Latest in Dia's series of Artists' Projects for the Web launches March 30, 2004

Mar 19, 2004

New York, NY - Dia Art Foundation announces the launch of The New Five Foot Shelf, a project for the web by artist Allen Ruppersberg. The New Five Foot Shelf can be seen at www.diaart.org/ruppersberg beginning March 30th. An opening party for the project will be held on March 30, 2004, from 6 to 8 pm on the fifth floor at 535 West 22nd Street, New York City.

The New Five Foot Shelf, derived from an edition and installation Ruppersberg completed in 2001, offers the viewer fifty volumes of texts written and compiled by Ruppersberg over two decades of his artistic practice. Juxtaposed with the text are several hundred images that collectively and systematically represent the perimeter of the artist's New York City studio, which he occupied for fifteen years until 2001. An avid collector, Ruppersberg densely packed his studio with books, albums, posters, films, postcards, greeting cards, photographs, sheet music, and miscellaneous ephemera. The web project incorporates a select group of these materials.

The New Five Foot Shelf is based on Dr. Charles William Eliot's Five Foot Shelf of Books, a collection of readings-literature and poetry; biographies of major figures; texts on philosophy, religion, and folklore; and major historical writings through the twentieth century-that Eliot deemed equivalent to a Harvard education. The fifty volumes in this set, totaling 22,000 pages, were first published in 1910 and encompass the knowledge of ancient and modern literature that Eliot thought essential for a cultivated individual. In 2001, Ruppersberg created his own version of Eliot's collection titled The New Five Foot Shelf. Also comprising fifty volumes, Ruppersberg's sculpture appears identical, from the outside, to Eliot's set of books. The project also includes forty-four posters which, when fully assembled, reproduce Ruppersberg's studio on a one-to-one scale. Dia now presents a version of The New Five Foot Shelf based on his earlier sculptural work, but specifically devised for the web.

For the web project, Ruppersberg recreates the volumes of The New Five Foot Shelf and provides a virtual tour of his studio. The first of the fifty books offers a facsimile of the preface to Eliot's Five Foot Shelf, while the remaining books comprise an anthology of texts written and collected by Ruppersberg from previous artworks, pulled from objects in his large collection, and taken from various additional sources. Each virtual book has sixteen pages of text; the remaining pages are largely blank, periodically interrupted with obituaries culled from Ruppersberg's archives. The viewer is able to peruse the contents randomly or proceed in order, thereby creating a personal journey through Ruppersberg's practice.

Allen Ruppersberg
Allen Ruppersberg was born in 1944 in Ohio and currently lives and works in New York City and Los Angeles. Since his first solo exhibition in 1969 at Eugenia Butler Gallery in Los Angeles, Ruppersberg has had numerous individual exhibitions at venues including ArtPace, San Antonio (2000); FRAC Limousin, Limoges, France (1999); Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Grenoble, France (1996); the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City (1985); Fort Worth Museum of Art (1977); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1977); and Pasadena Art Museum (1971). In addition to exhibiting his work in numerous group shows, he has also completed several individual projects and long-term installations, such as Al's Café (1969) in Los Angeles and Al's Grand Hotel (1971) in Hollywood, California; Evening Time Reading Time, a public installation in the city of Utrecht, the Netherlands (1991); and Library Floor Installation (1994) at De Appel, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Ruppersberg is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is the author of several books.

Artists' Projects for the Web
Dia initiated a series of web-based works in early 1995, becoming one of the first arts organizations to foster the use of the world wide web as an artistic and conceptual medium. Dia's collection of web projects currently numbers twenty-two. Previous projects include Marijke van Warmerdam's And then the chimney smokes (2003); Glenn Ligon's Annotations (2003), Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied's Zombie and Mummy (2002), Jeanne Dunning's Tom Thumb: Notes Towards A Case History (2002), James Buckhouse and Holly Brubach's Tap (2002), Shimabuku's Moon Rabbit (2001), Feng Mengbo's Phantom Tales (2001), Stephen Vitiello's Tetrasomia (2000), Diller + Scofidio's Refresh (1998), and Komar and Melamid's The Most Wanted Paintings (1995). All may be visited at Dia's website, www.diaart.org.

Funding for this project has been provided by Fredericka Hunter and Ian Glennie, with additional support from the New York State Council on the Arts. Complimentary cocktails at the launch party courtesy of Bombay Sapphire.

Dia Art Foundation
Dia Art Foundation was founded in 1974. A nonprofit institution, Dia plays a vital role among visual arts organizations nationally and internationally by initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects, and by serving as a locus for interdisciplinary art and criticism. Dia presents its permanent collection at Dia:Beacon Riggio Galleries, in Beacon, New York; exhibitions and public programming at Dia:Chelsea, in New York City (currently closed for renovations); and long-term, site-specific projects in the western United States, in New York City, and on Long Island.

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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, press@diaart.org or 212 293 5518

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