Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.

JH

Bandau Wall Reliefs

AA
View Discussion
Joachim Bandau reliefs upstairs at Two Rooms Joachim Bandau, Untitled, 2010, Bagan lacquer (tree resin) over plywood, black, 2 pieces, 44 x 40 x 2.5 cm Joachim Bandau, Untitled, 2010, Bagan lacquer (tree resin) over plywood, cinnabar red, 39 x 33 x 2.5 cm Joachim Bandau, Untitled S-NZ 43, watercolour on Fabriano Artistico, 760 x 560 mm

The balsa sheets are painted with lacquer in glossy black or cinnabar red. Because many coats of lacquer are used (often up to ten) the edges of the wood become softened and planes shiny, making the components look as if steel lies under the colour. The paint surface is subtly viscous and undulating.

Auckland

 

Joachim Bandau

 

15 April 2011 - 14 May 2011

Joachim Bandau is known primarily in this country for his large watercolours of overlapping black planes that look like transparent tinted glass sheets splayed out in full, sensitively edged, glory. The illusion of spatial depth you get from peering through these skewed stacks (as if positioned above and looking down) is extraordinary. There is one included on the end wall.

It is this context that makes his current exhibition all the more puzzling. On the long upstairs gallery wall Bandau has positioned nine sculptural reliefs, made of suspended balsa sheets - usually three deep - hanging from their top corners on horizontally projecting spikes. Gravity is an important feature, for you can see they hang loosely on the thin steel supports.

These sheets are painted with lacquer - glossy black or cinnabar red - the latter being a little like burnt sienna. Because many coats of lacquer are used (often up to ten) the edges of the wood become softened and planes shiny. The components look as if steel lies under the colour, and the paint surface subtly viscous and undulating. Some of the black works have wisps of cinnabar on their edges, as if momentary powdery traces.

Other reliefs feature projecting strips glued on to a single plane so that their horizontal or vertical edges stick out, protruding into real space. Deep shadows are cast behind and very light ones over the front.

What is surprising is the unrelenting opacity of the lacquer. Unsee-through-able and reflective it creates the illusion of weight, the appearance of curtailed mass. Yet the scale of the physical objects seems too dinky - the idea of paradox needs to be pushed further. Even though I appreciate that Bandau is probably guided (indeed limited) by the thinness of the ply sheets and the lengths and angles of their suspended edges, the resulting forms lack impact. They simply aren’t assertive enough: there is no magnetic presence that draws you into the stack of vertical parallel planes and makes you linger.

It is as if the limitations of the gallery wall, its ability to hold up a work, is the determining factor behind the sculpture size. My view is that wall reliefs to succeed, should be independent of such factors and have their own logic and dynamic, their own bodily impact.

John Hurrell

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

This Discussion has 34 comments.

Comment

Kim Finnarty, 5:16 p.m. 10 May, 2011

Hi John.

I take issue with your interpretation of Bandau’s relief work as being ‘dinky’.
Dinky is a common type of cast metal toy, a scale replica of an existing thing, often a motorcar. I take it that you mean to say that the works are out of scale, or as Bandau often calls himself a sculptor; as a series of maquettes.
I can’t imagine an exhibiting artist of 45 years would make this kind of mistake, or for that matter, an artist who crafts such profoundly contemplative ones.
There is an ‘understanding’ that simplified working practice should be compensated for by making the work big enough to engage the viewer on at least their own scale, this culminates, through Warhol’s ‘make it big, they like it that way’ dictum, in Bandau’s compatriot Keifer and his overblown, oversized Stadiumseinstellung paintings. Bandau breaks this convention of scale much in the way he breaks other conventions with the use of watercolour painting, especially as a male German sculptor.
These works are not grandiose or heroic; they are compressed, architectonic and assertive. They are not models for something else, they are not ornamental, they deserve recognition for what they are, rather than denigration for a perceived lack.

Reply to this thread

John Hurrell, 5:41 p.m. 10 May, 2011

Well Kim, I think they are too small. I don't accept that they are 'compressed, architectonic and assertive' at all. I'm not saying they should be massive or heroic, for just doubling their height would make a significant improvement. As they are they have no presence.

Reply to this thread

Kim Finnarty, 6:40 p.m. 10 May, 2011

So; Fail on the scale.

When you say doubling the height do you mean doubling the width too and increasing the area by the factor of four? Or simply etiolating the work to make it something more Rennie Macintosh?

Reply to this thread

John Hurrell, 7:10 p.m. 10 May, 2011

I'm thinking 'factor of four'. I dislike overblown humungous scale as much as anybody.

Reply to this thread

Roger Boyce, 8:12 p.m. 10 May, 2011

Hola John

Glad to see your online journal is now reconciled to accepting pseudonyms as comment- login nom de guerres.

Much as I enjoy Kim Finn arty's literate arguments he/she will always be William Blake to me.

Long live the sacred androgyne.

Reply to this thread

Kim Finnarty, 12:37 p.m. 11 May, 2011

Badly busted 'Rodger', but what is your real name eh?

More importantly what do you think of Johns notion that a painting can be the wrong size?

Reply to this thread

John Hurrell, 1:35 p.m. 11 May, 2011

Of course paintings can be the wrong size. Is that possibility not worthy of debate? Do some people really believe formal properties should never be discussed?

Reply to this thread

Roger Boyce, 10:30 p.m. 11 May, 2011

Sorry Kim/William Finnarty/Blake I can't really speak to the efficacy of the scale, of the particular work in question, as I haven't actually stood in front of the paintings.

My cranky idea of general principles (as they apply to art objects) though leads me to subscribe to the notion that the experience of scale - although mediated by the eye - is fundamentally a somatic experience.

What scale might (or might not) 'do' to the viewer is a matter of relative scale. The work's scale relative to the size of the viewer.

John Hurrell is relatively tall. Perhaps a short person (with the same work hung lower on the wall) would have an experience of these works as (ala Goldilocks) "just right."

Would a Gaston Lachaise or a Botero seem just right to a corpulent viewer...or an ectomorph be drawn to Gaicometti?

@John
I'm actually ONLY interested in the formal properties of work. Being a born again materialist I'd argue that that is all there is to a work of art and nothing more. If an artwork does anything it's a result of the formal decisions that have gone into it's making. That is unless one is a sort of aesthetic-animist and somehow believe that works of art are possessed of spirit.

An artwork's associative and/or fetishistic values are after-market add-ons. Like spoilers and skirts appended to a Japanese drift-car.

Both car and art can be vehicles of transformation but never vehicles of transcendence - as experience (even charged experience) is always grounded in affect... and whatever after-effect is catalyzed in the viewer themselves.

Catalysis (if any) takes place as result of an aggregate of formal decisions made flesh in the work itself and what a work (or appropriately enough) a body of work does to a viewer.

This thesis takes into account even the most historicist take on artworks - as formal decision, affect and their transformative potency are all deeply rooted in the vermicular compost of history.

Bedtime.

@Finnarty
My real name? Legion.

Reply to this thread

Andrew Paul Wood, 1:58 a.m. 12 May, 2011

@Roger
Last train to Gadara? I agree up to a point, but would suggest there are very few people in NZ informed or equipped enough (the exceptions being frequently found on this site) to discuss the formal values of art. Linguistic, literary, conceptual, and psychological theory have poisoned the chalice somewhat to the point where artists are almost expected to tell a story. Good abstract purism, rare enough, refreshes the pallate.

Reply to this thread

Kim Finnarty, 10:34 a.m. 12 May, 2011

John; Questioning of formal qualities in work like this is pretty much all that there is to do, but to interrogate the scale and express dismay is curious. My approach to this work would be;

. These relief sculptures feel too small.
. Is this a disturbance caused by the size of the
gallery or proximity of other works.
. Is the disquiet intended? Check out the title of the work.
. Double check issue with other people in gallery, is this my problem.
. Ask why is the artist doing this?

My guess, and it can only be a guess, is that the artist wants the viewer to stand closer to the work, probably to engage with the surface qualities in a more intimate way. This changes the sense of the work from being about effect, viewed from further away, to the process of making and painting.

This seems to fit with Bandau’s laborious watercolour practice which contain effect and process in equal measures.

Reply to this thread

Kim Finnarty, 10:37 a.m. 12 May, 2011

Rodger; Ground FX and Japanese Doriftas, classic.

Reply to this thread

John Hurrell, 12:07 p.m. 12 May, 2011

Kim, if you want to engage in conversation on this site you should join up again using your real name. Those are the house rules, stated clearly right from the start.

Reply to this thread

Roger Boyce, 7:27 p.m. 12 May, 2011

@A.P.W.
Trains to Gadara leaving every hour, on the hour. All-aboard!

@J.H.
There are exceptions to any rule John and I'd suggest that K.F. has legitimate reasons for remaining hooded and that his/her contribution to the exchange on EyeContact is too pithy to
risk losing over a one-size-fits-all rule.

Kim has always proven well behaved and thoughtful and has never, in my experience, used anonymity to slag-off or abuse other posters or artists' work he is addressing in his comments.

A Papal indulgence would be in order here.

Reply to this thread

John Hurrell, 8:15 p.m. 12 May, 2011

Roger, I am not a Sunday School teacher nor the Pope. Just someone trying to be consistent to other n-d-p-ers I had peppery conversations with a year or two back during EC Mark 1. I've nothing admonitory to say about Kim, apart from noting the deceit involved in joining up in the first place. As with these other people, the content of Kim's comments I like. But (sigh!) that is not the point.

Now that I'm in the mood for it, you saying you are ONLY interested in the formal properties of work is pure twaddle, contradicted entirely by your own practice - what I've seen of it in CHCH and Auckland.
Those who enjoyed The Illustrated History of Painting or The P Lab would not have been pondering whether you got the colours or the size or the position of the shapes right. The focus was on narrative and art history, amongst other things....

Reply to this thread

Creon Upton, 1:06 p.m. 13 May, 2011

I think, John, that Roger's already answered you with his point that "If an artwork does anything it's a result of the formal decisions that have gone into it's making."

The narrative and art history you mention are only present in the ways that they are because of the formal factors.

There's a reductive aspect to this - simply, form comes first, must do, always has.

But I think Roger means it more intuitively than that: the real question is never *what* to express, but *how* to express it. The idea, I think, is that the "how" comes to delimit and determine the "what" - to render the possibilities of its ontological space if you will - to the extent that the "it" is relegated to a place such that it only actually abides at the behest of its formal universe, and of formal exigencies - "made flesh in the work itself" - howevermuch it may seem to claim some autonomous, prior role as an agent of intention.

Reply to this thread

Roger Boyce, 1:34 p.m. 13 May, 2011

@ John

Really.Honestly. I am only interested in the formal properties of artworks. I'm not, as Kiwi's would have it, taking the piss.

I would submit that the evidences of my own practice in no way undermines, or puts the lie, to my statement or my exclusive allegiance to how things look, rather than what things (might) mean.

I don't think there is a sensible (intentional, unbroken and/or literally readable) narrative in either Nature Morte or The Illustrated History of Painting.

Narratives can, of course, be artist-encouraged or viewer-assigned. In the first instance it wasn't my intent to encourage (rather I'd discourage) narrative ... and in the second case I can hardly be held accountable for viewer-assigned readings.

In my defense I spend an inordinate amount of time weaning students away from the of-the-moment cultural default of going after meaning/interpretation like a single-minded hound on a blood-trail....all the while ignoring formal/visual trail-markers being (obliviously) sniffed past.

My primary interest, in the case of both projects, was their optical (and mirth) potential.

The P-Lab (really nothing more than a still-life) and The Illustrated History of Painting (really nothing more than a series of broadly slap-stick cartoon panels) use recognizable images (both works are ipso facto figurative so recognition/association are unavoidable)as points of departure. But, I maintain, the primary overriding concern - in their making - was how they LOOKED.

I don't mind at all when criticism is written, essays penned and discussions held wherein meaning is assigned to work made without the intent arrived at by those speculating on meaning.

In fact, if formal decisions are sound then the (actually) hollow and beautiful thing art is makes a better vessel for filling with all manner of fictions that will flow (inevitably) toward and fill it.

In the case of legions of contemporary works that front-load and (for all intents and purposes) exclusively attend meaning - to the detriment of formal concerns - such meaning ,assigned by the artist-maker, is necessary to caulk/fill the glaring formal gaps in the work's making - rendering it (depending on the meaning's cultural timing) a sound enough vessel for the holding of attached meaning (meaning potentially at odds with artist-assigned meaning).

Art, in much the same manner fresh scat draws flies, left anywhere near where audiences frequent, will soon be covered with winged meaning - whether the artist likes it or not.

(to be continued....)

Reply to this thread

Roger Boyce, 1:35 p.m. 13 May, 2011

(continued…..)
The optical reverberance of Nature Morte was our (mine and Marie-Claire Brehaut's) sole intent. Rummaging around for a retinally interesting photo of a still-life we ran across a photo of a mirrored domestic P-Lab - which did the trick.

The Illustrated History of Painting happened by accident while I was painting twisted little cartoons on ply discards - for the sole purpose of self-amusement and self-preservation. The title came to me as something that rose to the level of absurdity (and creative futility) possessed by the images themselves and by my life at the time.

Individual panel titles - while referring, sometimes explicitly, to historical moments in the visual arts - were after-the-fact and appended (again) for my own queer amusement. There is no literal, assigned meaning or narrative intent (except in the service of the absurd) in either the exhibition's title, panel's titles or the images themselves.

As a final defense to my claim that I only care how things look I'll forward a long personal history of choosing romantic partners solely on their formal visual properties ... with a total (and fully conscious) disregard of what (beyond their optical qualities) they were all about. Having said that, and having suffered as consequence of my superficiality, I would, if given the chance, operate in the same manner...until I can't.

Sorry for the long, and often redundant, post John. I've used this exercise to, yet again, avoid picking the gear up off the floor of my studio (for the third time, I might add)in the wake of atlas' shrugs.

Reply to this thread

John Hurrell, 4:04 p.m. 13 May, 2011

I would have thought there are many amongst us who consider that the underpining concept takes dominance, and that formal/visual concerns should not be an important priority for artists. This being a part of the influence of theory / cultural studies in art schools, and an extension of the idea that art is a branch of philosophy or literature - certainly politics. Kim's comments are typical - the hostility to discussion of formal properties.

Reply to this thread

Creon Upton, 8:01 p.m. 13 May, 2011

Indeed John. And thus has the academy committed its graceless and bathetic suicide.

Reply to this thread

Roger Boyce, 11:55 a.m. 14 May, 2011

@ John

"-art is a branch of philosophy or literature - certainly politics." - JH

Without going on and on (whew) I would assume that philosophy, literature and politics (law) would have been first 'pictured' and thereby communicated (thus codified) via visual art, theater and dance.

Visual art, theater, dance - being first-forms. Forms that preceded the written language required for text-based philosophy, fiction, or politics (i.e.law).

And being first would thus qualify as root rather than a branch of all that followed thereafter.

As young folk are fond of saying.....'Just sayin'.

Reply to this thread

Ralph Paine, 2:41 p.m. 14 May, 2011

From one point of view theory is simply an endeavour to describe—in one way or another—the abstractions inherent in all things and processes. Hence any description of the course of action involved when artists compose, construct, write, paint, perform, or simply 'make' art, is an attempt at doing theory. Here then is my (very brief) attempt:

Making art involves an isomorphism of two abstract yet very real processes:
1. The forming of content, which asks the question “With what do I/we proceed?” This will include making choices concerning materials i.e. supplies, preformed images, papers, linens, notes, diagrams, tools, sketches, scripts, readymade objects, given words and phrases, sites, specs, etc.
2. The forming of expression, which asks the question “How do I/we proceed?” This will include making choices concerning methodology i.e. organisation, compositional rules, temporal procedures, actions, styles, syntax, etc.

This is a bit like baking a cake... A recipe has two parts: the ingredients and the method. Of course the art of baking involves a desire for the elimination of chance or chaos, in order to achieve consistency, the repetition of the same, whereas artists have a different relation to chaos—they want to let more of it in, or even plunge into it. They may fail in this, repeatedly falling back onto readymade formulas and clichés, but next time the experiment may change and the results differ.

So why be so afraid of narrative, illustration, history, politics, literature, sociology, anthropology, mathematics, psychology, whatever.... Aren’t these all mixed-up aspects (neither root nor branch) of the chaos that we desire to let in?—if, that is, chaos can be said to have ‘aspects’ at all. Yet whatever the case, what artists should fear most is readymade formulas and clichés, and the (market?) ideologies that keep them in place.

Reply to this thread

Roger Boyce, 5:04 p.m. 14 May, 2011

Nicely put Mr. Paine.

Not at all "- afraid of narrative, illustration, history, politics, literature, sociology, anthropology, mathematics, psychology, whatever -" simply uninterested in those things as subject/content of artworks...as opposed to employing those things as soon-to-be-effaced points of departure toward formal aggregates that visually arrest and convince.

The market - "from pork bellies to Picassos" - has no ideology....it's far too amoral and fickle to arrive at and stay with any sort of qualitative policy about whatever passes through its hands.

On the other hand, scratch any theory and under its thin skin one will almost always find ideology.

Theory not only describes it ideologically prescribes and proscribes.

Reply to this thread

Ralph Paine, 8:03 p.m. 14 May, 2011

All of which directly leads to the next question: “Why proceed at all?” Why attempt any act of creation, invention, innovation, networking? Why respond to the artistic or even theorectical imperative? Why let chaos in in the first place, or even plunge into it when the market is All, posited as some ‘amoral’ and non-ideological—read 'natural'—zone for the re-appropriation of everything within in cosmic reach (including chaos itself, creativity, surplus, excess,potentiality, the whatever) for its own exploitative ends. Today even the seemingly anti-productive creativity of dyslexic and schizophrenic expression have been subsumed by Capital. As Lyotard put it many years ago, ‘Sublimity no longer is in art, but in speculating on art.’ So as Deleuze & Guattari suggested in 'Anti-Oedipus": 'From a certain point of view it would be better if nothing worked, if nothing functioned.'

Reply to this thread

Roger Boyce, 11:16 p.m. 14 May, 2011

@ Ralph Paine

“Why proceed at all?” ???????

Why such a question would arise at all, in the mind of an artist - particularly a young(ish) one - is beyond my understanding.

As if a somehow embodied (and wolfish) "Market" stood slavering at the studio door waiting to exercise its "exploitive ends" on some hapless practitioner. Waiting to 'Commodify' (commodify, another outdated haut bourgeois academic term still in antiquated antipodean use) some latter-day-beatnik's non-sell-out-style production. Lol.

On the contrary - the market doesn't care one way or the other. In "natural" fact is unconscious of the artist and, for that matter, of its own existence. The Market is entirely beside the point.

Art making is the point and what happens to it after it's finished (excepting the accrual of audience) is also beside the point.

The fact is that 'The Market' has, at this late date, become shibboleth-of-choice for academically-trained time-warp artists in NZ. Folks who would apply academic-art-standards as theoretical certification of what is 100% Pure art (as opposed to market-tainted production) speaks more to the fact of Aotearoa's space/time/continuum-remove from international lines of communication than it does to any large T truth about art - or reason to proceed making it.

I do thank you for your recitation of the sacred names - Lyotard, Deluze, Guattari...

Let me recite a list and in doing so glorify their holy names as well - Lacan, Bakhtin, Foucault, Derrida....aaaaaah. Mmmmmmm.

By reciting such names I glorify my own name for simply knowing and saying them. Amen.

Just typing those names brings me back to the wonder-years of the post-structuralist re-education camps of my youth. Camps where we too learned that the tail of theory wagged the dog of practice.

I refer to that time as the wonder years because they made one wonder why or how art managed to proceed at all inside an opressive theoretical Panopticon.

You might want to memorize and recite another name. Ron 'homunculus' Clark, who (in 1968) started the Whitney ISP Program ... which has more than anything or one (including the French) to propagate the holy semiotic doctrine.

By the way Ron is still running the program and is looking for more disciples. One of his most famous disciples was none other than that execrable market monster Julian Schnabel.Now there's sublimity for ya.

Reply to this thread

Ralph Paine, 12:24 a.m. 15 May, 2011

Not sure that I’m following all the twists and turns of this here ‘confidence man’ bluster. I simply asked a question, and then framed it with a suggested scenario, a set of remarks about contemporary global conditions ... ‘from a certain point of view.’ This is not to say however that during certain phases of the moon I’m not entirely disinclined towards adopting said suggested point of view.

Reply to this thread

Ralph Paine, 10:40 a.m. 15 May, 2011

Upon waking, a few words, which if I may I’d like to share with the group...

Enter the Desert of Theoria with great yearning, for there lies the blissful emptiness of all practice.—Yes, but first one must create the desert.

Reply to this thread

Roger Boyce, 11 a.m. 15 May, 2011

Ah, I wondered when we'd get to the antipodean passive-aggressive cut-off point - and (voila) here we are.

The point where it's pointed out (in fact traditionally tut-tutted) about the inadvisability of textual or verbal pyrotechnics.

And reminded (via clumsy ad hominem shaming - "bluster" "Confidence man") that the old-school NZ social agreement is akin to lifeboat rules...stay in the middle, don't start a conversation that might end up flipping the raft, and (ultimately) can't we all just get along while sharing out the rations.

Between paragraphs I have managed, after months of procrastination, to get my studio re-ordered and my gear finally up off the floor after the two Big Ones. Now to secure the shelving with some maritime-like restraints in preparation for more tectonic shifts....then it's back to ,work...making.

I'll leave y'all with this filmic encounter -

Replicant Roy Batty to Dr. Eldon Tyrell (his maker).

Tyrell: Would you... like to be upgraded?

Batty: I had in mind something a little more radical.

Tyrell: What... what seems to be the problem?

Batty: Death.

Tyrell: Death; ah, well that's a little out of my jurisdiction. You...

Batty: I want more life, f---er!

Reply to this thread

Ralph Paine, 3:14 p.m. 15 May, 2011

And now, in the face of death the Confidence Man chooses Life!

How heroic.

And what’s with all this nation state type talk, this antipodean-NZ mind set versus ... What? An American one? No point talking nation state talk no more, that conversation is mere dull echo, sounding across a planet of slums, the blood and stench and futility of the battlefields of a collapsing Empire, lost out on the schizophrenic highways and byways of time....

Reply to this thread

John Hurrell, 5:49 p.m. 19 May, 2011

Thank you Ralph and Roger for your contributions. It would be nice to exhibit your artworks together in a two person show. Dare I say, you have certain commonalities.

Readers might or might not agree:
http://eyecontactsite.com/2010/08/collage-and-drawing-as-political-concept
http://eyecontactsite.com/2010/08/boyces-history-of-painting

Returning (ahem!) to the discussion: Ralph, I think your comparing of artmaking to baking a cake is mistaken.

Baking a cake with a recipe is working with a fixed and very concise outcome in mind - a clearly defined desired result or end product that comes from a formula. Art practice is often (not always of course) much more play related and process driven, highly tentative and experimental, fuelled by hunches, half-logic and intuition. The making is not generated initially by a resolved idea, though an entitling concept might come later, when a palpable result has materialised and is being contextually tweaked.

The two processes are quite different.

 In reply

Roger Boyce, 8:57 p.m. 23 May, 2011

John, although I'm grateful for your suggestion of a group show - which would (hypothetically) include my work and that of another artist.....

.....below please find my thoughts on group shows in general -

Group shows, as an art-world convention, are important because they efficiently demonstrate just how many artists the art-world could get along without.

XXOO

John Hurrell, 9:57 p.m. 23 May, 2011


As a viewer, I tend to prefer visiting solo shows, as opposed to group exhibitions which often seem to compromise too many varied individuals by mixing them up uncomfortably together - albeit for a so called 'common' theme.

Single artist shows I like because they provide a statement that is the start of a conversation you as viewer might want to mentally engage with. However the advantage of group shows is that like parties at a stranger's home, you might experience an unforseen introduction and the start of a new happy friendship.

Reply to this thread

Ralph Paine, 10:10 p.m. 19 May, 2011

John, to clarify, what I wrote was this:

"This is a bit like baking a cake... A recipe has two parts: the ingredients and the method. Of course the art of baking involves a desire for the elimination of chance or chaos, in order to achieve consistency, the repetition of the same, whereas artists have a different relation to chaos—they want to let more of it in, or even plunge into it. They may fail in this, repeatedly falling back onto readymade formulas and clichés, but next time the experiment may change and the results differ."

Which, rather than "mistaken", seems to me pretty much in line with what you wrote; we're simply using different terms.

Thus, you wrote "a fixed and very concise outcome in mind - a clearly defined desired result or end product that comes from a formula", whereas I wrote "the elimination of chance or chaos, in order to achieve consistency, the repetition of the same".

And, you wrote "highly tentative and experimental, fuelled by hunches, half-logic and intuition" whereas I wrote "artists have a different relation to chaos—they want to let more of it in, or even plunge into it."

Perhaps though there is a difference. In your version the process seems to germinate from within the artist, whereas in mine the artist seems to be relating to something on the outside.

Reply to this thread

John Hurrell, 9:03 a.m. 20 May, 2011

Ah but Ralph, to use the terms 'bake' and 'cake' means you have a predetermined outcome and a formula. You cannot fiddle with the process once it has started because you already know what it is that you want.

Your 'outside the artist' versus 'within' is much closer. 'Outside' implies that the art illustrates something - or that it might correlate with (wait for it!) a theory.'Inside' perhaps means something more indefinable, experiential for its own sake, and ongoing.

Reply to this thread

Ralph Paine, 12:42 p.m. 20 May, 2011

Yes, precisely, I agree, 100%, totally, all the way, yes, yes, yes: "to use the terms 'bake' and 'cake' means you have a predetermined outcome and a formula. You cannot fiddle with the process once it has started because you already know what it is that you want."

But no way did I equate this way of operating as the way of artists. Read the text again John. First sentence: "This is a BIT like baking a cake..." A BIT like baking a f*****king cake!!!!!

So no, artists are not bakers (although let's not be in too much of a hurry to remove experimentation from the culinary arts!). As you put it, and I agree, "art practice is often (not always of course) much more play related and process driven, highly tentative and experimental, fuelled by hunches, half-logic and intuition."

But it's all more complex. Previously I wrote that artists may fail in being experimental, "repeatedly falling back onto readymade formulas and clichés, but next time the experiment may change and the results differ", but I also acknowledge, as you seem to, that there are many artists for whom the experiment is all about readymade formulas and procedures, all part of the knowingness of it all, all a crucial aspect of the game. And thus the notion of art-as-game has become a ready-made formula in itself, a cliché. And so the feedback loops continue. But yes, there is difference between play and games!

But I don't agree that using the term "outside" necessarily implies that this outside is always a model, as in for example the window/countryside system of painting. What arrives from the outside might rather be (if I may quote Deleuze without the risk of being run outta town) a "line with infinite inflection that holds a surface", a surface which "stops being a window on the world and now becomes an opaque grid of information ... the dyad of the city-information table is opposed to the system of the window countryside." (The Fold, p.27)

Reply to this thread

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
Justine Varga, End of Violet (72Y50.5M10c), 2022,chromogenic photograph, 1599 x 1250 mm (framed)

Varga’s Painterly Cameraless Photographs

TWO ROOMS

Auckland

 

Justine Varga
End of Violet

 

7 June - 13 July 2024

 

JH
Still from Susan Norrie's Spheres of Influence. 2016-19. Single channel video, 26.44 minutes

Pondering Iraq

TWO ROOMS

Auckland


Susan Norrie
Spheres of Influence


7 June -17 July 2024

JH
Detail of John Reynolds' Some Greater Plan (for Claire) #9, 2024, metallic marker, acrylic on canvas, 213.30 x 152.30 cm

John Reynolds Paintings

STARKWHITE

Auckland


John Reynolds
Some Greater Plan (for Claire)


4 June - 6 July 2024

 

JH
Max Gimblett, The Wild One, 2022, acrylic polyester, water-based size, 22kt gold, platinum, Japanese dyed silver, blue varigated leaves on poly-cotton canvas, 203.2 x 165.1 cm

Excessive and Restrained Gimblett

GOW LANGSFORD GALLERY

Auckland

 

Max Gimblett
Hands of Gold


5 June - 29 June 2024