This is the freshest catalogue I have seen in a long time. Artist Pierre Leguillon said that it looks like an annual report—and it somehow is: no gimmicks but full of information worth its price. Or as New York Times critic Roberta Smith put it: “excellent.” It has new texts on all artists written by Dan Byers, Amanda Donnan, Tina Kukielski, Raymund Ryan, Lauren Wetmore, and myself. You can listen to one of them here, the e-mail interview with Wade Guyton.
The catalogue contains an introduction explaining what this show is about—see an excerpt below—as well as three essays by the co-curators laying out their different points of view. Art historian Robert Bailey explores the International’s unique history and its relationship to the museum’s collection; urban planner Gabriela Burkhalter contributes a pioneering article on the history of playgrounds—with amazing pictures. You will also find a quite engaging text from 1961 by former Carnegie Museum of Art director Gordon Bailey Washburn, unaware of the transformations the 1960s were about to unfurl; a scheme about play by the French intellectual Roger Callois from 1958; an introduction to abstraction by Chicago curator Katharine Kuh from 1951; a quasi-abstract reflection on the difference between art and action by French poet Stéphane Mallarmé from 1897; an astonishingly contemporary set of claims for a better use of public space by artist Robert Rauschenberg from 1968; an ode to the power of laziness as a form of resistance by exhibition artist Mladen Stilinović from 1993; and a reflection on spam describing the conditions of our technological world by artist and writer Hito Steyerl from 2011.
Excerpt from the introduction:
Despite social media, the Internet, and our global information economy, it still makes a difference if you live in Tehran, a village near Kraków, Johannesburg, or Los Angeles. Yet all of the artists in the exhibition, while working from and within a local context, translate their views into pictures, (more…)