Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cai Guo Qiang - Dream
-Chinese artist, but truly a global artist.
Shanghai Art Museum

Cai Guo-Qiang: Painting, Chinese Painting Air Show

Cai Guo-Qiang on the Roof: Transparent Monument -- Clear Sky, Black Cloud, 2006

Above photo is time-based. Can be called performance, or ephemeral.
Exhibition was up for 6 months. Every new Tues-Sun of each week it'd burst against the sky like an ink blot, invoking Chinese traditional painting; and then disappearing.

"Move along, nothing to see here," 2006 (below)

This crocodile has a bnch of knives stuck in it-- playing on terrorist acts, security.

Rent Collection Courtyard, 1965 - Cai-Guo Qiang

Relationship between owner and renter displayed. This work becomes a form of propaganda.

Footprints of History: Fireworks Project for the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Beijing, China, 2008

Baochi Zhang, currently at the Feldman Gallery PNCA-work usually has politically charged subject matter

Fred Wilson. "Turbulence II (Speak of Me as I Am)" 2003 United States Pavilion.

-Changes in context create meaning, in Wilson's eyes.

"Chandelier Mori, (Speak of Me as I am)" 2003

"Part of the difficult thing with glass is that it’s hard to make anything that has a lot of meaning- or where the meaning is at least as strong as the beauty of the material. Infusing meaning is what I’m really interested in...I’m teasing [black glass] apart and confusing it because this idea that black represents humans is really such a wild construction not only in America but, looking at Venice, going back to the twelfth century when Africans first met Europeans. I put it together and take it apart so that we’re aware that it’s a construction or representation but also that something in that representation still bears fruit for us."
- Fred Wilson

IWAI SHIGEAKI, Dialogue, 1996-99
The artist chose four representative languages spoken in multicultural cities, he then asked four speakers who respectively speak the mother tongue of the chosen languages to perform a short play using their differing languages. The play was about the impossibility of communication, but was performed as if the conversation in differing languages were conducted with no problem. This performance was recorded in video images and, based on the footage, four different versions were created."

Iwai Shigeaki, "Could you guide me around? 'Cause I'm just a tourist from Japan, 2001"
The artist spent long periods of time conducting intensive research and interviews in a small wheatbelt town called Kellerberrin in western Australia. The aim of the project is to search for issues in the community by using the tourist point of view.

Boris Mikhailov - Case History, 1998.

This photographer considered one of the most important to come out of the soviet union.

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Site Project: MODERN SEXISM

I am creating a new website for a Communication/Information Design project called "Modern Sexism." It is a work in progress, but please visit it and if you have any suggestions or ideas for content, let me know..

Globalization and the Contemporary Art World

Globalization and how it affects contemporary art. One cultural identity having an impact on another.

-"A broadening of focus onto the international character of contemporary modernity...visions of the non-western world..." Contemporary art becomes a vehicle for bringing concerns into view, to the forefront.

-Representation of nearness of world peoples and cultures. From de-colonization to independence to modernization to globalization: overcoming role of the 'other.'

-Migration of artists from oppressed cultures into economic systems of the West, and the integration of many developing countires in to the global system of production and communication, removes the western-centric perspective and thus introduces art centers beyond Europe and the US. Which also leads to critiques of capitalism and "world economies."

--Technology and the impact of Global expansion in the electronic realm, furthers the blurring lines between high art and popular culture and creates a network of communiation that knows no geographical borders.

--An inquiry into national identities in the wake of the dismantling of political systems: Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, South Africa reveals new voices, renewed identities. "From unfreedom to freedom."

--Internationalization of the art world, through international network of art professionals and art exhibitions/fairs. Economy and culture are inextricably linked.

The example of Documenta 11, 2002 (Documenta always held in Assel, Germany).
Documenta 11 was specifically to show effect of globalization, and to show multi-disciplinary approach to visual arts.

Yinka Shoonibare, Glalantry and Criminal Conversation 2002

Reference to a "Grand tour," a country outing of noblemen in the 18th century. The costumes are tailored from printed African cloth.

Yinka Shonibare is someone born in England but born to Nigerian parents. Eventually moves back to Nigeria, but was also educated in England; so is truly bi-cultural, and uses this experience to confront what it's like to grow up in with Nigerian traditions but to be educated in Western culture.

-Most of Yinka's figures in his art are headless, which gives a type of anonymity.

The Swing (reproduction of Fragonard's 'the swing'), 2001

Maxa (detail) 2003 -- direct use of African fabrics. This work can be seen as a challenge to high or fine art as it enters this idea of craft (as opposed to doing a painting, etc).

Mona Hatoum, Homebound, 2000.

The installation entitled Homebound - furniture and household items united in an electrical circuit and fenced in by metal cables as a security zone - tells a story about the home and family as an unstable, exposed and dangerous zone.

"According to the prize committee, Mona Hatoum's contribution to the European visual arts tradition makes her an obvious recipient of the Sonning Prize. She has developed an aesthetically distinct, political language to express the experiences of refugees and immigrants and their need to balance identity somewhere between modern Europe and their non-European native countries.

As the nominating committee put it:
"In the world of culture, more specifically the world of visual arts, the British-Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum is someone who has found the most significant visual expression for the experience of 'New Europeans' as living on that unstable ground between two cultures, where you do not feel at home in either - not the one you left or fled from nor the one you have voluntarily or involuntarily become a part of."

The Committee's selection for the Sonning Prize winner is applauded by Oystein Hjort, professor in art history at the University of Copenhagen. "Mona Hatoum's works are both distinctive and visually astonishing," says Professor Hjort. "Her works reveal the individual, exposed and vulnerable, and she reflects disease, suffering and death, oppression, even torture in many of her pieces. The body is an important part of her working process, where taboos are challenged and dismantled in a continuous attempt to redefine the place of humanity in a politically infected world."

Mona Hatoum's relationship with the unsettled, fragmented and vulnerable identity felt by many "New Europeans" is nourished by personal experience with migration and exile - without this making her art a private affair. She was born in Beirut in 1952 to Palestinian parents who had been forced into exile, where she grew up with an ambivalent, unsettled sense of being both at home and homeless.

While on a visit to England at the age of 23, civil war erupted in Lebanon and she was prevented from returning home to her family. Instead, she applied to a school of art in London, where she has lived and work ever since. " --

On Kawara, One Million Years (Past and Future), since 1970. Machine-written directory, two sets of leatherbound books, each in a black box.

this book just lists the years since one million years ago.
PAST: all years from 998.031 BC until 1969.
FUTURE: all years from 1969 until 1.001.995 AD.

In the actual installation of this art, people in a glass cubicle are reading the years outloud.

DORIS SALCEDO - "6 November 1985" - installation done in 2001. Stainless steel, lead, wood, resin, and steel.

The works by Doris Salcedo relate to the following event:

"On 6 November 1985, a commando of the guerrilla movement M-19 raided the Supreme Court in Bogotá and took everyone inside hostage. Without negotiating, the army and police force attacked the building with tanks and helicopters, etc., and set it on fire. Altogether, 53 Justice Department employees and visitors died, including 11 Supreme Court judges, as did all 35 guerrillas.

In No 45 of his Columna de Arena, José Roca wrote about the two installations:

The first is a series of chairs made of steel, wood, resin and lead, which are scattered in a large room as the remnants of a tragedy, melted together at the armrests, the seats or the legs. The other installation is a room crossed diagonally by the elongated lead chair legs, so that a space is created which relates to the tragedy (charred pieces of furniture, piled on top of each other). At the same time, their presence prevents access to the room, putting the viewer in the position of a powerless witness, or in the situation of "a glimpse that comes too late" - as Alfredo Jaar said in relation to photography of violence.

Pieces of furniture are elements which are in daily contact with the body. Their form and dimensions are like a continuation of it, which allows for a metonymical substitution of the furniture (in this case of the chairs) through the absent body.
" (source:

TENEBRAE Noviembre 7, 1985, Installation.

Poetic Justice 2003 Istanbul Biennial

Emily Jacir, Where we come from, 2002-2003

Emily thought about the question, "If I could do anything for anyone living in exile, what could I do?" ..She explores the physical liberty of movement. How free ARE we to move about, in this global world, where boundaries SEEM to be eradicated and we SEEM to much more free are we really to move around?
-Therefore, her project was the result of this question that she asked. She took a photo of the actual action of the enocunter of that wish (to do something for those living in exile). In both english and arabic (on the left in the photo) she has put their wish in writing.

-her work is based on documentation; her interpretation of their wish. One of her requests was, "go to hatha and play soccer with the first Palestinian boy you see on the street." She ends up playing soccer with a boy named Kamel (sp?).

Monday, November 17, 2008


What is SUCCESS? Definition of success if relative, but many interconnected factors can contriute to a defined "success" for an artist.

Depends on the individual goals of the artist.

The Art World At Large:
Institutions of Art:

-Collecting Art useums (MoMA, SAM, the Louvre, National Gallery, etc.).

-Non-collecting Museums/Galleries (contemporary arts museum, houston, aldrich museum of contemporary art).

-Commercial galleries (PADA-Portland Art Dealers Association)

-Non-Commercial: Non-profit at organizations and exhibition venues. Artist-run galleries, government-sponsored or foundation-run glaleries (PICA, Blue Sky Gallery, etc).

Modernist Architecture -- The louvre.
-Centre de Georges Pompidou, Paris - 1972 to 1976.

Architecture of this reflects what you will see on the inside - great art works with a very modernly designed space.
New Museum of Contemporary Art: New York, 2007.
Guggenheim in New York, 1937--Frank Lloyd Wright (1959).

What is the role of Museum in our Culture?
--Public learning space
--Gives public a reference as to what is going on in our world art-wise.
--A type of attraction for tourists
--Warehouses for storing art
--Creating and reinforcing identity of location (region)
--Representing Values upheld by various groups (ie. ethnic groups)
--Classifying objects and creating value judgments (this is ART).

What are newer roles within museums?
-Public place/community place
-Gathering place
-Place for entertainment, activity, fun
-Place for producing/interpreting experiences:
gift shops, education spaces, audio/multimedia tours, venues for music, performance, lectures, film screenings, space for hire, multimedia displays.

Goals of attracting diverse audiences, of all ages and interests.

Major Contemporary Art Exhibitions:
-Biennials (Whitney, Venice, Site Santa Fe, Shanghai, Singapore, Yokohama, Taipei, Sydney, Liverpool, Sao Paolo, New Orleans (prospect), Havana, Montreal, Istanbul, Lyon..)

-Documents (every 5 years in Kassel, Germany) since 1955. Documenta 12 held 2007.

-Manifesta (biennial every 2 years in Europe in a different city), since 1996. In Italy in 2008.

-Sculpture projects muenster 2007. Mounted every ten years and previously hosted in 1977.

Art Fairs:
-Art Basel Miami
-AFFAIR @ the Jupiter Hotel (Portland)
-Art Chicago
-LA Art in New York
-PULSE Contemporary art Fair (NYC, London, Miami)
-The Armory Show
Auction Houses:

The Cultural Commodity
10 most Expensive Living Artists - 2004

"Benefits Supervisor Sleeping" - Lucien Freud's. 1995. Sold for $33 million.

Jeff Koons - New Hoover Deluxe Shampoo Polishers - 1980-1986.

Jeff Koons - Sandwiches, 2000.

Gerhard Richter

Richard Serra, Prop, 1968.

Jasper Johns Flag, 1954-55

Brice Marden, Vine. 1991.

Robert Rauschenberg, Monogram

Frank Stella, The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, II. 1959.

Bruce Nauman, One Hundred Live and Die.

Anselm Kiefer

Ellsworth Kelly

Wayne Thiebaud

David Hockney

Chuck Close

Julian Schnabel - Self Portrait

David Salle

To extremes--maximizing the potential of the market.

DAMIEN HIRST--Devil Worshiper...Sold for appox. $600,000
(painting of a black star...covered in dead flies).

Damien Hirst - For the Love of God

--Themes of death and decay, preservation, are prominent around this time (1990s etc).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Contemporary Art: IDENTITY

In what various ways does "identity" play a role in Contemporary Art?

--Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation
--Geography as Identity
-Fictionalized Space as Identity
-A new history as identity.

IDENTITY in Post-Modern Theory

Death of the Author (Roland Barthes)
-Considers the limits of individual self-expression.
-Criticizes viewr's tendency to consider aspects of the author's identity to distill meaning from his/her work.
-Doubting the Ultimate Truth.

Identity is CONSTRUCTED (Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault).

-One is not born with a unified, inevitable identity.
-Identity is a product of culture, created by a network of independent forces in the society that 1) define roles 2) govern behavior and 3) order power relations.

Identity is RELATIONAL (Lucy Lippard).
-Identity is always in relation to something/someone else (how are we similar, how are we different).
-Identity results from network of independent forces.
-Any culture defines itself in relation to or in opposition to other cultures.
-Relations are never relations of equality.

Identity is COMMUNAL
-Shaped by group associations and social variables.

Examinations of Identity in Contemporary Art
-Identity is Communal or Relational
-Identity is Hybrid
-Identity is Political
-Identity is Constructed (critique of essentialism)
-Identity is Fluid/In Flux - Not fixed (when are you your true self?)
-Identity is Sexually Diverse
-Identity can be reinvented

"Dyke," 1992, Cibachrome Print.
-Makes powerful statements about the socially constructed identity.

CATHERINE OPIE - "Sky", C-Print.



Catherine Opie - Melissa & Lake, Durham, North Carolina. 1998.

Catherine Opie - Joanne, Betsy, & Olivia.

FELIX GONZALEZ-TORRES: American, born in Cuba. Gay male.
Gonzalez-Torres was known for his quiet, minimal installations and sculptures.

-Using materials such as strings of lightbulbs, clocks, stacks of paper, or packaged hard candies, Felix Gonzalez-Torres's work is sometimes considered a reflection of his experience with AIDS.

Stack of Photolithographs: Must be replenished every time the stack is reduced; very conceptually based, based on the idea of generosity. Constant giving.

Untitled (Portrait of Ross in LA): Invites visitors to take from this pile:

Another installation - one stack of paper is labeled "veteran's day," and the other "memorial day."

JAMES LUNA, Half Indian/ Half Mexican. Installation and performance artist. Embraces idea of hybridity, recognizing cultural background.

Luiseno, Diegueno, Mexican, 20th century. 1991. Black & White photograph:

James Luna in his performance: The Artifact Piece
"For the performance piece Luna donned a loincloth and lay motionless on a bed of sand in a glass museum exhibition case. Luna remained on exhibit for several days, among the Kumeyaay exhibits at the Museum of Man in San Diego. Labels surrounding the artist's body identified his name and commented on the scars on his body, attributing them to "excessive drinking." Two other cases in the exhibition contained Luna's personal documents and ceremonial items from the Luiseño reservation. "

-The viewer become the one that is watched by him in this exhibition.

"Two Walls" from the James Luna Exhibition at the Centro Cultura de la Raza. A room has a television and a Ntive American altar on a dirt-coverd floor. The door and a row across the top of the room have been painted with indigenous symbols.
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