press release

Dan Graham (Urbana, Illinois, 1942), an eclectic and inventive conceptual artist, a pioneer of performance and video art, has explored various expressive means. In the mid-1960s he began his artistic journey with a series of works where he utilized texts and photographs.

He published his work in pages set aside for advertising in large-circulation magazines, engaging in a conceptual procedure diametrically opposed to that practiced by Pop art. In subsequent years he created performances, videos and films, addressing the complex relationship that exists between the work of art and the public, employing video cameras linked to monitors that allow visitors to see their own image in a spatial-temporal context that is out of synch with reality. Beginning in the 1980s, the artist created pavilions out of metal and glass, structures that can be entered, with mirrored, reflective or opaque surfaces, where a feeling of alienation is accentuated and the investigation of the role of the viewer and the definition of the work of art in terms of its context is further explored. In this exhibition, Dan Graham presents his first five films/performances: Sunrise to Sunset, 1969; Binocular Zoom, 1969-70; Roll, 1970; Helix/Spiral, 1973; Helix/Spiral (Simone Forti), 1973, and a large recent work: Children’s DayCare, CD-Rom, Cartoon and Computer Screen Library Project, 1998-2000. The latter piece consists of a large-scale pavilion (228,6 x 751,8 x 693,4 cm / 90 X 296 X 273”), with a CD-Rom station, acting as a media library of animated cartoons for children. There are portions made from two-way mirrors with anamorphic effects, which on one side enlarge the image of the children who move through the space, and on the other side reduce their image, creating a labyrinth between reality and virtuality.

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev has written: “Reacting in part to the excess of images and products in the new consumer culture, conceptual artists from the mid-1960s dematerialized traditional sculpture and painting; from that point on, art could be a theoretical elaboration, a study, a situation, an event, or even a group of people acting in unison. Dan Graham has managed a gallery, published articles on architecture as artwork, created film performances, and has developed a bridge between art and architecture through a critical practice based on continuous research into the way in which consciousness functions and how it can be celebrated within the framework of a continuous and open process, where the boundaries between public and private become experimental.”

The works will become part of the Museum’s permanent collection, thanks to the support of the CRT Foundation for Modern and Contemporary Art.

Presentation curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

Concetto, Corpo e Sogno/ Concept, Body and Dream This exhibition presents works by “classic” conceptual artists such as Joseph Kosuth and Lawrence Weiner, artists like Dan Graham, who have worked in different directions, developing a conceptual analysis of perception and experience, and other artists, not traditionally defined as “conceptual,” such as Joan Jonas and Susan Hiller, who instead have worked within the context of performance, installation art and the exploration of the mysterious and less rational side of the mind. The exhibition is organized into five solo shows, presented in succession by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev: Lawrence Weiner (March 28 – July 30), Susan Hiller (April 11 – July 30), Dan Graham (April 29 – July 30), Joseph Kosuth (May 16 – July 30), Joan Jonas (May 30 – July 30). Each solo show includes historical works alongside more recent or new projects by the artist. With the support of the CRT Foundation for Modern and Contemporary Art, seven of the exhibited works will become part of Castello di Rivoli’s permanent collection.


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Concetto, Corpo e Sogno/ Concept, Body and Dream
Dan Graham
Kurator: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev