Christian Marclay

  • Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris playing the cornet at Tin Pan Alley in NYC in 1987. Photo: Catherine Ceresole.
    passages March 17, 2013

    Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris (1947–2013)

    LAST MONTH my friend Butch lost his battle with cancer. Lawrence “Butch” Morris was a visionary musical thinker and practitioner who invented a new way to create live music through a vocabulary of gestures and signs. Situated between live composition and free improvisation, he described his method as “an improvised duet for ensemble and conductor.” He named it “conduction” and even trademarked the term. For him, Conduction® was a way to be creative and spontaneous with large groups of musicians. Since 1985, Butch directed over 140 conductions, collaborating with over five-thousand musicians in

  • Odilon Redon, Domecy Decoration: Trees, Yellow Background, 1901, oil, distemper, 94 5/8 x 72 7/8".


    To take stock of the past year, Artforum contacted an international group of artists to find out which exhibitions and events were, in their eyes, the very best of 2011.


    Mary Reid Kelley, Sadie the Saddest Sadist (Armory Show, New York) Tucked away in the back of the Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects booth at the 2011 Armory Show was a monitor showing a costumed figure with exaggerated face paint, pacing in front of a hand-drawn black-and-white background. The piece was Mary Reid Kelley’s Sadie the Saddest Sadist, 2009, and the mixed metaphors, narrative snippets, and repurposed

  • Christian Marclay


    1. Okkyung Lee and Martin Schütz (Tonic, New York, Mar. 23) An excellent improvisation, as two adventurous cellists in their first performance together dueled with swift bows in a cloud of rosin.

    2. Butch Morris and Burnt Sugar, The Rites Conductions Inspired by Stravinsky’s Le Sacre Du Printemps (Trugroid/Avantgroid) Greg Tate’s band under Morris’s baton. Seeing the maestro in a live “conduction” is like being in his brain—his thought process at once visible and audible.

    3. Ryoji Ikeda, op. (Touch) Electronic minimalist Ikeda unplugs and composes for a string quartet. A sparse


    Driving across Europe with only one cassette, I never tired of MC Solaar’s Paradisiaque, a dazzling cross-cultural mix between American rap and chanson française—skillful wordplay in the tradition of Marcel Duchamp and Serge Gainsbourg.

    BEN RATLIFF, music critic, New York Times:
    I’ve been amazed by Caetano Veloso’s records––he is the avatar of a universal artist in pop music: a musician who studies and protects the cultural traditions of the New World, then generously expands them.

    ELIZABETH PEYTON, artist: Nirvana.

    BARBARA KRUGER, artist: There is no best of—just a