Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Getting Laib (sorry) 

Last fall I went to the Hirshhorn Museum in D.C. with Alicia Askenase after Barry Alpert thoughtfully posted to BufPo that Peter Greenaway's new project was to be presented that week. I made haste. I don't want to talk so much about P.G. because well there's too much to be said about his work & my point isn't such now. The day after the presentation we walked around the museum. When I came upon Hazelnut Pollen (1992) I was pretty bewildered. & I had a slight Christ-in-the-temple urge - inverted. An art museum is no place for this. It should be in a remote shelter or left pure in the mind. I wanted to tear down the walls & good folks & all that other so-called art & send the whole lot tumbling into the pits of hell. My mouth was dry, didn't say anything. This piece, if you don't know, is by Wolfgang Laib.

Won't say more on the installation because I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO.

Don't know how many times I've heard talk of how critical community is to development. Or how necessary it is to study the history of one's art. Or to be familiar with What’s Going On for the sake of knowing. Over & again I hear how impossible it is to artistically develop isolated from society. Well, alternative worlds and futures are not often made from our little incestuous artmills. Thankfully, there are creatures out there like Wolfgang, who may not know how to master a chisel (maybe he can, I don't know), or what BobbiSue wrote in 1982, but who, nevertheless, can sublimely send us.

"I'm living very isolated outside of a small village - it is,
maybe, like on an island - isolated from people, from
society, but also from art and artists. For me it is very
important to be independent and to be forced to do my
own things. I try to protect myself from the normal
thinking of society, for instance of German society. The
monks in the Middle Ages living in monasteries or as
hermits in remote places, or in other parts of the world
hermits and ascetics living in forests or caves in the
mountains, they did this even much more extremely, but
with the same intention. The trees and forests, the rocks
and hills which surround me, they are so timeless, so
independent and still so new every day." -- W.L.


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