News / Notes

Art Journal’s Fall Issue out soon

Art Journal Vol. 77, no. 3 Fall 2018
Sarah Hamill Surface Matters: Erin Shirreff ’s Videos and the Photography of Sculpture
Mara Pogolvsky Ezcurra Beyond Evil: Politics, Ethics, and Religion in León Ferrari’s Illustrated Nunca más
Gail Hastings The Power of Inclusion in Donald Judd’s Art: Observations by an Artist
Gail Hastings Artist’s Project: Space Practising Tools
Samantha A. Noel Envisioning New Worlds: The “Tropical Aesthetics” in the Art of Wifredo Lam and Aaron Douglas
Emily Kathryn Morgan Harry Callahan’s Pornographic Appropriations

Terry Smith on Caroline A. Jones, The Global Work of Art:World’s Fairs, Biennials, and the Aesthetics of Experience, and Charles Green and Anthony Gardner, Biennials,Triennials,
and Documenta:The Exhibitions That Created Contemporary Art; Ara H. Merjian on Jaleh Mansoor, Marshall Plan Modernism: Italian Postwar Abstraction and the Beginnings of Autonomia; and Stephanie Sparling Williams on Uri McMillan, Embodied Avatars: Genealogies of Black Feminist Art and Performance, and Malik Gaines, Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left: A History of the Impossible

Single copies purchased here

Thank you Kalamunda Hospital

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No I won’t be afraid, no I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
So darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, oh stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me
If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry, no I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
And darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, oh stand by me
Oh stand now by me, stand by me, stand by me-e, yeah
And darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, oh stand by me
Oh, stand now by me, stand by me, stand by me-e, yeah
Whenever you’re in trouble won’t you stand by me, oh now now stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me
Songwriters: Ben King / Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller

Winner of this years Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize

Connie Anthes, Gemma Avery, Richard Bell, Vivienne Binns OAM, Vincente Butron, Consuelo Cavaniglia, Megan Cope, Renee Cosgrave, Melissa Deerson, Richard Dunn, Hayley Megan French, Kath Fries, Sarah Goffman, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Gail Hastings, Tim Johnson, Mason Kimber, Lucina Lane, Lindy Lee, Stephen Little, Dan McCabe, Adrain McDonald, Aodhan Madden, Hilarie Mais, Jonny Niesche, John Nixon, Rose Nolan, Annie O’Rourke, Conor O’Shea, Kerrie Poliness, Jacob Potter, Elizabeth Pulie, Zoe Marni Robertson, Huseyin Sami, David Serisier, Oliver Wagner, Jenny Watson, Zoe Wilson and Chanelle Collier.

2018 Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize at the National Art School Gallery

The prize exhibition will be held at the National Art School Gallery in Sydney from 15 March until 12 May 2018.

Nike Savvas writes, ‘I have selected artists whose practices evidence discriminating, uncompromising and highly individualist approaches to art making. In a cultural climate beset by hype, hits, corporatisation and swinging social agency, the next iteration of this exhibition titled Extreme Prejudice seeks to highlight the personal and critical imperatives that belie and drive such single-minded work’.

Fellow participating artists include Richard Bell, Vivienne Binns, Vicente Butron, Richard Dunn, Sarah Goffman, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Tim Johnson, Lindy Lee, Stephen Little, Hilarie Mais, Jonny Niesche, John Nixon, Rose Nolan, Kerrie Poliness, Elizabeth Pulie, Huseyin Sami, David Serisier and Jenny Watson.

In addition to the main prize, each artist nominates a younger artist to participate in the emerging prize. Harking back to her WA roots, Gail Hastings nominates Dan McCabe — a Fremantle based artist.

Thanks go to Nike Savvas for her invitation to participate in the exhibition.

Best Artist Book – AAANZ Prize 2017

The judges write that this ‘publication pushes the format of Artist book the most, and is engaged with it’s format. As one of the few projects not heavily engaged with research as a format, it is important. It is good that art can step outside of a retrospective mode, and this does that  engaging with media of it’s time but not for the sake of it’.

Missing includes a brief foreword by art historian Richard Shiff, who ruminates on how a ‘“copy” exists in two different modes, two different kinds of spaces, two different realms of experience’.

Missing is a digital book of limitless copies. The original, however, from which these copies are drawn does not occur outside the copies. It occurs inside each sculptuation comprising it. This is the particular peculiarity of a sculptuation. Each of the four that comprise Missing endeavours as actual art, not the documentation of art. Missing also includes a brief afterword by Amanda Rowell.

Hastings thanks the judges for awarding the prize, AAANZ for hosting the prize and Monash Art Design and Architecture for putting up the prize. Hastings congratulates Ana Paula Estrada, also, who shares in winning the first prize for Best Artist Book.

A review by Annabel Crabb of Missing can be read here.

Missing: Four Sculptuations by Gail Hastings is published by Pigment Publisher and can be purchased through iBooks.

Michael Benedikt to write on Donald Judd’s space for Space Practising Tools

Against this disappointing backdrop of ‘almost no discussion of space in art’, Donald Judd singles out Michael Benedikt’s discussion of Louis Kahn’s Kimbell as an exception.

It is, therefore, a tremendous honour to have Michael Benedikt write an historical essay on the space of Donald Judd’s art for Space Practising Tools.

Space Practising Tools is a project by Gail Hastings that has received Australian Council for the Arts funding.

The Space Practising Tools book will include an introduction by art historian Andrew McNamara. It will also include an experimental essay by Gail Hastings that explores the studio practise of space as a material art medium. Can space be concrete? Can space be a ‘thing’? Can space be constructed, built, as are solids, one thing added to another?

The Space Practising Tools book release will be in August 2018, through iBooks.

Space Practising Tools Project reforms

The Space Practising Tools project has grown. The sudden departure of art historian Adrian Kohn from its, as yet, unpublished pages has brought it to a point of reform. We therefore thank Adrian Kohn for all his time and support that he gave to the project. As a Donald Judd expert keen to expand present considerations of Donald Judd’s space, we look forward to reading Adrian Kohn’s research in the near future.

Australia Council for the Arts grant: Space Practising Tools

Australia Council for the Arts

We are happy to announce that Gail Hastings’ studio is a current recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts grant for the project Space Practising Tools.

The Space Practising Tools project is a studio based experimental study of three-dimensional space from which Gail Hastings will make a number of new works called ‘Space Practising Tools’.

The study will, in itself, be an all encompassing visual investigation that will form the basis of Gail Hastings’ contribution to a book to be published as part of the project.

The book will include an art historical study of Donald Judd’s space by Adrian Kohn and introduction by Andrew McNamara.

An excerpt from the submission to the Australia Council for the Arts in part reads:

First: What is a Space Practising ToolA tool helps us to do something, to achieve something. As a tool, it is not an end result, but helps us to reach an end result; as will a Space Practising Tool. With it, we will be able to practise seeing space. The space, though, we practise to see will be the three-dimensional space that it, as a tool, is made of.”

“If we think of this in terms of colour, if the sky, sea, sand and trees, everything, were all red, then we wouldn’t be able to say they were red. For red, to be differentiated as red, needs to be seen against another colour. Differentiated colours are the tools of their own making. Without blue, we would only have red and non-red, just as today we only have space and non-space. To see space as a tool of its own differentiation is to begin to name the differentiations of space.”

As well as the book Space Practising Tools published through iBooks and available August 2017, the project includes an essay by Gail Hastings on the space in Donald Judd’s art published in Art Journal, New York, in the fall 2018 issue, and an exhibition of Gail Hastings’ Space Practising Tools at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, in 2019.

For more information please contact Gail Hastings’ studio using the contact form at the top-right of this page.

Architecture Bulletin – The room issue

Gail Hastings‘ page 28 from ‘Encyclopaedia of Time in Art: pp. 28–30’ graces the cover of the upcoming Architecture Bulletin – The room issue, Autumn 2017, available in mid-March.

Andrew Nimmo has written an introduction to the issue that in part reads:

The Autumn issue of Architecture Bulletin explores what the room means to a cross section of practitioners, academics and friends of architecture. Is it internal or external? Does it provide shelter? Is it public or private? Is it grand or intimate, old or new? Does it have a function? Does it even exist in a literal sense? At its most elementary it seems reasonable to assume that a room is defined as space – however scale, enclosure, function, form and materiality are all up for negotiation. The other critical thing is that for a room to have any meaning at all there needs to be a relationship to the body, either through inhabitation or observation – and this reminds us that architecture has no meaning without people. 

Andrew Nimmo
Chair of the Editorial Committee

The autumn issue of Architecture Bulletin will be distributed to members of the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. Anyone can collect a free printed copy from the Institute at 3 Manning St, Potts Point. A digital edition can be found here after mid-March:

‘Encyclopaedia of Time in Art: pp. 28–30’ is one of 12 works from the 36 pages about time edition first exhibited in 1996 at the Chicago Art Fair. It is one of four works from the edition collected by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, in 1996. Seven of the remaining eight works from the edition are in either public or private collections. The last remaining work is the first in the edition, pp. 1–3. Originally in the artists‘ collection, it is now available and can be found here.

New website

A new website for Gail Hastings’ studio is now up and running.

Previous pages and information may be missing as data is still being entered.

Review of The Missing Space Project in De Witte Raaf

Wouter Davidts reviews The Missing Space Project: Six Interviews in De Witte Raaf (volume 30, issue 178 (November–December 2015), p.25). Read review.

De Witte Raaf is a journal of critical essays and reviews on visual art published in the Netherlands.

Wouter Davidts is a Belgian academic based in Antwerp, who teaches in the Department of Architecture & Urban Planning and the Department of Art, Music and Theatre Sciences at Ghent University, with a forthcoming project entitled Larger than the Body: Size and Scale in Postwar American Art.

The Missing Space Project released on iBooks

The Missing Space Project: Six Interviews was released today on iBooks.

Most regard phenomenological space made popular in the 1960s as the only type of space introduced by Minimal art. Few are aware of an alternate self-determined space made by the art, itself, that is a concrete, material space. An account of this space is missing.

The six interviews of The Missing Space Project debate the cause of this oversight.

To describe what one sees is fundamental to being aware of what one sees. Without a vocabulary with which to describe material space one, effectively, cannot see it.

The Missing Space Project explores the potential development of a vocabulary with which to describe the differentiated space of art since its emergence in the early 1960s.

Interviews are with: Marianne Stockebrand, Egidio Marzona, Daniel Marzona, Gregor Stemmrich, Richard Shiff and Renate Wiehager.

The Missing Space Project: Six Interviews is available today through iBooks at $4.99 (AUD).


National Library of Australia Listing

Pre-order The Missing Space Project: Six Interviews

The Missing Space Project: Six Interviews is now available for pre-order through the Apple Bookstore. The book is due for release on Wednesday, 14 October 2015.

Occasion 4: But…: A response to ‘Art Interpretation’ – first published 2011-07-21

While art interpretation concerns the meaning of a work of art, whether we find this meaning in an artist’s intention or the work of art<!–more–> itself opens art interpretation to a spectrum of positions between opposing approaches. Into the spectrum, Noël Carroll successfully reintroduces Richard Wollheim’s work in, namely, <em>Painting as an Art</em> to sufficiently wrest the discussion concerning these approaches from literary examples and reinvigorate the discussion in terms of visual art.

Since Richard Wollheim treats interpretation as the <em>retrieval </em>of an artist’s intention, (1)Noël Carroll, ‘Art Interpretation’, <em>British Journal of Aesthetics,</em> v. 51, no.2, 2011, p. 118 Noël Carroll convincingly discerns Richard Wollheim is an intentionalist. For Richard Wollheim, then, ‘an artwork is an intentional manifestation of the mind’ in that it is ‘the artist’s mental stock that determines the meaning of art’. (2)Ibid, p. 119 This emphasis on retrieval not only has Noël Carroll clarify Richard Wollheim’s ‘psychological’ approach to interpretation as ‘modest actual intentionalism’ but, further still, as ‘modest actual <em>mentalism</em>’ — a term Noël Carroll himself introduces. (italics mine)

The opposite of retrieval, for Richard Wollheim, is ‘scrutiny’. As Noël Carroll explains, scrutiny has us ‘attend to the work itself and not to the things that lie beyond the work, such as the artist’s intention’. (3)Ibid, p. 118 Accordingly, Noël Carroll aligns scrutiny in today’s discussion with anti-intentionalism.

In this, we find the bonus in Nöel Carroll’s alignments. For in telling us that ‘Wollheim regards the scrutiny approach as allied to formalism’, (4)Ibid, p. 118 we need not look further to appreciate the contemporary roots of this sentiment in visual art, than the critical writing of Donald Judd in the 1960s. In doing so, we cannot forget the term coined by Richard Wollheim in 1965, Minimal art, is used to identify Donald Judd’s art, albeit protested by the artist. (5) see ‘Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology’, ed. Gregory Battcock, University of California Press, 1968

As difficult as many might find Donald Judd’s writing for its ‘formalism’, his position on this very issue may be surprising. Writing on to the lack of appropriate commentary concerning Jackson Pollock’s work, Donald Judd advises that,
<blockquote>A thorough discussion of Pollock’s work or anyone’s should be something of a construction. It’s necessary to build ways of talking about the work and of course to define all of the important words. Most discussion is loose and unreasonable. The primary information should be the nature of his work. Almost all other information should be based on what is there. This doesn’t mean that the discussion should only be ‘formalistic.’ Almost any kind of statement can be derived from the work: philosophical, psychological, sociological, political. Such statements, usually nonsense, should refer to specific elements in the work and to any statements or biographical information that might be relevant. Certainly the discussion should go beyond formal considerations to the qualities and attitudes involved in the work. Arguments leading from the elements of the work to its general implications are difficult to form and should be formed very carefully. (6)Donald Judd, ‘Complete Writings 1959-1975: Gallery Reviews, Book Reviews, Articles, Letters to the Editor, Reports, Statements, Complaints’, Nova Scotia Press, New York University Press, 1975, pp. 194-5</blockquote>
If we ignore the fact Donald Judd, in agreeing with the need to go beyond formalism when discussing art, qualifies this by saying ‘such statements, usually nonsense’, we might find it difficult to discern the difference between an anti-intentionalist and an intentionalist approach. While this qualification seems largely contradicted by the remaining sentence that sanctifies ‘such statements’ as long as they ‘refer to specific elements in the work and to any statements or biographical information that might be relevant’, it nevertheless gives weight to that which does distinguish opposing approaches: the direction of interpretation. For Donald Judd, the ‘primary information should be the nature’ of the artwork, especially as arguments ‘leading from the elements of the work to its general implications are difficult to form and should be formed very carefully’. Clearly, the only direction here is from the artwork outwards.

Compared to modest actual intentionalism, the direction is opposite. As Noël Carroll explains:
<blockquote>Modest actual intentionalism maintains that the meaning of a work is determined by the intention of the artist insofar as that intention is consistent with the way the work is. That is, the authorial intention that determines the meaning of the artwork must be compatible with what the reader, viewer, or listener can discern in the work, even if only after she has been apprised of what the author intended, including being apprised by the author herself. (7)Noël Carroll, p. 119</blockquote>
Ostensibly, elements of the artwork may remain invisible until made visible by information, external to the artwork, applied to them. The direction of interpretation, here, is towards the artwork, from outside. Consequently, the nature of the artwork is secondary and, subsequently, lost to sight until sighted through an intention consistent with it.

To see the difference of this opposition at work, let us look at Noël Carroll’s discussion of Marina Abramovic’s performance at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, entitled <em>The Artist is Present</em>. In Noël Carroll’s words:
<blockquote>Every day at the exhibition, she sat still in a chair for as long as the museum was open on one side of a plain table. Opposite her was another chair on which museum attendees were invited to sit and to stare silently at Abramovic as she stared back at them. One could sit a long as one wished, but you were not to speak. (8)Ibid, p. 122</blockquote>
If, as Noël Carroll contends, the ‘scrutiny approach appears to presume that we can perceive an artwork while holding our cognitive stock of matters beyond the artwork in abeyance’ (9)Ibid, p.119 then, in obliging this approach, one would be unable to appreciate <em>The Artist is Present</em> since one would be unable to interpret the artist’s
<blockquote>behaviour as a purposive human action, mobilizing what we know of the beliefs, commitments, intentions, ends, and strategies of contemporary performance artists in order [to] make sense of the ways in which she designed the event in question. (10)Ibid, p. 122</blockquote>
In calling upon a recognition of ‘behaviour as a purposive human action’, interpretation is legislated here through normative grounds. This is integral, Noël Carroll argues, since ‘the everyday interpretation of the words and deeds of our conspecifics aims at the retrieval of what is going on in the minds of others’, for which reason there ‘seems little compelling reason to think that things stand otherwise when it comes to interpreting the arts, including the literary arts’. (11)Ibid, p. 127 On these grounds, Noël Carroll not only distinguishes Richard Wollheim’s psychological approach to interpretation from anti-intentionalists, but from other intervening intentionalist positions as well. (12)Ibid, p. 133

When, however, we plough these normative grounds back into the description of Marina Abramovic’s work, Noël Carroll’s <em>mentalist</em> argument for differentiating Richard Wollheim’s approach tends to go, somewhat, awry.

For, importantly, to appreciate the work one has to appreciate how:
<blockquote>The volunteers from the audience are also already spectators – not only because they were initially observers, but because their newly adopted role is to observe Abramovic – while, at the same time, they are participants in the performance, the objects of their fellow onlookers’ gaze, not to mention Abramovic’s. (13)Ibid, p. 122</blockquote>
For volunteers, however, who experienced the work this way, their understanding need not stem from reading the mind of the artist or a compendium on performance art, but from observing the very experience of crossing the boundary between being a viewer outside the artwork and being viewed by others as part of the artwork. This boundary crossing holds the primary information concerning the nature of the artwork. To access it, one need only notice the act of one’s own engagement – the grounds for which are normative.

Since the viewer, here, is also an element of the artwork, the direction of interpretation is from the artwork outward – that of anti-intentionalism. To treat the direction otherwise is to treat the boundary crossing of the viewer as secondary and, thereby, to lead the viewer to lose, not gain, sight of the artwork.