July 9, 2014

"Readymake" in 3D


"However, in the 1920s, [Duchamp] left the art world behind -- and took up chess in some form or another, and stayed with it for the rest of his life, first aspiring to become a champion player and then, when he realised he didn't have the skill, becoming a chess journalist. It was during this time that he carved his own chess set. This was not for production, but for his own pleasure, and only one set was made; currently, it resides in a private collection, unseen by the public. But photos of it can be found, and it was by using one of these that artists Scott Kildall and Bryan Cera managed to recreate the set through 3D printing.
"The idea was not only to rebuild the lost objects, but to release open-source digital files to be 3D-printed by anyone interested in resurrecting the objects for themselves," Cera wrote. "In homage to the original set's owner, we decided to call this kind of re-animated, re-configured and re-claimed object a 'Readymake'."

June 15, 2014

"C'est arrive malgre moi” (Who's your Daddy?)


Undoubtedly, Marcel Duchamp can be easily positioned as the “Father of Conceptual Art” and all of its myriad trajectories and continuing artist offspring.

However, it is a little known fact that Duchamp did have one child - not with Alexina “Teeny” Sattler but with Jeanne Serre in 1911. 

Because Jeanne was a married woman, the birth of their illegitimate daughter, Yvonne "Yo" Sermayer, was kept secret. But Duchamp stayed involved in Yo’s life, even later organizing an exhibit of her artwork in New York City in 1967.(1)

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1. Cros, Caroline. Marcel Duchamp, London, 2006, 109 and 184. (See also The Private Worlds of Marcel Duchamp

June 4, 2014

Letter from Corcoran Students to GWU

"Dear George Washington University,

As the students of the Corcoran College of Art + Design, we’ve seen our community hollowed out. Our faculty, staff and peers, the lifeblood of this institution, are struggling to define their future purposes in the Corcoran as it moves beneath the umbrella of your institution and the National Gallery of Art. Our administration informs us that the Corcoran’s curricula, buildings and the very people that make up our school are at risk for termination – or already dismissed. The future students of the CCA+D may enter a school that in no way resembles our beloved family.

The most important aspect and promise of this institutional agreement is that we function as our own “academic unit within the university’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.” The recent news of our entire staff’s termination, the infrastructure and institutional memory of our school, renders that promise moot and physically and spiritually guts our community and mission.

Since March 2013, we have repeatedly asked the Corcoran Director's Office for a voice in decision-making processes and planning conversations going forward. We have been polite in our requests and made our concerns and priorities clear. Over the course of the last 15 months we have been granted a total of three meetings. It is our conclusion that the Directors' Office neither listens to, nor represents, our point of view, thus we ask to  engage with you directly.

Our appeals are simple and reasonable: honor your original promise. Let us keep the spirit of the Corcoran intact. We define that spirit as an extension of the Corcoran’s mission statement: Dedicated to Art and the Encouragement of American Genius. This occurs daily in our classrooms and galleries; it thrives as a result of our professors’ fostering our artistic abilities; it evolves as a result of interdepartmental collaboration; it is realized by our public exhibitions and our engagement with the global community.  

We know and understand that things must change. We envision our small college thriving within your university and becoming the 21st-Century art school about which you have spoken. Your actions function as an undermining of this very goal, and a destruction of everything that we have built over so many years. You don’t want this.  You don’t want to start from scratch. You don’t want a demoralized student body and faculty. We think, as the students who came to this amazing arts school, that you would want all of the energy, the knowledge and legacy to be the foundation of this new and exciting center of the arts.

We realize that concessions must be made, but in order to retain any of the amazing qualities of our college, we require, first and foremost, its people. We require the immediate rehiring of key staff and a commitment for the employment of our faculty matching their commitment at the Corcoran. We require stability for our community outreach programs, including NEXT, ArtReach, Gallery 31, and all existing student organizations. We require intimate and interdisciplinary settings in which to learn from our professors. We require our faculty’s autonomy to create and administer our curricula. And we require a commitment from you to come forth with a plan for a collaborative vision.

Most importantly, these issues need to be addressed publicly and with the highest level of transparency. At all future discussions we need to have a meaningful presence and voice.

We ask for a consistent series of meetings scheduled with a representative student group and GWU representation, including Dean Ben Vinson.


Sincerely,

The Corcoran Student Body
Corcoran Student Council
Alumni Steering Committee"