Bas Jan Ader: Suspended Between Laughter and Tears (2010)

25 September 2015, dusan

A catalogue to accompany an exhibition of video, photography, installations and archived materials from the estate of the late Dutch-born and California-based conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader, who is assumed to have perished at sea in 1975.

“Ader’s work centers on short-duration acts of physical and emotional release. In the noted film and subsequent photographs titled I’m Too Sad to Tell You (1971), the artist is seen crying directly into the camera amplifying a simple human emotion – grief – into a profound and revelatory experience. Ader also makes use of the force of gravity as a medium in his performance work, as documented in film and photography. His videos, in many respects, bear an explicit physicality, which are the hallmark of many silent films. Other projects, including the unfinished trilogy In Search of the Miraculous (1975), during which the artist disappeared, stretch the boundaries of sentimentalism through existential journey.

Ader frequently referenced Dutch artistic and cultural traditions in his work. Photographs such as On the road to a new Neo Plasticism, Westkapelle, Holland (1971) reveal his interest in Mondrian and the De Stijl movement, which sought simplified compositions to express a utopian harmony. Dutch landscape and still life painting traditions can be seen in videos such as Primary Time (1974), in which he arranges and rearranges a red, blue and yellow bouquet of flowers, and in photographs like Farewell to Faraway Friends (1971), where the artist casts himself as a romantic wanderer – linking himself to the paintings of 19th century German artist Caspar David Friedrich – but ultimately setting the tone for his physical acts of searching.” (sourced from the exhibition website)

Curated by curated by Pilar Tompkins Rivas. Includes interviews with Ader’s widow, Mary Sue Anderson, and essays by Pilar Tompkins Rivas, Andrew Berardini, and Ciara Ennis.

Edited by Kira Poplowski
Publisher Pitzer College, 2010
ISBN 9780982995600
69 pages
HT cesar


PDF (3 MB, from publisher)

See also selected works (1970-71) of Ader on UbuWeb.

Harald Szeemann, et al.: Documenta 5, catalogue (1972) [DE]

21 May 2015, dusan

“Even decades later, Documenta 5, the exhibition that was criticized in 1972 as being “bizarre.. vulgar.. sadistic” by Hilton Kramer (NYT) and “monstrous.. overtly deranged” by Barbara Rose (NYM), resonates today as one of the most important exhibitions in history. Both hailed and derided by artists and critics, the exhibition was the largest, most expensive and most diverse of any exhibition anywhere, and foreshadowed all large-scale, collaboratively curated, comprehensive mega-shows to come.

Chiefly curated by the Swiss curator, Harald Szeemann, it was a pioneering, radically different presentation that was conceived as a 100-day event, with performances and happenings, outsider art, even non-art, as well as repeated Joseph Beuys lectures, and an installation of Claes Oldenburg’s Mouse Museum, among many other atypical inclusions. The show widely promoted awareness of a contract known as The Artist’s Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, which protects artists’ ongoing intellectual and financial rights with regard to their production.” (Source)

“Featuring the works of over 170 artists and an equally expansive variety of materials and subjects drawn from popular cultural materials such as science fiction publications, kitsch objects, exploitation films, as well as advertising imagery, in addition to the more anticipated painting and sculpture – Documenta 5 valiantly attempted to bridge the gap between art, culture, science and the broader society.

A lasting highlight of the exhibition was the graphic logo for the show designed by Edward Ruscha. Commissioned by Szeeman, Ruscha’s graphic image for the show featured ants arranged in the word ‘Docu / menta’ and the number ’5.’ The emblem was used on the exhibition’s poster and catalogue cover.” (Source)

Contents of Part B:
1 Hans Heinz Holz: Kritische Theorie des ästhetischen Zeichens (catalogue foreword, 86 pp),
2 Bazon Brock & Karl Heinz Krings: Audiovisuelles Vorwort (audiovisual foreword, 19 pp),
3 Eberhard Roters: Trivialrealismus & Trivialemblematik (16 pp),
4 Ingolf Bauer: Bilderwelt und Froemmigkeit (10 pp),
5 Gesellschaftliche Ikonographie an zwei Beispielen (8 pp),
6 Charles Wilp, Hans Heinz Holz: Werbung (4 pp),
7 Reiner Diederich, Richard Grübling, Klaus Staeck: Politische Propaganda (14 pp),
8 Pierre Versins: Science Fiction/Heute von gestern gesehen (10 pp),
9 François Burkhardt: Utopie/Morgen von gestern gesehen (16 pp),
10 Ursula Barthelmess, Hans-Henning Borgelt, Linde Burkhardt, Wolfgang Hoebig: Spiel und Wirklichkeit (14 pp),
11 Theodor Spoerri: Bildnerei der Giesteskranken (18 pp),
12 Gerhard Buettenbender, Sigurd Hermes: Film (28 pp),
13 Museen von Künstlern (17 pp),
14 Sozialistischer Realismus (1 p),
15 Jean-Christophe Ammann: Realismus (58 pp),
16 Johannes Cladders, Harald Szeemann: Individuelle Mythologien – Selbstdarstellung: a) Performance, b) Film – Prozesse (220 pp),
17 Konrad Fischer, Klaus Honnef, Gisela Kaminski: Idee + Idee / Licht (92 pp),
18 Information + The Artist’s Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement (44 pp),
19 Verzeichnis der ausgestellten Werke
20 Allgemeine Bibliographie
21 Waehrend: Ereigniskalender
22 Nachher 1: Text
23 Nachher 2: Bild
24 Nachher 3: Presse
25 Fotonachweis

documenta 5. Befragung der Realität – Bildwelten heute
Edited by Harald Szeemann, Marlis Grüterich, Katia von den Velden, Jennifer Gough-Cooper
Publisher documenta and Bertelsmann, Kassel, 1972
ISBN 3570028569, 9783570028568
64+80 & 740+ pages
via The DOR (at

Analyses and commentaries:
3sat TV documentary (video, 41 min, 1972, DE)
Der Spiegel (1972, DE)
Klaus Herding & Hans-Ernst Mittig on Holz’s foreword (Kritische Berichte, 1973, DE)
Documenta 5 in Art Since 1900 (2004, EN)
Dirk Schwarze (Documenta Archiv, 2014, DE)

documenta Archiv, (2)
Wikipedia (DE)

Part A (144 pp, PDF, 57 MB)
Part B (740+ pp, PDF, 287 MB, sections 19-24 missing, alt link)

Joseph Kosuth: Art as Idea as Idea, 1967-1968 (1973)

20 May 2015, dusan

Exhibition catalogue.

Publisher Paul Maenz, Brussels, March 1973
[12] pages
via The DOR (at

PDF (16 MB)

YoHa, et al.: Evil Media Distribution Centre (2013)

18 May 2015, dusan

“Evil Media Distribution Centre is a response to the book Evil Media (2012) by Matthew Fuller and Andrew Goffey. In that book the authors argue for a broader notion of media and a deeper, more complex understanding of how these grey media influence the way we behave, think and perceive.

‘Grey media’ produce the working environment of administrators, professionals, delivery operatives and arranges the movements and work-arounds of everyone from chief executives to intellectuals or cleaners. They are the background to contemporary society. Using them, getting round their failures, exploiting their specific qualities, forms part of the necessary knowledge of the present day. These things mediate, transform, encode, filter and translate relations. Fuller and Goffey include a broad definition of media to include things like middle management, neurotropic or suppressant drugs that treat the body as an information system, alongside things such as queuing systems or specific algorithms or data–structures.

Assisted by Transmediale, Tom Keene, Anna Blumenkranz and other members of the Open Systems Association, YoHa (Graham Harwood & Matsuko Yokokoji) had invited people to write a text of one hundred words about an object, its genealogy, any key factors that make it amenable to manipulation. This text was then presented together with the object in a cabinet of curiosities that at the same time evoked associations with a distribution centre. A key fact of grey media is its ready quality of dryness, one bordering temptingly on boredom and this is something we asked people to maintain when writing the text.

The project has been installed at Transmediale 2013 in Berlin and The Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam.” (from YoHa’s statement)

Review: Stephen Fortune (2013).

28 contributions presented in video
All 51 contributions presented in text (use menu on the left)

Klangkunst (1996) [German]

24 April 2015, dusan

Catalogue for the landmark sound art festival, Sonambiente – Festival für Hören und Sehen, held in August-September 1996 in Berlin.

The festival, “was part of the Academy of Arts’ tricentennial celebration and presented the most comprehensive survey to date of contemporary international sound art. During the four weeks of that festival, some 50,000 visitors experienced works by more than 100 participating artists at more than 20 venues in Berlin’s Mitte district.” (source)

Edited by Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and Helga de la Motte-Haber
Publisher Prestel, Munich, 1996
ISBN 3791316990, 9783791316994
303 pages
via VP

Festival website


PDF (69 MB, no OCR)
Documentary [the link has been fixed] (50 min, MOV, 115 MB), English transcript (PDF)

For more on sound art see Monoskop wiki

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