Michelle Kuo

  • speaks with Michael Callahan about USCO

    A MNEMONIC MIASMA hangs over the late 1960s, this haze only heightened by the recent spate of exhibitions devoted to Op and the Summer of Love. However saturated with psychedelia, mysticism, and electro-euphoria, though, the period’s history might also lend itself to starker views.

    To better understand this moment, Artforum senior editor Michelle Kuo spoke with Michael Callahan of USCO, the collective whose kaleidoscopic intermedia events took place in communes and museums alike. Callahan, an engineer who had previously worked at the San Francisco Tape Music Center, founded USCO in 1964 with poet

  • Agnes Denes, Wheatfield—A Confrontation: Battery Park Landfill, Downtown Manhattan—with New York Financial Center, 1982, documentary photograph.

    “Decoys, Complexes, and Triggers: Feminism and Land Art in the 1970s”

    Alongside the jetty is the tunnel—not spiraling spectacle but subterranean breach. Both forms were equally important for Land art, yet the latter seems especially to have resonated with women artists, structuring works such as Alice Aycock's Simple Network of Underground Wells and Tunnels, 1975, and Nancy Holt's Sun Tunnels, 1973–76.

    Alongside the jetty is the tunnel—not spiraling spectacle but subterranean breach. Both forms were equally important for Land art, yet the latter seems especially to have resonated with women artists, structuring works such as Alice Aycock's Simple Network of Underground Wells and Tunnels, 1975, and Nancy Holt's Sun Tunnels, 1973–76. This exhibition surveys the projects of Aycock, Holt, and eight other artists, providing a much-needed excavation of works that gesture less toward the sublime than the surreal: Agnes Denes's Wheatfield—A Confrontation, 1982, and Mary

  • Marcel Duchamp, 3 Standard Stoppages, 1913–14, wood, thread, paint, canvas, and glass, dimensions variable.

    Marcel Duchamp

    The first major solo exhibition of Duchamp's work in Latin America, titled “A Work That Is Not a Work 'of Art,'” focuses on Duchamp's endeavors and their unruly attitude toward desire and containment

    If the readymade readily entered the museum, other Duchampian practices have been gelid to institutional embrace. Duchamp's exhibition designs, curatorial projects, typographic experiments, and precision-optics demonstrations are more often read about in books than encountered in galleries. The first major solo exhibition of Duchamp's work in Latin America, organized by Elena Filipovic and titled “A Work That Is Not a Work 'of Art,'” focuses on such endeavors and their unruly attitude toward desire and containment—with more than 140 works from 1913 until the artist's death in 1968, including a

  • View of Barry McGee, “Metropolitan Meat Market,” 2004, John Kaldor Art Projects, Melbourne, Australia.

    MARKET INDEX: BARRY McGEE

    NOT QUITE A BLACK MARKET, but rather shaded in gray, new circuits of distribution and exchange continually flow outside the art world’s usual trade routes—and nothing seems to have traversed these channels more nimbly than the work of San Francisco–based artist Barry McGee. His pieces may begin on car doors or in train stations, galleries or museums. But they have made their way to eBay (inciting international bidding wars), alternative exhibition spaces, and skate shops; they have been regularly stolen, traded, destroyed, and faked. And, of course, they have had feature turns at art fairs

  • Steina

    For Steina, seeing has never been believing. The video pioneer instead throws vision into doubt, distortion, and feedback—underscoring the electronic image’s reliance on malleable waveforms or unstable live networks. This first retrospective focusing on Steina’s solo work (following several on her decades-long collaboration with Woody Vasulka) brings together thirty-one videos and installations, most made between 1970 and 2000, highlighting the artist’s dedication to the contingencies of performance and place. Three versions, one new, of Violin

  • INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: THE HISTORY OF FABRICATION

    GLANCING THROUGH AN ENTRYWAY at Carlson & Co.—unmarked, save for a Warning: Eye Protection Required sign—was like peering through a Carrollian looking glass. Inside and to the right were jumpsuited workers hovering over an iridescent plinth worthy of Stanley Kubrick. To the left loomed a plaster model of a Play-Doh pile scaled to mammoth proportions. Straight ahead was a tentacular cluster of Tyvek-and-foam-tipped steel prongs. And this was just the foreground of an immense space, a forty-thousand-square-foot fun-house reflection of the lugubrious Pepsi-Cola bottling plant that sits across the

  • Fabricator at Carlson & Co. at work on Ellsworth Kelly’s Untitled, 2005. Photo: John H. Baker.

    THE PRODUCERS: A ROUNDTABLE

    To chart the expanding parameters of fabrication today, Artforum invited curator Lynne Cooke, artists Angela Bulloch and Charles Ray, and art dealer Jeffrey Deitch to enter into a conversation with three leaders in the field of art production—Peter Carlson, Mike Smith, and Ed Suman—who between them have helped realize some of the most technologically ambitious artworks of our time. Michelle Kuo, whose brief history of fabrication and postwar art appears in this issue, moderated the discussion.

    MICHELLE KUO Fabrication is currently everywhere and the range of its manifestations is dizzying: from calling a local company to order metalwork, a 3-D printout, or an audio mix; to employing a design and fabrication firm that connects artists to different services and skills; to becoming part of a dispersed network of production that also includes dealers, curators, and collectors. “The piece may be fabricated,” as Lawrence Weiner famously proposed in 1968, and artists seem to be taking up this suggestion now more than ever. But to what ends? I wonder how we might begin to define fabrication

  • Sarah Morris, Mandalay Bay (Las Vegas), 1999, household paint on canvas, 84 x 84".

    “The Shapes of Space”

    “The Shapes of Space” promises to amplify issues of museological space as the show is progressively unveiled in four stages, from ground floor to top level. Spanning the early twentieth century through the present, the exhibition offers approximately eighty sculptures, paintings, installations (several gallery-size), videos, and photographs by more than fifty artists.

    Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiral structure has long embodied the polemics of museological space. Quintessentially linear narrative of modernism, or field of radical visual connections across ramp and rotunda? Curated by Kevin Lotery, Ted Mann, Nancy Spector, and Nat Trotman, “The Shapes of Space” promises to amplify these issues as the show is progressively unveiled in four stages, from ground floor to top level. Spanning the early twentieth century through the present, the exhibition offers approximately eighty sculptures, paintings, installations (several gallery-size), videos, and photographs by

  • Adjoeman, 2004, stainless steel and carbon fiber, 17' 10“ x 17' 2” x 5' 4".

    “Frank Stella: Painting into Architecture”

    This exhibition promises yet another round of what Michael Fried famously called the struggle for Frank Stella’s soul—formalist flatness or Minimalist objecthood?—now played out in strange fusions of pictorial composition and large-scale, often computer-generated structures.

    This exhibition promises yet another round of what Michael Fried famously called the struggle for Frank Stella’s soul—formalist flatness or Minimalist objecthood?—now played out in strange fusions of pictorial composition and large-scale, often computer-generated structures. Anne L. Strauss and Gary Tinterow present twenty-five models, drawings, and paintings that illustrate Stella’s interest in architecture over the past decade, including a Gehry-esque model for his unrealized Kunsthalle Dresden, 1991, and three sculptures in stainless steel and carbon fiber on the museum’s rooftop (through

  • George Maciunas

    “Artist and Designer Organized Fluxus to Develop SoHo,” read the headline of the New York Times’ absurd yet oddly fitting 1978 obituary for George Maciunas. The self-described “chairman” of Fluxus did moonlight as a real estate developer, managing properties such as the artist-owned Fluxhouse Cooperatives, beginning in 1966—but he was also a typographer, an architect, an impresario—the list goes on. This retrospective, presenting works from the 1950s to 1978, proposes a uniquely biographical focus on Maciunas and his myriad identities. Kellein has gathered more than 400

  • View of “The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas: Recent Sculpture,” 2006, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC. From left: Mark Handforth, Trashcan Snake, 2005. Mark Handforth, Northern Star, 2005. Mark Handforth, Mobile (Green, Yellow and White), 2002. Mark Handforth, I-Beam, 2002.

    “The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas”

    LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING, in sculpture especially so. However expanded its field of activity has become, “sculpture” today might be seen to cohere around the deviousness of physical matter—its inexhaustibility, opacity, and guile. This, at least, was the common proposition of the works in the recent show “The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas: Recent Sculpture”: You will never be able to apprehend all aspects of a sculpture at once, and it will always evade availability as universal (phenomenological) or collective (ideological) experience, despite modernist hopes to the contrary.

    Fittingly,

  • Space Invader

    WE’VE PLAYED this game already. From the cold war to the so-called war on terror, geopolitical tactics are sold to the public as science fictions. Reagan’s Star Wars missile-defense program left behind a mythology of evil empire that persists today, even if our adversaries are no longer clear-cut targets but Bush’s “shadowy networks.” Space Invader, the notorious Paris-based artist, engages in another kind of global gambit—one modeled on the eponymous 1978 video game of alien invasion. For eight years, Invader has delivered a sly send-up of both anachronistic “us-versus-them” scenarios and newly