Magazine article Artforum International

"Joint Dialogue": OVERDUIN AND KITE

Magazine article Artforum International

"Joint Dialogue": OVERDUIN AND KITE

Article excerpt

A pervasive sense of slippage--between the personal and professional, between art and life--governed this group exhibition, curated by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, that tied together work by Dan Graham, Stephen Kaltenbach, and Lee Lozano. The show's title puns on Dialogue Piece and Grass Piece by Lozano (both 1969, and represented in the show as actual-size facsimiles of notebook pages), two durational, diaristic works that overlapped in execution; but it also points to personal entanglements between Lozano and Graham, and between Kaltenbach and Lozano. Works by the former pair (mostly text based) mingled in one gallery space, and works by the latter pair (including several pieces attributed to "Lee Lozano as remembered by Stephen Kaltenbach") inhabited the other.

From the handwritten notes of Dialogue Piece we learn that Kaltenbach visited Lozano in her loft on May 24 (WE TRADE A LOT OF OUR ART IDEAS & DISCUSS DOING A PIECE TOGETHER); Graham visited six days later to have AN IMPORTANT DIALOGUE IN THAT DEFINITE CHANGES WERE IMMEDIATELY EFFECTED BECAUSE OF IT. The exact nature of these changes and the full content of the dialogue remain unknown--at least to the viewer. Like many of Lozano's handwritten pieces, Dialogue Piece is at once revealing and restrained, exposing circumstantial details (personal and potentially embarrassing information about fellow artists who visited her apartment, for example) while largely avoiding the subject matter of the dialogue facilitated by the piece.

Graham's works in the show also share an interest in quasi-scientific (or legalistic) inquiry, even when a hypothesis is seemingly absent. His Income (Outflow) Piece, 1969, presents a typed and hand-annotated scheme for selling stock in "Dan Graham Inc.," in order to pay himself the salary of an "average American citizen"--but also, the work claims to "chang[e] the homeostatic balance of his life (environment) support by re-relating the categories of private sector and public sector" (emphasis Graham's). The radicality of Graham and Lozano's text-based works is not their supposed "dematerialization" but their intensive attempt to erase--or "re-relate"--the perceived boundaries of art and life, typically with a modest sheet of paper as interface.

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Kaltenbach's works from the same period--and his manifestations of remembered Lozano pieces--further erode such thresholds. …

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