Page 20 - Studio International - December 1969
P. 20

On exhibitions                            Robert Barry,  N.E.Thing  Co., Jan  Dibbets,   tant  criticism  being  'yes'  or  'no'.  After  that

                                               Douglas Huebler, Stephen Kaltenbach, Joseph
                                                                                         his  decisions  should  be  in  the  realm  of  the
     and the                                   Kosuth,  Sol Le Witt, Lawrence Weiner);  and   practical and logistical, not the aesthetic. The
                                                                                         organizer  should  have  as little  responsibility
                                               an  exhibition  and  multi-lingual  catalogue
                                                                                          as possible for the specific art.
     world at large                            from July-September  1969 for which  eleven   CH:  Have  the  conditions  for  exhibitions
                                               artists made work in eleven different locations
                                               throughout the world.               C.H.   changed as art has changed, and if so, how?
     Seth Siegelaub                            CH:  Do  you  think  exhibitions  effect  looking   ss: Until 1967, the problems of exhibition of
                                                                                         art were quite clear, because at that time the
     in conversation with                      at art?                                    'art' of art and the 'presentation' of art were
                                                                                          coincident. When a painting was hung, all the
     Charles Harrison                          ss:  They  can. But  usually pejoratively.  In  a   necessary intrinsic art information was there.
                                               large  sense,  everything  is  situation.  In  an
                                               exhibition situation the context-other artists,   But gradually there developed an 'art' which
     During the last two years  Seth  Siegelaub has   specific works-begins to imply, from without,   didn't need to be hung. An art wherein  the
     acted as a dealer and exhibition organizer to   certain  things  about  any  art work. The less   problem of presentation paralleled one of the
     assist and present the activities of those artists   standard the exhibition situation becomes, the   problems  previously  involved  in the  making
     to whose ideas he has felt committed. Rather   more difficult to 'see' the  individual  work of   and exhibition of a painting: i.e. to make some­
     than  attempt  to  push  this  art  along  the   art. So that an exhibition with six works of one   one else aware that an artist had done anything at
     channels  through  which  art  is  customarily   artist and  one  of another  btgins to bring to   all.  Because  the  work  was  not  visual  in
     given currency,  he has established situations   bear  on  the  art  pre-exhibition  values  that   nature,  it  did  not  require  the  traditional
     suggested by the radically different nature of   prejudice the  'seeing' process. All choices  in   means of exhibition, but a means that would
     the art itself. Exhibitions have recently tended   the predetermination of the exhibition hinder   present the intrinsic ideas of the art.
     to be dominated by prestigious objects. Siege­  the viewing of the intrinsic value of each work   For many years it has been well known that
     laub  has  been  principally  concerned  with   of  art.  Themes,  judgmental  criticism,  pref­  more  people  are  aware  of  an  artist's  work
     artists  for  whom  work  does  not  necessarily   erences  for  individual  artists  expressed  by   through (1) the printed media or (2) conver­
     result  in  the  creation  of  anything  visible  or   differences  in the number  of works,  all  pre­  sation  than by direct confrontation with  the
     discrete. More energetically and more imagi­  judge art.                             art itself.  For painting  and  sculpture,  where
     natively than any other defender of the con­  CH:  Can exhibitions ever serve the intentions   the  visual  presence-colour,  scale,  size,  loca­
     ceptual in art he has worked to provide new   of the artist, and if so how?          tion -is important to the work, the photograph
     conditions  of  exhibiting  and  publishing   ss:  When  artists  show  together  their  art   or verbalization of that work is a bastardiza­
     whereby the ideas of the artists may be made   shares a common space and time. This situa­  tion  of the  art.  But when  art  concerns  itself
     as  widely  available  as  possible  without  the   tion makes differences more obvious-if only   with things not germane to physical presence
     risk of spurious identities becoming attached   by proximity. If all the conditions for making   its  intrinsic  ( communicative)  value  is  not
     to them.                                  art were standard for all artists-same materi­  altered by its presentation in printed media.
     Siegelaub's  ventures  have included  the pub­  als,  size,  colour,  etc.-there  would  still  be   The  use  of  catalogues  and  books  to  com­
     lishing  of  a  Xerox  book  (with  Carl  Andre,   great artists and lesser artists. The question of   municate  (and  disseminate)  art  is  the  most
     Robert Barry, Douglas  Huebler, Joseph  Ko­  context  has  always  been  important.  The   neutral  means  to  present  the  new  art.  The
     suth,  Sol  LeWitt,  Robert  Morris  and  Law­  nature  of  the  exhibition  situation  begins  to   catalogue can now act as primary information
     rence Weiner), and of a book of Statements by   assume a 'neutral' condition as one standard­  for  the  exhibition,  as  opposed  to  secondary
     Weiner;  the  opening  (for  the  month  of   izes the elements in the environment in which   information  about  art  in  magazines,  cata­
     January 1969) of a 'gallery' and publishing of   art is 'seen'.  I think exhibitions can  function   logues, etc., and in some cases the 'exhibition'
     a  catalogue  for  a  group  show  of  Barry,   to  clarify  or  focus  in  on  certain  dominant   can  be  the  'catalogue'.  I  might  add  that
     Huebler, Kosuth and Weiner, which included   interests of an artist. As we know now, things   presentation -'how you are made aware of the
     such  work  as  Barry's  1600  KC  Carrier  Wave   that look alike are not necessarily alike. Cer­  art' -is common property, the same way that
     (AM)  and Weiner's One standard Air Force dye   tain  exhibitions  present  differences  better   paint colours or bronze are common property
     marker thrown into the sea;  a  group exhibition   than others.  Most  exhibitions  stress  similari­  to  all  painters  or  sculptors.  Whether  the
     in  March  1969  which  took  the  form  of  a   ties, at the expense of the individual works.   artist chooses to present the work as a book or
     catalogue with one page and one day for each   CH:  If the  responsibility  of  the  organizer  is   magazine  or  through  an  interview  or with
     of  thirty-one  artists  invited  to  participate,   to standardize,  what  sort  of  choices can  he   sticker labels or on billboards,  it is not to be
     distributed free to a world-wide mailing list;   take upon himself?                  mistaken for the 'art' ('subject matter'?).
     the mailing of a postcard to publish the times   ss: The choice of specific artists and of the en­  CH:  The  organizer's response to an art 'idea'
     and place of a gesture made by Jan Dibbets   vironment in which their work is to be placed.   is still primary. Where no other information
     in Amsterdam; a group exhibition and cata­  CH:  What conditions these decisions?    is available, the man who takes responsibility
     logue  for  Simon  Fraser  University,  Canada   ss:  The personal sensibility of  the organizer,   for making someone else aware that an artist
     (Terry  Atkinson  and  Michael  Baldwin,   obviously. We're all critics,  the most impor-  has  done  something  can  still  make  his own

     Contributors                              SETH smGELAUB, dealer, publisher and curator-at-large,   JOSEPH KOSUTH lives and works in New York. His most
                                                                                          recent one-man exhibition was held during  October in
                                               has been actively involved during the last two years with
     to this issue                             finding new means to promote new art.      fifteen locations throughout the world. He is American
                                               PATRICK HERON's work has been described in a previous   editor  of Art-Language.  Parts  I  and  II  of  'Art  after
                                               issue of Studio International by Ronald Alley. An exhibi­  philosophy'  were  published  in  the  October  and
                                               tion of his work will be held at the Waddington Gallery   November issues of Studio International.
                                               in January  1970.  His  essay  was  commissioned  for  a   BARNETT  NEWMAN,  the  distinguished American  artist,
                                               monograph  on  his  work  under  preparation  by  ESM   had an exhibition of paintings of 1959-69 at Knoedler's,
                                               Documentations,  an  �chive  of contemporary  art or­  New York, last April. His article was first published in
                                               ganized by Edward Mcneeley.                Art News in Summer  1968 and is printed here by kind
                                               PETER  CAREY  is  manager  of  visual  arts  in  Camden,   permission of Mr Newman and the Editor of Art News.
                                               London, and has organized exhibitions at the Camden   RALPH  RUMNEY,  artist  and  theorist,  is  currently  con­
                                               Arts Centre and elsewhere.                 cerned with Futures.
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