Who Said What

Uncategorized Nov 28, 2005 No Comments

Speaking in a clipped, Austrian accent, sculptor Erwin Wurm is talking very seriously about fun. “Germans have this big philosopher [Theodor] Adorno, who said art is nothing to do with lightness or fun-ness or joy, art is something serious,” he laments. “So some people don’t let themselves have fun with it. They think fun is not serious.”

For Wurm, silliness is serious business. His latest exhibition, Glue Your Brain, opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Monday, and is named after one of his interactive sculptures: Glue your brain to the board (do it for one minute and think about Adorno).

Curiouser and curiouser, Wurm’s eye view of world, Sunanda Creagh, Sydney Morning Herald.

For 10 years, people have been sending the American cartoonist Jesse Reklaw details of their dreams, which he then turns into four-panel cartoons, revealing the bizarre spectrum of the human unconscious. But what is happening in these strips?

According to Freud, all dreams express a wish that is giving rise to a conflict – with conventional mores, or something from childhood, or both – that has been repressed into the unconscious. Even when experienced through dreams, so disturbing is the wish to the conscious mind that it must be concealed in symbolism: verbal or visual puns, fantastical thoughts and visions, a world breaking the normal rules of social and physical reality to keep the true meaning safely at one remove from the dreamer’s consciousness.

Evidence is emerging that Freud was broadly correct about these claims. For instance, Mark Solms, a neuropsychologist at University College London, studied the bit of the brain responsible for our instinctual appetites. He showed that when it is damaged, dreaming stops: dreams do express motivations and are not data-sorting gibberish.

All you have to do is dream … Oliver James, The Guardian.

Exhibitions of impressionist paintings are sometimes greeted with cynicism in the art world. A show with Monet or impressionism in its title is, notoriously, guaranteed to be a popular hit. Armed with this knowledge, gallery directors have been known to sanction impressionist shows erected on the flimsiest of pretexts: Impressionism and Sex: For Love or Monet; “Monet Monet Monet: It’s a Rich Man’s Whirl. You know the kind of thing.

The impressionist’s impressionist, Sebastian Smee, The Australian.

The Tate Modern collection is to be reinstalled next May, thanks to sponsorship from the banking group UBS. Works will be shown around four “hubs” focusing on movements: Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism. This will replace the current display, installed since the opening of Tate Modern in 2000, which is based on four genres (landscape, still-life, history and the nude). Over 40% of the works in the rehang will not have been shown at Bankside. Sponsorship negotiations with UBS (formerly Union Bank of Switzerland) were prolonged, and the proposal put to Tate trustees at their meeting on 18 May raised some concerns. These were addressed, and the three-year deal was finally approved on 14 June and announced on 29 September.

New installation for Tate Modern courtesy of UBS, The Art Newspaper.

There may never again be a year in Jean Baudrillard’s life quite like 1999. Jean Baudrillard, the French philosopher, is best known for his theory that consumer society forms a kind of code that gives individuals the illusion of choice while in fact entrapping them in a vast web of simulated reality. In 1999, the movie “The Matrix,” which was based on this theory, transformed him from a cult figure into an extremely famous cult figure. But Baudrillard was ambivalent about the film—he declined an invitation to participate in the writing of its sequels—and these days he is still going about his usual French-philosopher business, scandalizing audiences with the grandiloquent sweep of his gnomic pronouncements and his post-Marxian pessimism.

Baudrillard on tour, Larissa MacFarquhar, The New Yorker.

Imagine if you put fourteen artists from seven different countries in a room together. What would they talk about? What would they learn? What would they reveal? Simply put, that’s what Imagine Art After is all about. We can’t put those artists together in one room – they’re in locations as far-flung as Tehran and Tirana, London and Lagos – but, using the web, we can showcase their work, put them in touch with each other and get them to talk. This project isn’t simply about exhibiting art that has already been produced: it’s about enabling the artists involved to communicate, to share ideas and – hopefully – to develop their own projects side by side with artistic partners who may be thousands of miles away.

Art Across Borders, Andrew Dickson and Rohan Jayasekera, The Guardian.

The Art Life

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