Monday, September 7, 2015

Simon Denny at MoMA PS1

Long Island City, NY Apr 3, 2015: Simon Denny: The Innovator's Dilemma photos by Pablo Enriquez for MoMA PS1

There's a great panel discussion published with Denny in which his staunch refusal to talk about artmaking in any terms but the corporate terms of "product" "content" and "brand" leaves the other art-types at a sort of incredulous distance, wondering whether to refute the position (corporate terms obviously implying evil) or understand it at the safe distance of metaphor. This "struggle" to come to terms with such description is mirrored in much of the writing about Denny's work, in which writers search desperately to find where the critique - that of course must be there- lay.

Throwing two cents into the pile of change one hopes to be in the world: there isn't "critique" in the ambivalence of Denny's semi-archaeological work, and if there is, it is a tangential critique of the art-world itself, that the Artworld is much less interesting than the oddness of "experience" larger-Culture provides, even its objects. That an exhibition of Mega founder's collection of - what one glossy art magazine felt it without qualifier could be stated as "bad art" - misses the reflexivity of such situation in which a representation of an artifact of culture, an exhibition of "bad art" would be a more interesting experience than more art itself. Whether Pierre Menard or the Quixote himself, "critique" for Denny would only be part of experience of the product, its brand. And, in the same panel, stating a complicitness with capitalism that he doesn't want to kill, Denny is challenged asked what he does "want to kill," again implying the assumption of "critique" that the artworld so desperately needs for its own ends to be there. Denny responds, "That's not my goal. My goal is to make interesting content."

See too: Simon Denny at Portikus, Timur Si-Qin at Carl KostyálBen Schumacher at Musee d’art contemporain de Lyon