Graham Chapter 5

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S.R. Do you think there is a possibility to renew this philosophical approach in contemporary art? Not saying Conceptual art, contemporary art, let`s say. Is there a new aim to bring philosophy into art, or do you think everything that is critical in terms of philosophy in this time must be a special reception and have a reflection of the early conceptual art?

D.G. No, I think I have a problem with neo-conceptualism as practiced by Christian Nagel Gallery in Munich and in Cologne, it's totally academic. Also I have a very big problem with the 1960s neo-design, people like Jorge Pardo and Rehberger, because I think what they do is that they have a fantasy of what the 60s were about, and they are trying to be anti-80s and 90s with this kind of fantasy of design. In many cases they appropriate without thinking of the function. For example Andrea Zittel takes directly from books about Joe Colombo. It`s exactly the same thing, just going through old books. Walter Benjamin said, what happens with the new, the new is usually neo-something and it's against the just-past. I think the artists I like, are artists who deal with the just-past. For example Paul McCarthy has done a re-do of Jeff Koons's »Michael Jackson with bubbles«, the chimp. I think what Paul is doing, also the sculptures... - One is black, one is golden and one is silver and a little bit bigger than normal. He is re-doing the just-past. But also in the 80s, there was the idea, like Sherrie Levine, of appropriating things that were high, that were considered to be art. So I think a work that comments on the just-past, as the Dia Art Foundation did, bringing in the 70s and 80s pavilions or more important was always to deal with things. I like Rodney Graham's work because it deals with a fairly close historical past. He had one idea: to have a film, it would be about Morris Louis painting a painting in his livingroom in a suburban house outside of Washington, and Clement Greenberg comes by to look at it. It's about the beginning of suburbia. I don't think he is going to do it, but that approach is ... if you want to call it philosophical, I would call it philosophical. I think ideas of history are very important, and early Conceptual art was about the instantaneous now (snaps his fingers). But after that period art got more involved in historical allusions.


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