Topic: BLACK CUBE concept January 2010

notes of our discussion:

1) The subject of the LP is the situation as described by Michael Freid in his 1967 essay Art and Objecthood: the “strongly disquieting experience of coming upon a literal object”. We have no clear indication where and when this situation took place, Fried describes it in generic terms, but we have to assume that he himself – or at least someone – made this experience: feeling as if... So for better understanding we henceforth call this person Michael Fried and use his text as a document of this situation.



2) This situation was created by or with an object entitled Black Cube, by TonySmith. The art work by Smith is not the situation, it is the object only, meaning that we can not know if Smith intended to create this situation or not. In any case, he is the initiator of the object's realisation and display (initiator because he neither „made“ nor „put“ the object anywhere himself, but had it fabricated and set up by other people on his request) So Tony Smith stands at the beginning of a narrative, that eventually leads into this situation. This narrative of course includes other protagonists, places and situations, first and foremost of course the visitor/spectator, but also the museum space, curator etc pp.



3) The interesting quality of this situation for us is that being in a museum, Fried experiences a situation that is „theatrical“, holds the qualities of theater. There is a shift occuring from one mode of art encounter (visual arts, museum) to another (object, theater) or at least a confusion between the first and the latter mode, creating this „strongly disquieting experience“. This, Fried explains, is brought forht by the „literalist“ quality of the object. (I will not discuss this here, see Fried or our blog on Black Cube)



4) If this situation is the subject of the LP, our task is to create a NEW situation that produces a similar experience of shift or confusion to that of the original situation while distancing the audience from it and allowing them to reflect on it. This WHILE can mean one single situation or a temporal and spatial sequence of situations tied together to form one LP. We can hence speak of a re-enactment of this original situation with an additional quality or element. (???)



4b) We should also reflect on our role in this, where and what position we hold as the authors and lecturers of this LP. Ideally we manage to include and disquiet our position IN the situations we create!



5) The conditions – What needs to be taken in account:



- the historic difference between 1967 and today: there are some qualities of the original situation that are strongly tied to the historic situation and others that are nor a) the shock or provocation is strongly tied to the newness of the object, (connected to that) the element of provocation, the different cultural and media surrounding, the different art scene, technical and industrial developments etc pp. b) the objectiveness (or literality) is not tied to these factors but can be regarded as superhistorical – at least as the difference between 1960 and now is concerned.



- the theater(-festival)setting we are presenting in: the audience's expectations are towards a theater event and they will hence display a theater behavior. So the outset is contrary to the original situation: here we start from theater (or lecture-performance) and shift to visual arts/museum. In addition we are dealing with the format of lecture, which also needs to be taken in account.



6) A list of the means for creation our situation:


- the space (open or closed)


- light (theatrical, presentation, normal...)


- performance by us or a museum guide ( a very theatrical element)


- duration


- audiomaterial to be injected in the situation to a) create atmosphere or b) narrative or c) to structure the time


-the object itself – when do we have it present, how do we use it's presence


- text, lecture