Time and Space Come Into Play

“I have talked about this before, about the consequences of moving sculpture off its pedestal. Traditional sculpture on a pedestal either depicts a person, a place, or an event, so there is always an allegiance to the theme of the representation. Once you take the work off the pedestal, it’s in the same behavioral space as the viewer walking around it. Once that happens, time and space come into play, in terms of how you experience the sculpture in relation to the context and the field and your bodily movement. That’s an enormous change, the only comparison that can be made in terms of the three-dimensional world, is probably in urbanism and architecture. Certain modernist works, for example, Giacometti’s Woman With Her Throat Cut anticipated the move of sculpture to the floor but as a general concept it didn’t take hold until the late ‘60s. As to whether artists are conscious of their inventions, that’s difficult to say, because art making is not a program but rather a process of self-discovery.” [Richard Serra in conversation with Phong Bui]

Jeff Koons New Hoover Deluxe Shampoo Polishers 1980-86

“My problem with the found object is that even though it immediately transformed the field of possibilities I always thought it didn’t lead to a great deal of invention. That said it is also undeniable that Duchamp’s readymade is considered one of the most important contributions to twentieth century art. It called into question any agreed upon criterion for artistic production. Duchamp’s ready-made was an attempt to transcend mass production by placing a mass produced object in isolation and conferring upon it the special status of a fetish. In its isolation the object was non relational, non referential and disconnected. The problem of the readymade is that it eliminates critical subjectivities by substituting the art of making for the art of selection. It is a mere transposition of an object into an art object by display. Much of contemporary art has been animated by Duchamp. Today the endless re-iteration of the ready-made dominates the market and accounts for a lot of insipid surrealism.” [Richard Serra in conversation with Phong Bui]

I think the great thing about Warhol was his cynical, critical banality of conversing with the media. Warhol’s provocation is lost now and has been replaced by a superficial simulation of banality; that is banality for banality’s sake where everybody’s in on the meta-joke. Only the meta-joke of art about art can become tiresome real quick. Cynicism has been replaced with sentimentality. The problem with a lot of work today is its predictability. Its only allusion is to something we already know; it reframes, or re-references the known over and over again. It can’t possibly give us the same kind of inventive diversity and fulfillment and complex evolution of the formal language of art that invention can provide. I find it interesting that there’s no post-modernism that doesn’t deal with re-representation. [Richard Serra in conversation with Phong Bui]

One Comment

  • Anonymous

    Yes, lets be on search for unpredictable art work, btw the above Alberto Giacometti Woman with Her Throat Cut from 1932 is quite a good example. BR Hans

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