Debate / Meeting
Parole à l'histoire de l'art12 Mar 2015
The event is over
Thursday 12 March 2015, 11AM, Centre Pompidou, Petite Salle, Niveau -1
11am : Anne Mœglin-Delcroix, (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
(D’)après Ruscha. Sur l’équivoque postérité des livres d’artiste d’Edward Ruscha
Published by Edward Ruscha in 1963, Twentysix Gasoline Stations was very early on acknowledged as the founding model of the artist book. And yet, in the course of the four decades that followed, only a small number of books were produced that paid explicit tribute to the founder of the genre. It was only in the 2000s that books based on Ruscha’s models began to proliferate and that a veritable epigonic phenomenon emerged. This development recently reached a climax with the publication of Various Small Books (MIT Press, 2013), a compilation of over one hundred Ruscha inspired artist books. The model now seems at risk of turning into a cliché. This paper will question the legacy of Ruscha’s artist books and its ambiguities, addressing at the same time the repercussions of this evolution on the artist’s own work.
11:40am : Benoît Buquet, (Université François Rabelais, Tours)
La liquidation d’Eddie Russia
Between 1965 and 1969, Ed Ruscha, working under the pseudonym “Eddie Russia,” designed the layout for the magazine Artforum. This fact, which has not drawn much attention until now, is just one of the many clues to the artist’s complex relationship with graphic design, one made of displacements and avoidance strategies. This paper will address both Ruscha’s now canonical books and his more obscure work as a graphic designer (for student publications, magazines, record sleeves, catalogues, and posters), in an attempt to gain a fuller understanding of the artist’s endeavor to suspend meaning and of his intelligence of graphic issues whose subtlety did not escape the attention of some of his contemporaries.
12:20pm : Briony Fer, (University College, Londres)
This paper engages with the relation of world and work in Ruscha's recent paintings, in particular in his deployment of component parts which might conventionally be seen to belong to the category of still-life. It takes as a starting point Proust's notion of still-life as anti-world in order to imagine what it might be like, or even if it is still possible, to think now about the interior of painting. Drawing on a range of references from Walter Murch to Andrew Wyeth, Ruscha's psycho-still-lifes are considered from the point of view of the question: where does the inside of painting end and the outside begin?
1pm : Pause
2:30pm : Screening of Miracle (1975, 30’) – film by Ed Ruscha
Colour, Original version in English, 16 mm, restored digital copy
With Jim Ganzer, Michelle Phillips and Dana Derfus
3pm : Linda Norden, (Malmö Art Academy, Lund University)
Some American Mythologies: Thoughts on Ed Ruscha’s Miracle (1975) and Course of Empire (2003-5)
Ed Ruscha’s Venice Biennale project, Course of Empire, the artist once said, has to do with “the way change comes over things,” something he has touched on in earlier works as well. The Venice paintings trade specifically on the 1992 cycle he called the Blue Collar Paintings, but Ruscha’s 1975 film, Miracle, shares a preoccupation with the way that change works its damages and miracles. The film tracks a different moment and metamorphosis, but it does so from a similarly local, acutely historical vantage.
3.40pm : Michel Gauthier, (Centre Pompidou, Paris)
Ed Ruscha et la Pictures Generation
When it comes to the history of the Pictures Generation and the Californian artists who composed it, people usually talk about the key role played by John Baldessari. Indeed, Baldessari taught at CalArts while several members of this generation were students there: Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, Matt Mullican, David Salle and James Welling. And yet these simple facts and the shared Californian background do not suffice to account for the emergence of this movement. We also need to assess to what extent the poetics of Ed Ruscha might have informed the axiomatics of the Pictures Generation.
4:20pm : Elizabeth A. Kessler, (Stanford University, Palo Alto)
Making Nonsense of History: Ed Ruscha’s Time Capsules
Time capsules gained new status in 20th century American popular culture as a means of reflecting on high-speed technoculture. With “234 Things from the United States” (1974), an unrealized proposal for La Défense, Ed Ruscha used the form and contents of his time capsule to explore permanence and impermanence, the everyday and the privileged, gravitas and humor. By calling attention to historical archives, the piece prefigures the now-frequent comparison of Ruscha’s work to time capsules.
5pm : Margit Rowell, (art historian, Paris)
A Study of Style
Ed Ruscha's recent exhibition (Rome: Gagosian, November 2014-January 2015) may be seen as a sequel to three earlier cycles devoted to the decline of western consumer society: Course of Empire, shown at the Venice Biennale in 2005, Aztec/Aztec in Decline of 2007, and Psycho Spaghetti Western, begun in 2010 and extending into the present. However, rather than discussing the content of these paintings, which is quite obvious in its representation of discarded objects and exploded tires, this paper will focus on Ruscha's stylistic treatment of these subjects and how it enhances the impact of his images.
11am - 5:30pm