I know about the work of one of them, I think I’ve figured out the second, the third’s work is no secret: these pieces come less from a linear trajectory – some fantasy discharged into an image – but of a more indirect path; a series of intimate transactions in the middle of which the work emerges, becoming eventually the pretext for an encounter, a tool for se- duction, an extension of foreplay. Several works use their model’s name as their title, indicating their provenance (the origin of the sculpture’s cast, say), or their recipient, and some others will surely recognize themselves in this sentimental butchery.
When Serge Daney asked Jacques Rivette about the lack of close-up faces in his films, the filmmaker claimed that he would prefer to frame bodies in their environment. It is a beau- tiful definition of love, perhaps, to refuse to care only for details and instead to pursue a widening of the field of vision – from a face to its setting, a city, a country – to learn not to lose sight of the whole, or to recognize it everywhere, which amounts to the same thing. This is the exact opposite of the extreme fetishisation and fragmentation staged by the works here on display. But there is no point comparing a chicken with a hammer. The role of the model is evoked in these works in a transparent way. It’s an interchangeable ingre- dient, some fuel for the machine, and perhaps simply a way for someone who works alone in their studio to assess the effectiveness of an idea through its embodiment in front of them. From that point on, what could be more natural than to tear it to pieces to make it ea- sier to digest? It’s a question of efficiency. And why take offense? Out of choice, we don’t eat the chicken’s head. It’s nothing personal.
immy DeSana (1949-1990) was an American artist and photographer who documented the New York art scene for many years (Talking Heads, Iggy Pop, Kathy Acker). In 1979, he published a collection of photographs, Submission, which could have given its title to this exhibition. Jean-Charles de Quillacq was born that same year in Sussac, where he still lives today. He has previously lived in Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Nice, and Amsterdam, where I’m sure, if you ask, he’ll be remembered, maybe under a different name. Sofia Montanha (1992) lives in Lisbon. She could have already made her way to Ampersand by now, but it seems she did well to wait.
Nothing Personal, a text by Baptiste Pinteaux (2023)
A World Redrawn: Eisenstein and Brecht in Hollywood
Ampersand is pleased to present ‘‘A World Redrawn’’, an exhibition created by artist and filmmaker Zoe Beloff that explores Sergei Eisenstein’s ideas for the film Glass House and Bertolt Brecht’s notes for the film, A Model Family in a Model Home. Both films were never realized. Through the medium of films, drawings, and archival documents, Zoe’s project re-imagines their ideas for today.
In 1930 Sergei Eisenstein spent six months in Los Angeles under contract to Paramount. A decade later Bertolt Brecht lived in the same city from 1941 to 1947. Working in the world’s most famous factory of dreams, they believed that artists must call into question the way we understand our world. Were their ideas a utopian project that ended in failure? Or were they merely lying in wait for us?
ON TV (in a loop)
* Two Marxists in Hollywood, digital, 2015 (26’)
Written and directed by Zoe Beloff, based on texts by Bertolt Brecht and Sergei Eisenstein. Cinematography by Eric Muzzy. Cast: Bryan Yoshi Brown (Sergei Eisenstein) and Ben Tay- lor (Bertolt Brecht).
In 1930 Russian avant-garde filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein spent six months in Los Ange-les under contract with Paramount. A decade later German playwright and theater director Bertolt Brecht, a refugee from Nazi Germany, lived there from 1941 to 1947. Both set out to make films in Hollywood on their own terms. Working in the world’s most famous factory of dreams, they believed that artists must call into question the way we understand our world. They wanted to make art that was both radical and popular.
* A Model Family in a Model Home, 16mm, 2015 (21’ 41’’)
Written and directed by Zoe Beloff, inspired by Bertolt Brecht’s notes for a movie to be titled A Model Family. Cinematography by Eric Muzzy. Voice-overs: Vladimir Weigl (Bertold Brecht) and Anthony Wellman (radio announcer). Music composed by Hanns Eisler, ar-ranged with new lyrics by Hannah Tempel.
Fleeing from the Nazis, Bertolt Brecht arrived in Los Angeles in 1941. This film is inspired by notes for movie that he based on an article in Life Magazine called A Model Family in a Model Home. It explores Brecht’s ideas about working people and the home as a stage upon which larger political and social forces are played out.
Inquisitive Eyes, print, 34 x 48cm, 2015
Easy Money, print, 34 x 48cm, 2015
Price Tag, print, 34 x 48cm, 2015
Beyond the Visible, print, 34 x 48cm, 2015
Vortex, print, 34 x 48cm, 2015
The Nudist Society, wall painting based on Eisenstein’s drawings for the Glass House, 2023
Bertolt Brecht, sculpture, 2015
Glass House, digital, 2015 (21’)
Cinematography by Eric Muzzy. Cast: Jim Fletcher (Sergei Eisenstein, the Architect, and the Robot), Kate Valk (Walt Disney, Mickey Mouse, the Poet, the Robot).
Music composed by Susie Ibarra.
A film based on Sergei Eisenstein’s notes and drawings for a science fiction movie that he pitched to Paramount Studios in 1930. Its theme is the architecture of surveillance.
Written and directed by Zoe Beloff, inspired by Sergei Eisenstein’s notes for a movie to be titled Glass House.
Vitrine with archival materials
Three photos of The Model Home by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1941
Zoe Beloff (1958, Edinburgh) is an artist, filmmaker, and writer based in New York. She is a professor at Queens College CUNY. Her work has been featured in international exhibitions and screenings including the Whitney Museum, Site Santa Fe, M HKA, Centre Pompidou, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and FID Marseille. Beloff has also published many books, including Reminiscences of a Refugee Childhood (2021, Booklyn), Parade of the Old New (2021, Booklyn), Techniques de la distraction (2019, Les Presses du Réel), Emotions Go to Work (2018, Minor Compositions) and A World Redrawn (2016, Christine Burgin).
An evening screening of Ilene Segalove’s videos, guest curated by Tobi Maier.
7:00 PM: The Mom Tapes (1974-78, 27’)
7:45 PM: The Riot Tapes (1984, 30’)
8:30 PM: The Mom Tapes (1974-78, 27’)
9:15 PM: The Riot Tapes (1984, 30’)
Ilene Segalove is an artist, author, teacher, and independent National Public Radio (NPR) producer. She was born in 1950 in Los Angeles and now lives in Santa Barbara, California. Segalove studied Communication Arts at Loyola University in Los Angeles and received a degree in Fine Arts from the University of California in Santa Barbara where she started studying in 1968. During the early 1970s Segalove attended classes at CalArts with John Baldessari, alongside artists Matt Mullican, David Salle, and James Welling who later would become well-known protagonists of The Pictures Generation. Segalove was a member of the group Telethon, which she founded with Billy Adler, John Margolis, and Van Schley. Together with Telethon she de- signed installations featuring collages of commercial TV, and undertook an intensive study of popular-culture icons as “television preachers, ice cream cones and the Madonna Inn, a San Luis Obispo, California, master- piece of kitsch”.
Working with video since 1972, when Segalove bought a Sony Portapack camera from Nam June Paik’s girlfriend, Ilene Segalove was initially «offended by [video’s] invasive quality and seduced by its power”. A self-described «child of Beverly Hills», Segalove began pointing the camera at «familiar things», producing quasi- documentaries about her family and about American TV culture appearing as narrator telling stories with a distinctly dry sense of humor underlining their cultural criticism.
The Mom Tapes (1974-78) has been almost entirely shot at the Segalove’s family home in Beverly Hills, and introduces the relationship between the young artist and her mother Elaine. In her later work, The Riot Tapes (1984), Segalove narrates her student life around 1968 in a politicized California university environment and depicts herself in a romance with her anorexic boyfriend Ricky, who is trying to evade the draft to Vietnam.
Segalove said about The Riot Tapes: “they were done to put my pseudo-college life into some kind of shape, to honor my old boyfriend and his ideals, and to build some humor into a pretty serious time.”
Recent exhibitions include «The Dissatisfaction of Ilene Segalove» at Andrea Rosen Gallery New York (2010); «Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974–1981» at MOCA, Los Angeles (2011/2012); «The Imminence of Poetics», 30th São Paulo Biennial (2012), «The Second Sex – A Visual Footnote» at La Galerie Noisy-le-Sec: «one day micro-exhibition» at OEI Colour Project in Stockholm (both 2013), «In Dialogue» at Getty Center, Los Angeles (2022), «New Art Bank Exhibit» at the Anneberg Community Beach (2022).
Ampersand was fortunate to encounter Segalove and her work while developing the Daisy monograph on Wolfgang Stoerchle, Success in Failure (2022).
« I think Wolfgang [Stoerchle] was emblematic of MEN at that time who had access to venues and the ‘balls’ to do the work that women at the time assisted in doing. The art world was almost all MEN at that time, and yet there was a sense of possibility. I remember a lot about him and was more interested in him than his art. But he did give me a sense of what being a public artist was about and it both inspired me (I mean he was young to know this stuff) and made me think it was a big sham. (The art world) Self-important, making fun of authority, being overtly sexual to get a rise, and being vulnerable in public as a symbol of what the culture needed but more to boast courage and to self-test. Wolf self-tested a lot....He’s featured in a video I made called THE RIOT TAPES, I can send you the link.» Ilene Segalove - July 2019.
Warm thanks to Ilene Segalove
Richard Hawkins (1961 - ) x Pati Hill (1921 - 2014) x Artur Varela (1937 - 2017)
You’ll note the #03 of richardhawkins03, #s 01 and 02 were shut down for “violating community guidelines”. After which it then became a kind of game to hide dicks behind popup stickers or as payoffs for viewers willing to stick it through to the end of longer clips. There’s no grand schema to how the clips are edited or formatted, just working with/ around the app’s built-in limitations and some consideration for how quickly attentions lag and what content (primarily dick, as I’ve said, notably never my own) might make a viewer return for more. On the user end, the 10 minutes that it takes to whip up a gif, some stic- kers and an audio snippet to showcase the freshest pic of a shirtless popstar or indulge the obscenity of US politics fulfilled a need for quick gratification. Through lockdowns past and current semi-reclusion the posts feel like far-off distant smoke signals spelling it out « hey, don’t forget me » – I’m not dead yet.
Shoutouts to d_schlong, mathieumalouf, andrej_dubravsky, sunlightremedy_, jlncc, g_u_z_z_l_e_r and jacuzzi_brains who appear or are referenced somewhere herein.
- Richard Hawkins, January 2023
In 2000, following the death of her third husband, Pati Hill lived surrounded by a small brigade of cats and occasionally dined with them on her workshop table in the midst of her xerographs. Once the table was laid, she randomly threw their food on white sheets of paper, the same she used for work. She kept these sheets onto which she drew characters based on the traces left by the cat food.
- Baptiste Pinteaux, March 2021
In a country dominated by state culture and where state culture makes the market and
the curriculum Artur Varela has for decades pursued a silent and muted work. Good for him. The time is for pose and best-sellers, kitsch and entertainment, decoration and public relations, to look and to appear. And in a time like this, creators, like lions at a jackal feast, may as well stay away.
- José Amaro Dionísio, October 1993
Special Thanks to Florence Bonnefous, Amanda Booth, Galerie Air de Paris, Richard Hawkins, and the FRIENDS OF ARTUR, a society initiated in Lisbon in 2021 for the pre- servation of rare artist species.
Artur Varela, Untitled, wood, 160 x 65 x 70 cm, 1965 Pati Hill, Untitled, xerograph, c.2000
Pati Hill, Untitled, xerograph, c.2000
Pati Hill, Untitled, xerograph, c.2000
Richard Hawkins, Four short videos regarding Artaud, video, 5’30’’, 2023 Pati Hill, Untitled, drawing, cat food, c.2000
Pati Hill, Untitled, drawing, cat food, c.2000
Richard Hawkins, Untitled, video, 20’25’’, 2023
Richard Hawkins (1961, Texas) lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions in- clude Greene Naftali, New York (2022, 2019, 2018); Galerie Buchholz, Köln (2020, 2018); Tate, Liverpool (2014); Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2013); and the Art Institute of Chicago, which traveled to the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2010). His practice spans sculpture, collage, digital art, drawing, painting, film and writing. From classical Greek sculpture to pop hits, Victorian era literature and the paintings of the great symbolists, his work often focuses on the young male form, navigating taboos and the pleasure of looking at the human body.
Pati Hill (1921-2014) was known as a model, journalist and writer when she produced her first works using a photocopier in the early 1970s. Her work has recently been show at Art Basel (2021), Galerie Air de Paris (2020), Kunsthalle Zurich (2020), Essex Street, New York (2018). This is Ampersand’s third time showing her work, the most recent chapter in an ongoing overview of her life and work.
Artur Varela (1937-2017) was a Portuguese artist whose work included sculpture, painting, film, and satirical illustration. He lived a substantial part of his life in Holland and several years in France where he exhibited widely, as well as Italy and Belgium. In 1973 he re- turned to Portugal, which he had remained viscerally connected to throughout his career, reflected in the often irreverent, iconoclastic work he continued to exhibit in his native country, and which augmented his status as an outsider.
Freshly back home-sweet-home after a busy Parisienne month as Festival d’Automne 2022’s honored guest artist, and following a new exhibition opened last week in London, Ana Jotta will close her year’s agenda with us, and provide the evening with its score.
Meanwhile, we welcome Benjamin Taylor (Philadelphia, 1992) through the gaze and poise of his portraits and protagonists, and let’s take a look behind Sara Graça’s (Lisbon, 1993) ever-transforming work, by celebrating two of her pieces in all-new incarnations, alongside her.
Our final guest is Louisiana-born artist Tina Girouard (DeQuincy, LA 1946 – Cecilia, LA 2020). After studying at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Tina moved to NYC, where in the early 1970s she co-founded the influential artist-run kitchen FOOD, with Carol Goo- den and Gordon Matta-Clark, and swam in the post-minimal vortex of Lower Manhattan, alongside accomplices such as Laurie Anderson, Lawrence Weiner, and Keith Sonnier. With a sharp body of pioneering work in video, installation, and performance, and a special affinity for sequins. Tina completes the evening’s circle of complicity.
Thanks to the Estate of Tina Girouard, Stefano di Paola (Galerie Anat Ebgi) and the artists.
LAD’S JAM is an edition of 50 (numbered and signed), concocted by Ana Jotta specially for this exhibition. It contains the full soundtracks of Mirmiadão da Tragédia, an ensemble of eleven masks made by the artist between 2002 and 2005 which for each of them a particular song to recite + extra songs and a bonus. 5 € + shipping. Email for order.
Bonus, (1’10), Ana Jotta to Martin Laborde, excerpt from the album Lad’s Jam, 2013.
Wednesday October 19, from 6 to 9 pm @Ampersand
AS MARAVILHAS DA NATUREZA
On the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the disappearance of the legendary American artist Nancy Graves (1939-1995), we invite you to the exhibition AS MARAVILHAS DA NATUREZA, featuring two of her very alive films, in an interspecies conversation with works by Portuguese troublemaker Artur Varela (1937-2017), set to the tune of Gabriel Abrantes’ (1984-) mute flute.
Varela’s work is present thanks to the trust and care of Amanda Booth and the FRIENDS OF ARTUR,
a society initiated in Lisbon in 2021 for the preservation of rare artist species. This exhibition has been ruminated with Ana Baliza and Justin Jaeckle, and will continue to be on view Thursday 20, Friday 21, and Saturday 22 October, from 2 to 7 pm.
Nancy Graves was an American artist who developed a sustained body of sculptures, paintings, drawings, watercolours, prints and films along her career, alongside a small body of films and set de- signs. Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, she graduated from Vassar College in 1961. She then earned an MFA in painting at Yale University in 1964, where her classmates included Robert Mangold, Rackstraw Downes, Brice Marden, Chuck Close, as well as Richard Serra. Five years after graduating, her career was launched in 1969 when she was the youngest artist — and only the fifth woman — to be selected for a solo presentation at the Whitney Museum of Art. Graves’ work was subsequently featured in hundreds of museum and gallery exhibitions worldwide.
Artur Varela was a Portuguese artist whose work included sculpture, painting, film, and satirical illustration. He lived a substantial part of his life in Holland and several years in France where he exhibited widely, as well as Italy and Belgium. In 1973 he returned to Portugal, which he had remained viscerally connected
to throughout his career, reflected in the often irreverent, iconoclastic work he continued to exhibit in his native country, and which augmented his status as an outsider. The title of this exhibition is taken from a short film Varela shot in Alentejo in the early 1970’s.
Gabriel Abrantes is an artist and filmaker born in North Carolina, United States. He currently lives and works in Lisbon.
Launch and presentation of Daisy Editions’ latest publication, Pati Hill’s coming-of-age novel One Thing I Know.
‘‘One thing I know, I will never be in love again,’’ writes Francesca Hollins in her diary. She is sixteen and neither Danny, a young boyfriend already haunted by bourgeois dreams, nor her mother, a woman she believes lacks all imagination, can convince her otherwise. This novel recounts how Francesca discovers an unexpected definition of her independence, something Diane Arbus perceived when she wrote to Hill: ‘‘I am more than ever convinced and maybe [Francesca] is too, that people are born old and that disenchantment is more a beginning than an end in itself… I think life has absolutely to be lived backwards and there is no covenient shortcut like forwards.’’
One Thing I Know, Pati Hill
Afterword by Baptiste Pinteaux
Designed by Ana Baliza
Published by Daisy
July 2022, 108pp., 12×18cm, softcover
Edition of 600
copies available at: www.daisyeditions.com
Wednesday March 16
Wolfgang Stoerchle, Success in Failure is the first monograph on Stoerchle’s work, written by Alice Dusapin who has dedicated extensive research into his life and work since 2017 and organized several exhibitions during this time (Overduin & Co, Air de Paris, Macro Museum). The publication (408 pages, 695 grams) includes interviews with Daniel Lentz, Paul McCarthy, Matt Mullican, David Salle, Helene Winer, and a previously unpublished review by James Welling, alongside ephemera and documentation of Stoerchle’s video works and performances, as well as rarely seen sculptures, installations, and paintings.
Ana Santos & Wolfgang Stoerchle - February 19 * 7/10 pm -
Wolfgang Stoerchle is a somewhat concealed artistic figure of the early 70s who left a certain but little
advertised mark on a generation of Californian artists, especially through videotapes and performances
involving his body as raw material. Born in 1944 in Baden Baden (Germany), Wolfgang moved to Canada with his family in 1959. In 1962, he left Toronto with his brother on a horse, traveling in the saddle for 11 months across the breadth of the United States to finally arrive to Los Angeles. Wolfgang would eventually claim this journey as his first artwork.
Shortly after completing subsequent studies at the University of Oklahoma and at the University of California in Santa Barbara, Wolfgang became one of the inaugural teachers at CalArts (where his students included James Welling, Matt Mullican, David Salle, Paul McCarthy and Eric Fischl). This very productive time in
Wolfgang’s work saw him adopt the Portapak camera and turn to video.
Playing with rudimentary but fundamental actions to interrogate changing forms of state and status,
Wolfgang used often his own body as an expressive instrument. His performances, for camera or live
audiences, played with ingredients of movement and stasis, strength and fragility, provocation and humour. Clothes, dirt, physical exertion, food and his penis would all make frequent appearances in his work.
Wolfgang was a visible and significant presence within the LA art scene of the time, but after relocation to New York in 1973 he eventually grew disaffected with the art world. He spent two years on numerous journeys and retreats– studying his dreams, experimenting with psychedelics and living as an ascetic in the Mexican mountains – before eventually settling in Santa Fe, where he slowly returned to making art. In 1976, Wolfgang died in a car accident at the age of 32.
Two of his video works are on show at Ampersand alongside a sculpture by Portuguese artist Ana Santos (1982), as part of an ongoing re-evaluation of Wolfgang’s practice and its legacy today.
Shoe Piece, Wolfgang Stoerchle
videotape, black and white, sound
Shoe Piece is part of a series of videos Wolfgang recorded in his studio between 1970 and 1972 whilst a teacher at CalArts. Here a parade of shoes (alternatively feminine and masculine) stamp down on plastic cups that are constantly being replaced after having been dragged out of the scene with a scraping sound.
Sue Turning, Wolfgang Stoerchle
video tape, black and white, sound
Sue Turning is a video made during a workshop at the American Dance Festival (Summer, 1973), held at Connecticut College, and organized by Allegra Fuller Snyder (daughter of Buckminster Fuller). For this piece, Wolfgang used three fixed cameras to film the dancer Carolyn Pfaffl, also known as ‘Sue’, from her head to her toes as she stood on a rotating platform. We could refer to the video as a dance without movement. The video is notable for having more professional production values than normally seen in Wolfgang’s work and is the last known video he made.
Untitled, Ana Santos
stainless steel, polyester yarn
297 x 64 x 36 cm
6 to 9 pm - Gabriel Barbi
Monday 13 January, let’s start the week properly, at Ampersand, with the opening of an exhibition from Gabriel Barbi, alongside Peau d’Ana #2 – the new installment of Ana Jotta’s monthly revised and refreshed window display.
Gabriel Barbi was born in Santa Catarina (Brazil) and has been living in Lisbon since 2007. Recent exhibitions include Numre/ Songs at Ch’ien Chien (Copenhagen) curated by Henning Lundkvist, Love & Ethnology at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) curated by Diedrich Diederichsen and Anselm Franke, Spirit Shop (Lisbon) invited by Pedro Barateiro, and Mistake! Mistake! said the rooster... and stepped down from the duck at Lumiar Cité (Lisbon), curated by Jürgen Bock. Barbi will be part of the next issue of octopus notes.
Please note that Barbi’s exhibition is easily visited – by appointment only – until 19 January.
Friday 6 December join us at Ampersand for a special session of Moyra Davey’s work from 7 to 10 pm.
Wedding Loop (2017, 23’) and Hujar / Palermo (2010, 4’23”) will be screened throughout the evening. A selected range of Moyra’s publications will also be available to view. Moyra’s work will remain on view until Saturday night.
Wedding Loop sees the artist recounting a turbulent series of events at an operatic family gathering, while interspersing notes on auto-fiction, family portraiture and the legacy of Julia Margaret Cameron, alongside responses to writings by authors including Simone Weil, Elena Ferrante, and Karl Ove Knausgaard. While probing the lives and relations of such individuals the artist holds dearest (her five distinctive sisters, her post-adolescent son, her ensemble of cherished wordsmiths), the film draws a kind of coda to two of the artist’s earlier essay films, Hemlock Forest (2016) and Les Goddesses (2011), each of which are organized around similar concerns relating to the dynamics of longing, loss, and artistic creation.
In Hujar / Palermo Moyra Davey navigates Peter Hujar’s 1976 book Portraits of Life and Death, animating the space between mediums, the living and the dead. “Life is a movie. Death is a photograph” – Susan Sontag
Moyra Davey was born in Toronto, and has been living in New York since 1988. It is tempting, although incomplete, to describe her artistic practice as that of a photographer, a filmmaker, and a writer.
Opening hours :
Friday 6 of December from 7 to 10 pm
Saturday 7 of December from 3 to 8 pm
From Autumn 2019 until the next, PEAU D’ANA, a monthly news-from-the-wall, will see Ana Jotta revising the windown display, right by our front door, with updates on the 13th of each.
On the occasion of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Ampersand hosts Accattone, and launch his new issue #6 - Saturday October 5 from 1 to 5 pm - followed by a discussion between Simon Boudvin and Giame Melonie and a screening of Christopher Roth’s movie «Architecting after Politics » (80 min).
Accattone is a project by two architects (Sophie Dars & Carlo Menon) and two graphic designers (Ismaël Bennani & Orfée Grandhomme).
#6 Piet Oudolf. Pier Vittorio Aureli. Maria Shéhérazade Giudici. Sammy Baloji. Filip De Boeck. Anne Grotte Viken. Kayoko Ota. Quentin Nicolaï. Junya Ishigami. Galaad Van Daele. Christopher Roth.
Phone Conversation with Andy Warhol, n.d.
Lil Picard Papers, University of Iowa Libraries
a selection by #bookadviser, available @ampersand
Bas Jan Ader, Discovery File 143/76, New Documents, 2017
Bas Jan Ader, Le Magasin, 1996
Derek Beaulieu, a, a novel, Jean Boîte Editions, 2017
Walead Beshty, Industrial Potraits -2008-2012, JRP Ringier, 2017
Beni Bischof, Texte 1, Edition Patrick Frey2015
Beni Bischof, Texte 2, Edition Patrick Frey, 2016
Karl Holmqvist, Word Squares, Motto Books, 2017
Jutta Koether, f., Sternberg Press, 2015
Enzo Mari, autoprogettazione ?, Edizioni Corraini, 2016
Enzo Mari, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Walter König, 2008
Bern Porter, Hold on To Your Hat, miekal and 2013
Wolfgang Stoerchle, Le Magasin, 1996
Daan van Golden, Made in Tokyo, Misako & Rosen, 2014
Bernar Venet, Poetic ? Poétique ?, Jean Boîte Editions 2017
Jean-Michel Wicker, e industrial, donlon books, Motto Books, 2014
" The plant is like me : too big to be cute / I often talk about that time, but she has never told anyone / You can call an ocean the lake, but you can't call a lake the ocean" a solo exhibition by Anne-Mai Sønderborg Keldsen
Anne-Mai Sønderborg Keldsen (b. 1991, Denmark) is currently doing her studies at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and has for the past year been studying under artist Angela Melitopoulos. We met Mai in Lisboa while she was doing the ISP at Maumaus. She exhibited in 2016 at Void in Athens and produced recenlty two books that we are glad to present in the space.
Ampersand hosts Vis-à-Vis, a project initiated in 2012 by the bookseller, publisher & bookadviser Christophe Daviet-Thery on the shelves of his bookshop on Rue Louise Weiss in Paris. A reflection about forms and formats of reading an exhibition by a person who lives and works with books in a specific economic context, Vis-à-Vis is both a working method and a device : isolating two works in dialogue in a single room. Books, editions, sound recordings, sculptures, films, the possible combinations are multiple; the display format somewhere between a lecture, a double page spread and a promotional strategy. This month, we replay Vis-à-Vis numbers 2 & 4, and present two new iterations of the project, number 6 and 7.
Joseph Grigely & Pierre Von-Ow
Interview dates: February 22, March 8th & 25, 2015, July 3rd 2017.
Place: Artist’s loft, Chicago, Illinois; around a table stamped ‘Property of Gallaudet College’; TV playing hockey game in the background, sound turned mute.
Pierre Von-Ow: To what extent are you deaf?
Joseph Grigely: Very rare degree of deafness, total. It’s very hard to categorize degrees of deafness since it is a logarithm of scale (frequency in Hz/loudness): 70 decibels is ten times worse than 60, 80 ten times worse than 70, etc. And I am in the realm of 120+, which means that I could only hear something really really really fucking loud. That’s like a jet taking off behind me. But there’s a big difference between being born deaf and being deafened later on life like Beethoven for example and myself, since we both spoke and other people write.
PVO: But writing is not merely a leftover in this kind of situation.
JG: I believe that writing has emotion. And I really believe that conversations are a kind of talking on paper. It is between speech and writing in many ways. But that’s not an argument I want to get in as an artist.
PVO: Are you a ‘deaf artist’ by the way?
JG: Here in America, people are more interested in the artist over the art. This country loves taxonomies. (Dog’s barking) We are obsessed with identities. In Europe, you’re much more concerned to imbricated identities. You’ve got so many countries with different languages, like Belgium or Switzerland. One conversation I had with a German dealer when I did my first show in Paris was particularly striking; he was telling me how people are going to read it as being about deafness while underlined issue is about communication and difference. And he was really right about that because what’s interesting as a sociological fact is when I approach someone or somebody approaches me and says something I say: “I’m deaf, would you write that down?” To me that is normal. My everyday life. But they become the disabled persons because they have to communicate by writing, that’s very unusual and not normal for that person. So basically, sociologically, I turned it around: I was a normal person and they were disabled by our encounter.
PVO: Would you consider yourself as a ‘conversationist’?
JG: On many ways, no. Ironically enough, no. The conversations themselves written on papers are merely a starting point for me. When I have the conversations, they are historical facts, historical documents. But when I rearrange them into the wall pieces, they become fictions at that point, just as painting squeezed out of a tube. They become the material for another structure. But that structure is often, shall we say, detached from the origins of conversations. What I am doing is juxtaposing, at one level, a verbal narrative: one paper beside another paper creates a narrative between them. Like Josef Albers said in the book Interaction of Color (1963), you can’t put one color beside another color without also changing both. You can’t put a word beside another word without also changing both. The conversations like these are also very formal pieces, dealing with grids, dealing with the color of the paper and the way the lines are inscribed on the paper. It becomes very abstract at that level too.
PVO: It reminds me of what Clement Greenberg claimed about Mallarmé in his famous “Towards a Newer Laocoon” (1940): “Poetry subsists no longer in the relations between words as meanings, but in the relations between words as personalities composed of sound, history and possibilities of meaning. […] The poem still offers possibilities of meaning – but only possibilities. Should any of them be too precisely realized, the poem would lose the greatest part of its efficacy, which is to agitate the consciousness with infinite possibilities by approaching the brink of meaning and yet never falling over it.”
JG: I bring some new coffee.
Ampersand is pleased to launch its program with Here Comes Everybody’s Don’t Book, a selection of Bern Porter’s works.
An American poet, writer, artist, publisher, gallerist and physicist, Bern Porter (1911-2004) is considered a pioneer of the artist book and “found poetry”. From 1941 until his death he produced hundreds of books made out of experiments in collage, text and typography.
The self-proclaimed inventor of mail art, Porter actively sent his works through the post every week of his life. A highly active and influential publisher, Porter published works by figures including Henry Miller, Kenneth Patchen, James Schevill, Robert Duncan and Dick Higgins.
A polymath at the crossroads of the 20th century, he was an acquaintance of, among others, Gertrude Stein, Anais Nin, Allen Ginsberg, Dieter Roth and Shozo Shimamoto (Gutai Art Group). With a master's degree in Science from Brown University, Bern Porter was also an eminent physicist. He contributed to the invention of television, worked on the Saturn V rocket for NASA, and was closely involved in the Manhattan project – which he immediately renounced upon learning of the bombing of Hiroshima, dedicating the rest of his life to creative pursuits. After circling the world three times and visiting 43 countries, Porter spent the last decades of his life running The Institute of Advanced Thinking from his own home in Belfast, Maine. At this time, he developed a strong friendship and collaboration with the poet and publisher Mark Melnicove (The Dog Ear Press) with whom he performed for many years and created The Eternal Festival of Poetry.
Ampersand will offer a selection of Porter’s work including an extensive collection of his output in printed matter, alongside collages, ephemera, sounds, records and videos. The project would not have been possible without the kind support and generous help of Mark Melnicove (director of Bern Porter’s estate). This presentation prefaces a 2018 publication that will be edited by Alice Dusapin & Geraldine Beck and published by &: Christophe Daviet-Thery in close collaboration with Martin Laborde and Mark Melnicove.
Do Not Delay, 1980, (1’59), Bern Porter & Mark Melnicove, The Eternal Poetry Festival, recorded in South Harpswell, Maine
Shave, 1980, (1’03), Bern Porter & Mark Melnicove, The Eternal Poetry Festival, recorded in South Harpswell, Maine
May All Be Well, 1982, (1’06), Bern Porter & Mark Melnicove, The Eternal Poetry Festival, recorded during a performance at Maine Poets Festival
The Daily Regimen, 1984, (6’59), Bern Porter & Mark Melnicove, The Eternal Poetry Festival, a re-mixed version by Mark Melnicove from a performance in Syracuse, NY
Thanks to Fredrik Averin, Anne-Laure Chamboissier, Diogo da Cruz, Theo Dusapin, Justin Jaeckle, Douna Lim, Teo Pesso, Baptiste Pinteaux, Elisa Pone & Charles Veyron