a tale of a few cities

Peter Combe, (se•nile | ˈsen,nīl |), 2012

Peter Combe(se•nile | ˈsen,nīl |), 2012

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Bonne Année

Posted in appropriation, Art, artists, Conceptual Art, Dada, humour, Photography, pictures, Sculpture by petercombe on December 31, 2011

Diddo VelemaChampagne Extinguisher, 2009

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Michael Rakowitz, Climate Control, 2000 – 2001

Michael Rakowitz

Climate Control
2000 – 2001
Galvanized steel ductwork, fans, timers
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY
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Most museums and exhibition spaces have a central climate control system for maintaining the standard temperature and relative humidity (r.h.) necessary to preserve art works on exhibit. P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center lacks such a mechanism and, during the winter, turns its radiators up to 90˚F, ignoring the institutional standard of 68˚ – 72˚F. The dry heat of the radiators engenders a relative humidity reading of approximately 11%, potentially damaging to objects like paintings or prints, which require stabilized environments of between 40% – 50% r.h.
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In order to lower the temperature of the Special Projects room to which it is confined, Climate Control, an apparatus consisting of ductwork and fans, incorporates the existing radiator system on the interior of the building with the cold winter temperature outside. The resulting maze of ductwork features a central absurd element: the continuous duct which travels outside the windows and then directly back in, visible from the street. An internal humidifier feeds off moisture in the air and maintains a relative humidity of 20%, in keeping with the standard for exhibiting artworks made from galvanized steel. While the system is adjustable and can maintain a stabilized environment for the display of even delicate works on paper, there is no space to exhibit other art: Climate Control completely engulfs the room. The result is an absurd machine built to maintain itself. – Michael Rakowitz
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I first heard of Chicago-based artist Michael Rakowitz through his collaborative project “Spoils,” a culinary/art experience utilizing plates found in Saddam Hussein’s fallen palaces and held at Park Avenue Autumn this past October. After doing a few searches, I discovered his 2001 Climate Control installation at P.S.1 and was really taken by the Rakowitz’s clever use of space.
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I wouldn’t be surprised if Rakowitz’s Climate Control spurred the installation of a climate control system at P.S.1, albeit slowly.
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Dietch Projects SF, New Art In The Streets

Up until yesterday I was having a lot of fun being friends with Jeffrey Dietch on Facebook. I was a little slow to cotton-on to the joke, but when I did, I thought it brilliant. There appeared on his Facebook wall, a photo of a fellow sitting looking very smart in a cavernous, modern, all white interior above the heading, ‘Getting the space ready for San Francisco opening.‘ ‘LMAO!‘, was my response and contribution to the comment thread. After clicking the notification that Jeffrey Dietch liked my comment, I was returned to this page. The Facebook profile had been shut down. All sorts of artists had friended Dietch and posted on his wall, thinking him to be Jeffrey Deitch of the eponymous SoHo gallery, Deitch Projects. (Owner Jeffrey Deitch closed his gallery to the public in June 2010 as a result of being appointed  director of L.A.’s MoCA).

I thought the whole Dietch Projects SF to be a wonderful guerrilla stunt. Some didn’t, as evinced by a writer at New York based Blog Mixed Greens. The writer at Mixed Greens mentions Dietch Projects SF logo being ‘ripped off‘ from the original.  Wtf? – how can you ‘rip-off‘ a logo that’s already been ripped off? The writer suggested that Fake Deitch was responsible. I thought that a lame scapegoat but figured I’d pursue @FakeDeitch to prove Mixed Green’s wayward hunch wrong.

I love Dietch Projects SF’s promotional photo (top), snatched from Chicks With Steve Buscemeyes.

Heading out to Gallery Heist tomorrow evening anyway, I’ll probably mosey over to 441 O’Farrell to check things out. 

Dietch Projects SF
New Art In The Streets
Dec 8 – Jan 6
441 O’Farrell Street,
San Francisco 94102
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UPDATE Dec 9: Went down to 441 O’Farrell last night, turned out that was the Ever Gold address. Next door sat large construction hoarding plastered with ‘UNDER CONSTRUCTION SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE & the Dietz Projects logo (with an address change of 445 O’Farrell). It was pretty funny, the hoarding, about 10ft high stuck out roughly 15ft to the curb and I’d say it was about 20ft wide in front of a low rent hotel. Pedestrians jostled dutifully between the protruding structure and the curb. A friend and I spotted a fellow being admitted into the hotel so we slipped in behind him and ventured into the main lobby area to catch a glimpse through the front window (backside of the hoarding). It was simply a false front completely void of any construction. A total stunt. Staff at the grotty Hotel whose frontage was completely obscured seemed oblivious to the fact. Especially hilarious was a clerk yelling at us from a far away front desk in the dimly lit cavernous lobby of what must have been a grand-ish hotel in it’s time, asking us what we were doing there. We were taking pictures. He looked bemused – stunt – what stunt? It was as if he were utterly incognizant of the hotel’s current frontage. Even so, the artwork lived up to its namesake, ‘New Art In The Streets’. I figure Ever Gold artist Jeremiah Jenkins was responsible for the Guerilla installation. I could be wrong.


My Submission to Postcards from the Edge, NYC

Peter Combe, Damien Hirst at SFMOMA, 2011 

Above is my submission to Postcards from the Edge, NYC. When I saw Andy Bosselman’s photo of San Francisco based artist, Xiang Gao outside SFMOMA – I cracked up and knew I wanted to incorporate Damien Hirst‘s noggin.

Postcards from the Edge is an exhibit and benefit sale of over 1500 one-of-a-kind postcard-size works of art by established and emerging artists. All artworks at Postcards from the Edge benefit are exhibited anonymously. The works are signed on the back only and though viewers receive a list of all participating artists, they don’t know who created which piece until purchased.

Postcards from the Edge will be hosted at Cheim & Read from January 6-8, 2012

Visual AIDS utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue and supporting HIV+ artists.

visualAIDS

Benetton is Back…

Christo, Over the River

Christo, moments after I asked whether anybody had ever called him the first wrap artist. Tate Britain, 14.09.2011

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Christo, Over the River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado), Drawing 2010 in two parts, 15 x 96″ and 42 x 96″ (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm), Pencil, pastel, charcoal, wax crayon, enamel paint, wash, fabric sample, hand-drawn topographic map and technical data (Photo: André Grossmann) © 2010 Christo

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Federal regulators on Monday approved a $50 million installation of anchored fabric over the Arkansas River in southern Colorado by the artist Christo, whose larger-than-life vision has divided environmentalists, residents and politicians for years over questions of aesthetics, nature and economic impact.

The project, “Over the River,” will include eight suspended panel segments totaling 5.9 miles along a 42-mile stretch of the river, about three hours southwest of Denver. Construction could begin next year, pending final local approvals, with the goal being a two-week display of the work as early as August 2014.

Christo’s projects — from the wrapping of the Reichstag Parliament building in Berlin in 1995 to “The Gates,” a meandering path of orange awnings through Central Park in New York in 2005 — have often generated heated debate in advance of their creation.

“We are elated,” Christo said. “Every artist in the world likes his or her work to make people think. Imagine how many people were thinking, how many professionals were thinking and writing in preparing that environmental impact statement.” [NYTimes]

This past September, Christo gave a rare talk in London about two works in progress, Over the River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado and The Mastaba, Project for the United Arab Emirates. He talked about the concepts behind these two artworks, and the significant process of production and realisation when working on large-scale environmental artworks. I was lucky enough to be sitting in the 2nd row center, it just so happened that he sat directly in front of me narrating while slides of his projects were projected on stage. He spoke much about the Over the River project but I was most intrigued by The Mastaba project (a monumental artwork, set in the Abu Dhabi desert, to be made of approximately 410,000 horizontally stacked oil barrels). I had always thought The Mastaba had been abandoned so was delighted to hear that it is an artwork still in preparatory stages.

During question time I asked how one might volunteer to work on one of his projects (48:55). He immediately pointed out that everybody working on his projects is paid since you could not fire volunteers. Jeanne-Claude (his now deceased wife), made sure that laboring help was paid 25% above minimum wage. I was amazed at Christo’s energy and level of enthusiasm, being that he is 76 years old.

Artist’s Talk: Christo, Tate Britain, Wednesday 14 September 2011
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PeterCom.be

Posted in Art, artists, Collage, Conceptual Art, cut & paste, guerilla art, Peter Combe Art, Photography, text, Work on Paper by petercombe on September 26, 2011

A work in progress with more to come soon, my new website is up at petercom.be 

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Currently, I am in London

Peter Combe, London Bridge, T, 2011

Christo talk @ Tate Britain

Posted in Art, artists, Collage, Conceptual Art, environmental art, London, Sculpture, Work on Paper by petercombe on August 17, 2011

Christo, The Mastaba in comparison to the Great Pyramid of Giza (Pyramid of Cheops), Egypt

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I’ve booked my ticket to see Christo talk at Tate Britain. Secretly, I’d love a months long gig working on the team with Christo.

New York-based environmental artist Christo gives a rare talk in London about two works in progress, Over the River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado and The Mastaba, Project for the United Arab Emirates. Christo is renowned for his often controversial public artworks carried out with his late partner Jeanne-Claude. These include the monumental wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont Neuf in Paris, the 24-mile long Running Fence in California, and most recently, The Gates in New York City’s Central Park.

For Over the River, initially conceptualised in 1992, Christo plans to suspend nearly six miles of silvery, luminous fabric panels high above the Arkansas River, along a 42-mile stretch between Salida and Cañon City in south-central Colorado.

The Mastaba has been in development from 1977. This monumental artwork, set in the Abu Dhabi desert, will be made of approximately 410,000 horizontally stacked oil barrels.

In this lecture Christo, who has generously contributed his time, will talk about the concepts behind these two artworks, and the significant process of production and realisation when working on large-scale environmental artworks.

Wednesday 14 September 2011, 18.30–20.00
Tate Britain  Auditorium
£12 (£9 concessions), booking recommended
For tickets book online
or call 020 7887 8888.

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