Beatrix Ruff on Helen Marten and Jordan Wolfson
We just spoke to the new Stedelijk director about her upcoming Frieze talk with the LA and London artists
Beatrix Ruf will take on the artistic directorship of Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam this autumn. However, before then, the German curator, writer and Phaidon contributor (see our anthologies Vitamin D2, Vitamin 3D and Cream 3 for her work), will host a conversation at Frieze New York, on Saturday May 10th at midday. The talk, between Ruf and two young artists, Helen Martin and Jordan Wolfson, will examine art making in an age of all pervasive digital mediation. We just got off the phone with Ruf and she told us what visitors can expect on Saturday.
“I’ve chosen these two artists because I’ve worked with both of them before. However, the talk focuses on this generation’s work in particular. I don’t think Helen and Jordan share approaches; nevertheless, they both have a very particular way of dealing with this so-called ‘post-internet’ era, though it’s a term they both probably hate. Still, they’ve both fully grown up in a world where the digital is as real as reality.
“Helen comes at it from a sculptural perspective. Her work raises three-dimensional questions, about the flatness of images that we deal with on a daily basis. We have had long discussions about inlay, and the possibilities of layering, when flat, homogenized images are everywhere.
“Jordan, meanwhile, is based in a conceptual practice, working with found footage and reorganizing it, in a digital world [see Wolfson's excellent 2011 video Animation, Masks here]. Still, while they’re both very different, I think what they both share is a concern for language, the poetic reorganization of language and translations, in our era.”
Find out more about and get tickets for this Frieze Talk here; for a richer understanding of today’s artists, consider Defining Contemporary Art; for more on the role of events like Frieze in the wider art scene, pick up a copy of Biennales and Beyond. Finally, these are the books which Beatrix had a hand in curating and writing: Vitamin D2, Vitamin 3D and Cream 3.