happy belated Easter everyone
Announcing: the first ever Public Collectors benefit!
Public Collectors has been going strong without a single grant and with minimal outside support since 2007. In order to add some funding for future projects to the pot, including a presentation of the project about Malachi Ritscher that will happen at Experimental Sound Studio's gallery in the Fall, and upcoming publishing work, I’m doing a little benefit.
For $25.00 postpaid in the U.S. I will send you at least three Public Collectors publications (Paper Blog 2, Fashion Illustrations by D. ‘Jame, and Malachi Ritscher), at least one artist publication I’ve made over the years, and a set of six different stickers I made way back in 1997. Every order will get these things.
Additionally I’ll add in a whole bunch of other material that could include records, ‘zines, artist books, magazines and other publications, old sci-fi novels, art multiples, religious tracts, found photos, ephemera, and various other odds and ends - whatever else fits into a cardboard mailer designed to hold five records. Your package will be very much in the spirit of the things I share on this blog, and may even include things that I’ve posted.
To help make each package more specific to you, and to make this more fun, please use the add instructions feature on Paypal to tell me more about your interests, include a link to your blog or website, and also please indicate if you have a record player. The more information you give me about what you like, the better your benefit package will be.
Because of the high cost of overseas postage, this offer is only available in the U.S. If you’d like to contribute more than $25.00 to help Public Collectors, just select one of the higher amounts offered, and I will just send you more stuff or better stuff.
Thank you all for your interest in this initiative over the years. It remains very meaningful to me that people value what Public Collectors does and I hope to meet more of you off the internet one of these days. I’m always super happy when someone comes up to me at an event and tells me that they follow this Tumblr. And even if you can’t support Public Collectors, please consider sharing this post.
Thank You! - Marc Fischer
Support Public Collectors!
More Uzumaki, Junji Ito spam… This is what I feel like mid-dissertation. I hope things turn out better for me than they did for him…
A completely new way to combat surveillance from artist Leo Selvaggio. Join URME in creating public discourse about our relationship to surveillance.
This is an amazing (and important!) project by an incredible artist - fund it!
Bear On Stairs
Stop-motion looping animation by DBLG uses 3D printing to create models for each frame of a bear climbing stairs - video embedded below:
DBLG’s in-house studio projects are a platform for us to experiment with creative ideas and above all have fun. For The Stairs Project we wanted to explore the use of stop frame animation with 3D printing.
More at DBLG here
I could watch this forever. Maybe I can get started building a tombstone with a LCD screen so this can play on an infinite loop with an inscription that says, “She lies there / with the bear on the stair”.
Harry Clarke. Illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination. 1919.
I had a paperback copy of this when I was a tween - I especially remember “The Black Cat” illustration for the strange flatness of space, oddly shrinking the mad narrator in the foreground. “The Murders at the Rue Morgue” illustration also struck me, and reading it again much later without the accompanying picture made me realize just how terrifying the interpretation really was in comparison to the relatively tame text.
First of all, this entry is a shout-out to two wonderful tumblr blogs, “Who Wore it Better,” and Mark Kent’s fantastic “super numeri,” both who contributed to my current fascination. I am tempted to reblog their entries just about every day. Follow them both here:
There is a phenomenon that all of us have experienced at one time in our lives or another - that of when we hear about something for the first time, be it a word, concept, person, etc. - and then, for the next few days or weeks you notice that same something again and again and again. It feels like destiny - like some sort of mystical aligning of the stars… though, in actuality, it is merely a result of our own selective attention.
This is a psychological effect called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.
Recently my own selective-attention world has become dominated by the criminally under-appreciated artist Niki de Saint Phalle. There are many reasons that most people, even artists and art historians, have never heard of her - and many of these reasons are the same as those that kept artists such as Lee Krasner obscured within the shadows of their husbands. She, in short, was a woman playing at what was largely identified at the time as a man’s game. Saint Phalle’s second husband of many years was Jean Tinguely. The same Tinguely that has a whole museum dedicated to his work. The same Tinguely whose name is uttered with reverence by every machine art enthusiast. The same Tinguely whose work shares the same tangled web with Fluxus, Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), and every other artist associated with machine and technological art in the 20th century. In short, Tinguely’s shadow extends over a great portion of the recent art world, especially the landscape of machine/computer-assisted art practice.
Niki de Saint Phalle, on the other hand, indulged in a technology-assisted art practice rarely, if ever, associated with women. Like me, she was fascinated by guns.
While so many male artists - William Bourroughs, Roman Signer, Matt Stromberg, and so, so many others - found/find the gun to be a natural progression of their work (the often easy gun/penis/power triumvirate) Saint Phalle’s use of a gun takes a more nuanced reading to tease out its significance. What’s more, Saint Phalle’s personality, life, and class make attempts to read her work difficult; she was a fashion model, a world traveler, well-educated and connected to many intellectuals of the literary and art world. Her style and interests changed drastically throughout her lifetime. A less kind, traditional historian could label her a dilettante, a hanger-on, a groupie. A woman whose work didn’t really fit the time, or more specifically, didn’t fit her gender.
She was, after all, a woman making bombastic, “male” art; her work was violent, and when it wasn’t about violence, it was still large, often monumental. Worse yet, it was often large and about the female body.
Niki de Saint Phalle created a series of “Shooting Paintings” in the early 1960s, where she would shoot polythene bags of paints in human forms covered in white plaster. The bags would rip open, the spilling paint forming the eventual painting.
After the “Shooting paintings,” inspired by the pregnancy of a close friend, she explored the various roles of women through sculpture. She made life-size dolls of women - brides and mothers giving birth - made of plaster over a wire framework and plastic toys. She made films, large-scale public works, collaborated with architects, and designed gardens. But her second husband, whom she married in 1971, remains the more recognized.
(Niki de Saint Phalle’s kitchen mosaic in “The Empress,” within her Tarot Garden in Pescia Fiorentina, località Garavicchio, province of Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy.)
I wish I could spend much more time describing so much of her startling, strange work, but the best I can do at the moment is hope that Baader-Meinhof will help me out. This entry, dedicated to Saint Phalle, is offered with the hope that so many more experience that mystical physiological/psychological phenonemon of Baader-Meinhof, and suddenly notice her strange and wonderful art as well.
Niki de Saint Phalle, with her own interests in the mystical and spiritual world, would, perhaps, approve.
Hello. Let’s think about art. Let’s think about art and where art lives.
Though the tumblr blog "Great Art in Ugly Rooms" may not set out to do so, it provides a stunning example of how we might benefit from this era of hyperreal-/meta-collecting. In other words, the art historian gets to play at being an Obsessive Compulsive/Hoarder without having to fork over all that goddamned money.
In other, other words, we get to play pretend:
"Wanna see my Rothko? There it is, matched by my grandmother’s pink valance."
"Oh, that’s just a Stella hangin’ out next to the urinals in a elementary school lavatory."
"There’s this Ellsworth Kelly in the vacant bungalow for sale across the street. A little too big for the wood-paneled rec room, though."
Here we can finally explore the ultimate end of what we like to call “site specificity,” when in actuality, all art is, in a sense, site specific. Modernist art especially; can you imagine a Malevich next to a Lazy-E Boy? Or a Thomas Church in a hotel lobby, playing at being a Thomas Kincade (R.I.P.)?
Most of the entries are, indeed, Modernist - and most of of those are color fields and fairly recognizable works of Abstract Expressionism. Though we are aware that these were painted with the white box gallery in mind, it isn’t often that we really get to see them in “real life,” outside of the space meant to evince blankness. The gallery was conceived as site without the burden of context.
Ha, ha, laughs history. Ha, ha, laughs politics. Ha, ha, ha, ha, laughs the flows of capital.
(I was going to type “ha, ha, laughs Marx,” but that would have been a lie, because he’s dead.)
Photoshop, in spite of all the vitriol leveled in its direction, is able to better imagine reality than its user. It doesn’t recoil at possibility cloaked in absurdity. Sometimes a Rothko in a pink bedroom, while obliterating its monumentality, is weirdly comfy, and very homely. And while you know this is not a scene that exists in the world, you are reminded that it could.
(I lied: Photoshop cannot “imagine,” just as it cannot “recoil.” It is software, and thus a process defined by instructions that upon execution, instructs hardware to perform the tasks for which it is designed. However, even though it does not “imagine,” its process is one of potential, inviting its user to imagine the paradigm of possibilities its instructions may allow.)
The sort of site-specificity that so many of these works display is one of dominance - but only in the gallery. Otherwise, it’s just as meaningful as a reproduction of one of those French wine advertisements that everyone had in their kitchens back in the 90s, or something Motel 6 hangs above their queen-sized beds.
Sometimes a Cindy Sherman just looks like a really crappy photo your aunt took of your mom in her prom dress.
Sometimes a Clifford Still looks like you accidentally ruined the wallpaper.
Sometimes so many large paintings in so many “ordinary” spaces looks like a lackluster interior design blog.
Sometimes that’s just the point.
There is so much to be explored about the gallery, and even more so say about why it is that the art world still clings to it despite the fact that it should be in a rather comfy rest facility by now, welcoming much younger guests now and again, and receiving its modest social security check every month.
I want the art world to retire. It’s got a hefty enough 401K.
I want to see more contemporary art exhibitions in “Ugly Rooms.”
I want more art to be Ugly Rooms.
(image: Mark Rothko (redo))