Monday, May 31, 2010

Ben Berlow



Thomas Bayrle



Sylvie Fleury




Kay Rosen



Blake Rayne



Untitled, 2008, Ned Vena



Sherilyn Fenn: Audrey



"MTAMBO: A Trap with a Spring Action," 1982, Al Taylor



"Big Healthy Girl Enjoys Deep Penetration From The Rear," 1998, R Crumb


"Black Garden," 1994, Jenny Holzer



"I Couldn't Blame It On The Volcano," 2010, Caitlin Berrigan



Untitled, 2007, Kerry James Marshall



Milton Avery: Self-Portrait



"Painting For Summer III," 1981, Gregory Amenoff



Richard Bosman: Nightmare



"4 of 6 Titanium I," 2010, Eric Freeman



"Balcony," 2008, Fergus Feehily



"Long Hair Hobo #2 (and detail)," 2008, Allison Schulnik




"BDSM Bob & Ramses II," 2007, Matthew Ronay

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"The Black Square," 1915, Kasimir Malevich



Frank Stella: From Black Series II 1967



"Nightclub," 2009, Jesse Willenbring



"It Ain't Gonna Lick Itself," 2005, Lara Schnitger



Untitled (Angry Flower, Big Nose, Baby Moose, #4), 2006, Mark Grotjahn



"FANTASIZE ABOUT VIOLENCE," 2008, Mark Flood



"Singer," 2006/2007, Antonio BALLESTER MORENO



"Sometimes You Must Also Submit," 2009, Dorothy IANNONE



Martin Creed 20 Questions A Project by Matthew Higgs

Martin Creed

MARTIN CREED 20 QUESTIONS A PROJECT BY MATTHEW HIGGS

The Collins Dictionary of Art Terms & Techniques defines realism as, amongst other things, the depiction of real objects without distortion or stylization. By this-admittedly selective-definition alone it is possible to confirm that Martin Creed is a realist. His development of real objects - doorstops, masking tape, metronomes, ceramic tiles, Blu-Tack, Elastoplast, pieces of furniture, neon signs and balloons - into what might be termed object situations provides us with (Collins again) a frank picture of everyday life. Creeds fundamentalism as both an artist and a citizen extends to acknowledge not only his own limitations as an artist (What can I actually achieve?) but also signals the limitations of art itself. Work No. 143, Creeds 1996 reductive mission statement - a manifesto of sorts - goes some way to clarifying his position. It deduces that:
the whole world + the work = the whole world

Creeds lower-case conundrum ultimately leaves the work nursing a bruised ego - its (numerical) value reduced to zero. In doing so he begs the questions: if art has no value - then why make art? Short of an answer, Creed carries on regardless, pursuing a contradictory impulse - a paradoxical desire to produce both something and nothing.

Sensing no conflict of interests with his practice as an artist, Creed formed the band owada in 1994. Fairly accurately described as sounding like something between Steve Reich and the Ramones, owada acts out an aural equivalence to his often tragic/comic artworks. The first CD - the self-deprecatingly titled nothing - released last year on David Cunninghams piano label further reinforces the decidedly in formal brand of formalism that is at the heart of Creeds project. A project whose very matter-of-factness prevents it - to quote the artist - fromgoing up its own arse.

20 QUESTIONS
The standard one-to-one format of an interview invariably reveals as much about the subjectivity of the interviewer as it does about its subject. In an attempt to both democratize the role of the interrogator and to hopefully broaden the scope of the interviews actual remit, 20 individuals - all of whom have either a professional or personal relationship with Martin Creed - were each invited to pose him a single question. Creeds subsequent responses are reproduced here verbatim.

1. Peter Doig: How Scottish is your art?
Martin Creed: (Laughs) ... I think it is probably quite Scottish in ... in ... in ... in ... in some ways ... in the way that I think of Scottish as being ... kind of careful ... and sort of ... erm ... it has tendencies towards ... erm ... it can sometimes be a little ... anal! ... Scottish like ... like ... erm ... aye ... careful ... and ... quite slow as well ... I think that is quite Scottish...

2. Martin McGeown: If you could ask one question of any artist, living or dead, what would it be and to whom would you ask it?
MC: ... I dunno ... (Coughs) ... I dont think I would ... and thats ... erm ... well because I dont really think its about art necessarily... all this ... but ... erm ... living or dead? ... I find that difficult to answer ... because I cant ... Id like to ... it wouldnt really matter to me who it was ... erm ... (Coughs) ... (Sighs) ... I mean I think I would ... (Laughs) ... no ... when I think about that question my head just clouds over with ... there isnt one thing I would like to ask ... Id like to ask ... you know ... everything ... of ... you know its not ... I wouldnt ... there isnt ... there isnt ... my head clouds over with questions and artists ... people ... and things ...

3. Keiko Owada: What is your idea of ultimate happiness?
MC: ... erm ... I suppose to make... to make work that I feel happy with ... that I feel I can live with ... that I like... and to be with people ... who I like ... and ... who I can live with ... and ... who I feel happy with ...

4. Iwona Blazwick: If you could own five works of art from the 20th century, what would they be?
MC: ... erm ... (Sighs) ... erm ... a black painting by Frank Stella... erm ...shit ... (Laughs) ... its difficult to say ... 20th century did she say? ... dunno ... cant choose five ... maybe Im thinking more about things that are considered to be art ... erm ... aye... my mind goes blank to questions like this ... and I think the reason why I said a black painting... is that I love Frank Stellas work ... erm... from what I remember at the time when I looked at his work ... and I liked it a lot... I felt like Id sort of learned a lot... at the time I did think that there were works of art... but I dont really think about it like that anymore... you know... so its all just a blur... you know... five... theres a lot of beautiful things... and nice things... but they... its all just a blur... it all merges in... art... life... you know... people... nice times... so to pick five would be misleading... to pick five... five works of art... because it would... you know I think... I think there is easily... (Laughs)... erm... there are so many things... I cant choose five... I find this a very difficult question... because shes asking about works of art... and erm... and not only is she asking about works of art shes asking me to pin down five of them... Id rather... Id rather just answer the question... about... erm... could I... could I... is there some stuff... (Laughs)... from the 20th century that I would like to own? ... and erm... there isnt really that much... no... I like... er... tools... for trying to make things... you know... a cooker is good... coffee machine... you know... record player... erm... I dont feel able to say five things that... it panics me that question... because there arent really five... I wouldnt say that there are five things that I would like to own... aye... I suppose I feel uncomfortable about ownership... one of the things that I like about recorded music is that its a little more widely... you know... more people can own it than... lets say a sort of... unique ... erm... sculpture... you know, the more the better... Id say... I dont like to choose one thing above another... I feel very... very... uncomfortable about sort of judging or choosing because I dont feel Ive got any basis to say that something is better than something else... erm... and I think that it leads to discomfort with uniqueness and preciousness... and... er... also a discomfort with owning and coveting... to me its something to do with trying to feel free... with feeling free... for my 21st birthday I was given an espresso machine... erm... and... er... and... er... at that time I was trying to make work... and kind of felt... I dunno... frustrated... or something... anyway... Im not very good at owning things... this coffee machine... you know, I kept in a box for about two years... (Laughs)... so that I couldnt see it...it was just such a weight on my mind having this brilliant coffee machine that I would make coffee with in the morning...it was just too... kind of... it didnt make me feel free... it made me feel... erm... erm... erm... un-free! ... (Laughs)... I mean I keep a lot of things in boxes... because I feel like its a weight on my mind if I have them... displayed around... erm...

5. Lesley Smailes: What is your inside leg measurement?
MC: 32.

6. Adam McEwen: Where do you get that funky sense of rhythm?
MC: (Laughs)... I dunno if I have one really... (Laughs)... (Laughs)... erm... (Laughs)... er... to me its all about rhythm... aye... to me... erm... well trying to write a piece of music... is... erm... trying to erm... to fill in some time... and to do that rhythm is very useful... to make you aware... that time is passing... like a ticking clock... I dont know about funky though...

7. David Cunningham: Why do you make work and what aspect of the activity do you enjoy?
MC: I make work because I... erm... because I want to express myself and because I want to try and communicate with people and because I want to be loved... erm... I enjoy all of it... (pause)... well I make... erm... well I make work because I... I... want... (Sniffs)... to express myself... I think Ive said this before... (Laughs)... because I want to communicate with people... I want to... erm... you know... I want to say Hello!... I want to erm... Ive thought about this a lot... but I cant... I cant... I cant... I cant think about it in any other way except that I want to express myself... I want to communicate somehow... try to communicate with people... with other people... thats very important... that there are other people involved in it... erm... yeah and I want to be loved... erm.... I suppose its in making work... that... erm... its possible... or feel that its more possible to try and sort of pin it down... and try to say... to try and communicate in a way that maybe there is a chance... that... I... I... can sort of find out about what it is I do... want... perhaps... erm... I think what I enjoy most is the beginning and the end... yeah... the... er... erm... the first workings and then the conclusion... its the middle bit that is a pain...

8. Andrew Wheatley: What would you be if you werent an artist?
MC: (Laughs)... erm... dunno... but I dont really say that I am an artist... I mean... I wouldnt say I am an artist... I wouldnt really say I am anything... you know I want to make things... I want to make things that I can live with... you know... I dont want to make art necessarily... (MH: So you wouldnt define what you do as art?)... Not necessarily no... No!... No!... its just stuff... extra stuff in the world... it can be good or bad stuff... but I dont call it art because I dont find that useful... I dont find it useful to define myself as an artist... no... not at all... you know I dont think that I am trying to make art... You know I think the art world... if there is such a thing... (Laughs)... is a place... you know I think its a fact that... erm... that... er... art galleries are places where I have been able to do what I do... but that doesnt make what I do art... it doesnt... theres no...when I say its not art... Im not... Im... erm... erm... Im trying to take art out of the... equation... because when I say that I dont think of myself as an artist... I dont say that in relation to some idea of what an artist is... I dont find it useful to think about it...

9. Jeremy Deller: What makes you laugh?
MC: (Laughs)... erm... oh God!... lots of things... (Laughs)... er... och!... its too difficult a question... erm... I dunno... its difficult to say... you know... lots of things... Ive laughed quite a lot today... (Laughs)...

10. Gilda Williams: Apart from your own music, what would your five Desert Island Discs be?
MC: (Laughs).. Oh God!... something by Mozart... erm... erm... erm... you see my mind... (Laughs)... its like that other questions... I dunno... something by the Talking Heads... whats that one?... Pick me up?... Pull me up?... Pulled Up!.. (Laughs)... something by Elvis... something by The Beatles... erm... and... Waiting For The Man by Lou Reed... but I dont know about that... not about that... I dont know about those five... (Laughs)... you see having to answer questions like this... like pick five works of art... or five records... it just makes me panic... you know... thats something I find difficult about making decisions... its this idea that you are trying to... sort of... pin... that you are trying to... that in order to decide something... that you have to pin it down... and.. erm... you know I think it is possible to decide something without pinning everything down... these questions... you know... panic me... I do go blank... Im not sort of making it up.... (Laughs)... you know Choose five records?... I love lots of... theres loads of music I like... you know if youd asked me... to choose five things that you like... now that is a question!... (MH: Okay choose five things you like)...(Laughs)... Okay!... I like music by Mozart... I like espresso machines... I like doughnuts... erm... I like sort of being with people... kind of at parties... you know... I also dont like that sometimes... I like coffee... did I say that? (MH: No)... did I say espresso machines? (MH: Yes)... well its coffee that I like more than any machine that makes it!... (Laughs)... I like flying in aeroplanes... I like taking off and I love landing... you know the bit where it speeds up on the runway and it takes off... I like loud music... I love playing... I love... I like... playing live... Playing music really loud especially in front of a great drummer like Adam McEwen... when the drums are amplified... all miked up... I love that... I like dancing... (Laughs)... I like other people dancing... I like dancing with other people... I like sex... I like kissing... I like... er... traveling on trains... I like reading on trains... more than... reading... on... unmoving... land... (Laughs)... I like you... I like all of the people who asked these questions... Im not just trying to suck up to them... I like... I like talking to people...

11. Giorgio Sadotti: If you were a number and not a name, what would it be and why?
MC: (Laughs)... erm... aye... Id have to say zero... because... er... you know its exactly half way between positive and negative... and since Id find it very difficult to choose a number... zero would be the least of... zero would be the number that would cause me the least worry... and thats... yeah... important to me... aye... Id probably be happy with that...

12. Alison Jacques: Can objects hide?
MC: I wonder what she means?... (Laughs)... (Laughs)... No!...(Laughs)... of course they cant... no they cant... (Laughs)... erm... they... I think it is possible to make an object... erm... that... er... fits in with its surroundings to the extent that it... it... becomes invisible... but... er... Ive never tried to do that... I mean objects cant hide... they cant hide... I mean... to say that they can hide implies that they will have a will of t heir own... (Laughs)... which I dont think is true... I dont think that they can hide... they can appear more or less... less or more... apparent... obvious.... Erm... but they cant hide... no....

13. John OReilly: Imagine you were on Play School. Which window would you choose to look through - the round window, the square window or the arched window - and why?
MC: (Laughs)... well if I couldnt stand back and look through all of them... erm... Id have to... er... och... Id think it would have to be the square one... because... its the most... normal... square... rectangular... its more normal than round or ached... (MH: Is normal a good thing?)... to me often... aye... when Im making decisions... you know... erm... because thats the most difficult thing that I find... is making decisions... given that I want to make things... you know trying to decide what to make... how to make it... how to decide... like writing some of the first pieces of music... to use the sort of normal band set-up of bass, guitar, and drums... it seemed to me like a kind of... it got me out of deciding... it was sort of ready made... a normal situation that I could try and use... that I felt okay with...

14. Gareth Jones: How long is a piece of string?
MC: (Laughs)... it can be... theres lots of different lengths it can be... (Laughs)... the real answer to that is that it is between zero and infinity... that just about covers it all...

15. Thomas Frangenberg: Between duty and play where would you situate your work?
MC: ... erm... I dont think... erm... (Laughs)... I dont think I would situate it in relation to duty... you see duty... it seems like duty in that question seems to imply... morals... (Laughs)... (MH: Keep going)... I dont think... (MH: Does morality or ethics come into it?)... well, aye... I mean... well, definitely... personal ethics... not a world view on... on... er... things... aye it does come into it... because I want to make things I can live with... and I dont think I could live with them if I thought that they were... if I thought they were unethical in some way... but it is not something that I would think about... you know?... I wouldnt find it any more useful to think about ethics than I would about art... around... its like you know... I think a lot of work to me... is playing around with... ways of doing things... and erm... of ways of trying to say things... and I think that is all kind of play... and with a bit of luck its good fun... you know?...

16. Dean Hughes: If you had to choose between two lines, one straight and one squiggly, which one would you choose and why?
MC: ... erm... I wouldnt choose... but if I had to choose... (Laughs)... then... maybe the squiggly one because there are more different directions with a squiggly line... er... No!... Straight!... because its simpler and more direct.

17. Cornelia Grassi: How come you say aye so much?
MC: (Laughs)... because I learned to speak in Scotland and aye is Scottish for yes... and I say yes a lot... so I say aye quite a lot...

18. Simon Martin didnt have a question for you, would you like to respond?
MC: (Laughs)... No!

19. Ingrid Swenson: Are you sure that everything is going to be alright?
MC: (Laughs)... Im not sure... I think the reason Ingrid is asking that is because... Ive been working on this sort of... public sculpture... erm... erm... which is a sign saying everything is going to be alright... a sort of... neon sign... erm... no Im not sure... erm...

20. Matthew Higgs: Finally, what question would you like to ask yourself?
MC: (Pause)... erm... what would I ask myself?... Is it okay?... Is it okay?... How is it possible?... theyre not very specific questions

Glossary of names:
Peter Doig is a painter. Martin McGeown is a Director of Cabinet. Keiko Owada is a script writer and plays the bass for owada. Iwona Blazwick is Curator of Exhibitions at Tate Modern. Lesley Smailes is a film maker. Adam McEwen is an artist and plays the drums for owada. David Cunningham is a musician. Andrew Wheatley is a Director of Cabinet. Jeremy Deller is an artist. Gilda Williams is a writer and a commissioning editor at Phaidon Press. Giorgio Sadotti is an artist. Alison Jacques is a Director of Asprey Jacques Contemporary Art Exhibitions. John OReilly is a freelance journalist. Gareth Jones is an artist. Thomas Frangenberg is an art historian. Dean Hughes is an artist. Cornelia Grassi is a gallerist (greengrassi London). Simon Martin is a friend of Martin Creeds. Ingrid Swenson is the Curatorial Director of The Pier Trust. Matthew Higgs is an artist and curator.

MARTIN CREED 20 QUESTIONS was first published in Issue 18 of 'Untitled', London, Spring 1999.




Untitled (II), 2007, Nathan Hylden



"Please Do Not Touch The Artwork," 2008, Jeppe Hein



"Of History Theory Garden," 2008, Henning Bohl



Vermont Moon



Saturday, May 29, 2010

"all she wrote," 2010, Joshua Abelow

all she wrote
05/2010 Joshua Abelow

a room
is
a walk
is
a meal
is
a poem
is
all
she
wrote


Paul Lee



Aurel Schmidt: Better Luck Next Time



Rob Pruitt




Richard Aldrich



Sister Corita Kent: A Man You Can Lean On



Amelie von Wulffen



"J.I. subjective," 2009, Ariel Dill



a poem by Jonas Mekas from the early 70's

I wring my hands
you want your change
he wandered home
she is wondrous

you still wait
I stay out
an ox afield

good to sing
sad to cry
tears flow in
jug of joy


Nathlie Provosty

Untitled Lines, 2009

Title TBD, 2010


Charles Bukowski: Are You Drinking?


Are You Drinking?

washed-up, on shore, the old yellow notebook
out again
I write from the bed
as I did last
year.
will see the doctor,
Monday.
"yes, doctor, weak legs, vertigo, head-
aches and my back
hurts."
"are you drinking?" he will ask.
"are you getting your
exercise, your
vitamins?"
I think that I am just ill
with life, the same stale yet
fluctuating
factors.
even at the track
I watch the horses run by
and it seems
meaningless.
I leave early after buying tickets on the
remaining races.
"taking off?" asks the motel
clerk.
"yes, it's boring,"
I tell him.
"If you think it's boring
out there," he tells me, "you oughta be
back here."
so here I am
propped up against my pillows
again
just an old guy
just an old writer
with a yellow
notebook.
something is
walking across the
floor
toward
me.
oh, it's just
my cat
this
time.


Dennis Hopper: Blue Velvet



"Memory," 1981, Anne Truitt



Josh Shaddock



"Cactus Painting," 2010, Jesse Willenbring



ALLYSON VIEIRA

New (Not Completely Novel), 2010

Old (Not Without Variation), 2010


Johannes Vanderbeek

Towel Tablet 12, 2010

Towel Tablet 11, 2010

Towel Tablet 10, 2010

Towel Tablet 9, 2010

Towel Tablet 3, 2010


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