A roundabout way of debating whether or not to pay £10 to see a performance of Monotone Symphony next week

Thursday 18 March 2010

Via greg.org, Google Street View of the street where Yves Klein “actually leapt into space one morning in 1960″. Fun fact I didn’t know: the famous photograph inspired Paul McCarthy to throw himself out of a window at art school.

I hadn’t seen the photograph, so I jumped out feet first,” McCarthy says. “In the late ’60s when I see the image of him diving, I am shocked and I think, ‘Oh god, mine is so pathetic.’ And then, years later, it comes out that the photograph is a fake. That’s what’s so great.”

Once again, I’m back onto the ideas of radical amateurism and the desirability of distortion. I can’t find the references now, so I won’t mention the story of Nam June Paik being annoyed when Joseph Byrd performed Paik’s composition Playing Music (the piece which instructs the performer to make a 10cm cut in their forearm) because, as the instigator, he then felt obliged to perform the piece himself.

Instead, I’ll mention the time I visted the Louisiana Museum and saw a small group of little kids on the floor, clustered around one of the Yves Klein Anthropométries, painstakingly drawing copies, reproducting exactly each stray fleck of paint with coloured pencils and sheets of paper.

  1. [...] bears repeating: I keep coming back to the idea that all creativity is an act of distortion. I’ve just been reading Harry Mathews’ epistolary novel The Sinking of the Odradek [...]