COLUMNS

  • 1000 WORDS: FRANZ WEST

    Listening to the Viennese artist Franz West speak about the viewer’s relation to the art object, I was instantly taken back to an unpleasant experience I had as a boy in Vienna. As I was trying to get a closer look at a painting in the Kunsthistorisches Museum (I think it was a Brueghel), a stentorian voice came out of nowhere: Step back! Obviously, museums all over the world have to keep visitors from touching the objects, but nowhere is the method as frightening as in Vienna. Since West’s art is all about touching the works, I can’t help but see it as a reaction to these scary Viennese museum

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  • 1000 WORDS: ZOE LEONARD

    ZOE LEONARD

    I see this tree from my back window. I’ve had the same apartment for eighteen years, and I’ve watched this tree grow up and around the fence. I’m amazed at how, over time, it has absorbed the fence into its body.

    In 1994, I started spending time in Alaska. The first time, I stayed six months. I returned in 1995 and lived up there alone for a year and a half in Eagle, a small village on the Yukon River. I got interested in the idea of subsistence—of living more directly from my own labor. I heated with wood, hauled my own water, and gathered and grew some of my food. Gradually, my

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  • 1000 WORDS: TOBIAS REHBERGER

    A guy wants a classic suit and goes out to get one. Maybe he thinks he’s found the ideal cut. But years later he takes another look at his sample of eternal beauty and the whole thing seems grotesque. Maybe the lapels are too wide, or the color seems off. My work deals with these mechanisms. What at one time is seen as a classic form—something neutral or even timeless—is a construction. I’m interested in this whole process. I want to look at the context in which aesthetic values arise.

    Things can often be seen from more than one vantage, and I like to retain those possibilities. My

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  • 1000 WORDS: JASON RHOADES

    It’s hard to imagine anything that wouldn’t be grist for Jason Rhoades’ artistic mill. At times he seems to want to swallow the world of things in a single gulp, the way you might an oyster on the half shell. At the Nürnberg Kunsthalle, the LA-based artist has mounted his hungriest show to date, “The Purple Penis and the Venus (Installed in the Seven Stomachs of Nürnberg). As Part of The Creation Myth.” Treating the institution’s seven rooms as a mammoth digestive system, he’s arranged his earlier works in a drama of cosmic bulimia.

    When I met up with with Rhoades this summer to discuss his work

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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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