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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Choosing to Choose

  • Author: Jan Verwoert
  • Artist: Tomma Abts
  • Section: Collaboration

Some Similarities

  • Author: Tomma Abts / Vincent Fecteau
  • Artist: Tomma Abts
  • Section: Collaboration

The Best-Laid Plans. On Accidentally Not Reading Tomma Abts

  • Author: Suzanne Hudson
  • Artist: Tomma Abts
  • Section: Collaboration

Different Subjects, Same Terrain

  • Author: Lynne Cooke
  • Artist: Zoe Leonard
  • Section: Collaboration

In Your Eyes

  • Author: Johanna Burton
  • Artist: Zoe Leonard
  • Section: Collaboration

The Paperwork Of the Poor

  • Author: Elisabeth Lebovici
  • Artist: Zoe Leonard
  • Section: Collaboration

Crystal Futures

  • Author: Maria Gough
  • Artist: Mai-Thu Perret
  • Section: Collaboration

For a Set of Abandoned Futures

  • Author: John Miller
  • Artist: Mai-Thu Perret
  • Section: Collaboration

Medium—Message

  • Author: Julien Fronsacq
  • Artist: Mai-Thu Perret
  • Section: Collaboration

Ei Arakawa: A Non-Administrative Performance Mistery

  • Author: Josef Strau
  • Artist: Ei Arakawa
  • Section: Miscellaneous / Varia

Richard Hawkins. Infinitly Desired

  • Author: Philipp Kaiser
  • Artist: Richard Hawkins
  • Section: Miscellaneous / Varia

Is Art Critisism Fifty Years Behind Poetry?

  • Author: Charles Bernstein
  • Artist: Frank O’Hara
  • Section: Miscellaneous / Varia

Echo Objects. A Book Review

  • Author: Philip Ursprung
  • Section: Balkon

Curating Left and Right

  • Author: Jens Hoffmann
  • Section: Cumulus

Infinite Glass. The Arts Beyond the Discipline

  • Author: Hans Rudolf Reust
  • Section: Cumulus

$ 32.00

Introduction

You might call it poetic justice of sorts: while the last issue of Parkett featured three male artists, this issue features the collaboration of three women, in their early thirties to late forties: Tomma Abts, Zoe Leonard, and Mai-Thu Perret. The work of the three artists covers a spectrum that ranges from the evocation of art history to the manifestation of independence.

Working with reflections, fictional set pieces and playful analyses, Perret explores and exposes the pathos of (past, present, and future) revolution. Mai-Thu Perret’s installation—the figure on our cover page is part of it—is titled “And Every Woman Will Be a Walking Synthesis of the Universe.” The notion of becoming gracefully involved, of spreading out in the infinite laws that surround us, is nurtured by the fictional universe of objects and writings the artist has created over the past decade and brought together under the heading of THE CRYSTAL FRONTIER. The texts are “fragments ostensibly written by members of an autonomous women’s community formed in the deserts of New Mexico,” knowingly obscuring the authorship of the works Perret presents. What we hear, playfully tossed into the circle (of art), are many different subjective voices of potential women, expressing themselves in a variety of media.

Moving on from such fictional evocations and evocative fictions to the art of Tomma Abts and Zoe Leonard, we encounter another subjective gaze, one that turns in on itself and ultimately takes the physical shape of a painted or photographed rectangle. Zoe Leonard is a photographer and collector of daily life with all its unspectacular signs and traces. Simplicity, sensuality, and serenity inform her photographs, the impact of which can be fully appreciated only in the originals; the black-and-white photography in particular is not beholden to any aesthetic “school” but rather incorporates discrete and elementary reference to the machina of process and production into the pictures themselves. Soft and hard collide in surrealistimages of trees that have literally devoured the fences that might have been a threat to their growth (see inside cover). Zoe Leonard’s work in groups and series embraces wide-ranging variations. The contributors to this issue largely discuss works of recent and very recent vintage, which have, however, evolved over a period of many years, as in ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS (2000–2008), ANALOGUE (1998–2007), and YOU SEE I AM HERE AFTER ALL (2008). The latter consisting of over 4000 old postcards of Niagara Falls, arranged in the form of a map. Lynne Cooke writes that “Moving through the gallery thus corresponds, at least hypothetically, to a tour of the actual Falls”. She also follows the trail that goes back to 1857 and the powerful painting Frederic Church made of this natural miracle.

The display of Tomma Abts’ work is also precisely predetermined. All identical in format, her paintings are the outcome of a protracted painting process, containing a multitude of carefully applied coats of paint, confounding facile criteria and categories of comparison. Jan Verwoert talks with almost breathtaking intimacy about the variety of inner decisions that are (or might have been) made in the course of the painting process. He comes to the conclusion that the “gesture of deciding now tends to resemble doubting” in contrast to the heroic connotations of avant-garde decision making.

In his contribution to BALKON Philip Ursprung similarly encourages us to penetrate the mind. He confronts us with an astonishingly new take on the concept of “formalism” in his discussion of Barbara Maria Stafford’s recent inquiry into neuroscientific findings and their relevance for art historians. The insert is designed by John Stezaker.