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testsite 08.3: Cliff Hengst and Lawrence Rinder


C. Ruud, ...mbg editor at testsite

testsite 08.3 ~ The Window of Art, a
collaboration between Cliff Hengst and Lawrence Rinder, is terribly
boring. According to their press release, this show "draws inspiration
from (…)
the very first photograph
(c. 1826), a simple image of rooftops seen through the window of the
Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s home in Saint-Loup-de-Varennes,
France, and the archive of the English author Denton Welch
(1915-1948)." It’s all based on the idea of windows and the spaces
windows delineate, inside/outside public/private spaces. It’s a sound
concept, it’s a great idea for a show. However, in practice, Hengst 
just paints a couple of sentences gathered from Welch or song titles
with the word "window" found on his ipod on the walls. Then there’s an
underwhelming painting in the dining room of the view from Laurence
Miller’s (whose house testsite is located in) window and the promise of
a hidden artwork somewhere else in the house that we are not
allowed/able to see. It’s the selection of two or three sentences from
Welch’s diary and some turns of a click wheel, in essence.


testsite 08.3


The style of
writing the text is rendered in is not very visually stimulating. It’s
either black paint on white walls, or somewhat opalescent white on
opaque white walls. The lettering doesn’t vary except in color and
size. It’s tough to read the white text painted on white walls. And the
selections from Welch’s diary are really not interesting enough to
create an engaging show. The furniture in Miller’s living room far
overshadows the writing on the walls.



testsite 08.3 zine


one thing I did enjoy about the show, other than the air conditioning,
was a little zine that was published along with the show, in which
Hengst transcribed things he heard people say from his window in his
San Francisco apartment. The lettering is the same as that on the
walls, but in a compact little zine format and without the burden of
relevance imposed by association with "the archive of the English
author Denton Welch (1915-1948)," these little overheard snippets
rendered in blocky black writing are pretty enjoyable and make a great
little zine.


I’m not really sure where Lawrence Rinder fits in… 

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