from Ana Teixeira Pinto’s review Karl Holmqvist’s “EQ UI LI BR IU M”
When asked about his monotone pitch, reminiscent of speech software, Holmqvist replied that he meant to achieve word parity (1); to endow every word, every letter even, with the exact same value. “Words Are People,” and, much the same as one ought to treat everyone equally, one should also approach words with impartiality. “Excellent” and “if”; “glory” and “grill”; “precious” and “pier” should all be equal. But is this the equality of comrades or the equality of consumers? Are words defiant dissidents or acquiescing amenities? “Chairman Mao,” “Chris Kraus,” “Kitty Kraus,” and “Josef Strau” all flash on screen several times over. If words are people, are people words? Jacques Lacan defined repetition as the “agency of the word” (l’instance de la lettre), the moment when words take over people, stifle suggestion, zombify meaning. Is Chris Kraus a sound, a person or a phonosemantic unit? Are all of Holmqvist’s words onomatopoeias like Lichtenstein’s Whaam? What is the acoustic status of the “C O M M U N I S T M A N I F E S T O”?
“….which is my height, turned into a kind of a minimal sculpture. I mean, so it’s really my height rolled up into a circle. And it was part of a series of works that I did. The first one was a really big circle um where the um diameter was my height. And then there was a triangle where each side of the triangle was my height. And then a square.. with my height. And then uh.. i guess the next was a hexagon.. or maybe something else-agon… pentagon? maybe, pentagon.”
“What would I do if I was not an artist? Difficult, because I am not sure I am really qualified to do anything. What I would like to do is nothing and that would quite quickly turn into something and what that something would be I am not sure.”
Let’s take that same concept and use it over here.
Hmm, looks like we could push that idea further.
Let’s stay with that idea longer and see what mileage we can really get from it.
You know, this could be better than what we’re currently doing!
The statements were prepared by the artist, using the published advice of What? If! business consultants, London, who state that they should be used to help generate new ideas in creative business discussions (‘brainstorms’.)
The statements should be placed together on one wall in the exhibition, as well as distributed around the other gallery walls in a viral way. In a group show context the statements should be placed close to, and within sightlines of works by other artists.
Inventory Vinyl text and ink on paper, 2007 Variable dimensions First commissioned by Jens Hoffman / Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art, Lisbon
The artist was weighed on June 27 2007, the date on which this art work was commissioned.
In consultation with two scientists, Dr. John Emsley (University of Cambridge) and Dr. Ilya Eigenbrot (Imperial College London), calculations were made as to the mass and current market value of each chemical element present in the artist’s body at the time of weighing.
The total market value of these elements (expressed as a graphic on the wall) plus a print of the calculation data constitute the form of this piece.
The calculated market value also represents the initial sale price of this piece. Since the physique of the artist and the market value of her constituent chemical elements may fluctuate over time, future versions of this work may display a different value.
1. Inventory as installed in Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art, Lisbon, September 2007
2. Inventory as installed in Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, November 2007 (value has altered due to fluctuations in the artist’s weight)