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Books | Do You Read Me?

October 24, 2008

There have been several welcomed additions to Berlin’s retail offerings in the past couple of weeks. One is the Image Mouvement video art space and DVD shop on Oranienbergerstrasse; another is the international magazine boutique Do You Read Me? Their website features highlights from current issues of some of the magazines they stock (and employs a familiar blog template).

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Tara Donovan

October 23, 2008

Design Observer has posted an interview with recent MacArthur Grant recipient Tara Donovan.

Untitled, 2003, styrofoam cups and glue

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10 Ways to Stymie Voters

Mother Jones offers a disturbing list of practices used to disenfranchise American voters.

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Art | Andrea Zittel at PSU

October 20, 2008

Andrea Zittel delivered a lecture at Portland State University while we were in town. We stopped by hoping to have a listen, but the meagre lecture hall was filled to capacity and the doorways blocked with overflow attendees. PORT blog was kind enough to post a portion of the talk online:

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We’ve been in Portland preparing for our impending move to the west coast. There’s a lot to like about Portland, but one of my favorite features so far is the Ira Keller Fountain designed by Lawrence Halprin.

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Architecture | Theater in the Round

Life is but a stage, especially if you live a tulou-style structure like the ones built by China’s Hakka people more than 1000 years ago. For those interested in trying out communal round-house living, Shenzhen-based Urbanus is developing a modern tulou in Guangzhou to provide some affordable housing China’s vast migrant worker population. The Cooper-Hewitt has put together an exhibition detailing the project. Also, a pretty laudatory review in the NY Times from Nicolai Ouroussoff.

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Product | Wode by Boudicca

October 16, 2008

Fascinated by the synesthetic effect of Boudicca’s new fragrance Wode. The perfume is packaged in an aerosol-type container and leaves a striking cobalt blue mark when sprayed (see the video below). The color fades away after a few minutes, but this idea of a visual scent is intriguing and, well, probably good marketing.

Interview with Zowie Broach at JC Report.

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Drama Queens

Enjoying Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset’s animated “play” Drama Queens. This artworld send-up stars work by Alberto Giacometti, Ulrich Rückriem, Barbara Hepworth, Sol LeWitt, Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol and features the voices of Jeremy Irons, Joseph Fiennes and Kevin Spacey. Gives new meaning to the notion that a work of art “speaks.”

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Kent Henricksen

Kent Henricksen has a solo exhibition—titled Absence of Myth—up at Torino’s Galleria Glance. Kent’s work was included in our By Hand book, so it’s been great to see how his work has developed over the past few years. Here are a few images from the show:

Devious Delight, 2008, 26.5 x 23.5 in. – 67.3 x 59.7 cm

Transcendental Treasures I, 2008, Embroidery thread and gold leaf on canvas – 9.5 x 11.5 in. – 24.1 x 29.2 cm

To have and to hold, 2008, Embroidery thread and gold leaf on silk – 37 x 58 in. – 94 x 147.3 cm

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Why are conceptual artists painting again?

October 2, 2008

Sounds like a good topic to open up The Building’s monthly art talks series. Berlin-based critic Jan Verwoert is at the helm, and all are welcome.

Friday, October 3rd, 730 PM

the building
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 14a
Berlin, 10249 DE
T: 030 28 04 79 73

How have the basic conditions of art practice changed and what words and models could we use to open up the potentials at the heart of these developments in art after Conceptualism?

The dominant models no longer satisfy. It makes no sense to melodramatically invoke the “end of painting” (or any other medium-specific practice for that part) when the continous emergence of fascinating work obviously proves apocalyptic endgame scenarios wrong. Yet, to pretend it were possible to go back to business as usual seems equally impossible because the radical expansion of artistic possibilities through the landslide changes of the 1960s leave medium-specific practices in the odd position of being one among many modes of artistic articulation, with no preset justification. How can we describe then what medium-specific practices like painting or sculpture can do today?

Likewise, it seems, that we can still not quite convincingly describe to ourselves what Conceptual Art can be: An art of pure ideas? As if “pure” idea art were ever possible let alone desirable! An art of smart strategic moves and puns? We have advertising agencies for that. The social and political dimension of Conceptualism has been discussed, but often only in apodictic terms, not acknowledging the humour, the wit, the existential, emotional or erotic aspects, as well as the iconophile, not just iconoclast motives, that have always also been at play in the dialectics and politics of life-long conceptual practices.

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