History of Our World

Doug Aitken

Posted in Art, Film, Landscape, Photography by B on October 18, 2010

Blow Debris, 2000. Colour film transferred to 9 channel digital video installation, colour, sound and architectural environment, 21 min. cycle.

Electric Earth, 1999. Colour film transferred to 8 channel laserdisc installation, colour, sound, 9 min. 50 sec. cycle.

Electric Earth, 1999. Colour film transferred to 8 channel laserdisc installation, colour, sound, 9 min. 50 sec. cycle.

Who’s Under The Influence, 1999. Diptych.

Glass Barrier, 2000. C-print mounted on Plexiglas.

Diamond Sea, 1997. Colour film transferred to digital video, 3 channels, 3 projections, 1 monitor, Duratrans backdrop, sound and architectural environment, 10 min. cycle.

Diamond Sea, 1997. Colour film transferred to digital video, 3 channels, 3 projections, 1 monitor, Duratrans backdrop, sound and architectural environment, 10 min. cycle.

2 Second Separation, 2000. C-print mounted on Plexiglas.

Eraser, 1998. Colour film transferred to 7 channel digital video installation, sound and architectural environment, 20 min. cycle.


Amanda Sharp: Director Werner Herzog once explained that his book On Walking in Ice (1979) came about when he found out that a friend of his was dying in Paris. Herzog decided that if he walked from wherever he was – I assume Munich – to Paris, his friend lived: he felt he could keep his friend alive by walking. A work like this is about how individuals can attempt to alter – slow down or speed up – time, how they’re somehow part of a much bigger system.

Doug Aitken: We all encode our experiences of time at different rates. A single moment from several months ago may consume our thoughts, yet a whole summer five years ago may have completely vanished from our memory. We stretch and condense time until it suits our needs. You could say that time does not move in a linear trajectory, and moreover we’re not all following time using the same system.
When I was twenty-one I worked in an editing room for the first time. We were working long hours, day and night, but for me it was a new sensation, fresh and exciting. When finally I could go home to sleep, my dreams were extremely vivid. As I was moving through a dream, I would look down in the lower right hand corner of my dream and see numbers: a time code, like the date-time-minute-frame numbers used in editing raw footage. I was surprised I had never noticed this time code in my dreams before! I also recognized that I no longer needed to watch and witness my dreams passively; I could stop my dream like a freeze frame and look around as if watching a giant, frozen photograph. I could pull back and the dream would rewind so that I could reassemble it in new ways. That night I re-edited my dreams over and over again.
I suppose my working process is very nomadic. I’m not interested in working out of a sterile, traditional, white-cube studio. I’d like to find a methodology that is constantly sight specific, constantly in flux. Some works which are very fictional demand to be built and constructed as if part of a new reality, while others require an intense investigation into a specific landscape. I would like the permanence of my process to be as temporary as possible. I’d like to think of an absence of materialism where at the end of the day, all one needs is a table, a chair, a sheet of paper,possibly less. That would be nice: to be without routine and unnecessary possessions.
Uprooting and removal surrounds us, and at times these can be mirrored in our working process. At times I just let go and am assimilated into my landscapes, other times I feel an active resistance. I think there’s something about growing up in America that makes you feel nothing is ever really stationary. Home can be motion at times*.

*Excerpt from Amanda Sharp in conversation with Doug Aitken.

___

Doug Aitken

Daniel Birnbaum : Amanda Sharp : Jörg Heiser

Phaidon

2005

___

Doug Aitken

Doug Aitken on UbuWeb

Phaidon

B

Gordon Matta-Clark

Posted in Architecture, Art, Photography by B on August 26, 2010

Splitting, 1974. Black and white photo collage, 101.5 x 76.2 cm.


Splitting, 1974. Black and white photo collage, 100 x 72 cm.


Splitting, 1974. Black and white photo collage, 100 x 100 cm.


Splitting, 1974. Black and white photo collage, 50 x 60 cm.


Day’s End, 1975. Colour photograph, 96 x 103 cm.


Day’s End, 1975. Cibachrome, 121 x 103.5 cm.



Conical Intersect, 1975. From a series of five colour photographs, 101.6 x 106.7 cm.


Conical Intersect, 1975. From a series of five colour photographs, 101.6 x 106.7 cm.


Conical Intersect, 1975. From a series of five colour photographs, 101.6 x 106.7 cm.


Conical Intersect, 1975. From a series of five colour photographs, 101.6 x 106.7 cm.


Conical Intersect, 1975. From a series of five colour photographs, 101.6 x 106.7 cm.


Conical Intersect, 1975. Cibachrome, 101.1 x 76 cm.


Office Baroque, 1977. Cibachrome, 101.6 x 76.2 cm.


Office Baroque, 1977. Cibachrome, 108 x 58 cm


Office Baroque, 1977. Cibachrome, 101.5 x 75.6 cm.


“I don’t know what the word “space” means…I keep using it. But I’m not quite sure what it means.” – Gordon Matta-Clark.

From 1971 until his death in 1978, the American artist Gordon Matta-Clark produced a body of work popularly known the “building cuts”; sculptural transformations of abandoned buildings paradoxically constructed through the cutting and virtual dismantling of a given architectural site. Situated in places ranging from slums in Manhattan to the waterfront of Antwerp, these works, long since destroyed, appear to comply with the most canonical assumptions of site-specific art in the seventies. On the one hand they demonstrate the commonly accepted notion that the place where the artwork is encountered necessarily conditions its reception, foregrounding as they do the the localized dynamics between institutions, property values and works of art. On the other hand Matta-Clark’s cuttings address the temporality of the built environment, marking the destruction of the buildings that effectively constituted such places.
To read the personal testimonials on Matta-Clark’s work is to sense the experimental limitations of these models, for what marks these accounts is a certain failure of description that attends to the dizzying, at times overwhelming, experience of the building cuts; their unsettling shifts in scale, their Piranesiesque irruptions into architectural mass, their vertiginous drops and labyrinthine passages, their gaping holes, each affording the most disorientating vistas.

___

Gordon Matta-Clark

Thomas Crow : Corrine Diserens : Judith Russi Kirshner : Christian Kravagna

Phaidon

2003

___

Gordon Matta-Clark | Conical Intersect (1975)

Phaidon

B

John Pawson

Posted in Architecture, Print by R on October 22, 2009

Barn, John Pawson

Tilty Barn, Essex, 1995

Barn, John Pawson

(Ibid.)

Barn, John Pawson

(Ibid.)

Barn, John Pawson

(Ibid.)

John Pawson was never meant to be an architect. As far as his father was concerned, his life was to be defined by Eton, Oxford and the family textile business. However, touched by the incendiary spirit of the late 1960’s, Pawson left school without completing his final exams, and even though he did his best in the family firm, he was acutely aware that he would never be able to match the business skills of his father.

It was time spent in Japan that turned him to thinking about architecture, and his connections with the London art world gave him the chance to put those experiences to practical use when he came back from Asia. Pawson had gone to Japan for the first time back in 1973, to escape from the emotional turmoil of an abandoned wedding. In the aftermath, he met someone at a party who offered him a first-class round-the-world ticket for £200, which he accepted without question. Tokyo was his first stop, partly inspired by a fascination with Zen and Japan, and a notion of becoming a Buddhist.

Akira Hayakawa, a karate instructor who had taught Pawson in Chester-le-Street when he was working in the family textile factory nearby, met him at Nagoya airport and introduced him to what was anything but the Japan of the Samurai and tea ceremonies that Pawson had been expecting. Instead, he found himself negotiating a grim landscape of of car factories, endless concrete developments with power cables dangling from every available surface, brash neon-lit Pachinko parlors and claustrophobic subways crammed with people.

Pawson, however, was determined to absorb himself in the Japan of his imagination and, upon arrival, insisted on staying at a ryokan. Part of the routine was a diet of fish paste and pickles for breakfast, a damp bed and a nine o’clock curfew. Still, this did not deter Pawson from further exploring his ideas about Buddhism and his genuine attraction to the monastic life. His friend Akria humored his plans and drove him to one of the most beautiful monasteries in Japan, at Ei-Heji in the North. While his brief stay at the monastery cured him of his desire to live as a Buddhist monk, Pawson retains a fascination and respect for both the spiritual and aesthetic concepts of Buddhism, which he still draws on for inspiration today.

Image / Fi McGhee & John Pawson (1999). Barn. London: Booth-Clibborn Editions

Text / Deyan Sudjic (2000). John Pawson: Works. London: Phaidon

___

John Pawson

Phaidon

Booth-Clibborn Editions

B & R