COLUMNS

  • Mary Ping

    At a moment when many artists are collaborating with fashion houses, it seems worthwhile to speak with a fashion designer with a fine-art background and conceptually oriented projects. Designer Mary Ping is known for both the classic pieces of her signature line and the anthropological investigations of her side project, Slow and Steady Wins the Race.

    I BEGAN MY PROJECT Slow and Steady Wins the Race a year after I first produced my signature line. The September 11 attacks had just occurred, right on the cusp of Fashion Week, and like others I began to question the meaning of fashion: Why do we

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  • Joan Jonas

    As part of the 2008 Biennale of Sydney, organized by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and titled “Revolutions—Forms that Turn,” artist Joan Jonas will present Reading Dante, 2008. A performance will take place at 11 AM and 6 PM on June 22 at the National Art School’s Cell Block Theatre. Here she discusses the work.

    I'VE KNOWN ABOUT Dante’s Divine Comedy for what seems like all my life, but I never read it before last summer. A few years ago, an artist described to me Dante’s own life, and it made me think about how fascinating it might be to work with his magnificent text. I began with the Inferno last

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  • William Cordova

    Earlier this year, William Cordova, whose artwork frequently references human rights struggles, organized two exhibitions for Ingalls & Associates in Miami. One, titled “Casa de Carton,” features an intergenerational range of contemporary artists, and the other, “Up Against the Wall,” the photographs of journalist Ilka Hartmann. Both exhibitions will open at Branch Gallery in Durham, North Carolina, on Friday, June 20. Here Cordova discusses Hartmann’s work.

    TWO YEARS AGO, while doing research into commonalities across various radical groups of the late 1960s and early ’70s, I gradually realized

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  • Neil Greenberg

    Neil Greenberg danced for Merce Cunningham from 1979 to 1986, when he left the company to pursue his own choreography. Greenberg has been known for his use of projected text in dance, as well as for making dances using material culled from videotaped sessions of himself improvising. His most recent work, Really Queer Dance with Harps, which features three harpists on stage concurrently with the dancers, is having its premiere at Dance Theater Workshop in New York, June 11–21. Here, Greenberg traces the trajectory of some of his ideas.

    THE FIRST PIECE I created that I really owned, in 1987, wasn’t

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  • Jane and Louise Wilson

    Last summer, Jane and Louise Wilson unveiled their sound installation The Silence Is Twice as Fast Backwards, commissioned for the exhibition “Reconstruction #2” at the Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, UK. On June 14, the sisters will present this work along with two series of photographs as part of their fourth exhibition at 303 Gallery in New York. Here they discuss the making of the piece.

    ELLIOTT MCDONALD AND MOLLIE DENT-BROCKLEHURST invited us to participate in an exhibition last year at Sudeley Castle, where much of the work was to be site-specific. Mollie was interested in having an artist

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  • Saâdane Afif

    The French artist Saâdane Afif, who lives and works in Berlin, will have his first museum survey this summer at Witte de With in Rotterdam. The exhibition, titled “Technical Specifications,” opens on June 13. Here he discusses the show.

    NICOLAS SCHAFHAUSEN AND ZOË GRAY invited me to survey a decade’s worth of my work. Soon after I saw the symmetrical rooms my show will inhabit at Witte de With, I knew I didn’t want to present a straightforward overview of my practice but instead wanted to structure the exhibition playfully. I wanted to challenge myself. But explaining it requires me to back up

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  • 1000 WORDS: MARIA LASSNIG

    MARIA LASSNIG

    OVER THE YEARS, I have been involved with a lot of isms. They don’t simply disappear, of course, but are somehow still present even in my most recent pictures. I am, so to speak, eclectic within my own oeuvre, selecting things from the various isms that I mix into something new. I have been working long enough to establish my own tradition, from realism through Surrealism, art informel, automatism, and I don’t know how many other isms. I had to go through all of that—just imagine that I knew nothing about any of these movements when I studied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Art at

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  • Brian O'Doherty

    On May 20, after thirty-six years of presenting his art under the name Patrick Ireland, the Irish artist Brian O’Doherty reclaimed his birth name with the symbolic burial of his alter ego in the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Here he discusses the project.

    WHEN THE BRITISH SHOT down thirteen unarmed civil rights marchers in the city of Derry in January 1972, I was in New York. I thought, What the hell can I do? I decided that if I changed my name to Patrick Ireland and signed my works by that name alone, it would be a provocation, a statement. Every time I exhibited, it would give me

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  • 1000 WORDS: ED RUSCHA

    PERHAPS THEY WOULD PREFER to forget the past and enjoy the present (whose transience they are so much more aware of than younger colleagues), but circumstances conspire to make successful artists of a certain age dwell on their history: retrospective exhibitions, monographs, compilations of writings and interviews, the queries of art historians for whom each speck of memory might be the one that yields a dissertation chapter—such things make it inevitable that, willy-nilly, the artist finds his own past increasingly occupying his attention. I DON’T WANT NO RETRO SPECTIVE, an Ed Ruscha

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  • 1000 WORDS: PAUL SIETSEMA

    WHILE DOING PRIMARY research for his most recent film, Empire, 2002, which took Clement Greenberg’s library as its thematic starting point, the Los Angeles–based artist Paul Sietsema started to collect scholarly books steeped in the milieu of midcentury modernism. As a result, he soon found himself amassing a vast bank of images from various disciplines, but what particularly piqued his interest were the numerous pictures of cultural artifacts he discovered. Indeed, seeking after a time to organize this trove of material—and establish his own relationship to it—he privately began comparing

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  • 1000 WORDS: TOM BURR

    THE WORKS IN “ADDICT-LOVE” suggest a push and pull of personae, types, and stylistic movements from throughout the twentieth century, and also my “curatorial” approach to appropriated materials. A number of characters populate the installation. I jump from the 1930s to the ’50s, and reference the ’70s and ’80s, like a rock skipping across the century. Chicks, 2008, is a large work comprising six white-railing pieces (as well as a circular smoked Plexiglas mirror, a vintage turntable, a vinyl recording of Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s opera Four Saints in Three Acts, and a ’70s Chanel dress)

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  • 1000 WORDS: HARRY DODGE AND STANYA KAHN

    “ONCE UPON A TIME, or maybe twice, there was an unearthly paradise,” begins the Beatles’s 1968 animated extravaganza, Yellow Submarine. As the opening line’s turn on the cliché suggests, visions of other worlds—past, future, or parallel—have popped up repeatedly throughout history as the shadow expression of an era’s collective unconscious. But these fantasies don’t easily divide into categories of utopic or dystopic. From the radioactive monsters in cold war sci-fi novels to the Blue Meanies that invade Pepperland, the nightmare that threatens civilization is what generates the dream

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