ATTENDANT A TO Z
EDITED BY SERKAN OZKAYA AND ROBERT FITTERMAN
PREFACE: A DIALOGUE FOR PUBLIC ATTENDANT A TO Z Serkan Ozkaya & Robert Fitterman A for ANAGRAM Rodrigo Rey Rosa & Marlene Rutzendorfer
I for IKEA Sandra Chollet
J for JUST MARIA Fernán Nápoles
K for KAVAN Steven Zultanski
B for BOÎTE-EN-VALISE Mathieu Mercier
L for LIGHT Alan Licht
C for CAMERA OBSCURA (REVERSED) Penelope Haralambidou
M for MAN RAY Philip Blackburn
D for DOOR Michael Taylor
N for NUDE BY A WATERFALL Stefan Banz
E for ÉTANT DONNÉS Jeff Wall
O for ORIFICE Kim Junsung
F for FORESTAY WATERFALL Stefan Banz
P for PROJECTION Jeff Derksen
G for GYNOMORPHISM IN ÉTANT DONNÉS Francis Naumann
Q for QUADRATE Derek Beaulieu
R for READYMADE Matvei Yankelevich
H for HOPPER TO DUCHAMP Daniel Bozhkov
S for SCENE Margie Orford
T for TOOLE Aaron Winslow
U for UNATTENDED Klaus Killisch
V for VOYEUR Les Levine
W for WHEN THE WELSBACH BURNER WENT WET AND WEIRD Monsieur Ara
EXHIBITION REVIEWS 208
VIVA ARTE VIVA Christina Landbrecht
HYPNAGOGIC CITY Ian Mackay
TERESA MARGOLLES: MUNDOS Treva Michelle Pullen
BOOK REVIEWS 216
HAMILTON BABYLON, STEPHEN BROOMER Katia Houde
X for XXX Josef Kaplan
Y for YOU SEE/ACCELERATE THE GAP Julian Jason Haladyn
THE NUCLEAR CULTURE SOURCE BOOK, ELE CARPENTER, ED Carmen Victor
WALK THROUGH WALLS: A MEMOIR, MARINA ABRAMOVIC´ WITH JAMES KAPLAN Charles Reeve
Z for ZUGZWANG Christian Bök
PHOTOS BY SERKAN OZKAYA. 2016.
DOOR AT PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART. 2017. PHOTO: LANNY JORDAN JACKSON.
D for DOOR MICHAEL TAYLOR
Door to Étant donnés Marcel Duchamp selected the weathered exterior door containing the peepholes for his luminous tableau construction Étant donnés: 1° la chute d’eau, 2° le gaz d’éclairage… (1946–66) in the summer of 1965. This door, which physically separates the viewer from the mysterious scene inside of a recumbent female nude holding aloft an old fashioned illuminated gas lamp against the backdrop of a lush hilly landscape, was actually part of a much larger farmhouse door leading into a courtyard, which the artist found after a considerable search in La Bisbal in the Empordà district of Catalunya in northeastern Spain during his annual summer vacation to Cadaqués with his second wife, Alexina “Teeny” Duchamp. Having rejected several other doors from the same region, Duchamp was delighted to learn that the owner of the door he finally selected was planning to replace it, and was thus ready to sell it at a reasonable price. Massive rustic doors of this type were a familiar sight in this coastal area of Catalunya—known as the Costa Brava—until the 1960s, when it began to be commercially developed to meet the demand of tourism. Indeed, the British artist Richard Hamilton, who spent his summer vacations in Cadaqués at the same time as Marcel and Teeny, confirmed that such doors “often give on to a ruined interior and offer glimpses of secret landscapes almost as phantasmagorical as the one which Duchamp conceived for himself.”1 According to Teeny Duchamp, the idea for the door and the inner brick wall with its jagged aperture framing the view from the bifocal peepholes occurred to Duchamp after she became romantically involved with him in the early 1950s.2 That the wooden door was not part of the original conception for the tableau-construction is confirmed by the artist’s 1942 photo-collage In the Manner of Delvaux, which is among his first works to allude to Étant donnés, since it anticipates the eroticized peephole viewing arrangement of the finished work. In the Manner of Delvaux consists of an image of a pair of woman’s breasts, based on Paul Delvaux’s 1937 painting The Break of Day, which the viewer/voyeur espies through a single circular hole cut in a piece of cardboard covered in tinfoil. In this photo-collage, as in the final tableau-construction, the viewer/voyeur enters a conspiratorial relationship with the artist, and together they instigate an act of visual penetration. The monocular viewing arrangement of In the Manner of Delvaux is, however, very different from the structure of Étant donnés, which presents a partially hidden female nude through a pair of stereoscopic peepholes. Furthermore, in the former work the tin foil used to frame the aperture suggests a machine-like, metallic viewing device, as opposed to the weathered wooden door found in the latter completed work. Similarly, the porthole viewing apparatus of The Green Ray, which Duchamp contributed to the 1947 international Surrealist exhibition in Paris, offered only a single aperture, approximately five inches in diameter and cut at eye level into a green canvas wall. Through this opening, visitors to the exhibition could discern a view of a calm sea separated from a cloudless sky by a flashing band of green light that illustrated the so-called green-ray effect, a rare natural
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—The founder and director of Kunsthalle Marcel Duchamp, Stefan Banz, also offers his engaging and somewhat obsessive research to the project. —These people are very—how shall I say it—detail oriented? —I think they have a genuine passion for the subject, and they see one who has an equal passion. —Insanity loves company.
for F ORE STAY WATERFALL —STEFAN BANZ has been inviting artists and scholars to see the waterfall where Duchamp got his inspiration, where the Kunsthalle is situated. For PUBLIC ATTENDANT A To Z, he provides more than one piece. First, his essay “F for Forestay Waterfall,” and second, “N for Nude by a Waterfall,” a beautiful piece on the influential painter Louis Michel Eilshemius.
CAROLINE BACHMANN & STEFAN BANZ. GOLDEN SLUMBERS. 2007/09. OIL ON CANVAS. 210 x 160 CM. MUSÉE JENISCH, VEVEY, SWITZERLAND.
F fo r F ORES TAY WATERFA LL PAYSAGE FAUTIF: MARCEL DUCHAMP AND THE FORESTAY WATERFALL * STEFAN BANZ
Introduction In April 2006, Caroline Bachmann and I moved to Cully, Caroline’s almost fairy tale birthplace on Lake Geneva, with the intention of deepening our artistic collaboration that had begun in Lucerne. We were working at the time on various aspects of painting, and an important question for us was in what circumstances might a copy—a cover version—become an original. And so, we decided to do an oil painting of Marcel Duchamp’s diorama Étant donnés, 1° la chute d’eau, 2° le gaz d’éclairage… On the mysterious conception of this installation, in particular the insurmountable paradox of the prostrate, naked, pubic-hairless woman in it—who, on one hand, seems full of self-confidence and decisiveness holding a bec Auer lamp in the air, and on the other, gives the impression of having just been the victim of a crime, presenting the viewer with a strangely deformed vulva—has always puzzled, touched, and fascinated us. Because this work cannot be shown in exhibitions due to its complex and fragile construction, all interested parties as well as the curious with a yen to see it “live” must make the journey to Philadelphia—almost like a religious pilgrimage. For this reason, many perhaps only know the work as a reproduction in catalogues and art periodicals. So the manner in which it is perceived and received is seriously distorted. This challenge particularly affects the waterfall, which loses its “physical” presence in reproductions. Whereas in the diorama itself it is a central subject (explicitly mentioned along with the illuminating gas in the title), in photographs it is reduced to a pretty prop in the background of the highly charged scene. “Live,” it is the only element that moves—its shimmer as it flows not only gives the composition the suggestion of a gently remote idyll but also, as it were, breathes a strange, silent, breezy “liveliness” into it. Thus, photographic reproductions of Étant donnés show a work that, although everything remains visible, has little in common with the original. Its unique spatial organization is not only reduced to a flat surface, but an entirely new form of reality is created. However, what happens if, as in our painting, a new, unique work results—a classically hand-made painting? In effect, a “new” original derived from the source picture is created, just as when Gustave Courbet photographed the vulva of a woman lying before him and then painted a picture from it (see L’Origine du monde). In other words, an independent work comes into existence. Though I had taken a keen interest in Duchamp as a student, this unusual insight moved me to undertake, after many years, new scholarly research in order to better understand the mystery of Étant donnés. Reading Calvin Tomkins’s Marcel Duchamp: A Biography at the very beginning of my investigations, I came upon an unusual fact. In the chapter entitled “Maria,” Tomkins mentions that Duchamp photographed the waterfall in Étant donnés in Switzerland, somewhere on Lake Geneva, which immediately piqued my curiosity in a different, rather more specific, direction.1 Since Tomkins had never been to Lake Geneva, his description lacks sufficient detail for the identification of the exact location. Nevertheless, I managed to find it—thanks to two large blocks of stone in the bed of
—I believe composer ALAN LICHT offered us something extraordinary...
for L I G H T —Just like the light piercing the peepholes in Étant donnés, in Alan Licht’s piece the light pierces the musical composition paper and brings the composition to life. —Not to mention his last name, which means light in a few languages. —Licht. Let there be Licht! Es werde Licht! —Or as in Goethe’s last words: Mehr Licht! —Or in Thomas Bernhard’s words: Mehr nicht!! —Touché!
SERKAN OZKAYA. WE WILL WAIT (WORK IN PROGRESS). 2017. PHOTO: DENIZ TORTUM.
C-A-G-E Spells Licht (2011) This is a visual score. The pitches, which are limited to c, a, g, or e, are figurative and should not be sounded. The piece is performed by placing the score in front of a light source. Recommended light sources include lightbulbs, the sun, a lightbox, a tv screen or video monitor. The light source is determined by the conductor; as the score is meant to be exhibited in an art space rather than a concert situation, it would be the curator or gallerist who would serve as the conductor. (I am the composer and light—my namesake, since “licht” means “light” in German and Dutch—is the performer.) –Alan Licht
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N for NUDE BY A WATERFALL LOUIS MICHEL EILSHEMIUS AND HIS INFLUENCE ON MARCEL DUCHAMP* STEFAN BANZ
How Marcel Duchamp Discovered Louis M. Eilshemius
It was at the preview of the First Annual Exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists, which took place at the Grand Central Palace in New York from 10 April to 6 May 1917, that Marcel Duchamp first came across the paintings of Louis Michel Eilshemius. There were two: The Gossips and Supplication (Rose Marie Calling), the second of which immediately caught his eye.1 Later, during the vernissage, Duchamp declared the painting to be one of the two best works in the entire exhibition, notwithstanding the fact that more than 2,000 works by 1,200 artists were on show. At first, there were many who thought that this public assertion was not seriously meant, and was simply a Dadaist joke made by an ingenious strategist and enfant terrible who wanted to poke fun at the art scene. Especially as it had soon become known that Duchamp’s most famous Readymade, Fountain, which he had entered for the exhibition under the pseudonym R. Mutt,2 had for similar reasons been rejected by the exhibition committee. Indeed, the committee was of the opinion that the entry was not just a joke but also vulgar, immoral, and plagiarizing.3 What was particularly curious about the whole affair was that this signed porcelain utility object had led to an internal scandal, although Duchamp himself was a member of the organizing committee and had been responsible for the exhibition concept (the hanging of the exhibits in alphabetical sequence). The decision not to show R. Mutt’s urinal was, moreover, a serious infringement of the regulations.4 It was on account of this dubious, not to say hypocritical, decision that Duchamp and a number of his friends resigned from the committee and sharply criticized the controversial incident under the headlines “The Richard Mutt Case” and “The Buddha of the Bathroom” in The Blind Man, no. 2, a self-published journal.5 Only a few pages further on, under the headline “Pas de Commentaires,” was the first ever lengthy article on Louis M. Eilshemius to appear in an art journal. Mina Loy’s contribution (possibly written under Duchamp’s guidance), a cross between interview, article, and review, confused readers in much the same way as R. Mutt’s Fountain irritated the organizers of the exhibition. Credibly describing Eilshemius as an egocentric painter with an inclination toward curious exaggerations, the article provoked in the reader a misunderstanding that was inevitably nurtured by ignorance, and resulted in the article’s being seen as cruel ridicule. Such was the case, for example, in Thierry de Duve’s book Résonances du readymade (Kant After Duchamp).6 De Duve begins by emphatically asserting that Mina Loy was simply used by Duchamp as a front, continues by describing Eilshemius as a pathetic painter suffering from a combination of naïveté and ambition, and ends by insinuating that Duchamp had been playing a perfidious, cunning game that made a complete fool of the poor painter. The unusual coincidences between Supplication and Fountain thus constitute one of the main reasons why the suspicion—namely that Duchamp had merely feigned his admiration for Eilshemius’s works for the sole purpose of reducing ad absurdum the conventionally accepted value of art—has stubbornly lingered with us. The renowned, moderately minded, and impartial art critic Henry
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MARCEL DUCHAMP. FOUNTAIN. 1917. READYMADE. HEIGHT: 60 CM. LOCATION UNKNOWN. PHOTO: ALFRED STIEGLITZ, NEW YORK, APRIL 1917. PRIVATE COLLECTION.
McBride (1867–1962), who also initially cast doubt on the sincerity of Duchamp’s statement, was the first to write about it. Viewed from today, McBride’s article draws attention, albeit indirectly, to an interesting commonality between R. Mutt’s Fountain and Eilshemius’s Supplication. The absurd, provocative, and altogether inappropriate sum demanded by Eilshemius for his painting was also reflected—ironically—in Duchamp’s signature “R. Mutt,” the abbreviation “R.” standing for “Richard”7— art is rich and hence valuable, or art is expensive and hence only for the rich. McBride wrote the following in the New York Sun on 15 April 1917: Marcel Duchamp, author of the famous “Nude Descending a Stairway,” which was such a great hit in the armory show, says that Miss Rice’s “Claire Twins” and a work called “Supplication” by Louis Eilshemius are two great paintings which the exhibition has called
—I don’t think crime writer Margie Orford would agree with you. —MARGIE ORFORD takes the position of the woman who lies in the room spread-eagled with exposed genitalia, accessed and penetrated through the peepholes over and over again. —Her piece underlines Duchamp’s gory scene…
—the violence of the scene that is inescapable.
S FOR SCENE MARGIE ORFORD
Black Dahlia crime scene. Images taken by FBI and LAPD in 1947.
This is S. For Scene. For the scene of the crime. The seen crime, or in Duchamp’s case, a scene unseen for twenty years. A long time. The age of my youngest daughter, if I measure this time through the intimate time of the body. How do we look at what we see? How do we see what we look at? These were the questions I asked Serkan Ozkaya when I met him at a residency in Italy and I asked him what he was working on. He told me he was writing about Duchamp’s last piece. I did not know it. I had not seen this last piece of Duchamp’s. Serkan showed it to me. The two holes for the eyes. The single one for the nose. Three orifices in the door through which Duchamp had a private view—the voyeur’s view—of the splayed body that is a composite of his wife and his lover. Both and neither. It shocked me that Duchamp had spent twenty years with this necrophiliac peepshow in his studio. An enticing corpse. Exquisite. Duchamp’s own Black Dahlia. The prototype of all dead women entombed by a gaze that loves them best when they are speechless. On display. Dead. I read Serkan’s We Will Wait. It described the technical difficulties of tracing the history of the piece, of assembling it, of finding ways to remake it. It spoke of camera angles and machines for looking. The aesthetics. That shocked me too. I thought that what mattered to me is what one looks at not how. This is naïve of course. What one looks at—what one sees—is determined by how one looks, by how one has learned to see, as John Berger so elegantly points out.1
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T FOR TOOLE AARON WINSLOW
The Riddle of the Fay King A Steven toole Art MyStery The horses took the final turn with the pent-up fury of a typhoon, mud from the soaked track spraying in a chaotic frenzy as they came into the home stretch, now reaching a full gallop, accelerating with a burst of pure energy, the two lead horses—Baseline Ump and Garden Princess—neck and neck, a battle in which the muscle, wits, intuition, and the intellect of jockey and horse, man and beast, merged into one kinetic structure reaching ever-forward toward that great goal of the finish line until, in a final desperate surge, Garden Princess took a hairsbreadth lead to win the race. Right Decision III sauntered across the finish line fifteen seconds later, not limping or injured, just not in a particular hurry. I could almost have respected his Zen attitude if I hadn’t had a solid fifty bucks riding on him to place. I scowled, and tried to rip my betting slip in half in anger, but they make them out of waterresistant paper that’s actually pretty difficult to tear, so I settled for crumpling it up, throwing it down, and stomping on it. The odds on Right Decision III were 50-1, so I guess I shouldn’t have expected much, but I’d had an inside tip to look out for him, and when I’d seen him walking on the parade ground, his lackadaisical gait and defiantly depressive attitude really won me over. I guess I identified with him, which should have been my first clue not to bet on him. “You’re not having much luck today, Toole,” Charlie said, interrupting my frustration. “Appearances can be deceiving, my friend,” I said, affecting a wisdom and calm beyond my current frustration. “In horses, maybe I haven’t been so lucky, but you might also say that, today, I’m actually the luckiest man of all.” He took a swig from his hip flask, passed it to me. “You’re supposed to be in therapy right now, aren’t you.” “Yep,” I said, taking my own swig, long and sweet. “Sheila’s not gonna like that you’re skipping.” “Hopefully she’ll never know,” I said. “It’s not like I even wanted to go. She’s the one who set me up with that Freudian crackpot...I mean, come on, Freud’s been dead for at least fifty years. Nobody believes that stuff anymore. It’s time to move on. Embrace the new.” “Go ahead, tell me what’s new in psychoanalysis, Toole,” Charlie said. Through the haze of his drunkenness and my own, I couldn’t tell if he was fucking with me or genuinely curious, or both. “Neuroscience, my friend, neuroscience.” “Wuzzat?” “Nerves. The brain. It’s all matter. We’re just a series of synapses sparking at arbitrarily arranged
patterns. No rhyme, no reason, just the determination of evolution. No hidden meanings, no symbolic castrations or Oedipal complexes, just the pure drive of biology.” Charlie took another, longer, drink from his flask, then held it up, as if looking for more. “Sounds pretty depressing. Like nothing has any meaning.” “Exactly,” I said, “It’s not my fault I skipped therapy today. Blame it on the genetics of the ancient Toole clan. I’m at the mercy of biology.” “Try telling that to Sheila.” “Like I said, I’m not exactly gonna tell Sheila anything.” A depressing truth. Things hadn’t exactly been going well between Sheila and I lately. What had started as a beautiful relationship built on booze, good times, and more booze, had turned sourer than a half-finished Heineken the morning after. What had gone wrong? Well, she’d started drinking less for starters. Then she started complaining about my drinking, saying I didn’t have any “motivation” or “goals,” whatever that means. And worse, a few weeks ago she started talking, again, about enrolling in the police academy. I tried to explain to her that it just didn’t jive, a private dick together with a cop. That they were natural foes, friendly only according to circumstance. A relationship like that just couldn’t last. She didn’t respond to that one. Instead of coming around to my point of view, we’d gone to bed angry, and I’d woken up to a cold, empty bed and the name of a therapist scrawled on a piece of paper under the words “Get some help.” To my credit, I’d given it a shot. I’d had two whole sessions with Dr. Lipkin. I can see why people get into it...if you’re the self-involved type who loves to talk about yourself. But deep, honest, critical introspection...it’s not really my thing. I got about ten minutes into session three when I decided I’d had enough, took a “bathroom break” and hightailed it over to the A train at 14th Street and took the long ride out to Aqueduct Racetrack and Resorts Casino. Fortunately for my bank account, Right Decision III’s loss was the last race of the day. And we were all out of booze, so it seemed like a good time to book it. It was cold, and rainy, and grey, one of those classic New York April days that can’t decide if it’s spring yet or still winter, or some new mutant season altogether. So I looked forward to the dry warmth of the train after being out in the wet, windswept grandstand. “Hey, Charlie!” someone cried out from behind us. Charlie was a pretty well-known and well-respected—if not a particularly successful—gambler in the city, and a lot of guys looked up to him as a sort of father figure. He gave off a waft of confidence mixed with cheap cologne. He frequented Aqueduct, Belmont, and myriad other gambling holes, legal and illegal, so he was always running into people he knew. But, from the way he winced when he turned around and saw who’d called his name, I gathered he’d rather not have known this guy. “Hey, Vince,” Charlie said without too much enthusiasm. “How’d you make out today?” “Aww, you know it. Lousy.” Vince looked like he usually did pretty lousy at the races, and not a lot better anywhere else. I guess I could relate. But at least I knew how to dress seasonally. Vince, clearly anticipating summer at the shore by at least two months, wore shorts and a Hawaiian buttonup, complete with a pair of sunglasses, even though nobody in the Tri-State area had seen the sun in a week. It didn’t look like he’d ever heard of an iron, either, and he smelled like he’d never been close to a washing machine...or a shower. “Sorry to hear it, brother,” Charlie said, sympathetically, “Better luck next time.” We started to walk away, but Vince wasn’t letting us off that easy. “Say, Charlie, wait up, man. You taking the train?” “Unless I want to sleep at Belmont.” Vince laughed a little too long at that one. “Good one, Charlie, good one...I’ve done that before,
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EXHIBITION REVIEW IAN MACKAY
Mathew Borrett. Hypnagogic City #1. 2017. Chromogenic print on dibond. 99 x 183 cm. Photo: courtesy of the artist.
HYPNAGOGIC CITY Mathew Borrett, The Red Head Gallery, Toronto, 4 – 21 March, 2017
In 2013, Mathew Borrett produced a view of Toronto for Spacing Magazine called Future Toronto? that spread rapidly across the Internet and garnered the artist considerable attention. It was an image of Toronto after succumbing to climate change, featuring the city’s iconic CN Tower toppled, broken, and lying in the water of a much higher Lake Ontario. In a follow-up to that virally disseminated image, Borrett has upped the ante in his new exhibition called Hypnagogic City. He continues the futuristic theme with two new views of Toronto and a reprise of his viral image in finer detail, all chromogenic prints mounted on dibond aluminum composite. The centre piece and largest work, Hypnagogic City #1 (2017), is an astonishingly detailed image of the neighbourhood
surrounding Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square as it might exist many eventful decades ahead. Using industrialstrength Hollywood modelling and rendering software, Borrett has depicted a Toronto of lassitude, spent of energy, and scavenging to get by. Big urbanism is gone. Shanty structures cling to decaying buildings. Moss and lichen sprout everywhere. Instead of the hum and whirr of a modern metropolis, with its clock-driven citizenry fulfilling their corporate and public duties, one sees a city softened by “a whole bunch of history” as Borrett puts it, spellbound in a kind of indolent warmth, mostly empty, with only traces of habitation.1 Comparing this Toronto to what actually exists in 2017 shows something has clearly gone awry. The pop-
EXHIBITION REVIEW TREVA MICHELLE PULLEN
Teresa Margolles, Pista de baile del club “Mona Lisa.” 2016. Colour print on cotton paper. 125 x 185 cm. Photo: courtesy the artist, Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, and the Musée d’art contemporain, Montreal.
TERESA MARGOLLES: MUNDOS Curated by John Zeppetelli and Emeren García Musée d’art contemporain, Montreal, 16 February – 14 May, 2017
In thinking over the past few hours spent at the Musée d’art contemporain (MAC) with Mexican artist Teresa Margolles’s first Canadian solo show Mundos (Worlds), I cannot bring myself to step back and write this review in the third person. I have to write about Mundos subjectively, from an embodied perspective. It is not possible to separate the affective engagement I have just had from my understanding of Margolles’s beautiful and visceral video, photo, and installation work—I have to tell you how it made me feel.
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Margolles’s work is about death—the deaths of people, places, feelings, cultures, and identities. I stepped into the exhibition through the series Pista de Baile (Dance Floor) (2016). The room was pillared by vibrant images of trans women sex workers standing amongst the ruins of a nightclub district in Ciudad Juárez, the largest city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, well known as one of the most dangerous cities in the world due to the booming drug trade, horrific murder rate, and endemic police corruption. Ciudad Juárez is a capital of
the stains. It was blood. Dried, decaying, old blood. These strings were once used during the autopsies of victims of violent deaths. Now, they hang in the gallery, a haunted clothesline. Each knot connects the smaller lengths of string into a whole; the knots seem to embody those victims now present in the space. The incredible thing about Margolles’s work is that she makes the dead visible and present through simple materials: water, bubbles, cloth, string. I was not seeing the dead as anonymous figures. They were inside and around me, affecting me. Margolles truly made me feel. During my time spent with Mundos, my body was controlled by emotion. Yes, Margolles presents powerful, political dilemmas and social criticisms but in ways that make the issues real through feeling. The visual beauty of her work is enlivened and made affective through the accompanying stories. Her work moves beyond the mind and into the body. In this way, Mundos effectively brings to the fore the realities of pain, death, and destruction in parts of Mexico and the world. Mundos is vivid, disturbing, and incredibly powerful; it is a corporeal ode to the deceased and the disenfranchised. Treva Michelle Pullen is a PhD student in Communication Studies at Concordia University. NOTES 1 John Zeppetelli and Gabrielle Bouchard, “Teresa Margolles: Mundos/ Série Pista de baile,” Musée d’art contemporain, 21 March 2017, https://vimeo.com/209431768 (accessed 27 April 2017). 2 Christina Grevenbrock, “Each Bubble is a Body: Teresa Margolles—Hidden Terror,” Seismopolite: Journal of Art and Politics (October 2015): http://www.seismopolite.com/eachbubble-is-a-body-teresa-margolle.
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BOOK REVIEW KATIA HOUDE
HAMILTON BABYLON: A HISTORY OF THE MCMASTER FILM BOARD By Stephen Broomer (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016), 280 pages
Stephen Broomer’s first monograph, Hamilton Babylon: A History of the McMaster Film Board, is an insightful historical review of the brief but tumultuous rise and fall of the McMaster Film Board (MFB). The MFB was a student initiated film collective that existed from 1966 to 1975 at McMaster University in Hamilton. Although it gave rise to important Canadian film figures, including Ivan Reitman, Eugene Levy, Patricia Murphy, and Dan Goldberg, the MFB has largely been neglected as a significant countercultural film organization and movement. The book chronicles in detail its history and focuses on one of its founding members, the oft-overlooked avant-garde filmmaker John Hofsess. Broomer highlights how the MFB was vital in fostering artists’ creative voices and film experimentation, and foregrounds how Hofsess fought tirelessly against censorship and for freedom of expression through his art. Hamilton
BOOK REVIEW CARMEN VICTOR
THE NUCLEAR CULTURE SOURCE BOOK Edited by Ele Carpenter (London: Black Dog Publishing, 2016), 208 pages
The threat of a nuclear event has loomed since the advent of the technology in the 1940s. To be certain, many nuclear events, both deliberate and accidental, have occurred over the years. The more memorable of these events include: the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which marked the first times atomic bombs were deployed on civilian populations; the 1979 reactor malfunction at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station near Middletown, Pennsylvania, which resulted in the release of radioactive material into the surrounding area; and the 1986 meltdown at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which infamously caused radiation and molecular damage to the human population in proximity to the event as well as lasting environmental wreckage. There have been countless subsequent nuclear events, but perhaps the one that remains at the fore of our immediate sphere of experience is the 2011 accident at
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Following an underwater earthquake off the coast of Japan, a tsunami disabled the plant and caused a reactor meltdown, contaminating local and remote areas with radioactivity. In response to the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, the six member ChimPom collective organized Don't Follow the Wind, an exhibition that takes place inside the Fukushima Exclusion Zone. Mounted on 11 March 2015, Don't Follow the Wind is a collaboration between the inhabitants that were displaced by the Fukushima disaster and twelve artists. Although the exhibition has a start date, it has no end date because access to the area is prohibited: the Exclusion Zone will not be safe for anywhere between 3,000 and 30,000 years, the length of time the radiation that spewed from the disabled Fukushima Nuclear Plant will take to dissipate and become inert. Therefore, the exhibition will not be accessible to the public until it is safe to visit the site. Currently, there is no official timeline for when people will be allowed to return to the area. Don't Follow the Wind is an important reference in The Nuclear Culture Source Book. Divided into six sections—Nuclear Anthropocene, Nuclear Materiality, Radioactive Non-Sites, Radiological Inheritance, Nuclear Modernity, and Radiation as Hyperobject—this anthology contains many poignant and valuable essays and interviews by a range of scholars and artists, as well as artist projects, interventions, and activism. Two works from the aforementioned exhibition that appear in The Nuclear Culture Source Book are particularly worth mentioning because they speak to book’s broader concerns of visibility in light of the humanmade conditions that simultaneously and paradoxically prevent seeing. The first is Fukushima Texture Pack, by Eva and Franco Mattes. In this series, the Mattes photographed floors, walls, and pavement surfaces inside the Exclusion Zone, then distributed them online for copyright-free use, mimicking the invisible spread of radiation. The zone exudes high rates of radiation; therefore, although they appear utterly banal in the Mattes’ photos, the surfaces of Fukushima harbour toxic amounts of iodine-131, caesium-137, tellurium-129, strontium-90, and plutonium. All are radioactive iso-
Published on Sep 27, 2017