Check this, wherever you are! Tim Abdellah’s blog on “music from Moroccan cassettes that is, to the best of my knowledge, not available outside of Morocco. It is shared here to spread the appreciation of Moroccan music and artists.”
Daniel Baumann | April 3rd, 2013
2013 Carnegie International October 5, 2013–March 16, 2014 carnegieinternational.org
Ei Arakawa/Henning Bohl, Phyllida Barlow, Yael Bartana, Sadie Benning, Bidoun Library, The Collection, Nicole Eisenman, Lara Favaretto, Vincent Fecteau, Rodney Graham, Guo Fengyi, Wade Guyton, Rokni Haerizadeh, He An, Amar Kanwar, Dinh Q. Lê, Mark Leckey, Pierre Leguillon, Sarah Lucas, Tobias Madison, Zanele Muholi, Paulina Olowska, The Playground Project, Pedro Reyes, Kamran Shirdel, Gabriel Sierra, Taryn Simon, Frances Stark, Joel Sternfeld, Mladen Stilinović, Zoe Strauss, Henry Taylor, Tezuka Architects, Transformazium, Erika Verzutti, Joseph Yoakum. More information
Lauren Wetmore | April 2nd, 2013
Chris Beauregard, 2013 (Photo: Travis Snyder)
Brandon Boan, 2013 (Photo: Jason Cohn)
Apartment Event #11: Chris Beauregard and Brandon Boan
Recently the 2013 Carnegie International apartment hosted an evening of experimentation by Chris Beauregard and Brandon Boan. Both artists are know in Pittsburgh primarily as sculptors; Boan for his contribution to the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial of curious casts exploring interstitial spaces and detritus found in the basement of the Carnegie Museum of Art, and Beauregard for his 2012 solo show at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, which presented carefully rendered yet violently toned objects intertwining themes of Italian Futurism, Gialo, and Cult Cinema. Recently Beauregard and Boan have been attending to the intersections between object making and performance, and their new work for this event presented two different approaches to sculptural gestures of accumulation.
Entering the apartment visitors were met by Boan, dapper in a three-piece suit and wielding an enormous old CU-5 Polaroid camera, originally used for forensic and fingerprint photography. Boan politely asked that each person through the door present their teeth for documentation, and the resulting polaroids were beamed on to the 44th street-facing windows using an opaque projector. Any American with dental insurance (or without, as is more often the case) can attest to the fact that showing one’s teeth is not the same as smiling. This became ever more apparent over the course of the evening as the accumulating grins came to resemble a manically held group rictus and Boan’s collection revealed itself to be a sinister study of social nicety; mobile vulgus.
In the kitchen, Chris Beauregard worked over a small high-powered stove, cooking up batches of sugar, corn syrup, and red food dye; a mixture that, when heated to extreme temperatures becomes glass candy, and also happens to be the same recipe commonly used to make fake blood in films (a fact that he has employed in past work, such as Bloody Axis, 2012). In a gesture recalling Richard Serra’s early lead toss works, once the blood/candy had reached a temperature of 320 degrees Fahrenheit, Beauregard used a large steel ladle to hurl it into a bucket of ice cold water, where it instantly hardened. The resulting forms were gingerly removed from the bucket and placed on a light table to be admired and sampled by visitors. These organically vulgar, delicately filigreed compositions of freeze-framed blood splatter captured the explosive moment in a film when the squib (a small explosive pouched used to simulate gunshot wounds) is deployed.
Apartment Event #12: Mark Dion and Columbia University MFAs
Another recent apartment event brought together MFA students from both Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University and New York’s Columbia University for an evening of pizza, beer, and artist presentations. The Columbians had come to town on a field trip with their mentor Mark Dion—an alumnus of the 99/00 Carnegie International and a resident of southeastern Pennsylvania, where he and his family make their home at Mildred’s Lane, a “contemporary art complex(ity)” in the upper Delaware River Valley. The next morning, after a few church sales and a hearty breakfast at the Quiet Storm, we took a tour of the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. Dion was eager to show his mentees the unique institutional model that houses such distinct elements as a collection of gems and minerals under the same roof as a gallery of Renaissance painting. What a gem!
Guest | March 27th, 2013
During some archival research for the upcoming re-installation of the International’s collection, I came across an unlabeled black-and-white photograph (top). After some some further digging it became apparent that the picture represents a highlight in the early history of both the exhibition and Major League Baseball. The photo features a huge painted billboard which bears an image of Pittsburgh Pirates fans packed into the stands at Exposition Park and is flanked by two inscriptions: PRESIDENT TAFT APPLAUDING WAGNER’S TWO-BAGGER MAY 29, 1909 and WELCOME MR. PRESIDENT FOUNDER’S DAY MAY 2, 1910. The painting on the board was a reproduction of a photo taken by Frank Bingaman first published in the Pittsburgh Press on May 30, 1909. The related article, “Taft Has Jolly Time at Ball Game but Upsets Plans,” detailed how William Howard Taft (an avid baseball fan) was “the first U.S. President to attend a Major League baseball game at a location other than Washington.” The game also gave Taft the chance to witness the legendary play of Pirate Honus Wagner, “The Flying Dutchman.” The Pirates lost this game 3–8 to the Chicago Cubs, but ultimately won the World Series later that year (thanks in large part to Wagner’s .339 batting average for the season).
President Taft remained in Pittsburgh for two days. Besides attending the Pirates game, he participated in the initiation of Memorial Fountain in Arsenal Park and visited the Allegheny County Club, confirmed by several photographs in the museum’s archives (below).
Just one year later, President Taft returned to Pittsburgh and again attended a Pirates game, which the Pirates won this time 5–2 against the Cubs on May 2, 1910. According to the press, Taft’s visit to Forbes Field was part of a tight schedule the President had to complete during his two-day stay in Pittsburgh. An article in the Pittsburgh Press read “Great Preparations Made to Entertain Head of Nation.” On the morning of May 2, 1910, thousands must have lined the streets in Oakland to catch a glimpse of the President residing in the Schenley Hotel and leaving for the Carnegie Music Hall later on. President Taft attended the museum’s Founder’s Day celebration, which coincided with the opening of the Annual Exhibition (now known as the Carnegie International). He gave a speech and officially opened the fourteenth International.
The following day the Pittsburgh Press article “President Gives Talk about Art“ described the atmosphere and decorations in the Carnegie Music Hall for the event and featured a summary of the President’s speech. The small annual booklet that typically contains the Founder’s Day summary included a report on the occurrences and a reproduction of the entire address. Here is an excerpt:
“The contrast necessarily impresses itself on one’s mind of the enormous material development and progress of Pittsburgh on the one hand, with the smoke and the fire that indicate the great industries on every hand, and then the esthetic side of the community, that is shown and encouraged in this great temple of art, of music, and of learning….In the old countries the people—the common people—love art and music, and therefore, those who have the control of the government do not hesitate to use the proceeds of taxes to encourage those tastes, and to give the pleasure that music and art give to those people….In Europe you cannot help being impressed with the love of art of the common people. And while we may be pardoned in our first hundred years for not having spread wider that love because of the difficulties we had to encounter in settling this country and in making it prosperous in a material way, we certainly cannot as a people escape from severe condemnation if in the next hundred years we do not make great progress, great strides in the matter of the love of art, and its cultivation on every hand.”
In more recent news, Taft has recently been elected to join the Washington Nationals’ “Racing Presidents” Mascots.
Nicola Schroeder is a German art historian currently living in Pittsburgh and working on the archive of the Carnegie International.