'The Last Gazette' – Issue #2 (Read it on ISSUU) Table of contents: Cover: ‘Sorry for the Metaphor’. Special cover by Amalia Pica (and page 3) Editorial: ‘34 People Like This’ by Latitudes Focus: ‘A system is not imagined, it is real’, Julienne Lorz on TLN artist Hans Haacke’s News (1969/2008) Dirt Sheet: Janine Armin on the newspaper-as-catalogue Picture Agent: Ilana Halperin The Next Newspaper: Clay Shirky Photo essay: ‘Picture Mining’ by Ines Schaber Obituary: ‘Sorry we’re dead’, Andrew Losowsky on TLN artist Adam McEwen’s Untitled (Caster) (2010) Fit to Print: Adam Chadwick on hyperlocal citizen journalism 100 Years Ago…: Daily Public Ledger In Brief: ‘Sac Bee Cuts’ Media Habits: Luis Camnitzer Infographic: ‘U.S. Gazettes: Average Circulation’ by Irina Chernyakova Cartoon: ‘The Woods: Money’ by Francesc Ruiz Advertising: Ester Partegàs
Hans Haacke, News (1969/2008), RSS newsfeed, paper and printer, dimensions variable. Image courtesy Gothamist, Photo by Katie Sokolor.Detail of 'News'. Photo: Latitudes
Detail of 'News'. Photo: Latitudes
'A system is not imagined, it is real'
Julienne Lorz – Curator, Haus der Kunst, Munich – on Hans Haacke's News (1969/2008), one of the featured artworks presented in The Last Newspaper.
“Concorde breaks sound barrier” – “GDR celebrates 20th anniversary” – “Anti-Apartheid Protesters disrupt Frankfurt book fair”. Such headlines and their corresponding stories could be read by visitors to the exhibition Prospect '69 at the Düsseldorf Kunsthalle in 1969. There, Hans Haacke had installed his work News (1969) consisting of a telex machine that printed out all current news items transmitted by the German news agency DPA. Initially Haacke collated these printouts, as well as those from his solo show at the Howard Wise Gallery in New York, where the work was shown a couple of months later, preserving and dating them in see-through plastic boxes. For the legendary exhibition Software. Information Technology: Its New Meaning (1970) at the Jewish Museum in New York, however, he dismissed this idea so as to avoid turning these paper messages into valued objects. Instead, the telex machines printed out reams of paper which curled in ever growing heaps onto the floor and after the show the once up-to-date information was discarded. The headlines during the Software... show recorded events which took place between 16th September and 8th November 1970, such as “Civil war breaks out in Jordan” – “Rock legend Hendrix dies after party” – “Soviet probe collects moon rock”, which had become yesterday’s disposable news.
Haacke has continued to update the technology used in News. Today it is a dot matrix printer linked up to a RSS newsfeed. But in an age where computers are ubiquitous and in spite of the – so far – non-existent paperless office, the impression of news being received and printed out is somewhat outmoded. Yet, the changing formal and technological aspects of News are not the main aspects of the work. Rather, it is the concept of dissolving the boundaries between two worlds: the exhibition within the context of a gallery or museum and everyday life existing outside of this sphere. News items in all their brutal reality and without the extra filter of a newspaper, TV or radio editor, perpetrate this hermetic space, where the noise of traffic and city life is rarely heard and where windowless white cubes supposedly create complete neutrality.
For Haacke the exterior elements influencing an artwork or a space are crucial, as he stated in Lucy Lippard's publication Six Years: The dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972: “A ‘sculpture’ that physically reacts to its environment is no longer to be regarded as an object. The range of outside factors affecting it, as well as its own radius of action, reaches beyond the space it materially occupies. It thus merges with the environment in a relationship that is better understood as a ‘system’ of interdependent processes. These processes evolve without the viewer’s empathy. He becomes a witness. A system is not imagined, it is real.”
Bringing the two domains together through News was particularly apposite when Haacke first began exhibiting the work: the Vietnam War was still raging, the aftermath of the tumultuous events in 1968 were still being felt and the Red Army Faction in Germany was just starting its reign of terror. But News is, of course, always current whenever it is being exhibited, while simultaneously affecting the past, as Haacke put it in a conversation with Kathleen MacQueen: “New information constantly overlays the old and influences how we understand what we heard and read the previous day”.