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Mad mediahead at Mu - click opera
February 2010
 
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Mon, Feb. 23rd, 2009 02:09 pm
Mad mediahead at Mu

Last August, art digest blog VVORK embedded my Boring Books video (a succession of the most interestingly-dull books I could find on Amazon, accompanied by music by Alvin Lucier). In late January Oliver Laric, an artist and coeditor at VVORK, asked me to participate in a show at Mu Eindhoven, a gallery in Holland.



The show, curated by VVORK, is called The Real Thing -- a reference not to the brown fizzy drink but a Henry James short story about "an innate preference for the represented subject over the real one". In the story, James finds reality lacking because of its "lack of representation" -- "I liked things that appeared; then one was sure. Whether they were or not was a subordinate and almost always a profitless question." That preference for the artificial over the real and that faith in representation over reality is the preserve of (often gay) writers from the 1890s -- James, Wilde, Huysmans. But it's something I understand well, being a mediahead more interested in Wii Tennis than "real" tennis (which begs the question of how real a game can be), more attuned to the internet than the city I'm in.

Anyway, this Friday, February 27th, I'll be making a performance -- a combined tour, concert and talk -- at Mu (map), starting at 8pm and lasting as long as the opening goes on. Then, between 28th February and 22nd March, I'll have a continuous spoken word installation in the show, performed by Mu staff, entitled Whispering Opera. Like Calendar, my piece currently being performed at the Baltic Mill, Gateshead, this will involve whispered titles from Click Opera pieces.

Other artists participating in the Mu show: Cory Arcangel, Claude Closky, Wojciech Kosma, Hanne Mugaas, Marisa Olson, Dexter Sinister, Seth Price. The flyer and more explanation is here.



I'll be blogging from Holland while I'm there, updating via my newly-improved iPod Touch (I finally upgraded to 2.2.1) and its dedicated LiveJournal app. Another free application I recommend is Nakatree Viewer, a little slideshow of the ads for new magazines that hang in Japanese subway cars. There's nothing quite so splendid -- for the mad mediahead, anyway -- as being able to see posters you can't read for magazines you can't buy!

15CommentReplyShare


(Anonymous)
Mon, Feb. 23rd, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)

Ah, the return of Boring Momus, with this underwhelming and eternally recycled whispering in the gallery schtick. Why, Momus? Do you think anyone is going to be moved to tears by this work? Do you think it's at all original?


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Feb. 23rd, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)

He/She's right, you know. You don't make a terribly convincing conceptual artist. Stick to what you do best: writing and music.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Feb. 23rd, 2009 03:13 pm (UTC)

I've no idea whether Momus is a good artist or not, since I've never seen any of his art work or performances. But I do have a feeling that conceptual art may have had its day, that it, too, may somehow be a casualty of the recession. It's been the privileged art medium since the early nineties, it parallels the dominance of the YBAs who are now in decline - I'd say it's had a good run and it's time for something new.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Feb. 23rd, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)

Some of us have been laughing at the conceptual guff from the outset. It's for "artists" who can't do "Art". Momus being the typical "artist", another chancer.


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brokenjunior
brokenjunior
Mon, Feb. 23rd, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)

... the evil Bomus that is?


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krskrft
krskrft
Mon, Feb. 23rd, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC)

I dig any and all mentions of Henry James. "The Turn of the Screw" is like my Bible.

Kind of a fucked up Bible to have, now that I think of it.


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krskrft
krskrft
Mon, Feb. 23rd, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)

For the anon(s):

While I usually don't like to wage the "if you're pissing people off, you must be doing something right" argument, the very fact that you're so offended by conceptual art, that you have such passionate opinions about its efficacy, speaks to its relevance, even as you make the argument that it is irrelevant/boring/etc. Your self-assurance belies a deeper desire to win over hearts and minds, to convince others that what you say is true. I can only imagine that this is comes from a nagging uncertainty, and from a general tendency to voice what you believe to be controversial edicts.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Feb. 23rd, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)

Thanks, krskrft. I'd add that conceptual pieces like these, which cost nothing to produce and aren't sold, are the perfect way for art to weather the recession. They dematerialize and decapitalize art production and consumption.

It's also nice to think of them as a way to get away from musical performance as an impersonal spectacle in a warehouse with a big sound system. Me singing to you during a tour of a library or art museum, and even whispering in your ear, is a much neater, lighter, nicer way to deliver a musical experience. A new concert format.


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Feb. 24th, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)

It's guff, you are not a real Artist get over it. Even as conceptual pieces go a child's game of Chinese whispers if pretty lame.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Feb. 24th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)

you are not a real Artist

I like how you capitalize it! It sounds as if you value art very highly.

I think an artist is probably someone selected by a curator to appear in an art show, or by a gallerist to show their works in a gallery. A "real Artist" might be different. For instance, I'm certainly a man, but probably not "a real Man".


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Feb. 23rd, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)

Hi Nick,
This is Ryan Hemsworth, I wanted to run an idea by you that I've started working on.

I'm going to be doing a sort of music project where I'm making a number of songs that I'm asking various artists to sing over, and I thought I might ask if you'd be interested in contributing.

If you're into the idea at all, let me know - messaging here because I figured this is the easiest/quickest way to contact you :)

Here is a potential song, just to give you an idea, but not in the least limitation:
http://www.zshare.net/audio/560613589463669a/


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robotmummies
robotmummies
ad reinhardt
Mon, Feb. 23rd, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)

that appears to be a good show, hanne is one of my favorite bloggers!


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Feb. 23rd, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)

Link to Hanne's blog.


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constructionism
constructionism
constructionism
Tue, Feb. 24th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)

I am loving this new "boring" aesthetic that is all over the web right now!


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Feb. 24th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
raises the question?

http://begthequestion.info/


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