The exhibitions Urgent Conversations: Athens–Antwerp and Urgent Conversations: Antwerp – Athens are a collaboration between EMST and M HKA, a theoretical and visual dialogue, based on works from the collections of both museums, which includes more than 70 works structured in 22 topics.   

28.04.2017 - 07.01.2018        

M HKA, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen - Leuvenstraat 32, 2000 Antwerpen

EMST, National Museum of Contemporary Art - Kallirrois Avenue & Amvr. Frantzi Str., Athens 11743

Spiritual Form

(c)image: M HKA
Letter to Flor Bex (The Giant), 1976-1976
Letter , 158 x 177 cm
Inkt op gouden papier

Letter-writing is an essential part of James Lee Byars’ work. It is an expression of the artist as a drifter and of the work of art as a fleeting occurrence. This golden giant too is portrayed in Byars’ mysterious handwriting, where the corners of each character are embellished with small stars. His letters comprise a whole arsenal of materials ranging from very exclusive types of Japanese and Chinese paper to ordinary sheets of hotel writing paper, tissues and toilet paper. The unusual shapes, such as we see in this very minimalist giant, sometimes assume gigantic proportions or, indeed, minutely small shapes so that we are confronted with a creativity that is visually stimulating and rich. The colour of The Giant has a striking intensity. Byars regards gold as the most abstract manifestation of the sublime. ‘Gold’, Byars once wrote, ‘has such a degree of abstraction that when you use it artistically you already find it is at a sublime level’. Furthermore, it is the reflection of the sun and of the ultimate light. Shortly after creating this work in 1976, Byars introduced this form into Antwerp on a colossal scale. A 245-metre colossus in black tulle, and since known as The Antwerp Giant, was rolled out on the Meir as part of his exhibition in the International Cultural Centre.

Transcriptie:

Great F

Within moments I become Germanys most serious philosopher with the positive prejudice of Kant Heg. and Hus the Un. of Essen loves my Bl Book The First Totally Interrogative Philosophy (It is a true Ghost Philosophy being only question) so perf for Germ to rage question as maximum reality (the Gho. Phi.) All of your knowledge is context with Que how benevolent wish me luck they will publish the new Black Book with perforated text for television performance of the one sentence (I already have an oral tutor for Plato) I speak Totally positive no one says german anymore. A new sub-Rosa exists an intellectual Flag or literary (it sho be the First Flag) after the [swastika] its only a small gold flag. It says fut out suppose to encourage international inventions such Energy of everybody fut [?] means everything How abo the simple presup. Everyth.s Poss: esp.C I Love the faster form. Don’t you. F Take everything out of our gorgeous red rooms on the last night of the show get 100 guests and the show is of is of a mass invention like the umbrella don’t you love me speaking in the future perfect past tense please just read this letter with your back to the audience or in each room but stand in front of a mirror. Please on 13 at 8 PM I’d like to be on the telephone Listening to the show 02 12 4*56478 Love B BB