Art for the Millions

Art for the Millions

de Appel, Brouwersgracht 196, Amsterdam
‘Those who were present on October 7th 1981 in De Appel were asked to pass along 1.2.3. ice cubes, an interactive and inter-subjective experience, having a concrete content. The collective body warmth defrosted hidden characters, without revealing the sentence. The same characters, projected on anonymous passers-by in the Central Station of Amsterdam, were visible in slides. The sentence had been projected for the first time as part of a Lecture without words during Works and Words at the end of 1979, after which it was buried under sand for an indefinite period of time in a show-case of the Central Station: W.A.I.T.I.N.G.O.N.T.H.E.E.D.G.E.O.F.N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Interpolated between the 25 characters appeared, at various moments, recorded images of a different key-sentence, metaphor of the eternal artist as an outsider, the individual rejected on itself: Narcissus Smiles His Eternal Smile. During the winter of 1980/81 this sentence was exposed to all types of weather conditions and diffused by rain, snow and ice. Against this personal background developed from November 1980 through June 1981, the project Art for the Millions as a praxis model.’ The participating artists were asked to develop new visual communication-strategies within the tension of mass and individual. Some of the artists made more or less conspicuous installations in a commercial showcase of the Central Station in Amsterdam. Others sent their work by mail to a group of ca. 100 people from the art world. From November 10, 1980 through June 15, 1981, the following projects were realized: 10-11 > 10-12-1980: Frank Gribling: Nothing to See 12-12-1980 > 08-01-1981: David Garcia & Annie Wright, Facade Records 10 > 25-01-1980: Raul Marroquin, Television Discount 25 > 30-01-1981: Frank Gribling, Wordless Worlds and Worldless Words are Perfect 07 > 20-02-1981: Harrie de Kroon, Even 20-02 > 05-03-1981: Erna Nijman, installation 07 > 13-03-1981: Frank Gribling, Disappearing People - Disappearing Images 14 > 26-03-1981: Ulises Carrión, Multiple Choice 28-03 > 10-04-1981: Albert van der Weide, Derived - Adjusted 10 > 24-04-1981: Reindeer Werk, Dunghill 24-04 > 17-05-1981: Frank Gribling, Journey to. . ., Narcissus Gazing, Separate Realities and Power Regained 18-05 > 01-06-1981: Michel Cardena, Bertrand Russell’s 109 Birthday Party. Start of a New Year 01 > 10-06-1981: Jan Hendrikse, Art by the Millions 10 > 15-06-1981: Frank Gribling, Narcissus Smiles his Eternal Smile 15-06-1981 > indefinite time span: Endre Tot, Ich freue mich wenn ich auf Plakate werben kann On October 7 1981, Frank Gribling gave a lecture on his project Art for the Millions. The participating artists were also present at De Appel to answer questions from the public. (De Appel, 1 (1981) 3/4, p. 44-50.)