Magazine article Artforum International

Margaret Honda

Magazine article Artforum International

Margaret Honda

Article excerpt

Los Angeles-based artist Margaret Honda most recently exhibited her sculptures and photographs in group shows at S1F Gallery, Los Angeles, and Estacion Tijuana, Mexico, and as part of the 2008 California Biennial. Currently she is constructing a full-scale paper rendition of a house that is being published and distributed piece by piece in publications such as North Drive Press and the Drawing Center's Drawing Papers.

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1 DAVID L. MACADAM COLOR SOLID, 1944 A color solid proposes to be a standardized representation of how color differences are perceived, and no such rendering is stranger and more beautiful than the one devised by MacAdam. Of course, if you're doubtful that such a bizarre shape--which looks like a partially unwrapped burrito--can accomplish this feat, you're not alone. In his 1981 book, Color Measurement, the scientist admitted the failure of his own attempt (and everyone else's, too). Still, I'm grateful he tried.

2 CHARLES DARWIN, THE FORMATION OF VEGETABLE MOULD, THROUGH THE ACTION OF WORMS, WITH OBSERVATIONS ON THEIR HABITS (1881) Darwin brings to this study of modest and overlooked creatures the same rigor that informs his better-known work, demonstrating the role earthworms play in forming topsoil, in the subsidence of the land and subsequent preservation of archaeological finds, and in the disintegration of rocks through chemical and mechanical processes. At the same time, he observes how worms pave their burrows with tiny stones to keep warm and dry, how their taste in food varies, and how they determine the best method for dragging paper triangles of different proportions. It is clear that Darwin finds his subject both charming and formidable, and in fact, we can describe his writing in those very terms.

3 ROBERT BRESSON, AU HASARD BALTHAZAR (1966) Everything I love and admire about Bresson is encapsulated by just one minute of one scene in this masterpiece: The donkey Balthazar, pulling a hay cart through a cirucs menagerie, comes face-to-face with four animals in succession--a tiger, a polar bear, a chimpanzee, and an elephant. As Balthazar passes before each, the film cuts back and forth between his gaze and that of the other creature. Presumably, only a few feet separate them, but that distance is insurmountable. It's standard construction in film to use this technique when two human characters meet, revealing in the eyes of each something of their feelings and motivations. In Bresson's film, however, these looks are exchanged by animals. He gives us their point of view, but no entry into their thoughts or feelings, and thus no entry into the moment of which we find ourselves a part. The sequence is entirely inscrutable and can only leave us spellbound.

4 CHARLOTTE POSENENSKE, "VIERKANTROHRE" (SQUARE TUBES), SERIES D AND DW, 1967 All of Posenenske's work is amazing, but her square tubes of corrugated cardboard and sheet metal are a marvel. Her idea of producing modules in an unlimited quantity, pricing them at their production cost, letting other people install them according to their own criteria, and making them disposable was incredibly prescient and influential. The fact that you can see the screw holes at the exposed end of a tube means that more modules can be added and that the piece can go on forever, across space and over time. Lucky us.

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5 MICHAEL ASHER, INSTALLATION MUNSTER (CARAVAN), 1977, 1987, 1997, 2007 In this work the temporal and spatial ramifications of what you are seeing just melt together: For each of the four Skulptur Projekte exhibitions, Asher rented the same make and model trailer (Dodge Grand) and parked it in the same sequence of locations during the same time intervals. …

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