Saturday, September 22, 2012

Jonathan Horowitz: “Your Land/My Land: Election ’12,” (2012)

This October, the New Museum will present “Your Land/My Land: Election ’12,” (2012) an installation by artist Jonathan Horowitz to coincide with the 2012 American presidential election season. The exhibition will be staged simultaneously at art museums across the US.

“Your Land/My Land: Election ’12” is a reimagined installation originally presented by Horowitz during the 2008 presidential election. At each location (as in ’08), red and blue area rugs will divide the exhibition space into opposing zones, reflecting America’s color-coded, political, and cultural divide. Back-to-back monitors will be suspended between the carpets, with one broadcasting a live feed of Fox News, the other of MSNBC. The installation will provide a location for people to gather and watch coverage of as well as talk about the presidential election. Its central trope is a divided United States swathed in only red and blue.
At the New Museum, the installation will occupy the Lobby, incorporating the front window and its view on to the street. The text “Your Land/My Land” will be adhered to the window, referencing This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie, which originally addressed the issue of land ownership. According to Horowitz, “If race and gender were the defining themes of the ’08 election, economic policy and economic disparity will likely be the defining themes of the 2012 election. The placement of the text on the window will extend this metaphor to the land of the museum and the land outside. To some, museums are decidedly blue—elitist bastions of liberalism—to others, they are lynchpins of a capitalist art market analogous to other capitalist markets that have been collapsing around us.”
When “Your Land/My Land” opens, a portrait of President Obama, as the current representative of all Americans, will hang from the ceiling between the two sides and a portrait of Mitt Romney will sit on the floor. On election night, each venue will host an election returns event, with the installation becoming a minimalist backdrop. If Obama wins, the position of the two portraits will remain the same. Should Obama be unseated, their positions will be switched.
The installation will be customized for each particular museum and attention will be drawn to the role that cultural institutions can play in a democracy. Over the course of the exhibition, some participating venues will offer voter registration and host presidential debate screenings. A website, accessible at each museum, will link the different locations and visitors will be invited to post comments. Visitors may also connect on Twitter using #YLML.
Participating venues include:
Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, MO – September 7–November 11
Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh, NC – September 22–November 12
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, TX – September 29–November 11
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles – September 30–November 18
Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, UT – October 5–November 24
New Museum, New York – October 10–November 18
Telfair Museums, Savannah, GA – October 12–November 11
About the Artist
Since the early 1990s, Horowitz has made art that combines the imagery and ambivalence of Pop Art with the engaged criticality of Conceptualism. Often based on popular commercial sources, his work examines the deep-seated links between consumerism and political consciousness, as well as the political silences of postwar art. Recent solo exhibitions include “Minimalist Works from the Holocaust Museum,” Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland (2010), “Apocalypto Now,” Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2009), and the retrospective exhibition, “And/Or,” P.S.1, New York (2009).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


September 19 through December 30, 2012

Curator Ralph Rugoff chats to Artist Jeremy

Thursday, September 13, 2012

REGARDING WARHOL: Metropolitan Museum of Art

 Andy Warhol’s Green Coca-Cola Bottles, 1962

“I’m starting to think of Andy Warhol’s impact like a meteor striking the earth,” says Mark Rosenthal, the organiser and guest curator of “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years” at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. “He created a new topography. And in that topography there are new rivers that form, many things change, to which people adapt. I’m coming to think that Warhol did change the world and had the greatest impact of any artist in the past 50 years.”It’s a thought-provoking statement, but “we’re prepared to argue it” says Marla Prather, the show’s co-curator and the Met’s curator of Modern and contemporary art. “In terms of how Warhol keeps returning to us in the larger cultural theatre of media, television, music, enterprise and even covers for your iPhone, ask yourself, ‘Is there anyone who’s had a bigger influence?’” Taking cues from other shows over the past decade that highlighted the influence of artistic giants such as Paul C├ęzanne and Pablo Picasso, the Met calls “Regarding Warhol” the first major exhibition to explore Warhol’s influence on his contemporaries and younger generations in depth. Alongside 45 works by Warhol such as Red Jackie, 1964, and Green Coca-Cola Bottles, 1962, the Met has brought together 100 works by around 60 other artists that Prather says have “reacted, reinterpreted and responded”, to Warhol’s work, including Alex Katz, Deborah Kass, Jeff Koons, Elizabeth Peyton, Hans Haacke, Chuck Close, Barbara Kruger, Anselm Kiefer, Ai Weiwei and Ryan Trecartin.Explaining the genesis of the exhibition, Rosenthal says: “I was struck by how often I read that Warhol is the most influential artist of the past 50 years. Every time I saw that statement [however], the writer never said anything afterwards. So I asked, ‘Why is he? Or how is he? Compared with who?’” Rosenthal wanted to answer those questions and whether it was all “a ridiculous idea” with a full exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), where he has worked as an adjunct curator since 2007.But due to the DIA’s recent financial problems, the Metropolitan Museum began to take over “Regarding Warhol” about two years ago, with Rosenthal still in place as its curator, and the five themes that he had defined for the show: newspapers and magazines, celebrity portraiture, queer studies, appropriation, and a wider final section on “business, collaboration and spectacle”.For the exhibition’s catalogue, which includes an essay by Rosenthal on the five themes, Prather interviewed 13 artists about their artistic relationships to Warhol. She says that the museum took account of whether artists wanted their work to appear in an exhibition about Warhol’s influence, and that Katz was “on the fence” about being included. “Alex is still talking about what Warhol took from him,” Prather says. She mentions that during their interview, she told him: “ ‘Alex, if you feel that Andy stole from you, now’s the time to go on record [laughs].’ People are still absorbing and still fighting it. So I don’t think that these artists live in the shadow of Warhol. They’re individuals in their own right who have taken Warhol’s ideas and stretched them beyond what we could have ever imagined.”The exhibition, which is sponsored by the financial services firm Morgan Stanley, is planned to include an educational programme and an audio tour narrated by the film-maker and actor John Waters. Eric Magnuson Categories: Post-War (1945-70)Contemporary (1970-present)