« "One Great Man" | Iconoduel | "So I've been linked to, eh?" »

February 13, 2004

Around the Horn

Opening tomorrow at the Art Institute—Rembrandt's Journey:

With more than 200 works from all periods of his long career—approximately 20 paintings, 30 drawings, and 150 prints drawn from major collections here and abroad—this is the first American exhibition to explore Rembrandt's astonishing range and variety of activity as a brilliant etcher seen in the context of his paintings and drawings.
The show's ticketed so it looks like I'm gonna have to dig deep and actually pay to see this one.

From Flash Art—"Coerced Confessions: Snapshot Photography's Subjective Objectivity":

To separate the good snapshots from the bad, the comparison to haiku is helpful, for what distinguishes successful snapshots is also what makes good poetry: sensibility. Behind all good poetry lurks a distinctive sensibility, someone with a knack for artfully arranging the details of lived experience. Both mediums' strength (and, often, their weakness) is their brevity, because it renders them an ideal outlet for half-formed emotional impressions. But just as online "photo blogs" continue to multiply, so too is there no sign of a decrease in the world's supply of terrible poetry.

Dueling reflections on German photography from InterReview.org:

Norman Ohler on Anita Leib:

It is the same forest floor that still has craters everywhere, from bombs that fell during the heavy bombardment of the country from 1943 to 1945 -- Adorno speaks of a bombed-out consciousness. Leib makes it visible, and the surprising thing is: it is beautiful. Germans are not bad guys anymore. They have the blues. They are romantic, fashionable and silly all at once.
(Note that elsewhere Ohler aptly illustrates one of the more refined tendencies in contemorary art criticism—ie, when in doubt, write about cocks and jerking off.)

Marisa Futernick on Wolfgang Tillmans:

When I recently saw Wolfgang Tillmans at a London gallery opening, I was tempted to go up to him and say, "aren't you Jurgen Teller?" He might not have laughed as hard as I did over the joke, but it was an expression of the ease with which all of these hot young German photographers can be confused with one another. Or rather, that they are all such a group, such a lumped-together lot. Their names jump from one to another so easily -- Ruff, Struth, Demand, Gursky, Teller, Tillmans.... Is it merely the simple fact that most of them studied under Bernd and Hilda Becher?

Worth a look, from Bridge Magazine—"Not Known Until Named":

It is this action of retrogressive reading that can contextualize historical positions, not only for science, as in Kuhn's case, but also in an aesthetic experience. Context can equally enhance or burden aesthetic experience. Can one approach "Morning" and have an experience outside of a context predicated by either art history or critical writing that is read historically? Where is the line drawn that defines something as historical writing or critical writing? Will Roberta Smith be read in three hundred years to drag people to dusty Matthew Barney artifacts? Is a Vernet review fodder for history?

Finally, get your Daily Dose of Ridiculous Theory...

What better way to flatten our discourse than by a Critique of the Tyranny of the Spectacle? Follow along with Annette Ferrara in "Representing Simulacra (After Debord): A Case Study"—with stock reference to Benjamin and Debord (but, mercifully, no Baudrillard)—and feel ashamed, dear artist, for not heeding the warning of the soixante-huitarde: "Debord warned us about the specter of the spectacle, but artists, it seems, still can't seem to get enough."

... with a mild palliative:
"Picture Making Meaning: An Interview with Jeff Wall" by Jan Estep:

I think this "control" idea has become a kind of cliche about my work. I don't think I control anything anyone else doesn't control, or want to control. Art inherently involves artistry. I prepare certain things carefully because I believe that's what's required. Other things are completely left to chance. Anything that is prepared, constructed, or organized is done in order to allow the unpredictable "something" to appear and, in appearing, to create the real beauty of the picture, any picture. You are suggesting also that I am controlling the meaning of the work. I am talking only about the work of making it. Meaning does not interest me and has almost nothing to do with my decisions or judgments.

"Around the Horn"
Posted by Dan at 01:30 PM


Referenced in this post:

10 x 10: Representing Simulacra
Art Institute: Rembrandt's Journey
Bridge: Jeff Wall with Jan Estep
Bridge: Not Known Until Named
Flash Art: Coerced Confessions
InterReview: Anita Leib by Norman Ohler
InterReview: Wolfgang Tillmans by Marisa Futernick