Artist Gedi Sibony in his Brooklyn studio.
Photo: Martha Fleming-Ives, Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York

The 5-Minute Journal: Artist Gedi Sibony Opens His Diary for Galerie

Over the course of one week, Sibony will answer three questions each day and share them with Galerie readers

Gedi Sibony is known for creating graceful works from humble and oftentimes abject materials scavenged from his studio or the streets—whether they’re pieces of drywall, vertical blinds, or the rusted steel shell of a former White Castle, scrubbed of its corporate identity.

Here, Sibony shares his daily journal with Galerie at the behest of Aspen Art Museum CEO and director Heidi Zuckerman. In January, in celebration of the museum’s 40th anniversary this year, Zuckerman began a project where she shared her journal with our readers for one week. This month, she invites Sibony, a New York native, to share his journal with us.

Gedi Sibony, The Shivered, 2015 and The Spellblinder, 2018. Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein. Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York

Sibony’s work The Last One (2008) was featured in the group show, “Now You See It” at the Aspen Art Museum. Spotlighting the work of 19 international artists, the show challenged our assumptions in “interpreting the essence of an artwork’s materials” (per the text accompanying the show) and drew on unorthodox notions of transformation (such as magic and alchemy) in our understanding of the artistic process.

Installation view of Gedi Sibony’s The King and The Corpse, Greene Naftali, New York. Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein, Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York

The artist has had recent solo exhibitions at Greene Naftali (2018) and Gladstone Gallery (2017), and his work has been included in the Whitney Biennial (2006) and the Venice Biennale (2015). Sibony’s work can be found in the collections of the Carnegie Museum of Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, MOCA Los Angeles, MoMA, SFMoMA, Walker Art Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among many others.

For more background on Sibony, you can also read an excerpt of an interview he did with Zuckerman, which originally appeared in Conversations with Artists Vol. I (Aspen Art Press, October 2017), here. Enjoy!

DAY 3: Gedi Sibony’s 5-Minute Journal for Wednesday, April 10, 2019

What was the most surprising thing about your day?

My son and I went skateboarding in the park this afternoon. Parenting has given me a lot of lessons in patience, but today I was watching his control at high speed and learning how to go faster.

What made you feel loved today?

Tonight I opened up to this section of The Terror of Evidence, by Marcus Steinweg, a book given to me by my wise friend [theh curator] Yasmil Raymond, who I’ve known since she invited me to be part of  her show “abstract resistance” at the Walker [Art Center] in 2010. She brings artists together and takes care of our work; protects it. In a chapter called “Offended,” Steinweg writes, “To be sovereign is not to be immune to attack. You’re sovereign if you resist the temptation of sulking when you are actually hurt. This requires pulling back from the logic of narcissistic offense taking…resisting illusions and projections that minimize our compatibility with reality…”

What would you have done differently?

Figure out a way to succeed at getting my daughter to play her clarinet for ten minutes instead of getting charmed by her clever refusals.

A book project Sibony is finishing. Photo: Courtesy of Gedi Sibony

DAY 2: Gedi Sibony’s 5-Minute Journal for Tuesday, April 9, 2019

What was the most surprising thing about your day?

Today I had the pleasure of speaking with Katherine Atkins [Publications Associate at the Dia Art Foundation], who sent me her edited transcript of a Dia: Artist on Artist talk I gave on Bruce Nauman in 2010. I was surprised by how good her edits are, how they consolidate a jumble of ideas. And it was great to discuss the material with her.

What made you feel loved today?

I asked [artist] Jenny Monick to look at a book project I’m finishing. I was seeking her advice on a few final adjustments. She laid out all the pages on the floor, shuffled them around, reorganized the sequence, and it magically works better now.

What would you have done differently?

Spent more time outside. Life is blooming.

Gedi Sibony performing with choreographer Madeline Hollander. Photo: Courtesy of Gedi Sibony

DAY 1: Gedi Sibony’s 5-Minute Journal for Sunday, April 7, 2019

What was the most surprising thing about your day?

How hard it is to become accustomed to new physical positions, and how easy it is to find them again once you do.

What made you feel loved today?

I was thrilled to perform with Madeline Hollander and her dancers in a collaborative show she did with her cousin Polly Apfelbaum at Zack’s. The very talented dancers were welcoming and forgiving. And all I had to do was put my body through slow torture while holding mental focus: follow instructions, and merge into the shapes. A starfish moving like a snail. You can’t see it from the inside. There is no stopping it once it starts.

What would you have done differently?

Invited my mom.

 

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