Untitled

November 26th, 2014


Kevin Barrett Weil, Untitled, 11/25/14, Stargazer lily bud, epoxy resin, water


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Peter Fend / Wire

November 24th, 2014


Peter Fend at Essex Street


Wire – “Map Ref. 41°N 93°W” [Live on Rockpalast, 1979]

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Every so often Bryce posts an image of an artwork published on Contemporary Art Daily alongside a music video published on his personal blog.


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Performance Proletarians

November 20th, 2014


Early in October we published the live broadcast of Performance Proletarians at Centre National d’Art Contemporain in Grenoble, conceived by Lili Reynaud-Dewar and Benjamin Valenza. Some additional still image documentation is available below.

Click here to view slideshow


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On the Passing of On Kawara

November 17th, 2014


On the Passing of On Kawara
Lei Yamabe

 

On July 10, 2014, David Zwirner Gallery announced the passing of On Kawara. While the announcement does not, of course, mention the very date of his departure, there were a few online articles that spread the false information that he left on the very date of the announcement (the gallery updated his biography a couple of days later as “29,771 days,” which in effect denied this misinformation). The other, perhaps more serious, problem was that numerous media reported that he “has died” or “is dead.” No, he did not die. The term “passing” is not a euphemistic expression here. He “passed away” in an absolutely literal sense.

I once compared his body of work that he started after moving to New York, such as the so-called “date paintings,” to quantum physics. As the artist never presents himself to public, nor accepts interviews, his paintings, telegrams, and postcards have been the only medium that could inform us of his state of being alive. However, it always does this ex post facto. While it is certain that On Kawara was alive “that today” when the painting was made, there is no evidence that he is really alive “this today” when we face the painting. Thus, on the present day, he is alive and dead at the same time, just like “Schrödinger’s cat.” This was my argument. I need, however, to correct this interpretation—now that I have come to understand that On Kawara has had no bodily life in the first place.

The key lies in his name. In the Japanese language system, a single Chinese character is given multiple pronunciations, consisting of a variety of Japanese and Sino-Japanese readings, and it seems that both his given and family names originally had different readings from On Kawara, while the original set of Chinese characters remains intact. As for his family name, it is almost certain that it must be Kawahara, because there is circumstantial evidence: the renowned designer who is supposed to be On Kawara’s brother is Jun Kawahara, and the person who is very often given special thanks in many of Kawara’s books, who must be his partner, is Hiroko Kawahara. As for his given name, which sounds quite unusual as a Japanese name, a rumor has circulated in Japan for a long time that he changed the original Japanese reading of its Chinese character, which would be most probably Atushi, into On, its Sino-Japanese reading. There is no absolute proof about this shift, but it is not unlikely at all because such a way of adjusting one’s own name was a very common habit among Japanese artists and photographers especially between the 50s and the 70s. So, just as a hypothesis for my discussion here, let’s say his “real name” is Atsushi Kawahara, just like how his name seems to have been misprinted in a Japanese encyclopedia in the 90s.

While the name “On Kawara” was already used at latest in 1952 for his supposedly first known painting titled “Thinking Man,” the true potential of this new name was realized only after he became lost from people’s view by 1966. He became invisible, which means he virtually lost his body. He turned into an unsubstantial and immaterial existence, and has been so ever since. Such a mode of existence is completely equal to that of so-called consciousness or spirit, or a fictional character. Meanwhile, Atushi Kawahara had remained as the body. Serving as On Kawara’s ghostwriter, so to speak, he had painted paintings, arranged telegrams, and sent postcards.

If this has been the case, what is informed ex post facto by a “date painting” is actually not On Kawara’s being alive, but the fact that the consciousness called On Kawara and the body called Atsushi Kawahara were certainly connected, or the fact that the former was using the latter, on the very date it depicts. And, what falls in the state of superposition when we see it is not the body’s life/death but the mind-body connection/separation. This re-interpretation, given that the duality of his name was built into his practice in the first place, has much more a logical consistency rather than perceiving On Kawara as a single, holistic person where both the consciousness and the body are integrated. If so, the following could be said: Indeed, Atushi Kawahara must have died, yet On Kawara still exists, probably floating somewhere distant, just like a kite that is no longer connected to the person who was flying it, as its string has been cut. Furthermore, if we take the term “passing” in a precisely literal way, it could be also said that conceptually and essentially speaking, On Kawara existed even before Atsushi Kawahara was born, no matter when the artist name was practically created. That is because to “pass” away from a place one first needs to “come” from somewhere else. 81 years ago, Kawara came to this world and got connected to the body of Kawahara. After staying on the earth for 29,771 days, he departed as enough time had passed.

He is now in absolute silence. He no longer provides us with any medium that could transmit his invisible state. I miss him, but I am not sad. Because On Kawara, who has finally turned back into a pure consciousness, must be somewhere still today, being—forgive me to use this phrase even after stating he has no bodily life—”still alive.”

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Original Japanese edition printed in Bijutsu Techo, vol. 66, no. 1010, p. 205, Bijutsu Shuppan-sha, Tokyo, 2014
English translation by Yuki Okumura

Lei Yamabe is an art critic born in 1978. Her essays include “On Kawara’s Quantum Gravitational Body, or the Confinement of Space-Time and the Liberation of Consciousness,” printed in On Kawara: Date Painting(s) in New York and 136 Other Cities, Ludion and David Zwirner, 2012 (English translation by Christopher Hill).


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Flowers

October 28th, 2014


Chosen by A.B.


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Pamela Rosenkranz / Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

October 21st, 2014


Pamela Rosenkranz at Kunsthalle Basel


Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – “Genetic Engineering”

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Every so often Bryce posts an image of an artwork published on Contemporary Art Daily alongside a music video published on his personal blog.


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Flowers

October 14th, 2014


Chosen by O.M.


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Performance Proletarians

October 8th, 2014


“MAGASIN – Centre National d’Art Contemporain in Grenoble, France is proud to present the live broadcast of a 36 hours program of performances conceived by Lili Reynaud-Dewar and Benjamin Valenza: Performance Proletarians!!! Join Us!. This dedicated internet channel will broadcast live performances and a live mixed video program from MAGASIN  from Thursday 9 October at 12pm until Friday 10 October at midnight of the year 2014.”

Schedule of performances


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TwoHOTEL

October 8th, 2014


TwoHOTEL is a structure on a beach in Brazil created by the artist Fabian Marti and inspired by Alighiero Boetti’s One Hotel, a sort of unofficial residency program that he ran from a home in Kabul, Afghanistan in the 1970s. Recently, Lena Henke and Marie Karlberg, artists who founded ML Artspace, were in residence at TwoHOTEL. A recreation of TwoHOTEL and the output of Henke and Karlberg’s residency was also recently exhibited at the Rietberg Museum‘s park in Zurich, Switzerland.

Click here to view slideshow

Overview of Two Hotel

Text by Phillip Zach

Text by Mitchell Anderson

More…


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Flowers

September 29th, 2014


Chosen by T.D.


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