Carl Andre – ‘Works of Art Don’t Mean Anything’ | TateShots

Carl Andre – ‘Works of Art Don’t Mean Anything’ | TateShots

When you really think about it, don’t we
start on the floor, when you’re an infant? And slowly we rise a little bit and finally
we can stand and then maybe we can walk but we start on the floor, so I just wound up
where I started. I work on location, you know, very much in the movie sense. I’m not a studio artist, I’m a location artist. I’ve said mostly just the world is my studio. I work where I’m going to have the show or the exhibition. When I first started I did make drawings and
things like that, but I found when I arrived at the place I was going to make the show,
at the gallery or whatever that I had to rip up my drawings anyway and start from the beginning. So I said, rather than trying to recreate what you had imagined in the studio I’d much rather go to the place and react or act with the materials and the location where it is. I have, over the years, minimised structure as much as possible in my work. I mean, the typical pieces made of squares of metal, very often they’re not joined together permanently,
they’re just laid out. I don’t think I’ve ever made a serious sculpture in which the parts were fixed together in any way. I always assure people, there are no ideas hidden under those plates, those are just metal plates. They’re sitting there on the floor minding their own business. They’re not thinking, they’re free of ideas and it’s just an experience. One Monday morning, the big headline on this tabloid newspaper was: what a load of rubbish. It was on the television and everything how outrageous this work was, you can’t make art
out of bricks. People saying, you can’t that’s terrible, it’s an outrage. Americans understand the way Europeans and English don’t bad publicity is as good as good publicity. It’s not whether it’s nice. I mean, if they say it’s nice and that’s all, it’s no good. If they go on for hours and hours saying how terrible it is, that’s good. I have a theory that when kids learn to read they start making art because something has to mean something. Works of art don’t mean anything, they are realities. What does reality mean? It’s there. Because our culture tends to turn everything into language we lose sight of the actual being of things. When I was a kid at school, you know how you have an art period, I loved doing art and when I told anybody, of course everybody loves doing art, that’s play, that’s play. Yes, it’s play, but it’s very important, serious play. We are surrounded by stimulus and we are always responding to it one way or another so I think my work is an expression of some of my earliest experiences as much art is.

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50 Replies to “Carl Andre – ‘Works of Art Don’t Mean Anything’ | TateShots”

  1. MURDERER! Hes only on this video now because u.s justice is misoginist!!!

  2. The most astonishing part of this artist is how he is able to live with himself. —>

  3. 'What a load of rubbish'- I empathize with the writer of that headline, though I would not have gone so far as to be completely dismissive of someone's work or idea. Andre's work does indeed look self-contained and solipsistic.

    And somehow, it doesn't sit well that in a world where architects and engineers, for instance, work hard and toil for hours, here's someone just laying out bricks and tiles on the floor, that too in a non-evocative manner.

    I don't have any tussles with conceptual art or minimalism, but believe that it needs to be evocative to qualify as 'art' in the first place. I love James Turrell's work for instance. It's evocative, and is a sensory experience that draws you in. With Andre, I see that things are just lying there. And if that's his ultimate message- then why should the viewer care at all? And why give him all that money when all he has to say is that things are just lying there?

  4. judging by what's shown here i am not surprised by that neckbeard. talk about bad taste, no style, and no skill. It's more like HIS art don't mean anything lol.

  5. The people says "where is Ana Mendietta", but they really think: I don't met you, don't care, but the rest of people think that you killing her, and she was a woman and you are a men, so you are a murder 100%

  6. Carl looks like one of those drawings of a face you could turn upside down and he would still look like a face. I want him to floor my kitchen.

  7. From an art perspective, I admire his work, just like I admire the work of other Minimalists, and I also find it very evocative, in contrary to many of the baseless comments that I had read over here – I kindly request you to get some proper art education before firing out a comment with ignorance. Everyone is entitled to say I like this and I dislike that, but you cannot strip art out of its reality. Everything falls under art. As for the Ana Mendieta 'murder', there are so many unanswered and inconclusive matters about the judge's verdict on the case. We still do not know what really happened, and perhaps Carl himself should reiterate the story, so the case could be revisited or reopened if possible. Can any gallery or museum out there try to give this issue more spotlight too, please?

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