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Connections: Ray Johnson On-line

Portræt af den amerikanske kunstner Ray Johnson (1927-95), drivkraften bag den såkaldte ‘New York Correspondence School’, startet i de tidlige tressere. Ray Johnson var især kendt for sine talrige mail art projekter, der involverede kunstneriske strategier som netværker og samarbejde. Nøglebegreber inden for mail art var ‘ADD TO AND RETURN’ eller ‘SEND TO’, altså invitationer til modtagerne om at bidrage til hans værker. Ud over mail art lavede Ray Johnson collager, assemblager og performances gennem hele sit aktive liv. I fyrrerne gik han på Black Mountain College i North Carolina, i 1948 flyttede han til New York City, hvor han i starten af halvtredserne sluttede sig til ‘American Abstract Artists’ gruppen, og senere i samme årti havde han forbindelse med den første generation af popkunstnere. Hans død i januar 1995, efter at være sprunget ud fra en bro i Sag Harbor, Long Island, regnes for lidt af et mysterium.
Filmen er baseret på en personlig fortolkning af Ray Johnsons kunstneriske strategier og anvender telefon og internet som primære kilder for lyd og billede.

Telefoninterviews med: William Anastasi, Mark Bloch, Dot Capuano, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, John Giorno, Coco Gordon, Helen Harrison, Jon Hendricks, Les Levine, Katie Seiden, Lawrence Weiner og John Willenbecher.

English:

Portrait of the American artist Ray Johnson (1927-95), driving force behind the New York Correspondence School, started in the early 60s. Ray Johnson was mainly known for his numerous mail art projects, involving artistic strategies like networks and collaborations. Key terms in his mail art activities were ‘ADD TO AND RETURN’ or ‘SEND TO’, inviting recipients to contribute to his work. Besides mail art Ray Johnson was doing collages, assemblages and performances throughout his life. In the 40s he went to Black Mountain College in North Carolina, in 1948 he moved to New York City where he in the early 50s joined the American Abstract Artists group, and later in the same decade he was associated with the first generation of Pop Artists. His death in January 1995, jumping from a bridge in Sag Harbor, Long Island, was considered to be somewhat of a mystery.
The film is based on a personal interpretation of Ray Johnson’s artistic strategies, using the telephone and the internet as primary sources for sound and image.

Telephone statements by: William Anastasi, Mark S. Bloch, Dot Capuano, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, John Giorno, Coco Gordon, Helen Harrison, Jon Hendricks, Les Levine, Katie Seiden, Lawrence Weiner and John Willenbecher.

Lars Movin & Steen Møller Rasmussen
Danmark, 2001, 41 min.

Read transcript here