27 September 2006

Robert Blanchon book event

Visual AIDS has just published (distributed by D.A.P.) a lovely book about Robert Blanchon (1965-1999) and his work. Last night, there was a book event at Artists Space with a panel of an editor (Amy Sadao), the essayists (Sasha Archibald and Gregg Bordowitz), and Blanchon's executor (Mary Ellen Carroll). Below, my notes:

Archibald: he became "a sort of trickster"; sent out invitations to mailing list of Terra Museum about 21st year of Conceptualism, all a hoax but black tie event with nowhere to be; slides of several of his works including gum on the sidewalk (one version entitled "Untitled"; the other titled with the addresses of cruising spots in L.A.; reminded me of others who have given meaning to ordinary places by labeling them as cruising spots)

Bordowitz: his essay in the form of a prose poem
* guilt [but also envy], survivor's guilt
* names become reference points: all of the activists/artists were not just one happy crew who all knew each other
* Bordowitz didn't know Blanchon and wrote his prose poem to the work, but as a kind of love story [art makes me horny]
* missed opportunities
* inspired by James Schuyler and John Donne
* "we all have beds, Felix"
* works embody the pressure of their moment
* he made both "gay art" and "queer art"
* differences between artist, e.g., Wojnarowicz was a primitive, Moore was kitchy, Felix Gonzalez-Torres was conceptualist
* possibly knowing the artist through his work

Carroll: Blanchon diagnosed in 1983 so HIV positive throughout career; shared sense of tricksterism [Billy Trickster and all from Oregon trip]; architecture, like film, is something you can't do yourself [hence title main entry]; Carroll promised Blanchon she'd do book and international exhibition (book is beautiful and exhibition is on the way); art from perspective of artist/maker, not viewer

Q&A: formalist and not; engagement; easier to die from drug addiction than from AIDS; elevation of gossip to philosophy


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