elenahpowell

From death to death…

In Books, Edinburgh on May 7, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Honestly one of the longest titles for an exhibition I’ve seen. Bit of a mouthful, but nice and full of nice things, things I don’t think I’ve seen before. And there’s always a bit of a thrill seeing something that you’ve only seen in books before, or is that just me? Different standing in front of something. And odd when it turns out to be a lot smaller, like Duchamp’s Fountain, although to be fair…when was the last time I looked at a urinal? Probably when I was really quite small and it probably looked a lot bigger and my friend thought it was a sink and tried to wash her hands in it. Different-but-good to see video things as real things (I can’t think of a better word, not sat in front of a laptop), a pile of screens showing Abramović washing bones, and Imponderabilia big (although as Steph pointed out, no one seems to walk through facing Ulay, always Abramović – oh no, watching it now there’s at least one person who does).

I’m not sure I can write anything remotely useful about it, although there were some of the best titles, I can’t remember all of it but a series of drawings by I-have-absolutely-no-idea-who-becasue-I-didn’t-write-it-down which were something-or-other shit-awful drawings. I’m taking that approach from now on. And lots of Beuys and text and rolls and rolls of felt that still smelt of felt (or maybe more olive soap-y, it smelt like when I’ve made felt before anyway, and that was olive soap-y and felty). There were Matthew Barney videos I’m not sure I even knew existed, but six playing all at once (with bagpipes) was a tad…much and I really don’t have that kind of patience.

These (Ernesto Neto – “It Happens When The Body Is The Anatomy Of Time”) were really nice though, I admit I went round smelling them all, but then how often do you get to smell a piece of work? Heck of a lot of spice, I imagine that floor’s gonna smell too, given that it’ll have been sat there for months on end. Think I probably could have just sat there and gone to sleep, all warm and Christmas-y and fuzzy inside.

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I got a proof of the Glasshouse Request sent to me last night, it’s stupidly hard having to remember to use the right initial to end emails, and replying from the right email account (honestly, made a new one just for this…). I don’t want to admit that it’s a pseudonym, because it’s actually quite fun pretending it’s a real person (and I suppose it is really, I’m a real person…). Although as pseudonyms go it’s probably quite obvious, or then again maybe not. But it looks…good. I wasn’t sure what it’d look like at all, and I have no idea how the final, tiny, folded thing will look.

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I got distracted from what I was meant to be reading by starting Bas Jan Ader: Please Don’t Leave Me (really chosen for the title), In Search of the Miraculous is still out on loan, and they both were when I needed to do research-y things for summative assessment. Still interesting, and sad and beautiful. I was planning on watching Here Is Always Somewhere Else, but there’s only a short clip online, although it’s quite sweet because one of his friends from school refers to Broken Fall (organic) – holding onto a branch above a stream until he falls – as ‘bad luck’ rather than a deliberate action. And there’s obviously a lot about In search of the miraculous, which I sort of wish I’d read before, because part one – part two was the sailing-and-then-dying-unintentionally – included eighteen photos from a nighttime search, walking from the somewhere to the east of LA to the sea. Fitting, no? 9th July marks thirty eight years since he set off. There’s a nice lot of drawings in the book too, nice life drawing and different versions of the same things.

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  1. Hi, Here Is Always Somewhere Else is, or was, on youtube. I also have some writing in the Glass house project too!

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