Friday, February 25, 2011

Work and No Play

A pivotal scene in the shining, Stanley Kubrick's classic film adaptation of the Steven King novel, occurs when Wendy, the wife of the protagonist Jack Torrance, enters the enormous reception hall in the isolated mountain hotel where her husband has been obsessively typing away on his "novel". Previously barred from the space by the increasingly unstable Jack, Wendy nervously goes to his typewriter and finds on its roller a sheet of paper on which the message "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" has been typed over and over again. Frantic, she turns to the thick stack of pages neatly piled nearby, where she finds the exact same phrase on the top dozen or so pages she rifles through before being interrupted by Jack. The manuscript, which she has imagined would be a sign of her husband's artistic achievement, is revealed instead as an undeniable symbol of his descent into madness.
Never one to stint on artistic integrity and veracity, Kubrick used no shortcuts for the relatively simple scene. As artists Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin discovered during recent research in to the Kubrick archives in London, instead of having the sentence typed on the few sheets seen by viewers, the director asked his secretary Margaret Warrington to type it on each one of the 500-odd sheets in the stack. What's more, he also had Warrington type up an equivalent number of manuscript pages in four languages- French, German, Italian, Spanish- for foreign release of the film. For these, he used idiomatic phrases with vaguely similar meanings:

"Un Tiens vaut mieux que duex Tu l'auras." translates as A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. "Was du heute kannst besorgen, das verschibe nicht aur morge" translates as Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. "ll mattino ha l'oro in bocca" translates as The early bird gets the worm. "No pormucho madrugar amanece mas temprano" translates as Even if you rise early, dawn will not come any sooner.

Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin


People in trouble laughing pushed to the ground. Soldiers leaning, pointing, reaching. Woman sweeping. Balloons escaping. Coffin descending. Boys standing. Grieving. Chair balancing. Children smoking. Embracing. Creatures barking. Cars burning. Helicopters hovering. Faces. Human figures. Shapes. Birds. Structures left standing and falling...

The Belfast Exposed Archive occupies a small room on the first floor at 23 Donegal Street and contains over 14,000 black-and-white contact sheets, documenting the Troubles in Northern Ireland. These are photographs taken by professional photo-journalists and ‘civilian’ photographers, chronicling protests, funerals and acts of terrorism as well as the more ordinary stuff of life: drinking tea; kissing girls; watching trains.

Belfast Exposed was founded in 1983 as a response to concern over the careful control of images depicting British military activity during the Troubles. Whenever an image in this archive was chosen, approved or selected, a blue, red or yellow dot was placed on the surface of the contact sheet as a marker. The position of the dots provided us with a code; a set of instructions for how to frame the photographs in this book. Each of the circular photographs shown on the previous pages reveals the area beneath these circular stickers; the part of each image that has been obscured from view the moment it was selected. Each of these fragments – composed by the random gesture of the archivist - offers up a self-contained universe all of its own; a small moment of desire or frustration or thwarted communication that is re-animated here after many years in darkness.

The marks on the surface of the contact strips – across the image itself – allude to the presence of many visitors. These include successive archivists, who have ordered, catalogued and re-catalogued this jumble of images. For many years the archive was also made available to members of the public, and sometimes they would deface their own image with a marker pen, ink or scissors. So, in addition to the marks made by generations of archivists, photo editors, legal aides and activists, the traces of these very personal obliterations are also visible. They are the gestures of those who wished to remain anonymous.

We would like to acknowledge and thank the original photographers Mervyn Smith, Sean Mc Kernan, Gerry Casey, Seamus Loughran and all other contributing photographers to Belfast Exposed’s archive.

Sarah Pucci

Au milieu du pays des braillards, anthropophages, remords, du trafic, fer, caoutchouc, des merdes de chiens, des gueulards, joueurs de cornemuse, râleurs, dégueuleurs, soldats, anthropophages, fonctionnaires, hommes politiques, saucisses, du ciment, du petit ménage, de la cochonnerie, de la saloperie, de l’abattage, du zèle, du devoir, des artistes, de l’insolence, des étudiants, de la nausée, du vomissement, de l’anthropophagie, des petits vols, du deuil, de l’achat, de la dérive dans le cloaque et de l’anthropophagie, SARAH PUCCI montre l’essence des balles, le balancement, chatouillement, miroitement, chatouillement, bourdonnement, ballottement, tintillement, le dodu, clair, doux et pourtant tendu, tissant planant, scintillant, la patience et ses fruits qui sautillent et grisollent, chatouillent, froufroutent, éventent, embrassent, viennent, désirent, partent, gigotent, sourient, aspirent, clignent des yeux, happent, gloussent, chatouillent, étincellent, rient haut et bas, frétillent, babillent, chatouillent et sourient, trépignent, fredonnent, grimpent, font de la voile, escaladent, papillonnent, ricanent, chatouillent et tremblent.

Et je me demande, comment est-ce possible de faire pousser dans ses mains ces balles merveilleuses, comme SARAH PUCCI sait le faire, de telle sorte qu’elles tremblent et chatouillent, ricanent, papillonnent, escaladent, font de la voile, grimpent, fredonnent, trépignent, sourient et chatouillent, babillent, frétillent, rient bas et haut, étincellent, chatouillent, gloussent, happent, clignent des yeux, aspirent, sourient, gigotent, partent, désirent, viennent, embrassent, éventent, froufroutent, chatouillent, grisollent et sautillent, les fruits de la patience, scintillant, planant tissant, tendu et pourtant doux, clair, avec le dodu, tintillement, ballottement, bourdonnement, chatouillement, miroitement, chatouillement, balancement dans leur essence? Comment peut-elle tous les laisser pousser de façon si merveilleuse, là-bas, de l’autre côté, derrière la mer, au pays des anthropophages, dériveurs dans le cloaque, acheteurs, du deuil, des petits voleurs, des anthropophages, de la grande nausée, des étudiants, de l’insolence des artistes, du devoir, du zèle, de l’abattage, de la saloperie, de la cochonnerie, du petit ménage, du ciment, des saucisses, hommes politiques, fonctionnaires, anthropophages, soldats, dégueuleurs, râleurs, joueurs de cornemuse, gueulards, des merdes de chiens, du caoutchouc, fer, trafic, des remords, anthropophages, braillards et cannibales ?

Dieter Roth
Stuttgart, 14.6.73
Traduction: Catherine Laubier avec l’aimable autorisation de Björn Roth et Dorothy Iannone.

A zealous repetition of daily practice has produced the bejeweled objects of the late Sarah Pucci, mother of Dorothy Iannone. These intense, compacted works, were made throughout the second half of the 20th century and regularly sent to her daughter who was living in Europe, as tokens of devotion. They scintillate an aura of idealistic beauty on steroids that grows into a delicate grotesque.

Monday, February 21, 2011


ildBookMarket – WildeBoekenMarkt 2011
At the WildBookMarket (WBM), national and international artists and publishers will be presenting their remarkable art books published between 2007-2011. WBM is the ideal opportunity to explore, buy or exchange art(ists) books. This year WBM will be focussing on the phenomenon of the monograph.

WBM 2011 includes 20 exhibitors and over a 100 individual entries. The entries come from many countries in Europe, and one from the USA. Most publications were released in 2010, but some are even fresh off the press!
On 11 February the WBM 2011 catalog (€8,-) will be presented.

On Saturday February 12, from 10.00 to 17.00h, there will be Open Studios at HWW.
For updates / programme: please visit

APE (Art Paper Editions), De Nieuwe Toneelbibliotheek, Drukkerij Slinger, Foam, Fw-photography, Jan van Eyck Academie, Knust / Nijmeegse Universele, Motto, Office for Contemporary Art Norway, O.K. PARKING, post editions, Roma Publications, Shashin, Stickit, TENT, The Soon Institute Publishing House, Timmer Art Books, Elisabeth Tonnard, Tukker & Everwijn Instituut,, Zone 5300

boeken van / books of:
75B, Michael Anhalt, Xacier Antin, Karin Arink, Annette Behrens , Caterina Benvegnù + Ana, María Bresciani, Judith van den Berg, Marc Bijl, Karianne Bueno, Michael Burger, Jan-Dirk van den Burg, Sophie Calle, Sarah Carlier, Joao Carrilho, Antonio Cataldo, Chinese European Art Center, Rafaela Drazic, Van Drimmelen & Griffioen, Gilbert van Drunen, Constance van Duinen, Diana Duta, Annemiek Fanoy, Wapke Feenstra, F. Franciscus, Galerie10m, Marielle van Genderen, Bertus Gerssen, Vesko Gösel, Timo van Grinsven, Gummbah + Chantal Rens, Frank Halmans, Maria Hees, Roos Hoffmann, Leah Holscher, Jan Huijben, I am YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNER, Inti Guerrero, Yota Ioannidou, KINGS, Esther Kokmeijer, Gerben Kolkena, Kristiina Koskentola , Raoul Kramer, Dico Kruijsse, Anouk Kruithof, Jeroen Kuster, Mariëtte Linders, Katharina D. Martin, Shar McLeod, Rop van Mierlo, Jacopo Miliani, Christina Mitrentse, Antoinette Nausikaa, Carme Nogueira, Office for Contemporary Art Norway , Konsta Ojala, Oldschool,Ted Oonk, Jannemieke Oostra, Miguel Palma, Antje Peters, Antje Peters / Oliver Helfrich, Adriaan van der Ploeg, Point Never, Marisa Rappard, Chantal Rens, Gyz La Rivière, Roomservice, Nina Roos, Kathelijne Roosen, Alexandra Roozen, Charlotte Schleiffert, Ina Marie Schmidt, Jack Segbars, The Session, Marleen Sleeuwits, Jos van der Sommen, Jonas Staal, Femke van der Stoep, Tineke Storteboom, Yee Lee Tang, Koen Taselaar, Steini Thorsson, Uncanny Editions, Petra Valdimarsdóttir, Reinaart Vanhoe, Kamiel Verschuren, Karine Versluis, Heidi Vogels, Caroline Waltman, Mariken Wessels, Christiaan Wikkerink, Het Wilde Weten, Hans Wilschut, Pieter Wisse, xabilin, Weronika Zielinska
updates follow

Sunday, February 6, 2011

AGAINST NATURE,+LACE+%281988%29&source=bl&ots=BmSDmquhc7&sig=KRIIX_oXqlTG-ngWzBhdS3qqctU&hl=it&ei=TvFOTeGHAoSWOoOUnEI&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CGQQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=Against%20Nature%3A%20A%20Show%20by%20Homosexual%20Men%2C%20LACE%20%281988%29&f=false

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Paul Pfeiffer

Paul Pfeiffer: Accessing Other Dimensions
By Brian Curtin

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and raised in the Philippines, New York-based artist Paul Pfeiffer is known for his interest in the spectacle of mass-media imagery, which he manipulates to create hypnotic videos and digital prints. Pfeiffer has had major solo exhibitions at K21 in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 2004 and at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain, in 2008. Pfeiffer was commissioned in 2007 by the London-based nonprofit Artangel to memorialize the famous football arena Wembley Stadium with the installation “The Saints.” The piece shows a lone player from archival footage of the 1966 World Cup Final between West Germany and England, overlaid with a chorus of chanting that Pfeiffer recorded in the Philippines. His ongoing series “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” (2000– ) includes portraits of basketball players leaping into the air without the ball, the basket or any surrounding players—all of which Pfeiffer digitally erased. At the risk of reproducing mass-media’s effects rather than critiquing them, Pfeiffer’s use of sports imagery appears to exploit the heroic and seductive qualities of professional athletics’ visual rhetoric. But the artist’s reckoning with powerful images that often blind viewers to critical insight is more radical than it at first appears. Pfeiffer was recently in Bangkok and spoke with ArtAsiaPacific contributor Brian Curtin about his disconcerting digital interventions.

The so-called Pictures Generation—Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo and others—who returned to representational imagery in the late 1970s, often via appropriation, after a decade of minimal and conceptual art, are a precedent for your practice in terms of their appropriation of mass-media images. How do you understand their influence, particularly as a critique of media?

I feel a connection to the work of the Pictures artists. We have a shared interest in common, everyday images and how they shape reality. But I understand this shared interest as something more than media critique. There’s an uncanny emptiness lurking beneath the surface of every glossy image. For me, the legacy of the Pictures Generation is a desire to disrupt the surface illusion of reality and to access another dimension. In the work of Richard Prince I read a desire to break through the insulating and dulling effects of images, as though he’s trying to expose a traumatic reality hidden underneath. Here I’m specifically thinking of the re-photographed Marlboro ads and the sunset photos, in which you can’t tell if the people frolicking in the water are laughing and having fun or screaming because they’re getting fried by the sun.

There’s a deep fascination with images in your work, and I am interested in the implications of the pleasure of the image. Would you discuss this disruption or breaking through in relation to your engagement with the material aspect of images?

I have a background as a printmaker. It would be interesting to look at the history of printmaking as a kind of analog precursor to the digital imaging tools and processes we take for granted today. But media images don’t have a material aspect separate from their semiotic dimension; their form and meaning go hand in hand. In fact, I like the idea of accessing the one through the other, a kind of synesthesia. Richard Prince had a stylistic preference for the minimal, visually terse, even anti-aesthetic gesture. But this was the late 1970s and early 1980s, a far cry from the pluralistic aesthetic landscape we work in today. Compared to the artists of the Pictures Generation, artists like me might appear more comfortable playing with the material aspects of media images, even fascinated with them, for example, taking a painterly approach to editing and compositing video footage. But then again, compared with the minimalists and conceptual artists of the time, the original appropriation artists probably appeared indulgent in regards to the pleasures of the image.

Broadly speaking, you are consistently concerned with issues of race and visual representation, from your early use of sports imagery to Live From Neverland (2006), where you used footage of pop singer Michael Jackson’s public denial of child abuse charges.

As far as art-making goes, race, like religion, or like Jackson himself, is a way into people’s psyches. Race itself is not so interesting. Sure it’s part of the picture, but it’s just one dimension. Ideally, I want my work to oscillate between different readings.

Live From Neverland achieves this ideal as the imagery is deeply seductive and employs a plethora of references. How did you come to make this work?

Live From Neverland is part of my ongoing series of works with found footage, a recreation of a public statement Michael Jackson read on television around the world in 1993. I chose the footage less for the content of the speech and more for the global recognition factor. This televisual image of Jackson is also just a visually arresting image with a dream-like quality to it, thanks to the saturated colors and the shocking whiteness of his face. There’s an artificial quality to Jackson’s delivery as well. He looks earnestly into the camera as it zooms to a close-up. The scene seems staged and affected. This footage is paired with a second video image showing a chorus of 80 men and women performing Jackson’s monologue in unison. In fact, it’s a group of college students at Silliman University, the historic seat of American education in the Philippines, whom I hired. I slowed down the Jackson footage, synching the movement of his mouth to match the measured pace of the chorus. In the resulting slow motion image, Jackson appears to be struggling to speak, as though he’s stuck in some viscous medium and can barely move.

And what about the narrative of child abuse charges?

I’m interested in the relationship between the individual and the crowd in the spectacle of Michael Jackson’s arrest. Jackson starts out as an exquisite object of mass devotion. His fans scream and faint when he appears on stage. Everyone wants a piece of him. But despite his stardom, you get a sense that his free will diminishes as his audience grows increasingly obsessed with gaining access to his private life. In the end he seems trapped, powerless to express the truth about himself, a projection screen for the desires and fears of the mob. His predicament relates to everyone living in our media-saturated culture. That’s my real interest in playing with the footage and trying to make something out of it.

Can you extrapolate this insight as a central concern of your work?

You mean, mass media imagery is “merely” an object of projection, and therefore not a vehicle for truth, as such? Would you like to make some general comments on this idea? Everyone knows that media images often lie. But that doesn’t diminish their power to grab our attention and exert an influence on our lives. In the end, the deep connection between images and people is a mystery to me. I think of Live From Neverland as an attempt to represent an enigma rather than to provide answers or defend a critical position on media culture.