Animating Space: Martin Friedman on the Sculpture Garden
Martin Friedman recalls the snowy day in 1987 when Claes Oldenburg unveiled a “captivating object”—his concept for the focal point of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. “There it was—a spoon, whose bowl rested on a small island in the center of a free-form pond and contained a rubicund cherry.” In his 1988 essay from Design Quarterly, Friedman discusses this and the other animating ideas behind the Garden.
Campsick: Julian Bleecker Reports from Alec Soth’s Camp for Socially Awkward Storytellers
Julian Bleecker is campsick these days. “It’s like homesick, but for camp,” he explains. In mid-July, the photographer and futurist took part in the Camp for Socially Awkward Storytellers, hosted by Alec Soth and his team at Little Brown Mushroom. With 14 other artists, he traveled the Twin Cities in an RV—from Soth’s St. Paul studio to a “contested forest” and beyond—in search of stories to share.
The Artist Constructs Himself
Verónica Gerber Bicecci
“The artist builds himself and unmakes himself piece by piece; he self-constructs, as if he were a wall where cement is always wet and bricks can be shifted.” Linking her studies with Abraham Cruzvillegas to her grandfather’s unfinished house, left behind when the family fled Argentina’s dictatorship, Verónica Gerber Bicecci muses on paradigms that allow us to “start anew, because nothing is finished.”
Archive as Method
Based in Hong Kong, Asia Art Archive has since 2000 sought to “facilitate understanding, research, and writing in the field, enrich existing global narratives, and re-imagine the role of the archive.” Concluding its #OpenCurating series on contemporary art and new technology, Barcelona’s Latitudes talks with Chantal Wong, Hammad Nasar, and Lydia Ngai about AAA’s work archiving art for Asia and the world.
Growing a Garden
“The public took to it instantly,” says Martin Friedman, Walker director emeritus, on the 1988 opening of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. “Everyone had a comment, everyone had something to say. They took ownership right away because it was a public space to begin with.” Now, 25 years and 8 million visitors later, we check back in with Friedman and others who were there when this beloved park was born.
Free Forms: An #OpenCurating Interview with Lauren Cornell
What challenges, expectations, and new possibilities does digital culture and social media present to contemporary art institutions? Barcelona-based curatorial office Latitudes (Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna) continues its ongoing #OpenCurating series with a conversation about culture and connectivity with former Rhizome director and current New Museum curator Lauren Cornell.
The Campification of the Divine: Andy Messerschmidt’s Graze Anatomy
“Culturally, I’m a cold-hearted colonialist,” says Andy Messerschmidt, whose work borrows ideas from world religions, from Buddhist mandalas to Indonesian shamanistic rituals to American holidays, in his art. The tendency is on display in his new Walker commission, which he says explores the “compression of loaded symbols of divinity and how they work in moire to create a meta-symbol of the divine.”
Prime Matter: Abraham Cruzvillegas on “Autoconstrucción”
“When an object is discarded by a person, it’s valueless,” says Abraham Cruzvillegas. “For autoconstrucción, it could be seen as prime matter.” The Mexico City-based artist gives such “dead” objects a new use by “revealing instead of hiding their nature.” Here Cruzvillegas discusses how this idea of “self-construction” underpins his artistic practice and offers a metaphor for the creation of his own identity.
Painter Painter: Reframing a Medium
The resolute materiality of painting continues to attract artists, says Painter Painter co-curator Eric Crosby. “It’s a vivid contrast with our daily routine, where we experience so many images by using a cursor. Painting resists this kind of experience,” he adds. “A lot of artists today embrace that notion, going where the materials take them, not where the history of painting tells them to go.”