Can Can Summer, 2014

Can Can Summer, 2014
Inkjet print, acrylic paint, collage, digital enhancement

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 When I was thirteen or fourteen I was friends with a boy, T, who lived across the road from me. We lived on a suburban estate that was being built around us – ours was the second house to go up, Thomas’ was the seventh, I think. For years we lived on or near a building site. And, as the leaves blew off the calendar, the developers bought up more and more land, and made a miniature sprawl of identikit houses (except that with each new road, the houses got smaller), from what had been muddy tracks and fields of hay. Bored teenagers, we used to ride around on our bikes, looking for amusement. One day, T decided it would be best if we broke every window in the developer’s office. Whoever it was that worked there, knocked off early in the afternoon. We waited until dusk to ride past and check it out. There was no one about, so we returned with stones, larger than our hands, picked from the beginnings of the Hook Pit Farm Lane part of the estate. T smashed the first few windows and asked me what I was waiting for. So, I smashed a few. It was meaningless and stupid and more fun than I expected.

While studying archictecture at Cornell University, Gordon Matta Clark (1943-1978) invented the concept of Anarchitecture. The name combines anarchy and architecture. In the Seventies, Matta Clark formed an artists’ group of the same name with Laurie Anderson, Tina Girouard, Carol Goodden, Suzanne Harris, Jene Highstein, Bernard Kirschenbaun, Richard Landry, and Richard Nonas. Their work critiqued the modernist impulses of contemporary late Sixties, early Seventies American culture, within which architecture was seen as a symbol for that culture’s worst excesses and drawbacks. Matta Clarke’s practice introduced new and radical modes of physically exploring and subverting urban architecture, and some of his most well-known projects involved laboriously cutting holes into floors of abandoned buildings or, as with Splitting (1974), slicing a suburban villa in two.

According to Floater Magazine, “In December 1976, Matta-Clark was invited by the Institute of Architecture to exhibit together with the New York Five in the show Idea as Model. His proposal was to place in every window casement of the Institute a photograph of some old or new building from the South Bronx of which the windows had been broken and vandalized. This way, he wanted to comment on vandalism as the social reality of many ‘ideal’ urban schemes. In order to avoid the pure aesthetisation of the project, he got the permission to break some of the windows of the Institute. But after a late party, he returned in the exhibition and shot holes in all of the windows of the building. The Institute was outraged. His action was one more expression of range against the architectural machine of development. The shooting aimed to mimic the despairing delinquency behind the endemic vandalism in the city.” I think he got a taste for it too.

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Wolf Kidult Man, 2014

Wolf Kidult Man, 2014
Injet print, acrylic paint, digital enhancement

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Can Can Summer, Wolf Kidult Man and Is This New? are all tracks on The Fall’s 27th album, Imperial Wax Solvent (2008). It’s a lo-fi masterpiece. According to Wikipedia: “The album received some press attention when, due to a pressing error, the music of the album was recorded onto the first shipment of Faryl Smith’s debut album Faryl. The record label, Universal Classics and Jazz, was said to have “severe words” with the pressing plant. The incident attracted international attention. Whatever. You can listen to Taurig off the album here.

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Is This New?, 2014– Is This New?, 2014 –

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I’m basically the idea person. I’m not physically involved in the production. I don’t have the necessary abilities, so I go to the top people, whether I’m working with my foundry — Tallix — or in physics. I’m always trying to maintain the integrity of the work. I recently worked with Nobel prize winner Richard P. Feynman. I also worked with Wasserman at Dupont and Green at MIT. I worked with many of the top physicists and chemists in the country.

(extract from an interview with Jeff Koons, Journal of Contemporary Art, 1986)

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