Ordinary Dances/Extraordinary Dunces

Esteemed art-historian D H Laven sent me this cutting:

After some months of persuasion, the villagers had agreed to take part in Katerina Šedá’s ‘There is Nothing There’ (2003) and had – according to the artist’s timetable posted on the village notice board – shopped at the local store, eaten a meatball and tomato sauce lunch, gone for cycle rides in the park, met for an afternoon beer and returned to their homes, all in unison… Šedá’s project – which has also included actions that encouraged meetings between 100 pairs of neighbours in a large anonymous housing estate… and a piece in which the artist asked each household in her village to build steps going over their garden fence so that she could run in an uninterrupted circle through the neighbourhood… is characteristic of a contemporary approach to art-making (Catherine Wood, ‘The Art of Writing with People’, Tate Etc, Autumn 2010)

‘For every Šedá’, Laven added, ‘there is a Retz. Daniel Retz. I.e. the artist who has similarly good ideas and intentions, but can’t quite persuade people to do what he wants. This sort of art is ten percent idea and ninety percent organisation. And some of us aren’t that organised.’

Laven’s magnum opus ‘The Story of Forgotten Artists’ is due September 2018.

More on Daniel Retz when – and if – I get it.


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