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October Files Series

Found in Photography
Hollis Frampton by
Available on (03-15-22)

Hollis Frampton

Book 26
Ebook

October Files Series : Titles in Order

Book 26
The first collection of critical writing on the work of experimental filmmaker Hollis Frampton.

Hollis Frampton (1936–1984) was one of the most important experimental filmmakers and theorists of his time, and in his navigation of artistic media and discourses, he anticipated the multimedia boundary blurring of today’s visual culture. Indeed, his photography continues to be exhibited, and a digital edition of his films was issued by the Criterion Collection. This book offers the first collection of critical writings on Frampton’s work. It complements On the Camera Arts and Consecutive Matter, published in the MIT Press’s Writing Art series, which collected Frampton’s own writings.  
 
October was as central to Frampton as he was to it. He was both a frequent contributor—appearing in the first issue in 1976—and a frequent subject of contributions by others. Some of these important and incisive writings on Frampton’s work are reprinted here. The essays collected in this volume consider Frampton’s photographic practice, which continued even after he turned to film; survey his film work from the 1960s to the late 1970s; and explore Frampton’s grounding in poetics and language. Two essays by the late Annette Michelson, one of the twentieth century’s most influential writers on experimental film, place Frampton in relation to film and art history.
 
Contributors
George Derk, Ken Eisenstein, Hollis Frampton, Peter Gidal, Barry Goldensohn, Brian Henderson, Bruce Jenkins, Annette Michelson, Christopher Phillips, Melissa Ragona, Allen S. Weiss, Federico Windhausen, Lisa Zaher, Michael Zryd
 

 
Book 25
Essays and interviews explore the work of Carrie Mae Weems and its place in the history of photography, African American art, and contemporary art.In this October Files volume, essays and interviews explore the work of the influential American artist Carrie Mae Weems—her invention and originality, the formal dimensions of her practice, and her importance to the history of photography and contemporary art. Since the 1980s, Weems (b. 1953) has challenged the status of the black female body within the complex social fabric of American society. Her photographic work, film, and performance investigate spaces that range from the American kitchen table to the nineteenth-century world of historically black Hampton University to the ancient landscapes of Rome. These texts consider the underpinnings of photographic history in Weems’s work, focusing on such early works as The Kitchen Table series; Weems’s engagement with photographic archives, historical spaces, and the conceptual legacy of art history; and the relationship between her work and its institutional venues. The book makes clear not only the importance of Weems’s work but also the necessity for an expanded set of concerns in contemporary art—one in which race does not restrict a discussion of aesthetics, as it has in the past, robbing black artists of a full consideration of their work.ContributorsDawoud Bey, Jennifer Blessing, Kimberly Juanita Brown, Huey Copeland, Erina Duganne, Kimberly Drew, Coco Fusco, Thelma Golden, Katori Hall, Robin Kelsey, Thomas J. Lax, Sarah Lewis, Jeremy McCarter, Yxta Maya Murray, José Rivera, Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, Salamishah Tillet, Deborah Willis
Book 24
Essential texts on the work of the influential artist Michael Snow: essays and interviews spanning more than four decades.Few filmmakers have had as large an impact on the recent avant-garde film scene as Canadian Michael Snow (b. 1928). His works in a range of media—film, installation, video, painting, sculpture, sound, photography, drawing, writing, and music—address the fundamental properties of his materials, the conditions of perception and experience, questions of authorship in technologically reproducible media, and techniques of translation through written and pictorial representation. His film Wavelength (1967) is a milestone of avant-garde cinema and possibly the most frequently discussed “structural” film ever made. This volume collects essential texts on Snow’s work, with essays and interviews spanning more than four decades.From its earliest issues, October has been a primary interlocutor of Snow’s work, and many of these texts first appeared in its pages. Written by such distinguished critics and scholars as Annette Michelson, Hubert Damisch, and Malcolm Turvey, they document Snow’s participation in postwar discourses of minimalism, postminimalism, photo-conceptualism, and avant-garde cinema, and examine particular works. Thierry de Duve’s essay on linguistics in Snow’s work appears alongside Snow’s response. The volume also includes other writings by Snow, images from his 1975 work Musics for Piano, Whistling, Microphone, and Tape Recorder, and an interview with the artist conducted by Annette Michelson.Essays and interviews
Jean Arnaud, Érik Bullot, Hubert Damisch, Thierry de Duve, Andrée Hayum, Annette Michelson, Michael Snow, Amy Taubin, Malcolm Turvey, Kenneth White
Book 23
Texts—including essays, reviews, and statements by the artist—on the work of Sherrie Levine.The artist Sherrie Levine (b. 1947) is best known for her appropriations of work by other artists—most famously for her rephotographs of canonical images by Edward Weston, Eliot Porter, and other masters of modern photography. Since those works of the early 1980s, she has continued to work on and “after” artists whose names have come to define modernism, making sculpture after Brancusi and Duchamp, paintings after Malevich and Blinky Palermo, watercolors after Matisse and Miro, photographs after Monet and Cezanne as well as Alfred Stieglitz. Throughout, Levine’s practice effectively uncompleted, decentered, and extended works of art that were once singular and finished, posing critical rebuttals to some of the basic assumptions of modernist aesthetics. Her work was central to the theorization of postmodernism in the visual arts—most notably as it emerged in the pages of October magazine. It challenged authorial sovereignty and aesthetic autonomy and invited readings that opened onto gender, history, and the economic and discursive processes of the art world. This collection gathers writings on Levine from art magazines, exhibition catalogs, and academic journals, spanning much of her career. The volume begins with texts by Douglas Crimp, Rosalind Krauss, and Craig Owens that situate Levine in postmodernist discourse and link her early work to October. The essays that follow draw on these first critical forays and complicate them, at once deepening and resisting them, as Levine’s own work has done. All the essays attempt to understand the relationship between Levine and the artists she cites and the objects that she recasts. In these pages, Levine’s oddly doubled works appear as chimeras, taxidermy, fandom, pratfalls, even Poussin’s Blind Orion.Contributors
Michel Assenmaker, Douglas Crimp, Erich Franz, Catherine Ingraham, David Joselit, Susan Kandel, Rosalind Krauss, Sylvia Lavin, Sherrie Levine, Maria Loh, Stephen Melville, Craig Owens, Howard Singerman
Book 22
Essential texts on the work of Bruce Nauman, spanning the five decades of the artist’s career.This volume collects essential texts on the work of Bruce Nauman (b. 1941), an artist of exceptional range whose work continues to probe the fundamentals of both life and art. These critical writings, scholarly essays, and an interview span five decades of Nauman’s career, ranging from the first substantive feature on his work, published in 1967, to a catalog essay from his 2018 retrospective. Written by prominent critics, art historians, and curators, the individual texts consider his work in various media, from photography and artists’ books to sculpture, video, and room-scaled installations.Taken together, the essays trace the arc of critical reception given to Nauman’s work, charting the (somewhat uneven) path to his current eminence as one of our truly indispensable living artists.Contributors
Kathryn Chiong, Fidel A. Danieli, Isabel Graw, Rosalind Krauss, Janet Kraynak, Pamela M. Lee, John Miller, Robert Pincus-Witten, Joan Simon, Robert Slifkin, Marcia Tucker, Anne M. Wagner, Taylor Walsh, and Jeffrey Weiss
Book 21
Critical texts and interviews that explore the drawings, animations, and theatrical work of the South African artist William Kentridge.Since the 1970s, the South African artist William Kentridge has charted the turbulent terrain of his homeland in both personal and political terms. With erudition, absurdist humor, and an underlying hope in humankind, Kentridge’s artwork has examined apartheid, humanitarian atrocities, aging, and the ambiguities of growing up white and Jewish in South Africa. This October Files volume brings together critical essays and interviews that explore Kentridge’s work and shed light on the unique working processes behind his drawings, prints, stop-animation films, and theater works.The texts include an interview by the artist Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, curator of the first major retrospective of Kentridge’s work; an essay by Andreas Huyssen on the role of shadow-play in Kentridge’s film series 9 Drawing for Projection; and investigations of Kentridge’s work for opera and theater by Maria Gough, Joseph Leo Koerner, and Margaret Koster Koerner. An analysis by influential art historian Rosalind Krauss, the editor of this volume, argues that Kentridge’s films are the result of a particularly reflexive drawing practice in which the marks on the page—particularly the smudges, smears, and erasures that characterize his stop-animations—define the act of drawing as a temporal medium. Krauss’s understanding of Kentridge’s work as embodying a fundamental tension between formal and sociological poles has been crucial to subsequent analyses of the artist’s work, including the new essay by the anthropologist Rosalind Morris, who has collaborated with Kentridge on several projects.Essays and Interviews
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Maria Gough, Andreas Huyssen, William Kentridge, Joseph Leo Koerner, Margaret Koster Koerner, Rosalind Krauss, Rosalind Morris
Book 20
Essays and interviews that span Mary Kelly’s career highlight the artist’s sustained engagement with feminism and feminist history.When Mary Kelly’s best-known work, Post-Partum Document (1973–1979), was shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London in 1976, it caused a sensation—an unexpected response to an intellectually demanding and aesthetically restrained installation of conceptual art. The reception signaled resistance to the work’s interrogation of feminine identity and the cultural mythologizing of motherhood. This volume of essays and interviews begins with this foundational work, offering an early statement by the artist, a subsequent interview, and an essay situating the work within a broader broader discourse of art and social purpose in the early 1970s. Throughout, the collection addresses such themes as labor, war, trauma, and the politics of care, while emphasizing the artist’s sustained engagement with histories of feminism and generations of feminists.The contributions also consider such specific works as Kelly’s Interim (1984–1989), the subject of a special issue of October; Gloria Patri (1992), an installation conceived in response to the first Gulf War; The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi (2001), an extensive project including a 200-foot narrative executed in the medium of compressed lint and the performance of a musical score by Michael Nyman; and two recent works, Love Songs (2005-2007), which explores the role of memory in feminist politics, and Mimus (2012), a triptych that parodies the House Un-American Activities Committee’s 1962 investigation of the pacifist group, Women Strike for Peace.Essays and Interviews by
Parveen Adams, Emily Apter, Rosalyn Deutsche, Hal Foster, Margaret Iversen, Mary Kelly, Helen Molesworth, Laura Mulvey, Mignon Nixon, Griselda Pollock, Paul Smith
Book 19
Essays and criticism that span Michael Asher’s career, documenting site-specific installations and institutional interventions.During a career that spanned more than forty years, from the late 1960s until his death in 2012, Michael Asher created site-specific installations and institutional interventions that examined the conditions of art’s production, display, and reception. At the Art Institute of Chicago, for example, he famously relocated a bronze replica of an eighteenth-century sculpture of George Washington from the museum’s entrance to an interior gallery, thereby highlighting the disjunction between the statue’s symbolic function as a public monument and its aesthetic origins as an artwork.Today, Asher is celebrated as one of the forerunners of institutional critique. Yet because of Asher’s situation-based method of working, and his resistance to making objects that could circulate in the art market, few of his works survive in physical form. What does survive is writing by scholars and critics about his diverse practice. The essays in this volume document projects that range from Asher’s environmental works and museum displacements to his research-based presentations and reflections on urban space.Contributors
Michael Asher, Sandy Ballatore, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Jennifer King, Miwon Kwon, Barbara Munger, Stephan Pascher, Birgit Pelzer, Anne Rorimer, Allan Sekula
Book 18
Critical texts that span almost fifty years, mapping Haacke’s progression from engagement with biological systems to interrogation of the social and economic underpinnings of art.For five decades, the artist Hans Haacke (b. 1936) has created works that explore the social, political, and economic underpinnings of the production of art. His works make plain the hidden and not-so-hidden agendas of those—from Cartier to David Koch—who support art in the service of industry; they expose such inconvenient social and economic truths as the real estate holdings of Manhattan slumlords, and the attempts to whitewash support for the Nazi regime, apartheid, or the war on terror through museum donations. This book gathers interviews, difficult-to-find essays, cornerstones of institutional critique, and new critical approaches by writers that include Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Jack Burnham, Rosalyn Deutsche, and Leo Steinberg. Haacke’s 1971 Guggenheim exhibition was famously canceled when the artist refused to withdraw several proposed works, including one exposing the business dealings of a Manhattan real estate company. This volume includes Edward Fry’s catalog text for that show, as well as Walter Grasskamp’s “An Unpublished Text for an Unpainted Picture,” redacted from an exhibition catalog in 1984 because of statements about the German collector Peter Ludwig. Other essays consider such topics as Haacke’s controversial commission for the Reichstag; the activation of the spectator, from Condensation Cube to the Polls; the conceptual continuity of his practice with regard to General Systems Theory; and his delayed and problematic reception in both the United States and Europe. With contemporary essays and scholarly reassessments, this collection serves as an essential guide to critical thinking on Haacke’s artistic practice, from the works of the 1960s that engage with physical and biological systems to his later interrogations of the social and economic underpinnings of art.Contributors
Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Jack Burnham, Douglas Crimp, Rosalyn Deutsche, Sam Durant, Edward F. Fry, Walter Grasskamp, Rosalind Krauss, Jack McGrath, Luke Skrebowski, Leo Steinberg
Book 17
Generously illustrated essays consider Isa Genzken’s remarkable body of work, from her early elegant floor pieces to her later explosive assemblages.Since the late 1970s, the Berlin-based contemporary artist Isa Genzken (b. 1948) has produced a body of work that is remarkable for its formal and material inventiveness. In her sculptural practice, Genzken has developed an expanded material repertoire that includes plaster, concrete, epoxy resin, and mass-produced objects that range from action figures to discarded pizza boxes. Her heterogeneous assemblages, a New York Times critic observes, are “brash, improvisational, full of searing color and attitude.” Genzken, the recent subject of a major retrospective at MoMA, offers a highly original interpretation of modernist, avant-garde, and postminimalist practices even as she engages pressing sociopolitics and economic issues of the present.These illustrated essays address the full span of Genzken’s work, from the elegant floor sculptures with which she began her career to the assemblages, bursting with color and bristling with bric-a-brac, that she has produced since the beginning of the millennium. The texts, by writers including Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, and the artist herself, consider her formation in the West German milieu; her critique of conventions of architecture, reconstruction, and memorialization; her sympathy with mass culture; and her ongoing interrogation of public and private spheres. Two texts appear in English for the first time, including a quasi-autobiographical screenplay written by Genzken in 1993. Contributors
Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Diedrich Diederichsen, Hal Foster, Isa Genzken, Isabelle Graw, Lisa Lee, Pamela M. Lee, Birgit Pelzer, Juliane Rebentisch, Josef Strau, Wolfgang Tillmans, Lawrence WeinerContents
Isa Genzken: Two Exercises (1974) • Birgit Pelzer: Axiomatics Subject to Withdrawal (1979) • Benjamin H. D. Buchloh: Isa Genzken: The Fragment as Model (1992) • Benjamin H. D. Buchloh: Isa Genzken: Fuck the Bauhaus. Architecture, Design, and Photography in Reverse (2014) • Isa Genzken: Sketches for a Feature Film (1993) • Isabelle Graw: Free to Be Dependent: Concessions in the Work of Isa Genzken (1996) • Diedrich Diederichsen: Subjects at the End of the Flagpole (2000) • Pamela M. Lee: The Skyscraper at Ear Level (2003) • Benjamin H. D. Buchloh: All Things Being Equal (2005) • Wolfgang Tillmans: Isa Genzken: A Conversation with Wolfgang Tillmans (2003) • Diedrich Diederichsen: Diedrich Diederichsen in Conversation with Isa Genzken (2006) • Lisa Lee: “Make Life Beautiful!” The Diabolic in the Work of Isa Genzken (A Tour Through Berlin, Paris, and New York) (2007) • Lawrence Weiner: Isa Genzken Again (2010) • Juliane Rebentisch: The Dialectic of Beauty: On the Work of Isa Genzken (2007) • Yve-Alain Bois: The Bum and the Architect (2007) • Josef Strau: Isa Genzken: Sculpture as Narrative Urbanism (2009) • Hal Foster: Fantastic Destruction (2014)
Book 16
Essays and interviews discuss the art of John Knight, a pioneering figure in site-specific art and institutional critique.For more than four decades, the elusive but influential Los Angeles-based artist John Knight has developed a practice of site specificity that tests both architectural and ideological boundaries of the museum, gallery, and public sphere. Knight’s works defy notions of stylistic coherence, even, at times, of instant recognizability. Grounded in a sustained method of inhabiting the material, discursive and economic conditions of varied sites, his works systematically challenge notions of object, sign, context, authorship, and value, and they confront audiences not only with mailers, posters, and journals but also with carpenter levels, commemorative plates, deck chairs, bicycle bells, flower arrangements, and credit cards. This volume offers essays and interviews that trace the critical thinking on Knight, discussing the artist’s trajectory from 1969 to 2011.These texts, by such prominent figures as Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Anne Rorimer, Alexander Alberro, and Birgit Pelzer, offer close readings of Knight’s pivotal projects in situ while also considering them in terms of such art-historical paradigms as the readymade, the anti-aesthetic, institutional critique, and the relationship between art and design as well as corporate culture at large. The book provides the first collection of these often hard-to-find texts on Knight and will serve as an essential guide for further consideration of his oeuvre.
Book 15
Essays, an interview, and a roundtable discussion on the work of one of the most influential American artists of the postwar period.This October Files volume gathers essays, an interview, and a roundtable discussion on the work of Robert Morris, one of the most influential American artists of the postwar period. It includes a little-known text on dance by Morris himself and a never-before-anthologized but influential catalog essay by Annette Michelson. Often associated with minimalism, Morris (b. 1931) also created important works that involved dance, process art, and conceptualism. The texts in this volume focus on Morris’s early work and include an examination of a 1971 Tate retrospective by Jon Bird, an interview with the artist by Benjamin Buchloh, a conversation from a 1994 issue of October about resistance to 1960s art, and an essay by this volume’s editor, Julia Bryan-Wilson, on the labor involved in installing the massive works in Morris’s 1970 solo exhibition at the Whitney. Spanning 1965 to 2009, these writings map the evolution of critical thought on Morris over more than four decades.
Book 14
Essays and interviews that examine the work of an artist whose witty, poignant, and trenchant photographs investigate the life cycle of art objects.Louise Lawler has devoted her art practice to investigating the life cycle of art objects. Her photographs depict art in the collector’s home, the museum, the auction house, and the commercial gallery, on loading docks, and in storage closets. Her work offers a sustained meditation on the strategies of display that shape art’s reception and distribution. The cumulative effect of Lawler’s photographs is a silent insistence that context is the primary shaper of art’s meaning. Informed by feminism and institutional critique, Lawler’s witty, poignant, and trenchant photos frequently pay attention to a host of overlooked details—almost Freudian slips—that ineffably and tacitly shore up what we conventionally think of as art’s “power.” This book includes the earliest published text on Lawler’s work; an examination of her ephemera (Lawler produced, among other things, matchbooks and paperweights); a rare interview with the artist, conducted by Douglas Crimp; a conversation between George Baker and Andrea Fraser on Lawler’s work; and essays by writers including Rosalind Krauss, Rosalyn Deutsche, and Helen Molesworth, the volume’s editor. The book traces the changing reception of Lawler’s work from early preoccupations with appropriation to later discussions of affect.
Book 13
Contemporary criticism, interviews, scholarly reassessments, and texts by the artist focusing on Claes Oldenburg’s sculptures, installations, and multimedia performances between 1960 and 1965.Claes Oldenburg (born in 1929) is largely known today as a pop art sculptor. Oldenburg himself described his formless canvas and vinyl soft sculptures—gigantic hamburgers and ice cream cones, cushiony toilets and typewriters—as “objects that elude definition.” This collection of writings revisits not only Oldenburg’s soft objects from the early to mid 1960s but also his pioneering installations The Street (1960) and The Store (1961–1962) and his often overlooked multimedia performances. As the artist translated his ideas and beliefs into various media and formats, his work drew on a range of styles and schools, including abstract expressionism, Happenings, pop art, minimalism, and postminimalism. Perhaps because of their refusal to be classified, these artworks are as contemporary today as they were when they were created between 1960 and 1965.This collection serves both as a summation of early critical thinking on Oldenburg’s art and a starting point for consideration of the artist as a forerunner of current art trends of stylelessness and intermediality. It includes both contemporary criticism and more recent scholarly reassessments, interviews with the artist, and Oldenburg’s own unpublished manifesto on the Ray Gun Theater (the artist’s name for his performance series in the back of The Store).
Book 12
An extended trajectory of Cage literature, from early critical reaction to writing by contemporaries to current scholarship.John Cage (1912–1992) defined a radical practice of composition that changed the course of modern music and shaped a new conceptual horizon for postwar art. Famous for his use of chance and “silence” in musical works, a pioneer in electronic music and the nonstandard use of instruments, Cage was one of the most influential composers of the last century. This volume traces a trajectory of writings on the artist, from the earliest critical reactions to the scholarship of today. If the first writing on Cage in the American context, often written by close associates with Cage’s involvement, seemed lacking in critical distance, younger scholars—a generation removed—have recently begun to approach the legacy from a new perspective, with more developed theoretical frameworks and greater skepticism. This book captures that evolution.The texts include discussions of Cage’s work in the context of the New Music scene in Germany in the 1950s; Yvonne Rainer’s essay looking back on Cage and New York experimentalism of the 1960s; a complex and original mapping of Cage’s place in a wider avant-garde genealogy that includes Le Corbusier and Moholy-Nagy; a musicologist’s account of Cage’s process of defining and formalizing his concept of indeterminacy; and an analysis of Cage’s project that considers his strategies of self-representation as key to his unique impact on modern and postmodern art.

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