?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Very shelfish - click opera
February 2010
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thu, Jul. 13th, 2006 09:35 am
Very shelfish

It's funny that, as a man who's spent the last week or so mainly thinking about, buying, assembling and erecting shelves -- and writing my next Wired column about "the curse of storage" -- I've also been seeing shelves on my recreational trips out into Berlin. The other day I took the U8 line up to Mitte and saw an exhibition at Ben Kaufmann Gallery (Brunnenstr. 10). There are actually two shows up; most of the gallery space is devoted to sculptures by Martin Wohrl. But when I visited, all the attention was going to Join the dots... to see where spiders live in haunted house!, a "curated bookshelf" put together by Eglantine Masson.



Eglantine basically invited her friends -- many of them musicians well-known on the Berlin scene -- to contribute small artworks to the bookshelf. The result is intriguing; rather than making it ignorable, the small-scale intimacy of the installation makes it absorbing and charming. There's a certain in-groupy, in-jokey feel to it, of course -- one piece is simply a scrap of paper on which is printed the sentence "Oh beautiful art curator, who will fall in love with you today as you wait for your baggage at the carousel at Narita international airport?" But perhaps we should think of it as "relational aesthetics meets the Ikea flatpack".

I don't know where this shelves-as-art meme started. With Liam Gillick? With Hirst's drug-shelves, or Michael Craig-Martin's "On The Shelf"? Or, going back further, with Marcel Duchamp's Green Box (1934)?

Wherever it began, shelves are hot. They're popping up all over the place. In Tokyo, for instance, an exhibition by Ayao Nakamura called "But, Because" has just closed at Gallery Room No. 1 / Room No. 2. Ayao is a photographer, but this show was set up as an installation, with potted plants placed in nooks around the gallery and a bookshelf installed in a prominent position. Prints, rocks, jewelry and "miscellaneous goods" were set out on the shelves, and Ayao even describes, on his website, how to assemble the shelves from the wooden parts. (Google translated version here.)



Art students aren't immune to the meme either; one of the more interesting pieces I saw in the London art school degree shows this year was a shelf installation (containing leaflets arranged by colour) by a Japanese student at Central St Martins. I didn't catch her name, but here's her installation:



Anyway, must get back to my own shelf-building... sorry, "art-making".

31CommentReplyShare

silenceinspades
silenceinspades
silence in spades
Thu, Jul. 13th, 2006 08:26 am (UTC)

i just saw a bunch of bookshelves by manolo valdes in a gallery.

book case.

i also just saw a bunch of bookshevles in ikea but they didn't give me free wine. there's the difference between art and commerce.


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Thu, Jul. 13th, 2006 08:53 am (UTC)

I didn't even think of the Anselm Kiefer metal books! Or Beuys...


ReplyThread Parent Expand

cheapopulance
cheapopulance
cheapopulence
Thu, Jul. 13th, 2006 12:54 pm (UTC)

lets not be silly.
what's next?
tables? chairs?


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Thu, Jul. 13th, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC)

such forward thinking! genius!


ReplyThread Parent
pitcherthis
pitcherthis
pitcherthis
Thu, Jul. 13th, 2006 02:05 pm (UTC)
hehehehehe :)

i did installation with a tiny bookcase (with hundreds of tiny books) for my degree 2 years ago :)


ReplyThread
cityramica
cityramica
cityramica
Thu, Jul. 13th, 2006 03:38 pm (UTC)

Joseph Cornell? sort of like shelves...more like boxes...

i've been seeming shelf art around here a lot too...and well, my books are arranged by colour [and genre but eh], and i have been thinking about living in a shelved space of sorts, crafted after a bookshelf i saw in a store window, if i ever get the money for such a project.

actually, i guess that last piece i made for a show was "shelfy" [and miniscule], or at least compartmentalized as well:







ReplyThread
uberdionysus
uberdionysus
Troy Swain: Black Box Miasma
Thu, Jul. 13th, 2006 04:22 pm (UTC)

Haim Steinbach was the first I know to utilize shelves. He was pretty famous in the early 80s and is in most museum collections. At the time, he was part of the 'representational school' and grouped along with Cindy Sherman and Sherrie Levine.



But most people commented on how he used off the shelf objects like Jeff Koons and placed them on shelves that looked liked they were made by Donald Judd. Donald Judd was definitely making shelves, even though they were also sculpture.



Not sure if I'd consider Duchamp's Green Box as shelves, but maybe


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Thu, Jul. 13th, 2006 05:31 pm (UTC)

Aha, you've found the real source, it's Judd, Judd, Judd!


ReplyThread Parent Expand




(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand


(Anonymous)
Thu, Jul. 13th, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC)

How many of the people here are stlil on the shelf?


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Thu, Jul. 13th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)

You should be ashamed of yourshelf for ashking that queshtion!


ReplyThread Parent Expand

(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand


(Anonymous)
Thu, Jul. 13th, 2006 07:45 pm (UTC)

Hey Nick, have you read this (http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2006/07/11/1678458-ap.html)?


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Thu, Jul. 13th, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC)

It was sheds in the nineties... and now it's shelves in the 2000s?


ReplyThread
stanleylieber
stanleylieber
Stanley Lieber
Fri, Jul. 14th, 2006 01:50 am (UTC)

Shelves are the path to my heart. I don't want to read this entry because I keep staring at the wonderful photographs.


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Fri, Jul. 14th, 2006 02:03 am (UTC)
Smithson's Shelves

Saw a photo once of R. Smithson in front of an "assemblage" : ammonuim nitrates or some such chemicals in labeled bottles on 2 rows of shelves.

Couldn't find a photo on the web, though. Funny, that.


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Fri, Jul. 14th, 2006 04:21 am (UTC)
shelf obsessed

heres something i made back in 1997:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bilateral/144893074/
cheers
lucazoid


ReplyThread
mediocrity_grrl
mediocrity_grrl
deceptacon.
Fri, Jul. 14th, 2006 07:35 am (UTC)

momus, please don't take offense to this, but i would love to make you an eyepatch. how big is yours, do you need a special strap this or do you have interchangable eyepatches or something?


ReplyThread
mediocrity_grrl
mediocrity_grrl
deceptacon.
Fri, Jul. 14th, 2006 07:36 am (UTC)

i meant interchangable straps with the eyepatches. it's like 4 in the morning fuck it, nothing i say is going to be coherent at this point.


ReplyThread Parent Expand


nina_blomquist
nina_blomquist
Nennen Sie mich Ninen
Fri, Jul. 14th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)

ha! i just wanted to call your attention to the beautiful and simple shelves of möbel horzon, when i got distracted by the course offering of horzon's wissenschaftsakademie and ..look who's on the schedule!
i'm all about the Third Way.


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Jul. 15th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)

Yes, I'm doing a lecture about the architecture of "Howl's Moving Castle" for Rafael Horzon's academy.


ReplyThread Parent
thistles_in_may
thistles_in_may
bells & whistles
Sat, Jul. 15th, 2006 12:56 am (UTC)

I find myself wandering over to read this quite a lot, so I figured I'd do the polite thing and ask: mind if I add you?


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Jul. 15th, 2006 04:36 am (UTC)

Wilkommen!


ReplyThread Parent