This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features artist Ann Hamilton. Her installation the event of a thread is on view at the Park Avenue Armory in New York through Jan. 6, 2013.
Hamilton is one of America’s most-honored artists. She is the recipient of a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant, a United States Artists fellowship and the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture. In 1999 she represented the United States at the Venice Biennale. Today she also sits on the board of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Images and video of many of her installations and objects are available at her website.
Among the topics Hamilton and I discuss are:
- Why swings are central to her new piece in New York and whether she has specific childhood memories of a backyard swing;
- Whether people are experiencing and viewing the event of a thread in the ways she expected;
- Why she so often tries to slow down the viewer, to create multi-layered installations that slow down the way we move through them or see them; and
- Why her work is so often reliant on deep back stories and related texts.
On the second segment, we initiate a series of interviews about Richard Serra’s Shift (1971-72, right), one of the most important earthworks. Shift is in King City, Ontario, where the province’s failure to grant it landmark status has left the work endangered by encroaching exurban development. (An Ontario preservation board ruled that Shift has no heritage value to the community.) Shift is the contemporary masterpiece under the greatest threat.
Our series of segments on Shift kicks off with Serra himself. Serra has spoken sparingly about Shift in recent years, but when he was a guest on Episode No. 18 of The MAN Podcast he talked about it at length, particularly in terms of its close relationship to his concurrent Pulitzer Piece and how the work emerged out of conversations with Joan Jonas and Philip Glass. This week’s show features a re-air of the part of our conversation during which Serra discusses Shift, its history and its future.
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The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. It is edited by Wilson Butterworth. The MAN Podcast is released under this Creative Commons license. For images of the works discussed on this week’s show, click through to the jump.
Works discussed on the show available visible in JPEG and video form elsewhere: