Images of the Week: The LP as Art

Don’t be surprised if the Carolinian/Piedmont Amtrak train line starts sporting an uptick in old-school graffiti tags at the beginning of September.

That’s the route that connects New York City with Durham, North Carolina. Durham is home to Duke University, where on September 2 the Nasher Museum of Art will be hosting The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl; the show is scheduled to run through February 6, 2011. It collects work by 41 artists, from the contemporary videos of Robin Rhode to modern classics by such artists as Ed Ruscha and Jasper Johns. Bridging that gap will be work by people like Christian Marclay, who took vinyl as an occasional subject of visual interest and turned it into a full-fledged art-world natural resource.

The show will overlap for 24 tantalizing days with Christian Marclay: Festival, which has run since July 1 at the Whitney in Manhattan.

Here are four images from The Record’s promotional website, at, in descending order by Meredyth Sparks, Dave Muller, Su-Mei Tse, and Gregor Hildebrandt.

Hildebrant’s, in case it isn’t evident from the detail photographic, is a vinyl LP created using tape from a cassette.

Judging by the age of the participants, the vast majority were at least in their adolescence by the time the CD began to challenge the LP for music-distribution supremacy — which is to say, even recent work, like Muller’s, is by people for whom the record isn’t pure retro nostalgia. The exhibit itself may serve as something of a pop-culture post-mortem, but it’s essential to keep in mind when looking at, say, this still from Marclay’s “Ghost (I Don’t Live Today)” (1985), that the experimentation, the play, was occurring then the LP ruled the record-retail roost.

3 thoughts on “Images of the Week: The LP as Art

  1. If you post your impressions, lemme know. I’ve seen much of the exhibit’s work individually (Rhode in Boston, Muller in L.A. [that snapshot doesn’t do justice to the oversize dimensions of the series], Marclay various places, etc.), but probably less than half in all. Looking forward to checking out the associated book.

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