Posts for November 2012

Send/Receive: Liza Bear and Willoughby Sharp After Avalanche

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Still from Send/Receive

In recent years, the significance of artists' magazines has been cemented by the proliferation of exhibitions, panels, and monographic studies devoted to independent publishing endeavors. Not merely side projects or promotional vehicles, such magazines constituted, as art historian Gwen Allen argues in her 2011 book Artists Magazines: An Alternative Space for Art, a form of exhibition space in itself, a central site of postwar artistic experimentation.

The magazine was, in a sense, the ideal form for the “dematerialized” art practices taking hold in the 1960s and ‘70s, which were often rooted in language and typically exhibitable solely in the form of secondary documentation—textual descriptions, instructions, or scores; diagrams and maps; and photographs. At the moment when artists were vehemently challenging the authority of the institutions that mediated between their work and its audience, as well as the attendant commercial system that conferred value based on the saleability of the object, the form of the magazine offered a way to circumvent existing structures—to disseminate projects and ideas directly to an audience, and one that was, at least theoretically, broader than that of the museum or gallery, and more geographically dispersed.

Among the storied magazines of the ‘70s, Avalanche, founded by artist and curator Willoughby Sharp and filmmaker Liza Bear in 1968 (the first issue appeared in Fall 1970), is perhaps the most iconic in terms of capturing the ethos and character of the period’s artistic climate. The privileged editorial form of Avalanche was not the critical essay or review, but the artist interview and it often turned pages over to artists— including Gordon Matta-Clark, Hanne Darboven, and Richard Long —to design their own spreads. Likewise, its “Rumblings” section functioned as a form of pre-internet global art-world message board where artists could submit announcements of upcoming exhibitions, projects, and publications.

Ephemeral and inexpensive, Avalanche was, as Bear described, “a cross between a magazine, an artist book, and an exhibition space in print. Basically, it was devoted to avant-garde art, from the perspective of the artist.” Avalanche, and periodicals like it, were attempts to rethink the art magazine in terms of both form and content, conceived in response to mainstream publications like Artforum, which were dominated by the critic’s voice and implicitly bore the influence of curators and dealers. However, Avalanche was also a network, a decentralized mode of distributing art that aimed to shift the site of reception beyond institutional boundaries...

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Thank You to Our Sponsors

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We would like to take a brief moment to thank this month’s sponsors. These are the organizations and companies that keep us publishing, so be sure to check them out!

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  • Guggenheim - The “Conversations with Contemporary Artists” series presents the opportunity to hear and meet artists such as Gabriel Orozco and R. H. Quaytman as they discuss themes in their work as well as current issues in the art world.
  • Asia Society MuseumBound Unbound: Lin Tianmiao represents the artist’s first major solo exhibition in the United States
  • Artspace – Insider access to art from the best artists, museums, and galleries in the world
  • Art Miami – Miami’s premier anchor fair showcases the best in modern and contemporary art from more than 100 international art galleries.
  • Miami Project  - A new contemporary and modern art fair consisting of presentations by 65 galleries from around the world.
  • Pacific Northwest College of Art – For over 100 years, PNCA has served as a creative hub for artists and designers with an educational philosophy that emphasizes individualized curricula, independent inquiry and cross-disciplinary exchange.
  • NYU Steinhardt -The M.A. in Studio Art program in Berlin, Germany provides artists, students of art, and current and prospective art teachers the opportunity to do  high-level studio work over three intensive summers.
  • School of Art Institute of Chicago offers an MA program in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism as well as an MFA program in Film, Video, New Media, and Animation. Application deadlines: January 15 & 10, 2013.

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  • American Apparel - Made in Downtown LA—vertically integrated manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of clothing
  • Mixed Greens - Currently on view are Christina Mazzalupo’s Prognosis: Doom paintings and Jonathan Feldschuh’s window installation Large Hadron Collider.
  • Pernod Absinthe - The Art & Absinthe Guide to Brooklyn – mobile interaction with the thriving ...

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Rhizome Digest: Best of Rhizome November

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