Friday, February 13, 2009

We want Julie Ault to move to Portland for good

My words will have to stand in for the pictures I didn't take while Julie Ault was here. 
(Even though there was plenty opportunity)

Ryan and I ended up spending a bit of time with Julie everyday this week; besides seeing her lecture and having studio visits, we took her for a walk in the gorge, to our favorite deli, and to a glassblowing class that she had signed up for out on 82nd St. Her lecture on Monday was extremely rich with reflection on her work with Group Material in the 80's and 90's. Reading from original GM documents, she illuminated the working methods and the changes within the group over its 17 year life-span.  At the end she talked a bit about her recent installation work and her current publication and curating projects. Its amazing to see such a long career from its roots. The influence of Group Material's methods and aesthetics is clear, not only in Julie's solo work, but also in the work of so many other artists and curators working today. She also shared a bit with us about her current PhD work and the endeavor of trying to archive and historicize the work of Group Material.

Oh, and she gave Ryan and I some great book recommendations.

At one point during our studio visit she picked up our copy of Felix Gonzalez Torres, the monograph which she edited/created saying, "Oh its nice to see a copy so dirty. That's great." (It had been water damaged in the fire.)  She balances this kind of optimism with a really critical mind, I like that. 

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