You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘‘culture’’ tag.

apexart: resolving another boundary between art and business

* Some free advertising for a worthy cause *

apexart wants to come to you. Any city, any town, anywhere in 
the world. We are offering a one-time franchise opportunity 
where apexart will come to your city and appoint you the 
director of your own temporary non-profit exhibition space. 
For a four-week exhibition, and in the months preceding, you 
will be the director and/or curator and/or staff of your own 
institution with a budget, a salary, and complete control.
More info and to submit click here.

We will provide up to $10,000 USD in funding, along with the 
necessary guidance to make your curated exhibition happen, 
accompanied by an apexart brochure. In addition, prior to your 
show, we’ll arrange to bring you to NYC for three days, all 
expenses paid, to visit apexart and meet our staff.
Submit up to a 250-word statement on why apexart should come to 
you. Applications will be accepted until midnight December 1, 
2008, from anyone, anywhere in the world.

291 Church Street, NYC, 10013
t. 212 431 5270

apexart’s exhibitions and public programs are supported in part by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Edith C. Blum Foundation, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Artist: Gareth Kennedy; Composer: Ian Wilson; Musician: Cathal Roche; photographs by Sarah Browne.
A white van with two men in it arrive on site (an abandoned housing development). They are wearing hi-vis jackets. The van evokes breakfast rolls, Lucozade and bad takeaway coffee.
They exit the van, unpacking a series of large green bags and a set of wooden sections. They assemble a lattice with the wooden sections – they become floor sections – and a flat yellow hexagon is placed on top.
A sound system is assembled.
The bulky green bags are zipped open and a mass of pale yellow, plasticy material is pulled out and lifted over to the floor. It looks like a big primrosey, marshmallowy thing. The colour of it exactly matches the new housing development up on the hill in the background. (This particular colour of exterior housepaint in the early 2000s is to magnolia in seventies hallways and sittingrooms).
A generator is switched on and a fan or compressor can be heard. The soft yellowy mass begins to gain in volume, the mallow being filled with air: quickly within the mass distinct forms begin to emerge. No edges, but forms are there – columns, a flat section, and a pointed shape. (This part points upwards insistently and there is something vaguely priapic about it). Fairly quickly, the shape that looked something like a Claes Oldenburg soft sculpture, or a huge melted ice cream cone, has morphed into a robust piece of architecture.
A microphone is placed on the floor, more like a stage now, and another man becomes visible by the side of the white van. He is dressed simply in black and is holding a saxaphone.

The saxophonist walks onto the stage, and with no announcement begins to play, improvising with and against a pre-recorded piece of music.
It’s harder to adhere words to this part, as I don’t really know how to talk about music and sound, and how it makes you feel and think. There are sound samples in it: a landmark moment in Irish history; and (my favourite) Bertie Ahern saying I want to talk about the future. Future. The piece has a peculiar kind of energy to it – based on the crescendo of the last decade’s economic growth, there is a kind of wildness to it, and a suspense: the form of the music anticipates no obvious conclusion.
The end does arrive, and the collected audience clap.
August 17th, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim. Part of AFTER

Protest is Beautiful, FREEE, 2007

 Model for a rainbow to be raised this weekend in Co. Leitrim, Ireland (wooden, 8 metres or so in its largest dimension).

Please send contributions for ‘amateur hour’ to selfinterestandsympathy[at]gmail[dot]com

A new piece written for the new Travelogue zine. Issue one also features contributions by Garrett Phelan, Tim Stott, Dominque Hurth, Dennis McNulty and Jessica Foley. This is a new zine edited by Ciaran Walsh, and distributed in print form in Dublin and Berlin. Available as a pdf for download here




I like to go to conferences. I find comfort in the conflicting senses of community and anonymity that they provide, and I find the feeling of floating between bubbles pleasing. Sometimes I flirt with different disciplines; economics and comparative literature most recently (contemporary art is my home turf, though of late the nomenclature of such conferences have been scattered with the prefixes ‘multi’, ‘inter’ and ‘trans’). Moving between the bubbles can be difficult to do elegantly though, and there are sometimes awkward moments where feet get stood on.



1. Aesop’s Fable of The Bat, the Bird and the Beasts,* retold for The Surfer Academic


Location: Conference addressing themes of art, geography and ‘place’ (Western Europe)


Once at a conference there was an unusual looking academic. He bore select stylistic badges of both academia (in memory he has a tweed jacket with elbow patches) and something more visibly ‘alternative’ (long blondish hair in a scraggly ponytail). His physique, broad of shoulder and tan of face, also defied the anaemic academic stereotype. Clearly, here was an individual who did not wish to be pigeonholed.


This impression was reinforced, slowly and painfully, by the paper delivered by the Surfer Academic, as I came to think of him. The paper was concerned with spaces of in-betweeness, the gap between high and low tides, if you will. Images accompanying the initial part of the presentation were personal photographs of waves, unidentifiable as waves.


The Surfer Academic discussed the liminal areas between sea and seaside; wet and dry; hospitable and inhospitable; and (of course) nature and culture. He referred to Derrida’s example of the picture frame as a thing that resides in the place between such categories (art and the rest of the world). These were related to certain artworks, though these relationships were not that clear.


There was also some discussion of surf culture, particularly its commercial imagery and linguistic terminology. The enthusiasm of the Surfer Academic was apparent. He referred to Barthes, for whom the sea was semiotically blank, and to Burke’s notion of the sublime.


The presentation was very drawn out. The Surfer Academic was taking far too long – he was late starting and maybe twenty minutes over his running time by now – and he was delivering his paper with difficulty as his audience shifted in our seats. Perplexed though I was, I felt sympathetic towards the Surfer Academic: he was clearly a passionate, and very conflicted, individual, trying sincerely to vanquish some old Cartesian ghosts. He should have just quit the guilt and hit the beach, though I suspect he was actually a terrible surfer anyway.

  Read the rest of this entry »

From Newsgrist; reBlogged from Palladio; via NYTimes:

The Image Is Familiar; the Pitch Isn’t
Published: July 13, 2008

IN February 2007 the Swiss-American artist Christian Marclay was installing a solo exhibition of his work in Paris when he received an e-mail message from a friend about a commercial for the Apple iPhone that had been broadcast during the Academy Awards show.

Slide Show: Art and Advertising

The 30-second spot featured a rapid-fire montage of clips from television shows and Hollywood films of actors and cartoon characters — including Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Dustin Hoffman and Betty Rubble — picking up the telephone and saying “Hello.” It ended with a shot of the soon-to-be-released iPhone.

Mr. Marclay tracked down the ad on YouTube and watched it.

“I was very surprised,” he said recently by phone from London. Like many in the art world he saw an uncanny resemblance between the iPhone commercial and his own 1995 video “Telephones,” which opens with a similar montage of film clips showing actors answering the phone. That seven-and-a-half-minute video, one of Mr. Marclay’s signature works, has been exhibited widely throughout Europe and the United States.

About a year before, Mr. Marclay said, Apple had approached the Paula Cooper Gallery, which represents his work in New York, about using “Telephones” in an advertisement.

“I told them I didn’t want to do it,” he said. His main concern, he said, was that “advertisers on that scale have so much power and visibility” and that “everyone would think of my video as the Apple iPhone ad.”

Mr. Marclay said he spoke with a lawyer after learning of the commercial but decided not to pursue legal action. “When people with that much power and money copy you, there’s not much you can do,” he said.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is a version of an article recently published in the Visual Artist’s Newsheet. It’s a response to a roundtable discussion titled ‘Creativity versus Commodity’, organised for Colin Darke’s exhibition at Temple Bar Galleries, Dublin, written about here. [February 8th 2008]

The Capital Paintings evolved from Darke’s earlier work, Capital, where the artist transcribed the entire text of Marx’s three volumes of ‘Das Capital’ onto 480 2D objects, all mounted in A4 laminates. With The Capital Paintings, Darke has returned to the previous work, reconsidering and re-presenting every piece in the earlier work as a to-scale oil painting on canvas, though removing the layer of text previously written over each object. Thus, ‘Darke flips the previous process, the ready made becomes the ‘unique’ art object, the banal commodity further commodified and rarified via its display in the gallery context’. (1) The format of Darke’s work replicates the Christmas ‘selling show’ it immediately followed, and promotes this obvious slippage.

Where Capital was perhaps a distant cousin of Marx’s text, the Capital Paintings are a familial relation at another remove from the initial work, and a further remove still from Marx. Nevertheless, he hovers as the invisible referent.

Sarah Pierce chaired the discussion, which, titled ‘Creativity versus Commodity’, set up from the very beginning a problematic polarity of these two terms. Pierce opened with remarks that questioned the usefulness of this supposed opposition, proposing the notion of a ‘circular economy’ that we are all implicated in, but it proved a difficult opposition to shift.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sunny day at IMMA*:

Wheelchair ramp to crappy bookshop

None to ladies’ toilets


*Irish Museum of Modern Art


A federal judge dismissed criminal indictments on Monday against an art professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo who was charged four years ago with mail and wire fraud after receiving bacteria through the mail that he said he planned to use in his art projects.

Read the rest of this entry »


Civilian Art Projects & Curator’s Office, Washington DC, team up to present ‘Craigslist’. Featuring the work of Jason Horowitz, Jason Zimmerman, John & Joseph Dumbacher. From the press release:

craigslist explores how four artists utilize this renowned community website as a conceptual component in their artistic practice. The exhibition features works by the artist team Joseph Dumbacher & John Dumbacher, Jason Horowitz, and Jason  Zimmerman and is co-curated by Jayme McLellan, Director of Civilian Art Projects, and Andrea Pollan, Director of Curator’s Office. An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, March 21 from 7 – 9 pm.

An essay by Andrea Pollan will accompany the exhibition. The artist team of Joseph and John Dumbacher solicit willing models on craigslist to meet them in movie theaters where they create haunting and identity-obscuring photographic portraits. Similarly, Jason Horowitz advertises for models to pose in his studio where he shoots extreme close-ups of their body parts and then explodes the scale of the image to create an unsettling nexus of anonymous portraiture and landscape. Jason Zimmerman exploits images posted by users on as his raw material. He creates digital photo albums of hundreds of individuals who publicize their sexual availability by uploading images of their naked bodies but with their facial identities distorted or obscured.

Civilian Art ProjectsCurator’s Office, Craigslist

Image: Jason Horowitz, Liz #4, archival digital print, 42″ x63″, ed. 1/5, 2006

June 2019
« Mar