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  • A conversation with Dan Graham

Slyce, John, 2019, Journal Article, A conversation with Dan Graham Ocula, 3 (3). pp. 42-51. ISSN 2537-7884

Abstract or Description:

The telephone has always struck me as an ideal medium in which to converse with Dan Graham—his timing and use of the rhythms of speech on the phone rarely fail to surprise and impress. When one interviews Dan, you really just need to keep out of his way—you wind him up, and off he goes. On the phone, even during an informal conversation, he has the uncanny knack of anticipating its end and is able to cut-out the prolonged farewell by interjecting, when somehow you least expect it: 'O.K. Bye!'

For more than 50 years Graham has shaped a practice that encompasses curation, writing, pavilion architecture, video, photography and performance in a trans-media mode. Graham was born in Urbana, Illinois in 1942, but only because his father went to university there (Dan grew up in New Jersey). He loves rock and roll and idolises Ray Davies, even naming his pavilion atop the Hayward Gallery, which overlooks the Thames in London, Waterloo Sunset (2002–03). Ray approved.

From 1964 to 1965 Graham was the director of the John Daniels Gallery in New York where he showed the work of then emerging artists: Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, Robert Smithson, Dan Flavin, and Carl Andre. His diagrammatic schemas, photo-text pieces and magazine inserts from the 1960s are among the signal works of conceptual art. During that period, his practice started to include critical writing on art, architecture, television culture and music and his performance pieces began to explore self-awareness, subjectivity, architecture and group behaviours. In the 1970s, his work started to incorporate mirrors and surveillance cameras as it addressed the social function of architecture and television in mediating between the public and private, or external and intersubjective realms. Since the 1980s, Dan has explored the freestanding pavilion and the power of two-way mirrors to extend this investigation.

Here we talk about his first solo survey in China Dan Graham – Greatest Hits (7 November 2017–25 February 2018), which is showing at Red Brick Art Museum in Beijing. The interview took place before the show opened.

Official URL: https://ocula.com/magazine/conversations/dan-graha...
Subjects: Architecture > K100 Architecture
Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2019 08:57
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2019 08:57
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3158

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