These pages stem from a project I developed with the Mahler & LeWitt Studios in Spoleto, Italy on the subject of artists’ books.
Tune in on November 16th at 7pm for a livestream of our panel discussion, moderated by Jo Melvin
I was attracted to the physical way that Pollock dealt with materials and his balletic, fluid gestures. I liked the performative aspect of his painting, but I did struggle with some of the discourse around his work. I was also looking for something that wasn’t as mystical as Pollock’s approach. I was interested in LeWitt and bought a book on his work. I like the way he described the contents of the work, the way it was made, and what it was made on. I found that straight forward and accessible. The demystification of what art could be about, seemed incredibly liberating.
I sincerely confess that I cannot remember whether I had already seen the word “molinology” when I first used it.
The turntable and other equipment sit on a table at floor level and the records are stacked in a pile to one side of the turntable.
The vaudeville-like impresario Dr. Pappenheim, is a rather weird and ever hopeful person, like a manifestation of the artist who, in order to be able to make work, has to remain positive despite all the signs that might suggest otherwise. I imagine him dressed in an outfit not unlike one of my alter ego characters Tom Bland; a straw boater, tie, flopping handkerchief in his top pocket, patent leather shoes, a cream suit, and his umbrella. In Ahron Appelfeld’s Badenheim 1939 there is a suggestion of a kind of collapsed performance which will never take place.
Isaac’s painting installation of composite beasts were installed on a revolving carousel in Spoleto’s textile museum, with an accompanying sound work by Nyla van Ingen.
Existere is an artist book based on a living sculpture that took place on three dates in July 2011 at Testbed1 in London. In collaboration with 125 volunteers, the performance took the form of a “shelter” made of naked human bodies. The “shelter” was held together in an endured brace, before inevitably coming apart, pausing and reforming.
I selected Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, for Fifteen People Present Their Favorite Book curated and re-staged by Jo Melvin.
Writer Rye Dag Holmboe and photographer Joschi Herczeg were the first residents to explore the Torre Bonomo in Spoleto as part of the Mahler & LeWitt Studios program.
I phoned David Tremlett to ask for his book and without hesitation he said: “Bruce Chatwin’s What am I doing here?” Tremlett has worked extensively with scores; and maybe, in a way, all his wall-work can be read as notations or scores of a kind.
“As the first painting was. The first painting was a single line, which surrounded the shadow of man cast by the sun upon the walls”: poetic definition taken from the Trattato della pittura by Leonardo da Vinci.