Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster's miniature Michael Asher caravan.
Back before my current stint at CalArts I attended a presentation by Michael Asher at the Getty Research Institute. It was a weekday afternoon along the 405 and the room at the GRI was packed. I was amazed at the turnout until I realized what a profound effect he's had teaching the infamous Post-Studio Art for nearly 40 years. There are those who've gone on to artistic and academic fame, and on to teach at other institutions, forever changed by Michael's thoughtful, methodical, and critical approach to artistic production and educating art students.
Last week at LACMA I noticed a Joe Goode donated by Michael to LACMA's permanent collection, and a couple of other pieces from his mother, Betty Asher. Recently MOCA announced the opening of a show of works donated by Michael to their collection.
The location flier handed out at Sculpture Projects Muenster HQ.
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Adam Feldmeth that the caravan used for Michael's work in the current Sculpture Project was temporarily purloined:
"Caravan found: As the police announced this morning, the caravan of Michael
Asher was found. Following a hint by the public, the officers found the
caravan at a street in Telgte. In the night of Saturday, July 21, the
Caravan by Michael Asher has been stolen from its 5th parking position
(Hörster Friedhof / Piusallee). "
It's quite light weight (and conveniently on wheels); when I was in Muenster, I had no trouble picking it up by the trailer hitch, and considering all the college kids about town, it's not surprising that hijinks would ensue.
The caravan in 2007.
Besides the opening of donated work on Sunday, September 9th, The Santa Monica Museum of Art will be housing a site-specific work by Michael Asher in January.
Michael Asher's camper being tailed be a Richard Tuttle semicolon.
It's interesting to see how the work in Muenster, Germany has changed with each iteration. Now the caravan is somewhat of a collectors' item, and for a few of the weeks the camper will be in storage, as the changing architecture of the city has eliminated some of the past parking spaces. There was another work at SP by Andreas Siekmann called "Trickle down: the public space in the era of its privatization" which I'll write about in a future post. Both works had in common that they pointed to the relationship between public art and gentrification, but in very different ways.
The first page of Michael Asher's original proposal.
Muenster's art museum hosted a show called Archive, which displayed maquettes and correspondence by artists from the past 30+ years. I got a chance to see Michael's familiar handwriting on the two-page proposal for the caravan project. They also had on hand another unrealized proposal, as well as photographs from the past events.
Implications of the caravan proposal (page 2).
Near the lake was Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster's A Münster Novel. The work was made up of miniature versions of various works from past years, as seen in the picture at the top. Behind the mini Asher is a mini Buren.
Photo of the caravan in 1977.