whoa man, Jen Delos Reyes is flying into philly tonight. prepare yourself for a week and and a half of relational aesthetics awesomeness, and stay tuned for more news on the Remaking “Rumours” project.
You can tell all this Harrell Fletcher and relational aesthetics stuff is really getting to me, because I’m starting to do it in “real life.” Read the rest of this entry »
Today I took a trip to the nice bathroom by the periodicals room in Magill, and I found this weird flier. The question on this sheet of paper reads: “If you were to make a peanut butter sandwich, what else would you put on it? Be bold.” The responses (honey, AIDS, your mom’s chest hair among them) interest me less than the question. Who’s asking? Are we asked to write about a sandwich we would really eat? Or is the question just a clever vandalism opportunity that allows us to scrawl “semen” on a wall? And will we receive sandwiches for our participation?
In June 2005, while in Vietnam, Harrell Fletcher visited the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City. The experience so affected him that he returned several times, eventually photographing every image and caption in the museum. These photographs became “The American War,” Fletcher’s ad-hoc re-presentation of the museum material he had encountered in Vietnam.
As a reproduction of another exhibition, “The American War” raises issues of originality, of context, and of cultural exchange. In a conversation with artist Michael Rakowitz, Fletcher described the work as an example of the “bootlegging” he encountered in Vietnam:
Outside of the War Remnants Museum … people [were] lined up selling stacks of bootlegged books on the Vietnam War. … The books [were] about the Vietnam War, but they were written by Western writers and were originally distributed in Western countries. … The other thing that I found really fascinating was that many of the images in the museum itself were copied from American magazines and newspapers. They just took publications like Life and the Chicago Sun-Times, re-photographed the images in them, enlarged and framed them, and then hung them along with original images taken by Vietnamese war photographers.
Thus, in the spirit of “The American War,” although admittedly without the political weight, I re-present three images from Peter Tonningsen‘s “Flotsam and Jetsam,” which I encountered in the Oakland airport yesterday (only three images are on display in the airport; these, along with seventeen others, are available on his website): Read the rest of this entry »