This blog will comprise a collection of ephemera, mess and miscellaneous artifacts reflecting on the writer's life.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


The Ethnographic turn is a wonderful book and I am enjoying it loads.
I read about the work of Renee Green, who as part of a site-specific project which was called Project Unite, installed a tent that served as her sleeping quarters for the show's duration, creating,
a shelter within a shelter that alluded to the nomad artist's plight of never having a home. To be a working producer today is to be constantly on the move. Working conditions are hardly optimum. The artist-traveller must often work within the confines of often unfocused curatorial concepts.

(Meyer 2000:22-23)
I also read about
Sophie Calle
who with Paul Auster, looked at the way in which the social space surrouding people frames them.
In particular they highlight the dependency of the subject upon the construction of an object, which turns persons into objects and objects into persons
(Kuchler 2000: 95)
Calle's trademark was of 'the self-styled ethnographer of the everyday' and used participant observation in her work.
One of her installations was a cabinet full of the gifts people gave her for her birthday, called Birthday Ceremony, which
consists of a series of cabinets containing a myriad of differently textured things, each one serving as evidence for an unfolding self-other relation
.(Kuchler 2000: 100)
Calle brought together 15 medicine-like cabinets which each contained the gifts from a single year. This project drew on the work of Marilyn Strathern on gifts and their relation to kinship.
I liked this because it was also about dismantling the taken-for-granted concepts of gifting in Euro-American culture and a turning back on itself of the ethnographic gaze.
This ofcourse is what James Clifford is on about in Writing Culture and a new book of his I have not read, called Routes.
Oh no. Yet more books to read...
However, I am On Strike today so I think that is it for now.
Off to the picket lines.


Joolz said...

ah yes I know about Sophie. I saw an artsy tv prog about her and she did a fab installation of a phone box.
I blogged it somewhere.

Kate said...

She is v. cool and sat in the phone box in New York and decorated it and made it into her little home.
So sweet.

Digigran said...

Such interesting books and such interesting concepts. I think that Noo Noo is well on the way to becoming personified as displayed in my last Blog but one. Keep stimulating us to read- we love it.

On the collection thing one of the Parallel Realities exhibitions was a shop window full from top to bottom of transparent recording tape cases call holding dried bits of plants and moss and twigs and some pebbles - Scene!