Contemporaneous Extension

Summer Warehouse Sale @Printed Matter
July 23, 2014, 12:00 pm
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The Best Thing Happening This Month in the Art World
September 18, 2013, 3:27 pm
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All information pertaining to the conference, programming, and exhibitors can be found here.

Additional programming outside of PS 1:

Fruits of Labor
August 23, 2013, 1:21 pm
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My obsession with zines has flourished into a new, forthcoming column idea that I will be organizing for Whitehot Magazine entitled Leaps and Bounds. The first installment should be out within a week. Until then, here are a few incredible independent titles I discovered through Printed Matter to keep in the memory bank.

ImageNew Shit: A Collection of Art and Writing (2009, edited and published by Caitlin McBride. New York, NY. Staple-bound, B&W, 68 pages. 100 editions.)

New Shit does away with the introductions, explanatory texts, and assertive formatting often seen in collections of visual and literary art. Instead, each contribution flows into the next in a multi-media stream of consciousness. Participating artists and writers include Sam Pulitzer, Emile Bosworth Clemens and Danica Walton, Asher Penn, Adam Agnostis, Annie Pearlman, Veronica Rose Gelbaum, Ethan Hayes Chute, Jesse Butcher, Rachel Glaser, Kayla Guthrie, Whitney Claflin, Kathleen Brennan and Ben Phelan, Rhett Larue, Erin Dunn, Mae MacBride, Jed Ochmanek, and Amitai Heller.”

ImageJohn Heartfield: Art and Mass Media (1985, by Douglas Kahn. Tanam Press, New York, NY. Glue-bound, B&W, 149 pages.)

This collection of writings by John Heartfield is a book after my own heart. Heartfield was a long-time business partner and friend of George Grosz, who apparently first collaborated with him on early photomontages. As a member of the Communist Party by 1918, Heartfield challenged the power of imagery in newsletters, on book jackets, and in daily newspapers in Germany. His photomontages provoked the Fascist Party’s strong symbolism, mutating Hitler’s empowered portraits into satire while appropriating more gruesome photos to spur calls to action. A set-builder as well, Heartfield understood the immediacy of imagery and ways to appeal to his viewer on varied levels. Whether he was beckoning a prospective activist or debunking allegiance to the Third Reich, mass media was unmistakably his medium of choice. Heartfield passed in 1968, as the world rested on the brink of diffusing personal media (increased regularity of televisions in the home, the technology for personal computers becoming more readily available, etc). By gauging how a politically-engaged individual digested mass media and thwarted propaganda’s brainwashing, perhaps one can acquire a deeper outlook on repurposing the modern systems of imagery production and absorption.

Just in time for the upcoming posthumous retrospective of Kelley’s work (the most extensive showing of his work to date) at MoMA PS 1, I went on a search for an insight into the man and the legend. The work in the exhibition will span from 1970 to 2012 and take over the entire museum, the first time such space has been consumed by one artist in 25 years. PS 1’s press release notes “repressed memories, disjunctions  between selfhood and social structures as well as fault lines between the sacred and the profane” as foundations of his trajectory, and I’m hoping his writings can enliven such incredibly personal observations.

ImageFoul Perfection : Essays and Criticism (2003, by Mike Kelley and John C. Welchman. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Clothbound, B&W, 238 pages.)

Contributors to this publication include David Askevold, Öyvind Fahlström, Douglas Huebler, John Miller, Survival Research Laboratories, and Paul Thek, among others.





Minor Histories: Statements, Conversations, Proposals (2004, by Mike Kelley and edited by John C. Welchman. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Hardcover, B&W, 431 pages.)

Part II to the former volume. This offering focuses more on Kelley’s own writings and theories, undisclosed projects, and ideas. Five sections include (as described at Printed Matter): “Statements” (texts mostly written in conjunction with exhibitions between 1984 and 2002) and some creative riffs that reflect the aesthetic experience Kelley generates; “Video Statements and Proposals” (introductions to videos made by Kelley and other artists); “Image-Texts” (writings that accompany or are part of artworks and installations); “Architecture” (a discussion of Kelley’s Educational Complex (1995) and an interview in which he reflects on the role of architecture in his work); and “Ufology” (a consideration of UFO sightings and abductions through the lens of aesthetics and space).