July 26, 2012

Linoleum (1966) / Robert Rauschenberg

Throughout his career, and particularly during the 1960s, Robert Rauschenberg became involved in several collaborative ventures that moved him outside the confines of his studio. Rauschenberg's approach to art as an inclusive form engaging all the senses led naturally to his work in performance. Between 1954 and 1964, he designed sets, costumes, and lighting for both the Merce Cunningham Company and the Paul Taylor Company.

His early stage designs included free-standing Combines such as Minutiae (1954) and The Tower (1957), as well as what he called "live decor," in which human action became "scenery." In the early 1960s Rauschenberg worked closely with the Judson Dance Theater, a collective comprising such dancers and visual artists as Trisha Brown, Robert Morris, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, and Carolee Schneemann. Its primary objective was to liberate movement from all formal conventions. 

Between 1963 and 1967, Rauschenberg choreographed and performed in at least eleven documented performance pieces. Eliminating the customary division between performer and scenic element in these works, which ranged from Pelican (1963) to Urban Round (1967), he emphasized the interaction with specially designed costumes and stage props. In his ensemble pieces, such as Spring Training (1965), Map Room II (1965), and Linoleum (1966), disparate actions - some intentionally dancerly, others entirely pedestrian - were performed simultaneously. The pieces were often accompanied by audio collages made from electronically amplified noises, compilations of prerecorded music, and found sounds.

HERE to watch Linoleum (1966)
this post excerpted from UbuWeb.com


July 25, 2012

101 Spring Street, NYC

Donal Judd bought the entire 1870′s industrial building at 101 Spring Street NYC (above) for $70,000 in 1968 and moved in with his family.

a photographic "cross-section" of all five floors at 101 Spring Street

Judd’s concept of “permanent installation” centered on the belief that the placement of a work of art was as critical to its understanding as the work itself. Judd’s first applications of this idea were realized in his installation of works throughout 101 Spring Street. His installations of artworks, furniture, and museum-quality decorative objects in this historic building strike an admirable balance between respect for the historic nature of this cast-iron landmark and Judd’s innovative approaches to interior design.

All works on view at 101 Spring Street remain as they were installed by Judd prior to his death. Throughout his writings, Judd identifies the installation of 101 Spring Street as the true source of permanent installation as a practice. In his essay “101 Spring Street,” he wrote, “I spent a great deal of time placing the art and a great deal designing the renovation in accordance. Everything from the first was intended to be thoroughly considered and to be permanent."

excerpted from the Judd Foundation...click here

July 11, 2012

ROBERT SMITHSON Incidents of Mirror-Travel in the Yucatan (1969)

"I'm using a mirror because the mirror in a sense is both the physical mirror and the reflection: the mirror as a concept and abstraction; then the mirror as a fact within the mirror of the concept. So that's a departure from the other kind of contained, scattering idea. But still the bi-polar unity between the two places is kept. Here the site/non-site becomes encompassed by mirror as a concept- mirroring, the mirror being a dialectic. 

The mirror is a displacement, as an abstraction absorbing, reflecting the site in a very physical way. It's an addition to the site. But I don't leave the mirrors there. I pick them up. It's slightly different from the site/non-site thing. Still in my mind it hasn't completely disclosed itself. There's still an implicit aspect to it. It's another level of process that I'm exploring. A different method of containment.

From Selected Interviews with Robert Smithson: 'Fragments of a Conversation,' edited by William C. Lipke.

The following is excerpted from Robert Smithson's Incident's of Mirror-Travel in the Yucatan (1969)

"...Looking down on the map (it was all there), a tangled network of horizon lines on paper called 'roads,' some red, some black.  Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, Chiapas and Guatemala congealed into a mass of gaps, in a neat row: archeological monuments (black), colonial monuments (black), historical site (black), bathing resort (blue), spa (red), hunting (green), fishing (blue), arts and crafts (green), aquatic sports (blue), national park (green), service station (yellow).  On the map of Mexico they were scattered like the droppings of some small animal.

The Tourist Guide and Directory of Yucatan-Campeche rested on the car seat.  On its cover was a crude drawing depicting the Spaniards meeting the Mayans, in the background was the temple of Chichen Itza.  On the top left-hand corner was printed 'UY U TAN A KIN PECH' (listen how they talk) - EXCLAIMED THE MAYANS ON HEARING THE SPANISH LANGUAGE,' and in the bottom left-hand corner 'YUCATAN CAMPECHE' - REPEATED THE SPANIARDS WHEN THEY HEARD THESE WORDS.  A caption under all this said 'Mayan and Spanish First Meeting 1517.'  In the 'Official Guide' to Uxmal, Fig. 28 shows 27 little drawings of 'Pottery Found at Uxmal.'  The shading on each pot consists of countless dots.  Interest in such pots began to wane.

The steady hiss of the air-conditioner in the rented Dodge Dart might have been the voice of Eecath - the god of thought and wind.  Wayward thoughts blew around the car, wind blew over the scrub bushes outside.  On the cover of Victor W.Von Hagan's paperback World of the Maya it said, 'A history of the Mayas and their resplendent civilization that grew out of the jungles and wastelands of Central America.

'In the rear-view mirror appeared Tezcatipoca - demiurge of the 'smoking-mirror.'  'All those guide books are of no use,' said Tezcatipoca.  'You must travel at random, like the first Mayans; you risk getting lost in the thickets, but that is the only way to make art.'"

"...While in Mexico, Robert Smithson created the Yucatan Mirror Displacements (1–9) by installing 12-inch-square mirrors on dispersed sites. The resulting series of nine color photographs was published in Artforum to accompany Smithson’s essay “Incidents of Mirror-Travel in the Yucatan” (1969). The mirrors reflected and refracted the surrounding environs, displacing the solidity of the landscape and shattering its forms. Part Earthwork and part image, the displacements contemplate temporality; while the mirror records the passage of time, its photograph suspends time."     
Nancy Spector