“The mole has no consciousness, yet it burrows in a specific direction.” -Jean-Luc Godard in Masculin Féminin (1966)
I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art - John Baldessari (1971)
“As there wasn’t enough money for me to travel to Nova Scotia, I proposed that the students voluntarily write ‘I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art’ on the walls of the gallery, like punishment. To my surprise they covered the walls.”
Those same students made this print, but Baldessari wasn’t at the workshop when the was made. In both cases, Baldessari gave scant instructions to the students from thousands of miles away, and he was not present to supervise, raising questions of authorship and the role of the artist.
Baldessari points out that language has made-up rules that we all agree to follow. Conventional notions of art may be as ingrained, passed down, and unquestioned as rules of language, but artists like Baldessari aimed to show that they are equally arbitrary, and open to interpretation. Baldesssari described his works as “what I thought art should be, not what somebody else would think art would be. You know, received wisdom, what you would get in school. And so a lot of my work was about questioning this received wisdom.”
One and Three Chairs - Joseph Kosuth (1965)
In One and Three Chairs, Joseph Kosuth represents one chair three ways: as a manufactured chair, as a photograph, and as a copy of a dictionary entry for the word “chair.” The is thus composed of an object, an image, and words.
Kosuth didn’t make the chair, take the photograph, or write the definition; he selected and assembled them together. But is this art? And which representation of the chair is most “accurate”? These open-ended questions are exactly what Kosuth wanted us to think about when he said that “art is making meaning.” By assembling these three alternative , Kosuth turns a simple wooden chair into an object of debate and even consternation, a platform for exploring new meanings.
Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair in The Beatles’ video “Help!”
The Painter & His Soulmate
(top photo) 1965 Salvador Dalí spending one of many summers with confidante, protégée actress-model-singer Amanda Lear (left) at his home in Portlligat, Girona Province, Catalonia, Spain - Via
Eileen Grey (1878-1976) Irish designer and architect.
Furnitures by Elein Grey and Villa E-1027 at Roquebrune Cap Matin (France, Côte d’Azure) in collaboration with Jean Badovici.
"Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself." -Montaigne
From Vivre sa vie, 1962
Pablo Picasso with his Eero Saarinen Tulip Chair
Mougins, France, 1967
Photographs by Gjon Mili for LIFE
Goethe - Andy Warhol (1982)