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Rodney Graham
Standard Edition
Standard Edition
1988
The intellectualism that is omnipresent in the works of Rodney Garham (Abbotsford, Canada, 1949) has not prevented him from becoming an artist of international renown. With their minimalist language and cold aesthetic, many of his works are kind of visual comment on key texts and authors from the Western cultural tradition: Georg Büchner, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Raymond Roussel and, above all, Sigmund Freud. His works (books, sculptural objects, films, music recordings, performances, photographs and paintings) often obey a circular or loop logic that arises from the representations that furnish our image of the world. Like Freud, Graham has also dedicated himself to exploring the dark side, dreams and life's outer fringes. Rodney Graham shares the minimalist language of his contemporaries who formed part of the Vancouver group in the late sixties (Ken Lum, Jeff Wall and Ian Wallace), but the cultural references that he draws on lead his work to focus on text. Heir to a tradition that begins with Stéphane Mallarmé and Raymond Roussel and ties into structuralism, Graham equates text with the production of meaning. For his series of book-objects, Graham takes books by nineteenth and twentieth century authors and turns them into objectual pieces. This sometimes entails covering existing books, or making visual interventions in the text, and he often designs boxes and reading machines, or transforms text into a sculptural object. Standard Edition – a sculpture that is part text, part object – is one of Rodney Graham's best known works. Graham placed the 24 volume set of the complete works of Freud in a box shaped like a metal shelf and attached to the wall, and arranged them according to a pragmatic logic: the thickness of each volume determined the progression of the empty spaces. The work clearly makes reference to the minimalist boxes and cubic spaces in the work of Donald Judd, one of the visual artists who most influenced Rodney Graham. Graham does not see the recurring use of books in this work as a form of appropriation, but as “indexation”, in the sense that it becomes an annex to existing works, in this case philosophical tomes.
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original title
Standard Edition
year of acquisition
2001
type of object
Object
dimensions
30.5 x 15.5 x 261.5 cm
Copyright
© Rodney Graham
registration number
R.1752
date
1988
fonds
Col·lecció MACBA. Fundació MACBA
media
Stainless steel, laten and books
credits
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation. Fundación Repsol Collection
original title
Standard Edition
registration number
R.1752
date
1988
year of acquisition
2001
fonds
Col·lecció MACBA. Fundació MACBA
type of object
Object
media
Stainless steel, laten and books
dimensions
30.5 x 15.5 x 261.5 cm
credits
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation. Fundación Repsol Collection
Copyright
© Rodney Graham
images
1 images
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