Saturday, February 17, 2007

College Art Association: Invitation to think

Stopped by the Hilton Hotel where the CAA was in full swing. Seated on the floor outside one of the meeting rooms was a nervous grad student checking her power point on a lap top. So many presenters. So much gobbledegook. I got that word from Hans Haacke who did a "conversation" with Dennis Adams. Star Gazing by Haacke
These are excerpts from my notes at Haacke's presentation:
Asked about teaching:
It was only through teaching that I could retain some understanding with people that are much younger than I am—and I really learned from them. They forced me to translate some of the "art speak" gobbledegook into a language that is accessible to undergraduate students… the gobbledegook is not useful.. Asked about art criticism:
These are people whose profession is to look.... But there is so little attention to what you pay attention to.
They focus totally on the a kind of "content management"
but they overlook the context and the decisions that I made in creating my work.
Asked about his form that sometimes uses what could be called a "marketing style" or be associated with "Pop Art":
Well, you can overcome a lot of things.
Asked about a recent piece in Berlin, a memorial to Rosa Luxemburg:
I tried to make it an invitation to think.
(Steel plates with quotations from the work of Luxemburg.)
I allowed her to speak in her own voice...I wanted people to be exposed to her thoughts, to be provoked to think themselves... not only about Rosa Luxemburg, but about the times in which she lived and worked but also about the present.... We ourselves are particpants in a history… there is no bottom line.
One of the quotations is about the US War in the Philippines, which was happening at that time and she could be talking about Iraq today...Some of the people gasped at how topical these could be.
And speaking of Berlin: the final session of Dictionary of War will be next week. You can stream it live or archived.
Dictionary of war, a two-day performance event featuring artists,
scientists, activists and theorists
February 23 and 24 2007, starting at 5 pm and 2 pm
Sophiensaele Berlin, Sophienstrasse 18


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