Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The artifact previously known as prints

If you look at a lot of art exhibitions something you will have noticed recently is how many reconstructions of sixties and seventies installations are being made. In New Zealand the Len Lye Foundation has been into this (and making new works from Lye’s sketches and notes) for a while now, Auckland artist Jim Allen has been reconstructing his own past over the last few years at Michael Lett, Billy Apple has a reconstruction on at Hamish McKay at the moment and there are a few seventies reconstructions in the Adam Gallery's latest Duchamp exhibition too. 

And here's a spectacular video of Gagosian staff in Los Angeles reconstructing a 1968 work by Barry Le Va. The title defines the installation Set I A placed B placed; Set II A dropped. B dropped.; Set III A placed. B dropped.; Set IV placed 1968. Le Va might have been at Gagosian when the work was installed in June but there was one big difference between when he made it in the sixties and this time round: the blue conservators gloves that everyone is wearing. 

 Did that affect the work? Sure it did. There wasn’t a finger print to be seen anywhere when we saw it. Each sheet of glass was polished clear and sparkling. It looked kind of creepy. All end result and no process.