Monthly Archives: May 2009

On the road

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A couple of years ago I was cycling through the south of France. I was there to make a small work, for a book, commissioned by the S.M.A.K., called Sur La Route. Somewhere, between Cahors and Périgueux, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye, sleeping peacefully on the side of the road.

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Warped

Q – What do you get when you have twenty one artists, curators, and critics sitting in a room with thirty two artists?

A – A portfolio day, specifically the Warp-Projects portfolio day, situated in Sint-Niklaas, the center of the Belgian art world.

The first event of the weekend took place on Friday night, with the opening of Wim Wauman’s exhibition Temptation Island at the brand spanking new Koetshuis WARP.

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Stef van Bellingen kicks things off at the Koetshuis.

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On Saturday the portfolios (or macbooks) were reviewed.

The reviews were scheduled to last for 30 minutes, with a 15 minute buffer if things ran late.

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Which was easy to notice when one has such a unique alarm clock.

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Hopefully the exchange was fruitful.

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If not, there was always cheese.

After all, to misquote Bertolt Brecht: food first, art later.

Bloodwork

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I was procrastinating, yet again, on youtube this morning, and came across something that caught my attention. It was trailer for a film I hadn’t heard about called Bloodwork – The Anna Mendieta Story. The film, made by Richard Move, mixes interviews (with Carolee Scneeman, B. Ruby Rich, Yvonne Rainer, Jose Esteban Munoz, and Lisa Paul Streitfeld) with super 8 recreations of Mendieta’s performative works.

A few years ago, a friend recommended that I read Robert Katz’s Naked by the Window, which is a ‘crime novel’, about the events that occurred at 300 Mercer Street, on September 8th 1985, which created a fissure within the New York art scene. One side of the New York art world circling wagons around Andre, and another committed to seeing justice pursed on behalf of Mendieta.

While the book is flawed, and is clearly written by someone with a limited knowledge of contemporary art, it’s the most comprehensive account of what happened. What made the book all the more compelling, is the fact that the trial took place during my first few years at art school in New York. In some ways it was my introduction to the art world, sadly enough.

When I looked at Move’s Director’s Notes, I saw that Galerie Lelong, which represents Mendieta’s estate, had no interest in collaborating on the film. I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised.