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PRINT March 2007

FIRST THOUGHT BEST THOUGHT: ALLEN RUPPERSBERG CURATES

TIM GRIFFIN

IF EVER THERE WERE AN ARTIST whose practice seemed premised on Jacques Rancière’s idea of the spectator who “makes his poem with the poem that is performed in front of him,” it is Allen Ruppersberg. So much of his work takes the act of transposition as its substance, as when, for example, cinema provides a model for sculpture or literature the subject for drawing. In this way, the artist himself can seem a distanced viewer who creates parallel narratives for the works before him, ruminating openly on educational movies of the past or on the writings of Raymond Roussel—putting on display the kind of subsequent personal fiction that flourishes in the only place where art might actually meet life, in a viewing or reading subject’s mind. But Rancière’s notion is manifested most literally for audiences in The Singing Posters, Parts I, II & III (Poetry Sound Collage Sculpture Book)—Allen

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