Rachel Harrison

  • Claes Oldenburg, 1960's. Photo: Ken Heyman.
    passages September 23, 2022

    Claes Oldenburg (1929–2022)

    TUESDAY AUGUST 23, 2022

    Woke up and ate a Ray Gun. Dreamt Coming to America was on my T-shirt, actually a wife-beater, people stopped to ask me why. I could stand in the middle of the street with this T-shirt, I say over and over again. Downtown a snow-covered pawn shop, curves and grooves in the artificial light beaming soft pillow icicles carved with a lasso. Landed at Dan’s to eat vegan meatballs with Sousee, Brod, and Nony. We all had more than some wine. Still hungry walking home stopped for French fries.

    Friday, August 26

    Rodin exhibition: dull premise, loved the drawings. Giant walking legs

  • Jeff Koons, Bob Hope, 1986, stainless steel, 17 × 5 1/2 × 5 1/2". From the series “Statuary,” 1986.

    Rachel Harrison


    I DON’T LIKE BOB HOPE but I might like Bob Hope, or at least I did when I saw him at the Whitney’s Koons retrospective. His head is so big, like a bobblehead, but fixed in a creepy stainless-steel grin. He has a lot of presence for a little guy, and I wondered about the tabletop scale in the oeuvre of an artist where size really does matter. Maybe he’s meant to mimic the real Oscar that Bob joked about never getting. Although I knew he entertained our troops, Bob Hope wasn’t quite on my radar, so I thought I’d look into it, see what he’s really an icon of. In 1986 (the

  • Paul Thek

    Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
    October 21, 2010–January 9, 2011
    Curated by Elisabeth Sussman and Lynn Zelevansky

    SOMEHOW IT’S FITTING that one of the largest holdings of Paul Thek’s art is in the collection of the archbishop of Cologne. After all, most of the artist’s work has a pretty heavy religious component, and touches, one way or another, on the issue of faith. No wonder Thek left New York in 1967, spending nearly all of the next decade in Europe––it’s not like these topics were weighing on the minds of most art-world insiders at the time. Or


    To take stock of the past year, Artforum contacted an international group of artists to find out which exhibitions were, in their eyes, the very best of 2006.


    “Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul” (Museum of Modern Art, New York) In a rather cynical mode, I trudged uptown one day last spring to see the Munch show at MoMA for what I thought would be a cliché-ridden overview of Nordic gloom-goth. What I got instead was a hard punch to the gut: powerful color, radical ideas about the depiction of memory as space, paintings with emotional vanishing points rather than rational optical

  • Left: Paul McCarthy, Captain Morgan, 2005, silicone and metal, 71 1/4 x 55 1/2 x 42 1/2". Installation view, “LaLa Land Parody Paradise,” Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2005. Right: Paul McCarthy and Damon McCarthy, Pirate Party, 2005, stills from a four-channel color video installation, 1 hour 32 minutes. All works from “Caribbean Pirates,” 2001–2005.

    Rachel Harrison on Paul McCarthy

    I HATE A PARADE. I hate the twined feelings of exclusion and obligation––like I don’t belong or that “belonging” involves accepting the passive role of watcher as the scripted procession rolls by. I don’t care to stand on the sidelines beholding a spectacle in regimented time slots, corny framed narratives, forced good spirits, and propagandizing themes. Parades are crowd control under the guise of celebration: You have to believe in “control” to participate at all. So why did I make a last-minute decision to attend a Sunday-morning parade celebrating Paul McCarthy’s “LaLa Land Parody Paradise”

  • Rachel Harrison

    EIGHT HOURS AND FIVE MINUTES IS A LONG TIME TO SPEND watching a movie. That’s how long Empire is. I made it through six hours once on my birthday. I knew Warhol didn’t really expect this of me, but I wanted to see what it was like, to treat his film like regular cinema and get lost in the movie. Looking can be meditation, internalized and Zen, and it can also be an escape that takes you away from the real world for a while. Since I had read about Warhol films before I actually saw them, I thought of them as actions, not as objects. The idea was paramount, not the product. But when I finally saw


    FOLLOWING THE RELEASE OF THE INDELIBLE Abu Ghraib photographs this past spring, Richard Serra produced Stop Bush, a print that he has distributed widely both in art venues and in mainstream publications, as well as on the Internet. Serra insists that the piece is not an artwork but rather a “way to just get the message out,” a tack that inspired Artforum to invite other artists to take up the cause. Our brief was simple and open-ended: We asked fourteen artists to make an original contribution to these pages on the occasion of the American presidential election. A few, like Tom Sachs (whose