a tale of a few cities

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.


Bollocks. Do you hate having to write your artist statement?

Posted in Art, artist statement, curriculum vitae, humour, Wordsworth by petercombe on June 20, 2011

I actually like this artist statement. Generate your bollocks artist statement here

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