Saturday, 21 March 2015

undermining. a wild ride through land use, politics, and art in the changing west

To conclude the last summer American trip motif, we might recall one of our favorite readings during that time - Undermining by Lucy Lippard, the book which was our dear textual companion and quite often an analogue GPS, navigating us towards some great spots and stories. The keywords: fracking, mining, land art, adobe buildings, ruins, land rights, the Old West, tourism, photography, and water. Which is precisely what the whole escapade was about. All in all, the magnetic force of the book were so strong that we found ourselves in Lucy Lippard's town, in Galisteo in New Mexico... She is not the only notable person living in this tiny town, the list of art-related crowd includes such luminaries as Bruce Nauman, Agnes Martins and, until 2014, the late Nancy Holt.

Friday, 13 March 2015

mirage: a-z

Visiting Andrea Zittel and her A-Z West. The place, which is also the artist's home, is located on thirty-five acres in the California high desert next to Joshua Tree National Park. As Andrea explains: "the A-Z enterprise encompasses all aspects of day to day living. Home furniture, clothing, food all become the sites of investigation in an ongoing endeavor to better understand human nature and the social construction of needs." 

Thursday, 12 March 2015

mirage: the bird's eye view museum

The town of Wakarusa is reproduced in miniature - which started as a kind of weekend project by DeVon Rose in 1967. The model, which consists of over 165 buidings was constructed over a period of 35 years. You can read about this quaint and rather ghastly thing in the book Oddball Indiana by Jerome Pohlen: "If you grew up in Wakarusa or Benneville Grist Mills, DeVon Rose's matchstick creations will remind of the good ol' days. If you never been to either of these towns, you can experience them through his miniature dioramas. Look! There's the Wayne Feed Mill, and the Eby Ford dealership! And the Bag Factory! Oh, what a fascinating place Wakarus can be, even when shrunk down to a 1/60 scale."

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

mirage: the end of cinema

A defunct drive-in theater we encountered at the beginning of our American trip. The end if the cinema as we know it... 

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

mirage: the limestone pyramid in bedford

Looking for the the ruins of the Limestone Pyramid in Bedford, Indiana... As the story goes the residents of Bedford - "The Limestone Capital of the World" - planned to build a replica of the great Pyramid of Cheops. And wait, The Great Wall of China was also taken into consideration. Sadly but not surprisingly, the funding was revoked soon after the construction started. It takes some effort to track down the remanants of this unusual initiative. Then you can discover other wonders in the vicinity, like the abandoned limestone quarry which provided the stone to erect the Empire State Building.
Actually none of these photographs uploaded here depicts the actual limestone pyramid. 

Monday, 9 March 2015

mirage: noah purifoy's outdoor sculpture museum

One of the places which we visited last summer (while shooting Mirage. In Order of Appearance) was Noah Purifoy's Outdoor Sculpture Museum. This surreal and highly psychedelic place is located on 10 acres of open land in Joshua Tree, California. It includes dozens of large scale assemblages created by the artist between 1989–2004. Purifoy was a visual artist known for using wreckage collected after the Watts Riots (1965) and organizing the historical 66 Signs of Neon exhibition, based on those salvaged materials.  

Saturday, 7 March 2015

mirage. in order of appearance

We would like to invite you to Cricoteka, the Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor on Saturday, 15th of March for a premiere screening of Mirage. In Order Of Appearance.  The film is an adaptation of the book Mirage by Sebastian Cichocki and Łukasz Jastrubczak (2012). The material for the book originated in the winter 2011/2012. It was a a correspondence between authors, “duel” on text and image. Jastrubczak’s photographs created during the artist’s trip to the United States, and the response-text by Cichocki – “curatorial tips and notes” written in Poland, including inspirations from texts by Robert Barry, Robert Smithson, road maps and Google Street Views. In response to each sent picture, the text was created as a guide to the next picture. The authors had always twenty four hours a reciprocal response.
In the summer of 2014, after two years from the book release date, Cichocki and Jastrubczak decided to go on a journey in the footsteps of theirs heroes: the pioneer of “green conceptualism” John G. Lee, his partner Anna T. Zaloon or blind hitchhiker named Mia. Using the “map 1: 1″ – they traveled thousands of miles thru the United States, verifying their hunch, checking the evidence, hunting traces of myths and conceptual art of the twentieth century. The investigation led them to 35 years old mock town Wakarusa, humble gas station photographed over half a century ago by Ed Ruscha, hippie communes in Colorado, unfinished pyramid built in a quarry in Bedford or a museum in the desert Noah Purifoy – who was African-American political advocate of the junk art. The various parts of Mirage has been read before the camera (usually without understanding the meaning of the text), by accidentally met strangers.
For the following days we'll be uploading some photographs taken during the journey last summer (most of them were taken by Gosia Mazur). 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

leça swimming pool

In Portugal: the stunningly austere Leça Swimming Pool by Alvaro Siza. The complex was realised in 1966 and might be still considered one of the greatest Siza's works - specially when you see it skinned, no ray of sunlight reflecting in the fresh azure water.  It looks damn good just as a site-specific functionless sculpture.