April 13, 2010 - Parkett - With Annette Kelm, Kelley Walker, Cerith Wyn Evans, and Katharina Fritsch
April 13, 2010

With Annette Kelm, Kelley Walker, Cerith Wyn Evans, and Katharina Fritsch

New Parkett with Annette Kelm, Kelley Walker,
Cerith Wyn Evans, and Katharina Fritsch


The new Parkett features an eclectic range of essays by various authors including art historian Marina Warner, whose account of the Trans-Atlantic cable conjures a time when science and dreams were intertwined. Richard Phillips persuades us (in words, not paint) that the misunderstood Swiss artist Adolf Dietrich (1877–1957) was in fact a faux-naïf and a cunning technician of representation. Philip Kaiser examines the Met’s recent “Pictures Generation” exhibition, remarking how a distinctive little group show in a New York gallery came to define such an influential movement in contemporary art. Also in this issue an insert by Allen Ruppersberg.

It is certainly a visual adventure to find one’s bearings in Annette Kelm‘s (b.1975) highly contained photographs, with their frightening sense of obsolescence. According to Beatrix Ruf, Kelm’s baffling stories begin with a detail that seems to have lost its potency. Walead Beshty portrays this curious sense of dislocation in a Kelm image of Albert Frey’s graffiti peppered restaurant-cum-spaceship—”a rotting Futurism moored on the edge of an equally dead, man-made sea.” For her Parkett edition, Kelm offers a table desk, as though it were sitting in the back room of a used furniture store. One might ask what compels us beyond the flaneur-ish gaze cast upon this ambivalent furnishing? Stefanie Kleefeld stipulates: “In the neutral style of studio photography, the subject matter is generally captured without shadows in a kind of non-space… It is as though Kelm’s project is an archaeology of things [where] nothing is revealed and nothing inferred.”

London-based Welshman Cerith Wyn Evans (b. 1958) has crafted as his Parkett edition a hypnotic and linguistically flirtatious neon Equals sign. Michael Archer relates Wyn Evans’ Light pieces to Walter Benjamin, who has noted that content emerges not just from the sign, but from the reflection it makes in its surroundings. Everything Wyn Evans touches seems to equate and then to rupture with a sense of longing—from his Firework texts that burst in a flash and immediately burn out; to his flamboyant Chandeliers that signal us in near-futile flickers of Morse code; to his Slideshows with their slurred drunken speech. Pablo Lafuente notes the significance of the “magnetic field” of London in the 70s, a city both indulgent and traumatic, which, according to Jan Verwoert, gave birth to Wyn Evans’ peripatetic working methods and promise to free art from the tyranny of any one discipline.

For his Parkett edition Kelley Walker (b. 1969) has made a series of unique casts of generic heads in chocolate, paper pulp, and other materials; each dawns a classic New York Yankees baseball cap from Walker’s personal wardrobe. Antek Walczak evaluates Walker’s fixation on the corporate logo for recycling—that ubiquitous arrow folded in on itself that continues to appear and reappear just about everywhere. Glenn Ligon addresses the anxiety behind our comprehension of Walker’s African-American imagery, explaining how his “race riots” confuse, as do many of his other gestures, immersed as they are in a debate on circulation, reproduction, authenticity, and authorship – and using computers and other machinery to generate sampled, altered, disseminated, and re-appropriated images. Walker’s brick wall motifs and splashy abstract canvasses never render his subject formal, but create a field of percolating emotion. Recalling her first visit to Walker’s studio, Johanna Burton describes how affected she was by the coveted archive she discovered there, from images of drag queens and invitations to Vince Alleti discos, to Kelley’s collection of James Brown “Hot Pants” albums.

For her Parkett edition, Katharina Fritsch (b.1956) has produced a monochromatic apple cast in plaster and resin.

Tate Modern curator Jessica Morgan postulates that Fritsch’s scrupulously articulated figures, with their immaculate conception of scale, color, and surface, are intended as amplifications. But the real power of Fritsch’s archetypes might, on the other hand, be their sublimity and, according to Jean-Pierre Criqui, their ghostliness: “Fritsch’s sixteen rats are immobilized for eternity, like sphinxes, and full of mineral majesty; they bring us back to the most archaic sort of religious art. I see them as sly gods of dream and the night—potential catastrophes, which it is up to us to ward off.”

For more details on the Parkett 87, its content and artists’ editions, as well as for subscriptions and back issues, please go to www.parkettart.com.

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