Saturday, October 22, 2016

{M]anifesto :: Examples of {M}-like works

Examples of {M}-like works

These are works by other artists that seem to me to fulfill the main requirements of {M}. They help the viewer to directly see the workings of their mind. Some inspired me when I was younger. Others have helped me to clarify my thoughts on what {M} might be. They are not included in {M} because I haven’t asked any of their creators for consent to have them included. I haven’t decided if I would want to expand {M} beyond my own work.

John CageEmpty Words, 4’33”, et. al.

Empty Words and 4’33” are two of Cage’s seminal works dealing with silence (the exclusive content of 4’33”)  and the gradual loss of meaning and continuity in spoken text, sound, movement and visual forms. 4’33”, originally for piano, has three movements, in which the performer makes no sounds. The listener can become aware of the ambient sounds outside as well as sounds experienced inside the mind. Empty Words, which I performed with David P. Miller, Tom Plsek and Meredith Davis (now Morton) at Mobius in 1993, was an eight hour performance, broken into four 2 hour “movements” with half hour intermissions, ending at dawn. Based on Cage’s texts, read by Miller.

Steve Reich It’s gonna rain

Composer Steve reich made this piece with tapes loops on two tape decks. The voice of a street preacher repeats endlessly on both loops, which start out together but gradually get out of phase. Sometimes it sounds like a voice, then slowly metamorphises into abstract sound then back to voice, doing this several times. This changed my awareness of the sounds of voices and showed me some aspects of my brain interpreting sound. 

Yvonne Rainierunidentified dance piece

Seen at School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston around 1970. I remember walking into the large room where Rainier's performance was scheduled, and I walked past a woman apparently doing warmups. I came pretty close to her, and suddenly realized that she was performing and that I had failed to recognize this and had intruded into her performance space. I also realized that these movements, which appeared informal and rather ordinary to me, were, in fact, part of Yvonne Rainier's language of dance. 

Marcel DuchampÉtants donnés: :1° la chute d'eau / 2° le gaz d’éclairage, et. al. 

This installation, in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, was Duchamp’s last major work. The viewer sees an old wooden door, closed but with a peephole. Peeping, the viewer sees a  female nude holding a lamp, a pastoral landscape behind her.

Seeing this, I felt a very strong awareness of being a voyeur, which led me to realize that most of my experiences of looking at art are also voyeuristic. If the idea of voyeurism seems too strong or too specific, then another way to say it is that I became very aware of myself looking at the work, and felt myself to be part of the work.

Richard Serra, The Matter of Time, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

This is a large permanent installation of walk-through sculptures in the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao.
These steel sculptures are free-standing and their curves, derived from ellipses and other geometries, often loom over the viewer as she walks through them. The passages narrow and widen, more or less light gets in, as the space continually changes. One can experiences feelings of threat, comfort, claustrophobia, intimacy, and others not so easily put into words. The works are not so much objects as situations for directly feeling the changing nature of the enclosed spaces.

Olafur EliassonRoom for One Colour 1997, seen at MOMA, NY, 2008

I saw this at a big exhibition of Eliasson’s work. It was a largeish, empty gallery, lit by a set of special yellow lamps. These produced a yellow of precisely one wavelength with no other tints of yellow or any other color mixed in. My experience was of a scene drained of any color, having only values of black, warm gray and yellow, a strange flattening of space, and a feeling of my body somehow being “different”. Words fail me.

Andoni Luis AdurizEdible Stones, 2006, Restaurante Mugaritz, Errenteria, Spain
   Potatoes covered with kaolin, a kind of gray clay, and appearing to be stones are a kind of “culinary tromp l’oeil” in this iconic dish at the Basque restaurant Mugaritz. Not knowing what one is eating, because of the disguise, it is possible to taste anew, as for the first time.

writings of William S. Burroughs

    Novels such as Soft Machine, Nova Express and Ticket that Exploded use techniques like cutup and fold-in that fragment the syntax of sentences,   either by randomly changing the order of the words, or by merging two different texts. As the reader struggles to make some sort of meaning from these distorted texts, it is possible for them to be aware of their mind’s attempting various constructions of what is meant.

from The Soft Machine
Border city … noon ticker tape … word falling … the board flakes of electricals … break through in grey room … photo falling … down into present time and there investigate purpose … distant city is Red Mesa … fight erupt like sand on iron … sacrifice partisans and rioters of all nations … gambling fight … attack at arbitrary intervals … sacrifice partisans of all nations … open fire on priest shriek for humans 

writings of Gertrude Stein

     Many of Stein’s works appear superficially normal in terms of words and syntax. But they don’t make sense, in any conventional way. They often don not seem to be really about anything. They call into question ideas of meaning and narrative and grant us an opportunity to see our own minds struggling to find the story.

from How to Write
Grammar. In enterprise without with whether revise prevision post when they bake. Grammar is not furtive. Round and about but they are cloudless. Grammar have useful blushes which are flushes. Have honey suckle which is of various colors, have rose daisies have orchids called Monsieur which is a name fame rename from interested them for her. How can grammar be nevertheless. What is grammar. Grammar is indwelling without a premonition of accomplishment but there is succor.

paintings of Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Four Seasons in One Head, c. 1590. National Gallery, Washington, D.C.

 Arcimboldo, 1526-1593, was court painter to the Emperor Rudolf II. He is well-known for his portraits in which the faces are made from fruits, flowers, other plants, natural materials in general. The painting above combines the elements of his several series of four paintings of the seasons into one amalgamation. His works belong in {M} because they demonstrate the innate compulsion of the visual system to see a face wherever a few facial elements are suggested, and because of the experience of moving from the perception of the face to the perception of the unconnected elements that make it up. Some of his paintings show heads made of fruit, dead leaves and logs, smoke and fire, or flowers; one sees at the same time a face and the natural objects.
black paintings of Ad Reinhardt
Reinhardt was an American abstract painter, 1923-1967. The black paintings are geometric abstractions that appear to be solid black. If one gazes at them long enough, one can just barely make out colored rectangles arranged in a grid, the colors being so close to black that they are nearly indetectable.  I remember seeing some in MOMA in the 60’s, and then again in June 2017 in an exhibition on Abstract Expressionism at the Bilbao Guggenheim, which reminded me of how deeply these paintings have affected me fifty years ago and still do today. 

100 ways to consider time  Marilyn Arsem, November 9, 2015-February 19, 2016, Museum of fine Arts Boston
    performance work of extreme duration: six hours each day over one hundred days.

paintings of Rene Magritte

Le blanc seing 1965 National Gallery of Art, Washington

I just saw this oil painting by Magritte at the recent retrospective at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. I could feel my visual cortex flipping figure and ground. In fact there are two planes of figure-- the horse/woman and the trees-- with the out of focus foliage as background. A brilliantly realized pointer towards visual perception.

introduction to {M}
enigmas of {M}
dogmas of {M}
pragmas of {M}
examples of {M}-like works
examples of works in {M}
commentary on the enigmas of [M]
commentary on the dogmas of {M}
commentary on the pragmas of {M}

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