Protocinema’s Mari Spirito Brings New York to Istanbul, and Vice-Versa
Dan Graham has participated in several levels of the art world: as an art dealer, critic, installation artist, filmmaker, photographer, and music producer - even authoring a rock opera. His interdisciplinary oeuvre draws critical parallels between aesthetic and cultural perception. In the mid-1960s Graham began photographing housing developments with a Kodak Instamatic to create a typology of the building’s pre-fabricated, serial quality. Apartment House, Vancouver B.C., from 1975 is a classic example of this series: stark, saturated, and seemingly uninhabited. Graham’s work is represented in many prestigious collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Modern in London, and the Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art in Japan. In 2002, for Public Art Fund’s Target Art in the Park Exhibition, Graham created a sleek two-room, walk-in pavilion of two-way reflective glass. Bisected Triangle, Interior Curve was his first work for a New York City public park.
Dan Graham’s interest in the social implications of systems, popular culture, and architecture is articulated in his installations, conceptual pieces, performances, videos, architectural designs, and prolific writing. Graham began using video as a medium in the 1970s as a way to engage his viewers directly, while attempting to restructure perceptions of time and space—a motive carried into his later glass and mirror pavilions. Circularity and feedback are major themes in Graham’s works, evidenced by his frequent use of mirrors, participation, and sometimes two cameras to create a loop. His influences include Larry Bell, Robert Mangold, Sol LeWitt, and Mies van der Rohe. In spite of his contributions to the legacy of media and installation art, Graham is still uncomfortable considering himself a professional artist.
American, b. 1942, Urbana, Illinois, based in New York, New York