PRINT March 2004


Trisha Donnelly

Trisha Donnelly is a California-based artist. Her solo show at Casey Kaplan, New York, will open this fall.

  1. DAAN VAN GOLDEN After seeing this Dutch artist’s work for the first time at last year’s Lyon Biennale I got totally wonderlost. So when I found the museum bookstore (and the planet), I immediately bought a catalogue, which included his work from the ’60s to today. At once dignified and psychedelic, van Golden’s paintings are often based on minute photographic forms and classical textiles. In one, he takes a snowy, pixelated outline (derived from multiple Xeroxes of the photo of a parakeet that Matisse used in his late collages) and cradles it in sky blue. Photographs of his daughter between the ages of one and eighteen are lovingly portrayed, curiously layered documents of youth. Within every photograph there is a quiet oddity, and out of each painting grows a form—elaborate and strangely pure of insistence.* Though difficult to locate (van Golden doesn’t show in the US because he has an aversion to shipping—perfect), the more I see of van Golden’s work, the more radical it becomes.

    Daan van Golden, _Study HM,_ 2003, oil on canvas, 74 3/4 x 47 1/4". Daan van Golden, Study HM, 2003, oil on canvas, 74 3/4 x 47 1/4".
  2. ON A TUESDAY* Read Knut Hamsun’s apologia, On Overgrown Paths. Then watch the new DVD release of the 1966 Japanese film The Pornographers.

  3. MINIATURE MAGAZINES Small magazines are so lovely. It looks as if the reader grew after buying one. If Teen Vogue is smaller, does that mean that teenage girls are bigger? Taller? Are they rapidly growing to an infinite and disorderly size? I think The Economist should be next.

  4. THE LIVES OF MEN Shannon Ebner’s MLK, Double-Horizon, 2003, is a photograph of a giant, white cutout number “74” (the age Martin Luther King Jr. would have been last year) set on a hilltop against an expanse of California sky. Jason Dodge’s The Disappearance of Samuel Paley, 2003 (a sculpture in honor of a park that is in honor of a man named Samuel Paley), comprising thin aluminum rods hung from ceiling to floor, breaks surrounding walls into slivers to make hairline fractures in space. Each of these works suggests a parallel-universe reincarnation: one of a man who today exists for us most fully as an idea; the other of a monument to an idea of a man.

  5. IL FANTASTICO VIAGGIO DEL “BAGAROZZO” MARK Goblin (the Italian rock group who scored most of Dario Argento’s films) recorded this epiphany of an album in 1978. Until the recent US rerelease, it could only be found abroad—and for quite a price. Massimo Morante’s vocals, hung over winding staircases of organ and electric guitar, fluctuate between a seductive gothic whisper and a “this is when the confetti explosions go off behind me” scream. The album’s plot could easily be misinterpreted as the transformation of a young man—Mark—into a space bug, but, Goblin (in hindsight, of course) claim this is their “just say no to drugs” album.

    Goblin, _Il fantastico viaggio del “bagarozzo” Mark, _1978. Goblin, Il fantastico viaggio del “bagarozzo” Mark, 1978.
  6. IN THE GLOAMING Adam Putnam’s “Magic Lantern” series (on view last month at Artists Space in New York) reminds me of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1851 tale “The Familiar,” in which a man is tormented by a delphic paranormal character that he alone can sense in seemingly empty streets, empty rooms, and dark corners. Le Fanu uses merely a shadow of a presence, lightly drawn and nebulous, to haunt the main character into cataleptic death. With his “Magic Lanterns” Putnam reverses Le Fanu’s sleight of hand: The looming presence takes the form of an empty room. In his odd, architecturally detailed projections, spaces quiver unnervingly with the movement of the silent candlelight that fuels them.

  7. BRUNO SERRALONGUE, CORÉE (KOREA), 2001 Fantastical, sad, at times funny, this piece recounts the story of three Korean auto workers who trek from Korea to France and Switzerland to extradite their embezzling fugitive boss. Consisting of found and gathered texts and interviews and corresponding photographs (which Serralongue slightly tweaks)—all assembled by the artist in Korea and France from 1982 to 2001—Corée shifts gracefully into and out of literature, speculation, and documentary, vastly expanding the idea of the modern chronicle.

  8. “MILKY WHITE WAY” Glory falls down from the stars in the Trumpeteers’ version of this joyful deathbed song.* Recorded in 1947 by the radio-era southern black gospel group; now digitally remastered for the encyclopedic Goodbye, Babylon box set (Dust-to-Digital, 2003). I push play. I listen. I rewind then repeat. Then repeat. Then repeat.

  9. “MULTIPLIED ENJOYMENT OF THE MOMENT” That’s the intention of Michael S. Riedel and Dennis Loesch, directors of Oskar-von-Miller Strasse 16, who have taken blatant piracy and appropriation for a short walk. Oskar is a space not far from the Portikus gallery in Frankfurt; for four years, Riedel and Loesch have been re-creating Portikus’s exhibitions, transforming the knockoff into a one-of. (Jim Isermann’s white-dotted floors at Portikus became Oskar’s “Isermann” floor scattered with white balloons. . . . On another occasion, the pair sent two men to stand very close behind Gilbert & George and echo their gestures for the entire evening of the artists’ opening.) Riedel and Loesch also staged a Who* concert where, while playing a Who record, they merely stood onstage with their instruments, staring into space. They prefer the Lambretta to the Vespa.

    If you know what that means you’ll know what they mean.**

    Michael S. Riedel and Dennis Loesch, _Jim Isermann,_ 2000. Installation view, Oskar-von-Miller Strasse 16, Frankfurt, 2000. Photo: Alina V. Grumiller. Michael S. Riedel and Dennis Loesch, Jim Isermann, 2000. Installation view, Oskar-von-Miller Strasse 16, Frankfurt, 2000. Photo: Alina V. Grumiller.
  10. SPIRIT LOST AND FOUND When the Mars rover lost contact with ground control, it broke the hearts of hundreds of scientists. I like to think that the Spirit found its way into a crevice somewhere on that vast, dry planet. Inside: Sturtevant’s Stella La Paloma and, leaning softly against the cavern wall, John McCracken’s* sculpture Mars. Spirit wasn’t lost; it just didn’t want to leave that weirding place, so it shut its radio off.

    * “Poetry”

    I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle.
    Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in
    it after all, a place for the genuine.

    —Marianne Moore, 1919

    * If by chance you take me up on this, I suggest a Tuesday, as it took me the entire week to recover from a sympathetic insanity and paranoia I developed after consuming this combination.

    * Speaking of the afterlife, I’m so happy to know that Anubis wears blue! Mind blowing. I’ve wondered about this since I was a child. And Horus has truly wonderful taste. The giant plastic pouf. Terrific. Thank you, Mr. Galliano. This year I’m thinking . . . Egypt, gods of the dead, pull your brains out through your nostrils. Afterlife in heels. How reassuring!

    * Which reminds me . . . Roger Daltrey’s stutter from “My Generation”? Whether it’s real or fake, is it possible that appropriation, too, is a stutter? R-r-r-ich-ch-chard P-p-pr-r-rince? I would love it if it’s true.


    * How can this be? Because he is the Kwisatz Haderach.