Author: Thomas Dreher  
Posted: 23.01.2003; 02:19:24
Topic: Question 6
Msg #: 641 (in response to 428)
Prev/Next: 640/
Reads: 49388

Art & Language: "Homes from Homes" & The Jackson Pollock Bar:

Michael Corris asks in answer 6/33, point one, for a more differentiated argumentation with examples: Here Michael Baldwin´s and Mel Ramsden´s explanations of "Homes from Homes" in the catalogue "too dark to read" (Musée d´Art Moderne de Lille Métropole, Villeneuve d´Ascq 2002, with CD-ROM, now part of the website of Lisson Gallery) left me unsatisfied. You speak here in question 6 and in the catalogue about new travesties and their consequencies for your early work but you don´t explain the kind of consequences you want to project with "Homes from Homes" back on your early work, and how you imagine the elder work transforms the view of its travesties.
The impression is unavoidable that you want to conceptualize your catalogue of works (presented f. e. in "Art & Language in Practice, vol.1: Illustrated Handbook) as the oeuvre of Art & Language whose meaning only the members of Art & Language can change. But more than only some parts of the multipart "Homes from Homes" look like primitive parodies for a talk show with jokes or like students´ works. Do you want to tell us: Now we want to be primitive? Maybe you want to be primitive or non-intellectual, than I can try to understand your attitude f. e. as a negation of a self interpretation. This implies that you want not to present a more or less explicit self interpretation, but you want to direct the observer´s attention to a real and a possible ouevre (as it could have been in the past if you may have chosen to do it in another way), to the difference between the elder works and the travesties. But here I have to return to the problem with the primitive jokes of some traviesties and other travesties which doesn´t offer anything more than very simple distributions of signs (abstract signs similar to groundfloor plans, meat, self portraits of artists who can´t sit down without destroying works, etc.). Is the difference between the references of the parodies and the possible parodies marked by a change of the style of presentation, a change from conceptual and/or decorative frameworks to conglomerations of primitive spots on the wall (installation of Homes from Homes 1 and 2, Musée d´Art Moderne de Lille Métropole, Villeneuve d´Ascq 2002)? Do you want to direct our attention to conglomerations of works which can´t offer possible concepts because they can´t be more than an amount of misleading attention markers (spots/travesties)?
Your answer can´t satisfy here that the works are switches (from where to where?). If you want the paintings to be conceptualized as works and imaginations of possible works (which could have been doesn´t but you did not) than they can be seen as exemplifications - of what? Your explanation of the paintings in switch-functions is problematic here: Are they a simple switch from one picture of a painting with hot spots to other picturtes of paintings? As if every painting presents itself as its own copy, and its own modification as a `false copy´? As a trivial exemplification of the usual mediatization of paintings which causes modifications after endless repetitions of reproductions (but digital copies remain the same, otherwise the net couldn´t function)? As paintings which imply their double existence as painted surfaces and as the origins of `pictures´ from paintings? As exemplifications of the paradox that they look `as if´ they are reproductions of itself meanwhile they are not really worth any reproduction (a waste of work, files and materials)? As anticipations of your repetitions of the elements of "Homes from Homes" for other combinations of these elements in other "Homes from Homes"? As a nightmare which provokes the fiction that it never ends?
Is any of these questions interesting at other places than in possible talk shows for artists (or, better: for students of art, f. e. Boris Groys´ The Art Judgement Show with students)? Are you ritualizing de- (and re-)auratization? How many deauratizing acts and events are necessary until they will gain their own aura? Is Art & Language at its present state a comedy which offers a mediatization between an art school and a talk show?
This is a nightmarish phantasy. Maybe, "Homes from Homes" are a `comedy´ disguised in a series of paintings: The studio is transverted via travesty production into a derivation of the Jackson Pollock Bar.
The actors of the Jackson Pollock Bar repeated some texts of Art & Language in performances. They simulated speech acts in pantomime simultaneously to voices from a tape. The performance appears as a double of the voices on tape which are doubles of texts and transcripts. These procedures of reproductions are a travesty of Peggy Phelan´s "ontology of performance" ("Unmarked: The Politics of Performance", London 1993, p.146: the present action as "performance´s only life" against "the economy of reproduction", "the circulation of representations of representations"), especially because the reproductions end in a performance quality: The differences between the loudspeakers´ voices and the actors who try to remain `in tune´ with the loudspeakers meanwhile they act in a minimal and not very surprising way (f. e. speaking and sitting around a table) have a quality of its own: They interfere in a gap between play-back in live-music and TV-shows with guests around tables. It is a kind of non-performance art, because the actors´ roles are "matrixed", but which kind of role do they play in "the play", bound by a taped text and with a fixed, on a chair sitting body? The role of the bureaucrat who doesn´t act more than in minimal moves of hands and mouth (in both performances at the vernissage in Villeneuve d´Ascq 2002)? The ironic non theatrical theatricality of these matrixed and staged (not a real stage, but a limit between actors and the public) non-performances ("plays" versus "happenings": "matrixed" versus "nonmatrixed performing", see Michael Kirby: Happenings. New York 1965, p.13,16s.,21,118,120) lacks "Homes from Homes", or I am not able to recognize it.
Thomas Dreher (


Last update: Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 2:04:45 AM.