Sunday, August 31, 2014

Group Show at Bortolami and Galerie Neu at Gladstone Gallery
Ian Cheng, Melanie Gilligan, Carissa Rodriguez, Anicka Yi
John Knight, Manfred Pernice, Tom Burr, Klara Liden, Kitty Kraus, Gedi Sibony, Reena Spaulings, Sergej Jensen

Carissa Rodriguez

Group Show at Gladstone Gallery

You go see these shows only to be confronted again with its screen representation. Why do you even get out of bed, its representation, historical sediment, becomes the real version in catalogs. Arendt's we're all images to others. All this stuff is on monitors anyway save for Anicka Yi’s art-fetish-displays, or maybe Melanie Gilligan’s lenticulars, primeval .gifs for the real world, the most basic version of affirmed presence, good job you got a bed sort. And eventually with Ian Cheng’s Oculus Rift experiments, not shown here, it’ll all be here. Remember when an artist made Katamari Damacy- that was a sculpture. Carissa Rodriguez’s prints at least suggest a complicit defeat in attempting critique of the new digital supremacy, everyone else seems left-behind in the uncommitment to digital acceleration’s disposibility.

Which makes Reena Spauling’s poor portraits all the digitally-smarter for their commitment to disposable ideation. Spauling’s whole project premised on every whatever-is-beyond-insipid self-reflexive “art idea” executed with jest, and smart, social cred made to be liquidated and poured through the network of pipes, brilliant. And then you’ve got John Knight actually still dragging real objects across the world, displacing them with antiquated labor-power, and just really the most needless idea of reflexive context art that he’s known for, reminiscent of the sisyphean Heizer’s levitating the mass of his rocks to get his jollies off, and so in the context of all that it makes sense why so much of the other art is limp in these shows, barely able to erect itself in bed in the morning, and because its not hard to get really hard to get up in bed when you’ve got some form of super-cool steroids like all these people seem to have.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Morag Keil at Real Fine Arts

Morag Keil at Real Fine Arts

The real fine crowd seems all really want to impress on us their disgust with networks/working and the conglomerate of social sludge. Its neurotic. Beg the rabbit for forgiveness as you slaughter it; or so the press release would have it. Its like you apologize for showing at Real Fine Arts. Apologize for a room full of artworks, self ironize. Like the schrimps that magically ward off marketability, or meaning to marketability. oops. I mean if Kassay taught us anything its collectors like shiny-metal covered canvases. Silver your werewolf desires.
I mean I like the photographs, the banal disjunction, the alienation of experience in late capital. The schizo-world of scream masks and idols of imaged women, etc. I could write the press. The whole recycling thing of Kelley Walker in the united colors, and the video reminiscent of the context comedy of Zobernig’s filming of the comings and goings of Texte Zur Kunst. I can’t really read the message in the pee, but I think its asking the same question as the wall.
Judith Bernstein at Studio Voltaire

Judith Bernstein at Studio Voltaire

Was Lozano repressed, subject to the time, or nuanced? And then Oldenburg with his dated reactionary innuendo. ‘Cause here a similar but more ragged temperament, a fuck-all mandala of not quite ‘tudes. I mean I like the cuntface, the hammy “dick-screws;” everything direct addressing someone though everyone’s unsure who. Yale is a repressive regime, or maybe just everyone who considers Guston their god inspite of the miraculous universe, of cunts. I mean Josh Smith continues with his tricky dick, and screw him.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Peter Fischli and David Weiss at Sprüth Magers

Peter Fischli and David Weiss at Spru?th Magers

The memento mori, the natura morta, all life still, vanitas, tinged in the passing, laced with latent death: an asymptote on approach to nihilism - sometimes masked by bright-lights-fun. Not here. “The abuse of time,” as F+W have called it, relates to Craven’s fordist version of it. One imbues, the other empties. We should be disgusted, but the artists, or assistants, who whittle away, literally, here, “facsimiles of the objects they depict, yet they are empty and insubstantial” are all going to die like all the rest anyway and so the question of whittling, of waste, is abuse only abutted against Borderless doctors, and vaccinists and The Cosmos. So many artists wanting to mark so much time, to reify its weight in romance, but nor should we forget the vertigo standing there, the world rendered plastic. This pile mid-use left in closet only makes clearer the accumulation soon to have its door closed, end of an era. NOSTALGIA KILLS / POST HISTORY 4 EVR

See too : Ann Craven at Confort Moderne

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ann Craven at Confort Moderne

Ann Craven at Confort Moderne

The Naumanian premise “I am a painter, therefore I paint.” and any second-guess-skepticism ceded to the viewer, while painter’s axiom leaves artists whittling unfazed, Irony tempered by luxury fordist production. Surely if one cares to paint the moon this many times, one cares. The clock critiqued with a On Kawara style of deliberation, accumulation, a stickler’s dedication Laura Owens renounced.
The non-object of its subject, Bambis and the like; like so much contemporary work, displacing meaning, surely it is not here, and we look everywhere and find it nowhere, but in Man’s search for meaning in whichever camps, Frankl’s or John Waters, black satin and- are those cat food tins glued to the painting?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Robert Heinecken at Wiels

Robert Heinecken at Wiels

The artist schizo-neurosis love/hate of the printed image. Imagine being an artist confronted daily w/ onslaught of freely disseminated images, and knowing it’s accelerating. A world near comprised of images. And so of course artists “deal with it.” Princes lubricated masturbation of them, the reinsemination of the Marlboro Man's potential, DISimages inhabitation of the acceleration, the interminable unknown artists cut/collaging porn reifying the fetish of print itself, the McCarthy all-hands-on-deck scorched earth blitzkrieg against. Artists are losing the battle, neurotically and nervously, a where-can-we-even-stand type philosophical conundrum. But so, here, it’s nice to see some reserved expenditures of image explication. Tending towards a mockery but saved by the slowness of its accumulating angles of approach. Sure some is stock critique, but handled well and still looking slightly fresh even in its Heubler-esque dryness, none of the cut-crystal ideologic perfection of Levine/Lawler’s jewels way more sexy than all these half-naked women. Same generation, a little browner.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Vern Blosum at Kunsthalle Bern

Vern Blosum at Kunsthalle Bern

Did you know the Boltonia Asteroides is rhizomatous.

The Baldessari anti-jokes may be more kin Lutz Bacher’s desolate informationals, or Zobernig’s gallows, or even Josh Smith not-non-paintings (stop signs to boot) but Vern Blosum’s fake artistry might be just the most relevant today, possibly blanker than Codax’s market strategies (who seemed to forget that Warhol was blankest of all.) To attempt a further hollowing of pop art, now that’s what I call abysmal. These are just fake paintings. And pretty dismal fake paintings, though only slightly worse than Baldessari’s endlessly celebrated hoodwinks. Who cares who did it first; these are fakes for the ages, if only because they exist, dryly, in front of us in a museum. I mean "planned anticipation", who could ask for a better fake painting than that.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

David Hartt at Carnegie Museum of Art

David Hartt at Carnegie Museum of Art

The score’s initial passing resemblance to Bepler’s Cremaster score, heavy on atonal art standards, quickly dissolves into deconstructed pastiche, a fun free jazz lobby music suspending, like the film’s forever-digressed plot, a never-coalescing, and distending like cremaster muscle the foreboding long shots of architecture’s banal non-ness, opposing Barney’s continual erection - square shots on male architecture - with your more standard on-the-fly montage cuts of hollywood banality, Hartt’s sometimes fun Tacita Dean style ride. The home of Ebony/Jet comes off as far more interesting merry-go-round than Dean’s even most alluring Kubrickian evirons.
The exhibition's documentation mirrors the film’s fetish of architecture.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Brice Dellsperger at Team Gallery

Brice Dellsperger at Team Gallery

" titled Body Double after Brian De Palma’s psycho-sexual thriller ... . ... thirty video works, ...  tropes [of] cinema. Both reverent and ... voraciously cannibalizes ... digests iconic moments in film. ...arresting, ... affecting and ... cerebral, ... informed by film and queer theory.
"doubling ..., issues of ... replication, ... the duplicative nature of film itself. ... varying degrees of loyalty ... the drag-queen doppelganger of its source: a ... recognizable copy, forthcoming with its artificiality."

 Its the malfunctions, the discrepancies, of the overlay that make them interesting.  Doesn't this make you want to go to the movies. Totally great.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Michael Krebber at Daniel Buchholz

Michael Krebber at Daniel Buchholz

Herr Krebber is a minefield for reviews. Where other artists nimbly or glaringly leave crumbs as symbols for reviewers delightful mouthful, instead here a booby’s trap to bite your tongue, and the smartest, silent, the boob himself. The fallout of a Krebbershow unpredictable, the initial awestrikingly dumb often long-running toward prescient. The whole incest-vampiring of all those bad reviews at GreeneNaftali, before then showing paintings at those writer’s galleries, and voila they’re on the map.
The German Buchloz shows tend more toward reservations than the often more detourned NYC equivalents, a little more stylistically “Krebberesque” and here looks no different. Squiggled and brayered paintings, how nice, look great. A press release that beats all the mysterio PR of the last couple years with a 1 ton weight. We could take it as “Fashionable Nonsense,” but maybe its theme of causal indeterminacy will seem aha fresh in a month. The peddler cries, “In the name of the prophet – figs!!”

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BFFA3AE at 47 Canal

BFFA3AE at 47 Canal

Internet artists finally real-world exhibiting is always so literal. AIDS 3-D’s actualization of a gif in sculpture sans lossy nostalgia. or Arcangel’s ability to make the literalness ham-fisted fun. Here a David Robbins Concrete Comedy but rather more making-fun-of than funny. Remains of Birthday balloons for Bruce Nauman hallway. Yuk, Yuk. A teenage bedroom-cum-office of all the internets embarrassments. Yuk, Yuk. The non-vocals of pop-segue literalized: Na,na,na ×12. Yuk, Yuk. Pointing out the foibles of the never-meant-to-be-taken-seriously-anyway has never been a winning game. The naive vernacular of digital natives is what endears us to the internet, no one is asking to “foist an infantilizing rationality on all ‘Internet art.’” Its remaining irrational that's hardest. A requiem for remembering when this used to be fun.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

“S.O.A.P.Y. III” at What Pipeline

Vetjylien N’gyrz

From Frankfurt to London to now Detroit, it's a M. Carpenter marketing campaign that so many of the cool crowd attempt (with 1/10th the irony) since their elders networked success, a still physically viral necessitude in spite globally flat internet.
S.O.A.P.Y.’s magick and allegorical dungeon-capitalism acts as a fictitious umbrella, an excusable space not bound by art’s habitus. Things can get wacky when you’ve pre-excused them. So here we get a sort of 8-bit RPG of fetishized magic art-items. Healing amulets, and green orc-sax players, Parasols of Lambo-shadow, and wands and crystals galore - arranged in a grid like so many early nintendo adventurer’s inventories. Punning on the Städelschule materialist-surrealism. Art-Magick. Painting’s square like the battle screen. You’ve encountered the leather pants nihilist.
The excuse works, we get some campy-mysticism not normally allowed, but its a style laden on top the assemblage of tropes not meant to be taken too seriously, a sort of fresh air.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rossella Biscotti at Wiels

Rossella Biscotti at Wiels

What are we even looking at? A totally unhelpful press release attached to a totally unhelpful aggregator leaves this exhibition as a name inexplicably attached to some blank pictures. Thanks internet.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ben Schumacher at Musee d’art contemporain de Lyon

Ben Schumacher at Musee d'art contemporain de Lyon

Since Schumacher’s breakout show at Bortolami its been a speed test of formal attempts to invent himself ahead of the wave of what is sure to be a new style of Techno-conceptuo. Simon Denny too. But it’s an accelerative model, one in which the formal gamesmanship, the hunt for the new october after an eternal september, must continually increase speed if not to be bogged in a style quickly homogenized as the spaces fill. An accumulative method against obsolescence, shiny new newness standing in for conceptual spark. Nothing will ever stand in for the initial rush of the first hit of an exhibition. It’s a Genzken style arms-race premised on art’s competition with the speed of culture as a whole. A losing battle, but a least Schumacher’s good at it.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hito Steyerl at Andrew Kreps


Calling the didactic thing didactic doesn't make its didacticism any less abrasive or irritating, and this “didactic educational .mov” is hard in its petulance. Like watching a precocious child play Mozart on the piano, they've mastered it without loving it, dead in life. You feel like less than a zombie watching it. And it berates you for it Steyerl's hypertrophied ability to play the meta-game of art would be fun, if it wasn't so heavily trying to impress just how much fun. This film is the artworld's Garden State, quirky, lovable, pressing all the right buttons, string of pop notes. An aggregate of everything, aggravating the uncomfort of precocious youth.
Entirely meta-knowing: "Look how good I am at harnessing the tropes and meaningful methods of the art world. Watch me be good, but let me also let you know that I know I am good, and let me let you know that there is nothing here for you to know, and that I know there is nothing here for you you should be enjoying for let me let you know that I know that I know this is spectacle and that I am self-consciously self-aware of this fact and let me let you know this whole thing is a meta-game of triple-agenting of he knows that she knows that he knows she knows quagmire of Irony to nth degree that was already summated a decade ago in the Simpsons when a teen at a Smashing Pumpkins show (that's how old this is) is asked if he's being serious and he responds that he doesn't even know anymore, whether he's being serious, and that's the point we've reached, where it doesn’t even matter anymore. Whether we're serious or not or whether we mean it or not, it just does not matter."

Friday, August 15, 2014

Manfred Pernice at Regen Projects

Manfred Pernice at Regen Projects

The documentation fails to impress the sculptures self-relegation, sent to the corner.  Made to appear cast asides. The structures are rigid but the fill, limp; a pathos of lost objects dejected, collected by "cassettes"’s magnetic nostalgic mix-tapes. You could attach all the arcade games of Benjaminian spirituo-materialism, but Pernice's made to ask who could be made to care.
They're depressive basins. An inability to get out of bed, the depressed person finds it difficult to meaningfully construct, to even get erect. Anhedonia. Against the continual rigidifying erectness of R. Harrison, - finally stripped to their commodification essence of perfect reproducible po-mo gems and boring - the loosey-goose game of Pernice is a breeze, a little bathetic, but that's, like, probably the point, you're being made to feel empathy.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Michael Beutler at Bielefelder Kunstverein

Michael Beutler at Bielefelder Kunstverein

Fun-house installationism, a lot of labor towards transformative candy potential. It just looks like a lot - tiring just looking at it. A look-what-I-can-do, flexing of institutional support, supported by video documents of literally looking at them do. Possibly transcendent but mostly just looks like fill space attempts towards spectacle, at best hopefully spectacular. Institution lobby art, big, quick, all encompassing, highly digestible. Musuems have lobbies too you know, and they need something for it, and you shouldn't penalize them for that. Sure you can cast in the inside of a huge hole, but why are you doing it, other than to make it be there. Make-it-big.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pamela Rosenkranz at Karma International

Pamela Rosenkranz at Karma International

The ham-fisted literalness of the symbolic desubmlimation is endearing. Taking viagra and spraying paint? A “serum-like polyester medium”? On Aluminum? Like a Paul Mcarthy Painter conducting Rob Pruitt jest, its a nosegay for painting’s seminal male vestige. Taking Viagra to paint? it would be funny if it weren’t so embarrassingly literal. But its self-debauch rendering the shame neuter in the meta-irony of self-flagellatory act.
And the Press Release is fun to read: “Viagra has acted as a substitute for alternative remedies and saved many animals that might have been poached... Tiger Penis Soup for example...”
“How does ingesting Viagra then affect the act, the painting? Under the influence of the Sildenafil... Those who observed .. say that her complexion appeared to glow with a strange red flush.”
It's like every high school boy's childhood bedroom.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Megan Francis Sullivan at Mathew

Megan Francis Sullivan at Mathew

"Underlying the works are arcs of expression that involve acts of making, using, and shuffling; not loyal or invested in ideas of identity or time, they employ references and symbols that undermine and renew their signifying possibilities."

I'm not saying anything but this last line of the PR is pretty much exactly the way a New York Times article defined the hipster, and this exhibition is, like, it: attaching signifiers to your person, holographing identity in symbolic chains. Here supplied in an endless redirect of randomized non-meaning, I to J, a cyclical mire of referential confoundment, Tom Burr, Rosa Bonheur, maybe refreshing in its abyssmal void-rasa, but once you understand the game the jig is, generally, up: we're left with a neo-post-Apple pastiche, chromes and whites, formal. The starry skyed Sturtevantness of it all. I mean that Jamaican flag? I to J, so symbolically literal.
Anthony Symonds at Cabinet

Looking back, Symonds 2002 RTW collection is amazingly bland, save a few foreshadowing bikini's spyder webbing, fitting for tennis clubs, before the art thing allowing libidinal fancy-freedom and now it's dressed mannequins for sale, strangely unacknowledged weirdness of selling dressed mannequins, not just outfits. But so the point: Symonds wasn't always avante-fashion technicalities, approaching at one point an almost suburban subtlety. But so 2014 you've got some elegant dresses (on mannequins) and a quote lifted from classic documentary Paris is Burning (which why?) some patterns and mirrors and one technical space robe to remind us of Symonds more out coutureism, fine. Fashion art fine. Most of the discussion will remain ignorant to Raf Simmons, and pretty much fashion as whole, like did an architect ever look at Jorge Pardo's home and should we have rescinded the money. Fine.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Tue Greenfort at Johann König

Tue Greenfort at Johann Ko?nig

Good that someone is tackling environmental predicaments, too bad that it just looks like Städelschule art. Here attaching vital-materialism to political intentions valorizing the surrealist-povera2.0 objects. The same attaching news clippings to shiny objects to bump up the contrast. To frame them as art add aluminum. To add to your cart click here. Political art forever doomed to the white walled symbolic sludge. Sparkling objects to sympathize their plight.
Thomas Demand at Avlskarl

Thomas Demand at Avlskarl

Look Demand has subtly altered his practice. Look they’re big abstractions. Look they’re not that interesting. But look they’re probably selling like hotcakes with 1/100th the labor, 1/1000th the effort. Look nice, Sugimoto-esque, perfectly unassuming abstractions, ready to be made decor.
The Richter effect - the big abstractions sell for double. Enter the blue-chips cashing in their cult-cred toward respite from their laborious labor, the lazy borey stuff sells the same under brand names. There's like a waitinglist ready to get in line for this, this cash in.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dave Miko, Ned Vena, Antek Walczak at Algus Greenspon

Group Show at Algus Greenspon

You can see each’s each: Walzack’s hypertrophied-conceptual scribing, Vena’s noxious cold power plant contemporary and for whom both’s sterility is marginally eased by Miko’s cartoony claustrophobic hells.
It’s after all a Real Fine crowd, and predicts a fashionable futurity - reboot set designed for a future 2001 clockwork decor, updated in graffito’s newly neutered formalism, predicted. Tomorrow’s neo-liberal home trickled down to Ikea bourgeois - in the future. In the future this is what it’s all going to look like, you’re upper class highschooler’s bedroom, rendered here now in front of you. Well not really, its mostly just the toxic mindsets of contemporary painters, a theater stage that like all “futuristic” is just a hyperbole of the present.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mark Leckey at Gavin Brown

Mark Leckey at Gavin Brown

Leckey has always been a direct artist, his dramatically unmysterious expunging of the work - and lectures as work often - frequently makes the objects stranger, their power more communicable, aren’t simply veiled surrealist abstraction; and instead great pains to make sure you get it - I mean read the PR- opposing Baghramian’s Art-turned-subject-monster DnD beholder, instead the pop psychologist flair for a sort of Trisha Donnelly cum Darren Bader cybernetic cultural-academic bent. It’s definitely a way out for a lot of cornered art, but few able the flat finesse of Leckey. The dry exposition of the original proposal 4 a show video stunning relief of so much overwrought hand wrung art, too badly not seen here.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Claus Rasmussen at Tanya Leighton 

Claus Rasmussen at Tanya Leighton

 Despite all the cold clarity and directness the show retains that contemporary trope of ironic mystery - the same feeling tuned to by so many of the neo-materialist mystics - that attempted uncanny “where did this come from” irrationality - a sort of marxist surrealism of so much Städelschule. Rasmussen extends this Mysteriosity, adopting a Christopher Williams type refinement: the PR and audio piece positing a lifeless explanation for the photos. Yet still coldness remains in the disjunct of logic, as in science: that the how could somehow answer for the why. While the more straightforwardly Marxist Williams always posits, at least the feeling of, answers in the veiled nebulism (and generally expounded to great rhetorical fireworks in the texts); Rasmussen here simply dashes hope like a novel cut in half. Rasmussen’s feelings no less palpable, yet it feels synthetic, forced, possibly justifiable, the feeling of attempting to discern any lifelike motives in the pin-striped businessman’s dreams.
Lisa Holzer at Emanuel Layr

Lisa Holzer at Emanuel Layr

These things make a lot of sense, or they make a lot of sense in their disused sense, or the contemporary constant of so much fractured meaning and importance, redundantly prescient - like emijos, unbelievably cute, still doesn’t mean we’re going to take the time learning anything about them, the world a vast place comprised mostly of nonmeaning and unbearable, and here instead placed into the vacuous fracture of the non-sense of so much visual culture, we simply can’t be made to care, the distraught pathos (these things definitely have a pathos) of realizing that it might all be beyond our ability to consume in total, and so give up a little bit and bathe in the emptiness, a more sympathetic Jordan Wolfson.