David Hammons pays homage to the surrealist poet, painter and jazz musician Ted Joans. Inspired by 1920s French surrealists Ted Joans began the collective project Long Distance Exquisite Corpse in 1976. Folding a sheet of paper multiple times, participants would one by one create an image, leaving a line across the fold for the next author as starting point for their drawing to depart from. The resulting artworks often follow a humorous or violent logic. Tapping into surrealist notions of the unconscious, they contain a tension between the collaborative and the individual, intentionality and chance, drawing and object. As Joans travelled the world over the years, he asked artists and writers—including European surrealists, Nigerian and South African writers, American beat poets and jazz musicians, and Mexican painters and intellectuals—to add a drawing to his piece, ingeniously created on already folded dot matrix computer paper. As Joans recounted in an interview: “Long Distance Exquisite Corpse is a continuous idea of a collective or collaborative authorship, in which an ongoing composite image is producing its own meaning undetermined by any single participant.” The innovation in Joans’s exquisite corpse process was the distance between his participants, who may have known each other and were able to meet and watch each other add drawings, or may have been separated thousands of miles, connected only by Joans himself.
In 2001, David Hammons filmed Ted Joans unfolding the long artwork across the floor of the New York apartment of Robin D. G. Kelley and Diedra Harris-Kelley. Together with the artist Laura Corsiglia, they discuss each drawing and the creative and personal histories of the seemingly endless contributors. The camera follows the piece from fold to fold, emphasizing its physicality, the active process required to engage with it, the impossibility of viewing it in its entirety all at once. The artwork collapses into fragments but links its international participants, folding, unfolding, obscuring, revealing, connecting across great distances. In the end David Hammons adds his own drawing, continuing the long-distance transmission. As Laura Corsiglia has noted, Long Distance Exquisite Corpse is “a treasure map of friendship expanding through time, space, and disciplines.” Long Distance Exquisite Corpse (1976- 2005) is a collaboration of 132 authors, including Paul Bowles, Breyten Breytenbach, William S. Burroughs, Mário Cesariny, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Bruce Conner, Laura Corsiglia, Bill Dixon, Allen Ginsberg, David Hammons, Stanley William Hayter, Dick Higgins, Konrad Klapheck, Alison Knowles, Michel Leiris, Malangatana, Roberto Matta, Octavio Paz, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist, Wole Soyinka, Dorothea Tanning and Cecil Taylor.
David Hammons’s film Ted Joans: Exquisite Corpse (2001-2018) was produced by Maumaus / Lumiar Cité.
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Ao descer a escada
Há um degrau p’ra me sentar.
Não há outro degrau
Não estou lá em baixo
Nem lá em cima estou.
Estou é na escada
Onde sempre estou.
Ao subir a escada
Não estou em cima, nem em baixo.
Não estou na creche,
Nem mesmo no sopé, acho.
Ideias estranhas começam a girar
Na minha cabeça
Fora do lugar!
09.11.2019 - 02.02.2020
25.01 | 17h00 Talk with Tonio Kröner, Simon
Thompson, Jürgen Bock
All the light that's ours to see
Extended until 6 December 2020
In line with revised recommendations from the authorities, we are postponing the exhibition, which was scheduled to open on 28 March. A new date will be communicated in due course.
In cooperation with Lumiar Cité:
Thu Thiêm: an archaeological
project for future remembrance
08.06. - 08.09.2019
Johann Jacobs Museum
Maumaus / Lumiar Cité
is funded by Ministério da Cultura / Direção-Geral das Artes. With the support of Câmara Municipal de Lisboa and Junta de Freguesia do Lumiar