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Pipilotti Rist: Relational Aesthetician?

Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters)
November 19, 2008–February 2, 2009
Museum of Modern Art, Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, second floor

Tuesday, November 18, 2008. Don't look now, but MoMA seems to be entering the Relational Aesthetics sweepstakes with their installation of Pipilotti Rist's Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters). It opens about a month after the Guggenheim's group foray into RA, theanyspacewhatever.

I missed today's press opening, but as Rist outlines the project in the attached video, she definitely envisions it as an interactive work. She wants people to "bring their bodies to the museum", to come into the huge atrium and feel "stretched". She hopes to "redirect" the institution "to the body of the visitors". Her images, loaded onto hard disk and edited into various sequences, are arranged into seven distinct programs, thrown by seven banks of video projectors, to create a seamless 25-foot-high enveloping projection that covers all four walls.

In the center of the atrium is a large round seating and lounge area, a sofa that encloses a central padded platform with additional throw pillows. Rist feels that it resembles an eye, the dark interior pupil surrounded by a larger white circle. She expects people to orient themselves in various directions and in various postures as they watch her video unfold, and cites rolling, singing and the practice of yoga asanas as particularly apt viewing responses.

The video is ten minutes long and non-narrative, condensed from an original fifty minute loop. The protagonists include one human, one pig, several earthworms and two snails, and the soundtrack - squishy, synthesized "body" sounds in addition to a more melodic portion - will be played by speakers arranged within the seating area, to better contain the work within the museum. Pour Your Body Out uses shots and sequences from a narrative feature film that Rist plans to release in 2009.

Comments on "Seven Days in the Art World"

My comments on Seven Days in the Art World, a new book by Sarah Thornton published by W. W. Norton, appear below the cover image. They were first posted online in a thread on the book on Artworld Salon.

He said, she said. When Ms. Thornton indicates she "worked hard to gain access" I do believe her. She seems to have established first name basis, in relatively short order, with a whole slew of movers and shakers, from auction house honchos to art dealers, from globe hopping curators to critics and academics, from magazine editors to museum directors, from artists to collectors.

Jerry's Night at the Guggenheim

Jerry Saltz was allowed an overnight stay at the Guggenheim Museum in the context of theanyspacewhatever exhibition, which I have previously discussed on these pages, but have not yet seen.

My comments below were first posted online in response to his review of the exhibition, and the experience, in New York Magazine.

Bush Takes Lame Duck Aim at Spiral Jetty?

By an executive order ironically announced on Election Day, the Bush administration opened up 360,000 acres of land in Utah to oil and natural gas drilling, scheduled to begin in December. One can only begin to wonder about the favors being paid back by this lame duck cowboy wannabee, and the harm he can still do as his powers diminish and his days are waning. It recalls Saruman in Lord of the Rings: even after he is dethroned and banished from his fortress, he still harbors enough residual malice to ravage the Shire.

Art in the New Nation of Obama

First the victory speech, in three parts (it can be clicked through), for anyone who went to bed early last night.

The right guy won last night, in my opinion the only possible guy. A McCain/Palin administration was unthinkable. I heard a number of people say they would move to Australia or Canada in such an eventuality. Then again, many spoke similarly before four years of Bush Père and eight years of W. Despite the suffering brought on by the Republicans - the wars, the sagging economy, the unilateral invasions, the stupid arrogance and secrecy, the lies and doublethink, the alienation of the US in world diplomacy, the hideous, hateful partisanship - America is amazingly resilient.

Clueless Sarah Palin Pranked by a Faux Sarkozy


This story has spread all over the internet, but from the International Herald Tribune (among many sources) comes word that Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin was successfully misled by two comedians last Saturday into thinking she was speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Known as "The Masked Avengers", the Canadian duo, Sébastien Trudel and Marc-Antoine Audette of CKOI, a radio station in Montreal, have pulled similar stunts on Mick Jagger, Bill Gates, Britney Spears, Jacques Chirac, Tiger Woods, and even on Sarkozy himself. But this was their coup de grace: pranking an already questionable candidate who would be the first female VP - just a heartbeat away from having her finger on the nuclear trigger - on the very eve of a hotly contested US presidential election. It casts further doubt on her judgment and readiness to assume important responsibilities.

Kenyan Song of Praise for Barack Obama

Barack Obama's father is from Kenya, and one of that East African country's well known musical groups, Kenge Kenge, has created a song of praise and support for their native son. Above is the "studio version", a video edited and produced in the UK. Below is a more extended and extemporaneous performance, seemingly recorded live at a backyard party in Nairobi.

Sperone Westwater Will Move to Bowery in December 2009

Sperone Westwater has announced that the gallery will move to a new building at 257 Bowery in December 2009. British based Foster + Partners, headed by Norman Foster with Architects of Record Adamson Associates, have been commissioned to build the new nine-story gallery located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, one block north of the New Museum. Prompted by Sperone Westwater’s increasing need for larger and more flexible space, the Foster + Partners design will double the exhibition area and provide a variety of rooms for the gallery’s ambitious and diverse program.

Pre-Election Benefit for "Holler Back" at Katra, Monday, November 3

Holler Back, a film written and directed by Lulu Fries’dat, is a dynamic exploration of why more young people are still not voting and participating in politics. The project needs to raise an additional $ 40,000 to cover finishing costs. A pre-election benefit is being held at

Katra, 217 Bowery, New York
Monday, November 3, starting 6:30 pm
Information and tickets:

Obama on The Daily Show: Fear and the Bradley Effect

Wednesday, October 29 was Barack Obama's fourth appearance on The Daily Show. Jon Stewart asked some pointedly funny questions about the demonizing tactics that the Republicans have used and the negative punditry on the possibilities of an African American presidency.

Stewart: So much of this has been about fear of you. An elitist. A celebrity. A Muslim terrorist sympathizer. A socialist. A Marxist. A witch ...
The polls have you up, but then they keep talking about this Bradley Effect, this idea that white voters will tell pollsters they can vote for an African American, but they won't actually do it.

Obama: They've been saying that for a while, but we're still here. I don't think white voters have gotten this memo about the Bradley Effect.

S: Are you concerned that you may go into the voting booth, and your white half will all of a sudden decide, "I can't do this."

O: It's a problem. I've been going through therapy to make sure that I vote properly.

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