PRINT January 2002

International Shorts

Rachel Withers, David Rimanelli, Philip Nobel

SPONTANEITY SURE AIN’T WHAT IT used to be. Nowadays acting off the cuff takes detailed preplanning: Just ask Nouveau Realiste Daniel Spoerri, who reprises his 1960s Eat Art Concept at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, from April 19 to May 19. He’ll serve dinner to a hundred people per night for ten nights, under the tableaux-pièges of earlier, more impromptu meals; the resulting accidental gustatory configurations (dirty dishes, crumpled napkins, table-cloth spills) will themselves be salvaged and preserved. Christopher Wool, another maitre d’ of improvised contrivance, serves a variety of dishes at Le Consortium, Dijon, from March 2 to June 18: Eight of the New Yorker’s paintings accompany 200 Polaroids showing works in progress, on view for the first time. Also on the menu are 200 snaps of Wool’s hometown and his whole output of artist’s books: twenty editions. (Crumbs!)

Self-styled “boy group” Gelatin enjoys landing gallery-goers in sticky situations. They’'ll bring their Perception Art (“cheap, cutting edge, handmade, and open to anyone”) to the Kunsthalle St. Gallen, Switzerland (Jan. 26–Mar. 24). Visitors will be “injected” via a tube into a gallery filled with thousands of empty plastic bottles, where they will “float in art space.” The Kunsthalle’s press release doesn’t mention exits, so if you go, be ready to think on your feet (so to speak). If Cuban artist Kcho drops in, he’ll be able to call on the bottle-navigating skills that won him the Kwangju Biennial prize in 1995: Lying in a rowboat on a sea of empties, the artist became a human version of the jetsam that often serves as his raw material. From February 8 to April 7, Turin’s Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea will show Kcho’s La Jungla, a tailor-made installation featuring previous sculptures enmeshed in thickets of braided twigs. And from January 17 to March to the Kunsthalle Basel will house a bespoke environment by immersion addict Ernesto Neto. In the Kunsthalle’s skylit Oberlichtsaal, Neto will take the opportunity to explore “the sculptural features of light” more than ever before.

After September II, Generali Foundation guest curators Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann were adrift in much murkier waters. Should they press ahead with “Violence is at the margin of all things,” an examination of political activism partly prompted by events in Seattle and Genoa? They resolved to proceed. Their scrupulously theorized show, which posits aggressive militancy as endemic to bourgeois society, will include historic photos of the Paris Communards, political art from interwar Cologne and Vienna, and contemporary projects by Los Angelenos Ultra Red and Berliners Theoretical Television (Jan. 17–Apr. 21). At the Art Gallery of South Australia, the 2002 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art puts advances in genetic technologies—DNA testing, cloning, genetically modified foods, and other scientific bugbears—under the microscope. Featured artists include Justine Cooper, who will construct a latex identity chamber, and Patricia Piccinni, who probes the controversial issues raised by the farming of human tissue (Mar. 1–Apr. 28).

Global and gender politics intersect in Ann-Sofi Sidén’s project Warte Mal! (Hey, wait!) showing at the Hayward Gallery from January 17 to April 1: The Swedish artist has taken her video camera to the Czech-German border town of Dubi, now a giant red-light district for Czech prostitutes and their predominantly German clients. Her video interviews, photos, and diary notes gauge the catastrophic effects of communism’s fall via the testimony of some of those hardest hit. The videos of Sidén’s compatriot Annika Larsson (see “First Take,” p. 120) and the pair of Dutch sisters known as L.A. Raeven tend to criticize gender roles more waspishly, as visitors to London’s ICA will find this spring: Larsson’s sub/dom study Dog, 2001, and two Wild Zone projects by the “terrible twins” will be on view from February 8 to March 10.

Rachel Withers


Raymond Pettibon’s early works—of the late ’70s and early ’80s—grew out of the Los Angeles punk-rock scene (his older brother Greg Ginn founded the seminal hardcore band Black Flag, for which Pettibon provided memorable album-cover art). Since then, his drawings have omnivorously incorporated literary sources from Henry James to Mickey Spillane. Roland Groenenboom’s retrospective at MACBA, Barcelona, will comprise hundreds of drawings, a series of new murals created for the occasion, and paralipomena including books, videos, and music (Feb. 7–Apr. 11).

David Rimanelli


Grandes equipamentos culturais”: With that useful phrase the organizers of the fourth Arte/Cidade, a series of projects in Sao Paulo, describe the giantism not only of contemporary museums but also their megacity hosts. Recruited by curator Nelson Brissac and Museum Boijmans van Beunigen director Chris Dercon, a corps of international art-world shock troops—Vito Acconci, Atelier van Lieshout, Krzysztof Wodiczko, and some twenty others—will “intervene” in the city’s sprawling eastern reaches. From April 3 to 6 a workshop will be held, with Rem Koolhaas as master of ceremonies. Large cultural equipment, indeed (Jan. 13–Apr. 30).

Philip Nobel