hat tips melipone and foot
chapman bros; object by pfifferking
Continuing with some questions about Karen Archey's Frieze review of Ryder Ripps' Postmasters show [sign-in required]. The magazine may or may not have fact checkers, but here is a list of items that probably should have been vetted prior to publication:
1. "In an online slideshow hosted on Tumblr that Ripps created for the show..." Ripps created a Keynote presentation, hosted on Tumblr, six months prior to the Postmasters exhibit, for an Instagram Mini-Marathon in Los Angeles; it was not made for the Postmasters show.
2. Paragraph Two of the review takes several quotes from Ripps' Tumblr out of context. The original is self-mocking humor, channeling an archetypally masculine response to a fashion model's slick-but-tacky Instagram. Archey treats his male panic as if it were real.
3. "[Ripps'] term ['corny-core'] clearly rides on the coat-tails of K-Hole’s neologism 'norm core,' [sic] shortlisted for the Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year in 2014." Corny isn't the same as norm-y. This is a gratuitous dig and should be removed.
4. "'I decided to hire Jeff Koons’s assistants to paint the pieces.'" Archey quotes Ripps here. A fact-checker call to Koons' studio would probably determine this to be a joke that Archey missed.
5. Ripps also cites Thomas Hart Benton (a notorious homophobe) and the abstract expressionists, but none of these grab-bag references seem evident in the work itself." Why mention Benton's "homophobia" if the subject is misogyny? This dig should be removed.
5. "It’s impossible to write about this show without mentioning the hullabaloo surrounding it." Frieze often reviews shows without discussing previous work by the artist. The "hullabaloo" originated with a smear campaign against the artist by the website Art F City, not really worth repeating.
6. "Ripps is internet hipster royalty, having created the image-sharing messageboard dump.fm and founded the advertising agency OKFocus." Some more examples establishing royalty would be helpful.
7. "Ripps posted images of these sex workers and an artist statement, claiming that their sexual exploitation was symbolic of his own, considering himself underpaid by the Ace." This refers to the earlier "hullabaloo." Ripps' documentation doesn't use the words "exploit" or "exploitation."
8. "Ripps writes in his online slide show, 'as Adrianne Ho is the real winner, with more followers than me.' As if the artist’s actions were null because Ho has more Instagram followers, because that’s what really matters." Again, this takes a joking statement literally, changing its meaning.
Was at the Union Square Barnes & Noble yesterday and a friend took this pic of my work in the book Painting Now, by Suzanne Hudson.
Here's the press blurb for the book:
An international survey exploring the many ways in which painting has been re-approached, re-imagined, and challenged by today’s artists
Painting is a continually expanding and evolving medium. The radical changes that have taken place since the 1960s and 1970s -- the period that saw the shift from a modernist to a postmodernist visual language -- have led to its reinvigoration as a practice, lending it an energy and diversity that persists today.
In Painting Now, renowned critic and art historian Suzanne Hudson offers an intelligent and original survey of contemporary painting -- a critical snapshot that brings together more than 200 artists from around the world whose work is defining the ideas and aesthetics that characterize the painting of our time. Hudson’s rigorous inquiry takes shape through the analysis of a range of internationally renowned painters, alongside reproductions of their key works to illustrate the concepts being discussed. These luminaries include Franz Ackermann, Michaël Borremans, Chuck Close, Angela de la Cruz, Subodh Gupta, Julie Mehretu, Vik Muniz, Takashi Murakami, Elizabeth Peyton, Wilhelm Sasnal, Luc Tuymans, Zhang Xiaogang, and many others.
Organized into six thematic chapters exploring aspects of contemporary painting such as appropriation, attitude, production and distribution, the body, painting about painting, and introducing additional media into painting, this is an essential volume for art history enthusiasts, critics, and practitioners.
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Publication date: 3/10/2015
Sales rank: 787,947
Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)
Suzanne Hudson is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Southern California. Her previous books include Robert Ryman: Used Paint and Contemporary Art: 1989–Present, and she is a regular contributor to Artforum.
The work in the smartphone pic above appears in the chapter "Production and Distribution," where various post-studio means of getting painting out the door are discussed. It's one of the few purely digital works depicted in the book, so chalk it up as a minor victory for the 1s-and-0s camp (or whatever you call painting that isn't necessarily embedded in the art fair/festival circuit).
Amazing how some artwork can cause a critic to lose all sense of proportion. Frieze's Karen Archey went nuclear this month over Ryder Ripps' instagram paintings (for example, Mona Lisa, 2014, oil on canvas, above). Last year the New Museum-affiliated website Rhizome.org had some vaguely supportive things to say about the same body of work:
Ryder Ripps is thinking about Instagram's "mawkishly sentimental tone to everyday common things," a heavily filtered, hypermoody selfie-lifestyle confluence. He takes Adrianne Ho's Instagram account as its apotheosis, and it's no coincidence that Ho's is a sponsored feed, tied to the clothes she's given to model.
I've been aware of a profusion of variously branded content on Instagram for a while now, a result of friends working in the lifestyle publishing world — food, in particular, is a good way to see how this, pardon the pun, sausage is made. Brand diffusion on Instagram takes different forms. There is that which is obviously sponsored, as in paid (to the social network) ads that pop into feeds, or clearly demarcated sponsored 'editorial content' with brand @ing on 'independent' accounts. There is also a shadow economy of soft sponsorship by way of freebies then imaged by trusted native accounts. What Ryder is thinking about is what I see on a daily basis.
One reason that Instagram is so fertile for both styles of advertising is that its discoverability is so horrible — like its owner, Facebook, Instagram closes your feed in on itself, with very little invitation to explore different Instagram experiences, different Instagram worlds, different people. The Explore tab used to filter in all sorts of weird images that were trending, but as of late last year, it now displays things your friends are liking. Vine — wonderful, amazing Vine — in contrast, is all about discoverability, randomness, and blur... [emphasis added]
In her Frieze review [sign-in required], Karen Archey doesn't think that Adrianne Ho's Instagram is a form of commercial debasement, but states, rather, that the model's use of her body gives her "power." Instead of a comment on Instagram "sausage-making," she sees Ripps' work as simple misogyny:
In one painting, [the model's] nose becomes bulbous to the point of disfiguration (Nose Reflection, all works 2014); in another, her face is compressed into an alien-like arrangement (Mona Lisa); an additional work shrinks her waist to a spine’s width (Hourglass). This, of course, is a pointed thing to do to an image of a woman whose power hinges on her body’s appearance and her control over it.
The affront to Adrianne Ho is so extreme, Archey believes, that these paintings deserve to be "censured":
Some male artists, curators and writers seem to think that if they put something that is inadvertently misogynist into the world with purportedly good intentions, they shouldn’t be publicly censured in the name of free speech. If they feel that women demanding to be treated with respect tramples on their rights, maybe privilege has become so entrenched with identity that it has become blinding.
Well, is it inadvertent or not? No sense in asking -- by the end of her review, Archey's outrage has mounted to the point that she might as well be writing in capslock:
The most upsetting aspect of this situation is that a male artist was afforded the opportunity to mount such a misogynistic exhibition at a highly respected Manhattan gallery.
Here's hoping Archey never sees a George Condo show (which happen with some regularity in highly respected Manhattan galleries) -- she's going to be even more upset. Her Ripps review cribs arguments from Paddy Johnson's writings, which were already set at "10" on the bluster scale, and dials them up to "11." Is this necessary? You wonder if they even edit at Frieze, or if they just convert the capitals to lower case and send a thank-you email to the writer.
Photos taken with "dumb phone" at the New Museum Triennial (with checklist details):
Tanya Perez Cordova, meeting a stranger, afternoon, cafes, 2014, fired terracotta and borrowed SIM card
Tanya Perez Cordova, chasing, pausing, waiting, 2014, makeup (blush), bird droppings, cigarette ash, black marble
The "borrowed SIM card" isn't visible in the top photo but it's an elegant little mini-abstraction in a bluntly handmade wall-sculpture. The marble piece below also possesses a delicacy that's missing in these grainy photos.
If you DuckDuckGo the words "sim card" and select images, you can sort of fill in a missing detail from the top work. "Sort of" because the cards have different designs and I can't vouch that any of these is the one in Cordova's sculpture. Cordova's card had very little surrounding plastic, no bright colors, and my recollection is the chip pattern was simpler even than any of these designs. Possibly it was a micro-SIM card? If you DuckDuckGo "sim chip" you get mostly the same images but there are some examples of people cutting down the size of cards to make micro-cards.
Despite its lumpy, scalloped outlines, the sculpture itself has a machinelike quality. The groove in which the SIM card rests appears "slotted," as if to receive the card. Terracotta is a building material but also a primordial art material: the orange slab suggests a primitive tablet with the SIM card incorporated as a form of writing. Lots of dystopian science fiction ideas here: it's an earnest parody of a phone or ID card in a postapocalyptic culture, a mysterious future-retro tchotchke in a society more advanced than our own, or an elaborate display in a present-day cargo cult that revels in technological fragments. Or a standard minimal-style sculpture in a "future"-focused New York museum show that will be given a passing glance by most museumgoers, and possibly converted to attractive blog content!
mixed media on paper; B&W dot conversion: online image editor
This story appeared in The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories, edited by John L. Apostolou and Martin H. Greenberg (1989). The book is out of print and the text below is floating around the internet. Used without permission -- any objections, I'll remove it, but it's certainly a tale worth reading.
The typhoon had passed and the sky was a gorgeous blue. Even a certain village not far from the city had suffered damage. A little distance from the village and near the mountains, a small shrine had been swept away by a landslide.
"I wonder how long that shrine’s been here."
"Well, in any case, it must have been here since an awfully long time ago."
"We’ve got to rebuild it right away."
While the villagers exchanged views, several more of their number came over.
"It sure was wrecked."
"I think it used to be right here."
"No, looks like it was a little more over there."
Just then one of them raised his voice. "Hey what in the world is this hole?"
Where they had all gathered there was a hole about a meter in diameter. They peered in, but it was so dark nothing could be seen. However, it gave one the feeling that it was so deep it went clear through to the center of the earth.
There was even one person who said, "I wonder if it’s a fox’s hole."
"He—y, come on ou—t!" shouted a young man into the hole. There was no echo from the bottom. Next he picked up a pebble and was about to throw it in.
"You might bring down a curse on us. Lay off," warned an old man, but the younger one energetically threw the pebble in. As before, however, there was no answering response from the bottom. The villagers cut down some trees, tied them with rope and made a fence which they put around the hole. Then they repaired to the village.
"What do you suppose we ought to do?"
"Shouldn’t we build the shrine up just as it was over the hole?"
A day passed with no agreement. The news traveled fast, and a car from the newspaper company rushed over. In no time a scientist came out, and with an all-knowing expression on his face he went over to the hole. Next, a bunch of gawking curiosity seekers showed up; one could also pick out here and there men of shifty glances who appeared to be concessionaires. Concerned that someone might fall into the hole, a policeman from the local substation kept a careful watch.
One newspaper reporter tied a weight to the end of a long cord and lowered it into the hole. A long way down it went. The cord ran out, however, and he tried to pull it out, but it would not come back up. Two or three people helped out, but when they all pulled too hard, the cord parted at the edge of the hole. Another reporter, a camera in hand, who had been watching all of this, quietly untied a stout rope that had been wound around his waist.
The scientist contacted people at his laboratory and had them bring out a high-powered bull horn, with which he was going to check out the echo from the hole’s bottom. He tried switching through various sounds, but there was no echo. The scientist was puzzled, but he could not very well give up with everyone watching him so intently. He put the bull horn right up to the hole, turned it to its highest volume, and let it sound continuously for a long time. It was a noise that would have carried several dozen kilometers above ground. But the hole just calmly swallowed up the sound.
In his own mind the scientist was at a loss, but with a look of apparent composure he cut off the sound and, in a manner suggesting that the whole thing had a perfectly plausible explanation, said simply, "Fill it in."
Safer to get rid of something one didn’t understand.
The onlookers, disappointed that this was all that was going to happen, prepared to disperse. Just then one of the concessionaires, having broken through the throng and come forward, made a proposal.
"Let me have that hole. I’ll fill it in for you."
"We’d be grateful to you for filling it in," replied the mayor of the village, "but we can’t very well give you the hole. We have to build a shrine there."
"If it’s a shrine you want, I’ll build you a fine one later. Shall I make it with an attached meeting hall?"
Before the mayor could answer, the people of the village all shouted out.
"Really? Well, in that case, we ought to have it closer to the village."
"It’s just an old hole. We’ll give it to you!"
So it was settled. And the mayor, of course, had no objection.
The concessionaire was true to his promise. It was small, but closer to the village he did build for them a shrine with an attached meeting hall.
About the time the autumn festival was held at the new shrine, the hole-filling company established by the concessionaire hung out its small shingle at a shack near the hole.
The concessionaire had his cohorts mount a loud campaign in the city. "We’ve got a fabulously deep hole! Scientists say it’s at least five thousand meters deep! Perfect for the disposal of such things as waste from nuclear reactors."
Government authorities granted permission. Nuclear power plants fought for contracts. The people of the village were a bit worried about this, but they consented when it was explained that there would be absolutely no above-ground contamination for several thousand years and that they would share in the profits. Into the bargain, very shortly a magnificent road was built from the city to the village.
Trucks rolled in over the road, transporting lead boxes. Above the hole the lids were opened, and the wastes from nuclear reactors tumbled away into the hole.
From the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Agency boxes of unnecessary classified documents were brought for disposal. Officials who came to supervise the disposal held discussions on golf. The lesser functionaries, as they threw in the papers, chatted about pinball.
The hole showed no signs of filling up. It was awfully deep, thought some; or else it might be very spacious at the bottom. Little by little the hole-filling company expanded its business.
Bodies of animals used in contagious disease experiments at the universities were brought out, and to these were added the unclaimed corpses of vagrants. Better than dumping all of its garbage in the ocean, went the thinking in the city, and plans were made for a long pipe to carry it to the hole.
The hole gave peace of mind to the dwellers of the city. They concentrated solely on producing one thing after another. Everyone disliked thinking about the eventual consequences. People wanted only to work for production companies and sales corporations; they had no interest in becoming junk dealers. But, it was thought, these problems too would gradually be resolved by the hole.
Young girls whose betrothals had been arranged discarded old diaries in the hole. There were also those who were inaugurating new love affairs and threw into the hole old photographs of themselves taken with former sweethearts. The police felt comforted as they used the hole to get rid of accumulations of expertly done counterfeit bills. Criminals breathed easier after throwing material evidence into the hole.
Whatever one wished to discard, the hole accepted it all. The hole cleansed the city of its filth; the sea and sky seemed to have become a bit clearer than before.
Aiming at the heavens, new buildings went on being constructed one after the other.
One day, atop the high steel frame of a new building under construction, a workman was taking a break. Above his head he heard a voice shout:
"He—y, come on ou—t!"
But, in the sky to which he lifted his gaze there was nothing at all. A clear blue sky merely spread over all. He thought it must be his imagination. Then, as he resumed his former position, from the direction where the voice had come, a small pebble skimmed by him and fell on past.
The man, however, was gazing in idle reverie at the city’s skyline growing ever more beautiful, and he failed to notice.
This is the 8th track on the Knob Twiddlers release.
A cassette version of the release is also now available: