Tim Griffin

  • Remote Possibilities: A Roundtable Discussion on Land Art’s Changing Terrain

    TIM GRIFFIN A number of artists have recently executed high-profile projects in remote places—“remote,” at least, from traditional art-world centers. In fact, we can count three individuals participating today among them: Pierre and his recent voyage to Antarctica, Rirkrit and the Land in Thailand, and Andrea with her High Desert Test Sites near Joshua Tree. Realizing, of course, that there are significant differences among these projects—and I hope we’ll shed good light on a few of these—working in a “remote” location seems to be a broader trend (think also of projects by Carsten Höller, Tacita

  • TINO SEHGAL: AN INTERVIEW

    Tino Sehgal has spoken of a “situational” dimension to his work, and the same word might also describe the publication of this interview. Over the course of the past year, I approached the artist a number of times about the possibility of contributing a project to the magazine, or of taking part in a conversation. On each occasion we had an extended dialogue before setting aside the idea, often concluding that the proposal, as it stood, was not quite commensurate with his practice. These negotiations alone would have made for quite an interview in these pages, providing valuable insight into

  • Christian Jankowski

    Can dialectics break bricks? Christian Jankowski often romantically reframes this Situationist koan in three dimensions, not by dubbing sound tracks over preexisting film (as per René Vienet’s kung-fu technique) but rather by capturing on camera a minister thanking God for the properties of the video medium or aspiring actors discussing their love of cinema, shot in the style of classic Cinecittà productions (whose studios serve as the setting). The artist’s first US survey features fourteen such video and film works and lesser-known photographs and silk screens. The

  • PLEASE RECYCLE: THE ART OF KELLEY WALKER

    LOOKING AHEAD last summer to an issue of this magazine that would consider the theme of art and politics on the eve of the American presidential election, I asked Kelley Walker, a young New York–based artist, to contribute to a portfolio of original artwork reflecting on the cultural moment. Walker excitedly accepted this invitation over the phone and said he would have something ready immediately. A few days passed. Then a week. Then two. Barbara Kruger visited the offices and executed her contribution in-house; James Rosenquist began and finished an entirely new painting, then shipped it out

  • Max Ernst

    Some 180 works made between 1913 and 1973 by this purveyor of the primal scene and shattered psyche (themes for both yesterday's tragedies and today's) are included in the late artist's return to Gotham—his first US retrospective in thirty years.

    Among the tales told of Max Ernst's stay in New York during World War II is that here he began to palce canvases on the ground, allowing paint to drip from a can that swung on a string above the canvas's surface. Accurate or not—you guess the implications—the story is a tribute to a towering figure whose path through dada and Surrealism abounds with technical innovation, from collage and frottage to grattage and decalcomania. Some 180 works made between 1913 and 1973 by this purveyor of the primal scene and shattered psyche (themes for both

  • VIEWFINDER: A CONVERSATION WITH HARUN FAROCKI

    HARUN FAROCKI’s recently completed Eye/Machine trilogy made its debut last month at the 54th Carnegie International in Pittsburgh. Artforum editor TIM GRIFFIN caught up with the filmmaker on opening day in the Carnegie Museum’s garden, where he mused on smart weapons, cinema, and CNN.

    TIM GRIFFIN: How would you say the second Gulf War has changed the imaging of war?

    HARUN FAROCKI: In the first Gulf War, we all believed in “smart” weapons—meaning a weapon that can detect its own target and steer itself there. In this war, nobody dared to talk about smart weapons. They were a joke. Even the government

  • A Roundtable

    “JEFF KOONS MAKES ME SICK.” The words are Peter Schjeldahl’s, and the occasion was a review in the SoHo weekly 7 Days, back in the ’80s, before Koons was quite the museum-certified star he is today. In the course of the write-up, Schjeldahl would turn his conceit around, explaining how undeniable, unstoppable, finally essential the experience of the artist’s work was for him. What makes Koons’s art simultaneously so toxic and so compelling? And why is it both institutionally embraced and yet seen by many as an art of diminishing returns, a symptom of all that is wrong with culture today? Koons

  • Cut/Film as Found Object in Contemporary Video

    With the idea of “postproduction” in the air, it’s not hard to hear scholarly rumblings about how moving pictures provide artists with the newest form of readymade—just slice and dice cinematic masterpieces or the nightly news and re-present them on-screen to critical effect.

    With the idea of “postproduction” in the air, it’s not hard to hear scholarly rumblings about how moving pictures provide artists with the newest form of readymade—just slice and dice cinematic masterpieces or the nightly news and re-present them on-screen to critical effect. But incisive exhibitions on this strategy of appropriation are still relatively few and far between. “Cut/Film as Found Object in Contemporary Video” promises to be among the first in the US, creating a new framework for pieces by Candice Breitz, Christian Marclay, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Paul Pfeiffer, Douglas Gordon,

  • THE ART OF POLITICS

    WRITING IN THESE PAGES IN SEPTEMBER 1970, Artforum editor Philip Leider recalled a heated summertime argument with Richard Serra. “What,” they debated, “was the most revolutionary thing to do?” Haunted by the activist theatrics of Abbie Hoffman, Serra wondered “whether the times were not forcing us to a completely new set of ideas about what an artist was and what an artist did.” Leider, a believer in a more circumscribed definition of art, didn’t agree. Yet the recollection triggered a general observation about conversations had during his seasonal travels:

    “Revolution” was the most often-used

  • HISTORICAL SURVEY: AN INTERVIEW WITH HANS HAACKE

    In 1970, HANS HAACKE presented his famous MOMA-Poll in the “Information” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, asking visitors whether New York governor Nelson Rockefeller’s position on Nixon’s Indochina policy would be reason not to vote for Rockefeller in the upcoming November election. Despite many differences between the political situation of that time and the present one, in preparing the current issue of Artforum, the editors were struck by an uncanny contextual doubling: Many voters will surely consider President Bush’s invasion of Iraq a defining issue in casting their ballots, and

  • Editor’s Letter

    “THE TV BABY SHOT ME,” GROANS MATT DILLON’S WOUNDED character at the end of Gus Van Sant’s Drugstore Cowboy. I thought of this line while walking through the 2004 Whitney Biennial, the words brought to mind by the severe air of unreality to which the observation plainly speaks. Beyond the Whitney Museum’s walls, the everyday seems revelatory—the American occupation of Iraq, the 9/11 testimony unfolding before a congressional commission—and yet the work in the Biennial galleries mostly stands at a safe distance, falling well within the bounds of conventionality. Perhaps this quality of cool remove

  • IN CONVERSATION: DAN GRAHAM AND MICHAEL SMITH

    IF ONE STORY OF ART DURING THE 1990s was the ever-increasing awareness of its relationship to entertainment—and a corollary interest in social and participatory models of artmaking—then a compelling shadow figure in this narrative is Michael Smith, who joins artist Dan Graham in the second installment of Artforum’s series “In Conversation.”

    Based in New York during the 1970s and ’80s, Smith began his career in video and performance alongside the artists of the Pictures generation. Like them, he pursued appropriation, but rather than static media such as magazine photography, his source material

  • Carsten Höller

    Given that Robert Smithson believed “time becomes a place minus motion” in some sculpture, perhaps one could say of Carsten Höller’s work that place becomes motion minus time.

    Given that Robert Smithson believed “time becomes a place minus motion” in some sculpture, perhaps one could say of Carsten Höller's work that place becomes motion minus time. At least that's the mind bender suggested by his first retrospective, for which the artist lays out twelve sculptural installations in the first half of the museum galleries—then perfectly reflects that organization in the latter half by placing duplicates of the works in reverse order. Höller was inspired by the crystalline symmetry of the museum itself, but the idea seems appropriate enough

  • Art and Utopia: Action Restricted

    “The hidden meaning stirs, and lays out a choir of pages,” Mallarmé writes of literature in the 1895 essay from which this show takes its subtitle.

    “The hidden meaning stirs, and lays out a choir of pages,” Mallarmé writes of literature in the 1895 essay from which this show takes its subtitle. One can only imagine the analogies good and bad to be found in an epic ensemble of seven hundred nineteenth- and twentieth-century paintings, sculptures, books, films, and sound works by writers and artists ranging from Apollinaire and Mayakovski to Trisha Brown and Jeff Wall, from Antonin Artaud to Hélio Oiticica. Regardless, Jean-François Chevreier’s addition to the recent curatorial chorus of utopian meditations

  • IN CONVERSATION: JOHN BALDESSARI & JEREMY BLAKE

    The classic pedagogical practice of juxtaposing slides of artworks allows for the quick comparison of paintings, photographs, sculptures, and installations and invariably produces a plethora of similarities and differences to be conveyed and discerned with critical detachment. Artforum’s “In Conversation” series, inaugurated with this discussion between Los Angeles–based artists John Baldessari and Jeremy Blake, is intended as a slight perversion of that model: What if, instead of providing an outsider’s view of slides set side by side, we were to put the artists side by side and let them speak

  • Trisha Brown

    Few, if any, exhibitions during the past year were so beautifully conceived and installed as the retrospective of Trisha Brown’s work at the Addison Gallery of American Art—an achievement all the more impressive when considering the sheer diversity of production the show navigates. A dancer and choreographer who met Simone Forti and Yvonne Rainer in 1960 while studying in California, Brown heeded their encouragement to move to New York, where she would soon perform at Judson Church, engage the community around John Cage, and immerse herself in the collaborative culture of Happenings that was

  • GLOBAL TENDENCIES: GLOBALISM AND THE LARGE-SCALE EXHIBITION

    When Francesco Bonami, director of last summer’s Venice Biennale, famously wrote in his exhibition catalogue that “The ‘Grand Show’ of the 21st century must allow multiplicity, diversity and contradiction to exist inside the structure of an exhibition . . . a world where the conflicts of globalization are met by the romantic dreams of a new modernity,” it was reasonable to imagine that he was responding to structural and thematic questions posed by Okwui Enwezor in his Documenta 11 of the preceding year. After all, the Nigerian-born curator, focusing on the issue of globalization, had in a sense

  • PICTURES OF AN EXHIBITION: THE 50th VENICE BIENNALE

    Francesco Bonami’s 50th edition of the Venice Biennale—”Dreams and Conflicts: The Dictatorship of the Viewer”—delegated responsibility to nearly a dozen curators and, ultimately, to the viewers themselves, pointedly bringing an end to the monolithic “Grand Show” of yesteryear, for better or (as the consensus seemingly would have it) for worse. And the unseasonable weather didn’t help. At June’s heat wave–plagued vernissage, many openly wondered whether it was the lack of inspiration or rather the perspiration that was dampening their enthusiasm. We invited three regular contributors—art historian

  • “Matthew Barney: The CREMASTER Cycle”

    Dark Polaris snowmobiles stand dormant in a row, their cinematic image dissolving slowly into crags of glacial ice, so that shimmering silver logos are superimposed, for a moment, on a sublime landscape—as if all of nature’s territories were somehow tamed, enveloped, swallowed whole by the crystalline lettering. This kind of poetic abstraction appears regularly in advertising but, showing up in Matthew Barney’s CREMASTER 2, 1999, becomes all the more evocative for its artistic implications. In the stylized execution of Gary Gilmore that precedes it, Barney restages the legislated death as a

  • Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle

    One of Madrid-born artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s greatest successes was his least noticeable—his design of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2001 Mies van der Rohe exhibition. His contribution made sense, since the artist continually reframes the legacy of midcentury modernism’s themes of science, industry, and globalism.

    One of Madrid-born artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s greatest successes was his least noticeable—his design of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2001 Mies van der Rohe exhibition. His contribution made sense, since the artist continually reframes the legacy of midcentury modernism’s themes of science, industry, and globalism in such pieces as Le Baiser/The Kiss, 1999, a video in which the artist plays a window washer cleaning Mies’s Farnsworth House; and in Cloud Prototype No. 1, 2003, a titanium rendering of a cumulonimbus thundercloud. The latter was made using computerized machinery developed