Sunday, May 12, 2013

More Real than the Real Thing: Media Artist Jack Goldstein on UbuWeb

Portrait of Jack Goldstein by James Welling
UbuWeb's founder, an American poet and professor of poetics at Penn State named Kenneth Goldsmith, writes: "It’s amazing to me that UbuWeb, after fifteen years, is still going. Run with no money and put together pretty much without permission, Ubu has succeeded by breaking all the rules, by going about things the wrong way. UbuWeb can be construed as the Robin Hood of the avant-garde, but instead of taking from one and giving to the other, we feel that in the end, we’re giving to all." It is on UbuWeb that a viewer can find a wealth of artist Jack Goldstein's works.

UbuWeb recently posted 10 films from the 1970s by Jack Goldstein (1945-2003), a Candadian born, California-based performance and conceptual artist. States UbuWeb, "Beyond their political content...the sheer beauty of Goldstein's '70s films constantly forces one to remember that, even when he deploys the strategies of spectacle ironically, Goldstein is a talented visual artist. That these works still look so fresh testifies not only to his refined aesthetic sensibility, but also to his influence on many of today's artists, for whom media culture and the loop have respectively become the subject and device du jour." According to the Jack Goldstein Estate website, "Goldstein was one of the first graduates of CalArts and went on to experiment with performance, film, recording and painting. This exciting early work of the late seventies, eighties and early nineties influenced many artists who came after him." His work was recently included in "The Pictures Generation" curated by The Met in New York City. Wrote Robert C. Morgan about Goldstein's work in the Brooklyn Rail: " There is a sense of ambiguity about it—an ambiguity without the weight of disaster. Instead, one senses a kind of arbitrariness in Goldstein’s work that is fully conscious of its beauty and elegance. His presentation is about the distance between beauty and the dark side of human and natural events, how they come together through a kind of poetic sublimation."

A suite of nine records (sound effects) by Jack Goldstein, 1979