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"NO!art" and the Aesthetics of Doom: Dialogue with Boris Lurie

By ESTERA MILMAN | New York 2000 | Length 111:16 mins in 4 parts

Published 5/10/2011 | Videography: Elke Stappert & Simone Zimmerman | Final Edit: Scott Siegling
TAGGED:   Part 1 |  Part 2 |  Part 3 |  Part 4
Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts

Estera Milman and Boris Lurie | New York 2000PLOT: This four part, real-time dialogue between NO!art founder, Boris Lurie, and cultural historian, Estera Milman, took place in 2000 as a documentary component of the National Endowment for the Arts-funded, retrospective exhibition,  "NO!art and the Aesthetics of Doom." Curated by Estera Milman, the exhibition opened at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, in November 2001. The show was singled out by The Chicago Tribune as the antithesis of "comfort art" in the immediate post 9/11 Chicago artworld and described by the Chicago Reader as "one of the best exhibits of 2001." The video was edited for public viewing in 2011.

 PART 1 | 22:07 mins : In think of the environment of Tenth Street in those days; the attraction the March Gallery had for social dissidents of varying stripes; The obvious political pressures. Betrayals everywhere. What could the lessons of the concentration camps have meant really, when atrocities in the Korean war went on and on. And on to Vietnam | Dore Ashton "Merde Alors!" 1969 |  view

 PART 2 | 24:55 mins : NO!art fixed itself in the reality defined by self-destructive New Left of the early sixties. It accepted the latter's package of things to attack: tyranny, filth and aestethic hypocrisy, but it could not offer any contributions toward a new political consciousness or a rebellious sensibility. All the March Gallery could do was to make a noise to drive away the evil spirits. And to take the bull by the horns, at the risk of getting dragged in the dirt. | Some Questions as Appendix: Will NO!art be coopted by art history? Does it seek cooptation? Will shit multiples be produced by Marlboro, Pace and Castelli to commemorate this episode of art history? Will a retrospective shit show be sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Council for the Arts? If not, is the omission a falsification of art history? What about other artists who have existed but have been omitted from art history? | Harold Rosenberg "Bull by the Horns" 1972 |  view

 PART 3 | 29:15 mins : A second non-Pop vain, which specializes in social protest, should also be mentioned, if only to dispel confusion by placing it prperly outside Pop Art ... these Assemblage, or 'Domm'artists are the political satirists that Pop artists are not. They are allk that Pop is not, and proclaimed themselves 'anti-Pop' in February 1964. They are anguished, angry and hot where pop is cool, detached and assured. They omit nothing from their conglomerations of trash, paint, collage and objects, whereas the Pop artists omit almost everything from their diresct presentation, and they are essentially pessimistic where Pop is optimistic. | Belligerently romantic, as a group they come as close to Neo-Dadas as is possible today. | Lucy Lippard "New York Pop" 1966 |  view

 PART 4 | 35:19 mins : Eichmann was incapable of uttering a single sentence that was not a cliché. (Was it these clichés that the psychiatrists thought so "normal" and "desirable"? Are these the "positive ideas" a clergman hopes for in those whose souls he ministers? Eichmann's best opportunity to show his positive side of his character in Jerusalem came when a young police officer in charge of his mental an psychological well-being handed him Lolita for relaxation it, visibly indignant; "Quite an unwholesome book," he told his guard.) | Hannah Arendt "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on Banality of Evil" 1963 |  view

KEYWORDS: Boris Lurie, Sam Goodman, Stanley Fisher, NO!art, Neo-Dada, Tenth Street, pin-ups, Beat Culture, Holocaust Debate, Thomas Hess, March Gallery Group, Abstract Expressionism, Harold Rosenberg, Seymour Krim, avant-garde, counterculture, Pop Art, Outlaw Art, Hannah Arendt, Eichmann Trial, Shit Show

About ESTERA MILMAN: Founding Director, Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary Arts (ATCA), 1982 through 2004. Composed of artifacts, performance relics and archival material of the post-World War II avant-garde, ATCA attained an international reputation as both a groundbreaking repository for contemporary artworks and a research program. Funded, in part, by a series of grants from Federal and State agencies, the project successfully generated a host of acclaimed topical workshops, exhibitions, publications and interdisciplinary symposia. Charter Member Conceptual and Intermedia Arts Online (CIAO) and Project Leader, CIAO Fund-raising Subcommittee, 1997-2000. Participants in the CIAO consortium included Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary Arts/The University of Iowa, Berkeley Art Museum/The University of California, The Hood Museum of Art/Dartmouth College, the Getty Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, Franklin Furnace (New York), the National Gallery of Canada, the Tate Gallery (London), and the Walker Art Center. She curated in 2000/1 the first North American retrospective of early works by the NO!art cooperative of artists active in New York since the early 60s at Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art in Evanston.  more

related:  http://vimeo.com/23023159 | © 2000/2011 Estera Milman all rights reserved
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