11 September 2016

Strungout on Jargon (Slight Return)

TEMPLATE 6: The Disneyland/ Dystopian Paradise/Planned Utopia Artist Statement $21.99:
Step 1: talk about how your interest in planned communities came from interrogating the assumptions of the following:
  • the American dream
  • the failed narrative of progress
  • conflicts that inhere in postmodern urbanism
  • experimental geography
Step 2: talk about ambiguous futures, suspended temporality and the destabilization of the reality principle
Step 3: rail against a too-perfect repressed 'paradise' that is really a simulacra of XYZ
Step 4: bring in Buckminster Fuller, Brazilia and Celebration (planned community in Florida)

TEMPLATE 7: The Deconstructed Architecture/Unmonumental Sculpture Artist Statement

Step 1: talk about how your work began with a preoccupation with 'haunted spaces,' 'aporia' and 'liminality'
Step 2: talk about how your installations render visible what the built environment has naturalized or obscured
Step 3: tell an anecdote about how your 3 month artist residency in a Third World country (i.e. South/Central America, Eastern Europe, Africa, etc.) awakened an awareness about how ethnography is embedded in place in a way that the homogenized metropli of the First World never allowed you to perceive that allows you to simultaneously:
A.) off-handedly brag about how you were at a residency
B.) show that despite your impenetrable wall of accolades, you are still a sentient aware person capable of being effected and transformed by lived experience (they LOVE that!)

From "Top Ten Words I Am Sick of Seeing on Artists Statements" by Andrea Liu [ # ]

image: Thomas Struth

10 September 2016

04 September 2016

Speculation Rules the Nation

Robert Del Naja, Bristol, 1985

Dubious hypothesis of the week, "street art" edition: According to a blogger in Glasgow, Banksy is really Robert "3D" Del Naja of Massive Attack. After all, if the Daily Mail deems that a dog worth chasing, then it must be true.

News of which has me walking to my book shelves and pulling out a couple of old volumes. First up, 3D as he appeared in the 2-page spread devoted to Bristol in the Henry Chalfant & James Prigoff title Spraycan Art, Thames & Hudson, 1987...

The other half of the spread being devoted to a young, pre-Metalheadz Goldie.

Next up is the volume Scrawl (1999, via Booth-Clibborn Editions), which features exactly one piece by Del Naja, but also depicts four graffiti murals by up-and-comer "Robin Banks," aka Bansky...

Comparing the two, I'd say that Banks's can control and and compositional sense in 1998 weren't quite as nuanced as Del Naja's had been some 12 years prior.

Bansky has said in the past that the work 3D had originally inspired him to pick up a spraycan and stencils. What's more, in the  Booth-Clibborn title, he's quoted as saying that members of Massive Attack were among the first clients to buy some of his canvases. (Meaning that Banksy haters can blame Del Naja & co. for helping the guy get a leg up.)

The Glaswegian sleuth Craig Williams cites as evidence that Banksy murals have a habit of popping up in various locations that seem the follow Massive Attack's international tour route. The only thing this prompts me to wonder is: Who, then, is the more obsessive Massive Attack fan -- Banksy, or Mr. Williams? Either way, I'd assume Del Naja already has a lot on his plate between the demands of his music career and also continuing to produce visual work in a variety of other graphic mediums. Enough so, that I image it'd be difficult to access the surplus time and energy it'd take to maintain a third career as a stealthy, nocturnal, internationally-renowned hit-and-run graffiti artist.*

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