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Graham – Ruppersberg


Dan Graham – Allen Ruppersberg

To Tell The Truth, 1973

For this exhibition Dan Graham has selected video and graphic works related to his performances from the 70s. In response to his proposal, Allen Ruppersberg shows a photo series from 1973, named To Tell The Truth.

In 1973, Allen Ruppersberg made many photographic works in which a series of images were set side-by-side in sequence, suggesting stories. These works often dramatize the differences between a reader’s or writer’s misrepresentation of events and the confusions that can occur between what we normally describe as reality and fiction.

In the photo series, To Tell the Truth (1973), Ruppersberg plays himself as a blindfolded man wearing a sleeping mask (significantly) and sitting at a table. In each new image, a different object appears before him on the table, and below the image a verbal narrative progresses—but the viewer comes to recognize that each object is being described incorrectly, as if some deadly slippage between the imagery and the text were developing further in each frame. When a bottle of ketchup appears on the table, for instance, the caption reads, “A pitcher of water”. A handgun appears along with the caption “A sawed-off shotgun”. When the man lifts his blindfold and raises the handgun to his head, the caption reads “An Argument”, and in the final frame, as the man kills himself, the caption reads, “A Murder”.


Allen Ruppersberg
To Tell The Truth, 1973

photographs: 9 x 9 cm each
cards: 10 x 15 cm each
frames: 37,5 x 30 x 3 cm each
20 unique color instamatic photographs and 20 typed cards, all framed


Allen Ruppersberg
To Tell The Truth, 1973

photographs: 9 x 9 cm each
cards: 10 x 15 cm each
frames: 37,5 x 30 x 3 cm each
20 unique color instamatic photographs and 20 typed cards, all framed

detail


Allen Ruppersberg
To Tell The Truth, 1973

photographs: 9 x 9 cm each
cards: 10 x 15 cm each
frames: 37,5 x 30 x 3 cm each
20 unique color instamatic photographs and 20 typed cards, all framed

detail


The exhibition presents Graham’s photographic, video and audio documentation of his seminal early performances such as Like (1969), Lax / Relax (1969-1995), Past Future Split Attention (1972), Performer Audience Mirror (1975) and Death By Chocolate (1986-2005).

Those pieces reveal Dan Graham’s dedication to examine social codes, group behaviour and established modes of perception. For example, the performance Performer Audience Mirror (1975) is a phenomenological inquiry into the audience/performer relationship and the notion of subjectivity/objectivity. Graham stands in front of a mirrored wall facing a seated audience; he describes the audience’s movements and what they signify. He then turns and describes himself and the audience in the mirror.

Dan Graham writes:

Through the use of the mirror the audience is able to instantaneously perceive itself as a public mass (as a unity), offsetting its definition by the performer (‘s discourse). The audience sees itself reflected by the mirror instantly while the performer’s comments are slightly delayed. First, a person in the audience sees himself ‘objectively’ (‘subjectively’) perceived by himself, next he hears himself described ‘objectively’ (‘subjectively’) in terms of the performer’s perception.

Death by Chocolate (1986-2005) draws on nearly twenty years’ worth of footage shot in the bizarre yet familiar arena of the shopping mall. The resulting work provides a coldly beautiful view of mall culture: its architecture, its consumer public and its unique aesthetic world. This work also provides a corollary to Graham’s own prodigious writings and projects on the public spaces of corporate capitalism.


Dan Graham
Death by Chocolate: West Edmonton Shopping Mall (1986-2005)

2005, 8 min, color, sound


Dan Graham
Performer Audience Mirror, 1972

100,5 x 75,5 cm each
3 black and white photographs on MDF


Dan Graham
Performer Audience Mirror, 1972

100,5 x 75,5 cm each
3 black and white photographs on MDF

detail


Dan Graham
Performer Audience Mirror, 1972

100,5 x 75,5 cm each
3 black and white photographs on MDF

detail


Dan Graham
Performer Audience Mirror, 1972

100,5 x 75,5 cm each
3 black and white photographs on MDF

detail


Dan Graham
Like, 1971

41,2 x 36,5 cm
text and photographic documentation on mountboard panels


Dan Graham
Lax/Relax, 1969

100,5 x 75,5 cm each
2 black and white photographs on MDF


Dan Graham
Lax/Relax, 1969

100,5 x 75,5 cm each
2 black and white photographs on MDF

detail


Dan Graham
Lax/Relax, 1969

100,5 x 75,5 cm each
2 black and white photographs on MDF

detail


Dan Graham
Lax/Relax, 1969

100,5 x 75,5 cm each
2 black and white photographs on MDF

detail


Dan Graham
Identification Projection, 1974

100,5 x 75,5 cm each
2 black and white photographs on MDF

detail


Dan Graham
Past Future Split Attention, 1972

102,5 x 76,5 cm
black and white photograph on MDF


Dan Graham
Past Future Split Attention, 1972

102,5 x 76,5 cm
black and white photograph on MDF

detail


Dan Graham
Piece, 1969

100,5 x 75,5 cm
black and white photograph on MDF

Graham – Ruppersberg


Dan Graham – Allen Ruppersberg

To Tell The Truth, 1973

For this exhibition Dan Graham has selected video and graphic works related to his performances from the 70s. In response to his proposal, Allen Ruppersberg shows a photo series from 1973, named To Tell The Truth.

In 1973, Allen Ruppersberg made many photographic works in which a series of images were set side-by-side in sequence, suggesting stories. These works often dramatize the differences between a reader’s or writer’s misrepresentation of events and the confusions that can occur between what we normally describe as reality and fiction.

In the photo series, To Tell the Truth (1973), Ruppersberg plays himself as a blindfolded man wearing a sleeping mask (significantly) and sitting at a table. In each new image, a different object appears before him on the table, and below the image a verbal narrative progresses—but the viewer comes to recognize that each object is being described incorrectly, as if some deadly slippage between the imagery and the text were developing further in each frame. When a bottle of ketchup appears on the table, for instance, the caption reads, “A pitcher of water”. A handgun appears along with the caption “A sawed-off shotgun”. When the man lifts his blindfold and raises the handgun to his head, the caption reads “An Argument”, and in the final frame, as the man kills himself, the caption reads, “A Murder”.