Tag Archives: Hans Haacke

HANS HAACKE IN CONVERSATION

I have always been sympathetic to so-called minimal art. That does not keep me from criticizing its determined aloofness, which, of course, was also one of its greatest strengths. As to the implied incompatibility between a political statement/information and a work of art, I don’t think there are generally accepted criteria for what constitutes a work of art. At least since Duchamp and the constructivists, this has been a moving target…

Contrary to popular belief, eagles are really not courageous birds; they are even afraid of bicycles, as [Marcel] Broodthaers wrote. Their power is due to projection. The same is true for art—and political power. They need the red carpet, the gold frame, the aura of the office/museum—the paraphernalia of a seeming immortality and divine origin… It is important that the Thatcher painting is an oil painting. Acrylic paint doesn’t have an aura… Another reason for making a painting was that I had been stamped a conceptualist, a photomontagist, that sort of thing. This was a way to mess up the labels…

It is true that I often play on the modes of the contemporary art world, and I try to make something that is accessible to a larger public, which does not care for the histrionics of the art world. As Douglas [Crimp] pointed out, it helps that these pieces do not have the look of hermetic “avant-garde” art…

Where the Left is sometimes unnecessarily vulnerable is in its tendency to make mechanical attributions of ideology. In that respect, it mirrors the Right. We should recognize that things need to be evaluated within their respective historical contexts. Taken out of context, they are likely to be misread and can play the opposite role from that of their original settings… If I had been too concerned about co-optation, I would probably not have been able to do the things I’ve done. It can have a paralyzing effect. I saw this with some colleagues and students in the ’60s and ’70s. They either stopped working altogether or went through tremendous personal crisis, from which some eventually emerged as cynical entrepreneurs. In either case, it amounted to a capitulation to the powers that be. It takes stamina and shrewdness to survive in this mess… We just have to reconcile ourselves to the historical contingency of things. Otherwise, we fall into the idealist trap of believing in universal meanings and values. Hans Haacke*

On the occasion of the New Museum exhibition HANS HAACKE—ALL CONNECTED—the artist’s first major institutional show in the United States since Hans Haacke—Unfinished Business (1986–1987), also at the New Museum—join Haacke and co-curators Massimiliano Gioni and Gary Carrion-Murayari for a public conversation.

HANS HAACKE IN CONVERSATION with MASSIMILIANO GIONI and GARY CARRION-MURAYARI

Thursday, October 24, at 7 pm.

New Museum Theater

235 Bowery, New York City

*Yve-Alain Bois, Douglas Crimp, and Rosalind Krauss, “A Conversation with Hans Haacke,” October 30 (Autumn 1984): 22–48; reprinted in October: The First Decade, 1976–1986, edited by Annette Michelson, Krauss, Crimp, and Joan Copjec (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987), 175–200.

Hans Haacke, from top: Condensation Cube, 1963–65, clear acrylic, distilled water, and climate in area of display; Untitled, acrylic and liquid; Taking Stock (unfinished), 1983–84, oil on canvas and gilded frame; Mobil, On the Right Track, 1980, screen print and collage of photographs; Hans Haacke, Volume I, cover image courtesy and © Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, Tate Gallery, London, and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; On Social Grease, 1975, photo-engraved magnesium plates mounted on aluminum plaque (detail); MoMA Poll, 1970, two transparent ballot boxes with automatic counters and color-coded ballots, Information, Museum of Modern Art, New York, installation view; Shapolsky et al. Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, a Real-Time Social System, as of May 1, 1971, 1971, 142 black-and-white photographs, 142 typewritten cards, two excerpts from city map, and six charts (detail); Oil Painting: Homage to Marcel Broodthaers, 1982, oil on canvas, gilded frame, bronze plaque, stanchions, red velvet rope, picture lamp, red carpet, and photomural, Documenta 7, Kassel, installation view; child viewing Large Water Level, 1964–65, Miscellaneous Notions of Kinetic Sculpture, Hayden Gallery, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 1967, installation view; Hans Haacke: All Connected, cover image courtesy and © the New Museum and Phaidon. Images courtesy and © the artist, Artists Rights Society, New York, and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

HARALD SZEEMANN — SELECTED WRITINGS

Harald Szeemann (1933–2005)—curator, artist, art historian, and “secretary general” of the legendary documenta 5—was an exhibition maker nonpareil. HARALD SZEEMANN: SELECTED WRITINGS—published in conjunction with last year’s exhibition Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions at the Getty Research Institute (home of the Harald Szeemann Papers)—brings together over seventy essays and interviews, many published in English for the first time.

Richly illustrated throughout, the book contains a 20-page section of plates, including Szeemann’s artwork, exhibition diagrams, installation views, archival photographs, and other ephemera.

“I’m an existentialist. You are thrown in the universe from somewhere and are, once here, responsible for your acts. But it’s always a privilege to fall into a well-made bed. In this case, the Kunsthalle Bern in 1961…

“The historical moment, when the image of the creator/curator became conscious and evident, happened in 1969, when I organized When Attitudes Become Form and the artists arrived and installed their works and the TV reports publicized it. Beuys put his grease on the walls, Heizer made a hole in the public sidewalk, Artschwager distributed his blps in the city, Barry put the building under radiation, Weiner removed a square meter of wall, Ruthenbeck ruined the wooden floor with his wet ashes, Serra threw melted lead against the wall, etc., etc. This was no longer perceived as an art exhibition but as an archaic provocation—not by the artists, but by the curator who allowed it.” — Harald Szeemann*

HARALD SZEEMANN: SELECTED WRITINGS. Edited by Doris Chon, Glenn Phillips, and Pietro Rigolo. Translated by Jonathan Blower and Elizabeth Tucker. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2018.

In New York, the Swiss Institute has restaged GRANDFATHER: A PIONEER LIKE USthe 1974 exhibition Szeemann organized in his Bern apartment two years after documenta 5.

HARALD SZEEMANN—GRANDFATHER: A PIONEER LIKE US

Through August 18.

Swiss Institute

38 St. Marks Place, New York City.

*”Making Things Possible: A Conversation with Harald Szeemann.” Interview by Beti Žerovc. In Harald Szeemann—Selected Writings, 383–393.

From top, left to right: Harald Szeemann, in the 1990s in the Fabbrica Rosa, his office and archive in Maggia, Switzerland, photograph Fredo Meyer-Henn, State Archive of Canton Bern; Szeemann’s address list for his 1968 research trip to New York—for the Kunsthalle Bern exhibition Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form (1969)—includes contact info for Eva Hesse, Hans Haacke, Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra, and Lucas Samaras; Szeemann (seated) on the last night of documenta 5, 1972, photograph by Balthasar Burkhard; Getty Publications book cover; Lidija Delić, poster art commissioned by the Swiss Institute for the Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us exhibition; Oasis No. 7, Haus-Rucker-Co (Laurids Ortner, Manfred Ortner, Klaus Pinter, Günter Zamp Kelp), 1972, documenta 5: Questioning Reality—Image Worlds Today, Kassel, 1972; part of Szeemann’s rubber stamp collection; Szeemann. Images courtesy the Harald Szeeman Papers at the Getty Research Institute, © J. Paul Getty Trust.

BAUHAUS — DOCUMENTA

BAUHAUS / DOCUMENTA—VISION UND MARKE—a new exhibition in Kassel curated by Philipp Oswalt and Daniel Tyradellis—looks at the crosscurrents between two iconic German institutions:

Bauhaus aimed to confront the crisis of industrialization and the damages caused by the First World War through the applied design of objects, spaces and buildings; documenta took up the romantic idea of the engagement with fine art, through which people should become responsible citizens again.”*

The show—part of the celebration of the Bauhaus centenary—includes works by Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Bazon Brock, Hans Haacke, Wassily Kandinsky, Barbara Klemm, Aleksandr Ptuschko, and Gilles Raynaldy.

BAUHAUS / DOCUMENTA—VISION UND MARKE*

Through September 8.

Neue Galerie

Schöne Aussicht 1, Kassel.

From top: Staircase of the Fridericianum with tapestry by Fritz Winter, 1956–1957, documenta 2, 1959, photograph by Günther Becker; Sculpture Hall at documenta I, Kassel, 1955, featuring works by Hans Arp, Henri Laurens, Alexander Calder, and Henry Moore; rotunda at the Fridericianum, documenta I, photograph by Günther Becker. Below: invitation card for Bauhaus/documenta—Vision und Marke, featuring images of Haus-Rucker-Co, Oase Nr. 7 (Oasis No. 7), documenta 5, 1972, photograph by Carl Eberth; and Wilhelm Wagenfeld ‘s Tischleuchte (table lamp), 1924, photograph by Joachim Fliegner. Images courtesy and © documenta archiv.