Ruscha Chapter 3

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S.R.: I already spoke about the humour, this specific humour you brought up in your talk. Do you think that it's in relation to the west coast identity that it's more like attacking the world more in a Laconic very dead (?)humour something like that in relation to the east coast?

R: What I think about that idea of humour, I don't think about that word exactly. I mean there's something that people call humour. I don't call my work humouris but there is an element of that, that it occurs when something unexpected happens in the yard and that can make for if you don't call it humour you may call it amusement. And even the driest kind of conceptual art has amusement. And so people quickly say well that's humorist, you know. When I think of conceptual art in its purest form I think of Lawrence Weiner, a friend of mine, he did this work called »to throw an object from one country to another« so this had no, he didn't make a painting of this and he didn't...I think it just exist in the air its his creation [...] I'm reminded when you say conceptual art, I'm reminded, I always think of extremes and then when I think of the pure conceptual Art that has no object and nothing tensurable?, I think of Lawrence Weiner's work where he says to throw an object from one country to another and when you consider that you may say well in many ways that's humorist and in lots of ways its amusing and in certain other ways its unexpected. You know this is an unexpected thing to come along in what, five thousand Europes of making art for someone to say this is my art to throw an object from one country to another. (laughs)

S.R.: In my own approach it was always this conceptual art had this kind of disturbing the thinking or the feeling or the motion on art. Because when you see an abstract painting you have something like a feeling for the colour or not so then you go to the next room. But with the Conceptual Art for example words like this you have to get involved to read it and then you are putting it in relation to the form, to the colour, everything so I think it's a much more disturbing a process of reading art and for me it's exactly that ,many people say that Conceptual Art is not humouris it's to dry it's to laconic and for me it's exactly the opposite because for me it's really productive when I get disturbed in my daily perspective. I would like to come a little bit to the question about the history, your own history, I would be really interested in to hear what is, not only in art,what is the strongest influence, what do you consider as your strongest influence to be an artist, to become an artist.

R: Well I woke up to the world of art not just through painting, sculpture and that sort of thing but also through musicians. Maybe even actors or people who play act, you know people who make movies or productions plays maybe but certainly poets. So it's all a very big world and people make up things and I think taking that first step towards whatever you call art so it's a much bigger thing than saying oh I was gradually influenced by Kurt Schwitters which I was but it's not just him it's like other people who are not visual artist necessarily but who might be poets, I mean its like people inventing things, even inventors.

S.R.: If we want to specify this a little bit. Do you tell, you already said Kurt Schwitters, do you call other names something like an influence or something like maybe the opposite you wanted to do exactly the opposite of something?

R: Well you know I always appreciate people whop would defy the tradition of what they are doing. So you could say (?) would be another person who, or just a notion of (?). I don't know his musical notes in my head. I know his music but I think its the notion of these things that you here about these things. They become like a playground of possibility and all these people working within there own time and you see them fit into history in some certain way that usually they have the statements they make come out as a result of something else that was before them and so they were forced to do the thing that they did and I think that's true with most art is like cause and reaction. You know abstract expressionism was a wider form of painting and art and that happened in the 1950s. It has been so well sat and stated and so beautifully done that when I was in school I learned that technique you know and there was a following (?) becomes that film with the vacuum that somehow says look that's been said it's been done it somehow rounded it self out. It's a beautiful statement in the world and that you have to go somewhere else and so it's like this cause and reaction. I think maybe when Abstract Expressionism came out it actually produced Conceptual Art. Inspired people to do, let's say the opposite. Was it Voltaire or someone said: "Do the opposite of what you are suppose to do then you will be doing right", something like that.

S.R.: Sound's good. I mean you are right because from the middle of the sixties to maybe to contemporary discussions in art theory there is a big context with modernism. Its a big critique like now going on and on.


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