Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Sunday, 12 June 2011


Broodthaers's deep attraction to the forms of the outmoded has been remarked upon by his various critics. His system of references focuses mainly on the nineteenth century, be they to the Ingres or Courbets in the first manifestation of his museum, or to the example of Baudelaire and Mallarmé for his books and exhibitions, or to the panorama and the winter garden as his models for social spaces. In fact, as Benjamin Buchloh has commented, this "altogether dated aura of nineteenth century bourgeois culture that many of his works seem to bring to mind might easily seduce the viewer into dismissing his work as being obviously obsolete and not at all concerned with the presuppositions of contemporary art."

But what Crimp is suggesting is that the power Walter Benjamin invested in the outmoded should be acknowledged in the Broodthaers's use of it - as in his assumption of the form of the "true" collector. This was a power Benjamin hoped his own prospecting in the historical grounds of the nineteenth century forms would be able to release. Writing of his own Paris Arcades project, he said: "We are here constructing an alarm clock that awakens the kitsch of the past century into 're-collection.'" That Benjamin's archaeology was retrospective was a function of the fact that he believed its view could open up only from the site of obsolescence. As he remarked: "Only in extinction is the [true] collector comprehended."

Rosalind Krauss - "A Voyage on the North Sea", p.42

Images of Marcel Broodthaers's Un jardin d'hiver, 1974. Top image from here, which is quite fun!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Walking the high line

On the Guardian's homepage today was a story about the opening of the second phase of New York's High Line park. I'd read about this project a couple of months ago in Frieze magazine, in which the New York authorities have turned the disused High Line railway which runs down the west side of Manhattan into a public space, transforming the once overgrown rail tracks into a kind of faux-overgrown leisure space. It's quite interesting how they've created this artificial sense of nature reclaiming an urban space that had become long forgotten, essentially mimicking what the High Line had become - captured in a series of images by Joel Sternfield at the turn of the century - but with nice clean walkways to stroll down.

Sunday, 5 June 2011


Yesterday, whilst taking a break from manning the stall at the book fair, I came across a book by Giasco Bertoli consisting of a series of photographs of abandoned tennis courts, a set of melancholic images reflecting on these disused, unloved spaces. These spaces of leisure were varied in their location, from inner-city to holiday resorts, all are united in their conspicuous absence of activity. After seeing these images and watching the French Open Final today I have to say I'm quite keen to get out on a court and have a knock around...

Saturday, 4 June 2011


Today we held a book fair at X Marks the Bokship in Bethnal Green, exhibiting the publications we've produced over the past four months in the AND Publishing workshop. I managed to sell a couple and Eleanor from the Bokship even asked to stock one of my books in the shop!

Friday, 3 June 2011


A little sneak peek at a series of photographs I've been working on, looking at plant life and flora within the urban environment. I've been attempting to create a sense of ambiguity with the framing of the shot, and it is a continuation of this idea of the in-between that I've been interested in for some time now. I've been starting to realise that my work needs a more systematic approach and a sense of a framework that would be given by undertaking a more specific project, and this is something I will be attempting to address over the coming months before my final year...