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"Over Ten Thousand Individual Works"Allan McCollum
Filmed in his Brooklyn studio, Allan McCollum reveals the process and logic behind the project Over Ten Thousand Individual Works (begun in 1982). Cast in plaster, hand-painted, and displayed in vast quantities, each Individual Work is a unique combination of shapes adapted from commercially-produced objects.More information and credits
Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Wesley Miller. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Tom Bergin. Editor: Lizzie Donahue & Joaquin Perez. Artwork Courtesy: Allan McCollum & Friedrich Petzel Gallery. Special Thanks: Celina Paiz, Marcie Paper & Adele Röder.
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Applying strategies of mass production to handmade objects, Allan McCollum’s labor-intensive practice questions the intrinsic value of the unique work of art. McCollum’s installations—fields of vast numbers of small-scale works, systematically arranged—are the product of many tiny gestures, built up over time. Viewing his work often produces a sublime effect—as one slowly realizes that the dizzying array of thousands of identical-looking shapes is, in fact, composed of subtly different, distinct things. Economical in form, yet curious in function, his work and mechanical-looking processes are infused with humor and humility.
What prompted Allan McCollum to become an artist? In this interview, conducted in 2009 at his New York City studio, McCollum reflects on his path and the many different influences along the way, from his famous uncle to post-war mass production to science fiction.