Saturday, November 28, 2020

Contemporary Art Writing Quarterly



In case you’d like to spend a while absorbed in anything other than listless documentation of art, you might like to visit Contemporary Art Writing Quarterly, where we publish deeper, uh, "expanses" on art. Pick your essay below:

Jean-Luc Moulène at Chantal Crousel


(link)

Moulène riding fine line of decorative tripe and experiments unnerving enough to shrug easy swallow - a straddling that tensions each. Moulène always threatening to fall into the high powered kitsch of Urs Fischer or Ugo Rondinone but never actually doing it. The automotive sex of the purple shiny thing is made explicit by the inflated concrete tits, its latent sex unhidden.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Nancy Lupo at Sydney

(link)

Stuf becomes subject. Curdles a skin, a flake to slough. Contaminates, spreads. "Disposable." "Flushable." Problems in city pipes, amassing with congealed human grease to create clogs from hell. "Behold The Fatberg: London's 130-Ton, 'Rock-Solid' Sewer Blockage" A world unable to contain our disposability. Reamasses elsewhere, waiting in the night, leaking nightmare. Find toothpicks in veins. Lupo's associative juicing. The process of paper making and the accumulation of sewer blockage aren't that different. A more human pulp. A calendar of waste.


See too: Nancy Lupo at Kristina KiteNancy Lupo at Swiss InstituteNancy Lupo at 1857Nancy Lupo at Antenna Space

Thursday, November 26, 2020

 Past: 

"The Gerberian support's proposal of a third party in the usual object/viewer duo, a middleman standing watch to serve you the art ... The general supports of art - walls, lights, pedestals - are cold inanimate and, generally, ignored, and Gerber's proposition, their filling with blood, sedimented subjectivity, makes the walls seem alive and watching, that though they are painted white they contain just a different behind in them."

"Objects Curated to displace their center, their aboutness, diverting it to dissolve and we looking around, feel a presence, the object juiced to mean. The dumb object speaks in the noise of the viewer reflected."


Read full: Gaylen Gerber at Emanuel LayrGaylen Gerber at Studio for Propositional CinemaGroup Show at Emanuel Layr

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Fredrik Værslev at Gio Marconi


"The electrified corpse of symbolism." Made to jitter again. Not just flags, stained flags the audience gasps, amazed at the corpse twitching. The symbols already existed, the idea already existed in Johns, but these paintings pull the corpse out for display again. A dead thing. Stare into the abyss, the abyss give back to the theater of your skull: this is called Prisoner's Cinema, a lack of stimulation causes the perception of phantasms. We write 10,00 word essays expounding the ghosts. They're symbols. They point. That's what they do. You perceive a content, like a corpse. But that's not grandma laying there.

Past: Nancy Lupo

"Like eye goo, stuff's service is its waste, a continual sloughing, so we can remain fresh, clean. Stuff accumulates, piles, is shed. Stuff is quasi things, is transient, transactional. A disposable fork is, like, quintessential stuff.."


Read full: Nancy Lupo at Kristina KiteNancy Lupo at Swiss InstituteNancy Lupo at 1857Nancy Lupo at Antenna Space

"... smoothed and well worn into comfort: the softness of acid-washed history, whose untreated denim is stiff, abrasive, and has edges that Værslev happily washes away, with the already pre-distressed historical material."

"There is no trap set, no one is going to “read into” these, only conceptual fracture of others moves loaded onto a canvas to re-package it as virtual corporate franchising... everything stolen and printed. A race to the bottom in derivative deflection en abyme. Not so much preferring not to, mass producing it."


Read full: Fredrik Værslev at Bergen Kunsthall, Fredrik Vaerslev at Centre d’Art Contemporain Passerelle

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Tau Lewis at Cooper Cole

(link)

Irrupt your desire into space. "meant to resemble a light-filled womb. ... sculptural textiles reflect on non-gendered motherhood and gardens as sources of knowledge and growth. ...tells a story of joy, freedom, and triumphant love." Scraps rearranged to manifest new reality. That we are imagining. We used to think the gallery provided critique, but we'll take fantasy, a different world.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Marte Eknæs at A MAIOR

(link)

Safety products not only abating hazard but highlight its possibility. A potentialized air of drama that we'd love to accumulate on art's stage: at any moment calamity, at any moment circumstance. There is said to be "a situation." Sort of like an "experience." Even this weak force in the real Painting wishes it could hold such potential. Some previously invisible thing be felt.  The "layers of infrastructure that determine experience."

see too: Marte Eknæs, Sean Raspet at Room East

 Past: Marte Eknæs, Sean Raspet at Room East

"Fincher turned the 'Calculation of Negligence' into nihilistic mantra for millions of angst ridden boys, finding solace for their jade in a new schizo-sado-masculinity, solace in a brutality ending in terrorist fantasies of high-rises burning. It felt like relief. The main character's lavish condo exploding from a gas leak was ostensibly the best thing that ever happened to him. The non-accident we later learn is a symptom stemming from the very repressive bourgeois lifestyle it destroys. That the terrorist act was itself an expression of late-capitalist detachment, the same thing that Baudrillard would later claim in his "The Spirit of Terrorism" that capitalism expressed a sort of auto-terrorism, boredom itself bringing the towers down. The Pop success of both at least clarifies the latent cultural desire we have for the fantasy of watching the world burn so long as they are sublimated (make us able to believe we would never actually desire to see them enacted) through the filters of acceptable and neutering forms, pop-film or philosophy, and here art."

Read full: Marte Eknæs, Sean Raspet at Room East

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Antoine Catala at 47 Canal


A dance to do nothing, an alphabet respirates. A life support to language, get it, and we get our aspiration: "the politics of breathing" or "confronts the reality ... struggling on life support."  Made to jitter, on life support, the electrified corpse of symbolism. A gesticulation to command the attention, get the breath it demands. 

And we think to ourselves, at least it's not another neon.



Past: 

"... and then these words breathing slowly. Hey. Relax. Its intonation would appear friendly, coming in and out with its tide of breath. But do you trust it? ... that coercive calm of advertising, self-help, bait-and-switch sell. Haven't we grown numb to this friendliness, surely we recognize not everything is okay."

Read: 2019 Venice, Antoine Catala


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Megan Marrin at Queer Thoughts


(link)

Showers as prisons, cages. Dark historical undertones. Even if these are "Edwardian" "wellness" and "welcoming"(wut) there's something about "mechanistic" and "shower" that will always dredge some historical subconscious. These are the afterimages of such. (Rid of flowers, we are the ghosts asked to inhabit.) If Foucault were alive we'd already know the spa is a prison. But he's dead and these linger with some notion of. I keep thinking of that Carolyn Lazard quote, the "uncompensated labor necessary to reproduce oneself day after day." To keep oneself "clean." To keep oneself viable. And painting to touch such nerves.

 Past: 

"... an obvious precursor to interest in cultural artifactification and art's white light used as anthropological study ... The world is alive and humming with the energies that conceived an object as well the current emptiness inferring the ghosts that will inhabit it...  A door handle infers a maker and user, and art is the Fried-ian stage that plays it. 

Read Full: Lewis Stein at Essex Street

Monday, November 16, 2020

Wanda Koop at Night Gallery


(link)

like Jawelnsky's heads, which whose anatomy is just the excuse to hang paint. Gives it a reason, the face arranges the paint, like furniture. 

See too: Heather Guertin at Brennan & Griffin 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Timur Si-qin at von ammon co


An ad campaign for the earth? There's a pitch deck (or "white paper"), a .faith website, and an essay proving this isn't ironic. Arguing capitalism and corporations as inherent historical extension of western judeo-christianity with all its implicit bad values. Which then using those corporate strategies to promote a new religion, which is itself, which is an artwork, for your display. It's all very en abyme. Ostensibly this is using the machine to kill the machine. Or at least a publicity project for a new religion to destroy the machine. A publicity campaign to end publicity campaigns. I might be confused with what floor of irony we are intended to exit on, but these techno objects are firmly pro-environment. The glowing landscapes are to make you appreciate the earth, or hate its rendering, I'm not sure, but they look like techno fantasy. 

Past: Timur Si-qin

"The techno-conceptual ... presents today’s shopping experience as yesterday's pagan rituals, the work’s ostensible entomopathogenic function serves to force its host, the luxury goods system, to self-expose. This is the Koonsian fantasy of the gallery, that objects put under its disenchanting light will perform a sort of auto-dissection. That ... advertorial objects act as critique rather than a mere transference of its subject’s fetish to the work itself ... As the PR states the exhibition is the “the mindless mirror,” that though literal and obvious - like the real use of such means - overt hamfistedness never lessens the affect, however stupid..."

Friday, November 13, 2020

Dozie Kanu at Project Native Informant

(link)
"Is there a distinction between furniture and works of art? Where do you fall on the spectrum?"
"Sometimes I make sculptures, but for the most part right now I’m making functional works. It’s a little bit less rigorous. Sometimes I feel pressured to load work with meaning—or, when the work doesn’t have a real function, you’re sort of trying to create a perceived function. As if it serves a purpose. Worth having an existence. That can be nerve-racking sometimes. I think it should happen very naturally, very organically. With furniture, the function is its purpose, so it’s still art in that way. You can still give it that same respect, but you can justify its existence immediately because you can use it, you know?" (interview in ssense
"But Kanu muddles the usual divisions, highlighting the way black vernacular making—slab culture, African textiles—is excluded from rigid notions of what art is and by whom it is made." (Review by Tiana Reid in AiA)

Kanu is right about the functional object. And one of the joys of a vernacular functionalism is the endlessly alternative, the elsewise arrival at a similar solution. Think Birney Imes documenting the solutions of an impoverished south. Kanu's project might be a similar mining of alternatives to an already existing solution, selling the artworld what it wants. 

See too: Jessi Reaves at Bridget DonahueMelvin Edwards at Daniel BuchholzMark Grotjhan at KarmaRobert Grosvenor at Karma

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Yu Nishimura at Crèvecoeur and KAYOKOYUKI and Komagome SOKO


(CrèvecoeurKAYOKOYUKI and Komagome SOKO)

either avoiding or lack a language for the most obvious elements of painting. Or pretend the obvious isn't. Speak to some ulterior, interior, some grand "meaning" just out of sight. Matisse painted incredibly stupid paintings of goldfish, even more of women, but we don't say that; we say, "Goldfish were introduced to Europe from East Asia in the 17th century." A complete non sequitur to painting. We pretend painting is too serious, handled with care. But it is the childlike wonky that is their enjoyment, the complete derangement of "cat" that may be their only fun. Look how poorly I can paint it and still might make you feel it.  But, "poor" is a subjective term masquerading as an objective one, an assessment tool of some biased hoodwink. We don't say that anymore. Which is why this cat looks like a pickle.

See too: Trevor Shimizu

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

 Past: L (the artist formerly known as Lazaros?)

"art's a witchcraft, disproved by the sciences, elucidated by sociology and psychology, in which a practice's material insistence affects a viewer magically: think tarot, images drawn and illuminated to bounce around in your head to alight some new substance inside, like any painting. The further you believe in the drawing the more deeply it affects. A potion for wealth eventually brings it through stubborn physical existence on your kitchen counter to remind you that's what you value, seek. Any object's aboutness, its meaning, it tautologically enacts like a string tied around your finger: the string doesn't necessarily intrinsically symbolize "pick up eggs;" its meaning is conjured by the reminded who tied it. Objects are imbued with meaning, even snakes humans are not primed to fear but primed to develop some emotional response to, blank slates all. Like art the trick is getting anyone to believe it enough to keep it in their home, tie it to their being."

Link: “Hecate” at Various Small Fires

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Past: Pati Hill at Essex Street

"... that while the Pictures gen treated the world as image (available for all forms of permutable misdeeds), Hill's 1:1 copying seemed far more interested in the objects and their traces, not inherently its theft. Far more Gonzalez-Torres than Sherrie Levine."


Read full: Pati Hill at Essex Street

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Hadi Fallahpisheh at Efremidis

(Andrew Kreps, Efremidis)

There was nothing really "new" in Wade Guyton's rocket launch career. The "new" was a false-promise of a new technology for realizing old dreams, a printer for our unconscious. New tech, means, provides a look of promise, of advancement. And Fallahpisheh's more like Tala Madani's, better for its ancient and dumb themes in drawing dark projection screens. This is what drawing is. Old.


See too: Tala Madani at 303 GalleryWade Guyton at Academie Conti & Le ConsortiumTala Madani at David Kordansky



Friday, November 6, 2020

 Past: Hadi Fallahpisheh

"the virtualization of our white space made manifest with a blown out shutter. Letting the light in. That vertigo you feel when the floor falls out, little rooms traded for infinite white void, us floating. This is the world Fallahpisheh draws in photographically, would be the read here."

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Past: Nora Turato

"... The garbage of the 'infosphere.' ...politicians having clipped the sound bite down to two word phrases, the fun of creating your own haunting version, headlines like haikus, is fun. Cut the ends off a sentence and be left with a poem."

"language, propelled with advertorial oomph, instead deadpans with its empty cymbal crash; understand the words but, devoid of context feel a little haunted, disembodied, ghosts of something far."

"Language adrift from meaning. There's always more meaning. Like crap to chewed gum, something will stick to it,  Our active pink lump that attracts and minds the dirt, clings to any interpretable speck of concrete information. And hold it for contemplation. Both advertising and poetry leverage our interpretable bits to their advantage, opening us like a can - I'm not sure if we are meant to enjoy these or feel once again dispirited by their abuse of our good nature - our tender top, berated."

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Past: Ken Kagami

"And one way to feel better about the stupidity of the world is be the one enacting it. Allowing yourself to feel at the helm, in control of the thing that berates. 'Everyone in the world is acting smarter than me' is a more comforting blanket than what is likely our own opinions on bell curves and self ranking..."

"Stupidity becomes the vernacular of a world that is so saturated by it; we are awash in it, berated with it, nor innocent of it. Stupidity is to comedy what holding your breath is to drug expanding consciousness, practiced by primitive schoolyard psychonauts. Stupidity cannot be advanced through elegance or profundity, and 3 Standard Stoppages eventually evolves this raft of cranial blockages, an aspect MoMA says "to display the inherent indeterminacy of life." Indeterminacy sorta like stupidity, the big irrationality. Picasso in his underpants. "

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Jennifer J. Lee at Château Shatto

(link)

Image is just a lure, and the fissures are the fence that keep resolution at bay. "the corrupted transmission of information" "the painting towards a vibrational abstraction." This is the fissure that allows the breath of interpretation, failling to fully complete its semantic transmission, and instead surface, texture, camouflage, phantasmagoria, mute.


Past: Julia Rommel

"and so Rommel makes the object structurally flaunt itself, give paint a stage upon which to display itself, paint, stripped and naked before us"

"A system of indexes, parading painting's material as flesh flaunted. The overt material presence is at the same time the "accidental" means of composition, providing reason for the material to be there, i.e. they're artifacts of a process so we're not reading into the color field emotions of the capital P Painter (of say Marden, Diebenkorn, Rothko) but as the residuals of painting's means which provides relief from capital M Meaning (Parino, Hesse), the great relief of things just being, or trying their hardest to."

 Past: Matte Representation (Jennifer J. Lee)

"Paint like suede. Leather, rubbed, treated. The point is the [soft opaque] surface, a shallow pool ... A plane to project on. Have you touched a movie screen, they're like this, bumpy and silver... A surface that warbles in little blots scumbled. ... a new type of formalism where content is created then made an aside, rejected, cancelled by the imbroglio of meaning."

"Call the exhibition Clue. The puzzles of today's painting in which their individuated flat symbols present a real mystery of a subject. Looking like de Chirico designed a board game. Soviet Realism for the icon age, new devotional painting. Colonel Rublev in the museum with a candlestick."


Read: Matte Representation (Jennifer J. Lee)

Monday, November 2, 2020

 Past:

The romance of battle against architecture, as some have written it. In which the overt drama of rooms is rivaled by dumpy objects attended to. Kaier is seductive. The gesture of the artist's deliberation, hand, heightened to anxiety, makes unresponsive objects gain weight. 

"objects gain authority through compositional attention, (think Fried's theater and minimalism's staging), remnants totemized by a self-aware anticipation of the viewer, and arranged for them - is probably the best argument against speculatory theories. The arrangements anticipate the viewer, appear as though inhabited, sentient by the specificity of a logic which cannot be seen but inferred, winking, and attributed to the Wizard of Oz, an intelligent design from some immanent spectre, but really just a smokeless mirror and us believing again in ghosts.

Read full: Ian Kiaer at LuluIan Kiaer at the Neubauer Collegium

REDCAT at Contemporary Art Daily

(link)

Like fish bumping into glass, attempt to seek the limits of our experience, our aquarium of fantasy.

"...the ubiquity of installation views today (over the very obsolete taste for images of the paintings cropped of which here there are presented none) merely today's fashion, or is it a use of its authority. ..the empty whiteness surrounding paintings today replacing yesteryear gilt. ... the symbolic wealth of hundreds of dollars per square foot of galleries, or museums. Gold leaf is redundant to white walls..."

"sited documentation seems to be on the rise, and emphasized to dramatic effect, highlighting the gallery’s architectural ticks, absurdly so. That Berlin’s Tanya Leighton gallery, of which Sanchez highlights, despite performing the neutral painted grey floors and glowing white walls, is one of the more architecturally memorable galleries. ... the installation shot generally outnumber if not replace entirely the image of the object, even to the detriment of understanding the object. The site as the producer of the art object’s “aura” was established in different way by Boris Groys take on Benjaminian aura in “Art in the Age of Biopolitics” in referring to documentations (in terms of artifacts of conceptual art) need for the site."

"art itself is the realm that allows for this, our fantasy mmorpg; and it is the gallery that is the true virtual space, both everywhere and nowhere, excess in its ascetics. The gallery provides the fantasy of fantasy, that this is all somehow new, or even progress, that we're actually inventing something, simply because it exists."

"the white cube and its Matrix-like virtual space will perhaps become redundant to this physical de-locale, a fear of vertigo of a white space sent into hyperspace the gallery-space will need to self-locate, architecture will appear as a watermark to keep one foot on the ground avoiding the spins tumbling through non-space."