Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Colour Chart. Zur Farbenlehre. 1810. 

  • Theory of Colours (original German title Zur Farbenlehre) is a work by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe about the poet’s views on the nature of coloursand how these are perceived by humans. Published in 1810, it contains some of the earliest published descriptions of phenomena such as coloured shadowsrefraction, and chromatic aberration.

(via areashape)


Dan Graham, Body Press, (1970-1972)

Many of Graham’s artworks and performances are about mirrors, reflections, projections, and generating images of the viewers/participants who attend his artistic events. However, rather than multiply, and disseminate the universe, as in Borges’ apocryphal quotation, they aim at producing a self-awareness of the body, or creating environments in which viewers, as Beatriz Colomino wrote, “could see themselves seeing themselves.

In Body Press, for instance, a male and a female, naked, enclosed inside of a circular, semitransparent wall of glass, must take snapshots of each other. The act of communication consists of the act of producing pictures of the other’s body, while silence stresses the erotic magnetism of the movements and physicality of the performers interaction with each other.


The following is from a text written as part of “Film and Performance/Six Films, 1969-1974”

“Two filmmakers stand within a surrounding and completely mirrored cylinder, body trunk stationary, hands holding and pressing a camera’s back-end flush to, while slowly rotating it about, the surface cylinder of their individual bodies. One rotation circumscribes the body’s contour, spiraling slightly upward with the next turn. With successive rotations, the body surface areas are completely covered as a template by the back of the camera(s) until eye-level (view through camera’s eyes) is reached; then a reverse mapping downward begins until the original starting point is reached. The rotations are at a correlated speed; when each camera is rotated to each body’s rear it is then facing and filming the other where they are exchanged so the camera’s “identity” changes hands and each performer is handling a new camera. The cameras are of different size and mass. In the process, the performers are to concentrate on the coexistent, simultaneous identity of both camera’s describing them and their body. (The camera may/or may not be read as an extension of the body’s identity.) Optically, the two cameras film the Image reflected on the mirror which is the same surface as the box (and lens) of the cam-era’s five visible sides, the body of the performer, and (possibly) his eyes on the mirror (In projection what is seen by the spectator).
The camera’s angle of orientation/view of the area of the mirror’s reflective image is determined by the placement of the camera on the body contour at a given moment. (The camera might be pressed against the chest but such an upward angle shows head and eyes). To the spectator the camera’s optical vantage is the skin. (An exception is when the performer’s eyes are also seen reflected or the cameras are seen filming the other). The performer’s musculature is ‘seen’ pressing into the surface of the body (pulling inside out). At the same time, kinesthetically, the handling of the camera can be ‘felt’, by the spectator, as surface tension, as the hidden side of the camera presses and slides against the skin it covers at a particular moment. The films are projected at the same time on two loop projectors, very large size on two opposite, but very close, room walls. A member of the audience (man or woman) might identify with one image or the other from the same camera or can identify with one body or the other, shifting their view each time to face the other screen when the cameras are exchanged.”


Robert Heinecken, Are You Rea, (1964-1968)

 The series Are You Rea is perhaps Heinecken’s most popular body of work. Its title comes from a headline text fragment in one member of the series, and was selected by Heinecken for the mirroring of letters in the words. Made in the late 1960s, at a time when the public was being bombarded by the media’s definitions of beauty, race, and gender, Heinecken challenged the viewer to question the source and validity of these social stereotypes. Early in his career, Heinecken began experimenting with photographs from appropriated magazine pages. The process of Are You Rea’s gelatin-silver prints inverts the tones of the original images to create negative images in black-and-white. The effect reinforces the sensation that the images are familiar yet their meaning reversed. Where the magazines blindly push desire, Heinecken’s images question it and investigate the duality of real circumstances and the unattainable standards we set. In a simple juxtaposition, Heinecken draws us in and simultaneously repulses us. From the tangle of two scenes meshed together, the viewer extracts a clear perspective on the need to consume.


Jean-Louis Chanéac, Parasite Bedroom, (1971)

In 1971, Chanéac installed a parasite bedroom on the façade of a regular modernist residential apartment block in Geneva, Switzerland. Chanéac’s ‘parasitic sucking cells’ are mobile, evolutionary and a complete contrast to the host building’s architectural style in every sense possible.

With this work the architect wanted to experiment with a new architectural language. Avignon-born Chanéac was one of the first to experiment with spontaneous, temporary and adaptable architectural solutions. Developed as temporary and supplementary spaces, “parasitic cells are volumetric inhabitable elements which are mass-produced by industry or spontaneously built by individuals. They can be erected in a matter of hours onto the façades of buildings as a way of creating complementary inhabitable spaces”.

For the construction of this so-called ‘La Bulle Pirate’, Chanéac used synthetic materials such as laminates, resins, glass fiber, reinforced polyester and foam. The use of these materials was totally new in an era in which concrete was the dominant construction material. Chanéac applied for a patent for these multifunctional plastic cells, which could be produced in the factory, transported by road and assembled in two hours. However, he never managed to roll out the project on a bigger scale.



Christopher Nicholson. Model of the Rear of a House, (1938)

 As the wealthy patron of surrealist painters such as Salvador Dali, Edward James delighted in the idea of living in a fantasy-like country house on his Sussex estate. In 1937, he purchased the stone block façade of the recently demolished Pantheon, a once poular assembly hall on Londons Oxford Street built in the late eighteenth century, and had his architect, Christopher Nicholson, create a design for building a modern dwelling behind it. As seen in this photograph of Nicholson’s plaster covered model of the rear of the house, the artist John Piper has painted a row of caryatids along the upper terrace, like Easter Island Statues, reflecting the then-popular psychoanalytical world of Freudian neurosis. The proposal was to construct the sculptures in sheet metal. The house, however was not built. James moved to the United States in 1939 and then to the Mexican Jungle where he spent the remainder of his life hand-building surrealist garden of concrete structures.


Vladmir Tatlin, Counter-Relief (Material Combination), (1914)

From the collection of the Punin Archive, St. Petersburg.


Shiraga Kazuo, Challenging Mud, (1955)

 The 1st Gutai Art Exhibition broke new ground by staging actions that used the body as a medium. (Years before the body based performance art that became common in the 1960’s and 1970’s). One of the most interesting works in this vein was Shiraga  Kazuo’s Challenging Mud. During this performance, he made use of his entire body in all dimensions to “unconsciously express his existence in matter”. His own body replaced the traditional paintbrush and so the artist literally entered and turned into his work. The relics of this performance – a pile of mud, was left on view for the remainder of the exhibition as an artwork in it’s own right, expanding (perhaps for the first time) what could constitute a painting.


William Powhida, The Eneme, 2014 — from Many Places at Once, CCA Wattis Institute, April 2014.


Alice Hutchins / Self-portrait, 1966


Sigmar Polke (German, 1941–2010)



Medium:Synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Dimensions:59 1/8 x 49 3/8” (150.2 x 125.4 cm)