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.
Tearing Up the Lawn
Fritz Haeg’s garden-based art has grown all over the world, but now he’s returned to dig in the dirt of his hometown—the Twin Cities. In his six-month Walker residency, Haeg has overturned a Woodbury front lawn, built a geodesic dome in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, grown community connections, and turned out plenty of vegetables. “It’s about shifting ideas of what’s beautiful.”
Pathway to the Spectacular Now
When Billy Rosenberg read The Spectacular Now, he knew it should be made into a film: “Tim Tharp’s novel reminded me of Ferris Bueller, Say Anything, a little bit of Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye.” But the path of turning the book into a movie was as circuitous as the Minnesota native’s own journey from the Twin Cities to LA and back for a visit to the Walker to help introduce the film.
When Artists Take on Mini Golf
Tom Loftus and Robin Schwartzman
Having played courses across the US, putt-putt experts Tom Loftus and Robin Schwartzman note what’s unique in the Walker’s Artist-Designed Mini Golf. “Unlike typical commercial mini golf, the play and design when artists are involved vary widely, making each hole a distinctive experience.” Their review runs from a hole where players become sculptures to their own, which has a giant watering can at its center.
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.