Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff at Cabinet

(link)

Notable to the migratory flocking, Henkel and Pitegoff decamped to Berlin and opened a bar. In business it would be called a "blue ocean strategy," i.e. with Berlin's art party become more Donner than dance, the artistically snowbound cannibalizing, a bone thrown to waters bloodying as respectable way to neutralize hungry dogs, demonstrate oneself a source of sustenance, feeding the hungry with cocktails, was no small ingenuity. The theater that came next placed the bar's social capital in the spotlight, literally on view, staged, showcasing the finer patrons on a pedestal and brightly lit to be gawked upon. Before exhibiting the bar itself. Whatever institutional critique it held was mostly in the fact that it could do it better, insinuate itself better, prove the sporting of it, point dull yellow lights at the gameroom of it. And here, in light of the continually furthering of the Berlin trope of artist diasporas of song and dance routines to attend the paintings and objects, its hard not to read this exhibition as proving it can do the whole carnival with a single expensive carousel.