Article Number: 9100
Soft Cover, German, Thread Stiching, 278 Pages, 1997, ISBN 3907509994
Bice Curiger

Parkett No. 49 / 1997

Grodon, Wall, Anderson

Selected Realities. In a recent photograph, Douglas Gordon appears wearing a poorly fitting blonde woman’s wig. This set piece allows him to try on several identities in the imaginary mirror of popular culture:

The title, SELF-PORTRAIT AS KURT COBAIN, AS ANDY WARHOL, AS MIRA HINDLEY, AS MARILYN MONROE, transports the picture into the region of psycho-symmetries. Mirrored and mirroring: The cover of Parkett also appears in the guise of an idea suggested by Douglas Gordon. The simple device preempts Parkett’s customary appearance as a reminder that alienation is reflection’s constant companion. The Parkett logo—for those who always wanted to know: it is embroidered—and the other lettering on the cover are “out of sync” as well. Contrary to custom, the collaboration artists are not presented in alphabetical order. The placement of Jeff Wall in the middle and Laurie Anderson at the end of the volume is motivated not by the idea of inversion but quite simply by the fact that their pictorial realities lend themselves to reproduction in such different ways. All three artists make use of optical equipment but only in Jeff Wall’s work is the final product a static image, while Laurie Anderson and Douglas Gordon often rely on clearly defined temporal continuums. Since the reproduction of their art in the pages of a magazine is as difficult as it is misleading, we have decided to present Jeff Wall’s compelling tableaux as a visually distinctive center. All three artists engage reality with an intensity that exposes its inherent plurality. In Jeff Wall’s meticulously constructed slices of life, everyday life rubs against art and art history. A SUDDEN GUST OF WIND, in which the elements wreak havoc with a business man’s papers, reflects the motif of a famous woodcut by the Japanese artist Hokusai (1760-1849). A painterly canon of contemporary connotations emerges with deceptive nonchalance in display cases ordinarily reserved for the communication of goods and services. Laurie Anderson’s art also invites us to waive expectations both in the concert hall and in the exhibition space, as she moves effortlessly at the “speed of light” from political to extremely intimate to cosmic reflections. Her “135 most used words in the English language” listed on the inside back flap teach us that statistics are mirrors as well. Working exclusively on paper, Silvia Bächli demonstrates in the Insert that such tools as chalk or ink are as much a complex—though oneiric—extension of the observing mind as any modern technology. The localized world of Seydou Keïta’s photographs collides with John Waters’ “private movies,” and we begin to wonder what glamour is all about. This is the forty-ninth issue of Parkett. Our anniversary issue to be published in November will explore art “In Broad Daylight.”

Language: English/German