First glimpse of a rainy Venice!
NORTH by NORTHWEST, sorry I meant North by Northeast. A confusion of titles, an exhibition being confused for a film, a film inadvertently framing an exhibition. More than one thought on the notion of mistaken identity and abduction. The slippage of the tongue when discussing the Latvian Pavilion and the way that I now equate the endless chase of Cary Grant’s character Roger Thornhill with Kriss Salmanis’s tree as it moves endlessly from side to side. Another layer when en route to Riga from New York, this film was one of the options on my flight. What are the chances! CF
All images courtesy Google image search of North by Northwest
This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary
The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.
The grasses unload their griefs on my feet as if I were God
Prickling my ankles and murmuring of their humility
Fumy, spiritous mists inhabit this place.
Separated from my house by a row of headstones.
I simply cannot see where there is to get to.
Image caption: Anya Gallaccio, As long as there were any roads to amnesia and anaethesia still to be explored, 2002. 7 felled Oaks, dimensions variable. Installation view, Tate Britain, London
16 September 2002 - 26 January 2003
Text excerpt: Sylvia Plath’s poem The Moon And The Yew Tree, Published/Written in 1961
Images of Kriss’s tree arriving in Venice!
Flying to Riga, I was not sure I could pinpoint the city on the map. I thought about how I was headed to a place I had never been, unsure of where I would land, arriving in a place I only peripherally understood. As I gazed out the window of the plane, I recalled Tacita Dean’s Disappearance at Sea, a work that touches on the story of Donald Crowhurst, who vanished into the ocean during the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, an around-the-world yacht race. His vessel, The Teignmouth Electron, was found unmanned and adrift and the logbook showed that he had issued false reports of his progress and position. Rather than racing around the world, he was just simply hiding in the ocean. I read somewhere that Crowhurst had a faulty chronometer and that this inability to mark time directly contributed to his demise. I wonder about the loss that occurs when we move endlessly without a fixed point, without markers and measurements.
I have a tendency to remember things incorrectly, blurring stories, confusing details, inventing relationships between people and objects that never existed. I remember a story about a map that was designed on a one-to-one scale with the world, a map that when unfolded would shut out the sun . Over time, this map fused with another, a blank map with no points or referents, whose only markings were North, South, East, and West . I pictured a large, endless sheet of white paper covering the world, punctured only by four arrows that indicate the direction one could head. Instead of compass points and demarcations, the map would have weathered folds and creases.
When I fly, I look out the window of the plane and think about this map unfolding and how quickly we would all disappear under its weight. Flying creates a scenario where though I am conscious that I am moving through space, leaving one time zone for another, leaving one place for another; I am suspended, merely floating. I am fascinated by how it is possible to physically leave a city on one day and arrive in another earlier than you left. In this in between place, the airplane embodies the possibility of slippage, allowing one to be both present and past, moving and still. This isolation of time and space only furthers my inevitable blurring of narrative.
A small excerpt from my catalogue essay for North by Northeast- CF
“And then came the grandest idea of all! We actually made a map of the country, on the scale of a mile to the mile!” “Have you used it much?” I enquired. “It has never been spread out, yet,” said Mein Herr: “the farmers objected: they said it would cover the whole country, and shut out the sunlight! So we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well.” Lewis Carroll. Sylvie and Bruno Concluded (Oxford, UK: Macmillan, 1893) p. 69
“He had bought a large map representing the sea,
Without the least vestige of land:
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand.”
Lewis Carroll. The Hunting of The Snark (New York, NY: W.W Norton, 2006) p. 2
Some sneak peeks at Krišs Salmanis’s North by Northeast installation for the Latvian Pavilion for this year’s Venice Biennale, straight from the pages of the catalogue!
Images courtesy Krišs Salmanis
Click HERE to download a pdf of Donald Judd’s 1965 essay “Specific Objects”
More good summer reading!
PLACE FOR ME IS THE LOCUS OF DESIRE. Places have influenced my life as much as, perhaps more than, people. I fall for (or into) places faster and less conditionally than I do for people. I can drive through a landscape and vividly picture myself in that disintegrating mining cabin, that saltwater farm, that little porched house in the barrio. (My taste runs from humble dwellings nestled in cozy spaces or vulnerable in vast spaces.) I can walk through a neighborhood and picture interiors, unseen back yards. I can feel kinesthetically how it would be to hike for hours through a vast “empty” landscape that I’m dashing through in a car – the underfoot textures, the rising dust, the way muscles tighten on a hill, the rhythms of walking, the feeling of sun or mist on the back of my neck.
Image Credits: Left: Letha Wilson. Moon Wave, 2013. Digital print on adhesive vinyl, wood. Middle: Letha Wilson. 2 x 4 x 10, 2013. Digital c-print, 2 x 4, hole in wall. Right: Letha Wilson. Salt Flats Concrete Fold, 2013. C-print with UV laminate, concrete
Text excerpt: Lippard, Lucy R. The Lure of the Local: Senses of place in a Multicentered Society. New York: New Press, 1997
In Riga meeting with the team behind the Latvian Pavilion before we all head to Venice on Saturday! These trees are growing outside the cafe and they are magical. It is all about the trees these days! I will explain more in a series of posts about the North by Northeast exhibition for the Latvian Pavilion soon including sneak peeks from the installation. CF
Don’t get Lost in Translation
An interview with Alise Tīfentāle, co-curator of Latvia’s national pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale
Interviewed by Anna Iltnere
Although the first Venice Biennale was held way back in 1895, it is still one of the most powerful global magnets attracting both professionals and lay people who are captivated by contemporary art. Officially opening 1 June, the national pavilions will be open for public perusal all the way through 24 November. This will be a notable year for Latvia at the fair, not the least because of a change in the location of its pavilion; the new spot will be closer to the heart of the art magnet – the Arsenale, in which the biennale’s head curator, the youthful Massimiliano Gioni, is putting together the thematic central exhibition. Thoughts are divided on whether or not this will make Latvia’s presence more noticeable – or on the contrary, quite invisible – by being so close to the hullabaloo generated by the Arsenale itself. Another novelty for Latvia this year will be the debut of non-Latvian curators co-managing the national pavilion – Anne Barlow and Courtenay Finn, from the New York organization Art in General, will be working at Latvia’s stand alongside the kim? Contemporary Art Centre and curator Alise Tīfentāle. Latvia’s pavilion will feature the artists Krišs Salmanis and Kaspars Podnieks, working completely independently from one another, but under the unifying concept titled “North by Northeast”. Alise Tīfentāle herself has spent the last two years studying and working in New York, and graciously agreed to an interview about the Latvian exhibition and the meaning of the Venice Biennale today.
Read the whole interview here: http://www.arterritory.com/en/texts/interviews/2100-dont_get_lost_in_translation/
Zoe Crosher, Where Roger Wade Disappeared At Malibu Colony, 2008 [From her series LA-Like]
Dominic Willsdon introduces Robert Altman’s 1973 film The Long Goodbye tomorrow at SFMOMA, to commemorate the last screening in the museum’s theater before the three-year hiatus and expansion.
In January 2012, Art in General commissioned Theresa Himmer’s site-specific audio installation All State, realized in collaboration with Kristján Eggertsson. Responding to the physical and psychological parameters of the elevator, Himmer’s original score toys with our perception of movement, expectation, and entrapment. Using the repetitive motion and existing sounds of the Art in General elevator as her starting points, All State amplifies an environment already attuned to heightened sensitivity, positioning viewers somewhere between real and imagined space. Through repetition, duplication and overlap, All State mimics reality and belies function. At once, signifiers of both visible and invisible operations (the passing of floors, the machine room switchboard, the opening of doors) become hollow, irrational, and destabilizing.
On May 25th, 2013 All State will be displaced and transplanted into the context of the Reykjavik Art Museum, Hafnarhús, wherein the the meaning of the work necessarily shifts and expands. The elevator in Hafnarhús is newer and quicker. It runs more smoothly and hence is almost silent. The opening hours at Hafnarhús are longer than at Art in General, so the composition must repeat on loop to last long enough. Instead of producing an uncanny doubling of sounds, at Hafnarhús All State produces a series of palimpsestic overlaps defined more by slips and discrepancies than by conjunctions. In this context the zone of suspension is playfully expanded from a spatial-psychological framework to a wider cultural, mechanical, and institutional limbo.
I had a dream last night and within it was a blurring of Kimberlee Venable’s installation at Art in General (pictured), Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe in Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, and the fog that covers the city of San Francisco at night. Rather than being chased, I was chasing, but who or to what ends remains a mystery. CF
Image: Kimberlee Venable. All this comes back, 2013. Installation view at Art in General.
“Under the thinning fog the surf curled and creamed, almost without sound, like a thought trying to form inself on the edge of consciousness.”Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
Image: Kimberlee Venable. All this comes back, 2013. Installation view at Art in General. Image courtesy the artist.
“All the city was playing with this sound out there in the blue summer dark, throwing it up and calling it back, promising that, in a little while, life would be beautiful as a story, promising happiness - and by that promise giving it. It gave love hope in its own survival. It could do no more.”
Text from F.Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and The Damned
Images from Tallinn, Estonia.