What is colour — without Language?

‘Like an auditorium built by the Bauhaus on the edge of a park, all green and green swans.
Green swans, she said.’
—Quinn Latimer


—Jude Walton, The return of Nadja-Léona

‘The title of this project has been adapted from a poem by the French writer Jean Follain. The project started out life in Follain’s use of language—his sense of the miniature, the modesty of his subjects, and the relationship of his poems to memory. These continue to influence its overall scope. By starting out from one of the texts selected for you to study we would like you to explore the subject of colour and make an artwork from your discoveries.’ (from the Project Brief)


The writers
Baudelaire, Charles A Carrion | ‘Selected Poems of Charles Baudelaire’ translated by Geoffrey Wagner (NY: Grove Press, 1974)
Bishop, Elizabeth Sandpiper | ‘Poems’ (Chatto & Windus, 2011)
Brecht, Bertolt On Thinking About Hell | ‘Poems 1913–1956’ this poem translated by Nicholas Jacobs (Methuen, 1976)
Connolly, Geraldine The Summer I Was Sixteen | in ‘Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry’ (Random House, 2013)
Follain, Jean In This Light, The Key & Works | ‘From Elsewhere’ translated by Ciaran Carson (The Gallery Press, 2014)
Glenday, John A Difficult Colour | ‘The Apple Ghost’ (Peterloo Poets, 1989)
Houellebecq, Michel Veroniqué & Grey House | ‘Unreconciled: Poems 1991-2013’ translated by Gavin Bowd (William Heinemann, 2017)
Longley, Michael Telling Yellow | ‘Angel Hill’ (Cape Poetry, 2017)
Oliver, Mary Blue Horses | ‘Blue Horses’ (Penguin, 2014)
Pizarnik, Alejandra le temps tombant … | ‘The Galloping Hour: French Poems’ translated by Patricio Ferrari & Forrest Gander (New Directions, 2018)
Ponge, Francis The Umbels & The Magnolia | ‘Unfinished Ode to Mud’ translated by Beverley Bie Brahic (CB Editions, 2008)
Sappho Fragment 6, 34, 54, 151 and 152 | ‘If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho’ translated by Anne Carson (Virago, 2002)
Södergran, Edith The Colours’ Longing & Violet Twilights | ‘Love & Solitude: Selected Poems 1916-1923’ (Seattle: Fjord Press, 1992) & ‘Dikter’ both translated by Stina Katchadourian (Helsinki: Holger Schildts Förlagsaktiebolag, 1916)
Woolf, Virginia Thursday 4 October 1934 | ‘The Diary of Virginia Woolf’ Vol. 4/1931-1935 (The Hogarth Press,1982)

Reading | Resources:
Literature
Marguerite Duras, Albert of the Capitals (Rough Draft) Translated by Linda Coverdale: ‘Wartime Notebooks’—the Pink Marbled Notebook—in The Lover, Wartime Notebooks, Practicalities (Everyman’s library, 2018)
Derek Jarmin, Chroma: A Book of Colour (Century, 1994)
Quinn Latimer, Like A Woman: Essays, Readings, Poems (Sternberg Press, 2017)
Maggie Nelson, Bluets (Jonathan Cape, 2009)
Mary Oliver, an interview with Krista Tippet first broadcast as an edited extract on Radio 4’s ’Short Cuts’ programme by Josie Long. Find the full interview here: https://onbeing.org/programs/mary-oliver-listening-to-the-world-jan2019/

Visual Art
Stan Brakhage, The Text of Light (1974): ubu.com/film/brakhage.html
Aleks Danko, Here we turn everything into fun to kill time, 2003 & No! No! No! No More Museum of Créche Art – cut the boredom (after Bruce Nauman), 2019 https://suttongallery.com.au/artists/aleks-danko/
Graham Fagen, Our Shared, Common, Private Space, 2011 & Scheme for Consciousness, 2014: http://www.grahamfagen.com/works/year/2011
Derek Jarmin, Blue (1993) https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/jarman-blue-t14555
Yves Klein, IKB 79 (1959) https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/klein-ikb-79-t01513
Ana Mendieta, Selected Film Works (1972-1981): http://www.ubu.com/film/mendieta_selected.html
Carolee Schneeman, Interior Scroll (1975): https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/schneemann-interior-scroll-p13282
Carolee Schneeman & Mary Beatty, Interior Scroll – The Cave (1975 – 1979): http://www.ubu.com/film/schneemann_interior.html
‘When Home Won’t Let You Stay’: https://www.icaboston.org/exhibitions/when-home-won%E2%80%99t-let-you-stay-migration-through-contemporary-art

What is Sculpture? | To appear … … … radiant?


Alice Aycock, Maze: Aerial view (1972) black and white photograph.

Eight collections of ‘sculptural material’ — artists (a few examples of their work), historical and contemporary PDF documents of artist’s statements, press releases, interviews, web and library references — that may be of interest in relation to this years General Foundation fine art project, What is Sculpture?

1—’Chatter’
Aleks Danko, Wait … I think this is where I lost my hula-hoop (2017)

2—’This was at hand’
A.R. Penck, Standart – Modell (1972-73), Definition of Similarity (1970-71) and Untitled (1966)

3—Late works 1981-85
Ana Mendieta:
http://www.galerielelong.com/exhibitions/ana-mendieta3

4—Living and working in Scotland

Claire Barclay, Fault on the right side (2007)
https://www.clairebarclay.net/


Karla Black, Vanity Matters (2009)
https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/black-vanity-matters-t13282
Kate McLeod (DJCAD Staff), Something Else (2014)
https://sculptors.org.uk/artists/kate-mcleod
Cathy Wilkes, Untitled (2012)
https://www.themoderninstitute.com/artists/cathy-wilkes

5—Jupiter Artland, West Lothian, Scotland.

Phyllida Barlow, Quarry—‘Two towering cement and steel columns and a mountainous flight of ruined stairs.’


Christian Boltanski, Animitas—‘Hundreds of small Japanese bells attached to long stems planted in the ground. The bells chiming to the wind let out the ‘music of souls’ and reproduce the map of the stars on the night Boltanski was born.’


Ian Hamilton Finlay, Only Connect—‘Northumbrian Limestone: arched bridge between two milestones each inscribed with the closing words of ‘Howards End’ by E.M. Forster.’ And, Xth Muse—‘Portland stone head on plinth. Sappho, the tenth muse, is the poetess of erotic lyricism and the symbol of love and beauty.’


Anya Gallaccio, The Light Pours Out Of Me—‘An underground chamber of amethyst surrounded by obsidian in its natural state, protected by gold barbed wire.’

6—A survey
Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947–2016.
An exhibition by Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, Los Angeles, 2016.
The Artists: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Ruth Asawa, Phyllida Barlow, Lynda Benglis, Karla Black, Lee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, Heidi Bucher, Abigail De Ville, Claire Falkenstein, Gego, Isa Genzken, Sonia Gomes, Francoise Grossen, Eva Hesse, Sheila Hicks, Cristina Iglesias, Rachel Khedoori, Yayoi Kusama, Liz Larner, Anna Maria Maiolina, Marisa Merz, Senga Nengudi, Louise Nevelson, Lygia Pape, Mira Schendel, Lara Schnitger, Shinique Smith, Jessica Stockholder, Michellle Stuart, Kaari Upson, Ursula Von Rydingsvard, Hannah Wilke, Jackie Windsor.

7—Documents
phyllida-barlow-vincent-fecteau.pdf
Francis Alÿs A to Z.pdf
Aleks Danko Wait…I think this is where I lost my hula-hoop_2017-2.pdf
Claes Oldenburg.pdf

8—Frieze Magazine
https://frieze.com/article/natascha-suder-happelmann-will-represent-germany-2019-venice-biennale
https://frieze.com/article/mrinalini-mukherjees-garden-earthly-delights
https://frieze.com/article/olga-jevrics-pioneering-experiments-abstraction-are-shown-london-first-time
https://frieze.com/article/i-want-liberate-full-life-interview-roger-hiorns

What is Drawing? | project reference and my notes

‘It’s not something we’re usually given to think about: What is it to draw? To make a drawing? To draw some thing, and to do so in some place. John Berger, in an essay in ‘Bento’s Sketchbook’ wrote: ‘We who draw do so not only to make something observed visible to others, but also to accompany something invisible to its incalculable destination.’ What do you think he meant?

The aim of this project is to encourage you to reflect on your current understanding and experience of drawing and to reconsider what drawing might be, as an activity in its own right, as well as what it might be used for.’

‘By starting out from one of the examples listed below we would like you to study and make a drawing from your discoveries.’—from the Project Brief: Albrecht Dürer, The Large Turf (1503); watercolour with body colour on paper | George Seurat, Femmes Avec Deux Filletes (1882-84); conté on paper | Piet Mondrian, Blossoming Apple Tree (1912); oil on canvas | Edvard Munch, Cabbage Field (1915); oil on canvas | Emma Kunz, Work no. 020 (1939); pencil, crayon and oil colour on paper | Mel Bochner, Wrap: Portrait of Eva Hesse (1966); pen & ink on graph paper | Ray Johnson, Nothing (1927-1995) | Mike Parr, 12 Untitled Self Portraits (1990); drypoint on paper | Janine Antoni, Butterfly Kisses (1996-99); Cover Girl Thick Lash mascara on paper | Alison Watt, Phantom (2008); oil on canvas | Joyce Cairns, Conversations with a Kestrel (2018); oil on board

Untitled|two nineteen — Krähe, laß mich endlich Sehn / Treue bis zum Grabe!

As the birds moved around and around on a curtain rail hung between wooden posts, one obstructed another. Not two but many, one after another . .

Silver, white, green, green
Green, silver, green, green, viridian, viridian, purple, purple
Green, grass green, orange, white
Viridian, silver, green, purple
Orange, purple, white, green, green, purple, green, green.

The blackbird tapped at a string with seed-fat hanging from it trying to get it to swing onto the floor of the bird house. It flew off, returned, tried again. I watched something leave its hungry body. The house was in the shadow of a bigger house.

Landfill – Forgetting | project reference and my notes

‘A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.’
— Walter Benjamin

‘The role of forgetting and remembering have changed, from a default of forgetting to one of remembering.
Technology (cheap storage, easy retrieval, global access …) has altered the culture and economy of remembering and ushered in the demise of forgetting. Everything, across generations and time, is now indiscriminately ‘remembered.’ The objects we think with into our past and toward our futures are increasingly dematerialised into digital environments, where, for instance, touch and smell are hard to come by.
But forgetting has been of central importance to our development, as individuals, as societies. It allows us to live in the present and think abstractedly, while if we were unable to forget, we would – as the philosopher E.M. Cioran noted in A Brief History of Decay – ‘be crushed by the weight of our memories.’
Is this happening?
And if so, what effect might this ‘remembering’ be having on us, as individuals, as a society?
How is it changing our social lives, our understanding of family, employment, Time and art?
And what might we learn from the material that we do discard, abandon, throw away and bury as waste? Landfill – that other archive; our material unconscious.

This project asks you to consider ‘the role of forgetting’ in society and make an artwork based on your reflections.’
— from the project brief.

Angel, Still Ugly

The strapline on the back page of the newspaper said, The Last Goodbye.
I was looking.
He was an ugly old man who had got on the train at Stonehaven.
Moving slowly – like the train is now – he gripped the table with both hands and lowered himself into a seat.
He had brittle pubic hairs growing out of the top of his nose, dirty spectacles, grey hair. I could feel the coldness
in his hands.
The previous occupant of the seat had left behind a big empty crisp packet and a travel ticket.
With clenched fists he violently punched these off the table into the seat opposite, clearing space for a newspaper.
And I wondered.
On how many other occasions in his life had he dealt with things
that he didn’t like, things that were in his way, things that he didn’t want to see,
occasions now forgotten,
by punching them into the seat opposite;
out of the room,
out of the ring.