Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Haegue Yang at Fondazione Furla


Decorous displays of the mass produced, of the stuff clogging transaction's pipes hung like Christmas trees to capitalism. The store catalog was admittedly her bible and "abstraction" the presentation of it. Abstraction doesn't seem to precisely describe Yang's compositionalization of mass market crap. Unless "abstraction" is taken to mean some form of Marxist fetishization, that these might simply be ugly abscesses of global labor displayed for "abstraction." Like trophies to capital. People make those blinds, handle those bells.You can buy any amount, fill any space, the labor is liquid. The skins of people's sweat hung up.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Maria Lassnig at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen


Everything mutant. Many explained well; Johanna Burton: "an animated approximation of the homunculus replete with all manner of magnifications and obfuscations, ostensible distortions that operate—counterintuitively, perhaps—in the name of not realism per se but perhaps something like a corporeal existentialism." or on Lassig, Paul McCarthy: "Francis Bacon does not know how to paint backgrounds."

So a note on the lighting, which Lassnig's is the cool bleaching of fluorescent "bright white." Tele-visual light. The light of the millennial gallery. Inundated enough by that coldness, the dawning of CAD and the seared product photography of contemporary art, our eyes to acclimate, so we could finally see it. Lassnig painting for years what would finally shine on it. And under the cool colors of "cheery palette of soft pinks, blues and green" there's always something yellow underneath, a lemon squeezed on metal, something pissy. A tendency for picture rot, like urine on the table despite the embalming light for your dissection. Lassnig: "The picture is very yellow, much yellower than in reproductions."

See too: Maria Lassnig at MoMA PS1

Past: Maria Lassnig

Past: Maria Lassnig at MoMA PS1

"It’s the ones that run near amok that are best... the subject-object problem permutes as prescient proto-version of Sillman’s bodies-that-matter imbued formalism, and many others..."

Past: Maria Lassnig at MoMA PS1

Sunday, September 16, 2018

“Remote Castration” at LAXART


"Remote Castration" irrupting on city as graffiti which is like the subconscious's nocturnal emission, perhaps conjuring "Remote Viewing", sending Lorena Bobbit by dream, like a Freddy sorta Scissor-hands to snip the membership to patriarchy. I like this definition since the exhibition's abundance of drawing, which always felt like a means of pulling from the subconscious a diagram to send like a telegraph in to consciousness of another person. Drawing is like schematics for trojan horses that the viewer erects in their head. Painting is an object outside you but drawing form inside you, feeling a lot more like writing: equations building images, sending Ms. Bobbit inside your head where she stands ready, you can see the hole you get fucked through.
Past: Diamond Stingily at Queer Thoughts

"...forever ambiguous until looked upon which like the quantum cat's vitals inside a box, a physical attribute achieves a superposition in culture, a sort of walking contradiction as a symbol of power at the same time it leaves open the wound for the bitter slight, Becky with the good hair.'"

Diamond Stingily at Queer Thoughts

Thursday, September 13, 2018

“Naturally” at Lulu


The Lulu-esque, here all the hallmarks: fragility, a lumpishness, but "naivety" in quotes, found object assembled with the lightest touch, even a quasi-naturalist underpinning, like a penchant for wounded denim, then finally paintings lovely, softly. We could almost call this exhibition a paragon of it, of Lulu. But there's something missing, some ever so slight edge, a metallic taste like a bitterness, like the fruit is fake, or the objects are metallic, or hung from metals, or of car crashes, or some of glob trottery, as a certain say Sharpness we usually find that has become the artistry of it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Past: Nairy Baghramian

"...bodily stones complicating the minimalist mantra that "what you see is what you see" because what you see is sometimes sexually confusing, leather seats looking like the lap of a taught, tan and naked man. The cigar that just might be, or rocks that just might not, a “bodily” different from its post-minimalist reassertion: entendre produces uncertainty in polite company..."

Nairy Baghramian at Walker Art Center?
Nairy Baghramian at Museo Tamayo
Nairy Baghramian at Marian Goodman

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Jim Lambie at Franco Noero


Lambie's whole deal an extensive search for excuses to put garish colors in rooms that don't need it. Like dressing in blaze orange to a dinner party, saying look how "fun" one is but also simply look at him. Not entirely convinced of the need for arbitrary splashes of color as a proxy for fun. A dog at the same dinner party adds a splash of color onto the living room rug but at least his is an act of institutional critique. In this metaphor the dog is Martin Creed. But so, Beautifying the world isn’t reducible to slapping down a coat of color. Despite what public art projects would fund. Nor is it plunking a sculpture onto the lawn of gleaming corporate towers, or your Hamptons home. A fungus on noble corn type lysergic. Literalized here by chaining a dyed fabric swatched to the walls. Sunglasses as stained glass. The world filtered through rose-colored lenses of Hippies' attempts at profundity, rosy retrospection, each one these things are like a question: remember fun?

Monday, September 10, 2018

Morag Keil at Project Native Informant


The normally groan inducing abuse of green screen is perfect here not for its potentializing the anyspacewhateverism of our onsetting digital tyranny but for finalizing the nail in the coffin of its utter banality mirroring the cheap surrounds of the congenitally bland office. You really could be anywhere inside there. Rooms so boring they are physically upsetting. People spend their lives in rooms like these. Landlords piecemeal warehouses into art studios that look like this, the furthest thing from freedom, and fire hazards. There's no way this show is up to building codes. Artists die in spaces like these, surely creating a lot of last moments' regret among the creative class. The surveillance only emphasizing the lost track of your body like phantom limbs. Keil's knack for pinpointing and amplifying the dreck comprising our doldrums would seem cruel if masochism hadn't become so fun as means of at least owning it: the if-I-am-going-to-feel-depression-I-may-as-well-inflict-it-upon-myself feeling of control. So if you're looking for a hit of coal black drudgery Keil is it. Almost baroquely morose.
Here's hoping some of those hollow core doors get sold as paintings, I would like one, mail one to me.

See too: Julia Scher at DREIMorag Keil at Jenny’sMorag Keil at Real Fine ArtsCAWD on DesensitizationMerlin Carpenter at Overduin & Co.Georgie Nettell at Lars FriedrichGili Tal at Jenny’sGeorgie Nettell at Reena Spaulings

“Re: Re: Black Macho. Unleash the Queen” at Philipp Pflug Contemporary


This was a little before shoe burning had recently hit front pages. Johnson's less viral*. I'm not sure what is with brands and out ability to stick ourselves to them, 4 days ago there was no opinion on Nike other than as any other global capitalist conglomerate. Now, thanks to the power of hyperconfused white people, we are forced into conjuring an opinion because Nike has roped a lightning rod into their orbit. Dogwhistle polemics as divide and conquer strategy.The NYTimes is reporting on it. My distaste for Nike's exploitation of a valid (and invalidly polemical) political movement. An interest in Kapernick becomes an opinion on Nike thanks to the power of branding. Staggering  that somehow the conversation over race, sports, and protest, is now, if momentarily, controlled by a Fortune 500 whose name is at the top of the search results. When have brands had such control? Now I want to burn the shoes too.

*One of the more engaging moments of the performance is far before this climax: Johnson appears to stop his contortionals and rests. He squats down, rubbing hands and holding skeptically out above the audience. A respite that doesn't feel all that. An anxious pause that we could make all sorts out of, but the moment feels real and if not Johnson could be an actor. Then he winds his body through the gallery down the stairs and outside and set fire to the Timberlands and sips Hennessy from the bottle, now absolutely dejected but finally actually relaxed while boots bonfire. He wears pink converse (parent company Nike) and a white union suit, patented as "emancipation union under flannel." 
Past: Morag Keil

""Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an 'event boundary' in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away," said the lead researcher. "Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized.""
Forcing day to day drudgery's recognition, the things we care to forget, the daily amnesia of us trying to remember our lives.

full: Morag Keil at Jenny’sMorag Keil at Real Fine Arts

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Florian Pumhösl at Galerie Buchholz


Andrea Rottman in describing Pumhösl's arena: "To use art historian Hal Foster’s formulation, the once-solid canon of modern art has become 'less a barricade to storm than a ruin to pick through.'" And Pumhösl like a salesman with the brilliant idea of smashing sculpture to create more fragments to sell, detachery of every appendage he can snap. Rottman says as much and Diederichsen states this amplified piece-mealing as a hyperpbolic retooling of modernism, repeating the same stripping (laconicness) on that already stripped language of modernism taken to the cusp of oblivion: "but reduction in this case represents an attempt to formulate a problem: What is the minimum condition for a sign?" At what point will we finally turn our heads away?

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Michael Krebber at Morena di Luna


Oops. An artist doing a little show where no one will really see it quietly attempting to take the cash and bam exposed on CAD like being pantsed, showing like clean white gallery underpants, and these as you can see from the photos are very freshly laundered, like an ad for the cotton that holds them. So of course it's the one with the smooshy brown on it you like the best.

Past: Michael Krebber

"Krebber's "preferring not to" the herald of his artistic progeny, fantasizing that maybe they wouldn't have to either. And so artistry's lack became a claim of radical "protest," artist's claiming "strike" on the walls of the institutions that would have them, taking sumptuous bites of the hand that had become feed.  Promising the academic artist a taste of social cool"

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Kazuo Kodonaga at Nonaka-Hill


The department store catalog of naturalism we now need as the world virtualizes under fingertips; in the future there will be booths where you will pay 25 credits to touch wood, feel dirt, see a tree, watch archival footage of rain. "Each living thing, plant or animal, has a soul"and so torture its material to get to "dance," incise a tree to watch it split open its innards, flayed logs like medical brains, melting glass frozen in slumping deformity, raking wood over coals to a toasty sunburn. The exhibition even has a little informational video showing the process, a common sight at trade shows, demonstrating by extension how close you are to the subject lost, glass isn't good enough we display it.

See too: N. Dash at Casey Kaplan

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Gertrude Abercrombie at Karma


Barren lands whose little clues we read for any hope for meaning, trying to make sense in desolation. The last 500 years of western painting had been dedicated to championing meaning from god given gilt. We, finding god dead, erased from painting, find ourselves symbolically bereft, attempting to arranging the secular remains into something telling. That these paintings have direct lineage to today, with the reappearance of surrealism and collage in virtual spaces - you could even say this show is proleptically on time - maybe shows what we're still struggling with. Isolate and excise the background noise, find our empty environs, still trying to assemble objects that we could say matter.

Surrealism too: Matthew Cerletty at Karma, Mathew Cerletty at Office Baroque , “Pharmacy for Idiots” at Rob Tufnell, Ray Yoshida at David Nolan, Sascha Braunig at Kunsthall Stavanger, Alice Tippit at Night Club, Lui Shtini at Kate Werble, Sascha Braunig at Rodolphe Janssen, Sascha Braunig at Foxy Production, Emily Mae Smith at Rodolphe Janssen Jamian Juliano-Villani at Tanya LeightonDavid Lieske at MUMOKGina Litherland at Corbett vs. Dempsey

Monday, September 3, 2018

Andrew Norman Wilson at Futura


"Every morning I open my clamshell and immediately feel the urgency of creating some sort of feedback loop with the images I see."..."The goal here is to acknowledge that we have all been programmed to respond to these kinds of scene composition through sustained exposure since birth. It’s why prestige television grips us so well. Like baby formula."

It's seductive, the power of film, the strategies of advertising that is basically the solution film is now developed in. The way, remembered, a certain insurance commercial could make my mother weep and then laugh as quickly at the ridiculousness of her emotive connection to commercial effigies, fictionalized death's emotional wounding and immediately proffered palliative with horns soaring: "AARP life insurance," or some such and my mother between sobs and chortles, smiling between the bars of her tears. My first lesson in the post-modern. The strategies today's artists deploy with Brechtian malfeasance, affective deployment as assault, short circuiting their usual emotive categories: space guy steps out in awe at SCUBA* minions' crotch harvested for blood while an acapella cover of 90's pop crescendos like the now approaching wave and the minion has the color pumped from him, mosquito, needle, oil rig, and the attempt to make sense of our feelings. "Desensitization is the diminished emotional responsiveness to a stimulus after repeated exposure to it. It also occurs when an emotional response is repeatedly evoked in situations in which the action tendency that is associated with the emotion proves irrelevant or unnecessary." So we collect and collage disparate moments in Magrittean fashion in attempts at alienation, so that we can hold them in our hands at a distance, that slight remove, so when you see nostalgia's video grain warmth sharpen at its filter's removal into the digital clarity that feels so cold we recognize the fiction we prefer. It is today's form of slapstick; physical comedy is replaced with emotional spanking, our weeping no use against a master's hand, he'll give you emotional candy when it's over. Buster Keaton on the piano.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Anthea Hamilton at Kaufmann Repetto


The armpit always seemed like a place where god got a bit lazy. A sort of hole patched with the divine equivalent of Bondo, a sort of universal goo, leaving one wondering if body builders or gymnast armpits are an equally sponge material. God's conceptual flab. Like when Searle called the butt one of design's more embarrassing moments, but Pesce's bum wasn't embarrassing, though maybe a means of forcing embarrassment and mockery to those prudish and uninterested in humanizing an aperture, entryway. The butt was more like design's armpit, a confusing gendering of spaces, giving them a little but too much "body,"  that Anthea's interest seems more in line with in the in-between and confusing spaces of humor seriousness history and whatevers, closest to maybe Nauman in the ability to "teeter on knife point" between irony and earnest, a sort of conceptual flab of reference.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Terry Adkins at Institute of Contemporary Art Miami


The NYTimes said they "evoked vanished histories," which seems accurate to their strange floating connections to the figures, and performers who like Adkins were intended to activate them, are no longer around. "Columbia (2007), for instance, is a circular piece of wood painted with as many layers of black enamel as LPs that blues singer Bessie Smith released on Columbia Records." Is information retained in after being destroyed in a black hole seems an apt question. The "recitals" label that he often used in place of "exhibition" is left to youtube-documentation, reinterpretations, stories. "An animistic approach to materials... when working with found materials I wait... for instance in my early stages I would go to junkyard. Junkyards have a lot of junk in them... identifying themselves has having potential to do something else... that is potential disclosure." Like attempts to carry forward history, connect the past, it all feels like lost civilization attempted to be touched.

see too: Melvin Edwards at Daniel BuchholzPark McArthur at ChisenhaleYngve Holen at Kunsthalle Basel, Cameron Rowland at Daniel Buchholz

AR: Tony Cokes at Greene Naftali

Tony Cokes
Venue: Greene Naftali, New York
Originally Posted: June 6th, 2018
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Brud at Kunstverein Munich


There seems to be two "Bruds." One a collaboration between two artists and the other the virtual influencer startup creating online fictions recently backed by Sequoia Capital for supposedly 6 million. The two Bruds would only be an interesting coincidence, if it is, if the two didn't seem to use the same heavily hyperbolized tech marketing jargon and quasi-fiction corporate facades and both started in 2014. Both are self-aware content generators. The 6 million $ Brud best summarized by this Buzzfeed article describing their solution to the fractured mirror of instagram by creating something faker, literal simulated drama among artificial images, think the Kardashians as computer renderings, which works with those disenfranchised and well plugged in because irony allows ownership of one's pain: the project is stupid and obvious but that doesn't matter because relate to the self-fiction instagram forces creation of. A computer rendered teen states: “In trying to realize my truth, I’m trying to learn my fiction,” before going further:
"I’m not sure I can comfortably identify as a woman of color.“Brown” was a choice made by a corporation.“Woman” was an option on a computer screen. my identity was a choice Brud made in order to sell me to brands, to appear “woke.”I will never forgive them. I don’t know if I will ever forgive myself."
AI self-awareness of course mirroring teens' own coming into the world and "self-consciousness," those adolescents currently dealing with their own living fictions and digital facades and with it the fantasy release of "coming clean" breaking out of the fiction. Which leads back to art and it's interest in fictionalized and false corporations, Broodthaers' Eagle Department or more recently Bratsch's DAS INSTITÜT, a sham "corporation" whose fiction was useful until the paintings started selling and then irony needn't excuse them, so everyone stopped mentioning the sham. "The goal of Brud is to replace Brud with better Brud" rings like Simon Denny's "[critique] is not my goal. My goal is to make interesting content." Or who could forget Bernadette Corporation, and Reena Spaulings, the use of the ironic corporitude to market itself until finally it was just art in a museum. "Brud is pre-occupied by the psychology of tricks, gimmicks, apparitions, illusions, scams, & cons.At a certain point we just started calling it, all of it, content. Every exhibition timed with several dates for you to come back for the performance, reading, talk, live painting, dance, DJ or all at once. You were a content producer, a content manager. An abstraction leveling all types of literature/culture into one encompassed concept that simply meant some thing, anything, exchangeable for views/clicks/shares which we started calling engagement for a platform. Eventually just spamming yourself into history, the audience is invited to binge.

See too: Simon Denny at MoMA PS1DAS INSTITÜT at Serpentine GalleryKerstin Brätsch at Gio MarconiBernadette Corporation at Stedelijk Museum

AR: Jana Euler at dépendance

Artist: Jana Euler
Venue: dépendance, Brussels
Originally Posted: March 28th, 2018
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

“Kinship” at Jessica Silverman


The bowels of August. How's your summer going? Are you strapped to a chair forced to gorge upon the group shows the artworld has brought like stale pancakes that purport to show tomorrow's young?  But then a press release in such deadpan earnestness, its plainness appearing almost offkilter for all its straightforward detail cutting summer haze. In a sea of overwrought excusing that is summer press releases, this offers a lifetime for it. Really no excuse at all. This and then that and here now.  Our heart recognized barren in its several sizes grown. It's grouping of art that doesn't have to make sense, or be made sense of; it's a personal collection.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Philipp Timischl at Neue Alte Brücke


Timishcl's sculpturification of photography is on one hand full of cheeky little moments of puncture - the objectification, fetish, and bejeweling of hyper-beefed men who unwittingly take part - as well as the need to sediment the more transitory elements of photo and video in an object original. Louisa Gagliardi's pierced and vajazzled painting comes to mind. But then thinking of 2004 when Bjarne Melgaard and his lover shot up anabolic steroids and fucked each other and the resultant photographs were shown as I'm sure we've all heard Kelsey tell it. About the level of risk involved and who bears it in what situations. And how Kelley Walker was recently and finally taken to task for not really being able to answer questions about his appropriation of particular cultures, like pushing on the sliver he wanted to finally drew his blood. How it was no longer this cold cerebral thing, and art's problematization actually was problem, our carefree objectification.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

AR: LaKela Brown at Lars Friedrich

Artist: LaKela Brown
Venue: Lars Friedrich, Berlin
Originally Posted: February 13th, 2018
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Candida Höfer at Kukje Gallery


Taking photos of jewelry would have been clearer. The act of appropriation here attempt subversion of the institution by spotlighting it as if a highlighter critiques its excised words. The Bechers, as post Sander taxonomists, prophesied a world that was complete document, threatening the world with their cold camera whereas their now even-more-famous students wielded this mechanical coldness  to excise from the world the blank jewels that undergirds so much contemporary art. Blankness becomes the lure for the viewer to feel rewarded for the ability to backfill the emptiness with everything they can throw at it: there's a thousand things we can say about these because they are illustrations without text, use them for anything. We invent ghosts inside machines, or architectures without people. The "technical perfection" that Höfer is always by writers rewarded for is the very thing that negates any fingerprints for more perfect mirrors, creating a perfect duplicate of the architecture it wishes to encase in glass. We fill in the rest.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Past: Ruby Neri

"'Fertility goddesses for the contemporary imagination;' the objects are a 'fun' ironizing of femininity's tropes, of the goddess, a winking jest mocking the less progressive constructions of 'woman' with comic timing of still being shackled to it. Whether we've moved past patriarchally constructed versions of woman (we haven't) we still get to feel some small relief of casting here the equivalent of a semiotic hex against it..."

full: Ruby Neri at David Kordansky

Jumana Manna at SALTS


Do bones sweat? does the Venus of Willendorf pour? Question wondered in a sauna filled filled with body porcelain, your fragments heated. "...these structures seem like archeological fossils sweating out some tension."Mark Leckey's Big Box Statue Action has been an influential artwork.  You activate sculpture like almonds, place fans blowing at its feet, heat it, electrify it, give it a massage all in pretense to the possibility of its life, sprouting any moment.  The littlest suggestion of sculpture not being just object. Treating it as life. Naughty for its quasi spirituality and animism in an age of capitalist enumeration, how transgressive we're being, treating objects to spas.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

AR: Lin May Saeed at Lulu


Making art that expresses care for animals by carving it out of material that if left uncared for would quickly degrade and release poisons to harm those animals depicted is sort like selling artworks as pulled-pin grenades in a puppy shelter, "here, would you mind holding this?" Sort of expressing the suicide games pretty much everyone believes we're playing now in the anthropocene's foot-to-the-pedal towards brick walls type of time period. Why not take a grenade home, why not bring back some of this asbestos to protect the earth if not your home, these animals need you.

See too: Cooper Jacoby at Freedman FitzpatrickPiero Gilardi at Frankfurt Am Main“May the Bridges I Burn Light the Way” at STANDARDNancy Lupo at Antenna Space3 Shows: Julia Scher Lin May Saeed, Fernando Palma Rodriguez

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

“Painting: Now & Forever, Part III” at Greene Naftali & Matthew Marks

(Greene NaftaliMatthew Marks)*

"Painting Now and Forever I-III"
"Painting Forever!"
"The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting"
"Painting Now" is unfortunately a book though.
and "Now that's what I call painting" seems also to have been a show in a Chicago gallery Scott projects.

*Interestingly the first "Now that's What I Call Music" was released in the US shortly after Part I, in 1998.

As Frankel said of Part II in Artforum it's sort of like "blowing your trumpet in the middle of a marching band." Painting, then as now and possibly forever, isn't in need of cheerleaders, painting sort of auto-blows itself. "But there's some good paintings in here!" as the reviews state. A survey, taking stock of the land so as to produce a map. Great. There's more figuration, color, surrealism, goo. Go look at 2008 here or here. Remember that? Guyton, Price, Smith, Walker, the concentration on the production as excuse to the product? The market was about to fall out the floor in 2 months but it was built back up on the mindless dead who took the 2008ists at their word: painting meant a concept for its execution, pressing print, spraying paint, screen-printing bricks to prove the wall you were looking. The fallout left a vacuum to be filled with those picking up the remains, and we were berated by it until someone finally assembled a figure. So now, 2018, we have the peak of figuration. Guess what is probably going to happen next. Can you short the market for figuration?

AR: Judy Chicago at Jessica Silverman

Artist: Judy Chicago
Venue: Jessica Silverman, San Francisco
Originally Posted: October 24th, 2017
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Paloma Varga Weisz at Sadie Coles


Like life, so hot right now. How long have we desired a living marionette, an automaton, a mechanical Turk, a sculpture so authentic our love would be able to make it real, become a real boy?  The desire to figure such a thing, to be able to envision and draw it. Now that we feel close to actualization of by libertarian tech-dweebs rather than benevolent artistry, we hang them up, disused. There are Real Dolls now. If all artists work in creating naturlist beauty was all for men to be able to fuck silicone dolls... Set the anatomical pencils down. No longer dreaming of drawing, just sort of left in the air, maybe we shouldn't erect anything else.
Past: Kaspar Müller

"Not knowing is unacceptable, but outright rejection would prove viewer's impotence, thus created an environment where artists are able to produce further and further extremes of blankness filled by those refusals to not-know, whose sensory deprivation creates phantasms, see the abyss looking back because we are doing the projecting."

See full: Kaspar Müller at Société, Kaspar Müller at Federico VavassoriKaspar Müller at Museum im Bellpark

AR: Juliana Huxtable, Carolyn Lazard at Shoot the Lobster

Artist: Juliana Huxtable, Carolyn Lazard
Venue: Shoot the Lobster, New York
Originally Posted: June 7th, 2018
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Matthew Cerletty at Karma


like the Back to the Future retro-avant we see currently dominating fashion and politics, nostalgia is candied. The "again" of greatness we are implored to make becomes unhinged from any particular time the imperative could point at. "Again" becomes merely reactionary twist to flood cliche with the nostalgia fueling it. "Again" never was but today repainting the past. These paintings are that "again:" signifieds ripped from referable time. Painting translates into into some anachronistic slide of retro-present, between icons, CGI renderings, "photorealism," illustrations: whatever their means of referring to any realness is lost, and this loss of reality ironically allows the viewer or voter to inflate with their interpretable own. Depictions have all but become completely untethered from physicality, and Cerletty has seeming captured the balloons adrift. These are fake images, but inability to determine the level of artificiality makes them unnerving. Cerletty's stripping the metadata turns everything into clues pointing as interpretable evidence to a time that never took place but in the speakers allowing you to formulate it yourself.

see too: Mathew Cerletty at Office Baroque 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

3 Shows, Julia Scher at DREI, Lin May Saeed at Studio Voltaire, Fernando Palma Rodriguez at House of Gaga




The security camera, early exemplar of the our proprioception lost to digital realms as your body could be distended in mirrors sent through ethers appearing before you, behind you, and Magritte's Not to be Reproduced no longer surreal but our reality, walking into department stores. On facebook you reach out to poke, instagram click to like, your body a ghost appearing in other's mirrors. You appear everywhere. Like deafferented monkeys in lab experiments we lose control of limbs at the researcher doing studies on our psyche attempting to maximize engagement, a word which now means clicks, their hands in our gloves. Animals living with open brains.

Animals in environments degraded by plastics, EPS, Styrofoam. We with some idea rolling around in our heads about how long these foams last, largely abstract, largely uncertain, a million or a mere ten thousand, years, the foam will persist longer than paintings. In the presence of light it very quickly experiences photodegradation breaking down into a powdery substance that will chemically persist in the lungs and bloodstream of animals moving up the food chain. A fragile body, naive, that requires our protection. Sculptures which if improperly cared for become time bombs of their environmental toxicity, careful with them, leaching chemical into the fish they depict carefully, a preciousness we must protect.

The deranged mechanicals. Robots acting stupidly, uncaringly. A world we've designed as such. See the video here. Motors are dangerous, they are inhuman, lose track of where your body is, get your hand caught, its inability to discern the softness of flesh air you experience a rapid what is called degloving.
Past: Lin May Saeed at Jacky Strenz

"Lin May Saeed likes animals, and communicates that by making art depicting animals. Its forthrightness would seem naive if it weren't so endearing, handing it right to you to care for its fragility... the sign intertwined with its loss"

Full: Lin May Saeed at Jacky Strenz

AR: Juliette Blightman at Fine Arts, Sydney

Artist: Juliette Blightman
Venue: Fine Arts, Sydney
Originally Posted: January 11th, 2018
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Group Show at Witte de With


It was nice of them to include not one but two photos of the 3D glasses. A hook to hang your FOMO around, proving the virtuality of your experience with glasses you cannot don. Most art experience is at least vaguely similar to IRL, visual snapshots taken by meat cams. But taking a photo of the thing you could have physically grasped exposed the glass between you and its object. And doubly strange since the glasses should allow for the virtual experience you also can't touch, en abyme our relation to images falls further and further into abyss of distended frames mirroring.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Andrea Bowers at Capitain Petzel


Surely the protest sign is a means of a populace's ability to steal back the language of advertising for its own self generally subaltern to the messages that those in power have the ability to broadcast at volumes stuporous. No one likes advertising, the brusqueness of messages to amplify through clipping of thought, but the protest sign attempts to recoup a voice that has been disenfranchised by a powerful who can drone it out with turn a monied knob. The protest sign requires streets and people to amplify. When it already has all the coronating volume of white walls and press packets and being sold in a blue chip gallery as a commodity it may no longer be protest sign.

 Peter Fend at Embajada
Past: Pilvi Takala at Centre for Contemporary Arts

"...children given fantastical power faced with the continually dwindling possibilities of real. A child's unfathomable wealth, 7000£, quickly grinding down, halting the committee at the realization of its limits: One child equates the once impossible amount to a mere 7 iPhones. The fantastic cannot be realized.  It's not enough for everyone. Unfazed several children move quickly through history proposing different schemes to generate profits with websites and business models (already envisioning themselves receiving discounts on fees) to sustain their wants, and the whole thing moving from open possibility to well-trod territory with a patterned timing. Watching the death of the possible in people so young raises questions of whether this is simply precocious social replication of the status quo, or whether capitalism is just natural to us..."

click: Pilvi Takala at Centre for Contemporary Arts

AR: Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho at 47 Canal

Artist: Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho
Venue: 47 Canal, New York
Originally Posted: February 2nd, 2018
Note: This entry is part of August Review, our annual look back at this season’s key exhibitions. For more information, see the announcement here.