worthy of repeated visits” (all in the same sentence!); at the […]

Walker staff photographer Cameron Wittig took these images last Friday as curators and crew installed artworks for the Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers retrospective. One visitor at the presentation at the Hirshhorn in Washington, D.C. called it “flawlessly curated,” “an utter delight,” and “worthy of repeated visits” (all in the same sentence!); at the Washington Post, critic Blake Gopnik opened his review with a proclamation: “Of all the dazzling stuff on this planet, not much beats the art of Yves Klein.” (See also reviews by  by Roberta Smith at the New York Times and Peter Schjeldahl at the New Yorker.)

The exhibition goes on view this Friday during a Walker After Hours preview party (tickets here) and opens officially on Saturday, when co-curators Kerry Brougher and Philippe Vergne (below left and right) also participate with Daniel Moquay from the Yves Klein Archives in an opening-day talk. (Click on images for a larger view.)

Co-curators Kerry Brougher and Philippe Vergne

The Stories of Strangers: Alec Soth’s “From Here to There” Flickr Project: Assignment 2

With two weeks down, participants in Alec Soth’s Flickr project have been asked to be brave, curious souls and venture out into the world to tell a short story through pictures. As a way of generating the story, Soth asked participants to first find and photograph a stranger, then “Ask the stranger to show you […]

With two weeks down, participants in Alec Soth’s Flickr project have been asked to be brave, curious souls and venture out into the world to tell a short story through pictures. As a way of generating the story, Soth asked participants to first find and photograph a stranger, then “Ask the stranger to show you something (their house, their car, their cat, their body, etc).”

From there … well, things could go in any number of directions, as evidenced by this early entry from Benjamin Borley (bart1eby) , whose story presented here eventually explored his views on graffiti.

“I was wondering whether I was going to be brave enough for this one when chance threw an opportunity my way.”

Benjamin Borley, "I"

“On the way into town I was stopped by a woman with beautiful blue eyes.”

Benjamin Borley, "II"

“I’m a spastic,” she said, “I’m allowed to call myself that.”

Benjamin Borley, "III"

“She asked me to read the graffiti for her because her eyes weren’t too good.”

Benjamin Borley, "IV"

“I’m not sure,” I said.”

Benjamin Borley, "V"

 “But I think the middle word is love.”

Benjamin Borley, "VI"

 “She didn’t like that and told us about a graffiti wall that the council had set up.”

Benjamin Borley, "VII"

 She much preferred the graffiti there.

Benjamin Borley, "VIII"

 “For the rest of the day I was more aware of the graffiti.”

Benjamin Borley, "IX"

“I wondered whether it was art.”

Benjamin Borley, "X"

“or vandalism.”

Benjamin Borley, "XI"

 “and whether I preferred it on the walls of the city.”

Benjamin Borley, "XII"

“or on the walls of shops.”

Benjamin Borley, XIII

 “and on greeting cards…”

See how other photographers’ stories are coming along here — or join in the project yourself.

Alec Soth’s “From Here to There” Flickr project: Assignment 2

After commenting on images and selecting a winning photographer for Assignment 1 – The Treasure Hunt,  Alec Soth has announced his next assignment, open to all at Flickr.com: “In the 1st Flickr assignment, I often found myself responding to the story behind the picture. I was particularly taken with Hannah’s (gofeego) stories of her travels. […]

After commenting on images and selecting a winning photographer for Assignment 1 – The Treasure Hunt,  Alec Soth has announced his next assignment, open to all at Flickr.com:

“In the 1st Flickr assignment, I often found myself responding to the story behind the picture. I was particularly taken with Hannah’s (gofeego) stories of her travels. And the winner of the 1st assignment, Etienne Courtois, provided wonderfully cryptic back stories for his images.

So for assignment #2, I want participants to tell a short story. But to get the story going, I’ve added the following steps:

1) Find and photograph a stranger
2) Ask the stranger to show you something (their house, their car, their cat, their body, etc).
3) Based on what they show you, make another picture, or series of pictures.

For example, photograph a man you meet you meet on the side of the road. Ask the man if he has any hobbies. If he tells you he builds model airplanes, go to his house and photograph his airplanes. Then go to a model airplane club.

The only rule is that all images should be new. The deadline for posting is October 25th. Post all of your images together in a set marked ‘From Here To There: Assignment #2.’  Add text captions to the images when necessary. Winners will be chosen by November 1st.”

To join in, go to the “From Here to There” Flickr page.

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