Time capsules: 1980-1985.1980
in full American Broadcasting Co.
Major U.S. television network. It began when the expanding national radio network NBC split into the separate Red and Blue networks in 1928. No Rio's inaugural event, "The Real Estate Show," takes place in an abandoned Delancey St. tenement. Organized by Collaborative Projects--aka Colab--the exhibition addresses the machinations of the Lower East Side real estate market. The show only gains in notoriety when the city repossesses the building during the show's run.
Benjamin Buchloh's "Beuys: The Twilight of the Idol," appears in Artforum. Coming in the wake of the artist's Guggenheim retrospective, the essay seriously undermines Beuys's felt-and-fat-in-the-Caucasus self-mythology. Strategically, Buchloh's demystification of Beuys serves as a historical correlative Having a reciprocal relationship in that the existence of one relationship normally implies the existence of the other.
Mother and child, and duty and claim, are correlative terms. for his disenchantment dis·en·chant
tr.v. dis·en·chant·ed, dis·en·chant·ing, dis·en·chants
To free from illusion or false belief; undeceive.
[Obsolete French desenchanter, from Old French, with the revival of expressionist ex·pres·sion·ism
A movement in the arts during the early part of the 20th century that emphasized subjective expression of the artist's inner experiences.
ex·pres tendencies toward artist-heroes and private agons.
ZG, the London-based arts-and-attitude periodical, launches. Fifteen-issue run, edited by Rosetta Brooks, provides eclectic coverage of the latest downtown Manhattan trends. Very pretentious and way cool.
Ingrid Sischy's debut issue as editor of Artforum: "Allegiance to one kind of art or to one kind of thinking about art is inappropriate, at this time, for a serious art magazine.... Blinders blind·er
1. blinders A pair of leather flaps attached to a horse's bridle to curtail side vision. Also called blinkers.
2. Something that serves to obscure clear perception and discernment. would be fatal now." Her first issue, dominated by artists' projects, is nothing if not inclusive: Art & Language, Dan Graham Dan Graham (born 1942) is a New York based U.S. artist. He is an influential figure in the field of contemporary art, both a practitioner of conceptual art and a well-versed art critic and theorist. , Kim MacConnel, Just Another Asshole, and, memorably, Heresies Collective's "Artrace: An Heretical he·ret·i·cal
1. Of or relating to heresy or heretics.
2. Characterized by, revealing, or approaching departure from established beliefs or standards. Bored Game." Among the rules: "Subscribe to Verb 1. subscribe to - receive or obtain regularly; "We take the Times every day"
buy, purchase - obtain by purchase; acquire by means of a financial transaction; "The family purchased a new car"; "The conglomerate acquired a new company"; Artforum; read only your own reviews. Don't join a Marxist or feminist study group; you won't get points."
Craig Owens (1950 - 1990) was an American art critic and writer. , "The Allegorical Impulse," part 1, October 12: Leaning on Walter Benjamin Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin (July 15, 1892 – September 27, 1940) was a German Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher. He was at times associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory and was also greatly inspired by the Marxism of Bertolt , Owens maintains that allegory persists as a crucial element in contemporary art. Citing Cindy Sherman, Troy Brauntuch, Robert Longo This article or section has multiple issues:
* It does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by citing reliable sources.
* It may require general cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. , and Sherrie Levine Sherrie Levine (born April 17, 1947 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, United States) is a photographer and conceptual artist. Much of her work is in the form of very direct image appropriation. , he attributes allegorical tendencies particularly to appropriation artists. The critic concludes with an excursus ex·cur·sus
n. pl. ex·cur·sus·es
1. A lengthy, appended exposition of a topic or point.
2. A digression. on the inevitable complicity between this "deconstructive" art practice and the objects of its critique.
Roland Barthes Roland Barthes (November 12, 1915 – March 25, 1980) (pronounced [ʀɔlɑ̃ baʀt]) was a French literary critic, literary and social theorist, philosopher, and semiologist. dies in Paris. His book on photography, Camera Lucida, had appeared the month before.
Studio 54 shuttered after owners' tax evasion The process whereby a person, through commission of Fraud, unlawfully pays less tax than the law mandates.
Tax evasion is a criminal offense under federal and state statutes. A person who is convicted is subject to a prison sentence, a fine, or both. charges.
APRIL April: see month.
Ross Bleckner Ross Bleckner (born 1949) is an American artist from New York City. He is the youngest artist ever to have a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. His series of "stripes" paintings in the 1980s revitalized interest in Op art. He has a B.A. , Julian Schnabel, and David Salle open at Mary Boone. In his Arts Magazine diary Robert Pincus-Witten calls the dealer's three darlings "Boonies boon·ies
Rural country or a jungle.
[Shortening and alteration of boondocks.] ."
"Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective" opens at the Museum of Modern Art. Auspicious timing for this compendious com·pen·di·ous
Containing or stating briefly and concisely all the essentials; succinct.
[Middle English, from Late Latin compendi exhibition, given the fashion for Picassoid wannabes Wannabes is an online interactive soap and game created for the BBC by Illumna Digital. Wannabes follows on from Jamie Kane, the BBC's previous foray into online interactive drama. The show/game consists of 14 10 minute episodes released twice a week. with gargantuan gar·gan·tu·an
Of immense size, volume, or capacity; gigantic. See Synonyms at enormous.
huge or enormous [after Gargantua, a giant in Rabelais' ambitions.
3 Teens Kill 4, an East Village band including David Wojnarowicz, pours blood and bones down the stairwell stair·well
A vertical shaft around which a staircase has been built.
a vertical shaft in a building that contains a staircase
Noun 1. of 420 W. Broadway, SoHo's most important gallery address, as commentary on US policy toward Central America. Drummer Julie Hair: "We went to 14th St., absconded some bones, and sealed them in plastic. Those bones were not well cleaned off. Lots of dead animal bits intact. Still quite bloody."
"Seven Young Artists from Italy," curated by Jean-Christoph Ammann, opens at the Kunsthalle Basel. Arguably the first Transavanguardia exhibition with international impact, the show includes Sandro Chia, Enzo Cucchi, Francesco Clemente, Mimmo Paladino, Nicola de Maria, Luigi Ontani, and Ernesto Tatafiore.
Douglas Crimp, "On the Museum's Ruins," October 13: Taking his cues from Rauschenberg, Foucault, Benjamin, Bouvard et Pecuchet, and Malraux, Crimp identifies the museum as an inevitably incoherent archive. Couched in the neutralizing language of academe, Crimp's essay has an inescapable ideological thrust: He is gunning for the institution before setting his sights on painting in the following year's "The End of Painting."
Venice Biennale: Georg Baselitz and Anselm Kiefer share the German pavilion. Some infer that the former's Model for a Sculpture depicts Hitler giving the Nazi salute; the latter's works refer to the Nibelungenlied, militarism Militarism
See also Soldiering.
leader of the Seven against Thebes. [Gk. Myth.: Iliad]
killed many enemies; led many troops to victory. [Ger. Lit. Nibelungenlied] , Wagner, Heidegger. Vituperative reaction--fascistic," "teutonic," "bombastic--aggrandizes the hitherto relatively obscure artists. The international pavilion, curated by Achilie Bonito bonito: see mackerel.
Swift, predaceous schooling fishes (genus Sarda) of the mackerel family (Scombridae). Bonitos, found worldwide, have a striped back and silvery belly and grow to about 30 in. (75 cm) long. Oliva and Harald Szeemann, includes Chia, Cucchi, Clemente, and Paladino, as well as Americans Susan Rothenberg, Julian Schnabel, and David Salle: the first important attempt at integrating recent European and American painting. Pictured: Georg Baselitz, Modell fur elne Skulptur (Model for a sculpture), 1978-80, tempera tempera (tĕm`pərə), painting method in which finely ground pigment is mixed with a solidifying base such as albumen, fig sap, or thin glue. and wood, 70 x 58 x 96".
or Cable News Network
Subsidiary company of Turner Broadcasting Systems. It was created by Ted Turner in 1980 to present 24-hour live news broadcasts, using satellites to transmit reports from news bureaus around the world. launched.
Colab's "Times Square Show" opens in a decrepit de·crep·it
Weakened, worn out, impaired, or broken down by old age, illness, or hard use. See Synonyms at weak.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin d former massage parlor massage parlor
An establishment that offers therapeutic massage.
massage parlor Sexology An establishment that advertises nonsexual manipulation and massage services, which may be provided by 'sex workers' who, for on 41st St. and 7th Ave. A hundred-odd artists and performers, many from the nascent East Village art scene and including soon-to-be-notables Jenny Holzer and David Hammons. Violence and sex overriding themes, in keeping with the "outsider" locale.
Jurgen Habermas's watershed lecture "Modernity: An Incomplete Project" sharply rebukes the theoretical critical mass increasingly subsumed under the rubric RUBRIC, civil law. The title or inscription of any law or statute, because the copyists formerly drew and painted the title of laws and statutes rubro colore, in red letters. Ayl. Pand. B. 1, t. 8; Diet. do Juris. h.t. of postmodernism--Foucault, Derrida, et al.
Three Cs--viz., Clemente, Chia, and Cucchi--open at Sperone Westwater Fischer, a group show that decisively puts the central figures of the Transavanguardia on the New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of map. Kay Larson (Village Voice) describes the look as either "Late Late Mannerism mannerism, a style in art and architecture (c.1520–1600), originating in Italy as a reaction against the equilibrium of form and proportions characteristic of the High Renaissance. " or, quoting Chia, "The Last Baroque." Pictured: Sandro Chia, Genova, 1980, oil on canvas, 7'6" x 13'.
"Finger fur Deutschland" is staged at Jorg Immendorff's studio in Dusseldorf. A debutante party of sorts for young German artists bucking the neo-ex trend (Martin Kippenberger, Albert and Markus Oehlen, Werner Buttner, etc.). A program of German New Wave and avant-garde music held at the local artist dive, Ratinger Hof, accompanies the show.
Jasper Johns's Three Flags sells for over $1 million, reports the New York Times--a first for a living artist: "Reached by telephone at his house in Stony Point, N.Y., Mr. Johns said he felt 'nothing other than amusement' at the price of the painting.... 'I was brought up in the Depression, and $1 million is a very important figure to one who grew up at that time. It has a rather neat sound, but it has nothing to do with painting.'"
Absolut Vodka launches "Absolut Bottle" campaign.
Group Material opens gallery at 224 E. 13th St. with "The Inaugural Exhibition."
John Adams's Nixon in China, directed by Peter Sellars, premieres at Houston Grand Opera The Houston Grand Opera (HGO) is a Houston, Texas-based opera company. It was founded in 1955. David Gockley was its longtime general director, serving 33 years from 1972 to 2005 before moving to the San Francisco Opera on January 1, 2006. .
In a trade with the artist, Julian Schnabel receives David Salle's diptych painting Daemonization; reversing the panels, he paints a portrait of Salle on one of them, retitling the picture Jump.
Calvin Klein jeans commercial featuring Brooke Shields ("You know what comes between me and my Calvins? Noting.") banned by CBS (Cell Broadcast Service) See cell broadcast. .
Metro Pictures opens with group show (Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, Michael Harvey, Thomas Lawson, William Leavitt, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, James Welling, and Michael Zwack). Metro's cofounder co·found
tr.v. co·found·ed, co·found·ing, co·founds
To establish or found in concert with another or others.
co·found (with Janelle Reiring) Helene Winer had previously directed Artists Space, where Douglas Crimp had curated the seminal 1977 "Pictures" show. The lineup of media-obsessed artists contrasts sharply with the mythological/allegorical fixations of neo-expressionism and the Three Cs. Pictured: Metro Pictures opening, November 1980.
Ronald Reagan elected 40th president.
"Who Shot J.R.?" episode of Dallas viewed in a then record 41 million homes.
Keith Haring begins making his drawings on the walls of subway stations in New York.
Pyramid Club opens on Avenue A. Avantdrag performers are a staple, with regular appearances by Hapi Phace, Lypsinka, John Kelly, Stephen Tashjian/Tabbool, and Ethyl Eichelberger, who dances precariously on the narrow bar in full Queen Elizabeth I attire.
John Jesurun's "living film serial" Chang in a Void Moon enjoys performances every Monday night (curtain 9:30 and 11): deadpan theater of the absurd theater of the absurd: see drama, Western. for insomniacs.
San Francisco-based magazine RE/Search launches with "Shocking Tabloid Issues."
John Lennon, shot in New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. .
ALSO OF NOTE
* Dara Birnbaum, Collective for Living Cinema, New York
* Sarah Charlesworth, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York (New York gallery debut)
* Arch Connelly, Artists Space, New York
* Waiter Dahn, Galerie Paul Maenz, Cologne (solo debut)
* Gunther Forg, Galerie Rudiger Schottle, Munich (solo debut)
* Gilbert & George, "Modern Fears," Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London
* Roni Horn, Clocktower, New York (solo debut)
* Thomas Struth, Galerie Rudiger Schottle, Munich (solo debut)
* "Milhelmer Freihelt und Interessante Blider aus Deutschland," Galerie Paul Maenz, Cologne
* "Expressionism expressionism, term used to describe works of art and literature in which the representation of reality is distorted to communicate an inner vision. The expressionist transforms nature rather than imitates it. : A German Intuition" (cur cur
a derogatory term for a mongrel dog. . Tom Messer). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: see Guggenheim Museum. , New York
* "Three New York Artists" (cur. Jean-Christoph Ammann; Robert Moskowitz, Julian Schnabel, Susan Rothenberg), Kunsthalle Basel
* John Berger, About Looking
* Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
* Michael Fried, Absorption and Theatricality: Painting and Beholder in the Age of Diderot
* Andy Warhol and Pat Hackett, POPism
* American Gigolo gig·o·lo
n. pl. gig·o·los
1. A man who has a continuing sexual relationship with and receives financial support from a woman.
2. A man who is hired as an escort or a dancing partner for a woman. , dir. Paul Schrader
* Heaven's Gate, dir. Michael Cimino
* Raging Bull, dir. Martin Scorsese
* The Return of the Secaucus 7, dir. John Sayles
* The Shining, dir. Stanley Kubrick
* Ska revival (Specials, Madness, Selecter)
* Rock Against Racism Rock Against Racism (RAR) was a campaign set up by Red Saunders, Roger Huddle and others in winter 1976. It was founded in response to allegedly racist comments and gestures made by David Bowie and Eric Clapton. movement in Britain, Germany, and France
* Throbbing Gristle, 20 Jazz Funk Greats
RELATED ARTICLE: MILESTONE 1980
Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz
SINCE MANY IN THE '70s imagined themselves to be living in a disco-inflected version of the Weimar Republic, with all the lurking political apocalypse that implied, there was a voluptuous foreboding in the prospect of a TV miniseries by Rainer Werner Fassbinder chronicling the lower depths of '20s Berlin. Fassbinder's cinema of cruelty, with its equal echoes of Brecht, Warhol, and Douglas Sirk, had from the outset provided an infusion of demystifying pessimism in a climate still saturated by late-'60s fever dreams of spiritual transformation. By the time Berlin Alexanderplatz aired in 1980, Fassbinder had moved beyond the deliberately alienating manner of his grotesque spaghetti western Whity (1971) and the noir degree zero The American Soldier (1970) to adopt an approach that was more like infiltration. He wanted to stir up the emotional identification that any old Joan Crawford picture could bring into play, all the better to home in on moments of utter defeat, betrayal, surrender.
For Fassbinder to move beyond art houses to the potentially unlimited world of television was a heady idea, even if Berlin Alexanderplatz was only to be shown here on PBS PBS
in full Public Broadcasting Service
Private, nonprofit U.S. corporation of public television stations. PBS provides its member stations, which are supported by public funds and private contributions rather than by commercials, with educational, cultural, . TV--not yet balkanized by a thousand cable channels--still seemed like the public square, and the miniseries, a new form, might hold possibilities to which even movies couldn't aspire. A miniseries had so much more time to explore the narrative intricacies that movies were obliged to compress. It could, in theory, let events unfold in something closer to the cadences of experience.
The form's possibilities had been well demonstrated by the BBC's I, Claudius (1976), whose rich detail made even the most ambitious swords-and-sandals epic seem cartoonish by comparison. Two years later the NBC NBC
in full National Broadcasting Co.
Major U.S. commercial broadcasting company. It was formed in 1926 by RCA Corp., General Electric Co. (GE), and Westinghouse and was the first U.S. company to operate a broadcast network. series Holocaust, whatever its dramaturgical dram·a·tur·gy
The art of the theater, especially the writing of plays.
drama·tur shortcomings A shortcoming is a character flaw.
Shortcomings may also be:
It seemed, then, that the long forms with which television was experimenting might evolve into a genre as dense, popular, and aesthetically powerful as those nineteenth-century novels that lent themselves so admirably to the format. The novel that Fassbinder had chosen to adapt was of a different sort: Alfred Doblin's 1929 epic was a thoroughly modernist work, imbued with a hallucinatory hal·lu·ci·na·to·ry
1. Of or characterized by hallucination.
2. Inducing or causing hallucination. expressionism far removed from the flat, bright certainties of the TV image. For Fassbinder the book was a touchstone: It had transformed him when he read it as a teenager, and the hapless heroes of his films had time and again been named after the novel's protagonist, Franz Biberkopf, an ex-convict set adrift in post--World War I Berlin.
Berlin Alexanderplatz the TV show turned out to be a belated Expressionist masterpiece, harsh and unforgiving in its delineation of Franz's inevitable undoing, implacable in its air of nocturnal gloom. Yet Fassbinder had grasped the miniseries aesthetic, if only to frustrate its expectations. From episode to episode, one stayed tuned, as if somehow things were going to turn out all right in the end. As incarnated by the remarkable Gunter Lamprecht, the fundamentally good-hearted murderer Biberkopf emerged as Fassbinder's ultimate sacrificial victim, his life dismantled by the charming, utterly malign Reinhold Hoffmann (Gottfried John). For Fassbinder, the men's destructive relationship was driven by a sexual desire they were incapable of acknowledging; played out in the episodes of Berlin Alexanderplatz, it was like the final unleashing of the demons Demons
See also devil; evil; ghosts; hell; spirits and spiritualism.
one who denies the existence of the devil or demons.
recognition of the existence of demons and goblins. evoked by the work of Lang and Murnau, of Nolde and Beckmann and Grosz grosz
n. pl. gro·szy
See Table at currency.
[Polish, from Czech gro , and more terrifying ter·ri·fy
tr.v. ter·ri·fied, ter·ri·fy·ing, ter·ri·fies
1. To fill with terror; make deeply afraid. See Synonyms at frighten.
2. To menace or threaten; intimidate. for the fact that it was all happening on television.
For all its promise, Fassbinder's miniseries was less the beginning than the end of something. He died eighteen months after it first aired, and the kind of uncompromising auteurist television that Berlin Alexanderplatz seemed to announce was to remain a rarity. For better or worse, television would prove more receptive to a thoroughly collaborative model of creation, and decidedly unreceptive to the kind of unrelieved bad dream that Berlin Alexanderplatz projected into the public square.
Geoffrey O'Brien is editor in chief of the Library of America The Library of America (LoA) is a nonprofit publisher of classic American literature. Overview and history
Founded in 1979 with seed money from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation, the LoA has published more than 150 volumes by a wide range .
Talking Head's Remain in Light
IN THE WINTER OF 1980 Brian Eno went on radio station KPFA in Berkeley, California, and prophesied. He foresaw the advent of "fourth-world music," he said, music not exactly here (Anglo-American rock) or there (tribal, folkloric, traditional). What he envisioned was an "almost collage music, like grafting a piece of one culture onto a piece of another ... and trying to make them work as a coherent musical idea, and also trying to make something you can dance to." Eno had left London two years before. He was living in Lower Manhattan and spending many of his working hours with David Byrne, the leader of Talking Heads, an art-rock band that thought it was a funk band, or vice versa VICE VERSA. On the contrary; on opposite sides. . Eno had produced the Heads' second album, More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978), and their third, Fear of Music (1979), and was in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of recording an album with Byrne alone, an album of experimental pieces that layered dense, percussive per·cus·sive
Of, relating to, or characterized by percussion.
per·cussive·ly adv. grooves by Eno, Byrne, and eleven other musicians atop snippets of "found" voices-- f rom a recording by a Lebanese mountain singer, say, or that of an Egyptian pop diva. The album would be released in 1981 as My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, a title borrowed from a novel by the Nigerian writer Amos Tutuola about a young man who wanders beyond the bounds of his village into the topographical and existential unknown. But Eno and Byrne did not go quite that far with Bush of Ghosts: This was "experimental" music that was meant to be appreciated, and was--at least within the bounds of SoHo. It had the flavor and contours of Otherness, but there was little here to dance to. Eno didn't make records to dance to. Talking Heads did.
While making Bush of Ghosts, Byrne and the three other members of Talking Heads, along with Eno (by then a kind of fifth Head), recorded and released Remain in Light (Sire Records, 1980), an album that was the first to actually deliver on Eno's prophecy. It is an album that also happens to be prophetic in its own right, anticipating not only the way popular music is made now and sounds now, or the more adventurous of it anyway (think of Moby's Play or Radiohead's Kid A), but also the way we live now--at some frontier where here and there are at once terribly conspicuous and disquietingly dis·qui·et
tr.v. dis·qui·et·ed, dis·qui·et·ing, dis·qui·ets
To deprive of peace or rest; trouble.
Absence of peace or rest; anxiety.
Uneasy; restless. elusive.
Talking Heads gathered to record the album in the Bahamas in the spring of 1980. It had been decided that the band would build songs the way "I Zimbra," the opening song on Fear of Music, had been built: from jamming together. These instrumental jams were harmonically minimal, but there was nothing simple about the music being made. The complexity, and the captivating cap·ti·vate
tr.v. cap·ti·vat·ed, cap·ti·vat·ing, cap·ti·vates
1. To attract and hold by charm, beauty, or excellence. See Synonyms at charm.
2. Archaic To capture. freshness crucial to popular music, was all in the layered rhythms and timbral values: not song but sound. The band would work and rework riffs until exhausting them, recording them on long stretches of tape. Development, variation, resolution: These all came later, when Byrne and Eno took the many instrumental tracks for a given song and mixed them--essentially by turning this one on and that one off endlessly, ingeniously. Paradoxically, the wonders of the modern recording studio allowed for the making of a kind--a new kind--of communal, near-tribal music. Welcome to the fourth world.
The lyrics Byrne wrote once the music was done reinforce the music's sense of existing along some once carefully demarcated but now permeable and restless border region. He was reading John Miller Chernoff's African Rhythm and African Sensibility; he was listening to radio preachers and a new vocal style out of the South Bronx called rap; he was also, he told me recently, trying to get beyond the strictly psychological, the self-conscious Self, into the mythic and magical (much as fourth-world chroniclers like Salman Rushdie were beginning to do). Byrne, you might say, was feeling a kind of protoglobalist urge: "And you may find yourself in another part of the world ... And you may ask yourself--Well.. how did I get here?" he talk-sings on "Once in a Lifetime." Along the frontier between here and there, identity would be problematized ("I'm changing my shape-I feel like an accident," the narrator NARRATOR. A pleader who draws narrs serviens narrator, a sergeant at law. Fleta, 1. 2, c. 37. Obsolete. declares in "Crosseyed and Painless"), and border crossings would be contested, as he darkly foresaw in the lyrics to "Listening Wind": "Mojique buys equipment in the marketplace / Mojique plants devices in the free trade zone."
With Remain in Light, Talking Heads wandered far, far from anybody's idea of downtown, toward a future we are only beginning to understand we have arrived at, one thick with unimagined complication and, it must be hoped, possibility.
Gerald Marzorati is editorial director of the New York Times Magazine. (See Contributors.)
A Barbara Kruger, "Pictures and Promises,' opens at The Kitchen. A former magazine art director (Mademoiselle), Kruger curates a show illustrating the influence of print media on contemporary artists. The artists (Victor Burgin, Sherrie Levine, James Welling, Laurie Simmons, Hannah Wilke, et al.) share the gallery with magazine spreads, ads, posters, and monitors broadcasting television commercials.
Robert Longo's "Men in the Cities" is introduced as series in artist's first Metro Pictures solo. Large-scale charcoal drawings of men (and women) in business attire, contorted con·tort·ed
1. Twisted or strained out of shape.
2. Botany Twisted, bent, or partially rolled upon itself; convolute.
con·tort in moments of evident surprise or pain, interspersed with lacquered cast-aluminum reliefs depicting views of Manhattan architecture (e.g., Bellevue, the Downtown Athletic Club The Downtown Athletic Club was an athletic club in a 35-story building located at 19 West Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City, USA. It was founded in 1926. By 1927, it had purchased this site next to the Hudson River to construct its own building. ). Longo includes stenciled "credits" for his models and fabricators.
Pictured: Robert Longo, "Men In the Cities," 1981. Installation view, Metro Pictures, New York.
"A New Spirit in Painting" opens at the Royal Academy of Arts Royal Academy of Arts, London, the national academy of art of England, founded in 1768 by George III at the instigation of Sir William Chambers and Benjamin West. Sir Joshua Reynolds was the Academy's first president, holding the office until his death in 1792. , London. Curated by Nicholas Serota, Norman Rosenthal, and Christos Joachimides, the exhibition attempts to integrate new expressionist tendencies among British, European, and American artists within a broad spectrum of painterly paint·er·ly
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a painter; artistic.
a. Having qualities unique to the art of painting.
b. practices. The influential (all-male) hodgepodge: Richter, Polke, Kiefer, Markus Lupertz, A.R. Penck, and Rainer Fetting; Chia and Paladino; and motley Americans and Brits--Ryman, Twombly, Bacon, Auerbach, Morley, Marden, Guston, Warhol, de Kooning, et al. As the lineup suggests, the spirit isn't quite as new as promised.
First installment of Robert Hughes's eight-part TV series The Shock of the New and publication of companion book. Hughes's gregarious delivery and colorful language help establish him as the most influential mainstream critic in the US, although his attitude toward contemporary art is almost invariably in·var·i·a·ble
Not changing or subject to change; constant.
in·vari·a·bil hostile or dismissive.
Peter Schjeldahl's first column as senior critic at the Village Voice appears.
opens Loo Division in the bathroom of her E. 9th St. apartment.
Pictured: Gracie Mansion at Steve Lack show, Loo Division, New York, 1981.
Photo: Timothy Greathouse.
Ronald Reagon shot.
Julian Schnabel's joint show at Mary Boone and Leo Castelli opens. Schnabel is the first new artist Castelli has signed since 1971; like his 1979 Boone debut, the show sells out prior to the opening. The collaboration between the grand seigneur of contemporary dealers and the brash young Boone is itself provocative (representing the artist jointly, they split commissions). Schnabel shows 13 paintings, some on velvet, incorporating gold leaf, moose antlers antlers
metaphorical decoration for deceived husband. [Western Folklore: Jobes, 395]
See : Cuckoldry , and, of course, broken crockery. Thomas Lawson in Flash Art" "Like Reagan, Schnabel puts his faith in unregulated expansionism ex·pan·sion·ism
A nation's practice or policy of territorial or economic expansion.
ex·pansion·ist adj. & n. ."
Pictured: Juilan Schnabel, St. Francis in Ecstasy, 1980, wood putty, plates, and oil on wood, 96 x 84".
"Sex and Language" conference at the Plaza Hotel, New York, features more than 100 speakers--psychoanalysts, writers, filmmakers, and "scene makers of indeterminate pedigree," as the New York Times puts it. Participants include Lina Wertmuller, Alain Robbe-Grillet, William S. Burroughs Noun 1. William S. Burroughs - United States writer noted for his works portraying the life of drug addicts (1914-1997)
Burroughs, William Burroughs, William Seward Burroughs , Thomas Szasz, and Maurice Girodias. "What do I know about sex and language?" Robbe-Grillet wonders. "Nothing. My sex is vague and my language is absent. I am here to observe the scene--and the circus."
Seminal East Village galleries Civilian Warfare and Nature Morte open for business. Civilian Warfare promulgates the archetypal ar·che·type
1. An original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; a prototype: "'Frankenstein' . . . 'Dracula' . . . 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' . . . down-in-the-gutter-with-a-handful-of-glitter East Village aesthetic, whereas Nature Morte, under the direction of artists Alan Belcher and Peter Nagy, propounds the Pop/Conceptual undercurrent.
Pictured, from left: Nature Morte, E. 10th St., New York. Civilian Warfare Gallery, E. 11th St., New York.
Photos: Andreas Sterzing.
"Westkunst: Contemporary Art since 1939" opens at the Museen der Stadt, Cologne. The show, curated by Kasper Konig et al., promises examples of "continuity and contradiction"; the 1939 start suggests a political focus. Received modern masters (Picasso, Beckmann, Klee, Mondrian, Ernst, Pollock, de Koonlng--the list goes on) mingle with the stars of the '60s and the occasional oddball (Fautrier, Wols, Ivan Albright, Abraham Rattner). An eclectic range of contemporary art: Schnabel, Salle, Longo, Brauntuch, Holzer, Kushner, Clemente, Ahearn. The exhibition also serves as yet another staging ground for the proliferation of new German painting.
Fun Gallery opens. Under the direction of Bill Stelling and underground film star Patti Astor, the East Village hub features Keith Haring, Futura 2000, Fred Brathwaite, Kenny Scharf, Jane Dickson, and Nicolas Moufarrege during its five-year run.
Pictured: Graffiti show at Patti Astor's Fun Gallery, New York. Photo Martha cooper.
Rene Ricard's first Artforum article, "Not About Julian Schnabel," appears. A not entirely facetious title, as Ricard spends several opening paragraphs attacking various New York dealers, especially Mary Boone. A poet, Ricard eschews normative critical writing, freely mixing panegyric panegyric
Eulogistic oration or laudatory discourse. The panegyric originally was a speech delivered at an ancient Greek general assembly (panegyris), such as the Olympic and Panathenaic festivals. , vituperation, and gossip. These high-octane "appreciations" go some way toward defining the climate of Sischy's Artforum.
AIDS first diagnosed.
MOMA Moma (mō`mä), town, E central Mozambique. It is important mainly as a harbor for the export of tropical produce. high priest Alfred Barr dies.
in full Music Television
U.S. cable television network, established in 1980 to present videos of musicians and singers performing new rock music. MTV won a wide following among rock-music fans worldwide and greatly affected the popular-music business. launched.
IBM PC introduced.
Inaugural issue of Art & Text, edited by Paul Taylor, appears. The ambitious journal comes from a far-flung locale, Victoria, Australia; but under Taylor's canny direction it soon achieves readership beyond the Australian art world.
Rosalind Krauss, "The Originality of the Avant-Garde: A Postmodern Repetition," October 18: Krauss concludes her critique of originality with Sherrie Levine's rephotography of pictures by Edward Weston and Eliot Porter, continuing the journals canonization canonization (kăn'ənĭzā`shən), in the Roman Catholic Church, process by which a person is classified as a saint. It is now performed at Rome alone, although in the Middle Ages and earlier bishops elsewhere used to canonize. of the "Pictures" group.
1. Of, relating to, or able to engage in imaginative invention.
2. Of, relating to, or being fiction; fictional.
3. Not genuine; sham. Victims" opens at Hallwalls in Buffalo, New York. Features work by Gretchen Bender, Mark Innerst, Bill Komoski, Anne Doran, Peter Coates, Jim Isermann, and Peter Fleps. Curator Robert Longo mixes "Pictures-type photo-based art with figurative and abstractish painting, the whole suffused suf·fuse
tr.v. suf·fused, suf·fus·ing, suf·fus·es
To spread through or over, as with liquid, color, or light: "The sky above the roof is suffused with deep colors" with an atmosphere redolent red·o·lent
1. Having or emitting fragrance; aromatic.
2. Suggestive; reminiscent: a campaign redolent of machine politics. of parody, pop culture, wistfulness, and kitsch. At Sandro Chia's suggestion, Annina Nosei invites 22-year-old Jean-Michel Basqulat to join her gallery. Nosei sets up the artist in her basement so he can paint, a gesture that gains a certain notoriety. "Basquiat is likened to the wild boy raised by wolves Raised by Wolves is an EP by Voxtrot, released in 2005. Track listings
Thomas Lawson, "Last Exit: Painting," Artforum: Lawson stolidly stol·id
adj. stol·id·er, stol·id·est
Having or revealing little emotion or sensibility; impassive: "the incredibly massive and stolid bureaucracy of the Soviet system" argues for a genuinely subversive painterly practice. David Salle much valorized: "Salle's paintings remain significant pointers indicating the last exit for the radical artist. He makes paintings, but they are dead, inert representations of the impossibility of passion in a culture that has institutionalized in·sti·tu·tion·al·ize
tr.v. in·sti·tu·tion·al·ized, in·sti·tu·tion·al·iz·ing, in·sti·tu·tion·al·iz·es
a. To make into, treat as, or give the character of an institution to.
b. self-expression." Among the illustrations: Lawson's own Shot by the Fathers.
Laurie Anderson's "0 Superman" sells 500,000 copies worldwide. The '70s performance artist takes deadpan delivery, ominous lyrics, and New Wave/No Wave attitudinizing mainstream. Pictured: Laurie Anderson, 0 Superman. Performance view, Brooklyn Academy of Music Brooklyn Academy of Music, performing arts center located in the borough of Brooklyn, N.Y. and popularly known as BAM. Founded in 1859 and opened in 1861, it is the oldest such institution still in operation in the United States. , New York, 1982. Photo: Chris Harris.
The term "postmodernism" migrates into fine-arts discourse, showing up in a New York Times headline, for Andy Grundberg's "Cindy Sherman: A Playful and Political Post-Modernist": "By focusing exclusively on conventionalized, almost stereotypical forms of representation, Sherman seems to question our assumptions about originality in art." Perhaps the first time "postmodernism" in the October-ish sense appears in the newspaper of record.
The Germans invade New York. A neo-ex juggernaut, with solo shows of Rainer Fetting at Mary Boone, A.R. Penck at Sonnabend, Markus Lupertz at Marian Goodman, Salome at Annina Nosel, and Georg Baselitz at Xavier Fourcade. Ross Skoggard writes in Art in America Art in America, published since 1913, is an illustrated monthly art magazine covering the visual art world both in the US and abroad, but concentrating on New York City. , "The big sport for critics this month is deciding who's your favorite German."
ALSO OF NOTE SHOWS
* Werner Buttner, Galerie Max Hetzler, Stuttgart (solo debut)
* Sophie Calle, Galerie Canon, Geneva Geneva, canton and city, Switzerland
Geneva (jənē`və), Fr. Genève, canton (1990 pop. 373,019), 109 sq mi (282 sq km), SW Switzerland, surrounding the southwest tip of the Lake of Geneva. (solo debut)
* Carroll Dunham, Artists Space, New York (solo debut) Pictured: Carroll Dunham, Untitled, 1980, casein casein (kā`sēn), well-defined group of proteins found in milk, constituting about 80% of the proteins in cow's milk, but only 40% in human milk. , acrylic, dry pigment, and pencil on paper, 30 1/2 x 22".
* Fischli & Weiss, Galerie Stanli, Zurich (solo debut)
* Jedd Garet, Robert Miller Gallery, New York
* Jim Isermann, Rio Mizuno Gallery, Los Angeles (solo debut)
* Jonathan Lasker, Landmark Gallery, New York (solo debut)
* Louise Lawler, Jancar/Kuhlenschmidt Gallery, Los Angeles (solo debut)
* Louise Lawler and Sherrie Levine, first installment of collaborative A Picture Is No Substitute for Anything, Harold Rivkin, New York
* Paul McCarthy, Death Ship, University of Southern California The U.S. News & World Report ranked USC 27th among all universities in the United States in its 2008 ranking of "America's Best Colleges", also designating it as one of the "most selective universities" for admitting 8,634 of the almost 34,000 who applied for freshman admission , Los Angeles
* Albert Oehlen, Galerie Max Hetzler, Stuttgart (solo debut)
* Izhar Patkin, The Kitchen, New York (solo debut)
* Thomas Ruff, Galerie Rudiger Schottle, Munich (solo debut)
* Laurie Simmons, Metro Pictures, New York (solo gallery debut) Pictured: Laurie Simmons, Tourism: Pyramids 2nd View, 1984, color print, 40 x 60".
* Robert Yarber, Simon Lavinsky Gallery, Los Angeles (solo debut)
* "Downtown Invitational Drawing Show" (cur. Keith Haring), Mudd Club, New York
* "Art Allemagne Aujourd'hul" (Baselitz, Beuys, Darboven, Haacke, Immendorff, Kiefer, Lupertz, Palermo, Penck, Polke, Richter, Roth, Ruckriem, Vostell), Musee d'Art Moderne mo·derne
Striving to be modern in appearance or style but lacking taste or refinement; pretentious.
[French, modern, from Old French; see modern.]
Adj. 1. de la Ville de Paris Ville de Paris may refer to:
* Jean Baudrillard, For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign [Pour une critique..., 1972]
* Norman Bryson, Word and Image: French Painting of the Ancien Regime
* Jacques Derrida, Dissemination [La Dissemination, 1972]
* bell hooks, Ain't l a Woman: Black Women and Feminism
* Georg Lukacs, Essays on Realism
* Salman Rushdle, Midnight's Children
* The Decline of Western Civilization, dir. Penelope Spheeris
* Dlva, dir. Jean-Jacques Beineix
* Mommie Dearest, dir. Frank Perry
* Ralders of the Lost Ark, dir. Steven Spielberg
* Halrcut 100, "Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)"
* Lounge Lilzards, The Lounge Lizards
"New York/New Wave"
THE "'80s" LITERALLY BEGAN WITH "The Real Estate Show," an "insurrectionary" occupation of a vacant city-owned building at 123 Delancey Street. Literally, because the thirty-five-artist installation dealing primarily with real-estate issues in New York, was "open" for one day: January 1, 1980. It was padlocked by the police on January 2 and "came down" on the 11th when city workers invaded the space and carted off the work-an auspicious beginning for a decade of art.
In June of '80 the spectacular "Times Square Show," mounted in an abandoned multistory mul·ti·sto·ry also mul·ti·sto·ried
Having several stories: a multistory hotel.
Adj. 1. massage parlor on Forty-first Street and Seventh Avenue, took things to a whole new level. The show was as funky as its surroundings and as lively a happening as had been seen since the '60s. Artists dropped in and contributed to this nonstop party, a continuous work-in-progress that featured not only the best young artists but also film, video, and live music performances. It brought worlds together--the uptown (as in the Bronx) with the downtown, the theoretical with the impulsive, the vandals with the decorators. A souvenir shop sold cheap multiples by participating artists.
The institutional emergence of this new force took place in mid-February 1981, in the "New York/New Wave" show at P.S. 1 in Long Island City, a spectacular exhibition featuring 119 artists (more or less) and curated by Diego Cortez. Mammoth in scale, "New York/New Wave" offended purists as much by its maximalist max·i·mal·ist
One who advocates direct or radical action to secure a social or political goal in its entirety: "the maximalists . . . who want the undivided land" Arthur Hertzberg. approach as by its content. Cortez hung the art from floor to ceiling, throughout the galleries and the halls. He brought together a coalition of punks, No Wave musicians, young painters, graffiti artists, poets, performers, and more radical-type forefathers forefathers npl → antepasados mpl
forefathers npl → ancêtres mpl
forefathers npl → Vorfahren like Ray Johnson, Lawrence Weiner, William Burroughs, and Andy Warhol to create a museum-as--fun house that engaged the eye and mind relentlessly.
I recently dug up a review in the apparently hip SoHo Weekly News by John Perreault, who seemed offended that the show was a huge hit: "Why so many people? Is the art world eager for a possible new wave slap in the face?" But revisiting the show when the RS. 1 galleries were closed, he found it "a plain and timid thing." Joking on the "New Wave" title, he called the exhibition "tidewrack"--i.e., what's left when the tide goes out.
I also dug up something I wrote about the show in Interview, and it addresses some of Perreault's concerns in a similar metaphoric vein: "This is a tidal wave of art, about to reduce the entire art world to limp rubble, particularly the stuff that floats." Here I believe I was casting a jibe at the then popular gallery installations of lumber piles. I continued: "Here's a whole new art world ready to replace the old one. Of course the old one is not going to just pack up and move to Chicago because of an art show in Long Island City. But I can tell they're scared. And why? I think because here is art based on life, not on art. The public might like it." I think that was the revolution that began with "The Real Estate Show," got hot with "The Times Square Show," and went public with "New York/New Wave."
Perreault and other mainstream commentators didn't find much news in "New York/New Wave," but looking over a list of contributing artists, I find quite a few names who went on to serious things: Kathy Acker, David Armstrong, Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Byrne, Sarah Charlesworth, Henry Chalfant, Larry Clark, Arch Connelly, Jimmy de Sana, Dondi, Brian Eno, Fab 5 Freddy, Peter Fend, Futura 2000, Jedd Garet, Nan Goldin, Keith Haring, Duncan Hannah, Roberto Juarez, Bill Komoski, Greer Lankton, Lady Pink, Marcus Leatherdale, Arto Lindsay, Judy Linn linn
1. A waterfall.
2. A steep ravine.
[Scottish Gaelic linne, pool, waterfall.] , John Lurie, Lydia Lunch, Ann Magnuson, Christoper Makos, Robert Mapplethorpe, Frank Moore, Lee Quinones (LEE), Rene Ricard, Kenny Scharf, Kate Simon, Duncan Smith, Kiki Smith, Steven Sprouse, Ken Tisa, Harvey Wang, Larry Williams, Robin Winters. Not only that, but the curator, Diego Cortez, has gone on to create some very modern cocktail piano music.
Alas, that was an age of showmanship and shamanship the likes of which seem most remote today. Not that there is no new wave of art ready to break--I sense its far-off presence, and we're praying for psychic surf daily--but that idea of art coalescing coalescing (kōles´ing),
n a joining or fusing of parts. to reach the public without mediation seems so outside the realm of institutional practice it's practically dangerous. Nutty world, huh?
Glenn O'Brien is a writer based In New York.
Keith Haring's Wild Style
ONE AFTERNOON in late spring of 1981, I was taking a lunch break from my new job as exhibition coordinator for the now defunct Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. The IAUS, a think tank propelled into existence in 1967 by Peter Eisenman, was located on Fortieth Street just west of Fifth Avenue. Part of the IAUS mission--along with publishing October, Skyline, and Oppositions and hosting frequent panel discussions--was to mount exhibitions of architects and projects deemed sympathetic to the founder's ideals and methodologies. I was recruited to oversee the logistics of these shows, whose parameters remained somewhat vague during my yearlong tenure. It wasn't the curatorial job I'd been looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. , but it was the closest I'd gotten to being paid for doing what I wanted to do. Having moved to New York not quite two years earlier, I was still finding it difficult to get my bearings in the art world, and to make ends meet.
An article about Keith Haring in the Village Voice was fresh enough in my memory that I knew who he was the instant I saw him, though, of course, I had no idea yet of what he had to do with me. It was a moment of perfect serendipity serendipity
happy finding of an unexpected object or solution while searching for something else. : A sunny spring day, a blur of movement in the corner of my eye, a curious peek over a few shoulders, and there he was, ten feet in front of me, at the foot of the steps of the New York Public Library New York Public Library, free library supported by private endowments and gifts and by the city and state of New York. It is the one of largest libraries in the world. . Armed with two large sticks of white chalk, he had just finished marking out the frame of the drawing and was now starting on the figures in earnest. I was struck by the fact that he did not appear to have announced his intentions, as those who were gathering around him seemed fully confused about what was happening.
The entire eight- to ten-foot-square drawing--which I remember (perhaps incorrectly) as a dolphin-baby combination, a little rougher and more wobbly than the subway drawings that would soon begin popping up around the city-took less than five minutes to complete, and suddenly he was gone, vanished back into the crowd. For a full minute more I stood in stunned silence, gaping at the drawing, at the faces of my fellow New Yorkers on lunch break, at the spot in the crowd where he'd last been seen. At first I thought he might return, but then I realized in a flash that the implicit illegality of the act I'd just witnessed was key to its meaning. Though I had read about process art, seen plenty of performances at the Kitchen, and even gone the year before to see "The Times Square Show"--a sprawling mess of rebellious art crammed into a Forty-first Street massage parlor-the Haring sighting was unprecedented in my experience of art up to that day. What would inspire a presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. middle-class white kid no different f rom me to choose this hazardous and ephemeral mode of artmaking? And why was I working a day job that was only fractionally fulfilling? Was there something I wasn't getting?
Over the next couple years my path intersected with Haring's several times. I went to an open studio at P.S. 122 a few months later for the express purpose of meeting him (and chickened out), photographed a wall painting he made for the New Museum of Contemporary Art's Alternatives in Retrospect catalogue, and even chatted him up one night at Danceteria. His career very quickly became a matter of public record--he was championed in Artforum by Rene Ricard (1981), soloed at Tony Shafrazi (1982), appeared in Charlie Ahearn's film Wild Style (1982), showed at Fun Gallery (1983)--and I developed the feeling, also new, that my life had brushed, however fleetingly, with art history.
My own career as a critic and curator was just beginning, and soon enough (two years later, once I began publishing) it became a point of professional pride with me to point out that I did not like the direction Haring's work (nor, for that matter, the work of most early-'80s painters) had taken. It wasn't personal, it was about the shape my own ideas were taking and the need to passionately defend certain principles while, just as passionately, debunking de·bunk
tr.v. de·bunked, de·bunk·ing, de·bunks
To expose or ridicule the falseness, sham, or exaggerated claims of: debunk a supposed miracle drug. others. I glimpsed something during that long-ago lunch hour about taking responsibility for my own artistic ideals and for creating a discursive space where they could be shared. Some of this occurred to me only years after the fact, and I certainly never mentioned it to Keith. In fact we had little personal contact up to his death in 1990, and yet I always felt strangely certain, on some purely subjective level, that we were kindred spirits.
Dan cameron is senior curator at the New Museum of contemporary Art This article is about New Museum of Contemporary Art. For other Museums named Museum of Contemporary Art, see Museum of Contemporary Art.
The New Museum of Contemporary Art , New York, and is organizing the 8th International Istanbul Biennial.
"Critical Perspectives" opens at P.S. 1, New York. An array of art critics push their own agendas in the guest curation, viz., Ronny Cohen cohen
(Hebrew: “priest”) Jewish priest descended from Zadok (a descendant of Aaron), priest at the First Temple of Jerusalem. The biblical priesthood was hereditary and male. (Energism"), Edit deAk (graffiti), Joseph Masheck (academic formalism), Thomas Lawson (Salle, Fischl, Goldstein, himself).
Late Night with David Letterman Late Night with David Letterman was a nightly hour-long comedy talk show on NBC hosted by David Letterman. It premiered in 1982 and went off the air in 1993 after Letterman left NBC when he moved to Late Show on CBS. premieres.
Jenny Holzer, Messages to the Public, Times Square--first "Truisms" work using LED.
"Transavanguardia Italia/America" opens at Galleria Civica Modena. Appending Basquiat, Salle, Schnabel, David Deutsch, and Robert S. Zakanitch to the Italian movement, the exhibition is largely distinguished by its curator, Achille Bonita Bonita (Spanish and Portuguese for "beautiful") is the name of:
1. Of or relating to the making of myths.
2. Serving to create or engender myths; productive in mythmaking. painting. Pictured: Enzo Cucchl, La Guerra delle regional (The war of the regions), 1981, charcoal on paper mounted on canvas, 8' 11' x 14' 3".
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous premieres.
"Italian Art Now: An American Perspective--1982 Exxon International Exhibition," curated by Diane Waldman, opens at the Guggenheim. The first major exhibition of new Italian art at an American museum. Clemente is excluded, and his absence is taken as evidence of Waldman's obtuseness ob·tuse
adj. ob·tus·er, ob·tus·est
a. Lacking quickness of perception or intellect.
b. Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity: an obtuse remark. . Aside from his high praise for Chia and Cucchi, Peter Schjeldahl ("Treachery on the High Cs," Village Voice) dismisses the show as "a bore."
Falklands War begins.
Sigmar Polke's first New York solo show opens at Holly Solomon. "It is a scandal that he has never shown here before," Thomas Lawson comments in an Artforum review.
Rudi Fuchs's Documenta 7 brings together both the new, mostly European figurative painting and artists with "critical" art practices from the US (Barbara Kruger, Dara Birnbaum, Cindy Sherman, etc.). "Documenta seemed to me to be an effort to make painting a specifically European activity," Roberta Smith observes. "A painter like Julian Schnabel... was excluded, while young [American] artists doing photograph-based work were invited to exhibit." Overall, American critics react negatively to Fuchs's vaporous, reactionary premises.
Wedge, edited by Brian Wallis and Phil Mariani, debuts. Another journal dedicated to "critical" art practices, but its editorial program remains less academic than that of October. Ceases publication in 1988.
Isreal invades Lebanon.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder dies.
Benjamin Buchloh, "Allegorical Procedures: Appropriation and Montage in Contemporary Art," Artforum: Like Craig Owens, Buchloh conscripts allegory as an important tool of critical practice, providing substantial art-historical pedigree. Emphasizing the political implications of allegory and appropriation, he goes on to praise Martha Rosier, Sherrie Levine, and Dara Bimbaum.
Hilton Kramer, late of the New York Times, launches the New Criterion. Having given up on contemporary art post-AbEx, he promulgates an archconservative arch·con·ser·va·tive
Highly conservative, especially in political viewpoint.
archcon·ser , "Reaganite" cultural politics.
"Zeitgeist," organized by Norman Rosenthal and Christos Joachimides, opens in a neo-Renaissance palazzo designed by Martin Gropius near the Berlin Wall. The zeitgeist in question is infused with the rebirth of painting. Marginal improvement on the Royal Academy's pure testosterone "New Spirit" show: Susan Rothenberg is the sole woman among the 46 artists exhibiting.
Pictured: Susan Rothenberg, Slena dos Equls, 1974, acrylic on canvas, 9 3/4 x 22 1/2".
Basquiat's solo show at Fun--characterized as a return to the raw immediacy of the artist's work pre-Nosel--opens. "The opening was great," Bruno Bischofberger comments. "It drew young blacks and Puerto Ricans, along with limousines from uptown."
Rene Ricard, "The Pledge of Allegiance Pledge of Allegiance, in full, Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, oath that proclaims loyalty to the United States. and its national symbol. ," Artforum: Ricard's apotheosis apotheosis (əpŏth'ēō`sĭs), the act of raising a person who has died to the rank of a god. Historically, it was most important during the later Roman Empire. of Fun Gallery director Patti Astor ("The Fun wasn't started because Patti Astor suddenly wanted to become an art dealer....Open your own gallery. You can have your own fun. Start your own war.")
Maya Lin's Vietnam Memorial dedicated in Washington, DC.
ALSO OF NOTE
* Mike Bidlo, "Jack the Dripper at Peg's Place," P.S. 1, New York
* Jennifer Bolande, "Landmarks," The Kitchen, New York (solo debut) Pictured: Jennifer Bolande, Cartoon Curtain, 1982, color photograph, 38 x 42".
* Jean-Marc Bustamante, Galerie Baudoin Lebon, Paris (solo debut)
* Leon Golub, "Mercenaries and Interrogations," Sarah Campbell Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston
* Richard Hambleton, Alexander Milliken Gallery, New York (solo debut)
* Mark Innerst, The Kitchen, New York (solo debut)
* Tadashi Kawamata, Gallery Kobayashi, Tokyo (solo debut)
* Mark Kostabi, Molly Barnes Gallery, Los Angeles (solo debut) Pictured: Mark Kostabi, Materialism #2, 1982, oil on canvas, 48 x 36".
* Barbara Kruger, Annina Nosei Gallery, New York (first solo at Nosei)
* John Miller, White Columns, New York (solo debut)
* Mark Morrisroe, 11th Hour Gallery, Boston (solo debut)
* Nic Nicosia, Delahunty Gallery, Dallas (solo debut)
* Lee Quinones, Fun Gallery, New York
* Peter Schuyff, White Columns, New York (solo debut)
* Philip Taaffe, Roger Litz Gallery, New York (solo debut)
* Mark Tansey, Grace Borgenicht Gallery, New York (solo debut) Pictured: Mark Tansey, Action Painting II, 1984, oil on canvas, 76 x 110".
* Christopher Williams, Jancar/kuhienschmidt Gallery, Los Angeles (solo gallery debut)
* Terry Winters, Sonnabend, New York (solo debut) Pictured: Terry Winters, Early Animals, 1982, on linen, 68 x 79".
* David Wojnarowicz, Alexander Milliken Gallery, New York (solo debut)
* "A Likely Story" (cur. Valerie Smith; Gretchen Bender, David Cabrera, Ronald Jones, Jeff Koons), Artists Space, New York
* "Art and the Media: A Fatal Attraction" (cur. Thomas Lawson; Donald Baechler, Barbara Bloom, Sarah Charlesworth, Robert Longo, David Salle, et al.), Renaissance Society, Chicago.
* "Extended Sensibilities: Homosexual Presence in Contemporary Art" (cur. Dan Cameron), New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
* "Five Painters: Chia, Clemente, Kiefer, Salle, Schnabel," Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London
* "Image Scavengers: Painting" and "Image Scavengers: Photography," ICA Ica (ē`kä), city (1993 pop. 108,724), capital of Ica dept., SW Peru, on the Pan-American Highway. It is a commercial center for the cotton, wool, and wine produced in the region. There are several summer resorts nearby. , Philadelphia
* "Warhol verso ver·so
n. pl. ver·sos
1. A left-hand page of a book or the reverse side of a leaf, as opposed to the recto.
2. The back of a coin or medal. de Chirico," Campidoglio, Rome; rehung 1985 at Marisa del Re Gallery, New York
* Jean Stein, Edie, an American Biography
* Cornel West, Prophesy proph·e·sy
v. proph·e·sied , proph·e·sy·ing , proph·e·sies
1. To reveal by divine inspiration.
2. To predict with certainty as if by divine inspiration. See Synonyms at foretell. Deliverence! An Afro-American Revolutionary Christianity
* E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, dir. Steven Spielberg
* Querelle, dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder
* The Road Warrior, dir. George Miller
* Sans Soleil, dir. Chris Marker
* Tron, dir. Steven Lisberger
* Grandmaster Flash, The Message
* Husker Du, Everything Falls Apart
* Rise of Synth-Pop (Heaven 17, Soft Cell, Human League)
Scritti Politti's "Jacques Derrida"
IN 1982, TWO TENDENCIES, neither exactly a trend, came together in a curious moment: the release of a single by the band Scritti Politti. What was notable though was not the A side, "Asylums in Jerusalem," but the tune on the flip side Flip side
In the context of general equities, opposite side to a proposition or position (buy, if sell is the proposition and vice versa). , a lite, elegant number called 'Jacques Derrida."
Tendency 1: It is hard to believe just how long a handful of narratives dominated the development of pop music; perhaps the most influential was the vulgarized version of the great countercultural fantasies of the late '60s in which wave after wave of nonconformist young warriors do battle against the forces of the market. In this conceit, the goal of the market--striving not just for economic gain but for ideological victory--is to keep these rebels from expressing their aggression and instead to "soften" them, as the saying went. Today hardly anyone harbors any delusions that the emblematic aggression, loose cannons, and antisocial antisocial /an·ti·so·cial/ (-so´sh'l)
1. denoting behavior that violates the rights of others, societal mores, or the law.
2. denoting the specific personality traits seen in antisocial personality disorder. behavior of raw rock are not in themselves culture-industry products, and ideologically loaded ones at that. But for some time it was an article of faith that AC/DC AC/DC
Having a bisexual orientation.
[From the likening of a bisexual person to an appliance that works on either alternating or direct current. was a threat to the system while Julio Iglesias supported it.
Punk seemed to validate the boiling-kettle theory of rock authenticity, raising loudness an anger to new heights while (the story goes) rescuing rock from the market. But something else was emerging from punk: Doubts about received sexual identities now reached every adolescent, and with them the constructed nature of cultural categories became apparent. In fact, according to punk, if we don't construct ourselves, somebody else will do it for us. After 1980, a movement was born that made virtues of seduction, decadence, longing, and melancholy, that no longer claimed to be original or "natural" but rather affirmed the quoted nature of our "own" feelings, that tried not to shout down or drown out the status quo [Latin, The existing state of things at any given date.] Status quo ante bellum means the state of things before the war. The status quo to be preserved by a preliminary injunction is the last actual, peaceable, uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy. but to slip through its cracks: I'm thinking of Orange Juice, The Monochrome Set and Josef K, The Teardrop tear·drop
1. A single tear.
2. An object shaped like a tear. Explodes, Culture Club, Dexy's Midnight Runners, ABC, and, of course, Scritti Politti. Others have been forgotten (there are probably few Artforum readers who could reminisce rem·i·nisce
intr.v. rem·i·nisced, rem·i·nisc·ing, rem·i·nisc·es
To recollect and tell of past experiences or events.
[Back-formation from reminiscence. with me about Mark Bee r's incomparable single "Pretty"). The aesthetic accomplishments of African-American soul music, sneered at by rock, as well as queer-culture insights into the nature of performativity, contributed to this deeply influential revaluation Revaluation
A calculated adjustment to a country's official exchange rate relative to a chosen baseline. The baseline can be anything from wage rates to the price of gold to a foreign currency. In a fixed exchange rate regime, only a decision by a country's government (i.e. . A few years later, the Smiths even sold some records with it.
Tendency 2: Once upon a time, young people concerned with the cultivation of their sensibilities came together not just in reading poetry but also through the novels of Camus, Kerouac, Hesse, Sartre, and Genet genet: see civet. , depending on the era. And here too an important new early-'80s development became manifest. The romanciers of the moment, those whose books as much portrayed the world as questioned it, whose overheated o·ver·heat
v. o·ver·heat·ed, o·ver·heat·ing, o·ver·heats
1. To heat too much.
2. To cause to become excited, agitated, or overstimulated.
v.intr. texts could flatter the youth as well as move the ground under their feet, were now named Derrida, Deleuze, or Lyotard. They were academics, scholars, philosophers by trade, yet their words were memorized with the same impatient rapture--and used and misused for personal life choices and values-as Salinger's or before them. This reception was Goethe's often a mark against these authors within academic philosophy: How could deconstruction be taken seriously when, out there, it was spawning all these problems among the pubescent pubescent /pu·bes·cent/ (pu-bes´int)
1. arriving at the age of puberty.
2. covered with down or lanugo.
1. ? Today the point is moot, and these texts have long since become academically institutionalized.
Many are no longer taken seriously, while others have become classics and entered the canon.
The teenagers who schiepped around bad translations of abridged French editions in their jacket pocket to read on the subway never again invested such emotional intensity in such difficult texts. At the time, it seemed to them as if a text by Derrida contained not only his theory but the whole of the literature that the text dealt with, including its entire range of emotion. Similarly, the postmodern soul music invented at the beginning of the '80s seemed not only to quote the history of pop music since the '50s but also to embody deep cultural complexities--from fashion to politics to history. "Theory" and this new, reference-laden pop music were models for a Gesamtkunstwerk-like access to the world, yet at the same time these were short songs and abridged books with a few quickly communicable communicable /com·mu·ni·ca·ble/ (kah-mu´ni-kah-b'l) capable of being transmitted from one person to another.
Transmittable between persons or species; contagious. tenets. Still, in 1982, this unlikely constellation culminated in Green Garthside of Scritti Politti singing: "I'm in love with Jacques Derrida..."
Diedrich Diederichsen is a Critic based in Berlin and a professor at the MerzAkademie, Stuttgart.
Translated from German by Sara Ogger.
Bruce Weber for Calvin Klein
Sometimes an athlete or actor thinks he's so much more beautiful than the way I see him. But it might have been his nose that I was in love with.
Bruce Weber in Bruce Weber(Knopf, 1989)
WHEN HIS PHOTOGRAPH of a muscular young man in nothing but white briefs appeared on a Times Square billboard in August 1982, Bruce Weber was nearly as unknown as his model, a pole-vaulter named Tom Hintnaus, who took a break from training for the Olympics to help launch Calvin Klein's new line of men's underwear. Weber had set Hintnaus against a whitewashed wall and photographed him from such a low angle that he appeared not just heroic but magnificent: a colossus Colossus - (A huge and ancient statue on the Greek island of Rhodes).
But for those of us who read images in men's fashion magazines like tea leaves, Weber was a legend long before he hit Times Square. The photography of men, in and out of clothes, had already been sharply divided into periods: before Bruce Weber and after. Ever since his 1978 spread in the SoHo Weekly News, featuring a Pepperdine water-polo player named Jeff Aquilon sprawled on an unmade bed with his hands down the front of his boxer shorts, it was obvious that Weber was a man who loved men. Nevermind what does or doesn't go on between Weber and his models; he admires and adores them-their lips, their arms, their backs, their taut stomachs, their tousled hair-and that adoration suffuses his work. He'd perfected his signature synthesis of classicism classicism, a term that, when applied generally, means clearness, elegance, symmetry, and repose produced by attention to traditional forms. It is sometimes synonymous with excellence or artistic quality of high distinction. , naturalism, and (homo)eroticism Eroticism
novel of Alexandrian manners by Pierre Louys. [Fr. Lit.: Benét, 783]
Ovid’s treatise on lovemaking. [Rom. Lit. in the pages of GQ in the early '80s, where his images of casual camaraderie were the closest that magazine ever came to acknowledging that a substantial segment of its readership is gay. But if Weber was building on a largely gay fr amework--on von Gloeden, Eakins, Horst, Platt Lynes, Cadmus, and a slew of '50s physique photographers--he wasn't constructing an exclusively queer iconography. Maybe that's because Weber's subject is masculinity-its mythos-in the broadest sense; like Larry Clark, he's not just celebrating it, he's trying to figure it out.
Weber doesn't just hold up a mirror to the narcissistic nar·cis·sism also nar·cism
1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself. See Synonyms at conceit.
2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in gym culture he and his pumped-up beau ideal helped create. Whether his subject is Sam Shepard, Matt Dillon, Chet Baker (in his 1988 film, Let's Get Lost), or the boxer Andy Minsker (in Broken Noses ), Weber zeroes in on the construction and display of boyishness and manliness. As the texts in his many books make clear, this is not exactly an intellectual process; he's not "interrogating gender."
The same layering of artifice and authenticity that marked Weber's GQ shoots and his ad campaigns for Klein and Ralph Lauren characterizes all his work, so even his documentary films have a through the-looking-glass quality, if only because the crew invariably includes a hairdresser, a makeup artist, and a stylist to ensure that no one appears before the camera without the requisite Weber makeover. (A similarly hands-on support team attended the photographer's marathon shoot of American Olympic contestants for the January/February 1984 issue of Interview. Though many of the athletes didn't appreciate the attention, they all ended up looking like GQ models.) No matter how they're achieved, Weber's results suggest a way of being a man that is fluid, playful, artful, and at once straight-acting and gay-friendly. That's not to say it isn't also adolescent, self-congratulatory, class-bound, and sometimes just plain silly.
What once seemed subversive, even revolutionary, looks a bit tired if not crass these days; the Edenic idyll idyll
In literature, a simple descriptive work in poetry or prose that deals with rustic life or pastoral scenes or suggests a mood of peace and contentment. of naked youth Weber staged for Bear Pond (1990) is a lot less compelling recycled for Abercrombie & Fitch. But Weber still matters: He continues to make pictures of comradely affection that imagine a sweeter, warmer, less competitive world. In the early '80s, after decades of freeze-dried male models and their female props, the matey mat·ey
adj. Chiefly British
Brit informal friendly or intimate
Adj. 1. menages of handsome, sporty men and women that Weber created for GQ, Lauren, and Klein felt welcoming, almost consoling. Funny how powerful these fantasies can be. The curators of the 1987 Whitney Biennial, who presented Weber along with Julian Schnabel, Ross Bleckner, Barbara Kruger, Terry Winters, Jeff Koons, and Peter Halley in what now looks like the definitive '80s exhibition, cited this quality in his work; they called it the "comfort of myths." The punishing new body consciousness ushered in by the image of Hintnaus towering over us in his underwear may have eroded that comfort, but Weber's myths have proved hard to resist, and harder to shake.
Vince Aletti is the photography critic and art editor for the Village Voice.
The Other de Chirico
WHEN I THINK ABOUT THE AESTHETIC sea change of the early '80s, I keep coming back to MOMA'S 1982 de Chirico retrospective, which, in fact, was not a retrospective at all. Coming to a halt in the 1930s, it censored more than half his career. (He died in 1978.) The show confirmed the received wisdom that, after his youthful glory days, de Chirico became a traitor to the modernist cause. But William Rubin's essay in the catalogue also contained an unexpectedly subversive illustration, a double-page spread of eighteen (yes, eighteen!) near identical versions of The Disquieting dis·qui·et
tr.v. dis·qui·et·ed, dis·qui·et·ing, dis·qui·ets
To deprive of peace or rest; trouble.
Absence of peace or rest; anxiety.
Uneasy; restless. Muses, 1917, all painted between 1945 to 1962. The old-fashioned point was to demonstrate again the bankruptcy of the later de Chirico, who would often stoop to making replicas and variations of his signature masterpieces. But times had changed. The grid-style layout of these eighteen clones suddenly felt at home in the world of Warhol, who, only months later, would offer his own mass-produced de Chirico show in Rome with assembly-line riff s on the canonic masterpieces. By decade's end, Mike Bidlo upped the ante with his facsimile de Chirico retrospective in Paris, which, unlike MOMA'S, covered the artist's entire controversial career.
Clearly the moment had come for even some early modernist rebels to start violating their own moribund prejudices. Call it zeitgeist, but 1982 also saw Philip Johnson undertake another watershed attack on his own and MOMA'S past: the final stages of the AT&T Building, a Chippendale skyscraper that made his pioneering International Style show of 1932 feel like a time capsule from a remote era. This shift in gears also meant rediscovering the late work of other twentieth-century old masters who had presumably gone off the track after the heyday of modernism. For instance, the last decade of Picasso's art, as finally unveiled to New Yorkers in the Guggenheim show of 1984, seemed no longer an embarrassingly feeble postscript but something so different and messily vital that it could launch the fresh directions charted in the 1981 Royal Academy of Arts show "A New Spirit in Painting." And it was around this time, too, that Picabia's shameless girlie-photo paintings of the '40s and '50s began to make his early work s look stuffy. This updated version of the old Dada assault on time-honored values fired artists of the '80s--David Salle, among others. What could be more shocking than a return to realism, whether populist or museum-worthy? For this, again late de Chirico provided fuel, especially with his robust revivals of the old masters, quoting the styles of Titian Titian (tĭsh`ən), c.1490–1576, Venetian painter, whose name was Tiziano Vecellio, b. Pieve di Cadore in the Dolomites. Of the very first rank among the artists of the Renaissance, Titian had an immense influence on succeeding generations and Rubens, Canaletto and Courbet. It was a neorealist milieu that would nurture the development of many artists of younger generations, from Eric Fischl to John Currin.
Who could ever have expected that all this scorned and buried twentieth-century art could ignite fresh imaginations? In the early '80s, walls were crashing, vistas were opening, and sinner artists like de Chirico were not only absolved but embraced. A different past and a different future would be possible. What a liberation it was to have the old catechism turn into history!
Robert Rosenblum, a contributing editor of Artforum, is professor of fine art at New York university New York University, mainly in New York City; coeducational; chartered 1831, opened 1832 as the Univ. of the City of New York, renamed 1896. It comprises 13 schools and colleges, maintaining 4 main centers (including the Medical Center) in the city, as well as the and a curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Anselm Kiefer's Innenraum
WHEN ANSELM KIEFER's Innenraum (Interior space), 1981, among other colossal paintings, knocked me for a loop at Mary Boone Gallery on West Broadway in 1982, I didn't know that its image derived from a postwar photograph of Albert Speer's Reich Chancellery in Berlin: the cavernous, skylit, ineffably racy rac·y
adj. rac·i·er, rac·i·est
1. Having a distinctive and characteristic quality or taste.
2. Strong and sharp in flavor or odor; piquant or pungent.
3. Risqué; ribald.
4. "mosaic hall" where Hitler would meet around a map table with his military staff, making plans. Nor did I know much else (I only thought I did) about the Third Reich, or about German modern culture generally except as filtered through standard humanist, leftish, smoky vamps--Thomas Mann, the Bauhaus, Bertolt Brecht (trans. Eric Bentley), Marlene Dietrich. Imprinted with the Paris-to-New York mythos my·thos
n. pl. my·thoi
3. The pattern of basic values and attitudes of a people, characteristically transmitted through myths and the arts. of modern art, I assumed that "German painting" was a typographical error.
That same year, I sat on a plane bound for Documenta 7, reading The Song of the Nibelungs. It was my first visit to Germany. In Kassel I was far from disappointed by the grandeur and some mysterious other quality--I didn't yet understand it as humor--of more new Kiefers. Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz, and the fetching Neve Wilde--remember Salome?--also swaggered on the walls. (I was crazy about Polke immediately.) Joseph Beuys was on hand, at the top of his game. Loudspeakers broadcast Wagner (a backfiring critical ploy by Daniel Buren). Germany! I felt plugged into a great secret dynamo of reeking reek
v. reeked, reek·ing, reeks
1. To smoke, steam, or fume.
2. To be pervaded by something unpleasant: "This document ... truths and sickish excitement.
Modern European history after Napoleon was brewed in Germany, starting with Marx and Bismarck. Germany's enemies consoled themselves by developing the main lines of modern culture, Retroactively, Kiefer made the history a subject of the culture. His paintings had American formats and French aromas. (Their rugged handling was coolly dramatic and decorative, not Expressionist.) Kiefer was an international conceptualist con·cep·tu·al·ism
1. Philosophy The doctrine, intermediate between nominalism and realism, that universals exist only within the mind and have no external or substantial reality.
2. at root; he once told me he had been inspired by Ed Ruscha to make books as art objects. One of his '70s books--of blocky black forms painted over porno babes--was called Donald Judd Hides Brunhilde. He built jokes on a scale that only God could back up far enough to take in. The Kiefer effect was like divine, unfriendly laughter.
I was thrilled by Kiefer because he so aggrandized aesthetic sensitivity, giving it the run of grown-up grown-up
1. Of, characteristic of, or intended for adults: grown-up movies; a grown-up discussion.
2. stuff. His poetic license was like an ID with which to breeze through police lines at major crime scenes. The big emotion that his pictures stirred was, amazingly, not an end in itself but an expedient for thought. Kiefer's work suggested to me how art criticism, no less than art, could handle political anxiety: lyrically and head-on, authorized only by accurate feeling and a lot of nerve. Not that I could do it very much myself (insecure), but I could spread the word.
The pictorical rhetoric of Innenraum is regular Kiefer: fleeing perspective countered by frontal materiality, all imbued with light/dark, sonorous sonorous
resonant; sounding. tones and chafing chafe
v. chafed, chaf·ing, chafes
1. To wear away or irritate by rubbing.
2. To annoy; vex.
3. To warm by rubbing, as with the hands.
v.intr. colors. The underlying photograph is made funereal fu·ne·re·al
1. Of or relating to a funeral.
2. Appropriate for or suggestive of a funeral; mournful: funereal gloom. by black patches over the hall's sumptuous mosaic panels. A big wad of inked paper stands in for Hitler's map table. Dominant is the gridded skylight, which, as an upside-down and truncated triangle, swings forward, spilling the bleak radiance of a no-comment sky. Feelings of the space (terrific architecture) and about the space (grief, anger) blend like notes in a musical chord. You may not be given any new ideas about Nazism, architecture, or painting, but a long look turns your old ideas back on themselves in spirals of paranoiac par·a·noi·ac
Of, relating to, or resembling paranoia. irony.
I kept feeling that something momentous was supposed to happen, culturally, on account of Kiefer. But then I had similar anticipations about the initial impacts of David Salle, Eric Fischl, and Cindy Sherman. (I proved right only about Sherman, whom everybody likes and misunderstands in ways that steady and goad her.) The early-'80s moment of maximum artistic ambition and worldly attention evanesced. The reason is a long story, marked by disastrously polarized A one-way direction of a signal or the molecules within a material pointing in one direction. critical intellect and aesthetic sensibility. Kiefer remains a tremendous maker of things, but his recent work seems more or less resigned to solipsism sol·ip·sism
1. The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified.
2. The theory or view that the self is the only reality. . We let him down.
Peter Schjeldahl is art critic for the New Yorker. (See contributors.)
BLADE RUNNER WAS A PRODUCT deeply of its time, but its singularity has sustained our attraction far beyond that moment. Much of the avalanche of commentary the film provoked in the decade of its release is increasingly irrelevant to its status now and longer term. Few viewers today will be preoccupied with how vividly it supposedly maps out the "unmappable" shape of the de-centered city or, now that the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union itself have vanished, how acutely it delineates the contours of late capitalism in the bipolar days of the cold war. Likewise, the movie's retrospective links to the now hopelessly elastic category of film noir and its anticipations of cyberpunk A futuristic, online delinquent: breaking into computer systems; surviving by high-tech wits. The term comes from science fiction novels such as "Neuromancer" and "Shockwave Rider. are no longer essential screens through which to view it. Blade Runner's fate may be more analogous to the trajectory of Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927), which has transcended the extravagant surfaces of its originary moment. In that film, too, the protagonist observes, explores, and attempts to read an indecipherable urban field of expe rience on a quest to distinguish a real human being from a mechanical simulation of one.
In his 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick Philip Kindred Dick (December 16 1928 – March 2 1982) was an American writer, mostly known for his works of science fiction. In addition to his dozens of published novels, portrayed a thoroughly reified social world dominated by inanimate things and machines. Dick's remarkable account of the petty ruin of individual experience and hope through the spread of "a peculiar and malign abstractness" became something quite different in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. In the early Reagan-Thatcher era, the novel was remade re·made
Past tense and past participle of remake. into a world-weary celebration of the petrifying pet·ri·fy
v. pet·ri·fied, pet·ri·fy·ing, pet·ri·fies
1. To convert (wood or other organic matter) into a stony replica by petrifaction.
2. universe that Dick found so deadening. Few films achieve Blade Runner's lyric fatalism fa·tal·ism
1. The doctrine that all events are predetermined by fate and are therefore unalterable.
2. Acceptance of the belief that all events are predetermined and inevitable. : It makes emotionally credible the bleak threshold at which the technological products of global corporations become the objects of our love, our longings. The affecting moment when Rick (Harrison Ford) tells the android An open platform for cellphones from the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). Based on Linux, Android includes a library of Java classes for building mobile applications.
Android and GPhone Rachael (Sean Young) to say "Kiss me" is a haunting evocation of a much broader subjective capitulation CAPITULATION, war. The treaty which determines the conditions under which a fortified place is abandoned to the commanding officer of the army which besieges it.
2. to the imperatives of technique and instrumental rationality, as if affirming with listless (programming) listless - In functional programming, a property of a function which allows it to be combined with other functions in a way that eliminates intermediate data structures, especially lists. resignation: "Who cares what she is?" This sublimation sublimation, in chemistry
sublimation (sŭblĭmā`shən), change of a solid substance directly to a vapor without first passing through the liquid state. of otherness is the indifferent '80s resolution of the alienation that, in Dick's novels of the late '60s and early '70s, led to psychosis and self-destruction.
Of course the replicants in Blade Runner, especially the Rutger Hauer character, Roy Batty, might seem to perpetuate the longtime habit of allegorizing robots and androids by reading their poignantly humanlike behavior as a cautionary index of how machinelike we have become. But the terms for such a reading don't effectively exist in Blade Runner. What the film did with considerable novelty was to imagine the promiscuous space in which machines and humans were equally rootless--disposable parts of the same derelict systems. And both, outside of any binary categories, are various patchworks of memories real and false, of media effects, quasi emotions, and sensory experiences manufactured and programmed externally. Did Roy actually witness the galactic marvels he details while "dying" at the end of the movie (after exclaiming, "I've seen things ..."), or were they mnemonic Pronounced "ni-mon-ic." A memory aid. In programming, it is a name assigned to a machine function. For example, COM1 is the mnemonic assigned to serial port #1 on a PC. Programming languages are almost entirely mnemonics. implants? Within the logic of the film it doesn't matter. The seductive disorientation disorientation /dis·or·i·en·ta·tion/ (-or?e-en-ta´shun) the loss of proper bearings, or a state of mental confusion as to time, place, or identity. of Blade Runner is linked to the advent of a fallen w orld in which there is no longer the historical recollection available to grasp what it has fallen from. The film epitomized a broader '80s experience of free-floating nostalgia cut loose from any object. Facilitated by the Vangelis score, Blade Runner's phantasmagoric phan·tas·ma·go·ri·a also phan·tas·ma·go·ry
n. pl. phan·tas·ma·go·ri·as also phan·tas·ma·go·ries
a. A fantastic sequence of haphazardly associative imagery, as seen in dreams or fever.
b. operation fraudulently affirms the possibility of retrospective yearning in a world that had made such sentiment effectively impossible.
Jonathan Crary is professor of art history at Columbia University and a founding editor of Zone Books.
"The Revolutionary Power of Women's Laughter," curated by Jo Anna Isaak and including work by Ilona Granet, Mike Glier, Mary Kelly, Jenny Holzer, Nancy Spero, and Barbara Kruger, opens at Protetch McNeil, New York, Isaak's essay relies heavily on structural linguistics and Lacanian psychoanalysis in advancing the cause of feminist art practices.
Time magazine Man of the Year: the computer
Robert Longo's double show at Metro Pictures and Castelli Greene opens, featuring very large, multimedia works--cast aluminum bas-reliefs, paintings, and drawings in various combinations. Iconic works, e.g., Corporate Wars: Walls of Influence, shown.
Ronald Reagan dubs the Soviet Union the Evil Empire.
Compact discs introduced.
Curators Tricia Collins and Richard Milazzo launch Effects magazine in their East Village apartment. "The whole idea behind Effects was that it was an extension of our living room, which was a regular hangout at the time," Collins recalls. Great visuals, e.g., Richard Prince's "The Entertainers"; often gelatinous gelatinous /ge·lat·i·nous/ (je-lat´i-nus) like jelly or softened gelatin.
1. Of, relating to, or containing gelatin.
2. Resembling gelatin; viscous. , comedy-theory prose ("Jim Welling sets his obscurities in iceberg pronged prong
1. A thin, pointed, projecting part: a pitchfork with four prongs.
2. A branch; a fork: the two prongs of a river.
tr.v. pedantic pe·dan·tic
Characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learning and formal rules: a pedantic attention to details. Russian. Is there a poetry of loss?"). Folds after three issues.
Semiotext(e)-- a journal that began publication in 1974--issues first two volumes of its Foreign Agents series, Jean Baudrillard's Simulations and Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's On the Line (1983). The series comprises nonpareil Nonpareil - One of five pedagogical languages based on Markov algorithms, used in ["Nonpareil, a Machine Level Machine Independent Language for the Study of Semantics", B. Higman, ULICS Intl Report No ICSI 170, U London (1968)]. The others were Brilliant, Diamond, Pearl and Ruby. critical-theory must-haves for the smart-art crowd.
Julian Schnabel's painting Notre Dame sells at Sotheby's for $93,500--$40,000 over initial estimate.
Cindy Sherman's first "fashion" photographs commissioned by Dianne Benson, proprietor of the trendy SoHo boutique Dianne B., for Interview.
Just Another Asshole #6 appears: prose writings by 61 artists and others, including Kathy Acker, Eric Bogosian, Jenny Holzer, Cookie Mueller, Richard Prince, David Rattray, Kiki Smith, and Lynne Tillman.
Thierry de Duve, "Who's Afraid of Red Yellow and Blue?," Artforum: Another art-history heavyweight enters the death/rebirth of painting argument, concluding "that both alternatives, unless rejudged and reinterpreted, are bound to remain equally disquieting."
"Science Fiction," curated by Peter Halley and including work by Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Ross Bleckner, Donald Judd, Robert Smithson, R.M. Fischer, Taro Suzuki, David Deutsch, and Jim Biederman, opens at John Weber, New York. Proto neogeo, before there was a name or market for it. Halley: "You couldn't give it away until '85." Pictured: R.M. Fischer, Max, 1983, steel, brass, limestone, and lights, 86 x 33 x 31".
Unofficial opening of Philip Johnson's AT&T Building, hailed as a "harbinger of a new era" by Paul Goldberger in the New York Times. An overnight icon of postmodern architecture (and symbol of that style's acceptance by corporate America).
Area opens in TriBeCa. As the Mudd Club era ends, a new velvet rope dispensation DISPENSATION. A relaxation of law for the benefit or advantage of an individual. In the United States, no power exists, except in the legislature, to dispense with law, and then it is not so much a dispensation as a change of the law. begins.
Richard Prince's "Spiritual America" opens in a Lower East Side storefront tricked up for the occasion. The exhibition consists of a single, notorious image: Prince's rephotographed picture (after an original by Garry Gross) depicting a prepubescent prepubescent /pre·pu·bes·cent/ (pre?pu-bes´ent) prepubertal.
Of or characteristic of prepuberty.
A prepubescent child. Brooke Shields emerging from a steamy bathtub. The brazen image of little-girl sexuality arouses hostile reactions from former (often feminist) critical supporters.
Prince: "I got kicked out of the women's club." Pictured: Richard Prince, Brooke Shields (Spiritual America), 1983, color photograph, 24 x 20".
The United States invades Grenada.
Museum of Contemporary Art's
Temporary Contemporary opens in Los Angeles in a vast renovated warehouse (design by Frank Gehry). The museum's corrective vision to the New York-centric view of American art abets the establishment of LA as a pivotal art scene.
Michael Jackson's 14-minute video for "Thriller" debuts on MTV.
ALSO OF NOTE
* Donald Baechler, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York Pictured: Donald Baechler, 1983. Installation view, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York.
* Gretchen Bender, Nature Morte, New York (solo debut)
* David Bowes, Galerie Eric Franck, Geneva (solo debut)
* James Brown, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York
* Scott Burton, contemporary Arts center The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) is a pioneering contemporary art museum located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The CAC is a non-collecting museum that focuses on new developments in painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, performance art and new media. , Cincinnati
* George Condo, Ulrike Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles (solo debut)
* Futura 2000, 51X, New York
* Rodney Alan Greenblatt, Gracie Mansion Gallery, New York (solo debut)
* Keith Haring, Fun Gallery, New York
* Ronald Jones, Centro Documentazione Artein, Rome (solo debut)
* Greer Lankton, civilian Warfare, New York (solo debut)
* Allan McCollum, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (Plaster Surrogates' debut)
* David Reed, Max Protetch, New York
* Thomas Schutte, "Sculpture from Germany," SF MOMA
* Peter Schuyff, Pat Hearn Gallery, New York (solo gallery debut) Pictured: Peter Schuyff, The Bathers, 1983, acrylic and paper on canvas, 57 x 84".
* Rosemarie Trockel, Galerie Philomene Magers, Bonn (solo debut)
* "1984: A Preview," Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York
* "Borrowed Time," Baskerville + Watson, New York Watson is a town in Lewis County, New York, United States. The population was 1,987 at the 2000 census. The town is named after early landowner James Watson.
The Town of Watson is at the east border of the county and is east of Lowville, the county seat.
* "Expressions: New Art from Germany", St. Louis Art Museum
* "Post-Graffiti," Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
* "Real Life Magazine Presents" (Jennifer Bolande et al.), White columns, New York
* "Sound and Vision: Today's Music," (Laurie Anderson, Fab Five Freddy Fred Brathwaite (born 1960), more popularly known as Fab 5 Freddy, is a Hip hop historian, Hip hop pioneer and former graffiti artist. He was active in New York City in the 1970s and early 1980s. He is credited with helping to broaden the exposure of rap beyond The Bronx. , Philip Glass, Joseph Jarman, Glenn O'Brien, Gregory Sandow, Alan Vega), New Museum of contemporary Art, New York
* Svetlana Alpers, The Art of Describing: Dutch Art in the Seventeenth Century
* Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities
* Norman Bryson, Vision and Painting: The Logic of the Gaze
* Michel Foucault, This Is Not a Pipe [Ceci n'est pas une pipe, 1973]
* Hal Foster, ed., The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodem Culture
* Serge Guilbaut, How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom, and the Cold War
* Born In Flames, dir. Lizzie Borden
* Flashdance, dir. Adrian Lyne
* The King of Comedy, dir. Martin Scorsese
* Videodrome, dir. David Cronenberg
* Madonna, Madonna
* New Order, Power, Corruption & Lies
* Prince, 1999
* R.E.M., Murmur
* Sonic Youth, Kill Yr. Idols
Ridley Scott's 1984-inspired commercial for Apple Computer sirs.
"Civilization and the Landscape of Discontent" at Nature Morte and "Still Life With Transaction" at International With Monument, both curated by Tricia Collins and Richard Milazzo, inaugurate in·au·gu·rate
tr.v. in·au·gu·rat·ed, in·au·gu·rat·ing, in·au·gu·rates
1. To induct into office by a formal ceremony.
2. a run of 45 shows by the pair between 1984 and 1993. The two are noteworthy for their coagulated co·ag·u·late
v. co·ag·u·lat·ed, co·ag·u·lat·ing, co·ag·u·lates
To cause transformation of (a liquid or sol, for example) into or as if into a soft, semisolid, or solid mass.
v.intr. , obscurantist ob·scur·ant·ism
1. The principles or practice of obscurants.
2. A policy of withholding information from the public.
a. prose style. Fond of citing Hegel. Pictured: Peter NAgy, EST EST electroshock therapy.
electroshock therapy Graduate, 1984, acrylic and photocopy on canvas, 48 x 40".
Parkett begins publication. Each issue of the bilingual (English/German) journal is devoted to in-depth coverage of one to three contemporary artists, with accompanying editions for sale.
Downtown impresario Claryssa Dalrymple joins forces with Nicole Klagsbrun and John Abbott to open Cable Gallery in New York.
Benetton begins "All the Colors in the World" campaign.
Jean-Michel Basquiat opens at Mary Boone, to mixed reception. "The colors are freshly squeezed and clean, the edge polished, the funk flattened," Nicolas Moufarrege complains in Flash Art. Boone claims the paintings are deliberately "underpriced un·der·price
tr.v. un·der·priced, un·der·pric·ing, un·der·pric·es
1. To price lower than the real, normal, or appropriate value.
2. " at $10,000-$25,000, emphasizing that the gallery is taking a low-key approach to the artist's promotion.
Carlo McCormick and Walter Robinson, "Slouching slouch
v. slouched, slouch·ing, slouch·es
1. To sit, stand, or walk with an awkward, drooping, excessively relaxed posture.
2. To droop or hang carelessly, as a hat.
v. Toward Avenue D," Art in America: A lengthy, insider's view of the East Village art scene, countered by Craig Owens's terse dismissal, "The Problem of Puerilism pu·er·il·ism
Childish behavior in an adult, especially as a symptom of mental illness. ," In the same issue.
Peter Halley, "The Crisis in Geometry," Arts: Among the emergent neo-geo set, Halley is the theorist/polemicist, here arguing for the Importance of Baudrillard and Foucault with respect to Levine, Bleckner, Koons, et al.
HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States. identified by researchers.
"New Hand Painted Dreams: Contemporary Surrealism," at Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York. Including work by George Condo, Kenny Scharf, Peter Schuyff, Thierry Cheverney, and Jiri Georg Dokoupil, the show marks an early foray of the East Village art scene into SoHo.
Pictured: George Condo, The Clown Maker, 1984, oil on linen, 73 x 48".
Fredric Jameson, "Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism," New Left Review: A classic statement on postmodernity, highlighting pastiche pastiche (păstēsh`, pä–), work of art that combines themes and styles from various sources in such a way as to appear obviously derivative. as its dominant modality, the effacement effacement /ef·face·ment/ (e-fas´ment) the obliteration of features; said of the cervix during labor when it is so changed that only the external os remains. of high/low distinctions, and the potential dehistoricization implicit in a culture of deracinated signifiers.
Michel Foucault dies; the same month, vols. 2 and 3 of his posthumous Histoire de la sexualite appear.
Jean Baudrillard, "Astral (language) Astral - A programming language based on Pascal, never implemented.
["ASTRAL: A Structured and Unified Approach to Database Design and Manipulation", T. Amble et al, in Proc of the Database Architecture Conf, Venice, June 1979]. America," Artforum: A contributing editor since 1983, Baudrillard, the strangely buoyant sage of postmodern alienation, here tours Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and New York: "By a wonderful complicity shared by all its population, New York affords itself the comedy of its own catastrophe." The philosopher confesses his avowed a·vow
tr.v. a·vowed, a·vow·ing, a·vows
1. To acknowledge openly, boldly, and unashamedly; confess: avow guilt. See Synonyms at acknowledge.
2. To state positively. disinclination dis·in·cli·na·tion
A lack of inclination; a mild aversion or reluctance.
Noun 1. disinclination - that toward which you are inclined to feel dislike; "his disinclination for modesty is well known" to master English.
"Von Hier Aus," curated by Kasper Konig, opens at Messelgelande, Dusseldorf. Title phrase--from here out--provided by Beuys, who spells it out in green neon over the entrance. Beuys, Richter, Darboven, and Polke represent older generations; neo-ex heavily included (along with such exceptions to the movement's hegemony as Gerhard Merz, Ulrich Ruckriem, Imi Knoebel, Werner Buttner, and Albert Oehlen). Although the show prioritizes Dusseldorf, the strong presence of the Mulheimer Freiheit group and Oehlen et al. underscores the increasing prominence of Cologne.
"'Primitivism' in 20th Century Art: Affinities of the Tribal and the Modern" opens at the Museum of Modern Art. Curators William Rubin and Kirk Varnedoe display historical avant-garde work (Picasso, Giacometti, Ernst) and examples of the arts of Africa, Oceania, etc., with emphasis on direct instances of influence and more nebulous connections. Thomas McEvilley's "Doctor Lawyer Indian Chief," in the November Artforum, attests that Rubin treats MOMA as "a temple to be promoted and defended with a passionate devotion--the temple of formalist Modernism." A series of exchanges ensues between the curators and McEvilley.
Andreas Huyssen, "Mapping the Postmodern," New German Critique: Another weighty attempt to pin down the exhaustingly slippery concept, enlivened en·liv·en
tr.v. en·liv·ened, en·liv·en·ing, en·liv·ens
To make lively or spirited; animate.
en·liven·er n. , however, by Huyssen's account of his visit to Documenta 7 and his assault on Rudi Fuchs's curatorial agenda.
Advertisting mogul Charles Saatchi sells off his collection of Chia paintings. The artist's market quickly sours, having a devastating dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. effect on his career.
"An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture," curated by Kynaston McShine, marks the reopening of MOMA after renovation.
Ross Bleckner shows a single, large stripe painting at Nature Morte. The exhibition provides a new appropriationist/neo-geo context for the artist's work: "I liked the gallery's intellectual, gay attitude." Pictured: Ross Bleckner, The Oceans, 1984, oil on linen, 8 x 10'.
ALSO OF NOTE
* Ashley Bickerton, Artists Space, New York (solo debut)
* Sarah Charlesworth, The Clocktower, New York. Pictured: Sarah Charlesworth, Red Scarf, 1983-84, color photograph, 42 x 32". From the series "Objects of Desire."
* Thierry Cheverney, Pyramid Club and Pat Hearn Gallery, New York (solo debuts)
* Rene Daniels, Mike Kelley, Robert Longo, Cindy Sherman, Metro Pictures, New York
* Fortuyn/O'Brien, "Bon Voyage Voyeur--a view over the ocean," Galerie van Kranendonk, The Hague (part 1), and Artists Space, New York (part 2; solo debuts)
* Robert Gober, "Slides of a Changing Painting," Paula Cooper Gallery (solo debut)
* Mona Hatoum, Franklin Furnace, New York (New York solo debut)
* Kevin Larmon, Nature Morte, New York (solo debut)
* Annette Lemieux, Cash/Newhouse, New York (solo debut)
* McDermott & McGough, North Shore Gallery, New York (solo debut)
* Joel Otterson, Nature Morte, New York (solo debut)
* Steven Parrino, Nature Morte, New York (solo debut)
* Martin Wong, Semaphore semaphore (sĕm`əfôr'), device for the visible transmission of messages. The marine semaphore, used by day between ships or between a ship and the shore, consists essentially of a post at the top of which are two pivoted arms. Gallery, New York (solo debut)
* Christopher Wool, Cable Gallery, New York (solo debut)
* Michele Zalopany, P.P.O.W., New York (solo debut)
* "Art and Ideology" (cur. Benjamin Buchloh, Donald Kuspit, Lucy Lippard, Nilda Peraza, and Lowery low·er·y also lour·y
Overcast; threatening. Sims; Ismael Frigerio, Alfredo Jaar, Jerry Kearns, Suzanne Lacy, Fred Lonidier, Allan Sekula, Nancy Spero, Kaylynn Sullivan, Francesc Torres, and Hannah Wilke), New Museum of Centemporary Art, New York
* "Limbo" (cur. Carlo McCormick and Walter Robinson), P.S. 1, New York
* T.J. Clark, The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers
* Dennis Cooper, Safe
* William Gibson, Neuromancer
* Michael Holly, Panofsky and the Foundations of Art History
* Rosalind Krauss, The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths
* Jay McInerney, Bright Lights, Big City
* Brian Wallis, ed., Art after Modernism: Rethinking Representation
* Choose Me, dir. Alan Rudolph
* Paris, Texas, dir. Wim Wenders
* Repo Man, dir. Alex Cox
* Stranger Than Paradise, dir. Jim Jarmusch
* The Terminator, dir. James Cameron
* Run-D.M.C., Run-D.M.C.
* Gothic Rock begins in Britain (Southern Death Cult This article is about the early eighties goth band. For the Death Cult, see The Cult.
Southern Death Cult was a gothic rock band in the early 1980s. )
* Madonna, Like a Virgin
World of Video
WORLD OF VIDEO OPENED UP on the southeast corner of Twenty-first Street and Second Avenue in New York on November 10, 1984, according to my diary. It was one of the first stores in the city to rent movies, and I think I was its first customer: I lived eleven stories up in the same building in a one-bedroom apartment, house-sitting for a friend who had recently gone to Los Angeles to make videos for a new show called MTV. She had left behind a VOR VOR Vestibulo-ocular reflex, see there and a giant TV that had been hooked up to cable and HBO--four things that were still pretty rare at the time. In that Orwellian year, she was my Big Brother.
Half the tapes at World of Video were formatted for Betamax, a longer form than VHS (Video Home System) A half-inch, analog videocassette recorder (VCR) format introduced by JVC in 1976 to compete with Sony's Betamax, introduced a year earlier. with much clearer sound and sharper images. Sony owned the rights to Betamax and wouldn't share them, so the alternative, cheaper, inferior VHS version was born. Early VHS recordings had notoriously bad sound. I still have a copy of Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate on two cassettes, and you can't understand a word. It should have had subtitles.
Renting a film for the day was a happy new experience. The obvious advantages were privacy, convenience, the view-at-any-time factor, the pause button, and the rewind mechanism (to play it again); videotapes were also the perfect solution for the author of Why I Go to the Movies Alone, the title of a little book of verse I wrote in 1980. I think I rented nine hundred films in my first month of membership. (World of Video was a "club"--it charged an initiation fee and published a homemade newsletter.) I couldn't believe my luck in living in the same building--there were late fees right from the start of video rental, but all I had to do to drop off a movie and maybe pick out another was take the elevator. A visit to the liquor store across the street was harder work. I would literally spend hours poring over the titles-the foreign and cult classics, the directors' cuts, the adult section, comedy, action, drama. It was all at World of Video.
Back then there was only one copy of each title. If The Swimmer--starring Burt Lancaster, based on a short story by John Cheever--was just out and that was the tape you wanted, you would have to make a "reservation" to get it. I remember renting Blade Runner, keeping it for seven days, and almost getting kicked out of the club. ("Hogging" was the term for late returns.) Come to think of it, I should have kept that tape forever; it was the version that originally came out in theaters, the one with the Harrison Ford voiceover, and you can't get that version anymore (except maybe on eBay); the only one they sell now is Ridley Scott's director's cut. No hard-boiled Philip Marlowe/Jim Thompson film noir voice-over; lots of dead space on the sound track instead. The director's cut sucks.
Pornography was the perfect subject matter for the VHS experience. World of Video had plenty, and all kinds--hetero, gay and lesbian, s/in, and a new variation, amateur porn. This I really liked. I was never into professional porn, with its fake moans, its circular tits that never sagged, its stupid story lines that took up half the show. Amateur tapes were real--real smiles, real laughter, shot in real time, with people who lived next door. Good take-your-time sex instead of a thirty-minute closeup of a slam-and-ram. Amateur porn was natural. Natural is good. Natural used to be good for twice a night.
Rental porn essentially killed adult theaters. Physically, everything changed. Instead of heading up to Times Square, buying a ticket, and picking out a seat comfortably far from the rest of the wankers, you could grab a hard-core video and look forward to your very own couch in your very own living room and that fast-forward button, the key accessory to porno-viewing pleasure. You could even invite your friends over. Home entertainment was starting to happen. Forget ABC's Saturday Night Movie. World of Video was the way to go.
Richard Prince has exhibited his paintings and photographs for over two decades. (See Contributors.)
Novelist, playwright (The Roman Polanski Story), and former Mudd Club habitue ha·bit·u·é
One who frequents a particular place, especially a place offering a specific pleasurable activity.
[French, from past participle of habituer, to accustom, frequent Gary Indiana's first review for the Village Voice, inaugurating his tenure as the most fractious frac·tious
1. Inclined to make trouble; unruly.
2. Having a peevish nature; cranky.
[From fraction, discord (obsolete). and compelling art critic in the mainstream press.
"Les Immateriaux," curated by Jean-Franqois Lyotard, opens at the Centre Georges Pompidou Centre Georges Pompidou (constructed 1971–1977 and known as the Pompidou Centre in English) is a complex in the Beaubourg area of the IVe arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles and the Marais. , Paris. Illustrating some aspects of what the French philosopher calls "the postmodern condition" the exhibition contains no artworks, showcasing instead cybernetic cy·ber·net·ics
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The theoretical study of communication and control processes in biological, mechanical, and electronic systems, especially the comparison of these processes in biological and artificial systems. technologies and radical materials (e.g., prosthetic pros·thet·ic
1. Serving as or relating to a prosthesis.
2. Of or relating to prosthetics.
serving as a substitute; pertaining to prostheses or to prosthetics. skin). Echt-Lyotard: the decentered self, nonlinearity, the decline of "master narratives," etc.: "The speculative hierarchy of learning gives way to an immanent im·ma·nent
1. Existing or remaining within; inherent: believed in a God immanent in humans.
2. Restricted entirely to the mind; subjective. and, as it were, 'flat' network of areas of inquiry, the respective frontiers of which are in constant flux" (The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge).
Donna Haraway, "Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s," Socialist Review: A classic of nascent "cybernetic theory." Haraway polemically links the cyborg to socialist feminism, positing this entity on the border of fiction and reality as a new ideal of subjectivity.
Mikhail Gorbachev becomes general secretary of the USSR USSR: see Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. .
Saatchi Gallery opens in London.
The Palladium, designed by Arata Isozaki, opens on 14th St. Decor includes large-scale installations by Schart, Haring, and Basquiat. Former telephone commodities salesman Jeff Koons's first solo show, "Equilibrium," opens at International With Monument (where Koons's neo-geo confrere con·frere
A fellow member of a fraternity or profession; a colleague.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin c Meyer Vaisman is a partner). Koons's basketballs suspended in aquariums become iconic works of the neo-geo groundswell ground·swell
1. A sudden gathering of force, as of public opinion: a groundswell of antiwar sentiment.
2. . Also, meticulously framed Nike ads featuring (mostly) black basketball stars--used with the permission of the company rather than appropriated--and bronze casts of inflatable objects, e.g., a lifeboat. Gary Indiana in the Village Voice: "Art making has become a salvational sport, the basketball of disaffected, middle-class white kids." Pictured: Jeff Koons, "Equilibrium," 1985. Installation view, International With Monument, New York.
Guerrilla Girls affix affix v. 1) to attach something to real estate in a permanent way, including planting trees and shrubs, constructing a building, or adding to existing improvements. posters across lobby windows of 420 Broadway: "These galleries show no more than 10% women artists or none at all." The anonymous Girls take to making appearances wearing gorilla masks.
Nicolas Moufarrege dies of AIDS. A pivotal figure on the East Village scene, the Egyptian-born artist, critic, and curator promoted an inclusive aesthetic, very much in tune with Fun Gallery. Memorial retrospective at P.S. 1/The Clocktower in 1987, curated by Elaine Reichek and Bill Stelling with essay by Brooks Adams.
Live aid concert.
"Warhol, Basquiat Paintings" opens at Tony Shafrazi Gallery. Collaborative works by Warhol and Basquiat, who is closely attached to the Pop art deity. Poorly received, the works are left out of the 1989 Warhol retrospective at MOMA.
Maureen Dowd, "Youth. Art. Hype: A Different Bohemia," New York Times Magazine: Dowd's cover story on the East Village art scene indicates the high level of popular media exposure. But the area's vitality is on the wane. Two years later, New York magazine publishes Amy Virshup's "The Fun's Over," proclaiming the death of the scene.
* Alan Belcher, Cable Gallery, New York (solo debut) Pictured: Alan Belcher, Household Science (Buff Puff), 1985, color photograph on Plexiglas, 30 x 20 x 3".
* Christian Boltanski, "Monuments," Le Consortium, Dijon, France
* Barbara Ess, Rodney Graham, Ken Lum, Galerie Rudiger Schottle, Munich
* Katharina Fritsch, Galerie Johnen und Schottle, Cologne (solo debut)
* Peter Halley, International With Monument, New York (solo debut)
* Robert Gober, Paula Cooper, New York
* Alfredo Jaar, Grey Art Gallery, New York University (solo debut)
* Tadashi Kawamata, P.S. 1, New York (New York solo debut)
* Will Mentor, Wolff Gallery, New York (solo debut)
* Peter Nagy, International With Monument, New York (solo debut)
* Aimee Rankin (Morgana), New Museum and Postmasters window installation, New York (solo debuts)
* Alexis Rockman, Patrick Fox Gallery, New York (solo debut)
* Douglas and Mike Stain, Stux Gallery, Boston (solo debut)
* Haim Steinbach, Cable Gallery, New York Pictured: Helm Steinbach, Artful Balance, 1985, plastic-laminated wood shelf, wave machine, and digital clocks, 19 x 37 x 121/8".
* Jessica Stockholder, Malinda Wyatt Gallery, New York (solo debut)
* "The Art of Memory/The Loss of History," (cur. William Olander; Bruce Barber, Judith Barry, Troy Brauntuch, Sarah Charlesworth, Louise Lawler, Tina Lhotsky, Adrian Piper, Stephen Prina, Richard Prince, Martha Rosler, Rene Santos, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Christopher Williams, Reese Williams), New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
* "The European Iceberg: Creativity in Germany and Italy Today" (cur. Germano Celant; Gae Aulenti, Hans Hollein, JP. Kleihues, Renzo Piano, Aldo Rossi, Anselmo, Baselitz, Baumgarten, Burn, Calzolari, Cucchi, Darboven, N. de Maria, Fabro, Immendorff, Kounellis, Lupertz, G. Merz, M. Merz, Mucha, Paladino, Penone, Pistoletto, Polke, Richter), Art Gallery of Ontario The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is an art museum on the eastern edge of Toronto's downtown Chinatown district, on Dundas Street West between McCaul Street and Beverley Street. , Toronto
* "The Knot" (cur. Germano Celant; survey of arte povera), P.S. 1, New York
* "Thought Objects" (cur. Barbara Ess; Rodney Graham et al.), Cash/Newhouse, New York
* "Production Re: Production" (cur. Bob Nickas; Philip Taaffe, Sturtevant, et al.), Gallery 345/Art for Social Change, New York
* "Signs" (Gary Falk, Ken Feingold, Marian Galczenski, Jenny Holzer, John Knight, MANUAL [Suzanne Bloom and Ed Hill], Matt Mullican, Ted Savinar, Al Souza), New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
* Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste [La Distinction, 1979]
* Bret Easton Ellis Bret Easton Ellis (born March 7, 1964 in Los Angeles, California) is an American author. He is considered to be one of the major Generation X authors and was regarded as one of the so-called literary Brat Pack, , Less than Zero
* After Hours, dir. Martin Scorsese
* Blood Simple, dir. Ethan Coen
* Hall Mary, dir. Jean-Luc Godard
* The Man Who Envied Women, dir. Yvonne Rainer
* My Beautiful Laundrette laundrette launder (Brit) n → Waschsalon m , dir. Stephen Frears
* Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, dir. Tim Burton
IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE END, or the end of the beginning, depending on which denizen An inhabitant of a particular place. A "denizen of the Internet" is a person who frequently uses the Web or other Internet facilities. of the then still fabulous East Village you consult. It was also the year of the first Wigstock. Back then--late in the summer of '85--an afternoon of drag delirium delirium
Condition of disorientation, confused thinking, and rapid alternation between mental states. The patient is restless, cannot concentrate, and undergoes emotional changes (e.g., anxiety, apathy, euphoria), sometimes with hallucinations. was little more than a predictably eccentric bit of neighborhood fanfare, not the mass public spectacle the celebration would soon become. Relatively more organized than the general chaos native to its Tompkins Square Park Tompkins Square Park is a 10.5 acre (42,000 m²) public park in the Alphabet City section of the East Village neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It is square in shape, and is bounded on the north by East 10th Street, on the east by Avenue B, on the south by locale, the inaugural Wigstock was nonetheless pieced together from the same ragged fabric. It might not even stand out so clearly now from the many other great moments of collective absurdity endemic to that scene, except that at some point during that glorious day, we all shared an epiphanic hallucination hallucination, false perception characterized by a distortion of real sensory stimuli. Common types of hallucination are auditory, i.e., hearing voices or noises and visual, i.e., seeing people that are not actually present. : Somehow or other, Joni Mitchell took the stage and performed her 1970 classic "Woodstock," an anthem for a generation other than ours. It really happened like that--except (a) it sounded more like she was singing "Wigstock" than "Woodsto ck," (b) the folk diva was clearly wearing a wig, and (c) she happened to be inhabiting the corporeal Possessing a physical nature; having an objective, tangible existence; being capable of perception by touch and sight.
Under Common Law, corporeal hereditaments are physical objects encompassed in land, including the land itself and any tangible object on it, that can be form of a certain John kelly.
Few are left who recall the anarchic amateurism of Wigstock '85. So many of the best, from John Sex to Wendy Wild, died much too young. Even Lady Bunny--who created Wigstock in the enthusiasm of her first year in New York, out of the wild admixture of drag and rock 'n' roll rock 'n' roll: see rock music. that was the Pyramid Club--has trouble remembering the specifics. With my own recollection of events dubious at best, I thought it might help to talk to the siren himself. The performance artist (and author of personae including the Callas-spawned contralto contralto (kəntrăl`tō), female voice of lowest pitch. Originally, the term denoted a second voice set against (contra) a high voice (alto); thus, a second high voice. Dagmar Onassis) Kelly admits he's not even sure what year Wigstock began. But what he does recall is significant: Beyond the mandate of "looking pretty and having fun," he says, drag was "a way of venting rage-a big fuck you." That attitude is the expression of the frisson that came from rolling all those poses--hippie and punk and queer and urban--into the glorious bouffant bouf·fant
Puffed-out; full: a bouffant hair style.
[French, from present participle of bouffer, to puff up, from Old French. of Wigstock. It worked, particularly in Kelly's incarnation of Mitchell, because this generation mined the subtle ty and inevitability of irony far ahead of the popular imagination. Here it was possible to do a piss-take with love, to manifest absurdity in such a way that it not only had transcendent meaning, but literally brought an audience to tears.
To celebrate any such moment past is to understand both its prescience pre·science
Knowledge of actions or events before they occur; foresight.
Formal knowledge of events before they happen [Latin praescire to know beforehand] and the impossibility of its re-creation in the present. The queens who were part of the late-night drunken brainstorm to reference the irretrievable ideal of Woodstock surely knew this in their hearts, if not their brains. What sticks out now for both Lady Bunny and Kelly is just how small that first Wigstock was: how the communal space of the events was shared with bewildered bums and a Latino population that had not yet been gentrified out of the neighborhood; and, perhaps more significant for the course of future events, how Wigstock was still the province of freaks--as yet untouched by the cloned-out banality of Chelsea queens who would shortly make the pilgrimage east an end-of-summer ritual.
My memory of John's Joni is intermingled with a whole confluence of hilarious impersonations from around that time. Watching her that afternoon was not so very different from the pleasures of watching Mike Bidlo do Jackson Pollock, or reappreciating our old Kraftwerk records through the innovations of Afrika Bambaataa, or seeing Kelly as the Mona Lisa on the cover of Paper, which later in 1985 photographed Joey Arias as Andy Warhol and Ann Magnuson as Edie Sedgwick. You see, back then mock stardom was fabulous, and downtown publications were not yet under the tyranny of celebrity culture. We had yet to adopt words like sampling and appropriation into our vocabulary. On that day in Tompkins Square Park, at the end of a summer spent recklessly cavorting in the still luridly lowbrow East Village, it was all still just fun.
Carlo McCormick, a senior editor of Paper magazine, is organizing "Art After Dark," an exhibition of "downtown New York art" made between 1974 and 1984, for the Grey Art Gallery and the Fales collection, New York University.
The Replacements' Tim
Time for decisions to be made / Crack up in the sun, lose it in the shade.
The Replacements, "Hold My Life"
WHAT THE BEATLES WERE TO LOVE and the Sex Pistols to anger, the Replacements were to screwing up. Not merely or accidentally hapless, the original members of the band--Paul Westerberg, brothers Bob and Tommy Stinson, Chris Mars--made a loopy lust for failure the basis of a collective comic persona. While their contemporary Martin Kippenberger, another born comedian, fitted the self-conscious, balletic pratfall to the world of gallery and museum, the Replacements tailored it to a pop-music career. Every professional opportunity that came their way became, as songwriter Westerberg proclaimed with hoarse glee, "one more chance to get it all wrong / one more night to get it half-right."
The four were just rowdy, endearing goofballs when they started performing in their hometown of Minneapolis in 1978; by '85, the year of their major-label debut, Tim, they'd promoted themselves to the rank of professional screwups. Abandoning songs midway during live sets, picking fights with fans, tossing their LPs' master tapes into the Mississippi River to sabotage a pending release in the shiny new CD format--the Replacements treated their career like a game they couldn't bear to win.
The band's self-image was so complex because it reflected with unusual purity the baroque condition of rock in their day. A once revolutionary form that had delivered nothing so successfully as its own ubiquity, at middle age, rock had misplaced mis·place
tr.v. mis·placed, mis·plac·ing, mis·plac·es
a. To put into a wrong place: misplace punctuation in a sentence.
b. its reason for being. Sun King Elvis, bloated and bejeweled be·jew·eled or be·jew·elled
Decorated with or as if with jewels. , had expired, and rap was being born ... the Replacements, formed during the twilight of rock's import, opted for honesty and frankly acknowledged their favored music's cultural demotion de·mote
tr.v. de·mot·ed, de·mot·ing, de·motes
To reduce in grade, rank, or status.
[de- + (pro)mote. . Playing the stuff was now, as one early Westerberg tune declared, just "something to du."
History might humble a form--humiliate it, even--but beauty is never beyond reach. Stageward the 'Mats stumbled. Audiences never knew which version of the band to expect. By show time the four might be too smashed to stand upright, much less play a set. On good nights, though, they'd play the stuffing out of every number, proving themselves one of the great live acts of the day, a jukebox loaded not just with strong originals but with the '70s FM radio rock, corn-coated country tunes, and Americana their own frayed-edged compositions had absorbed and synthesized. Juvenile and sophisticated, ornery or·ner·y
adj. or·ner·i·er, or·ner·i·est
Mean-spirited, disagreeable, and contrary in disposition; cantankerous.
[Alteration of ordinary. and self-mocking, the band didn't play "funny songs" a la Bonzo Dog Band The Bonzo Dog Band (also known as The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, The Bonzo Dog Dada Band and, colloquially, as "The Bonzos") was a band created by a group of British art-school denizens of the 1960s. or They Might Be Giants, but instead expressed the existential situation comedy its members were living. Their decision to highlight the coordinates of their dilemma in every aspect of their packaging--recordings, promotion, performance--lent the Replacements' image an artful transparency that helped to make theirs the mid-'80s music of choice at art schools across America.
And it was all for real, which meant their comedy had consequences. Living a pratfall in slow motion is no easy thing. As their major-label career advanced, the structural tension inherent in their conflicted outlook grew more pronounced--the clownishness, the fascination with failure, the strategic self-loathing so fundamental to their idea of themselves clashing ever more powerfully with the reality that they were, in fact, artists possessed of substantial musical gifts. Theirs was the classic dilemma encountered by a certain kind of comic mind: What to do with a loser's self-image when that image has yielded success? Westerberg's lyrics struggled to reconcile the problem, the effort gradually exhausting him as, by the late '80s, his songs had grown less what-the-hell and more self-pitying. Unable to find a way around a predicament of their own creation, the Replacements disbanded in '91.
Of course, the fool is supposed to fail; it's part of the program. The Replacements had transposed trans·pose
v. trans·posed, trans·pos·ing, trans·pos·es
1. To reverse or transfer the order or place of; interchange.
2. the fool's gestural one-liner onto their lives, scaled it up, and ridden its arc to the disastrous, hilarious end; their career describes, as nearly as Kippenberger's does, that rarely glimpsed phenomenon, the meta-comedy. The Replacements weren't just one of the most talented acts of the rock era. These four midwestern kids, who performed their first gig at an alcoholics' halfway house halfway house /half·way house/ (haf´wa hous) a residence for patients (e.g., mental patients, drug addicts, alcoholics) who do not require hospitalization but who need an intermediate degree of care until they can return to the community. and showed up sloshed sloshed
Slang, chiefly Brit & Austral drunk
Adj. 1. , were one of the great balls-out comedy acts of the last century.
Milwaukee-based artist David Robbins teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is a fine arts college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a professional college of the visual and related arts, accredited since 1936 by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and since 1944 (charter member) by the . He is currently writing an alternative history of twentieth-century comedy.