Unreal Nature

February 26, 2018

Ladders, Ropes, Nets, Trapezes

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:58 am

… they have always been used as a way to solve problems, but here they were the problem.

This is from the Annette Messager interview (1994) found in Robert Storr: Interviews on Art edited by Francesca Pietropaolo (2017):

[ … ]

Annette Messager: … I like things made with scraps, fragments, things set aside: leftovers, remnants. For exhibitions in particular, I have to consider everything I have done before — in other words the leftovers. More and more, and no doubt because of this confrontation with the past, I find myself working with the leftovers of my leftovers. I take an element from a series Les chiméres (chimeras), a photo from the Mes trophées series, I hang them over nets, I enclose them, re-protect them.

[line break added] There are elements like large cushions with colored pencils stuck in them, mixed with stuffed birds dressed in Barbie-style dolls’ clothes. There are bits of things fixed together, tangled ropes and strings like in circuses where there is a whole system of ladders, ropes, nets, trapezes; everything seems to have been made in little bits, without any kind of technical skill, as if in a kind of regression, or rather an absence of progression.

Robert Storr: Exactly, to put off the question of artists who realize their state …

AM: Of powerlessness.
Compared to the 1960s, when there was a real belief in science, in technological and scientific progress, the contemporary world and Europe are in a really bad way; towns are becoming like the Third World, nature is devastated, society and the family are in crisis, there are diseases, savage wars, terrorism. And I could go on.

From the Guillermo Kuitca interview (2010):

[ … ]

RS: How does it feel to go back to teaching after so many years away from it, since you don’t have to teach to make your living?

Guillermo Kuitca: I like it. I don’t think teaching is a substitute for anything. I just think it’s such a specific thing; if you don’t do it, you simply miss it. It’s not that I don’t have to or I have to. If I like it, I have to do it, because otherwise I’m not going to get that from other sources.

RS: So what do you get?

GK: I don’t know what I give, but what I get is an incredibly rich, panoramic view of what art is and how people tend to approach different problems. Actually, it’s the opposite: similar problems, different approaches. It’s funny how problems tend to repeat themselves and how the patterns of problems don’t seem to be infinite, but the tactics of tackling those problems seem to be incredibly rich. That ultimately became something that I found enriching for me as an artist, as a man, as a teacher. I didn’t become a better artist but a better teacher.

From the Jac Leirner interview (2012):

[ … ]

RS: Where did you first discover turnbuckles? What was the “Eureka!” moment?

Jac Leirner: I used them to hang the airplane napkins. I used them to hang pieces with plastic bags from museums. Turnbuckles are such a wonderful invention to make something very tight and tense.

RS: Taut.

JL: They’re designed so beautifully. The engineering is so …

RS: So simple.

JL: Yes.

RS: So commonsensical, but magical too.

JL: Yes, and some are so beautifully done, like the ones used for boats. And here I had the opportunity of buying many different brands and using all of them together in one piece, of making a piece specially for them. Because they have always been used as a way to solve problems, but here they were the problem.

RS: The stars of the show.

JL: Yes, the stars of the show, exactly. So I’m very happy with this piece.

RS: What about the pieces made with levels, of which there are four.

JL: It’s the same story. I’ve always loved the beauty of levels and their engineering power and I’ve used them in many, many works. They were part of the structure of those works but they were behind the scenes; they were there but they were almost hidden. Just their bubble green parts were at the front. So here, finally, I did pieces specially for them. And here, in this country, I could find a huge variety of levels, made of all kinds of materials, steel, aluminum, wood, plastic from all over the world. And here, again, they became the stars of the show.


My most recent previous post from Storr’s book is here.




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