Dan Graham on Magazine Advertisements

by Art Fag City on August 24, 2009 · 0 comments Blurb

The following note on advertisements comes from The Whitney’s catalog produced in conjunction with conceptual artist Dan Graham’s current show at the museum.

The advertisement makes public — publicizes — a private need and, as a consequence, shifts categories of this relation. “INCOME (OUTFLOW)” through this alteration, effects the larger homeostatic balance of my life.

The advertisement functions as ‘exposure’.
There is a relation of a public figure’s private ‘piece’ to public exposure or the reverse (as in “likes” were the spectator exposes his private needs).

-1969 notes

This isn’t the clearest writing I’ve ever read, but the observations I actually understand strike me as very specific to their time. For example, I’m not convinced web advertising adheres to the making-public private-needs model.  While gmail might offer up advertisements for toe fungus treatment, it does so only when I sign into my account. Unlike a magazine, it keeps a private need private.

But then again, even pre-web needs don’t all meet the criteria of this model.  Was smoking a cigarette ever a private need?  Does advertising make it public? Does the spectator expose his private needs when looking at the ad?  My money says no.

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