Friday, December 14, 2007

Triple Threat: The Public's Right to Own, Part III

According to, the folks at Harlem's Triple Candie have yet again staged an exhibition that's pushing the boundaries of homage and art integrity. You may recall their exhibitions of works "by" Cady Noland and David Hammons. Now, the artist they're championing through unconventional means is Jacob Lawrence.

Two notes: 1) I personally know and greatly admire the Directors of Triple Candie, Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett. 2) Peter Nesbeitt is an expert on Jacob Lawrence's work. As Artnet puts it, he "was formerly director of the Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, and is the co-author of the two-volume The Complete Jacob Lawrence (2000), which includes a catalog raisonné and Over the Line, a collection of essays. He is also author of Jacob Lawrence: The Complete Prints (1963-2000)."

Here is what they're up to this time:
Which is better, a complete set of facsimiles or a limited selection of originals? Ambitious viewers can decide for themselves this month, as the Triple Candie exhibition space in Harlem presents full-color offset reproductions of the 60 paintings in Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration of the Negro, an epic work made by the 24-year-old artist in 1941. According to Triple Candie, Lawrence considered the paintings to be a single artwork and intended that they all be exhibited together, though he sold half the series to the Museum of Modern Art and half to the Phillips Collection shortly after it was made.

Despite Lawrence’s intentions, major Lawrence retrospectives have routinely included only parts of the work, and thus "radically misrepresented" it, Triple Candie says. The Lawrence retrospectives of 1960 (at the Brooklyn Museum and 16 other venues), 1974 (at the Whitney Museum) and 1986 (at the Seattle Art Museum) all featured only fragments of the work. Both MoMA and the Phillips Collection have also exhibited it in truncated form. The Migration of the Negro has never been shown in its entirety in Harlem, where it was originally made.

What’s more, the misrepresentation of the work continues to this day. The Triple Candie exhibition is mounted to coincide with "Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series: Selections from the Phillips Collection" at the Whitney Museum, Nov. 21, 2007-Jan. 6, 2008, which presents only 17 of the 60 panels. That show was originally scheduled to appear at the Studio Museum in Harlem, but had to be moved to the Whitney due to high humidity in the original venue’s galleries.
As Lindsay Pollock details in her book on Lawrence's dealer, Edith Halpert, the gallerist tried valiantly to sell the entire series to one collection, but neither Phillips or MoMA would agree to purchase all 60 panels. I do recall some agreement on their part at the time, though, to collaborate to permit full exhibitions of the whole work. Why that has turned out to be so difficult is a mystery to me.

So I get why Triple Candie is offended by this continuous misrepresentation of the work to the public (the title of their exhibition clarifies their feelings about this: "Undoing the Ongoing Bastardization of The Migration of the Negro by Jacob Lawrence,"), but once again I find myself uncomfortable with the nature of their response. I am on record as opposed to reproductions being exhibited as if art. Even when the nature of the reproductions is clearly stated, I find the context overwhelmingly misleading and thus potentially as much of a bastardization as only partial groupings.

While I totally appreciate Peter and Shelly's frustration with the institutions wanting to cash in on Lawrence's vision, but only so much as it's convenient for them, and admire the way they're putting their money where their mouth is in bringing attention to this fact, I still wince a bit at the idea that some young visitor will leave their exhibition thinking that the original series was done as prints.

All the same, I love their commitment and passion.

Labels: jacob lawrence,


Blogger Mark Creegan said...

What I love about this gesture (and their past ones) is that it conveys that sense of fan desperation and determination. It only adds to our understanding of the work. I would have to see the exhibit to prove this but I would imagine that, rather than detract, it creates a clearer space within our imaginations of what viewing all of the real paintings would be like.

12/14/2007 09:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Oh come on Edward, only a snob or a gallerist would think like that.

How many artworks don't get through to the public because they rely on too complex references to be grasped at first sight?

If the viewer thinks these are prints and it is the original work, then they're dumb, period. These days you are supposed to read the panels clearly, that's just how it goes.

Now..It would be different if the gallery was selling those copies as prints, but I entirely applaud this attempt at providing a solution to the problem of art scarcity. I've said it a thousand times, most of any arts, and that includes art sold at Winkleman Gallery, will be seen by the viewers through reproductions. Chances to meet a precise work of art in reality are very scarce unless you own the work.

But even the richest collectors can only buy a fraction of what is out there and rely on catalogs and other mediums to review un-owned works from the artist they admire.

I'm totally there with Triple Candie,

Cedric Caspesyan

12/14/2007 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

If the viewer thinks these are prints and it is the original work, then they're dumb, period. These days you are supposed to read the panels clearly, that's just how it goes.

Nice...and if the viewer is a child just beginning to learn about art and art history, do you assert the same?

And what message does it send to any viewer that they should look around to discover whether the work they're viewing is original, and meant to be taken on its own, or part of a political statement by someone other than the artist?

12/14/2007 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

>>>if the viewer is a child just >>>beginning to learn about art >>>and art history, do you assert >>>the same?

Most arts aren't meant for children, but generally children respond to image or touch more than the intricacies of media.
I don't think they'll look for that particular brushstroke style, I may be wrong. I understand your point but I don't think it's of utter importance. It's like Bertrand Tavernier that once said (I used this quote many times already): "better someone who've seen The Great Illusion on a cheap VHS copy than not see it at all" when questioned about the detrimental quality of home viewing concerning masterpieces of cinema and what it meant for The Great Illusion to be seen along a crowded audience.

>>>And what message does it send >>>to any viewer that they should >>>>look around to discover >>>>whether the work they're viewing is original

That comes back to Baudrillard. We live in the age of the cloning. Never trust anything to be the original. The Lascaux caves are not the original, they hide the original to protect it. It's a bit paradox between the tangible and intangiility of images. Images are perception, illusion. The eyes feel they are touched but they aren't. So you can recreate texture for the eyes and make believe they are confronted to something real. If you want to test the real, you need to invoke another human sense, maybe smell or touch, but most arts are visuals, rely on the image, and don't necessitate anything more than the illusion of the real.


Cedric Caspesyan

PS: I know for a gallerist, a reproduction has no value. I totally believe in the cultural value of reproductions, and it's pretty high.

12/14/2007 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and if the viewer is a child"

that's ridiculous. is all art to be presented at the lowest common denominator?

to whom do i petition that my child is not getting proust?

12/14/2007 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

Well then back to the reconstruction of the Jeremy Blake. Is the posthumous work for sale? If it is, and I expect so, then I expect the Winkleman blog to weigh in less obliquely as a moral force against the unethical (or at least tacky) (re)presentation of this artist's vision.

In any case, work done without the artists explicit consent distorts the vision of the artist.

What is the function of socially mediated (collaborative) interventions in an artists vision?

Lets start with the coffee table book. Most people have never been to a full exhibition of Jean Michel Basquiat, let alone seen the best examples of his ouvre, appreciating the work mostly or through reproductions.

If we discount the opinions of the second tier, who have never entered the stadium, nor thrown an opening ball, nor sung the national anthem - what does that mean to the institutions that depend on the money that such flawed mediated appreciation brings? Separate but equal? Let them eat kitch?

While I am a staunch defender of elitism, I do think those poor deluded souls should be better informed of their hand-me-down status - though I expect these adults - the masses - are wont to see the world through the eyes of children.

In conclusion, though not finality, I must point out that my liver must have replaced itself this year, and my body, though possessing organs, must work mightily to keep the temple intact.

12/14/2007 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

I have never been to Tripple Kandie. At first it was the name. Then it was too far. Then I realized I liked the idea of the gallery so much that a visit might prove disappointing. Too much for one person to bear.

12/14/2007 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

"This habit of abstention from Feeling in the best society enables a Circle the more easily to sustain the veil of mystery in which, from his earliest years, he is wont to enwrap the exact nature of his Perimeter or Circumference."

Couldn't have said it better myself, you know?

12/14/2007 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

that's ridiculous. is all art to be presented at the lowest common denominator?

It's merely one consideration. Cedric responded in kind.

If you read carefully, though, you'll see that 1) there's no "art," per se, actually being presented here; 2) that the discussion you inserted yourself into hinged on the ideas of context and misunderstanding and that given that, discussing the impact on educational efforts is totally relevant, especially given Triple Candie's mission and not-for-profit status; and 3) that you're over reacting to one example by extrapolating my question to infer that I'm in anyway saying "all art [should] be presented at the lowest common denominator."

12/14/2007 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Well then back to the reconstruction of the Jeremy Blake. Is the posthumous work for sale? If it is, and I expect so, then I expect the Winkleman blog to weigh in less obliquely as a moral force against the unethical (or at least tacky) (re)presentation of this artist's vision.

That is a very good point. I would imagine the incomplete work is indeed not for sale, but don't know for sure. Anyone?

12/14/2007 02:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

confusion. inserted himself? do others get invitations?

i disagree about no art being presented.

can't deal with the blog god. see ya.

12/14/2007 03:01:00 PM  
Anonymous ARe said...

I give slide shows. It's pretty important that what people haven't experienced can. I would suggest go to the Whitney, then Triple Candy, in that order.

And good facsimiles you should be able to see the brushstroke. Absolutely superior facsimiles can bring those brushstrokes to their exact replica of the original. Then children touching them when they shouldn't can be reprimanded appropriately. Absolute Reality, eh!

12/14/2007 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

can't deal with the blog god. see ya.


12/14/2007 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger crionna said...

frustration with the institutions wanting to cash in on Lawrence's vision,

Mustn't the artist take some of the blame too? I mean, (assuming cost was the impediment to purchasing the entire set and not something else) he could've halved the price of the work so it could stay together, but did not.

12/14/2007 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

I too take offense at anyone using "The Children" to argue against what should or shouldn't be. I'm sure the welfare of no children would be harmed by a visit to Triple Candie,
A: If they are smart enough to make it there on their own, I think they can grasp the concept of the difference between a print of a painting, and a painting
B: If they are taken by an adult who is smart enough to make it there, I'm sure that the adult could explain the difference between a print of a painting, and a painting.

What came to mind reading this has been commented on, the fact that in most cases the introduction to most artist is by an image of the original work, not by the work.
Both slide shows, and coffee table books are the most common introduction, and with so many galleries posting the work on their websites, even the first view of new art is preceded by an image of it continuing Joseph Kosuth's discourse of Plato's The Forms
What I like about this is it is in between, it's bigger than a book, brighter than slide show and succeeds in a way they both fail to represent the work Scale, and Context, it succeeds in communicating the original concept of the piece by getting as close to the intention of the artist, which has been neglected til now.

According to Triple Candie, Lawrence considered the paintings to be a single artwork and intended that they all be exhibited together

the "What" and "Why" are here maybe for the first time since the original exhibition, what is lacking is the "How", which these days is the most forgiven of the trinity anyway, and in the case of the Triple Candie show Is Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration of the Negro of interest for its narrative or its text?

The title of the exhibiion
"Undoing the Ongoing bastardization of "The Migration of the Negro" by Jacob Lawence. point blank accuses the two institutions of the manner in which this piece of art has been treated, which is essentially having been split in half, could you imagine two small museums who cant afford a Serra chipping in to buy one, then disagreeing and their only solution is cutting it in half and each getting one. Would both museums have a Serra, or would neither? I think that is the point of this Exhibition to have that that question raised.

I have been to Triple Candie on occasion, not as often as I would like, especially living on 110th st I am close enough to not be able to use the its too far away excuse, (I have used that on Brooklyn a few times) but I did see the Cady Nolan show and it was a chance to be introduced to an artist in a way better than slides, books, or webages, so I support what they are doing, and would say by really taking chances and engaging the discourse it is more interesting than everything else that is going on and important that they do what the are doing, and present non-commercial alternatives that take risks.

12/14/2007 08:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Boy!

Here we go 3 Candy:

Who? French. Did all. Minister. Already.


oy x 2.

12/14/2007 10:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

I have to admit that the Keith Tyson exhibit, which was one my favorite this year, wouldn't mean the same if it had been distributed in parts. But I can just see how it could have been dismantled.

Many artists think they will do this one show that will mean this thing this one time, and then
after it's just living on and cashing in.

I'd even accuse Jeff Koons of dismantling his work. When are we supposed to see the Celebation series together?

In regards to an impossibility, Tripple Candy pared to the impossible.
Starck (the designer) always said "if you can't realize a project than draw it".
So the Tripple Candy show is the drawing of a possible exhibition. It's a proposal
for an exhibit and it's being presented as such. I think that's fantastic.

Cedric Caspesyan

12/14/2007 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

Should artists have budgets?
I think the concept of the budget is fundamentally flawed. Requiring artists to work within arbitrary numerical standards creates a disconect between what the artist envisions or needs and what is "allowed."

That an artist, unable to shoehorn an idea into "fiscal responsibility" leads me to an interesting idea.

What if everyone pretends idealisticly, that there is no budget? What if art was free? What if Art was a medium an not a commodity?

Freed from the constraints of money or quid pro quo, what artistic dreams my come unfettered from their concrete overshoes?

12/15/2007 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I too take offense at anyone using "The Children" to argue against what should or shouldn't be.

For the record (and why I objected to the charge of "ridiculous" and even more to the assertion that I was arguing for a lowest common denominator in presenting art [something I'm on record as firmly against), I was only using "The Children" to argue against who should or shouldn't be labeled "dumb, period" just because they were confused by the context of such a presentation. My question to Cedric was whether he would still assert that a child was "dumb, period" if they were confused. I didn't suggest the exhibition should cater to children. It was solely a question about calling the viewer "dumb, period" when the viewer can be any range of people.

12/15/2007 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Stagg said...

To keep it simple...I like Jacob L.'s work and never knew that all those numbers were supposed to be seen as one whole experince....yet I like the idea of trying for the best and moving forward with what ya got.

12/16/2007 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

I don't really see what the problem is.

It should be clear that the reproductions are not the original paintings. This means that aspects of the experience of seeing the actual paintings is not present. Joseph is incorrect when he tries to infer that we can know the painting from a good reproduction.

However, I feel that assembling all 60 images together, even in reproduction, is a great idea. Yes, the viewer misses out on experiencing the physical paintings, but the narrative cycle of images are brought together in a way which one cannot experience in a catalog or digital reproduction. Being able to walk into a space and have an panoramic overview of this cycle of paintings is something that is not possible with a catalog or slide show.

While I would personally miss seeing the actual paintings, I think being able to view all the images together adds a dimension which is missing in the current contexts for these paintings.

Cedric. FYI, Tyson’s piece was sold to a major European collector and won’t be broken up. I noticed that there were different elements shown at the Louisiana exhibition which had only 140 parts, so some of those elements may have been sold before its purchase and the subsequent installation at Pace.

12/16/2007 12:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Thanks Georges.

I knew about the selling to the one collector (a couple), that's why I said "it if had been distributed", but I didn't knew about the difference with Louisiana, and will be scrutinizing into this.



12/16/2007 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

OK, so let's see how far this could go.

Say a museum in another country or across your own country decided they would do an exhibition of your work. Only to save on shipping costs, and all those pesky loan forms, etc. they printed out color reproductions of your work and exhibited those instead. No need to bother the folks who have been collecting your work over the years permission to borrow the work, or collaborate with your galleries, or really, if you think about it, even notify you about the show.

Yes, that sounds unlikely, but I see no discernible difference between that scenario and what Triple Candie is doing. They don't have the blessing of the institutions that own the work. Mr. Lawrence's estate hardly signed off on it. An institution simply decided they could decide on their own to exhibit the reproductions. If that precedent stands unchallenged, the scenario above becomes less outrageous.

You cool with that?

12/16/2007 09:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we go back to trashing Jen Dalton please?

12/16/2007 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Ed, They don't have the blessing of the institutions that own the work.

If that is the case, how did they get the images they are using for the reproductions.? At some point here, I would suspect the copyrigh laws would become a major issue. We need the advice of a lawyer...

12/17/2007 01:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

...I support what they are doing, and would say by really taking chances and engaging the discourse it is more interesting than everything else that is going on and important that they do what the are doing, and present non-commercial alternatives that take risks.

From the standpoint of the attention economy, in which attention is the coin of the realm, this is a fiscally conservative maneuver. After all, Holland Cotter swooned over the Cady Noland show, which purchased credibility for the gallery in the currency with which it is bought in this segment of the art world: the raising of issues. Something similar was at work in the Dalton piece discussed in the last thread. Giving away something that could be worn visibly, associated with a superficial dilemma that could (and would) be discussed by anyone with sufficiently middlebrow taste to subject himself to a contemporary art fair, invited a wide dissemination of a raised issue. Being ingnored is the red ink of the attention economy, so you run a greater risk by displaying objects that exist primarily for their own ineffable purposes in an atmosphere of humble respect.

It occurs to me too that both this exhibition and the Dalton work concern themselves with the context of art - the atmosphere of discussion around art and the mechanisms of distribution of art moreso than art objects themselves. Again, there's a false dilemma: "Which is better, a complete set of facsimiles or a limited selection of originals?" Since neither the complete display of reproductions nor the partial display of the originals honor the artist's wishes, the question is contrived, just like an excluded-middle choice between Hot and Rich. As someone who enjoys art more than the hooha surrounding it, I don't find either work terribly interesting, which I'm not willing to debate, nor risk-taking, which I am.

12/17/2007 02:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excelent Franklin.

Thank you. Stick around please. You make us all think more and better.

It is not that I agree with you everytime but most here are at an ideological dead end. Even the young ones. I can tell you because I am part of it. Sometimes Saltz gives us a glipmse of a change but he never delivers fully.

Art History is dead in the city. Politics rule it and art.

3 Candy is ok but not talking about Andre Malraux together with their program reflects badly around here.

12/17/2007 04:16:00 AM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

No excluded muddles.

Does JD want her work to function as institutional critique; or is it merely a way to keep things light and socially lubricated at an otherwise boring sales event or gallery space?

Keep your keg cup, we JUST DON'T KNOW.

IS the 3K's piece institutional critique? Parody? Satire? Burlesque? or a traditional way for ambitious but disaffected (dyslexic?) trustafarians to have a social scene?

What is the fundamental objection to using an image of a gallery or museum artwork, as opposed to say, an artistic image of the Marlboro Man, to speak with or from?

That the artists vision will be diluted or altered and must be held inviolate in the name of truth until such time as the artists tribe is anihilated? IS this democracy? Or MONARCHY?

My legal argument FOR fair use might go like this:

Is the Marlboro Man ubiquitous public branding, done as "work for hire"?


As such is it is a "public figure" and subject to the legal precedents set for "fair use."

Likewise, a museum collected artist's work connotes and constitutes "public figure" status.

Further, I would argue that no harm was done to the artist's vision (under fair use laws) but in fact had created a "buzz" within the arts community that served to substantially raise awareness of the socially positive cause(s) the artist was agitating for.

This positive effect largely outweighs the "harmful to minors" argument (ask a lawyer) or "defamation of character" (which is debatable - what was the artist's socially positive intent?).

The 3k's misrepresentation of an artist is as much a "commentary" as say, Richard Prince's LAME misappropriations of the Marlboro Man. And they are lame, even RP agrees, right? I mean c'mon an enlarged copy of a picture of a cowboy holding a cigarette?

Oh but it just such an awesome image right? Ties your lungs in knots does it?

Sublime! Ravishing! Adroit! Feel Good! These are words you don't apply to RP or his ouvre. He's not that kind of artist. Nor are his fans.

Most people smoke because nicotene is a drug.

Most people shop because they are powerless to stop.

Most people do drugs because, among other things, intellectual property law is such a nightmare.

A monkey looks in, no philosopher looks out.

Thanks for the link Frank.

12/17/2007 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

Have you seen Jennifer Dalton's piece called "False Flag Event?"

We collaborated on it - so I'm just tooting my own horn. Survey says, "check it out."


12/17/2007 06:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The directors of Triple Candie are extremely unethical, both in their personal and professional lives. They treat people terribly while posing as champions of the underdog. I do not support this show.

12/17/2007 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Regarding Edward's worries about museums of simulacras.

These worries seem to only make sense for the living artist
and the 75 years after their death, since this is the moment
where copyright infringements (making an exhibit of repros
without even telling the artist) means that the artist and their
gallerist are not making a penny.

If you're talking about a retro of Rembrandt reproductions,
then, yet you still have the problem of not being able to
contemplate how light directly affect the works (though
most have protective glasses anyways so you're getting
a pretty filtered impression of these affects already), there's
no real harm done to artists or gallerists or more like there

The importance is that you don't try to pass counterfeits for
the real thing. An exhibit of counterfeit Rembrandts might be
the only mean to bring them all togeter at this point.

Another topic related to this issue is that, at some point with repros, maybe an exhibition
is not necessary if you can sell the works as posters tagged together, or maybe the gallery can
sell an edition of those posters. Again, problematic with the living artist, but not problematic to common sense and long deceased artists whose original works are unaccessible on the market.

As far as Franklin's comment, I would be naive enough to
visit Triple Candie for seeing the works. If it is a conceptual
"we've done it first" than it would mean the idea is not
worth being repeated. To me it's more like a methodology
of exhibiting than attempting to present the exhibit AS the
artwork itself. If you believe otherwise than that means that you
don't care about the artist presented himself. And chances are
I wouldn't too, as I have no idea what is on show, but to my mind
it's clear that the gallery's proposal is NOT the artwork itself.
It's a solution to an important problematic in museology.


Cedric Caspesyan

PS: and yes we're not arguing that the original is not better, we're saying that they are second chance offers when the original can't be reached, and judging by the scandals at fake Van Gogh and Warhol, that second chance
offer is becoming more and more imprinted with quality. Baudrillard even argued
that one day the copy will be better than the original, because a whole bunch of people will work on it to make it perfect. So there lies the problem between
artistic purity and the powers of the intelligentsia to turn anything mediocre
into something great. Are we able, collectively, to "perfect" a work of art? Or is a work of art only perfected by signature?

12/17/2007 12:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

What's your sense of ethics, anonymous?

I grow tire of people whose only sense of ethics involves business and money. As if there never ever was any other model for living.

Maybe the question: how is triple candie making money with this deserves investigation, but I like to believe that some people are not always doing things thinking of money, or presuming all artists
are about money.

Cedric Caspesyan

12/17/2007 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Amory Blaine said...

Anonymous certainly does like to bite the hand that feeds him. Haven't you been showing with triple candie for years now? For shame, you ungrateful little jerk.

If you're going to bite, at least have the decency to offer some evidence of the hand's wrongdoing. Certainly many have done unseemly deeds under your moniker, dear Anonymous.

And Edward, your nitpicking. It's really unbearable. I'm willing to extend the general public, and even children (!), some credit to make meaningful distinctions about the nature of reproduction and art (and revel in and enjoy same). But I don't feel like your credit rating warrants your inclusion. Why are you so steadfastly refusing to get in on it? You don't like Brussel sprouts?

Also: Lawyers stay out! I listened to Ann Coulter say the other day that, "The First Amendment is highly overrated. " Parts of this blog are giving me flashbacks.

And: If you think they're making money on this, you're nuts.

12/21/2007 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

And Edward, your nitpicking. It's really unbearable. I'm willing to extend the general public, and even children (!), some credit to make meaningful distinctions about the nature of reproduction and art (and revel in and enjoy same).

For the last time, the question was whether it was appropriate to label children "dumb" who might be misled by the context. It's easy enough to say you don't think so and leave out all the hysterics about dumbing down art and the other things I never implied.

12/22/2007 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Amory Blaine said...

I think it's clear that this triple candie project (and probably the rest) will continue to be seen as some kind of attack on the artist, or artwork in general, when, in fact, it is truly about the impossible and the factors that maintain the unbearable status quo. This is their project. It's not about them thinking or wanting to be artists. It's enough for them to be producers in a cultural realm. I don't think they have a need for titles beyond that.

When I complain about nitpicking, it's from my impatience to see that bigger picture trotted out for discussion. As for how far this could go, Ed, I think you're wandering down the path beaten bare by paranoids, pessimists, and panic-ridden simps. Forget about your hangups, and see if something positive comes to mind.

Drink some seltzer. I find that it helps.

12/22/2007 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I don't know,'s late, I just returned from a long trip after the holidays, and I've been a bit under fire here recently, but my first impression in reading your two comments is that you don't really have a point or that you're not really making it clearly. Which I find flattering in a way that's hard to put my finger on (but I guess relates to the notion that you must lurk here quite a bit to feel you know what my "hangups" are), but then the implication that I'm not open minded about TC's efforts ("see if something positive comes to mind") suggests you haven't read the other posts here on their exhibitions, which I've defended and praised. I simply have a well-considered objection to exhibiting copies in a context generally reserved for originals. Yes, as some folks have noted, it is mostly an occupational prejudice, but conceptually I have reservations about this particular one. I'm willing to read your critique/defense, if you'll take time to offer any, but...

I've discussed previous critiques of mine in person with the TC directors (as noted, we're friends) enough to know they appreciate the dialog, even when I disagree with them, and can tell you that your concern for them here is misguided and unnecessary.

12/25/2007 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Amory Blaine said...


My concern for them, as they were, is not for fear of you, but of another them. And that usually the dialogue comes down to right or wrongness instead of questions of power and money and authority...

I'm glad you clarified your position a bit, but I also think the first statement of "exhibiting reproductions as if art" is less helpful, and less true, than "exhibiting copies in a context generally reserved for originals." The latter actually brings the central problem to light, and it's a problem with historical precedent, recently and notably at the Met's "Harlem on My Mind" exhibition. Your problem with their project is precisely what they're getting after, Ed. So what I'm saying is that they're not ever going to please you as long as they're up to their hi-jinx and you still have the same hang up with copies, or whatever you want to call them. It's fine by me. I'm not angry. It's just funny when someone writes that they wish they had done it differently. There's no other way to do it. And that's great and funny and probably frustrating. On all accounts.

And since this may not be helpful, or nice, to say in a statement, I'll pose the question instead. Do you think artists "get it" concerning triple candie's project more than dealers do? More than collectors? More than curators?

And if so, why do you think that is?

I think "Yes, Yes, Yes." And why?

If you don't know, you better axe someone.

12/28/2007 10:24:00 PM  

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