We Will Not Be Here Yesteday



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is so much of myself in the work, it’s impossible to quantify. I’ve always maintained that if the art is to have an integrity, then it demands my heart and soul. You might say that, in a literal sense, the work is me.
Jerome Dupin, interview with Matthew Greenberg,  Modern Art Review, October 1997, p.23.

 

Visitors are warned that much of the material contained in the exhibition is likely to cause offence, for which the management can take no responsibility.
Notice at entrance to installation:  Work in Regress, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Summer 1999.

 



Cave paintings ... are now generally and understandably seen as art, indeed in many of their examples as major art. Yet they are commonly sited in dark and inaccessible places, and we really do not know how often, if at all, they were generally seen within the period and culture in which they were made.
Raymond Williams, ‘Identifications’, in Culture, London, Fontana Press, 1981, pp.119-47.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The question everyone seems to have ignored yet which demands to be asked is, why do we take them seriously? The furore surrounding their latest ‘exhibition’ at Galleria D’Annunzio perfectly illustrates my point. Consider final frontier, two blurred photographs, one depicting a young girl and boy hand in hand on a shore, the other showing the same scene but without the kids; how is one supposed to react to it other than with indifference? Or what to make of  What we gave in return, a work consisting of six vials mounted on a plinth, each purporting to contain a different variety of human waste? If the purpose is to alert us to the moral degeneracy of the perpetrators of such crap, then they have succeeded. But if Dupin and Pandolf have some other intention in mind, if they are  - in their own words - “attempting to forge a new aesthetic”, then they have failed utterly. Shit remains shit, no matter how much you dress it up.
Ashley Axnard, ‘The Emperor Dresses Down’,  Salon.com, January 27, 1998.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first impression was one of scepticism. A circular panel about four feet in diameter in an otherwise featureless wall. There’s a button to the left of the panel, which when pressed, causes it to dilate like something out of a science fiction movie. The space inside is poorly lit and not particularly inviting, but curiosity overrides my anxiety and I climb inside. Crouching over, I grope along a dark passage for fifteen or twenty yards. Reaching an opening, I jump down into the first module. Here are four separate pieces, the connection between them not immediately apparent. On a white pedestal at the far side of the room stands a gramophone player with a 78rpm recording of Hank Williams’ ‘Long Gone Lonesome Blues’; to the right, between the third and fourth exits, laying on the floor is a handwritten version, in English, of Walter Benjamin’s essay ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’; directly opposite these unbound pages, there is some type of orchid - forgive my ignorance of botany - while in the centre of the room, on a small glass table, are what appear to be eight drops of blood. Approximately once every fifteen seconds, and for the duration of no more than two seconds, a message is projected onto the wall from which I’ve just emerged. It says ‘I don’t get it,’ which, at the very least, brings a smile to my face.
Karl Fraction, ‘No Way Out’ in  Zone-Ex iv, Fall, 1999, p.63.

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

Work in Regress occupies eight separate modules, interconnected by a series of tunnels. One can only view the work as it is intended to be seen by following the prescribed route. While curious patrons are free to deviate from this route, the artists are not liable for subsequent disorientation or loss of any description. The route is clearly marked and the modules numbered in sequence above each entrance. Please refrain from any discussion of the work until after you have emerged from its space. Force no doors. Ignore all unspecified instructions unless specified otherwise.
Artists’ ‘Instructions to the Scopophobe’, from Work in Regress, Exhibition Catalogue, Kirk Varnedoe and Laura Mulvey, MOMA Publications, 1999, p.3

 


I guess what I find most disconcerting about Vacant Lot is the lack of real substance. Somehow it dupes you into believing there’s more to it than there really is. You can spend hours trying to unravel the mystery it suggests but ultimately it’s a waste of time. There is no mystery, just sleight of hand. Call it magic if you want to, but it’s not art.
Nicholas Sporlender, writing on Time Stood Still, in Silver Web, Winter, 1995.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

MK: Much has been said about your working methods, with many critics questioning the - shall we call it ‘balance of power’? -within the partnership. Without wishing to further muddy the waters, can you tell me a little about the collaborative process in practice?
JD: ‘Balance of power’ suggests a relationship based on detente, which, I’m afraid, is inaccurate. Max and I are always at loggerheads. I think for any creative partnership to be successful, there must be a certain amount of friction between the parties involved. If we were to agree on everything then I’m sure that would manifest itself in the work.
MK: In what form?
JD: A certain lifelessness, which, unfortunately, appears to me to be the defining characteristic of most modern art. What does Hirst, for instance, give us but dead things?
MK: So you’re saying the partnership is based on equality and mutual respect?
JD: Of course. Take Vacant Lot - had it not been for Max’s skill in prefabrication, then the work would not have the form it has today.
MK: It wouldn’t exist?
JD: No. It would exist - of course it would exist - I created it after all. The point is that its material form would be different.
MK: Which would surely make it a different piece.
JD: I don’t understand why this is so hard to grasp. In the creation of any work of art, be it Vacant Lot or Guernica or  La Gioconda, the moment of creation precedes the act of construction. The creative act is the progenitor of the material realisation of the work. You see?
MK: Which implies a hierarchical relationship within the collaboration.
JD: Yes, of course.
MK: A fluid relationship?
JD: The truth is both Max and I understand our roles, the necessary dynamic, in the entity that is Dupin and Pandolf. Whatever income we derive from our work, is divided equally and that’s as it should be. Of course Max has been known to have the odd grumble about our financial arrangements but bear in mind his finely developed sense of irony.
MK: Irony?
JD: Max likes to have his sport with impressionable art critics.
Jerome Dupin interviewed by Melanie Krauss for Art & Design, no.13, April 1993, pp.57-58

 


Visitors with a history of coronary illness are advised that they enter module 3 at their own risk.
Warning, in Work in Regress, Exhibition Catalogue, p.40.

 


“Who can say if it’s real? I mean, that’s not really the point. What matters is the effect it has on you. Speaking for myself, when my gaze moved from the print to the cast, from the video clip to the object itself, the cumulative effect, well, it just fucking blew me away.”
Maurizio Cattelan, on module 2 of Work in Regress in The Secret Life of Dupin and Pandolf, documentary for Channel 4 Television, UK, Tony Kaye, producer, broadcast February 29, 2002.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

The image of a lone foot suggests not motion, but caution, the taking of a single step. The gaze moves slowly around the room pausing in turn at each of the other three items that make up the installation. All are feet. More significantly, all four are representations of the same foot. Its shape and size suggest a male, though the evidence of a pedicure questions this assumption. Certainly, it is not the foot of a Pollock raging across a horizontal canvas to disappear forever into the oblivion of White Light, nor the narcissistic despair of Picasso stepping over the threshold of his own  Le Charnier. This foot is the antithesis of abandon. Occupying this space, it is at repose. Consider the monochrome image, a foot resting on some solid but indefinable surface, severed from its limb three or four inches above the ankle by the frame’s edge. On the floor in the centre of the room, a life-size cast of the same foot, next to it a sock and a Nike sports shoe. Curiously, they belong to a right foot while this, like the others, represents a left. On the opposite wall, a film shows the lone foot in motion. What the foot is connected to we cannot see. Taken out of context, its motion seems inexplicable. Do these contortions represent the act of walking? Jumping? Maybe kicking. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, one concludes that the foot moves of its own volition. Thus the sense of relief, of calm, evoked by the last item in module 2. Suspended eerily in formaldehyde, softly glowing in the muted light, the foot is somehow detached from the memory of material existence.
Kirk Varnedoe,  Work in Regress, Exhibition Catalogue, p.66.

 


“Damien Hirst always admired their work. Look at the whole bisected animal thing - what was it other than an elaboration on what they’d been doing for years. He admitted as much to me and you can see it in the way his Contemplation of the navel from the male perspective seems to echo the mysterious internalisation of their We Will Not Be Here Yesterday. If you see the two works displayed alongside each other, as they were in the Ripe exhibition in Paris, you’ll notice how they seem to engage in a secret dialogue. Having said that, Dupin was never slow to dismiss Hirst as little more than a charlatan.”
Pierre Ozenfant, in conversation with Melvyn Bragg for an unbroadcast documentary on Dupin and Pandolf, March 2000.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[This art] offers only a way down, to where the dislocation of forms drags thought down with it.
Georges Bataille, ‘Le “Jeu lugubre”’, in Documents, no.7, 1929, p.86.

 


“Jesus ... fucking ... wept.”
Unidentified voice, played back on a continuous loop, forming part of the Less is less installation in module 6, Work in Regress.

 


I knew Max Pandolf back in the Village. He’d been in the city a couple of weeks after graduating from some Buttfucksville college somewhere out west. A quiet kid, never had much to say for himself. Good with his hands though.
Jayne County, interviewed in The Secret Life of Dupin and Pandolf.

 


Why do you think we employ a firm of accountants, if not to keep the IRS off our backs? I’ve spoken to James and he assures me there is no problem. I really do wish you’d talk to me, Max, before jumping to conclusions and making all sorts of wild accusations. Nobody has been inquiring about your finances, the IRS have made no demands. I suggest you stop trying to second guess James. Instead, I think you should call him and apologise, let him know that you have complete faith in his ability to handle our affairs.
   As for the other business, I’m almost certain that I didn’t say what Hitchens wrote but he’ll never admit to having distorted anything. Writers like Hitchens assume they have some sort of ‘no bullshit’ reputation to protect. I would contact Vanity Fair and ask Graydon to print an apology but I think that would only make the situation worse. Better to ignore the whole thing and let the work speak for itself, as we have always done.

Excerpt from handwritten letter from Jerome Dupin to Max Pandolf, date unknown.

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re asking whether or not subsequent events influenced the impact it had beyond the art world and its institutions, then the answer is yes. Name me one other piece of visual art in the last fifty years that had a comparable effect. Warhol never came close and people like Koons or Emin with her shitty bed never had any fucking thing real to say. Picasso maybe, but he was long dead. What people forget is that an awareness of the work had permeated the wider community long before the discovery of Pandolf’s note in module 8. Fraction, in  Zone-Ex, was merely articulating what many of us felt when we experienced it for the first time. For years artists had been saying their work was about getting beyond something, whether that was consciousness, materiality, politics, religion or sex. What they missed, what Work in Regress showed is that once you’ve stripped away all the shit, what you’re left with is nothing. There is no beyond beyond.
X’ spokesperson for the Con-Art Collective, San Francisco, quoted in ‘O Gainsayer, where art thou now?’, Charles Shaar Murray, in Face, February 2002.

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Oh please, not the eyes.”
“It is necessary.”
“Something else, I’m begging you.”
“What else?”
“I -”
Unidentified voices, played back at one minute intervals, as part of the Eye No installation in module 7,  Work in Regress.

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The interior space is modelled on the late 16th century anatomy theatre in Padua, Italy, which - if you’ll excuse the pun - was at the cutting edge of surgery back then. Projected onto the domed ceiling are the images of figures in contemporary costume, jostling with each other to get a view of what’s happening down here. It comes as a shock to realise that they have usurped our scopophilic role and positioned us as the viewed object. This disorienting effect is amplified when your eyes take in the four paintings that hang from the walls. From left of the chamber’s entrance and moving clockwise, are  The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Sebastiaen Egbertsz by Aert Pietersz, Rembrandt’s  The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Deijman, Cornelis Troost’s  The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Röell  and finally, François Sallé’s  The Anatomy Lesson at the École des Beaux-Arts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spread over an operating table in the centre of the chamber, their pages splayed and held open by a sternal retractor, are a variety of books and journals whose subject - after careful scrutiny - appears to be the works of Dupin and Pandolf. Transparent tubes run from the books to a stainless steel cylinder and back again. Laying face up between the jaws of the spreader are the useless paddles of a defibrillator. The implication is clear and it’s as uncomfortable for us as it must be for the artists. It forces us to question our own judgement, to re-examine our preconceived ideas about art.
      I stared at my fellow viewers and recognised the unease etched in their faces. We filed sheepishly into the next tunnel, wondering if it was possible that the wool had been pulled over our eyes?
Karl Fraction, Zone-Ex, Fall, 1999, p.70.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Dupin told me that What we gave in return operates on two levels, the first of which subverts the audience’s expectations about meaning, while the second is directed to the work’s originators. I suspect he was being disingenuous because clearly the implication is that Pandolf’s contribution to the piece is peripheral, perhaps limited to the contents of the vials themselves. Which begs the question, does he know Dupin is taking the piss? And if Pandolf missed the slight, small wonder that Ashley Axnard - as usual - misread the intentions of the piece.
Christopher Hitchens, in Vanity Fair, February 1998.

 


“Sir, can I ask you about module three?”
“No ______ way.”
“Why not?”
“You been in there?”
“I haven’t had the opportunity yet.”
“Yeah well, take my advice and stay the ___ out.”
Reporter turns to young woman:
“What about you, miss - can you tell us what you saw in there?”
“No.”
“You don’t want to say?”
“I can’t.”
“Perhaps if you could just -”
Woman covers camera lens with left hand; voice heard offscreen:
“Just ___ off and leave us alone.”
Edited transcript from news footage filmed outside Museum of Modern Art, broadcast on CNN, July 4, 1999.

 


The content of dreams, however, does not consist entirely of situations, but also includes disconnected fragments of visual images, speeches and even bits of unmodified thoughts
                                                                          [ ... ]
Not even the speeches that occur in the dream-content are original compositions; they turn out to be a hotchpotch of speeches made, heard or read, which have been revived in the dream-thoughts and whose wording is exactly reproduced, while their origin is entirely disregarded and their meaning is violently changed.
Sigmund Freud, from ‘On Dreams’, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, J. Strachey (ed.), London, 1953-74.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Germaine Greer: I’ve never heard such bullshit. I mean, we’ve been here so many times before I’m amazed we’re even talking about this. What it does tell us is that the art establishment haven’t yet cottoned on to the reality that Dupin and Pandolf were one trick ponies.
Mark Lawson: But surely the fact that we’re discussing it says something about the way it’s imposed itself on our consciousness?
GG: Oh come off it - we’re talking about it because the BBC have asked us to.
ML: A rather cynical view there from Germaine Greer. Tom Paulin, surely there’s more to it than that. Now that Work in Regress has finally come to London, what do you think it says to us?
Tom Paulin: Nothing - its says absolutely nothing.
The Late Review, presented by Mark Lawson, with guests Germaine Greer and Tom Paulin, broadcast on BBC Television, January 18, 2002.

 


If less really is less, as the aesthetics of sound and silence, light and shadow in module 6 suggests, then how does one approach the mystery of module 7,  Eye No? The artists offer no clues to interpretation. One is set adrift, abandoned on an ocean of doubt.
Laura Mulvey,  Work in Regress, Exhibition Catalogue, p.125.

“I’m saying hunger is desire and if art is anything, then it’s a manifestation of desire, right? So yeah, it’s obvious I’d be interested in what they did. I knew these guys in the early days. They useta hang out at my place and when I started working at Vincente’s they ate there all the time. They knew food - very discriminating palates. Later on, when I opened my first restaurant in SoHo, I let ‘em stage their first exhibition there. It was fucking wild, lemme tell you. I think somebody hadda call the cops ‘cos things were getting way out of hand. But that was Dupin for you, he had this unique take on life, useta to say to me, ‘Vicki, life is for exploiting.’ We had some times.
      "So I went to the show and like anyone who understood what they were about, I expected to be surprised. Tony Bourdain had told me they’d called the fifth module Insatiate, and he’d warned me not to eat before I went in there. If it’s Bourdain telling you that, you heed what he says. So I get through the first four and it’s pretty fucking out there, as you’d expect. I mean, I’d seen alot of their work, but this Work in Regress, well, in module 3, that’s the first time I ever saw a guy puke at an art show. And he wasn’t the only one. The stench was awful. After that, for me number four was a breeze. But by the time I got to  Insatiate - and that was a horrible journey - I just wanted to sit quietly for a coupla moments and collect my thoughts. No fucking hope of that.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

        “It hits you as soon as you enter the room - the noise. I’ve worked in restaurants all my life and I’ve learned that no two people eat the same way. You watch and you pick up on the different nuances, the way one woman will pause with her fork about an inch or two from her mouth, then bring her head forward like a bird. Another broad will bring it all the way to her lips and then hold it there, carrying on yakking till finally she returns it to the plate. You see guys who shovel it down and fellas who’ll pick and prod. You can always tell a guy who’s been in the joint by the way he eats - he’ll have an arm curled around his plate like he’s afraid some fuck is gonna try stealing a mouthful of that slop. So, I know about watching people eat, but here’s the thing - how many of us ever actually listen to the sound of eating? That’s what grabs you when you enter module 5. The noise just slams into you like a wall of sound. Grinding, crunching, slurping and gulping noises, people belching, farting, slobbering, sucking and I don’t know what else. And with this cacophony of consumption going on, you’re not aware, at first, of the screams. It builds up slowly, until you ask yourself, what is that? Initially, I thought it was a pig, like, squealing, but as it grew, I knew it was human. Not the kind of sissy pants shit you hear in horror movies. This was real, coming from somewhere deep down, full-throated and I’ll tell you, whatever was causing it, I didn’t want to know about.

 

 

 

 

     “And the sculpture? Well, we’ve all heard the jokes but at the time, there was a lot of people didn’t know what they were looking at. I did. Food is my business and digestion is part of that, so I had some inside knowledge. It’s modelled in some kind of plastic, which was a material Pandolf liked to use, and the fucking thing glowed. Green, like those straps kids wear round their necks at Halloween. It was suspended from the ceiling, this fat, wormy tube rising vertically before turning at right angles and across for maybe eight inches, then that kink where it would be tucked up behind the stomach. From there it drops vertically, then slants inwards and down to those last couple kinks. You had to imagine what would be around it, the organs, the intestines, skin and bone, but once you figured out what it was, all you could think of was what was inside it. And what do you find in a colon except shit? Which I guess was the point, right?
Victor D’Annunzio, speaking to Julian Schnabel, in The Legacy of Dupin and Pandolf, Discovery Arts Channel, March 2002.

 


In contemporary modern painting, the object must become the leading character and dethrone the subject. Then, in turn, if the person, the face, and the human body become objects, the modern artist will be offered considerable freedom.
Fernand Léger, ‘The Human Body Considered as an Object,’ in Functions of Painting, New York, 1973, p.132

 


He’s a tall, imposing man with dark, lustrous hair and intense, blue eyes. There’s something almost intimidating about him which, perhaps unconsciously, makes you a little wary. But after spending the best part of ten hours in the company of Jerome Dupin, a very different picture begins to emerge, that of a man whose charm and self-deprecation are at odds with the guarded, even curt figure he presents in public. Take the question of his relationship with Pandolf, a subject I was initially - given the rumours of a growing rift - hesitant to broach. After spending the morning together, we lunched at  Odelay’s on Broadway and I guess he could tell that I had something on my mind.
     “You haven’t mentioned Max at all, my dear,” he said, apropos nothing.
     My face must have been a picture. I gulped my Shiraz and tried to pretend that it was an oversight.
     “Don’t be afraid to ask the right questions.”
     If Dupin was telling me to go ahead and ask, who was I to ignore him? So I gave it to him straight. “Is there a rift between you and Max Pandolf?”
     “No.” He smiled, his voice was calm. “Sure we have disagreements, but you have to expect them in any kind of professional partnership.”
     “What about the reports suggesting that Pandolf is refusing to work with you in future?”
     “I’ve seen those, yes. Curious how they’re never sourced. The truth is Max is tired, he needs a vacation. You know, neither of us has taken a break in ten years. He’ll come back fitter and stronger, ready for the fray”
     “So you will work together again?”
     “Put money on it. I’ve already started planning the next work. On his return, Max will take my concept and give it form.”
     “Can you tell me about it.”
     “As a rule, I don’t speak about works in progress, but in your case I’ll make an exception. Here’s a clue - it will be a new direction.”
     Which, given that each of their previous works seemed to chart new territory, doesn’t exactly constitute a clue. 

      "What’s Pandolf’s view of your concept?”
     Dupin gazed at the wine glass he twirled in his hand. “He doesn’t know yet what it is. That’s how things work with us. Max is, if you like, an anti-conceptualist, and it’s the tension between us, between the abstract and the concrete, that injects life into the work.”
Leah Venora, ‘Talking Truth - A conversation with Dupin,’ in Rolling Stone, March 1999.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A question: why Dupin and Pandolf? Why never Pandolf and Dupin? This alphabetical hierarchy of paired relationships is simply another male construct we should reject. Look at it from a phonetical point of view. There’s a phonemic concordance which is ruptured if the relevant syllables are in too close a proximity. That double ‘pan’ in Dupin and Pandolf, the ear tells us it isn’t right. There’s an insidious merging, a slide towards ‘DooPanDolf’ which negates the separate identities, subsuming them into one entity, the being Doopandolf. And of course, given their personalities, what we know of them at least, the mask that Doopandolf inevitably assumes, is Dupin’s, the male over-achiever. I don’t want to get into that argument right now, but phonetically, there’s no doubt it should be Pandolf and Dupin, where the first syllable is echoed in the last. What you have then is a totality that makes both linguistic and emotional sense. The ear tells us it’s right and the final ‘pan’ sound gives us closure.
Camille Paglia, ‘Da Doo Pan Pan,’  Salon.com, April 4, 1999.

 


In the muted light, bizarre shadows twist and turn on the wall. A grating sound is heard but it soon settles into a labored rhythm. The camera pans slowly to the right and a previously unseen shadow looms into view. It suggests a figure standing over a surface on which something animate is laying. What might be an arm moves back and forth with a rhythmic noise. There is a gasp and the arm stops moving. A voice whispers ‘Ssshhh’. The movement of the arm recommences and a minute later there is a thud as something hits the floor. There is a whimpering noise, continuing for eight seconds. The figure moves along the table and again there’s a sharp intake of breath, followed by that grating noise and then the familiar, rhythmic sawing sound. The camera pans down towards the floor. It glides beneath a table, moving slowly, an image forming on the edge of the screen. Some dark liquid pooling, the sound of fresh drops falling from above. The image shifts, moves through a square of light, speeding up as it circles the room. There, seen once and only very briefly, on the floor beneath the table, a pale object, shaped like a foot.
Anonymous description of third film sequence forming part of the Eye No installation in module 7, Work in Regress.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s impossible to talk about my reaction to the eighth module - I mean, after what I’d been put through to get there, after all those whisperings, those cries of suffering and torment in the sixth module and those appalling images in the seventh, Jesus Christ, who knows what I was expecting. You cannot arrive at that place without having formulated some idea about what awaits you, but expectations can sometimes be horribly ruptured. What should be borne in mind is the utter conviction you feel as you crawl into that cell. You’re one hundred per cent sure you know what’s there and seeing the cabinet in front of you only strengthens that certainty. This will be something totally unique, absolutely something you’ve never seen before but which you will, nonetheless, recognise the instant you set eyes on it. As I approach the cabinet I feel a sense of dread and fascination akin to that which must have been felt by the first visitors to the home of Dr Frederick Ruysch more than 300 years ago. The front face of this ‘cabinet of curiosities’ is shaped in the style of a proscenium arch, with two velvet curtains hanging over the interior space. My hands shake as I grip the curtains and in an effort to subvert the air of disquiet I force a laugh. It feels like I’m scraping sandpaper inside my throat. I steady myself, take a deep breath and pull the door open. What I see in there explodes any and every expectation I have brought along. For the first time ever in my life, staring into that cold emptiness, I see how alone each of us truly is.
Karl Fraction,  Zone-Ex, Fall, 1999, p.92.

 


Max Pandolf, accomplice to the artist Jerome Dupin, died last night of natural causes at his home on Nantucket. A spokesperson confirmed that Pandolf, who had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, had been deeply shocked at Dupin’s disappearance a year ago. To date, no trace of Dupin has been found.
Reuters News agency, May 16, 2000.

 


“It always bothered me that they only gave titles to three out of the eight installations. I mean Dupin was great with names - he had an instinct for the precise word or phrase to go with a particular image. You see it not just in Work in Regress but in all their previous works as well. The fact that he didn’t name the first four modules, nor the eighth is significant. It tells us something. I don’t know what it tells us, but knowing Dupin, it wasn’t, as some have suggested, an oversight. I often find myself trying to second guess him, putting names to those pieces, perhaps The Anatomy Theatre and Footloose. They sound right at first, until you start to think about them and then, somehow, they just don’t fit.”
Pierre Ozenfant, in conversation with Melvyn Bragg, March 2000.

 


Anybody who doubts the importance of Work in Regress should really examine their own motives. In less than two years it has achieved the kind of iconic status we reserve for such epochal works as Giotto’s The Mourning of Christ, Michelangelo’s David, Manet’s Olympia, or Picasso’s  Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Art can never again be simply an act of seeing. In truth it never was. It involves an interplay of all our perceptional capabilities - it’s not enough just to look or listen, we have to experience the totality of a work. What Dupin has shown us with his final masterpiece is that art is inextricably bound up with living and dying, that it is, in reality, life and death.
     And let me emphasize that I do mean what Dupin - rather than Dupin and Pandolf - has shown us. The latter was clearly an important part of the organic chemistry but let’s be brutally honest here, as Dupin himself never had the heart to be. Anyone who talked to them, who watched them at work or who took the time to study the works closely, will know that for all his undoubted craftsmanship, Max Pandolf had neither the wit nor imagination to originate a work such as  Work in Regress.
Matthew Greenberg,  Modern Art Review, June 2001, p.40.

 


- orrow it ends but I will not be erased. I conceived the whole thing, it is through my effort alone that the work has been completed. In doing so I have granted the liar’s wish. I have unmade Jerome, transformed him from one state to another, into something that will last. It doesn’t matter that he’s there in his entirety, that he is, essentially, the work. It doesn’t matter that I am to die, that I will be dead by the time you read this, for when word gets out, the world will recognise that in this achievement, as in all else, I was hi -
Recently discovered text in module 8 of Work in Regress for the exhibition’s UK opening at Tate Modern, London, January 15, 2002. The text forms part of a faded collage on the rear wall of the cabinet’s interior, and is alleged to be a fragment of Max Pandolf’s suicide note.

  'We Will Not Be Here Yesterday' was originally published online at Gothic.net in February 2004, and was reprinted in my first collection, Unbecoming, Elastic Press, 2006.

Here follows a Glossary of names, journals and broadcasters mentioned in the story:

People
Matthew Greenberg is an amalgamation of two influential art critics, Matthew Kangas and Clement Greenberg.
Raymond Williams was a writer on culture, society and politics, hugely influential on art and literary theory and criticism.
Ashley Axnard is an invented person, an art critic.
Karl Fraction is an invented writer.
Kirk Varnedoe is an art historian and former curator at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Laura Mulvey is a British feminist film and art theorist.
Nicholas Sporlender is a pseudonym used by American Fantasy writer Jeff Vandermeer, known for the movie version of his novel Annihilation.
Melanie Krauss is an invented character, based on a various art journalists.
Maurizio Cattelan is an Italian artist specialising in absurd, satirical installations.
Tony Kaye is a British film and video maker best known for his movie American History X.
Damien Hirst is a contemporary British conceptual artist.
Pierre Ozenfant is a composite artist, based on Amadee Ozenfant and Le Corbusier
Melvyn Bragg is a UK writer, documentary writer and producer, best known for the arts programme, The South Bank Show.
George Bataille was a French philosopher and writer, hugely influential on the development of surrealism and post-structuralist theory.
Jayne County is a transsexual punk rock musician and performer.
Graydon Carter was editor of Vanity Fair from 1992 - 2017.
Andy Warhol was an American Pop Artist.
Jeff Koons is an American conceptual artist.
Tracey Emin is a British conceptual artist.
X and the Con-Art Collective are my own inventions.
Charles Shaar Murray is a UK writer on music, film and popular Culture.
Christopher Hitchens was a British journalist and writer on politics, culture, philosophy and art.
Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist, generally seen as the founder of modern psychoanalysis.
Germaine Greer wrote The Female Eunuch and is an Australian feminist writer and broadcaster.
Mark Lawson is a UK writer, broadcaster and journalist, former presenter of the BBC2 arts programme, The Late Review.
Tom Paulin is a Northern Irish poet and arts writer.
Anthony Bourdain was an American Chef and writer on food and culture.
Victor D’Annunzio is an invented chef and food writer.
Julian Schnabel is an American painter and film maker.
Fernand Léger was  French sculptor and artist, associated with Cubism.
Leah Venora, invented arts journalist.
Camille Paglia, American feminist and arts critic.
Dr Frederik Rusch was a Dutch anatomist, known for creating a museum of anatomy.
Picasso, Michaelangelo and Manet were revolutionary artists in their respective fields.
X is X


Journals, books, broadcasters
Modern Art Review is an imaginary journal based on the journals Modern Painters and Art Review.
Art & Design is also a figment of the author’s imagination.
Silver Web is a former surreal fantasy fiction magazine edited by Ann Kennedy & Jeff Vandermeer.
Documents is an invented journal.
The Face was a UK music and fashion magazine.
Zone-Ex is a made up art journal.
The BBC is a UK television broadcaster.
Channel 4 is a UK television broadcaster
Vanity Fair is an international culture and fashion journal.
CNN is an American Cable news network.
Discovery is an American Television channel specialising in arts, history and nature documentaries.
Functions of Painting was a book on art by Fernand Leger.
'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,' is an essay on Modernism by Walter Benjamin.
Rolling Stone, American rock music and arts magazine.
salon.com - online arts and news journal.
Reuters is an International news agency.

All works of art referred to are real works apart from those created by Pandolf and Dupin, who are of course, creatures of my imagination.

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