Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  June 27, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT

10:00 pm
♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: we begin this evening with the supreme court. the justices agreed to uphold a limited version of president trump's travel ban from earlier this year. the order prevents travelers from six primarily muslim countries to enter the united states. however, the court issued leeway for foreign nationals who can claim a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the united states. the case will be heard when they reconvene in october. joining me from washington is adam liptak, supreme court reporter for "the new york times."
10:01 pm
i am pleased to have him back on this program, welcome. tell me what the court said. adam: the court temporarily reinstated part of the travel ban while the court decides what to do about the case, which it will not do until it hears arguments and not tober. this is a temporary measure. it reinstates part of the travel ban but not all of it. , importantly, the court says if you have some relationship with the united states, if you have a relative here job offer here, , a if you're a college student and you go to college here, then the travel ban does not apply to you. you can still come under the ordinary rules. but if you're a complete stranger to the united states, president trump is entitled to keep you out while the administration decides what it wants to do about strengthening its screening and vetting procedures. charlie: then you have dissenting judges step forward and say that is putting too much of a burden on the government. adam: that is right, the three most conservative justices,
10:02 pm
justices clarence thomas, samuel alito, neil gorsuch, all said it is fine, so much as it goes. we would exclude the people with no connections to the united states. but we also want to let the president exercise maximum power and let them make the decision about who to exclude. they would've allowed president trump to exclude everyone in this period. charlie: this goes into effect immediately? adam: the administration says they need 72 hours to get up to speed. but for all intents and purposes, this will be the new normal throughout the summer until the court decides in october. it will go into effect very fast. it is not the clearest guidance you have heard. there was a lot of dispute at the administrative level, conflicts at embassies around the world, whether someone has this bona fide connection to the united states. there may well be litigation
10:03 pm
over these issues in the summer. charlie: a victory for donald trump? adam: he says it is a 100% running away victory. i would say he is better off after this move than he was before. recall, he has lost in the courts across the board. he lost in two federal appeals courts. his travel ban has been blocked in its entirety and now it is blocked in part. he is better off today than yesterday. charlie: decisions about the appellate level were against the idea -- they read the fact that the president had made speeches at the campaign, talked about a muslim ban. they said a muslim ban is against the constitution in terms of discriminating on the basis of religion, i assume -- am i right? adam: that is exactly right, as to what are the appeals courts? the fourth circuit in virginia said the travel ban violates the constitution because it is based
10:04 pm
on religious animus and violate -- violates the protection of religious liberties. the ninth circuit in san francisco went on different grounds. they say it the president exceeded his statutory authority, had done more than congress authorized him to do. charlie: they will consider it after they reconvene in october, the entire travel ban as it exists? or will they look at what happened in between this and how that influenced how they ruled? adam: they cannot help but take account of what happens in the real world. sitting here today, it is important to note these temporary measures give us hints about where the courts in particular justices might come out. but they did not speak about the merits of the travel ban. it will be a fresh question for the supreme court, come whether october, it violates the constitution, whether it exceeds
10:05 pm
the president's statutory authority. these stays of lower court and -- in junctures are provisional measures they give us a taste of where the court is heading, but does not tell you the endgame. charlie: were you surprised when you heard the case and they made the decision they did? adam: no, i thought they would take the case. a big case on executive power, they almost have to. i would not think they would have the split the baby approach. that was not on my radar. it may turn out to be one of those lines that are very hard to draw, in practice. charlie: and justice gorsuch, what can we say about his first ruling? adam: we can say a lot about him by now. he is a very active questioner, and a completely committed, reliable conservative vote. as conservative as the most conservative justices.
10:06 pm
and that lockup of alito, thomas and gorsuch, looks like it will be a strong part of the right wing of the court. charlie: adam, thank you for helping me understand the supreme court. stay with us. ♪ charlie: the position of white
10:07 pm
10:08 pm
10:09 pm
house chief of staff had been called the toughest job in the white house. the man currently holding the job is former republican party chair reince priebus. , he is getting the lion's share of criticism of the chaotic nature of the trump white house and the slow pace of their administrative agenda and personnel. joining me to put into context or three men who have held the job. jack watson served from june, 1980 until january 1981 as president carter's last chief of staff. john podesta was president clinton's chief of staff from 1998 until 2001. and andy carter was chief of staff for george w. bush until 2001 to april of 2006. joining me is chris whipple, and author of a new history of the white house chiefs of staff -- "the gatekeepers: how the white house chiefs of staff define every presidency." i am pleased to have all of them at this table. is it the toughest job, second to the presidency, in washington? andy: it is the toughest job
10:10 pm
because you are helping the president do the real toughest job. which means you have to have discipline, and bring order to chaos. you also have to pay attention to what is happening outside the white house, as well as inside the white house. you have to make sure the president is served with the challenge in time to meet the challenge. so when a decision is made, it is relevant and not irrelevant. >> it is also tough because one of the chief roles of the chief of staff is to make sure the president is hearing all the voices he needs to hear. that he is getting to be an honest broker. as part of that role, to tell , when he needso to be told no. , and that is not easy. charlie: that is not easy for anybody, is it? >> no. >> particularly in this white house.
10:11 pm
[laughter] >> the president does not like to be told no. charlie: not much give-and-take -- a person that did not come up in the political world with give-and-take and compromise in the political world. >> reince comes out of politics. all of us had some experience doing some policy. but it can be brutal. but it is also a tremendous honor to do it. having done a lot of different jobs over the course of my life, it is the one where you have the most impact most immediately. you see at the most. as andy noted, you're really helping the president achieve his vision for the direction of the country. >> you serve at the pleasure of the president, but your job is not to try to please them. >> what i learned from talking to these guys and interviewing 17 living white house chief of staffs for "the gatekeepers," is that, presidents cannot govern effectively without
10:12 pm
empowering a chief of staff as first among equals to execute their agenda, and most importantly, tell them what they do not want to hear. it is almost impossible to overstate the importance of having a chief of staff who is a gatekeeper. meaning he controls access to , the oval office and gives the president time and space to think. he is the honest broker, as jack just mentioned, making sure every decision is teed up with all the information on every side. he prioritizes, helps the president prioritize the agenda. he is in charge of the administration's message. none of that may sound familiar at the moment because in my opinion, we do not have a white house chief of staff who has been empowered. charlie: right now. >> in 1986, before these gentlemen -- i am the oldest fella here. charlie: i am the second. [laughter] >> they had a wonderful symposium, with john chancellor
10:13 pm
as the moderator and all the chiefs of staff. and some people who had been key to the administration, like ted sorensen. it was a public event, we all got a question. in athletic terms, what would you compare the chief of staff's job to? i said you could say blocking back some would say quarterback, , goalie, to keep the other guy from scoring too much. the one role that comes to my mind immediately is, javelin catcher. charlie: no one catches the javelin. someone said, get me a tough s.o.b. you have to be, to be good? >> it depends on the president's personality. the one thing the chief of staff cannot do is be inconsistent with the way the president runs the white house. no, i do not think you have to
10:14 pm
be an s.o.b. >> you have to be tough sometimes you have to be able to , make the tough decision to fire someone or reassign someone from one position to another position. that is not easy. it is not easy because you know these people, are working with these people. toughness, yes. >> there are three functions any chief of staff has to meet. first, is the care and feeding of the president. that is a logistical challenge. also, paying attention to the state of mind of the president and the emotional roller coaster he may be on. that is a very large job that people do not pay attention to, but it is all-consuming for chief of staff. then you have policy debate. the chief of staff manages policy debate. not necessarily the policy, but the process, so there are fewer unintended consequences to the policy. which means you have to have lots of views and people speaking truth to power, that is honest broker.
10:15 pm
>> they are being modest about the importance of the white house chief of staff's role. what i learned from doing the book if you look at watergate to , the iran-contra scandal, to the iraq war, to the monica lewinsky scandal, to the botched -- failed rollout of obamacare to the botched executive orders , on immigration, the white house office chief of staff makes the difference between success and disaster. think about when jim baker, everyone's choice as the gold standard, when he swapped jobs regan, the treasury secretary regan came in and was , completely ill-suited to the job. it was no coincidence a harebrained scheme was cooked up in the white house basement and became the iran-contra scandal. never would have happened on james baker's watch. these guys are typically being modest. charlie: here is my question,
10:16 pm
what would you change if you were now chief of staff for donald trump? >> i would try to enforce a rule from the president and everyone else in the white house, taste your words before you spit them out or tweet them out. because the president's words make a difference. they make a difference in the white house staff, the bureaucracy in the government branch, congress, the world. i would want discipline around the words that are spoken by the bysident, and subordinately, anyone in the white house, which gives more discipline over, don't leak. >> the first thing i would like is to take his phone away from him. >> -- [laughter] >> i think this is a chaotic structure. it has been from the very beginning. reince priebus went into the
10:17 pm
white house knowing it would be somewhat chaotic because he had steve bannon coming off the campaign, jared kushner, son-in-law, playing an important role. he went there a succession with the national security advisor within a month of the administration. on some level, i think president trump's success has been in sowing chaos. i think he thought that would work for him as president. at this point, it remains to be seen whether you can be effective as president. certainly, he is having his challenges on capitol hill. if you have the strategic job of setting an agenda to work with the hill on policy, and you are trying to message around that and create the backdrop and
10:18 pm
backup so people feel they can stick with you, and every day, the story is changing. they make plans, and they are blown up virtually every day. that, in part, is a result of the investigation and the president's inability to stay away from it. but it is also just the nature of the way he has always conducted himself in business. and certainly the way he conducted himself on the campaign trail. it may be a tall order to get any chief of staff to have the authority to discipline that process. i fundamentally agree with what andy is saying, but it is a tremendous challenge. >> you cannot run a white house the way you run a manhattan real estate firm, with people equally empowered and not a chain of command, with no one to execute the agenda. as john said, it is a white house that is broken. it may be broken beyond repair.
10:19 pm
ultimately, it is not reince priebus's fault. he has made rookie mistakes, but at the end of the day, only donald trump can decide to empower his white house chief of staff to execute his agenda and tell donald trump what he does not want to hear. does anyone imagine that happening anytime soon? charlie: nor can anyone point out somebody who says no to him. i have asked that question all the time. who says no to the president? no one steps forward with it canada. >> there is another important point in addition, discipline. this white house is lacking a disciplined message, a disciplined process. the tweeting constantly, daily, morning, noon, night is not helping. it is putting out inconsistent and contradictory messages, where the president is disagreeing not only with
10:20 pm
himself, something he said earlier but the secretary of , state or someone else. there is another problem. charlie: the secretary of state is trying to mediate the deal between qatar and the arab states and the president is saying, saudi arabia. >> if you would ask me what is the central problem, unalterable problem, there is an insufficient respect for the truth. falsehoods are stated or given every day, one way or the another. statements are made that are untrue, that can be proved to be immediately, untrue. that puts your staff, whether it is your chiefs of staff or press secretary, god love them, in an impossible position. you are sending out, day after day to defend a statement which is not true.
10:21 pm
charlie: and you assume that they know it is not true? >> i can't get into the minds of the people who were saying these things or the mind of the president. but think about this -- if there is not a respect for the truth, if there is not a respect for the importance and legitimacy of fact, how can you have a rational debate? how can you have rational debates about what policies should be, if no one cares with -- cares what the truth is, what the realities are? you can't. that is why there has to be a "come to jesus" meeting here sometime. i have low expectations for it happening. charlie: do you agree with this, andy? andy: there are some things that
10:22 pm
are so obviously true that the president said were not. day one, how many people attended the inauguration. that was a bizarre thing to ask your press secretary to go out and claim it was the biggest crowd ever on the mall, when it was demonstrably not the biggest crowd ever. but, he probably had more eyeballs and ears paying attention because of media, and the fact that more media outlets were covering everything. yes, i think they sometimes are challenged by the reality that they want to deny. charlie: what is the perfect qualification for being chief of staff? >> i really do not think you can define it that way, because the person is, in essence, a partner with the president. different presidents are going to want a different kind of people. in clinton's case, he wanted a lot of input.
10:23 pm
if i had tried to be gatekeeper with bill clinton he would have , gone crazy. the care and feeding is, in part, the work and the understanding of the way the president works. he is a tremendous thinker, he brings lots of voices to the table, he invites people in. sometimes that can be maddening. but often, it is quite creative. he is a policy guy. i had to find ways to feed that so he did not feel cut off from people he wanted to talk to. charlie: you had to make sure he saw a lot of information? >> and talk to a lot of people. >> cabinet secretaries used to call me up all the time and say, i have to call the president and talk to him face-to-face.
10:24 pm
stay up all night, call the operator, they will put you through to the president. if there is something you have to say to him, call him up. charlie: didn't work out that way? >> some people were intimidated by that, which means they did not really have to talk to the president. others took advantage of that. i had the advantage of knowing who he talked to every night because i saw the log of his phone calls. >> the discipline is not to prevent the president from getting information. the discipline is to make sure when the president gets information someone else knows , about it besides two people in the oval office. the discipline i had was i want , to know before, during or after you have visited with the president. lierbest comply or -- comp to the rule was actually the president. at the end of the day, he will
10:25 pm
say, you might want to talk to so and so, he came to see me. if he did not tell you about it, go see him. >> i do not think any of the guys at this table would have allowed donald trump to be alone in a room with his fbi director, given the circumstances at the time. charlie: they knew he wanted to be alone. >> but no competent chief of staff would have permitted it to happen. >> no empowered chief of staff. >> another quality of a great chief of staff, and i think all of these guys share this -- i think temperament. one was the perfect s.o.b., but you do not have to be. panetta panetta i think shared something these guys had. they were grounded comfortable , in their own skin, they had been around the block. they could walk into the oval office, close the door, and the president what he did not want to hear. it was dick cheney put it to me, when he was a chief of staff for jerry ford, he said you cannot have a tough thing you have to
10:26 pm
tell the president and have eight or nine guys saying, it is your turn. no, it is your turn. it has got to be one person. unfortunately, we do not have a chief of staff, as we speak, in the white house, who can tell the president no. , charlie: is there anybody in the white house who can tell the president, no? >> i sometimes wonder if donald trump could find the civilian equivalent of jim mattis, who has the gravitas to change the president's mind -- on torture, for example -- and tell him no. , he needs to find somebody like that. because history is littered with the wreckage of presidencies that tried to govern this way, including jerry ford's. >> back to your first question, what makes a good chief of staff? i completely agree with john. the role of the chief of staff will vary drastically from president of president.
10:27 pm
-- president of president -- sident.nt to pre it would be hard to see two presidents more different in the delegation process then-president reagan and president carter. one wanted to assimilate, absorb in his own mind and his own way, fast amounts of information. i knew that about him. the essential criterion for the chief and the president is, mutual trust. they know each other, know the minds of each other, and they trust each other. for the chief of staff, i would say it is important for him to admire and respect the president, as not just a leader, which he clearly is, by role and the definition, but a moral leader. conversely, the president needs
10:28 pm
to know that his chief of staff is not there, self-serving himself. he is there to execute the role for the president in the best possible way he can, given the president's personality and priorities, and goals. don regan asioned a model of failure -- arguably, a successful treasury secretary. you cannot be imperial as chief of staff. that was regan's downfall. you have to be like a sports manager. you have tremendous talent in the white house and you have to be able to build a team that is going to be cohesive and work together, as opposed to operating by dictate. i think that is what regan tried
10:29 pm
to do. it broke down the hall at the national security adviser. [overlapping voices] >> he finally stepped in and solved the problem. >> he liked the chief part of the title a lot. it was the staff part that he did not like so much. usa verb not used by much of for chief of the staff, is that the really effective chief is also going to be really good at enabling people to do their jobs. the chief does not try to do it all himself in the same way the president can't, so cannot the chief. the chief has to identify people he or she, that time will come, when we have a woman chief of staff, form the team that you know and have confidence in, that you trust, and enable them to do their jobs.
10:30 pm
charlie: back to the power thing, one thing it seems to me gives the chief of staff a lot of power is often, you have the last word with the president. you are the last sound in his ear before he makes a decision. it is sometimes said when you have dick cheney around and colin powell around, who would prevail? >> first of all, the chief of staff has to have peripheral vision and know where the people with great tunnel vision are. [laughter] >> that helps to make sure that any word to the president is not out of context. you want the words to be within context. a strong personality in the white house, it is a team of rivals in every white house, because they are very competent staffers who are legitimately
10:31 pm
hired because they have great expertise. many have type a personalities and they think they are the only person with great expertise, and you have to manage that process and make sure the playing field is in fact, level, and not skewed one way because a dominant staffer is bullying the process. the last word i found, the president would frequently seek me out as the last word. but it was not so much for the decision, it was the process by which the decision was being made by the president. and i would be able to say, sally may have been too aggressive in that meeting and jane was ready to speak up, but she was intimidated by sally. you might want to call jane. >> dennis told me a story in the book about the walk of the used to take. charlie: i was thinking about that very thing. >> at the end of every day,
10:32 pm
around 5:00 or later they would take a walk around the south lawn. when obama was confronted about the decision whether to retaliate against syria, when he has drawn his famous red line and decided ultimately, not to retaliate -- >> they did seek congressional approval before he did it. and after that, decided not to. >> he came back from his walk and shocked the national security team with what he decided. the speculation is that perhaps dennis had the last word in his ear. i asked him about that and he said no, absolutely not. i always felt that was an unfair advantage. they would be talking about the process, how they got to that point and being a sounding board for the president and the honest
10:33 pm
broker, as he should be. >> you want the president to have the whole story. this is in the -- and broker, as he should be. y's point of a moment ago -- you want the president to have the whole story, before he makes the decision. try to protect him against the voices that are the loudest, but not necessarily the truest or best. charlie: it is sometimes said with donald trump, he is 71 years old, that he will not change. bill clinton was in his 40's, barack obama was in his 40's, jimmy carter was in his early 50's. did they change before your very eyes while they were president, or did they essentially remain the same person? >> i think every president changes as they serve. i mentioned at the beginning, the president should never make an easy decision. he only makes the toughest of the decisions. and sometimes there is no good answer. eight bad options, pick one.
10:34 pm
but you have to make the decision with such great optimism, the bureaucracy will say the president wants this done, i am with it. congress will say, i will follow. other world leaders like tony blair will say, i am standing with you. but they are tough decisions. congress will say, i will follow. you want an optimist as president, certainly not a pessimist. if someone walks into the oval office and says, i will make a bad decision today, they should not be president. you'll make a tough decision, but it will be the right decision. charlie: thank you, all. the book is called "the gatekeepers: how the white house chiefs of staff define every presidency." this is bloomberg. ♪ whoooo.
10:35 pm
10:36 pm
you're searching for something. like the perfect deal... ...on the perfect hotel. so wouldn't it be perfect if there was a single site where you could find the right hotel for you at the best price? there is. because tripadvisor now compares prices from over 200 booking sites... save you up to 30%... ...on the hotel you want. trust this bird's words. tripadvisor. the latest reviews. the lowest prices. charlie: robert rauschenberg
10:37 pm
once said the artists's job is to be a witness to his time in history. for six decades he served this role, working in painting, sculpture, photography and performance footage. a new exhibition at new york's museum of modern art brings together more than 250 of these work. "robert rauschenberg: among friends," was organized by leah dickerman, the marlene hess curator at the museum of modern art. she joins me now to talk about robert rauschenberg, one of the
10:38 pm
artists i have the great pleasure to have known. when you think about him and his art and someone having this kind of retrospective on this exhibit among friends, within the other great artists, like jasper johns. leah: like jasper johns, cy twombly, merce cunningham, john cage, tricia brown. the list of people he collaborated with is so fundamental to what we think of, in terms of culture today. that is how we approach the project. we wanted to show he is an artist who made work in dialogue with other people. and together, they laid the foundation for art of our moment in time. charlie: what do you hope we will experience, feel, sense, as we walk through this exhibition? been a bite always
10:39 pm
skeptical about the idea of individual genius, that you go off and sit in your garret and think by yourself and have ideas alone, visited by a muse, a female muse. that is not the way it works. it is not the way it works in science, technological innovation, or in art. we wanted to suggest that throughout rauschenberg's career, you could celebrate creativity in conversation. he collaborates more than anyone else. he is always pulling people into his projects and finding a way to create new works with someone else. we want people to fill that openness, as well. charlie: where does that come from? leah: he is certainly a sociable character. everyone speaks about his gregariousness. i think that he learned when he went to black mountain college, the open, experimental place.
10:40 pm
there was dancing and poetry and music, all at the same time. he likes that kind of collaborative approach to making art across disciplines. i do not think he ever left that behind. charlie: some remarkable people came through the great institution. leah: yes, he studied with josef albers, whose teaching had an extraordinary impact on him. he had students gather all kinds of material -- cigarette butts and leaves and scraps of albers, whose teaching had an cardboard, and put them together and use collage combinations. he called them combinations. rauschenberg learned that through albers. he met cage and cunningham before and they did performance work, learned dancing. charlie: he was close to jasper johns? leah: they were partners from
10:41 pm
1954 through 1961. they were together in a creative and romantic partnership. they pushed each other in incredible ways. it was one of the artistic duos whereby working together, they left the rest of the world behind. they gave each other permission to do things and try things. rauschenberg once wrote that, i would give him an idea and then he would have to give me one, too. they played this game of thinking out loud and critiquing each other's work. in the show, you have jasper johns' painted bronze, untitled cans. and you have work by rauschenberg with cans together. you can see they are contemplating cans and consuming them. charlie: why did they split? leah: i can't tell you the
10:42 pm
answer to that. charlie: there are no biographies written about it? leah: no, i do not know the answer to that. but i do know they had an incredible, formative impact on each other. among the greatest artistic partnerships of our time. charlie: who else did he have a great collaborative relationship with? leah: his first collaboration was with an artist named sue wilde, who became his wife. they met in paris and went down to black mountain together. in many ways, she taught him how to work with someone else. they made great blueprints together. i think that was a young and very formative relationship. and, one of the things that trained him in the idea of dialogue in partnership. he had a multiyear collaborative relationship with merce cunningham, where he worked making sets and costumes. but it was more than that, as well.
10:43 pm
he learned from both merce cunningham and john cage how to think about making art. that relationship was fundamental, as well. charlie: let me take a look at some of the images we have. this is untitled from 1950. leah: this is a work they made right after coming back from this time they had together at black mountain college. they made it in a new york walk-up apartment with ordinary blueprint paper, the kind you would use in an architectural firm. they would pose themselves on the paper and then expose the light and have to wash out the developer in the sink. he is asking a question about, how can you make a mark on paper that is not a stroke of paint with a brush? how can you figure out other ways of creating images? charlie: and this was one. the next is an erased de kooning drawing. leah: this is a collaboration,
10:44 pm
perhaps reluctant. it is de kooning and jasper johns. rauschenberg asked himself how to make a drawing out of erasing. he started with his own works decided it did not count if it , was not art. he went to the most charismatic artist at that moment of time bill de kooning. he brought a bottle of jack daniels, knocked on his door. i love that about rauschenberg. other people have their oedipal relationships, at a distance, but not rauschenberg. he knocks on the door and de kooning agreed to give him a drawing he could erase. he went through the portfolio files and gave him one he found difficult to erace, full of oily pastels. according to rauschenberg, he spent weeks erasing it and many, many erasers. then he did nothing with it.
10:45 pm
he put it in a drawer until two years later, when jasper johns was in his life. it was johns that persuaded him to frame it up and put it in exhibition and johns put the label, "erased de kooning drawing by robert rauschenberg." charlie: this is called "automobile tire print." leah: now they're living in fulton street and he calls john cage the composer and asked them to bring his model a ford. he lays out 20 sheets of typewriter paper on the ground, they are glued together. he has cage drive the ford, very straight, along the typewriter papers, to create this image. he laughed later that cage was both printer and press. charlie: the next one is called "charlene," from 1954. leah: this is an extraordinary image.
10:46 pm
it shows you what rauschenberg's revolution was. as he is working, he wants to create an art that lets people in. first he puts scraps of paper and comics. then, a light bulb, reflectors, mirror -- all the stuff of the create an art that lets people in. world. i think he is saying, if you want to make art about the real world, it has to include the real world. charlie: next is "bed," 1954, 1955. leah: this is taking it a step further. pretty soon, he is making a work out of a quilt and pillow. charlie: next is "bed," 1954, you can see there are strokes of pencil on the pillow that were likely made by cy twombly, another partner and friend working in the studio at that moment of time. suddenly, these things that are ordinary objects have been turned into a painting. it makes you ask questions
10:47 pm
about, what is a painting? what are its terms? it suggest the kind of intimacy in a place you live. it reconfigures the idea of painting, as it has been known before, which kept the world out. charlie: the next one, "monogram." leah: now he is almost saying, ok, if i can put a piece of paper and a painting or a reflector in a painting, why not put a goat? that is not just a question of size, it is a conundrum. once you put something as big and physically awkward into a painting as a goat, you have it reconfigures the idea of changed the boundaries between the space of art in the space of the world. charlie: the next one, "gift of apollo," 1959. leah: it references apollo. he makes a daily orbit around the sun.
10:48 pm
he says, i can put it on wheels and drag it around. it is not special. it can be just like any other object, pulled into the middle of the room. charlie: next is "oracle." 1962 to 1965. leah: he is collaborating with a whole slew of engineers, led by billy cluver. it is an extraordinary collaboration with technicians. most artists are afraid of technology, but not rauschenberg. he embraces it as part of the adventure of contemporary life. each of those pieces is outfitted with a.m. radio. he thought fm was too cultured. it is equipped with radios and a wireless transistor circuitry. that is the cutting edge of technology at that moment of time, building blocks of our own digital age. charlie: the next is "disco wheat."sco shredded
10:49 pm
leah: he goes to captiva, using ordinary boxes, materials he said were softness and waste. he would make simple interventions to create a work like this. it is also something looking at a younger generation of artists. people like donald judd, using poor and simple materials. charlie: the next is from 1987. leah: these are made in houston, he was made the state artist. he gets there, and there is a huge oil glut. he sees the signs of a distressed economy. cars have been abandoned by the side of the street. he decides he wants to make works that are out of the thrown off stuff from our american car economy. he wants to show waste
10:50 pm
souvenirs, without nostalgia. charlie: rauschenberg once said painting relates to both art and life. neither can be made, i try to act in the gap between the two. leah: he did not like the idea that a painting would keep the world out. when he came of age in the mid-1950's, abstract expressionism was the preeminent way of making a work of art. it was a kind of painting where you put it on the wall and there was an idea of. he and psychic imprint in the work. rauschenberg wanted something else. he was very skeptical about emotionalism. he said there was all this talk about torture and suffering, and i never saw that in a stroke of paint. he wanted something about the world as he encountered it, as he walked around the block or looked at a magazine. he tried to bring those things into his art. charlie: where do you see him in the pantheon of american artists? leah: i think he is one of the
10:51 pm
most influential artists we have seen in the years since world war ii. charlie: pretty high praise. leah: it is. every time you walk into a gallery today, and you see art made out of stuff of the real world, coming off the walls, it is into planus and mary -- it is it embracesinary, technology, formative in its implications, you're seeing the types of possibilities that rauschenberg and his allies made possible. charlie: this is an interview i made in 1997 with rauschenberg. he talks about how he found his greatest joy in life in his work. >> here is what so many people say about your work in your life. there is a childlike enthusiasm. there is a joy. that you approach things without risk, you're just on a journey.
10:52 pm
>> an awful lot of time is consumed in apprehension and fear and worry, that could be used in action. i am not fearless. you scare me, you actually do. [laughter] >> how about fun-loving? is that a description of you? >> i do not separate that from everything else. i don't do vacations. my greatest joy is in working. that is when i feel a wholeness,
10:53 pm
a celebration, a unity with everything around me. and i feel the least self-conscious. >> when you're working? >> yes. leah: that is lovely. there is an openness to his work, a willingness to invite the world in, an experimental embrace of things. he does not worry about being perfect. charlie: i am awestruck -- the artists i have known, they were happiest when they were working. they were happiest when they were engaged in creating. they say, i do not take vacations. leah: it is a way of being in the world, it is a practice. charlie: it is what they do. leah: a way of finding your way in the world, being curious about the world, engaging with new materials and people. charlie: in doing this program
10:54 pm
25 years, one person i wanted to interview but did not have such luck or success was jasper johns. here is an interview in 1997 in which i talked to robert rauschenberg about jasper johns. remember, this was 20 years ago. >> where did you meet jasper johns? what influence did you think you had on each other? >> i think our main influence was that we were the only two people that were not trying to do abstract expressionism. we were the only two people doing something else. we were both an audience of one to each other's work. [laughter]
10:55 pm
>> a great friendship. >> oh, very. i think the thing that made us get along was the fact that we were so different ourselves. i would travel to streets and get everything, and he would shut the windows. we had different studios, that was all right. i spent my time trying to mimic what i saw outdoors. and he tried to create what he felt in his head. i was very tempted to work like de kooning. i would have loved to have done rothkos, and pollocks.
10:56 pm
but my respect for their view -- if there is a legacy, i am very happy i can have as enviable a point of view as these people that i love so much. charlie: he says it well enough, doesn't he? leah: he does. i never wanted to be a wishy-washy, second-generation abstract expressionist painter. he changed the world in doing that. he wanted to create something else, to let art be something else. charlie: the exhibition at the museum of modern art here in new york is called "among friends." it is on view until september 17, 2017. thanks to leah dickerman. thank you for joining us, see you next time. ♪ alisa: i am alisa parenti, from
10:57 pm
10:58 pm
10:59 pm
11:00 pm
washington. you're watching "bloomberg technology." senate republicans have delayed the vote on the health care replacement bill until after the july 4 recess. that is after eight gop senators declared they were against it, and a handful refusing to even back a procedural vote on the matter. democrats reacting to the announcement say the fight is far from over, and plan to redouble efforts to defeat it. the senate minority leader says no matter the tweaks made over the next week, the bill is still flawed at the center. he says americans don't want medicaid sla


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on