Interviews

  • 1000 WORDS: THOMAS DEMAND

    Thomas Demand works in the eastern part of Berlin, in a blue-collar neighborhood closer to Mitte’s industrial waterfront than to its galleries and fashionable cafés. His studio is located in one of those light-manufacturing buildings typically found in the innermost reaches of Berlin courtyards. When I went to visit the studio, nearly the entire loft space was filled with giant cardboard models for his recent series “Poll,” 2001. The setup was extremely disconcerting: I couldn’t tell whether the chair or table in front of me would support even the weight of the bag I was carrying, or whether it

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  • 1000 WORDS: KERRY JAMES MARSHALL

    Kerry James Marshall is best known for large-scale paintings, but Rythm Mastr is a project of a different sort. A site-specific installation of comics realized for the 1999 Carnegie International, Rythm Mastr also encompassed an eight-part comic-strip that ran in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and new installments are to be published by the artist in serial form.

    The setup: In a gunfight with gangbangers, Stasha and her boyfriend, Farell, are separated. Stasha is shot; plotting revenge, she applies her growing knowledge of computers and robotics to create remote-control cars for use in retaliatory

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  • 1000 WORDS: DOUG AITKEN

    “A lot of times I dance so fast that I become what’s around me.” So says the lone protagonist of Electric Earth, 1999, Doug Aitken’s hyperkinetic fable of modem life in the form of a sprawling eight-screen installation that took home the International Prize at last summer’s Venice Biennale. An uncanny cross-pollination of genre conventions sampled freely from music video, documentary, and narrative film alike, the work forged a weirdly precise portrait of urban angst, wedding installation to the vernacular vocabularies of cinema and dance. In Electric Earth as in Aitken’s previous works, the

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  • 1000 WORDS: JUSTINE KURLAND

    History Painting 101—revised. Moments serene enough to be from a Claude Lorrain, staged beneath a freeway overpass or on the banks of a toxic swamp. Pastoral bathers wear concert-tour T-shirts; highway angels with dirty fingernails shoplift Oreos; Pre-Raphaelite nymphs capture hapless boys who’ve happened on the wrong glade. Each of Justine Kurland’s photographs is a vignette from an ongoing narrative. Inspired by autobiography no less than by fairy tales, movies, Afterschool Specials, even painting in the Grand Manner, Justine’s World is an idyll where fact melts into fiction, where every girl

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  • 1000 WORDS: THOMAS HIRSCHHORN

    How much information can one receive from an artist in less than thirty minutes? Plenty, if the artist happens to be Thomas Hirschhorn. The thousand words gathered on this page are but a small fraction of the verbal barrage that was set loose with a click of my tape recorder and a few questions about Critical Laboratory, 1999, which the artist installed at the BildMuseet in the Swedish city of Umeh in late November. One of the more ambitious contributions to “Mirror’s Edge,” an international show organized by Okwui Enwezor in that small town on the northern outskirts of Europe, Hirschhorn’s

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  • 1000 WORDS: SHARON LOCKHART

    The concept behind Sharon Lockhart’s latest work is straightforward enough: Shoot a thirty-minute roll of film, from a single angle, of an audience listening to a piece of music created as a score for the film in question (by composer Becky Allen) and performed live by a chorus offstage in the orchestra pit. The film blankly registers the reaction of its less-than-rapt subjects: At the outset most follow the music more or less attentively, but eventually, with nothing to look at onstage save the camera, some begin to converse, joke around, even flirt and banter with one another.

    As simple as it

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  • 1000 WORDS: MARTIN KERSELS

    Working as a member of the dance/performance collaborative SHRIMPS, Martin Kersels figured out how to join a dulcet Conceptualism with loud noises and kickass kinetics, proving that there is a lot to be done with the dumb fact of gravity—having a body and being a body in space and time. Although he freely employs an array of media, his work always confronts and explores the mystery and sheer fun of spatial dynamics: a metal house that rumbled boisterously as he appeared to dance inside; an early piece, Brown Sound Kit, 1994, that emitted a sonic frequency purportedly disturbing enough to cause

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  • 1000 WORDS: LAURA OWENS

    Laura Owens makes wily, sensational paintings: Lines sweep into our peripheral vision, speed along as daringly as fearless schoolgirls sliding on ice, then burst unexpectedly into shapes—tiny spiraling volcanoes of color, wavering horizons, or bulky clouds. If Owens’s style—a surprising blend of mid-century formalism and Pop mischieviousness—evinces a cagey knowingness, it also reveals an unabashed delight in the voluptuousness of paint and form. With their light touch and winking palette (Rainbow Brites, avocado, harvest gold)—not to mention Owens’s open, nonpolemical disposition—her

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  • 1000 WORDS: GABRIEL OROZCO TALKS ABOUT HIS FILMS

    In his “Six Memos for the Next Millennium,” Italo Calvino dreams about a future poetry free of traditional obsessions with the human subject, a poetry about the world itself—about color and light and the infinite variety of things. Gabriel Orozco’s photographs have often reminded me of Calvino’s vision. In these images, the objects of the world—fruit, animals, human artifacts—assume a new dignity. Similarly, the artist’s recent films (he’s made five to date with a digital video camera during long strolls in New York City and Amsterdam) comprise unexpected sequences of the happenstance connections

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  • Richard Martin

    RICHARD MARTIN HAS LONG been associated with the formal presentation of fashion for contemplation. Less recollected, perhaps, as former editor of Arts magazine than as past director of the galleries at the Fashion Institute of Technology, his endeavors have always been as firmly situated in an appreciation of cultural nuance as in more overtly esthetic analysis. Hoping to balance as well as to challenge received notions of what distinguishes the vulgar from the vaunted, Martin has assumed the mantle of the legendary Diana Vreeland in curating the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of

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