Robert Walser was likely to find in images a reason to look into his own fervent imagination.
References to artists and writers that were once prolific members of public life but later chose to vanish from public view are planted throughout Claire Tabouret’s show.
When I was a child, I made obsessive drawings of schoolgirls and created elaborate personal histories for each of my characters. Imbuing my silent drawings with stories was a form of entertainment, and is, for me at least, one of the most enjoyable aspects of writing about visual art.
In grade school, cursive and print were treated like indicators of who we are. The idea seemed to be that how we write reveals something about the way we think and relate to the world. An exhibition at the Drawing Center, Dickinson/Walser: Pencil Sketches, starts from that premise and extend it further, arguing that handwritten texts by Swiss modernist author Robert Walser and American poet Emily Dickinson may not just be early drafts or sketches, but art.
Obrist is strange. There, I said it. In an event that often felt like a coffee klatch at Obrist’s house, the art world power broker known as Hans Ulrich Obrist — he’s #2 on Art Review’s Power 100 — had a book reading last Saturday at MoMA’s PS1 in Long Island City for his newest publication, Hans Ulrich Obrist: Interviews, Volume 2. The event venue looked like a cross between a set for the Last Supper and a conference stage thrown together by Leni Riefenstahl and there was coffee and books being served on the periphery of the event.