History and Memory (for Peter Halley)

August 5, 2008

Here you go: history and memory.   Find what I’m referencing here.  And speaking of which: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a conversation I had with a prof at CalArts about whether or not abstraction could ever be politicized.  Our consensus was “nope,” but then I think of an Adrian Piper quote handed down by another prof–that all art is political, whether implicitly or explicitly–and I’m not so sure.   Though my assumption about work like Halley’s is that (though I like his work) it’s political only in the sense that it resists politics, no matter how Halley would like you to read the image.   And what I mean by “politics” is this: the institutionalized having and wielding of power and/or the assignment of powerlessness.  Don’t ask me what I mean by power ’cause I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole right now.


2 Responses to “History and Memory (for Peter Halley)”

  1. When I was in Amsterdam I saw the queer show “Just Different,” which included work by Richard Hawkins.

    It made me think about his abstract paintings, and then realize that nearly everything at the Cobra Museum was figurative in one way or another.

    That made me wonder if there was a thing like queer abstraction, and specifically how the queerness manifests itself in the work.

    If I’m looking at an Albers or a Halley or a Diebenkorn or a Twombly, I don’t know their work is referencing color theory, or technology, or landscapes, or Leda and the Swan unless the artist tells me, either through their personal histories, work titles, essays (or a CalArts prof).

  2. Nicholas Says:

    Yup: John Tremblay.


    I can’t find it here, but he made sculptures that replicated gay bar architectural elements as minimalist sculpture, and his earlier work used a template of abstracted body parts that could be read either as deorative patterns or as diagrams of genitalia positioned in queer orgies.

    Also, of course, there’s Felix G-T, but he kind of transcended everything: queerness, abstraction, whatever.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: