Unreal Nature

May 13, 2016


Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:26 am

It was both reflecting and setting the mood and the pace.

This is from Marc Camille Chaimowicz: Celebration? Realife, by Tom Holert (2007):

Colored lights from above, spotlights at floor level, two strobe lights and three mirrorballs speckling illuminated dots throughout the space, over the glimmering aluminum silver-painted walls. Pop songs blare out of two loudspeakers placed on the floor amongst a variety of objects which have been laid out: fresh-cut flowers, burning candles, vintage Polaroid equipment, a Super 8 camera mounted on a tripod, a Beethoven bust on a mirrored pedestal, a small replica of Rodin’s Kiss, copies of the ‘underground’ magazine International Times, an issue of the Silver Surfer by Marvel Comics, colored fairy lights, a harlequin hat, long strings of beads, women’s underwear, electric cables, glitter, confetti.

… One of Chaimowicz’s interests in addressing the audience was to dissociate the concept of collaboration from its literal definition and open it up to a figurative or metaphorical interpretation in which enjoying sensation, being stimulated by pop-kicks,, reading intertextual references, experiencing Proustian involuntary memories, hanging out, talking, socializing with the artist-as-host, all qualify as forms of collaboration.

… The involvement of the ‘visitor’ of Celebration? Realife differs significantly from the position of the ideal (and arguably normative) ‘viewers’ of an Anthony Caro sculpture or Frank Stella painting. Or, to take another contemporary European example, of Imi Knoebel’s Raum 19 (1968). The latter is a presentation of assorted fiberboard stretchers and colorless geometric wooden forms that is self-referential but also specific in its stylistic choices and use of the aesthetic issues of post-Minimalist sculpture

[line break added]  It is an installation that could be said to restore a perceptual or physiological immediacy, a notion characterized by Dan Graham as ‘art as pure consciousness or experience.’ Contrary to such a purifying task, Celebration? Realife is littered with specific cultural references and is highly dependent on its social and cultural context. The work is structurally much closer to Robert Rauschenberg’s Combines from the 1950s or Claes Oldenburg’s Store (1966) than it is to Minimalist sculpture.

… The question mark of the title is crucial here. ‘Celebration,’ if read as a stand-in for the joys of liberation and the hedonism of potentially transgressive counter or subcultural ‘experience,’ is divided by the serpentine sign of doubt from ‘Realife,’ a term whose meaning quite likely might imply the life in the realities of ‘class and empire.’ However, the question mark not only might function as a tool of division, it could also serve as a connection between the ahistorical materialism of libertine bliss on the one hand and the historical materialism of class consciousness and the everyday on the other.

At the core of Marc’s exhibit was this revolving mirrored globe, reflecting life. It was in a continuous activity. It was both reflecting and setting the mood and the pace. The emotional response was determined by that: it flooded the room; it brought you in; it subdued you; it hypnotized you. [Gustav Metzger]

… The reflection and dispersion of ‘life’ by the thousands of mirrored facets that also cast cosmic circular lines on the floor of the Gallery House can be read as if it were the organizational principle of the universe itself, as the generator of stars and planets.





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