Paul Graham is one of that remarkable generation of photographers born in the 1950’s who have come to dominate art photography today and who dedicated themselves to photography at a time when it was unwelcome in the art world. This book is the long awaited survey of 25 years of his photography, 1981-2006, to coincide with a large scale touring European museum exhibition. Graham was the first photographer to unite contemporary colour photography with the classic genre of social documentary. His colour work in the early and mid-1980s had a transformative effect on the black and white tradition that had dominated British photography to that point. Since this ground breaking early work, and what sets Graham apart from his peers of that time, is that rather than rest on such achievements, he has continued to radically explore the medium for the next two decades, showing a profound commitment to expanding photography’s artistic space, whilst remaining faithful to that core locus where the documentary and artistic aspects of photography coalesce. At a time when art photography is increasingly staged, or holds the world at a conceptualized distant view, Paul Graham’s work distinguishes itself by retaining a firm and full commitment to life as it unfolds; to an understanding that at its core photography begins with an unblinking engagement with the world. Embracing this crucial axiom of photography, Graham’s work of the past 25 years has been vital in reinvigorating the core of photographic practice, both by broadening it’s visual language, and essentially, by questioning our notions of what such photography could say, be, or look like.
Along with Robert Gober and Jeff Koons, New York-based Haim Steinbach is one of the most renowned exponents of the late 70s art movement which endeavored to revamp the post-Duchamp tradition of ready-mades in the face of a rising wave of neo-expressionism. Steinbach has become known for his “thing altars,” carefully manufactured shelves containing borrowed or purchased objects that take on new meaning in the context of their surroundings, recalling Robert Smithson’s notions of “site” and “non-site.” This new book in the Cantz Series documents a Berlin-specific installation by the artist. Steinbach, born to German-Jewish parents in Israel, stayed in the former East Germany for the first time, visiting families all over Berlin and borrowing individual objects or arrangements which he then transferred to an art space. In doing so the artist became the curator of a sort of group exhibition of “collected collections” which interact in surprising ways in their new space.
Amidst current global uncertainty failure has become a central subject of investigation in recent art. Artists have actively claimed the space of failure to propose a resistant view of the world. Here success is deemed overrated, doubt embraced, experimentation encouraged and risk considered a viable position. Between the poles of success and failure lies a productive space where paradox rules and dogma is refused. This anthology establishes failure as a core concern in contemporary cultural production. Artists surveyed include Bas Jan Ader, Francis Alys, John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Phil Collins, Martin Creed, David Critchley, Fischli & Weiss, Ceal Floyer, Isa Genzken, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Wade Guyton, International Necronautical Society, Ray Johnson, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Michael Krebber, Bruce Nauman, Simon Patterson, Janette Parris, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, Dieter Roth, Allen Ruppersberg, Roman Signer, Annika Strom, Paul Thek and William Wegman. Writers include Giorgio Agamben, Samuel Beckett, Daniel Birnbaum, Bazon Brock, Johanna Burton, Emma Cocker, Gilles Deleuze, Russell Ferguson, Ann Goldstein, Jorg Heiser, Jennifer Higgie, Richard Hylton, Jean-Yves Jouannais, Lisa Lee, Stuart Morgan, Hans-Joachim Muller, Karl Popper, Edgar Schmitz and Coosje van Bruggen.
The chance situation or random eventówhether as a strategy or as a subject of investigationóhas been central to many artists’ practices across a multiplicity of forms, including expressionism, automatism, the readymade, collage, surrealist and conceptual photography, fluxus event scores, film, audio and video, performance, and participatory artworks. But whyóa century after Dada and Surrealism’s first systematic enquiriesódoes chance remain a key strategy in artists’ investigations into the contemporary world?
The writings in this anthology examine the gap between intention and outcome, showing it to be crucial to the meaning of chance in art. The book provides a new critical context for chance procedures in art since 1900 and aims to answer such questions as why artists deliberately set up such a gap in their practice; what new possibilities this suggests; and why the viewer finds the art so engaging.
Artists surveyed include: Vito Acconci, Bas Jan Ader, Francis Alys, William Anastasi, John Baldessari, Walead Beshty, Mark Boyle, George Brecht, Marcel Broodthaers, John Cage, Sophie Calle, Tacita Dean, Stan Douglas, Marcel Duchamp, Brian Eno, Fischli & Weiss, Ceal Floyer, Huang Yong Ping, Douglas Huebler, Allan Kaprow, Alison Knowles, Jiri Kovanda, Jorge Macchi, Christian Marclay, Cildo Meireles, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Gabriel Orozco, Cornelia Parker, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Daniel Spoerri, Wolfgang Tillmans, Keith Tyson, Jennifer West, Ceryth Wyn Evans, La Monte Young
Writers include: Paul Auster, Jacquelynn Baas, Georges Bataille, Daniel Birnbaum, Claire Bishop, Guy Brett, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Stanley Cavell, Lynne Cooke, Fei Dawei, Gilles Deleuze, Anna Dezeuze, Russell Ferguson, Branden W. Joseph, Siegfried Kracauer, Jacques Lacan, Susan Laxton, Sarat Maharaj, Midori Matsui, John Miller, Alexandra Munroe, Gabriel Perez Barreiro, Jasia Reichardt, Julia Robinson, Eric L. Santner, Sarah Valdez, Katharina Vossenkuhl
Documents of Contemporary Art series
Copublished with Whitechapel Gallery, London
SPBN is a book about love/sex/desire/lust/intimacy created with the help of Self Publish, Be Happy’s extended network of contributors. In the spirit of SP,BH’s collective ethos, a call for submissions for “naughty” pictures was launched in March 2011. More than 5,000 photographs from around the world were submitted, by both established artists and young up-and-coming practitioners. SPBN showcases 122 of these photographs by 75 different artists. The photographs, presented in a continuous flux, offer a powerful and uncompromising exploration of contemporary approaches to the themes of sex, desires and taboos within photography. From the surreal to the mundane, from the allusive to the graphic, the images challenge the tradition of erotic photobooks and their very ghettoised approach to desires. Printed in a limited edition of 1,000, each copy of SPBN is unique; art director Antonio de Luca has designed a beautiful ever-changing book, a collection of A4 posters (in the manner of Playboy centrefolds), bound together with a removable elastic band. Each copy will have an accidental sequence of pages, an echo of the fragmented and subversive nature of desire. SPBN will also include a selection of texts (from Plato’s Phaedrus to erotic stories anonymously posted online), and, like an old porn newsletter, will come in a discreet black envelope. Contributors: Joseph Akel, Morten Andersen, Brendan Baker, Corey Bartle-Sanderson, Ilya Batrakov, Lucas Blalock, Anna Bogutskaya, Parker Bright, Jake Brooks, Victor Cobo, Martina Corà, Christopher Day, Michael J. DeMeo, Bobby Doherty, Laëtitia Donval, Daniel Evans, Dora Fobert, Hannah Godley, Dana Goldstein, Roberto Greco, Tomas Hein, Åsa Johannesson, Ellen Jong, Ellen Jong and Kate Ruth, Jake Kenny, Paul Knight, Paul Kooiker, Paul Kwiatkowski, Alexander Kurmaz, Collin LaFleche, Mathieu Lambert, Bertrand Le Pluard, Nicole Lesser, Carrie Levy, Thomas Mailaender, Tommy Malekoff, Jennilee Marigomen, Aaron McElroy, Michael Max McLeod, Leah Meltzer, Matthew Mili, Ania Mokrzycka, Kristie Muller, Francesco Nazardo, Luke Norman and Nik Adam, Florian Oellers, Sean Orena, Witek Orski, Oliver Poddar and Andrew Ferguson, Angga Pratama, Karol Radziszewski, Pedro Ramos, Tobias Rose, Davi Russo, Corinna Sauer, Kirill Savchenkov, David Schoerner, Alexander Sedelnikov, Ben Seeley, Oliver Sieber, Pacifico Silano, Marija Strajnic, RJ Shaughnessy, Matthew Tammaro, Aram Tanis, Agnes Thor, Scott Treleaven, Sophie van der Perre, Erik van der Weijde, Marnix van Uum, Peter Voelker, Alex Wein, Harley Weir, Emily Yost, Irina Yulieva.
Birth of a Psychedelic Culture, an extraordinary new book, shines a bright light on the emergence of the sixties culture and the experiments with mind-altering substances undertaken by Professors Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) and then-Harvard graduate student Ralph Metzner. Based on a series of con-versations between Metzner and Ram Dass and recorded by psychiatrist and author Gary Bravo, this book describes their initial experiments at Harvard, the experiments after they were dismissed from Harvard, their journeys to India and their reflections on that transformative era. Birth of a Psychedelic Culture is filled with never before published photographs. Luminaries who appear in this astonishing account include: Aldous Huxley, Allen Ginsberg, R.D. Laing, Charles Mingus, Maynard Ferguson and William Burroughs, as well as many lesser known personalities. These include convicts, graduate students and Vedantist monks! In addition to reviewing the experiments, the conversations offer vividly-recalled descriptions of particular trips, with profound insights into the nature of hallucinogens and the role they can play in transcending social conditioning. Included in Birth of a Psychedelic Culture are personal commentaries from some of the other players integral to the scene: Peggy Hitchcock, the Mellon Foundation heiress; Dr. George Litwin, Harvard professor and author; Dr. Gunther Weil, psychologist and educator; Dr. Michael Kahn, clinical psychologist and Professor Emeritus at USC, Santa Cruz; poet Dr. Elsa von Eckartsberg; Dr. George Litwin, organizational behavior consultant; Dr. Paul Lee, professor of philosopy and religion, UC Santa Cruz; Dorothy Fadiman, award winning filmmaker; Lisa Ferguson, and many others. No understanding of the history of the sixties could ever be complete without a grasp of the work of Leary, Alpert, and Metzner, the cultural resistance to their experiments, and the way in which psychoactive drug use became a part of contemporary society.
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