Received this yesterday in my email...



Tainted Conceptualism: a conversation with Hassan Khan
May 20, 2011
7 p.m., free admission

We assume that moving away from both self-reflexivity and social representation, leads to pure formalism. Hassan Khan confronts this notion through his use of medium, presentation formats, and the creation of partially flawed conceptual systems. Khan will join Sohrab Mohebbi in conversation to consider the play of conceptual methods in Khan's 52-minute four-channel video piece The Hidden Location (2004) attempting to locate a prevailing thread in the artist's work. Following a screening of the artist's selected single channel videos, the conversation will revisit questions and quotations from a collection of texts, interviews and conversations about The Hidden Location, taking them as relics of the piece as the work develops its own relation to history in time. This discussion takes place alongside the artist's first US presentation of this piece at the Queens Museum of Art, opening May 22nd with a music performance by the artist at 4:30pm. In The Hidden Location, sixteen different sections, in varied length and form, are woven together, triggering the viewers desire to locate relationships between separate sections of the work on the one hand, and between the work and culture at large on the other. As much as it presents the impossibility of cultural representation, The Hidden Location also shows how the medium of the video, through its multiple forms and narrative structures, can only present a landscape in which specific mapping of content is transient and essentially unattainable.


Oh gawd....when did english and art criticism take leave of each other? I was reading an old copy of FMR (Franco Maria Ricci's ultra plush art mag from the 80s last night and thinking....this is what art criticism should be like...human, lively, provocative...I really am turning into a cranky old man...but I'm okay with it if this be modernity.


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Comment by Valentine Mark Herman on May 22, 2011 at 7:13am

This might amuse you. It is a description of a work by John Latham in a book of Conceptual Art I was stupid enough to pay good money for. It describes an attaché case in which is "A book, labelled vials filled with powder and liquids, letters, photostas and other materials." Here goes...


"In 1966 Latham withdrew a copy of Clement Greenberg's collection of essays 'Art & Culture' from the library of St Martin's School of Art, London, where he taught. This widely used text epitomised the formalist principles of late modernist painting. He organised a festive event at his home, titled 'Still & Chew', where he invited guests to tear and chew the pages of Greenberg's book and, when necessary, to spit out the product into a flask provided. Greenberg's text was then reconstituted as indigestible matter. Latham transferred the product into a brew by adding chemicals and yeast and, when the library requested the book the following year, decanted the distilled mass into a jar, labelled it 'Art & Culture' and returned it. The following day he was dismissed from his teaching post. Latham's artwork titled 'Art & Culture' is a leather briefcase containing the elements that went into 'Still & Chew' -- powders, liquids, letters, photosats -- and the invitation he sent for the event. It includes a copy of Greenberg's book and Latham's letter of dismissal, among other relics of the event."


Consider this to be your Birthday Card!

Comment by David Stafford on May 21, 2011 at 4:13pm
Val, I should give it up too. The crankiness that is. Unfortunately, that's one of the pillars of my personality but being a ham and cheese sandwich sounds inviting so I'll join you there. We can sit on a bench in Sigean and hope that a couple of sweet looking glasses of beer would care to join us. See you in the rapture.
Comment by Valentine Mark Herman on May 21, 2011 at 6:38am

Hi Cranky Old Man! I thought you were turning into a Worm, but perhaps I got that wrong, and a Worm turned into you. There is an English satirical magazine called 'Private Eye' that for years has been rubbishing such nonsense in a special section called 'Pseuds Corner' that, to my way of thinking, describes this, er, stuff, perfectly. What I do find disturbing, when I can be bothered to spare it a moment, is that people actually talk like this as well as writing like it. The best critics are those who make you think, 'Hey! I must see/listen to that', the best teachers are those who make you think, 'Hey I must read that/try that' etc. The Keep it Simple principle here is all important.

I've given up crankiness for this week, and turned myself into a toasted cheese and ham sandwich.

Regards, Monsieur Croque

Comment by David Stafford on May 20, 2011 at 7:42pm

Here, here, DeVillo. I second that emotion....


Comment by De Villo Sloan on May 20, 2011 at 7:26pm
This is what I mean when I write about "ether." Good enough that you pulled out of your email David. Gives it a "found" quality. I'm comforted to know that this artwork, whatever it is, "presents the impossibility of cultural representation" - the article achieves that too.
Comment by David Stafford on May 20, 2011 at 6:52pm
You're right, Brad. This is comparatively accessible. I just picked it because it showed up in my emailbox. The jargon has the same effect however. It's the gatekeeper to the temple of High Art.
Comment by Bradford on May 20, 2011 at 6:50pm

Actually, that one was fairly straight-forward and lucid.  There are much more intricate, jargon-laden articles out there to be sure.

You'll note that this highbrow tack is not often addressed to Fluxus or more open forms of art as there seems to be a correlation between market value and vocabulary.

Comment by David Stafford on May 20, 2011 at 6:34pm
Yes, they did their best to make sure the forbidding jargon will keep all but the hardiest lover of abstracted artspeak away.



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