Notes de mon entretien avec Walead Beshty le 21 octobre 2013 à Paris
Relationship with reality
Photos interested in its own process
At same time it is a concrete object, reflecting the conditions of its surroundings, informed
Use the word experimental in a scientific sense
Experimental: jargon to free yourself. Reactionary. Misrepresents what it is.
Curious about terminology; very careful.
Understanding of the life of objects.
Way to get around political issues. Evacuation of meaning.
How language is embodied.
Bricolage, innovation within constraints.
I dislike definitions, partitions, terms like photography, painting.
Constraints were designed by programs, by apparatus, by power relationship
Program has the ideological effect.
Influence of Flusser. Bureaucracy
Process very important, iterations fighting the apparatus
Very structured, counter intuitive manner.
Set of operations, not necessarily with a meaning.
Wary of the idea of refusal. Not to be binary.
Opposition to something reinforces the dominance of what you are opposed to.
Hacke reaffirms institutional domination, by emulating its speech, by opposing.
But always negotiations
Things are actually more unstable.
Playing tai-chi, not boxing
Quotes Michel de Certeau: individuals not institutions. Individuals can improvise, institutions have to be consistent. Individuals can be non-ideological, inconsistent
Authorship. Process clearly defined (title, anybody can do it), but did not think about disappearance of the author. It does not matter who does it. Not making it mysterious, prestigious, very simple. Not emphasizing process, describing it. « a damn machine »
Not importing scientific language. It misrepresents what I do.
Aura, unique, but can be repeated. At different times, different settings, never totally equivalent.
Depends what model you apply to it; differences are constantly renegotiated. How useful is the distinction?
No absolute form of uniqueness or sameness. For some uses, say one, for others, say the other.
Language and conceptual tools are not rigid, not absolute, we need to keep our freedom vis-à-vis them.
Not a question of the market. The market has no brain, has less power than people think. How many multiples in an edition? Why stop at a given number?
Idea of destruction, of deteriorating. Berlin project.
Not needing to have a negation.
Things are just inscribed. Nothing is ever lost, not a destruction.
Works show their context
The photograms respond to conditions of production (light, …), but they don’t react to the context in which they are shown. You can never see them in isolation; they are never the same, different emphasis on the condition of the object. Always deal with the context.
Analogy with the condition of meaning. All objects have meaning when people are around them.
It seems too dandyish, too much persona attached to the work.
Question about authorship: set them in a different way.
WB exploring the heart of the machinery
But also social context, hence relational aesthetics.
The two elements are combined, not opposed
(relational aesthetics remain as part of the system, not rebellion against the program)
Power becomes naturalized, people adapt to it
Interest for digital image
Jpeg dropped in a text program: adding something to the image
Expands on it
David Robbins’ book; fun and no-fun.
Dan Graham, Rosemarie Trockel
Shirin Neshat (movement, synchronization) frame (borders) and veil
Like Moholy-Nagy: Jim Welling, fluidity, non-ideological, work connected to light, not presumptuous about implications
Jay de Feo (1929-1989)
Morgan Fisher (cinema)
I don’t know about photo in particular, I am interested in bigger ideas
How to define photography?