LOL was sad to learn of the passing of Walter De Maria last week. While he created significant installations like the New York Earth Room and The Lightning Field (that was immortalised on the cover of Robert Hughes’ key tome American Visions), he’s lesser known for his forays into music. Heavily entrenched in all manner of 1960s ‘happenings’ in New York, De Maria played with Lou Reed and John Cale in a band called the Primitives, who later went on to become the Velvet Underground.
In a 1972 interview with the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art De Maria described the tug between art and music: “I could have stayed with that band…it was a beautiful, really great band…And it was very tiring to bring all the drums around, and then after playing all night, you couldn’t do anything during the day. I thought, are you going to play or are you going to do the sculpture? You know, are you going to be an artist or a musician?”
Obviously he chose the former, but for a taste of De Maria’s musical side, have a listen to this 1966 recording of ‘Ostrich’, by the Primitives (above).
Curatorial collective Superkaleidoscope (co-directed by Australian artists Kim Fasher and Sarah Mosca) has taken an old school approach to supporting artists – they’re looking for patrons. Each month they’ll select one emerging artist to promote, running an advertisement like the one above on their behalf in the Weekend Business section of the Sydney Morning Herald. If you think you’re deserving of some patronage, you can make a submission to Superkaleidoscope via email.
Following in the footsteps of its neighbours Singapore and Indonesia, Thailand is planning a biennale of its own. Launching in late 2014, the country’s first biennale won’t be taking place in the capital. Rather, the event will be staged in the touristy beach town of Pattaya, an area renowned for its “severe lack of culture”, according to Thasnai Sethaseree, one of three creative practitioners working on the event. He says; “It’s empty in a sense. Things happen there, but nothing in the creative field. That means we can make something out of this emptiness. There are no constraints.” The biennale theme and actual dates have not yet been released and will be determined by Sethaseree’s fellow project managers; curators Gridthiya Gaweewong and Pier Luigi Tazzi.
Jay Z’s taken his art wank to the next level this week with a 6-hour ‘endurance performance’ at Pace Gallery in New York. The rapper performed his new single ‘Picasso Baby’ over and over to an audience filled with fans and art-world heavyweights alike. Attendants included Girls producer Judd Apatow, art critic Jerry Saltz (who had this to say about the performance) and artists including Marilyn Minter, Laurie Simmons, Marina Abramovic and Laurence Weiner. According to crowd member and artist Adam Pendleton however “It was a little unclear when Lawrence Weiner came out if Jay-Z had any idea who he was.” Awkward.
Footage gleaned from the performance will eventually be edited into a music video to accompany the single. While photographs and tweets were allegedly not permitted within the space, this hasn’t stopped them cropping up all over social media and Gothamist has some good snippets of pirated footage. The whole thing’s created quite a buzz, but LOL wonders if the result is anything more than a cleverly crafted situation where name dropping artists becomes another hollow signifier of status…
Electro pioneers Kraftwerk (who performed in Sydney earlier this year as part of Vivid) are exhibiting eight looped videos at Sprüth Magers in Berlin until August 31st. Made between 1974 and 2003, the collected footage in ‘Kraftwerk 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8’ charts the rise of electronic music generated by band co-founders Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in their Kling Klang Studio in Düsseldorf (where their closest neighbour was Gerhard Richter no less).
Like those who attend their concerts, visitors to the exhibition must wear special 3D glasses when viewing the work, reflecting the musicians’ positioning of their performances as completely integrated audio/visual events. The Tateshots clip above, produced during Kraftwerk’s February concert season at Tate Modern, offers further insight into their highly influential layering of music, sound, videos, sets and performance.