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Rachel Harrison


Ground Floor

APRIL 28 - JUNE 17, 2017

Rachel Harrison



April 28th – June 17th, 2017



One Stud: I’ll be moderating the discussion. Let’s start with you, Winged Victory.


First: Can we put up some walls first?


Winged Victory: Condensation Cube brought me in the truck, good thing there was still room.


Condensation Cube: We’re not just backing into each other. We actually have to compete for real estate.


Sappho and Patriarch:  Location, location, location.


The Three Graces: Art, Sex, and Death: Blame iPhones and shelf life.


Condensation Cube: I have partially filled Plexiglas containers of a simple stereometric form with water and have sealed them. The intrusion of light warms the inside of the boxes. The image of condensation cannot be precisely predicted. I like this freedom.[1]


Box with the Sound of Its Own Making: There may be many precedents within a sculpture, but sculpture has for some time been raiding architecture.[2]  Real space is not experienced except in real time.


One Stud: There must still be an art that grows up not knowing it is art at all?[3]  Art criticism lost its power over art-making after the '60s, no?  We've already put the paint back onto sculpture that Clement Greenberg took off.


The Three Graces: Art, Sex, and Death: You mean how Greenberg stripped all the David Smith sculptures after Smith died?


Alexander the Great: Sometimes I feel the '60s aren’t far away enough. We’re not props.


TV Buddha: The culture that's going to survive in the future is the culture you can carry around in your head.[4]


Sappho and Patriarch: I can defend being passed on as a lure, a decoy, an index, or as a reminder of a former visual self.[5]


Kunst muss hängen (Art Must Hang): A Bourdieuian definition of art could be summarized as follows: something is art if it exists for discourses and practices that recognize and can appropriate it as art.[6]


The Sled: Let’s hope this is not just a vicious dialogic cycle — we are, all of us, exploring a world that none of us even understands and attempting to create within that uncertainty. We're searching for more immediate, ecstatic, and penetrating modes of living.[7]


Kunst muss hängen (Art Must Hang): The first time that I can recall weeping in a museum was the first time I visited the Louvre.[8]


Winged Victory: Yes, I remember, I was there.


Manifesto: A racing car whose hood is adorned with great pipes, like serpents of explosive breath… is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.[9]


Young Man: Why am I smiling? Where am I going? A young man stepping out into an adult world. My braided hair is like a teen-age girl’s, both stylized and natural. My testicles are full of life. You can project yourself into me.[10] 


Publyck Sculpture: There is a meta-game for use in the United States. The rules of the game, or even that there is a game at all, are hidden to some. The uninitiated are known as naïve, provincial, suckers or liars. To those unamused by an awareness of backdoor maneuvering, a whole world of deceit remains opaque. Those in the dark are ripe for exploitation.[11]


“Benglis ad”: What’s the point of this discussion, isn’t this all a bit obvious?


Why not sneeze, Rose Sélavy?: Perhaps that’s why we’re here, to ask what’s the point.


Leave the Land Alone: It’s not to tell you what you don’t know but to show you another way of looking at what you do know.[12] 


A Subtlety: I do what I am feeling and what I’m feeling is monstrous. And I do it in the nicest possible way.[13]


Judith Beheading Holofernes: Make art history scream.[14]


Dialogue Piece: This is all poetic nonsense.






In the Order in Which They Appear


Rachel Harrison, One Stud, 2017


Anne Truitt, First, 1961


Winged Victory of Samothrace (La Victoire de Samothrace), circa 220-185 BC


Hans Haacke, Condensation Cube, 1963–5


Louise Lawler, Sappho and Patriarch, 1984


Robert Colescott, The Three Graces: Art, Sex and Death, 1981


Robert Morris, Box with the Sound of Its Own Making, 1961


Rachel Harrison, Alexander the Great, 2007


Nam June Paik, TV Buddha, 1974


Andrea Fraser, Kunst muss Hängen (Art Must Hang), 2001


Joseph Beuys, Schlitten (Sled), 1969


Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, The Manifesto of Futurism, 1909


Marble statue of a kouros (youth), ca. 590-580 B.C.


Cady Noland, Publyck Sculpture, 1993-1994


Lynda Benglis, double page spread on pages four and five of the November 1974 Artforum


Marcel Duchamp, Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy?, 1921


Bruce Nauman, Untitled (Leave the Land Alone), conceived in 1969, realized in 2009


Kara Walker, A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, 2014


Caravaggio, Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1599–1602


Lee Lozano, Dialogue Piece, (Started April 21, 1969), 1969






[1] Hans Haacke, "Condensation Cube" Leonardo, Volume 36, Number 4, (August 2003): 265.

[2] Robert Morris, “The Present Tense of Space” Art in America 66, no. 1 (January – February 1978): 70-81.

[3] Claes Oldenburg, “I Am For an Art…” in Environments, Situations, Spaces (New York: Martha Jackson Gallery, 1961).

[4] Arthur Jafa on Nam June Paik, “Love is the Message, The Plan is Death” in e-flux Journal, #81 (April 2017).

[5] Hito Steyerl, “In Defense of the Poor Image” in e-flux Journal, #10 (November 2009).

[6] Andrea Fraser, “Why Does Fred Sandback’s Work Make Me Cry?” in Gray Room, No. 22 (Winter 2006), 30-47.

[7] Hillary D. Rodham, "1969 Student Commencement Speech" (Wellesley, Massachusetts, May 31, 1969), Wellesley College Commencement Archives.

[8] Andrea Fraser, “Why Does Fred Sandback’s Work Make Me Cry?” in Gray Room, No. 22 (Winter 2006), 30-47.

[9] Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, “The Manifesto of Futurism,” first published in Le Figaro, February 20, 1909, reprinted in Marinetti: Selected Writings, ed. R.W. Flint, trans. R. W. Flint and Arthur A. Coppotelli, (London: Secker and Warburg, 1972): 41-3.

[10] Charles Ray quoted in Calvin Tomkins, "Meaning Machines," The New Yorker, May 11, 2015.

[11] Cady Noland, towards a metalanguange of evil = zu einer Metasprache des Bösen, (Kassel: Edition Cantz: Documenta IX, 1992), 5.

[12] Nauman, quoted in Vanessa Friedman, “Bruce Nauman: Theme and Meaning (And Sleight of Hand),” The New Yorker, February 14, 1994, 37.

[13] Kara Walker, “Q&A Kara Walker on the bit of sugar sphinx she saved, video she's making,” Los Angeles Times, October 13, 2014.

[14] Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger quoted “Make the economy scream.” in "CIA Activities in Chile," September 18, 2000, General Reports, CIA Library,


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