Reactor

Required Reading

by Hrag Vartanian on November 20, 2011

This week, a number of online journals have launched new editions, the Clyfford Still Museum finally opened in Denver, the value of professional opinions in art, the 9/11 Memorial isn’t as popular as people thought it would be, the relationship of Yves Klein and Ed Kienholz, Roberto Matta at 100, does corporate culture suck and a non-digital animated GIF.

 E-flux launched their 29th edition of their online journal and it focuses on the Moscow Conceptualists. As one essayist points out in her contribution and the editors elaborate:

“Moscow art of the ’70s inhabited an upside-down world, one defined by the victory of anticapitalism rather than the victory of communism, socialism, or the Soviet regime.” In this world, communist ideology had already converted objects to ideas (collective property) and citizen-subjects to (non-professional) artists, so the found object, the privileging of idea over material, and the disappearance of the artist’s hand were already indistinguishable from an ideological landscape taken for granted by the artists. Interestingly, it is in this sense that Moscow Conceptualism must be considered not only as the work of dissident artists confronting the triumphs and failures of socialism, but as a continuous line of inquiry producing radically unexpected terms for non-alienated art.

 M/e/a/n/i/n/g is an online journal that is celebrating its 25th Anniversary and its latest issue explores the times we live in and its impact on art and criticism. Of particular interest to Hyperallergic readers may be the focus on web 2.0 and its impact on privacy for the artist and critic. I really enjoyed the beginning to Jennifer Coates’s piece:

In thinking about the artworld from an artist’s perspective, it’s important to remember:
1. You are puny.
2. Your ideas are runny like soft-boiled eggs — also, like soft-boiled eggs, they have probably occurred before.
3. You will not ever succeed, but once in a while you may get a swelled head and think you are magical.
4. People will want to bite you.
5. You will want to bite them.

 There is nothing more controversial in art than the authenticity of works. This month’s edition of the Spencer’s Art Law Journal explores that topic in an essay by Ronald D. Spencer, who writes:

Art experts, including art scholars, dealers, museum curators, authors of catalogues raisonnés and others who make decisions about the authenticity of visual art are all concerned to avoid legal claims over their decisions. This essay addresses a free-speech defense for these experts, under American constitutional law.

 The Clyfford Still Museum has finally opened in Denver this week. The New York Times and the LA Times has coverage of the event. Why did it take this long to open? As the New York Times explains:

 Still’s one-page will bequeathed the bulk of his work to “an American city that will agree to build or assign and maintain permanent quarters exclusively for these works of art and assure their physical survival” for exhibition and study. Owing to his conditions (that the space be dedicated exclusively to his work and that nothing be “sold, given, or exchanged”) and those added by Patricia, who left her own 30-page will, it has taken more than 30 years to make this a reality.

 The 9/11 Memorial opened in September on the 10th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks but the attendance has been far from impressive, according to the New York Observer. Though that seems incredible if 500,000 have already visited the memorial in the first two months, I mean, how many people were they actually expecting?

 Did you ever think of French Nouveau réalisme artist Yves Klein and Californian installation artist Ed Kienholz in the same sentence before? Me neither. Joanna Fiduccia has a whole article on the “odd couple” over at East of Borneo. She writes about their first meeting:

A year earlier, when Yves Klein and his wife arrived in Los Angeles following a short stint in New York, Kienholz had greeted the famed French artist with a welcome gift: a briefcase outfitted irreverently with certain items including a bottle of “GoodAire,” a blue-pigment-soaked sponge, and an aerosol can labeled “IKB” (for International Klein Blue). Amused by the gesture, Klein offered Kienholz in return a piece of the Void, one of a series of Klein’s works known as the Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility.

 Donald Kuspit looks at the Matta retrospective at Pace and opines:

… he did not fully become conscious of the intellectual intention implicit in his art until it became clearly evident in his last paintings, that is, until he had worked through his own important “surreal” emotions (and with that his self-importance), discarding and transcending them in the process, to gain an important insight into the cosmos.

 Groundswell Collective has published a post titled, “Does Corporate Culture Still Suck?” It begins:

Once upon a time (in the 1980s & ’90s) there was a sticker and a T-shirt that said “Corporate Rock Still Sucks” (also the slogan of SST records). The first time he was on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine (1992), Kurt Cobain made a hand scrawled T-shirt with the words, “Corporate Magazines Still Suck.” This act gestured toward the difficulty of trying to stay independent in our society with all of the contradictions and seductions of corporate culture. These days I’m becoming increasingly confused about my/our (independent cultural producers) relationships to corporations.

 And finally, what would an animated GIF player look like in analogue? Here you are.

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning-ish, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links (10 or less) to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.

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