November 9, 2015 Kommentare deaktiviert für STATEMENT – DECLARATION – ERKLAERUNG
The following items (posts) are part of private, sometimes intimate ruminations – called ‚The DIARY‘.
Quasi mirroring actual sensivities. Reflecting my thinking and acting.

My Produktion is centered around Photography, Painting and Collage. Click on the specific TAGS!

Tagged with:

On of the earliest painting

September 29, 2016 Kommentare deaktiviert für On of the earliest painting


Tagged with:

Holland Cotter’s Art-Life – A Memory Museum

September 28, 2016 Kommentare deaktiviert für Holland Cotter’s Art-Life – A Memory Museum

A Lifetime of Looking, Magically Recovered
A Memory Museum, Courtesy of a Critic-Curator

Continue reading the main story
Share This Page


Credit David Plunkert

The only history you can really know is your own. The only art I’m truly an expert on is art I’ve experienced firsthand. As a critic, I’m partly a research analyst, comparing and evaluating new data. But I’m also a curator of my memory, which carries traces of art encounters from over the years. A few of those encounters — with certain objects, books, buildings — have altered the atmosphere, changed how I see and joined a permanent collection that I regularly revisit.

How would I describe that collection? Eclectic, for sure. What would an exhibition of it look like? Haphazard, perhaps. What would I need, as curator, to produce such a show in real time? Unlimited space, a carte-blanche budget and expert support: art handlers, historians, translators, conservators, architectural engineers and heavy-equipment operators, with permission-granting government and religious authorities, a cadre of crisis managers and the F.B.I. on call.

The show would have no theme except my biography, chronologically by the decade, beginning with books of lectures by John L. Stoddard that I encountered as a kid in the 1950s. Stoddard was a 19th-century career traveler who supported himself by giving public talks about his jaunts to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. In 1897 he published the lectures in 10 volumes illustrated with photographs. My grandfather had the complete set, and I pored over exotic images of samurai and yogis, Buddhist shrines, Mughal tombs and Hindu temples shaped like spacecraft. Stoddard reads like Mr. Orientalism today. But he made me a cultural traveler, and I still have the volumes, now falling apart, that I looked at most: on China, Japan and India.
Vermeer’s “The Concert.” Credit Reuters

The show’s first piece, however, would be a painting, Vermeer’s “The Concert,” though its inclusion would mean negotiating a tricky loan. The picture was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990 and has not been recovered. Art can give us a standard of perfection against which to measure the world, and Vermeer’s picture, with its trio of musicians rehearsing in a room bathed in wintry light, was the first art to do that for me. The F.B.I. is still on the theft case. So I’d get a list of the suspects and write a letter to each, respectfully asking to borrow the painting briefly and guaranteeing its return.

I was a literature major in college in the 1960s, but as a freshman, I had a science requirement to fulfill. After scouring the listings, I discovered a single doable option: an anthropology course called Primitive Art, which met in an ethnology museum with a fabulous collection of African masks. The instant I saw them, I was hooked, and the more I learned about their origins, the more alive they seemed. Aliveness was the key. This was the first time I was aware of art that meant to do something: heal you, instruct you, scold you, make you laugh, make you shriek. The museum eventually put those masks in storage. For my show, I’d bring them back out.
Hagia Sophia. Credit Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times

By 1968, I was in Europe with a backpack and a Eurail pass, hitting museums and churches in 12 countries. Through the hostel grapevine, I heard that Turkish Airlines was offering a 60 percent student discount on flights to Istanbul. A few days later, I was standing, transfixed, under the anti-gravitational dome of Hagia Sophia. Inside that sixth-century Byzantine basilica, turned 15th-century mosque, turned 20th-century museum, I felt I was barely in Europe, and I suddenly emotionally understood the spiritual power of built space. How to convey that sensation in an exhibition? Architecture is, after all, the most you-have-to-be-there art form of all. I’d swing a deal with the Turkish government and borrow the Hagia Sophia interior.
Art That Changed Your Life

Which works of art have changed the way you look at the world? Post your responses in the comments.

In the 1970s, I came to New York, settled a few blocks below the World Trade Center and started writing about contemporary art. The city was a mess, but Lower Manhattan was calm and empty. Battery Park City was a vast open meadow by the Hudson, where, beginning in 1978, under the auspices of Creative Time, artists created temporary outdoor sculptures.

Patsy Norvell’s ephemeral 1978 “New York Ripple,” a strip of fencing near the World Trade Center. Credit Creative Time

I remember one called “New York Ripple,” by Patsy Norvell, who died last year. Materially, it was barely anything: a strip of cheap fencing that unfurled like a paint stroke beneath the twin towers. Yet its meaning for me now, with the art world a money machine, is complex and urgent: frailty set against might, impermanence as power. The piece is long gone. But I want it in the show, even if it takes a time machine to retrieve it.

The 1980s were travel-intensive. My Byzantine interest took me to the Eastern Orthodox monastic community of Mount Athos, the Holy Mountain, on a peninsula in northern Greece, where outside visitors — men only, mostly religious pilgrims — were granted the equivalent of a four-day visa. You slept and ate at some of the 20 monasteries, never the same one twice, and hiked from one to another. Each had a church filled with centuries-old painted icons, which the monks sang to and kissed and coddled as if they were living things, which, if you believe, they are. Look into the eyes of the Athos icons in my show, and they will, no question, return your gaze.

Back in New York, I went with a friend to see a show at Japan Society called “The Great Age of Japanese Buddhist Sculpture, A.D. 600-1300” and decided to go where that art had come from. Soon I was in Kyoto, then Nara, then out in the countryside, visiting temples. I spoke no Japanese; almost no one I met spoke English. It was a long, utterly silent sojourn, entirely about looking, and I saw many beyond-eloquent things. For the show, I would single out a seventh-century wood sculpture of Miroku Bosatsu, the Buddha of the Future, preserved at the Chuguji convent in Nara. With his tea-colored skin, closed eyes and unassailable smile, he is silence embodied.

India, where Buddhism began, had to be the next stop. The vivacity of the place is overwhelming, exhilarating, addictive. And it surges through early Buddhist sculpture. The Indian Museum in Kolkata has a monumental example: a tall sandstone railing dated around 100 B.C. that once encircled a stupa at Bharhut in central India.
Continue reading the main story

This is a different kind of art from the figure in Nara. It’s an art of appetites and dramas. Nature spirits carved on the railing pillars are all Kardashian curves. The story of the Buddha’s life is cut in relief, its crossbars as raucous as a telenovela. They’re part of an old, Edenic world where art, life and faith met, spring-fresh, and everything and everyone was welcomed into the picture. For the show, I could ask the Indian Museum for the loan of a pillar or two, each a stand-alone sensation. But, no. I’ll take the whole railing, thank you, keep its great circle intact.

By the 1990s, circles were shattering in New York City, as AIDS claimed friends and lovers we had hoped to grow old with. Many were artists, and entire careers vanished when people died, and apartments were emptied onto the street. Some of this art is in my memory museum; a lot of it just never got there. I’d hire a global network of researchers, young and old, to track down AIDS-orphaned art. I’d fill galleries with the results of their searches and add more space as more findings arrived. No limits. Whatever it takes to ensure that history lives.

A moonrise over the Great Mosque at Djenne in Mali. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

At this point, nearing the present, my dream show would start to wind down. What conclusions, if any, might be drawn from it? That art is as much about ideas as it is about things, about emotions as much as about materials. That it’s about politics, always, but also about devotion. That past and present in art are indivisible and equally alive. That art is alive to the degree we make it so, take it personally, think with it, live with it, become invested in our memory museums.

In 2011 I went to Africa. I saw the masks that had knocked me out in college being danced. I found icons as powerful as those at Athos. And I experienced another architecture-and-light epiphany: This one was at the Great Mosque at Djenne in Mali. During a day and part of a night, I watched this astonishing adobe building change before my eyes, turning from rose pink at dawn, to earth umber at noon, to blue-black under stars in moonlight. Those dynamic images are my permanent holdings. With the kind permission of Djenne’s citizens and the cooperation of a dream team of engineers, I would fly in the mosque itself for my show of a lifetime, moonlight, stars and all.

…the critic Holland Cotter of the N.Y.timesas a fellow enthusiast in exploring and valuating Art. Look f.e. at the n.y. times 6.08.14 where Mr. Cotter gave an overview of his lifelong activities in the visual Arts.

Tagged with:

Exorcism – Maerchen

September 27, 2016 Kommentare deaktiviert für Exorcism – Maerchen

Tagged with:

Werkbundprojekt in Berlin

September 26, 2016 Kommentare deaktiviert für Werkbundprojekt in Berlin

dscn9756 to continue… »

Tagged with:

My relation to Mierle Laderman Ukeles – !980

September 22, 2016 Kommentare deaktiviert für My relation to Mierle Laderman Ukeles – !980

touch_01 click on the picture!

The year 1980 was a crucial one in my Art-Career and in my thinking over ART generally.

Just returned from L.A. I wrote in Berlin a – not published – ‚Art-History‘ of the twentieth century. This ‚History‘ ended with Mierle Laderman Ukeles‚ „Touch Sanitation“- Project (1978 – 1980), an Art/Life-Experiment which included a ‚Handshake Ritual‘ with workers of the New York Department of Sanitation.
These ‚Handshakes‘ I took as a speaking sign, ART in the conventional sense being definitely over. Sort of ‚Good by‘ to (oldfashioned) Art.( Painting especially was seen as a dreadful business.) Other Artists shunned their ART-careers for political ones.An „Ideology“, best described by Tom Wolf’s: „The Painted Word“ (1975).

Betroffen hat mich:
Diesem gleichalterigen Menschen, einer Frau, noch einmal zu begegnen!
Indirekt, wie beim erstem Mal in Chicago. Mich nochmals an Ihre Arbeit ganz klar zu erinnern und mich von ihr wiederum – wie von Anfang an – als eingefangen zu begreifen. (Seit den ersten Jahren in den Staten.) Eine Arbeitweise – SANITATION/MAINTENANCE aus medizinischer Sicht – ueber Jahre mit einer aehnlichen Besessenheit, durchgezogen zu haben. Bis es perfekt bis zu einem natuerlichen Ende gebracht war. Ohne Kompromisse.
Pures ART/LIFE Denken.Kuenstlerisches mit dem Leben zu verbinden.

Holland Cotter hat die Mitive der Ukeles klarsichtig beschrieben. Einschlieslich der religioesen Untertoene.

Mierle Laderman Ukeles – Social Mirror(1983)

Tagged with:

“Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art” by HOLLAND COTTER

September 22, 2016 Kommentare deaktiviert für “Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art” by HOLLAND COTTER

Images from Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s “Touch Sanitation Performance” of 1979-80, the first of many projects she has made for, and with, New York’s Department of Sanitation. Credit Agaton Strom for The New York Times

An Artist Redefines Power. With Sanitation Equipment.

Continue reading the main story
Share This Page

Full and exemplary retrospectives of major but under-known American artists are rare. The Museum has such a show in “Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art,” which opens on Sunday.

Ms. Ukeles is probably most familiar for her nearly four-decade stint as official, though unsalaried, artist-in-residence with New York’s Department of Sanitation. What the show gives us, though, is something less easily packaged: a conceptualist who has always grounded far-looking ideas in here-and-now situations and things, and a social revolutionary who understands the power of service.

She was born in Denver in 1939, the child of a rabbi, and had art on her mind early on. New York City, she knew, was where enterprising artists should go. That’s where her youthful heroes Jackson Pollock, Marcel Duchamp and Mark Rothko were, or had been. So in the early 1960s, she went and enrolled at Pratt Institute.
Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s mirror-covered garbage truck, “The Social Mirror,” will visit the Queens Museum on weekends during show. Credit Agaton Strom for The New York Times

Problems arose. The work she was doing — painting and sculpture hybrids, bulging with rag-and-tinfoil-stuffed breastlike and phallic forms — were poorly received by the mostly male faculty. Too messy, they said. Too sexual. She should change direction, meaning clean up her act. She left.

She rented a studio and designed inflatable architecturally scaled rubber and vinyl versions of bulbous forms, envisioning them as sculptures that could be attached to buildings, occupied, then folded up and put away. Then in 1966, she married and two years later had a child. Problems again. Raising an infant and running a home was a full-time job. No time for the studio. She was now a successful domestic worker and a failed artist.

And she was furious. So she sat down and started to write a clarifying, role-redefining letter-of-intent-to self. She titled it “Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969!” and it read, in part: “I am an artist. I am a woman. I am a wife. I am a mother. (random order). I do a hell of a lot of washing, cleaning, cooking, renewing, supporting, preserving, etc. Also, (up to now separately) I ‘do’ art.”
Ms. Ukeles’s “Ceremonial Arch IV.” Credit Agaton Strom for The New York Times

“Up to now separately” was the pivotal phrase. From that time forward, she would continue her everyday life but, with a nod to Duchamp, redefine it as art. “My working will be the work,” as she put it. And so it has been, in often complex, increasingly monumental forms, for the past 45 years.
Continue reading the main story

The Queens retrospective — her first comprehensive one, organized by Larissa Harris, a curator at the museum, and the art historian Patricia C. Phillips — revisits much of it, primarily through documents and photographs, along with a few large sculptures and installations. (Ms. Phillips’s extensive catalog essay is an invaluable addition: Facts, style, wisdom, they’re all there.)

The manifesto — four typewritten pages hanging alone on a wall — marks the chronological start of the show, which flows through galleries that wrap around the museum’s high-ceilinged atrium. The initial examples of Maintenance Art were modest chamber pieces, at-home performances: dress the kids (by the early 1970s she had two); sort the socks (she arranged black ones into calligraphic characters); photograph everything; and (this came later) stamp the documentary results with an authenticating seal.
“Maintain Your Destiny: Earth Exchange: Ransom Piece” by Ms. Ukeles, at the Queens Museum. Credit Agaton Strom for The New York Times

Pretty soon she went public. In 1973, the always-ahead-of-everyone critic and historian Lucy Lippard asked her to create some work for a traveling all-woman group show of Conceptual Art. The first version of the piece, which was a performance, took place at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. It was a beauty.

There Ms. Ukeles (pronounced YOU-kah-lees) basically did what she usually did at home: She cleaned and made sure the premises were secure. In a museum these are the tasks of maintenance workers and security guards, not artists. Unless an artist calls them art, which she did, and they flipped conventional hierarchies of value upside down, turning art into a kind of chore, and chores into a kind of ceremony.

After being shown the ropes by the Atheneum staff, she locked and unlocked galleries; polished display cases; and two days later returned, alone, to wash the museum’s front step on her hands and knees. Photographs of the washing are now classic 1970s images. In them, feminism, institutional critique, sly humor and self-possessed humility unite. It’s a wonderful image, heroic in a sneakers-and-jeans way, a power of example, a reminder that it’s high time some of our filthy rich 21st century museums got a scrub-down.
“Washing/Tracks/Maintenance Outside” by Mierle Laderman Ukeles. Credit Agaton Strom for The New York Times

On principle and by temperament, Ms. Ukeles is a team player, and she gradually expanded the size of her teams. In 1976, in a piece for the now-closed Lower Manhattan branch of the Whitney Museum of American Art, she recruited 300 office maintenance workers as collaborators. For five months, she took individual photos of them as they went through their eight-hour shifts. Then she asked each to label the images of their labor as “art” or “work.”

Some 700 of the photos are in the Queens show. It’s not always easy to discern a logic behind the labeling, though sometimes it is. For one middle-age office cleaner, effort seemed to be the defining criterion. When she was vacuuming, that was work. When she was dusting, that was art. It’s possible that, by having to make the choice, she would view her job and life differently thereafter, as Ms. Ukeles was viewing her own life and work.

Ms. Ukeles’s big break came later that year. Her Whitney piece was reviewed in The Village Voice. The writer quipped that maybe Maintenance Art, which consisted “of all the routine chores most people hate,” might find some wider civic application, with the Department of Sanitation, say. Ms. Ukeles clipped the review and sent it to the department. Management called and said: Come talk to us. She did, and she’s been their on-site artist more or less ever since.
A video installation, “Snow Workers Ballet,” from a series of “Work Ballets.” Credit Agaton Strom for The New York Times

Now she was working with a really big team, and this one was in crisis mode. New York was broke. (These were the “Ford to City: Drop Dead” days.) People were scared and angry, and garbage collectors, never much respected, were targets of abuse. Ms. Ukeles, who saw the clear value of their work, and the care they took, resolved to help. Her epic “Touch Sanitation Performance” of 1979-80 was the result.

For 11 months, she traveled the boroughs and personally introduced herself to all of the department’s 8,500 workers on their beats. She greeted each with a handshake and the words “Thank you for keeping New York City alive.” The show has videos of these meetings, some on view for the first time, and they’re very moving. It’s clear that for some of the men — almost all the workers were men — Ms. Ukeles’s gesture came as a kind of secular benediction, and the energy flowed both ways. They took her as seriously, and generously, as she took them.

For the retrospective, the museum has marked out, in tiny lights on its famed Panorama of New York City, all the meet-and-greets Ms. Ukeles made for the piece. And this mapping of a highly personalized, and at some level deeply private, work of public art turns the city into a field of winking stars.

“Touch Sanitation” was the first of many projects Ms. Ukeles has made for, and with, the department, including a delightful series of “Work Ballets,” choreographed for sanitation equipment. In 1983, for the First New York City Art Parade, she sent a mirror-covered garbage collection truck rumbling up Madison Avenue, with six mechanical sweepers pirouetting behind. The resplendent truck, called “The Social Mirror” and still preserved by the department, will visit the museum, under “sanmen” guard, on weekends during the show’s run.

In recent years, Ms. Ukeles has focused on ecological projects, among them the transformation of a former sanitation landfill, Fresh Kills, on Staten Island, into park. The site, once one of the world’s largest dumps, closed in 2001, reopened after the destruction of the World Trade Center, then closed again this year. Ms. Ukeles describes it as “a 50-year-old social sculpture we have all produced” from “undifferentiated, unnamed, no-value garbage,” and a public asset that we can, with loving care, repair and preserve. Her proposals for the park are on view in the museum’s atrium; she’ll lead a tour of the site in November.

Care, repair and preservation are what Ms. Ukeles’s art has been about right along. It’s as if her early realization that self-empowerment comes not through fighting but through redefining the meaning of power had given her a usable awareness of vulnerability in the world. That awareness has taken her, in ways extremely rare in contemporary art, through potential barriers of class and gender; it has given her an enviable ease with spirituality (her Jewish faith is central to her life); and it has let her produce work that’s as companionable as a shared meal and as serious as art can be.
“Ceremonial Arch Honoring Service Workers IV” at the retrospective. Credit Andrea Mohin/The New York Times


Mierle Laderman Ukeles in her “Touch Sanitation Performance,” from 1979-80. Credit Robin Holland

“Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art” continues through Feb. 19 at Queens Museum, New York City, Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park; 718-592-9700;

A version of this article appears in print on September 16, 2016, on page C17 of the New York edition with the headline: Redefining Power With Everyday Labor. Order Reprints| Today’s Paper|Subscribe

Tagged with:

Busoni 3

September 17, 2016 Kommentare deaktiviert für Busoni 3


Tagged with:


September 14, 2016 Kommentare deaktiviert für Star-War-Phantasy


Tagged with:

© Horst Basse - Technik: Wordpress - Anpassung und Bereitstellung: Dirk Faber