Rainer Marie Rilke: Letters to a Young Poet 

In 1903, a student at a military academy sent some of his verses to a well-known Austrian poet, requesting an assessment of their value. The older artist, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926), replied to the novice in this series of letters — an amazing archive of remarkable insights into the ideas behind Rilke’s greatest poetry. The ten letters reproduced here were written during an important stage in Rilke’s artistic development, and they contain many of the themes that later appeared in his best works. The poet himself afterwards stated that his letters contained part of his creative genius, making this volume essential reading for scholars, poetry lovers, and anyone with an interest in Rilke, German poetry, or the creative impulse.

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Additional Writings by the Author: 

Compilation of Poetry (PDF)
Project Gutenberg Collection of Poetry (text)
On Love and Other Difficulties (PDF)

Anthology: Draw It With Your Eyes Closed: The Art of the Art Assignment

Paper Monument is pleased to announce the publication of Draw It with Your Eyes Closed: the Art of the Art Assignment, a unique and wide-ranging anthology featuring essays, drawings, and assignments from over 100 contributors including: John Baldessari, William Pope.L, Mira Schor, Rochelle Feinstein, Bob Nickas, Chris Kraus, Liam Gillick, Amy Sillman, James Benning, and Michelle Grabner. The book debuted at this year’s College Art Association conference in Los Angeles, February 22 – 25.

Art school is at a point of unprecedented popularity both as an enterprise and as an object of critical inquiry. This book examines the complex and often unruly state of art education by focusing on its signature pedagogical form, the assignment.

Practical and quixotic in equal parts, the art assignment can resemble a riddle as much as a recipe, and often sounds more like a haiku, or even a joke, than a clear directive. From introductory exercises in perspective drawing to graduate-level experiments in societal transformation, the assignment coalesces ideas about what art is, how it should be taught, and what larger purpose it might, or might not, serve.

The book is a written record of an evolving oral tradition. Bringing together hundreds of assignments, anti-assignments, and artworks from both teachers and students from a broad range of institutions, we hope it simultaneously serves as an archive and an instigation, a teaching tool and a question mark, a critique and a tribute.

Draw It with Your Eyes Closed: the Art of the Art Assignment is the second in a series of small books by Paper Monument, a journal of contemporary art published in Brooklyn, NY in association with n+1, and designed by Project Projects. The first, I Like Your Work: Art and Etiquette, is now in its fourth edition, and has been featured by WNYC’s The Brian Leher Show, Frieze, and The Economist.

With contributions from: Kamrooz Aram and Lane Arthur, Colleen Asper, Julie Ault, John Baldessari, Judith Barry, Jay Batlle, Martin Beck, James Benning, Andrew Berardini, Mary Walling Blackburn, Jesse Bransford, Thomas Brauer, Jackie Brookner, Peter Brown, Graham Campbell, Nathan Carter, Antoine Catala, Anna Craycroft, Sean Downey, Angela Dufresne, Brad Farwell, Ira Fay, Rochelle Feinstein, Rachel Foullon, Rachel Frank, Laura Frantz, Kenji Fujita, Munro Galloway, Fiona Gardner, Jackie Gendel and Tom McGrath, Liam Gillick, Alfredo Gisholt, Wayne Gonzales, Michelle Grabner, Heather Hart, Corin Hewitt, Christine Hill, Dana Hoey, Shirley Irons, Ryan Johnson, David Kearns, Bill Komodore, Chris Kraus, Julian Kreimer, Fabienne Lasserre, Margaret Lee, David Levine, Miranda Lichtenstein, Justin Lieberman, Pam Lins, Cameron Martin, Jillian Mayer, John Menick, Helen Mirra, Carrie Moyer, Julian Myers and Dominic Willsdon, Bob Nickas, Sofía Olascoaga, Demetrius Oliver, Matt Phillips, William Pope.L, Jessica Powers, Jon Pylypchuck, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Kurt Ralske, David Robbins, Harry Roseman, Aura Rosenberg, Marina Rosenfeld, George Rush, Mira Schor, Amie Siegel, Jeremy Sigler, Amy Sillman, Michael Smith, Molly Smith, Jo-ey Tang, Paul Thek, Mamie Tinkler, Dan Torop, Patricia Treib, David True, William Villalongo, Oliver Wasow, Richard Wentworth, Tommy White, and Kevin Zucker.

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Draw It With Your Eyes Closed

Brooklyn Rail Review by Norm Paris
Dushko Pretovich talks about Draw it With Your Eyes Closed (Art Forum)

(WhiteChapel)Documents for Contemporary Art: Failure


Amid the global uncertainties of our times, failure has become a central subject of investigation in recent art. Celebrating failed promises and myths of the avant-garde, or setting out to realize seemingly impossible tasks, artists have actively claimed the space of failure to propose a resistant view of the world. Here success is deemed overrated, doubt embraced, experimentation encouraged, and risk considered a viable strategy. The abstract possibilities opened up by failure are further reinforced by the problems of physically realizing artworks–wrestling with ideas, representation, and object-making. By amplifying both theoretical and practical failure, artists have sought new, unexpected ways of opening up endgame situations, ranging from the ideological shadow of the white cube to unfulfilled promises of political emancipation. Between the two subjective poles of success and failure lies a space of potentially productive operations where paradox rules and dogma is refused. This collection of writings, statements, mediations, fictions, polemics, and discussions identifies failure as a core concern in cultural production. Failure identifies moments of thought that have eschewed consensus, choosing to address questions rather than answers.Artists surveyed include Bas Jan Ader, Francis Alÿs, John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Phil Collins, Martin Creed, David Critchley, Fischli & Weiss, Ceal Floyer, Isa Genzken, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Félix González-Torres, Wade Guyton, International Necronautical Society, Ray Johnson, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Michael Krebber, Bruce Nauman, Simon Patterson, Janette Parris, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, Dieter Roth, Allen Ruppersberg, Roman Signer, Annika Ström, Paul Thek, William WegmanWriters include Giorgio Agamben, Samuel Beckett, Daniel Birnbaum, Bazon Brock, Johanna Burton, Emma Cocker, Gilles Deleuze, Russell Ferguson, Ann Goldstein, Jörg Heiser, Jennifer Higgie, Richard Hylton, Jean-Yves Jouannais, Lisa Lee, Stuart Morgan, Hans-Joachim Müller, Karl Popper, Edgar Schmitz, Coosje van Bruggen

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Griselda Pollock: Differencing the Canon


In this book, art historian Griselda Pollock makes a compelling intervention into a debate at the very centre of feminist art history: should the traditional canon of the 'Old Masters' be rejected, replaced or reformed? What 'difference' can feminist 'interventions in art's histories' make? Should we simply reject the all-male succession of 'great artists' in favour of an all-woman litany of artistic heroines? Or should we displace present gender demarcations and allow the ambiguities and complexities of desire to shape our readings of art?
Differencing the Canon moves between feminist re-readings of the canonical modern masters – Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and Manet – and the 'canonical' artists of feminist art history, Artemisia Gentileschi and Mary Cassatt. Pollock avoids both an unnuanced critique of masculine canons and an unquestioning celebration of women artists. She draws on psychoanalysis and deconstruction to examine the project of reading for 'inscriptions in the feminine', and asks what the signs of difference might be in art made by an artist who is 'a woman'.

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Others Writings by Griselda Pollock
PDF: Visions & Differences
PDF: Modernity and the Spaces of Femininity

Via MOMA: The Feminist Future: Griselda Pollock (Panel Discussion)
Via YouTube:Griselda Pollock Lecture Series and Practitioner in Residence at Camberwell College of Arts
Via YouTube: Griselda Pollock Lecture: Time, Space and the Archive

bell hooks: Teaching to Transgress

Cultural theorist hooks means to challenge preconceptions, and it is a rare reader who will be able to walk away from her without considerable thought. Despite the frequent appearance of the dry word “pedagogy,” this collection of essays about teaching is anything but dull or detached. hooks begins her meditations on class, gender and race in the classroom with the confession that she never wanted to teach. By combining personal narrative, essay, critical theory, dialogue and a fantasy interview with herself (the latter artificial construct being the least successful), hooks declares that education today is failing students by refusing to acknowledge their particular histories. Criticizing the teaching establishment for employing an over-factualized knowledge to deny and suppress diversity, hooks accuses colleagues of using “the classroom to enact rituals of control that were about domination and the unjust exercise of power.” Far from a castigation of her field, however, Teaching to Transgress is full of hope and excitement for the possibility of education to liberate and include. She is a gentle, though firm, critic, as in the essay “Holding My Sister’s Hand,” which could well become a classic about the distrust between black and white feminists. While some will find her rejection of certain difficult theory narrow-minded, it is a small flaw in an inspired and thought-provoking collection.

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Via YouTube: Lectures and Panel Discussions
bell hooks Institute