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Drawing on unpublished documents and oral histories, an illustrated examination of an iconic artwork of an artist who has made a lifework of tactical evasion. One wintry day in 1983, alongside other street sellers in the East Village, David Hammons peddled snowballs of various sizes. He had neatly laid them out in graduated rows and spent the day acting as obliging salesman. He called the evanescent and unannounced street action Bliz-aard Ball Sale, thus inscribing it into a body of work that, from the late 1960s to the present, has used a lexicon of ephemeral actions and self-consciously "black" materials to comment on the nature of the artwork, the art world, and race in America. And although Bliz-aard Ball Sale has been frequently cited and is increasingly influential, it has long been known only through a mix of eyewitness rumors and a handful of photographs. Its details were as elusive as the artist himself; even its exact date was unrecorded. Like so much of the artist's work, it was conceived, it seems, to slip between our fingers-to trouble the grasp of the market, as much as of history and knowability. In this engaging study, Elena Filipovic collects a vast oral history of the ephemeral action, uncovering rare images and documents, and giving us singular insight into an artist who made an art of making himself difficult to find. And through it, she reveals Bliz-aard Ball Sale to be the backbone of a radical artistic oeuvre that transforms such notions as "art," "commodity," "performance," and even "race" into categories that shift and dissolve, much like slowly melting snowballs.
A new understanding of Marcel Duchamp and his significance as an artist through an investigation of his non-art activities-archiving, art-dealing, and, most persistently, curating. This groundbreaking and richly illustrated book tells a new story of the twentieth century's most influential artist, recounted not so much through his artwork as through his "non-art" work. Marcel Duchamp is largely understood in critical and popular discourse in terms of the objects he produced, whether readymade or meticulously fabricated. Elena Filipovic asks us instead to understand Duchamp's art through activities not normally seen as artistic-from exhibition making and art dealing to administrating and publicizing. These were no occasional pursuits; Filipovic argues that for Duchamp, these fugitive tasks were a veritable lifework. Drawing on many rarely seen images, Filipovic traces a variety of practices and projects undertaken by Duchamp from 1913 to 1969, from his invention of the readymade to the release of his last, posthumous work. She examines Duchamp's note writing, archiving, and quasi-photographic activities, which resulted in the Box of 1914 and the Green Box; his art dealing, marketing, and curating that culminated in experimental exhibitions for the Surrealists and his miniature museum, The Boite-en-valise; and his administrative efforts and clandestine maneuvering in order to posthumously embed his Etant donnes into a museum. Demonstrating how those activities reflect the artist's questioning of reproduction and originality, as well as photography and the exhibition, Filipovic proposes that Duchamp's "non-art" labor, and in particular his curatorial strategies, more than merely accompanied his more famous artworks; in a certain sense, they made them. Through Duchamp's elusive but vital activities he revised the idea of what a modern artist could be. With this fascinating book, Filipovic in turn revises the very idea of Duchamp
In a supportive article covering the 4th Berlin Biennial, critic Steven Henry Madoff took a moment to question what many have termed "Biennial Fever," writing, "Are [biennials] here to capture trends or to advance artists' voices in a larger social dialogue? Do they promote international understanding or local interests? Are they bully pulpits for curators turned ideologues, or are they simply there to tap the art market's stopwatch till the next survey of hot new things draws the attention of an ever expanding universe of collectors?" For the 2008 edition of this always-provocative international fair, Curators Adam Szymczyk and Elena Filipovic brought together primarily newly commissioned work by 50 emerging and established international artists for a round-the-clock exhibition that included 63 nightly events. This expansive volume documents it all, and contains contributions by writers, critics and artists including Beatriz Colomina, Bettina Viesmann, Cameron Jamie, Gabriel Kuri, Babette Mangolte, Ahmet Ogut and Katerina Seda.
This publication accompanies a newly commissioned project by the legendary Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (b. 1960), which reimagines her stage piece Vortex Temporum for the exhibition space as a nine-week-long endeavor in technical acuity and physical prowess as much as conceptual audacity. Calling attention to and simultaneously dismantling the fundamental conditions of dance, Work / Travail / Arbeid transforms De Keersmaeker's choreography into a radically extended exhibition form, continually on display, while maintaining the meticulousness and vital relationship to music that she has long exemplified. Featuring newly commissioned essays, this multi-volume boxed catalogue mirrors the temporal structure of the exhibition, documenting the full duration of De Keersmaeker's ambitious project and parsing out its unique construction.
A sculptor who began working during the postwar period in a classical figurative style, Alina Szapocznikow radically reconceptualized sculpture as an imprint not only of memory but of her own body. Though her career effectively spanned less than two decades (cut short by the artist's premature death in 1973 aged 47), Szapocznikow left behind a legacy of provocative objects that evoke Surrealism, Nouveau Realisme and Pop art. Her tinted polyester casts of body parts, often transformed into everyday objects like lamps or ashtrays; her poured polyurethane forms; and her elaborately constructed sculptures, which at times incorporated photographs, clothing or car parts, all remain as wonderfully idiosyncratic and culturally resonant today as when they were first made. Well-known in Poland, where her work has been highly influential since early in her career, Szapocznikows compelling body of work is ripe for art-historical reexamination. "Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone, 1955-1972" offers a comprehensive overview of this important artists work at a moment when international interest is blossoming. Richly illustrated with over 150 colour plates, the catalogue features essays by the exhibition curators that touch on key aspects of her practice and historical reception, as well as an extensive annotated chronology that provides an in-depth exploration of the intersection of her life and art. Spanning one of the most rich and complex periods of the twentieth century, Szapocznikows oeuvre responds to many of the ideological and artistic developments of her time through artwork that is at once fragmented and transformative, sensual and reflective, playfully realized and politically charged.
New York-based sculptor and conceptualist Tobias Putrih, who was born in Slovenia in 1971, created this exhaustive 180-page monograph--his first--between 1999 and 2007. Conceived of as an archive, both visual and textual, the publication illuminates Putrih's thought processes and methodology. Published with the Neuberger Museum of Art, New York.
"Creamier" is an up-to-the-minute global survey of recent developments in contemporary art, with an emphasis on emerging artists. Each of the ten selected curators is known for his or her integrity and expertise in staging presentations of new art on an international level. Each curator selects ten important new artists who have either emerged internationally over the last five years or who are still relatively unknown. There are no limitations on age, geography or medium. The result is a roster of the most significant and promising new artists working today - the true cream of the crop. Each curator also selects a key creative work for the sources section, such as an art work, text, film or album that has been significantly influential to art being produced at this moment, contextualizing the contemporary work featured in the rest of the book.
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