‘I played with many ideas about place… but in the end I realised it can only ever be personal. Place can never be generalised like it is on the Euro notes; it will always connect to somewhere in our autobiographies-future and past…The description of place will always reside in the detail.’
text by Tacita Dean
A Roach remembered
A tribute to a cockroach that lived its life to the fullest.
in memory of a loved one
Roni Horn recognises one of the most important relationships in an understanding of place within contemporary art: a desire to re-enchant the land with meaning, or to examine that area of overlap and coincidence between inner and outer spaces.
Tacita Dean and Jeremy Millar
Bruce Nauman - Walk with Contrapposto (1968)
”In this videotape Nauman attempted to maintain the contrapposto pose associated with classical and Renaissance sculpture while walking down a long, narrow corridor of his own design. In this position, one knee is bent, and weight is shifted to the opposing hip. Trying to walk while holding the pose of Donatello’s David is absurd and comical, but there is also a menacing discomfort to Walk with Contrapposto. With both hands behind his head, Nauman resembles a prisoner; the video camera positioned high above him might be a surveillance device. He elected to show the corridor without the video at the Whitney Museum in New York in 1969, inviting viewers to traverse it. Nauman removed himself from the piece yet maintained a claustrophobic sense of control: “It’s another way of limiting the situation so that someone else can be a performer, but he can do only what I want him to do,” he said.” (http://www.lacma.org/beyondgeometry/artworks8.html)
Dryden Goodwin - Closer
”Goodwin’s short film Closer investigates and subverts the encounters we have with strangers in public places. Using a zoom lens and a long distance laser pen Goodwin collapses the spatial distance between the camera’s eye and its subject, filming individuals as he simultaneously touches them with a beam of light. A host of emotional, psychological and sociological implications arise from this act. The ambiguity of these gestures, fluctuating between hostility and empathy, demonstrate both a sense of invasion as well as implying feelings of sympathy towards these individuals. Despite his bold scrutiny of his subjects, in this process of familiarisation and intimacy, Goodwin also seeks to offer them a mysterious protection from the luminary stethoscope by finding vantage points to video where reflected lights and details of architecture partially obscures their faces.” (www.drydengoodwin.com/closer.htm)
Between voyeurism and photography
Michael Wolf - Transparent City Details
Geoff Manaugh, from the essay “Transparent City" :
”When Michael Wolf and I first sat down to discuss the images contained in this book, Wolf pointed out one shot in particular. Like the photographer in Michelangelo Antonioni’s classic film Blow Up, Wolf had found himself working late in the studio one night, going over a batch of recent photos from Chicago. The photos were of buildings, of course—very large buildings, with lots of windows, like J. G. Ballard’s high-rise. At some point in the evening, Wolf zoomed in randomly on one of the windows while scanning the image for flaws. But he noticed something: there was a man in the photograph—and he was giving Wolf the finger.
Inspired by the find, Wolf went back through every photo he’d taken in the city thus far, methodically scanning, passing from one window to the next, row by row, as if deciphering a hidden text. In that newly committed act of visual interpretation, a key aspect to the project was born: when you look into the lives of others, the lives of others might be looking at you.”