“Extreme” Shopping to Designs for Living, A-Z

Perhaps the theory that says nothing is wasted is correct, especially if (like me) you’ve never been able quite to get behind that astonishing notion that time marches “on,” meaning forward, meaning the supposedly or inadvertently inevitable progression from birth through (optional) breeding through (optional) hot flashes through renewed vitality via sweating/endorphins; through (“including but not limited to”) loss of loved one(s), facial lines; adoption of new habits, shoes, truant animals; downsizing; up-trading; re-thinking, surviving (maybe); traveling imaginatively or physically; getting out to go back in. In short, deciding one’s “footprint” on the planet as the sphinx’s riddle ineluctably plays out, is increasingly a matter of using your imagination fully. Making imagination material. And no, I am not stoned.

This all brings me to Andrea Zittel.

I’ve been spending a certain amount of time noodling around the Web, which, after all, seems to be what I do. And my trajectory lately oriented me from eBay (to see if I got a good deal on the objects show on my Victor Jaimez bracelet; I did, thank you), to some of what Neiman Marcus’s chief fashion buyer considers “extreme”  fashion this season (see below), to zittel. It’s purposeful play.

A circular mapmaker might say I wound up back where I started, slack-jawed as when I first encountered (in the flesh) work by Andrea Zittel at the Museum of Modern Art, in the “Sense and Sensibility” (1994) women minimalists of the ‘90s show that included Polly Apfelbaum and others whose names at the instant escape me.

Andrea Zittel is one of my favorite designers (artists) in much the way, say, an Airstream is one of my favorite objects. It makes me smile every time I see an Airstream rolling along the highway. And when I do, which lately is often, I think to revisit, ‘hey, what is Andrea Zittel up to now?”

For while she’s not had many solo shows in the US lately (not since 09 to be exact, at Andrea Rosen), the little groundhog in the southern desert of California keeps trucking through the long summers to propose a shadow way longer than most humankind at noon. No Dodge truck anywhere close.

What – thanks to her initials – is called the A-Z plan for living is now centered on the A-Z western branch, on the boundaries of Joshua Tree National Park (California) where, yes, I once actually went with my friend Saralynne Lowrey on a roadtrip. AZ-West (home to Andrea Zittel) is all about modular-ideas/ideals that begin in something that can be replicated, customized, and added onto – and extend through clothing, structures, furniture, endeavors, as well as “performance and video.”

It appears that this summer Andrea finished her studio with redwood siding. You can read it about that on her blog here.  I haven’t talked to Andrea in a long while. We’re friends on Facebook but as those of us halfway to the four-legged version should-might know by now, what the heck does that mean, really?




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  1. Informative and interesting – from your writing to images to Zittel -Thanks.