Graeve CV (PDF)
27 August to 20 September 2008
While an obsession with aquariums faded in mid-youth, one concept continues
to haunt me like unfinished business. It's the technique of creating a
permanently-sealed aquarium. You see: Given the right fish and insects
and snails and oxygen and carbon dioxide and plants and sunlight and air
and water and gravel and temperatures – and clearly much else –
one can completely seal the thing. And then a cycle of tension and release
and uptake and downtake and oxygen production and carbon dioxide production
and reproduction and birth and death and decay – and clearly much
else – will take place in perpetuity. Of sorts.
Without really reflecting on the last time that I might have been on a
farm, I'd say that the last time I was regularly on a farm would have
been during my fruit-picking days in late youth. When I went fruit-picking
over four consecutive summers I was taught four important facts:
- Madonna is a good musician because she's got great tits.
- Michael Jackson is a great musician because he earns
a lot of money.
- Sailboarding is not a sport because you can't win.
- You stop work when there are more than three raindrops
in the space of a matchbox.
Sometime during the same period I was to read the following passage written
about Blinky Palermo and Imi Knoebel:
"Palermo is a craftsman, moving on from one commission to the next
and assembling individual pieces with the utmost care; by contrast Imi
Knoebel pays his objects just so much attention as they need in order
to exist – the attention that a farmer devotes to the separate departments
of work on his land. Imi Knoebel treats his work like a farm, on which
many different activities are kept going with great skill. Dairy cattle,
therefore butter and cheese; perhaps some bulls for breeding; young stock;
perhaps a few oxen and pigs; grass for pasture and winter feed; cereal
crops of various kinds; woodland for winter felling; any number of fruit
trees, and therefore fruit juice and liquor; any amount of chickens and
geese; a dog and a couple of cats; perhaps a fine horse; pigeons on the
roof; a mill on the stream; and a quarry by the roadside.1"
The problem is, if there indeed is a problem, that I still don't know
which of these wonderful models of activity I identify with most closely.
And that not-knowing is a pleasure.
And the other problem is, if there indeed is a problem, that no one ever
could answer my question: Over what duration should the three raindrops
fall into the matchbox, in order to necessitate leaving the shelter of
the trees for that of the car? Three drops over an hour? Three drops over
a minute? Three drops over a day?
It occurs to me now that I wasn't fruit picking on a farm at all. I was
fruit picking in a monoculture. There were only apples. No wonder then
that the relationship between space and duration was never clearly articulated,
since for that to occur you would require at least two points of reference!
Which in turn makes me think that a duoculture would have to be the most
basic functional proposition. Three cultures might be better still!
Michael Graeve artist’s talk in the gallery on Saturday, 20 September
2008, at 4.00 p.m.
1. Bumiller, Rudolf. Working with Success – Working
with Unsuccess. Parkett. Issue 32, 1992. p 40.
Michael Graeve 2007 Work
Michael Graeve 2009
Michael Graeve 2011 Exhibition
Michael Graeve 2013 Exhibition