Archive

Exhibitions

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David Hammons performing ‘Bliz-aard Ball Sale’ (1983), Cooper Square, New York City
Courtesy Migros Museum, Zurich © David Hammons. Photo: Dawood Bey

From An Interview with David Hammons:

1. I CAN’T STAND ART ACTUALLY. I’VE NEVER, EVER LIKED ART, EVER. I NEVER TOOK IT IN SCHOOL.

2. WHEN I WAS IN CALIFORNIA, ARTISTS WOULD WORK FOR YEARS AND NEVER HAVE A SHOW. SO SHOWING HAS NEVER BEEN THAT IMPORTANT TO ME. WE USED TO CUSS PEOPLE OUT: PEOPLE WHO BOUGHT OUR WORK, DEALERS, ETC., BECAUSE THAT PART OF BEING AN ARTIST WAS ALWAYS A JOKE TO US.

WHEN I CAME TO NEW YORK, I DIDN’T SEE ANY OF THAT. EVERYBODY WAS JUST GROVELING AND TOMMING, ANYTHING TO BE IN THE ROOM WITH SOMEBODY WITH SOME MONEY. THERE WERE NO BAD GUYS HERE; SO I SAID, “LET ME BE A BAD GUY,” OR ATTEMPT TO BE A BAD GUY, OR PLAY WITH THE BAD AREAS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

3. I WAS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHY BLACK PEOPLE WERE CALLED SPADES, AS OPPOSED TO CLUBS. BECAUSE I REMEMBER BEING CALLED A SPADE ONCE, AND I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT IT MEANT; NIGGER I KNEW BUT SPADE I STILL DON’T. SO I TOOK THE SHAPE, AND STARTED PAINTING IT.

4. I JUST LOVE THE HOUSES IN THE SOUTH, THE WAY THEY BUILT THEM. THAT NEGRITUDE ARCHITECTURE. I REALLY LOVE TO WATCH THE WAY BLACK PEOPLE MAKE THINGS, HOUSES OR MAGAZINE STANDS IN HARLEM, FOR INSTANCE. JUST THE WAY WE USE CARPENTRY. NOTHING FITS, BUT EVERYTHING WORKS. THE DOOR CLOSES, IT KEEPS THINGS FROM COMING THROUGH. BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE THAT NEATNESS ABOUT IT, THE WAY WHITE PEOPLE PUT THINGS TOGETHER; EVERYTHING IS A THIRTY-SECOND OF AN INCH OFF.

5. THAT’S WHY I LIKE DOING STUFF BETTER ON THE STREET, BECAUSE THE ART BECOMES JUST ONE OF THE OBJECTS THAT’S IN THE PATH OF YOUR EVERYDAY EXISTENCE. IT’S WHAT YOU MOVE THROUGH, AND IT DOESN’T HAVE ANY SENIORITY OVER ANYTHING ELSE.

THOSE PIECES WERE ALL ABOUT MAKING SURE THAT THE BLACK VIEWER HAD A REFLECTION OF HIMSELF IN THE WORK. WHITE VIEWERS HAVE TO LOOK AT SOMEONE ELSE’S CULTURE IN THOSE PIECES AND SEE VERY LITTLE OF THEMSELVES IN IT.

6. ANYONE WHO DECIDES TO BE AN ARTIST SHOULD REALIZE THAT IT’S A POVERTY TRIP. TO GO INTO THIS PROFESSION IS LIKE GOING INTO THE MONASTERY OR SOMETHING; IT’S A VOW OF POVERTY I ALWAYS THOUGHT. TO BE AN ARTIST AND NOT EVEN TO DEAL WITH THAT POVERTY THING, THAT’S A WASTE OF TIME; OR TO BE AROUND PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT.

MY KEY IS TO TAKE AS MUCH MONEY HOME AS POSSIBLE. ABANDON ANY ART FORM THAT COSTS TOO MUCH. INSIST THAT IT’S AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE IS NUMBER ONE AND ALSO THAT IT’S AESTHETICALLY CORRECT. AFTER THAT ANYTHING GOES. AND THAT KEEPS EVERYTHING INTERESTING FOR ME.

7. I DON’T KNOW WHAT MY WORK IS. I HAVE TO WAIT TO HEAR THAT FROM SOMEONE.

I WOULD LIKE TO BURN THE PIECE. I THINK THAT WOULD BE NICE VISUALLY. VIDEOTAPE THE BURNING OF IT. AND SHOOT SOME SLIDES. THE SLIDES WOULD THEN BE A PIECE IN ITSELF. I’M GETTING INTO THAT NOW: THE SLIDES ARE THE ART PIECES AND THE ART PIECES DON’T EXIST.

8. IF YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE THEN IT’S EASY TO MAKE ART. MOST PEOPLE ARE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR IMAGE. ARTISTS HAVE ALLOWED THEMSELVES TO BE BOXED IN BY SAYING “YES” ALL THE TIME BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE SEEN, AND THEY SHOULD BE SAYING “NO.” I DO MY STREET ART MAINLY TO KEEP ROOTED IN THAT “WHO I AM.” BECAUSE THE ONLY THING THAT’S REALLY GOING ON IS IN THE STREET; THAT’S WHERE SOMETHING IS REALLY HAPPENING. IT ISN’T HAPPENING IN THESE GALLERIES.

9. DOING THINGS IN THE STREET IS MORE POWERFUL THAN ART I THINK. BECAUSE ART HAS GOTTEN SO….I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK ART IS ABOUT NOW. IT DOESN’T DO ANYTHING. LIKE MALCOLM X SAID, IT’S LIKE NOVOCAINE. IT USED TO WAKE YOU UP BUT NOW IT PUTS YOU TO SLEEP. I THINK THAT ART NOW IS PUTTING PEOPLE TO SLEEP. THERE’S SO MUCH OF IT AROUND IN THIS TOWN THAT IT DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING. THAT’S WHY THE ARTIST HAS TO BE VERY CAREFUL WHAT HE SHOWS AND WHEN HE SHOWS NOW. BECAUSE THE PEOPLE AREN’T REALLY LOOKING AT ART, THEY’RE LOOKING AT EACH OTHER AND EACH OTHER’S CLOTHES AND EACH OTHER’S HAIRCUTS.

10. THE ART AUDIENCE IS THE WORST AUDIENCE IN THE WORLD. IT’S OVERLY EDUCATED, IT’S CONSERVATIVE, IT’S OUT TO CRITICIZE NOT TO UNDERSTAND, AND IT NEVER HAS ANY FUN. WHY SHOULD I SPEND MY TIME PLAYING TO THAT AUDIENCE?

DAVID HAMMONS 1986

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SPECIAL EVENT

Label
Tate Britain
Saturday 24 November 2012, 13.00 – 17.00

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Tracey Moberly, Mam
Courtesy Tracey Moberly

You are invited to join us on a spirited quest to explore questions of identity and belonging. Amidst pumping bass lines and crowd mayhem, LABEL will explore the one question that has intrigued mankind for centuries: “Who am I?”

LABEL features live acoustic performances with Q+A sessions from Speech Debelle and Shakka, DJs Stööki Sound, plus installations and workshops with Soulful Creative.
Come and work with leading urban creatives on a giant collaborative piece that will transform the façade of Tate Britain, choose how to represent your super-talented self in a portrait taken by our photographer, join a guerrilla mosaics workshop to re-think emblems of Britishness or create a unique label that reflects who you really are with artist Chloe Cooper.

LABEL is curated by Tate Collective as part of the Great British Art Debate. What does Britishness mean to you? Join this audacious retort to stereotypical ideas about Britishness.

Follow The Great British Art Debate on Twitter @GBArtDebate and on Facebook
Sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Funded & Great British Art Debate
Tags:
Art and ideas

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Viral Utopias

The Virality part of this free event (see below) will now be a collaboration between Tim Vogt, Francesco Tacchini, Nik Vaughn and Tony D. Sampson. We will be responding to the idea(l) of a viral utopia using academic voice, VJing, bass guitar and turntable.

Viral Utopia: What kind of Ontology is This?

20121103-181812.jpg RSVP ESSENTIAL http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4688544563 Viral Utopias launch event  Friday November 16th – 7am til 1am@ Limehouse Town Hall Panics, plagues, and politics. Countless times the death of politics, utopia and neoliberalism has been proclaimed… and just as many times the lumbering remains of our conceptual apparatuses dust themselves and trundle on again… mutating their movements in unfolding recombinatory patterns. Come join us to celebrate the release of several new publications exploring this overlap between the utopian and the viral, the networked and the not-worked: Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks by Tony Sampson; Contract & Contagion: From Biopolitics to Oikonomia by Angela Mitropoulos; Open Utopia by Thomas More & Stephen Duncombe; and the current issue of Mute Magazine, ‘Becoming Impersonal’ Vol.3 #3. DJS Agit Disco DJs http://www.metamute.org/shop/mute-books/agit-disco LIVE BANDS Traum – London-based chanson for lovers of neo-romantisch perverse pop http://snd.sc/PqsQb1 Hungry Hearts – whisky filled gruff folk punk: http://www.myspace.com/thehungryhearts VENUE Limehouse Town Hall 646 Commercial Road London E14 7HA RSVP ESSENTIAL http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4688544563 ABOUT THE PUBLICATIONS Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks – Tony D Sampson with Tim Vogt, Francesco Tacchini and Nik Vaughn http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/virality Contract & Contagion: From Biopolitics to Oikonomia – Angela Mitropoulos http://www.akpress.org/contract-contagion.html Open Utopia – Thomas More & Steve Duncombe http://theopenutopia.org/ Mute, ‘Becoming Impersonal’, Vol.3 #3 http://linkme2.net/sx Link to Mute Magazine About Virality Tony D. Sampson is a London-based academic and writer currently lecturing at the University of East London. A former musician, he studied computer technology and cultural theory before receiving a PhD in sociology from the University of Essex. His ongoing interest in contagion theory is reflected in his recent publications, including The Spam Book: On Viruses, Porn, and Other Anomalies from the Dark Side of Digital Culture (2009), which he coedited with Jussi Parikka. His new book, Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks is published by the University of Minnesota Press in August 2012 ///

Red, White And Blue

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From 07/11/12 to 08/12/12

Location: London Chelsea Space, United Kingdom

Links: chelseaspace.org

Private view: Tuesday 11th November 2012 6 – 8.30pm

Red, White and Blue explores relationships, influences, and appropriations in political, pop and punk imagery. Critically positioned in the context of this Jubilee and Olympic year, the exhibition reflects upon corresponding historical moments: the 1951 Festival of Britain, the birth of punk and the Silver Jubilee. Picking up where our last show, DOME, left off Red, White and Bluelooks again at how the recently re-emerging themes of austerity, legacy, and national identity have resonated across the last half century, both in the UK and internationally.

Red, White and Blue combines film, photography, graphics and contemporary art to expand the relationship between pop and punk culture, politics and place, reflecting back upon the past as well as examining the present. Whilst ideas of Britannia and Britishness permeate this exhibition, the show includes international perspectives of place and political defiance from Sao Paulo, Sarajevo, New York, and Ljubljana.

The exhibition begins with plasma screens and video projection; a control room or nerve centre; a video immersion tank. Next, a kind of billboard alley of photographic images, pop art, graphics and posters; imagery piled high, international, and layered with histories. Anti- government protests from South America and civil war in the Balkans are depicted through posters and the moment of the Royal Jubilee of 1977 and the emergence of a Punk sensibility is evoked in black and white photographs.

At the end of this graphic walkway a TV on the floor acts as an abject sentinel, a cathode tube at the end of the tunnel. In the main space, ideas of pop, punk, politics and place are consolidated within vivid, colourful artworks. Emptied out and cleaned up abstracted details of political symbols and music related graphics find new materiality and new meanings in a contemporary context.

Curatorial concept and design: Donald Smith with Daniel Sturgis

An illustrated publication is available with foreword by Donald Smith and main text by Michael Bracewell.

Chelsea

Chelsea Arts Club Trust logo

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