The Surplus Library‘s collection consists of books relevant to the topic of affect and economic exchange.
In redefining the concept of a physical library, The Surplus Library On Affect & Economic Exchange operates on the basic assumption that its specific collection of books already exists in the material world: in the homes and private collections of countless individuals. Some of the holdings of this vast and distributed library can become known and accessible through The Surplus Library Web site. The site develops as the library’s holdings and locations are registered by users.
First shown at the 6th Berlin Biennale in 2010, and then again in the spring of this year alongside its companion video Use! Value! Exchange! at the British Film Institute’s Southbank Gallery (in what would be the final exhibition at the BFI before it closed), Phil Collins’ video Marxism Today (Prologue) (2010) is presently on view in the New Museum’s group exhibition Ostalgia. Having been in Berlin for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and witnessing first hand the primary focus on unification that accompanied it, Collins noted that in all of the attempts to make heard the disparate social groups from the time, “the one voice that wasn’t heard was that of teachers of Marxism-Leninism in East Germany…there must have been a lot of them: it was a compulsory subject.” Establishing an open call, Collins set about finding and interviewing Marxist-Leninist teachers about their individual experiences and recollections of the time, the fall of the GDR, and how it affected their professional lives, the resulting video combining three of these interviews with archival material and film footage. Collins speaks about the project here, in a short video produced for the BFI.
But of note, Collins’ film shares it’s name with the now defunct theoretical journal published by the Communist Party of Great Britain, to which Stuart Hall often contributed. An archive of every issue of Marxism Today published between 1978 and 1991 is available online, and also features a 2006 essay by the journal’s former editor Martin Jacques recounting its complete history.
Poet, actor and mime, Morten Søkilde is the chief protagonist in Joachim Koester’s recent films I myself am only a receiving apparatus (2010), filmed inside the reconstruction of Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbau at the Sprengel Museum in Hannover, and To navigate, in a genuine way, in the unknown necessitates an attitude of daring, but not one of recklessness (2009). Additionally, he used to be the chauffeur for “den 11. time,” a cultural talk show that formerly aired on Danish television. In 2007, Søkilde made an appearance on the program, joining the conversation between Mikael Bertelsen and his guest Bryan Ferry about style, to recite a poem by Dylan Thomas and to give Mr. Ferry a gift.
Forget the associations with cooler weather – it finally feels like spring and Rirkrit Tiravanija’s soup kitchen at Gavin Brown is serving up the best pumpkin soup that no money can buy. Only through tomorrow, though every week until April 16 will bring something new. The current and previous recipes are available at http://soupnosoup.com/.
Tempermental Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkins (roasted and pureed)
Chipotle peppers (in adobe sauce)
Curry powder (Indian)
In a big stock pot saute onions til caramelized
Add curry powder
Blend chipotle peppers and garlic, add to onion mixture
Add vegetable stock, bring to a boil
Add coconut milk
Add pureed pumpkin and cinnamon
Season with salt and a bit of honey to taste
Reduce heat and let soup simmer till flavors are well integrated
Garnish with fresh chopped mint (optional)
The brightly lit performing area gives no clues to “how to read” and the mechanical—man beginning is offset with a return to ordinary task—like activity: walk, sit, turn off tape machine. By the time you’re into the contortions with the dress, we’re given this extraordinary hybrid creature which confronts us with a multiplicity of interpretations. For me it alternated variously as insect, martian, chicken, watering can, caterpillar into pupa, et al. What saved it from being a Pilobolus-like entertainment (a crowd-pleasing American group that combines bodies to create biomorphic oddities) were the stillnesses and extended durations. We must sit with our attention riveted, waiting for the next stirring. Like watching a spider or snail. Your timing in this piece is exquisite: no pandering to short attention spans here. Yvonne Rainer (email 22.12.1999)
As first reported by The Art Newspaper and then the New York Times (as well as on a series of blogs), the European Commission ruled in December that works by Dan Flavin and Bill Viola are not art and are thus subject to the full VAT and customs dues of 20% for “non art” objects (as opposed to 5% for “sculpture”) when imported from outside the European Union. “To suggest,” says art lawyer Pierre Valentin, who previously represented Haunch of Venison, the gallery seeking to import the works, “that a work by Dan Flavin is a work of art only when it is switched on, is comical.” It is funny, though it’s maybe not as straight forward as that, the storage of certain Richard Serra works in a Bronx shipping yard or on government property in Maryland perhaps complicating such an argument. However, one thinks too of an earlier precedent in which Marcel Duchamp and Edward Steichen attempted to import works by Constantin Brancusi for exhibition in 1926.
In General Idea’s Shut the Fuck Up (1984), a video in which they “look at a media cliche of the artist,” the first of the video’s three parts includes an excerpt from a 1967 television episode of Batman, entitled “Pop Goes the Joker.” (The video also employs footage from Mondo Cane, a 1962 film of an Yves Klein painting performance, combined with documentation of General Idea’s own performance XXX Blue (1984) at the Centre d’art Contemporain in Geneva.)
UJ3RK5 EP (cover photograph by Jeff Wall, shot in Ian Wallace's studio)
Though not mentioned in the recent exhibition Traffic, a comprehensive history of Conceptual Art in Canada from 1965-1980 that debuted this past fall at the University of Toronto Art Galleries and will soon travel, Rodney Graham, Jeff Wall and Ian Wallace (who were all represented in the exhibition) were also members of the short-lived band UJ3RK5. Though their output wasn’t prolific, having only recorded four songs for their 1980 self titled EP as well as another two songs for a compilation of Vancouver post-punk released the year prior, Diedrich Diederichsen provided the following account of the band in his contribution to Rodney Graham’s A Little Thought: