COLUMNS

  • 1000 WORDS: MIKE KELLEY

    THIRTY-TWO DOWN, 333 TO GO. Back in 2000, Mike Kelley unveiled Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #1 (A Domestic Scene), the first installment of an ongoing, gargantuan serial work that will eventually comprise 365 video pieces, each with its own set, or sculptural component. Next month, “Day Is Done,” Kelley’s first solo show at Gagosian Gallery in New York, will assemble an ambitious multiplex of thirty-one videos and associated sculptural “stations” (Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstructions # 2–32, 2004–2005) that the artist has made since.

    The exhibition reactivates

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  • 1000 WORDS: CHRISTOPH BÜCHEL & GIOVANNI CARMINE

    The professional relationship between Basel-based artist Christoph Büchel and Zurich-based curator Giovanni Carmine started traditionally enough: Carmine commissioned a work by Büchel for the 2002 group show “Unloaded: Coming Up for Air,” which used former Swiss Army bunkers as its exhibition spaces. The next year, Harald Szeemann asked Büchel to contribute to “G 2003: A Village & a Small Town Receive Art,” an outdoor sculpture show in Ticino, the Italian-speaking southern region of Switzerland, and Büchel invited Carmine to join him as an artistic collaborator. The partnership yielded Operation

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  • 1000 WORDS: CATHERINE YASS

    LOOKING BACK, it’s hard not to notice how often British artist Catherine Yass has set up her camera to face walls, capturing surfaces spotted by stains in a meat market (“Stall,” 1996), scratched with graffiti in a prison (“Cell,” 1998), obscured by steam in a Baden-Baden spa (“Baths,” 1998), or decorated by tiles in the Prague underground (“Metro,” 2001). These works were part of a larger investigation of empty architectural spaces and were shown as transparencies mounted on light boxes, each image a composite of two photographs taken moments apart. Yass’s interest in disrupting photographic

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  • 1000 WORDS: RUDOLF STINGEL

    In trying to navigate the complicated terrain of Rudolf Stingel’s criticality, one traverses institutional critique, stumbles over Minimalism, and unexpectedly crashes headfirst into Pop. In 1989 Stingel produced an instruction manual for creating an abstract painting, and then spent a decade making the same one—not a single work exactly but variations on the process set forth in his mini-manifesto. Stingel’s interest in developing an accessible art also informed a series of installations in which he covered the walls of museums and galleries with silver insulation board. Much to the artist’s

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  • 1000 WORDS: SPENCER FINCH

    WILLIAM FORSYTHE’S Ballett Frankfurt may have disappeared last year, a victim of government budget cuts, but in its place the choreographer has created an even more flexible and transdisciplinary creative unit: the Forsythe Company, an eighteen-artist ensemble (based in Dresden and Frankfurt) whose productions will leave traditional notions of ballet behind, with site-specific performances, interventions in public spaces, and audience participation. For its first creation, Three Atmospheric Studies, opening at the Bockenheimer Depot in Frankfurt on April 21, the group teams up with New York–based

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  • 1000 WORDS: JENNIFER ALLORA AND GUILLERMO CALZADILLA

    For even the best-traveled viewer of contemporary art, the collaborative team of Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla would seem to have made a startlingly abrupt entrance onto the international art-world stage. In just the past two years, they have appeared in “Common Wealth” at Tate Modern and “How Latitudes Become Forms: Art in a Global Age” at the Walker Art Center (both 2003), as well as Dak’Art: The Biennial of African Contemporary Art (2004); this summer, they will contribute to the Venice Biennale. But Allora and Calzadilla first joined forces in 1997 with a piece whose poetic and

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  • 1000 WORDS: LIAM GILLICK AND PHILIPPE PARRENO

    What is the relationship between artists and copyright law? Liam Gillick and Philippe Parreno offer some reflections on this topic in “Briannnnnn and Ferryyyyyy,” 2004, a series of short animations riffing on that old cartoon staple, the cat-and-mouse chase. Commissioned by curators Åsa Nacking and Max Liljefors as part of the project “(rider): law and creativity,” the ten-episode series was first shown at the Konsthall Lund in Sweden in conjunction with a conference held at Lund and Malmö universities in November 2004. Deploying a slapstick classic, Gillick and Parreno portray art and the law

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  • 1000 WORDS: YINKA SHONIBARE

    King Gustav III of Sweden (1746–1792), who waged and won a war against Russia, was a keen amateur actor and a figure of ambiguous sexuality. That a masked ball at the Royal Opera served as the scene for his death by an assassin’s hand gave his demise an appropriately symbolic twist. Yinka Shonibare’s first film, Un Ballo in Maschera, 2004, a coproduction by Swedish Television and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, is a choreography based on the king’s assassination, featuring thirty dancers attired in Shonibare’s trademark pseudo-African batik. Filmed at Confidencen, a private theater previously

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  • 1000 WORDS: MARK DION

    Throughout his career, Mark Dion has engaged classificatory systems in both the natural sciences and museological practices, underscoring not only how we order the messy boundaries between nature and culture, but also the more contested dynamics of control and exclusion manifested by acts of social policy and cultural preservation. He has collected plant, rock, and animal specimens in locales as diverse as the Amazon and New York’s Chinatown; rearranged the holdings of natural and cultural history museums in Switzerland and Spain; and conducted archaeological digs in New England and London. Now

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  • 1000 WORDS: ANTHONY McCALL

    More than thirty years after British-born artist Anthony McCall created his now-legendary Line Describing a Cone, the first of his “solid light” films, the elegantly simple 1973 work—a projected white dot that slowly grows over thirty minutes into a circular line on the facing wall, eventually filling the dark space with a conical “volume” whose vivid corporality is a beguiling trick of light and atmosphere—remains one of postwar art’s signal explorations of perceptual boundary states. Light and dark, stasis and movement, substance and immateriality, cinema and sculpture: As with all McCall’s

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  • 1000 WORDS: MATTHEW BARNEY

    Anyone who knows (and who doesn’t?) Matthew Barney’s recently concluded Cremaster cycle, with its baroque symbolic systems and rituals of performance, should be at least partially primed for De Lama Lâmina (From Mud, a Blade), a collaboration between the artist and American-Brazilian musician Arto Lindsay for this year’s Carnival in the Bahian city of Salvador. Staged as a performance but scripted and filmed for possible future exhibition, the work is intriguing, not in the least because Barney’s identification with the Cremaster films has been so extreme, a decade-long realigning of art production

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  • 1000 WORDS: ELLEN GALLAGHER

    For the past decade, Ellen Gallagher has charted the contours of worlds both fantastic and unimaginably real, where minstrel-show ephemera contaminate otherwise elegant compositions to the visible chagrin of blushing penmanship paper; the dark history of the Middle Passage is refracted through a watery heterotopia of swirling oil and ink; and bulbous lips and bulging eyes cling stealthily to the icy porcelain geometry of a mock jungle gym. All the while unburdened by the dictates of identity politics (for which she has too often been cast as a cipher), Gallagher has recently turned her attention

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