Thursday, September 23, 2021

Ruben Ulises Rodriguez Montoya at Murmurs, Los Angeles


Book title; Elongated Necks: Italian Mannerism through Anime Mech: mutant figuration throughout history. There's some type of desire for a new form of physicality. The mutation on the mutation, an ever growing corpus. Necks selected for desire. John Currin comedy. Your veins pumping microplastics. H.R. Giger's sudden high art popularity. Akira: Tetsuo's corpus extrapolates itself. Ballard's Crash, surprisingly sensuous. Biological tech atrocity. Calvin Klein models, their own El Grecoing body. Etiolated males. The Thing. More potent forms of body. Harder forms of body. Evangelion EVAs, a mech that bleeds. Transformers, no coherence to their machine, only endless CGI particles. Gore is just a body undergoing process based abstraction. Teratomas. The body goes rococo. Your face goes baroque. Not to even mention the cyborg. An unidentified animal washes up on shore, decomposing, mythical. New forms of body always giving torture of yours.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Simon Fujiwara at Fondazione Prada, Milan

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It is easy to say what's good/affective about these. It is ideology uncanny, the way the arcade is the cultural mythos machine, made topsy turvy. Fujiawara's production of meaning is a big cartoon factory. Artists blow up a mall, rearrange cultural debris. Edutainment gone haywire: Dr. Frankenstein reanimates a trade show. The ideology of display into comedy for it. Etc. Learning, but like, stupidity is the funhouse of meaning. Which the exhibition was always the factory of, and we ostensibly liked this, meaning, and ostensibly this was good meaning, rather than ideology. But this became two meats hard to slice. The ability to construct meaning itself became the ideologic function of the gallery that its look lended. And here it was in a kaleidoscope. 

"This is how my world looks – diverse, confusing, exciting, incomprehensible, fearful – and I can only make work that is close to my experience. ... And then, from that, how we construct meaning for ourselves now, amid those ruins. Throughout everything we haven’t lost a desire for meaning or belonging but maybe in a ‘post-meaning’ world we can still have a meaningful existence. I’m trying to understand if this is possible or if the search for it is meaningless."

There's no truth here, just the carnival of experience, fun house made from the funhouse glass of cultural knowing, the warbled mirror of art's stuttering experience. 

see too: Simon Fujiwara at Dvir(1), Simon Fujiwara at Dvir(2)

Monday, September 20, 2021

Past: Simon Fujiwara

"Fujiwara's accumulations of content are not the endless permutations of cultural arrangements that make culture "speak," ala Danny McDonald et al. Instead they seem a return to narrative invested in its display systems that constructs that cultural story, history, myth, not just our garbage. Whether or not it actually assembles meaning, it at least looks a little more like it, by rebuilding the structures that construct it."
Fujiwara: "I was teaching in Amsterdam and wanted to take the students to see the house as we were discussing monuments and how ideology translates into material language."
"The Anne Frank House [...] is one of the few places where every mundane detail of a home—door handles, wallpaper, floorboards—transcend their material status and become symbols of tragedy and hope."
"Inside the house, I was told by the guide that almost nothing of the original house remains except for the structure. That the house was only purchased after the making of the first Hollywood film about Anne Frank"

Full: Simon Fujiwara at Dvir(1), Simon Fujiwara at Dvir(2)

Martine Syms at Bridget Donahue, New York


(link)

Thomas Hirschhorn also started as a graphic designer, also invested in tape construction, but Hirschhorn sold his fandom of philosophy as philosophy (a Gramsci t-shirt in the form of artwork) which was bogus if endearing. Syms' constructions are less the constructions of phallic monument broadcasting the big self than a collecting flotsam of identity, the graphic ring of scum clinging each our cup's rim. The debris of culture, a collective identity. This is our stuf. The undigested matter clogging our pipes and our consciousness. This is afterall the post-Harrison/Genzken aftermath. It's all a bit Unmonumental, which like Maggie Lee, an interest in the becoming stage, self-consciousness and construction. We become the diggers, forced investigators, of our own world. 


See too: Martine Syms at Human ResourcesMaggie Lee, Thomas Hirschhorn 

 Past: Martine Syms 

"Proposals for a radical graphic design often denotes expensive fonts and overlaid text, merely beefing up the intensity of its devices whereas a real radical design would be one which self-exposes the mechanisms of its influence. There is a lot of very unradical graphic design in museum exhibitions whose stark posters and mild conceptual parameters stand in for radicality by being visually and thematically aggressive. This isn't now to put forth Syms as radical graphic design but that a graphic design actually filleting itself probably wouldn't look like graphic design at all and within Syms' claims to be a designer in the visual production of identity is at least closer."

Past: Martine Syms at Human Resources

Sunday, September 19, 2021

 Past: Nina Canell

"not entirely convinced art's absorption of the technologic look isn't simply a means to bring something it doesn't understand into a realm it does in order to feel some small control over it. Let's face it, the world has moved beyond pretty much everyone, we only get our small corner of it, and it would make psychologic sense to develop pathologies in order to feel control of something you have little over."

Full: Nina Canell at Wien Lukatsch

Past: N. Dash

"swatches of touch, the anthropological preserves of our dissolving physical world. These are like catalogs for its remains, our once sensual pleasure distributed over digital networks."  "The Kunstkammer conveyed symbolically the patron's control of the world through its indoor, microscopic reproduction" "but no one is that hubristic today, these are about the loss of that, mourning it, our desire to once again touch things again, like all those salvaged wood paneled Brooklyn bars, churches for mourning"

 at base they are still the butterflies, material, pinned behind glass, catalogs of physical sensations you see but cannot touch. Materiality porn. "...art is the world's development project in all the ways to [build] a materiality so strong it visually empaths itself, feel something through glass.""Our touch, now more than ever, comes from sight, comes from packages of it in the high definition of images and advertising, we feel through sight"

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Stanislava Kovalcikova at 15 Orient


(link)

The "creepy changing painting" - behind your back the camera reveals portraits melting to skulls - another horror trope situating art as haunting metaphor. The trope literalizes the living-dead presence of subject, held suspended in oil, an undead thing. Portraits were always slightly creepy, and this was the hamfisted cinematic realization of that. Portraits "go creepy." Painting was always spooky magic. Conjuring souls before mechanical reproduction. And painters at pains to make some sort of twist on the corpse, acknowledge dead things. Richter drained the blood. Tuymans warmed the corpse. Some just blast holes in it. But all portraits acknowledge their corpse maybe, some more so than others. I think there was a Ghostbusters about this.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Megan Plunkett at Emalin

(link)

Dear grad students: a history of the concept of "paintings' eyes that follow you" - the "Mona Lisa effect" - literalized in the trope of "portrait painting peephole" - villain's eyes peering out at meddling kids. Essays on Sherrie Levine explain the feeling of being observed. Michael Fried's viewer/actor stage. The anxiety of observing, the anxiety of art, the anxiety of being unable to produce "meaning." Feeling others eyes at "not getting it," a social panopticon appears, "surely this is a joke." The Emperor's new clothes, one feeling exposed. 

Thus the artwork mutates to clue boards, becomes mystery awaiting its detective.

"There is a parallel between conceptual art and murder scenes. ... turning a messy world into object, language, into document. Turn a world's blood and guts into evidence ... Both the detective and the conceptual artist turn the world into a story, relying on aesthetic or truth, it's attempting one that you can get an audience to swallow, convince."

"[Art] is a cultural structure such that [its] prize is "what it is about." ...  there is something to be unlocked, understood. There is something to be won. This is the belief. Even the hardest attempts to slap the viewer with just fucking looking at the thing are always already subverted into questions of what this visceral slap means. Painting begins to be prized not for painting but for this mystery. And a mystery, should it not spoil itself, cannot tell you its answer. A mystery instead must load its objects with intent, clues, an ambrosia of noir, an affect of meaning."

"But you are not a detective, this is not a Clue board."

See too: Michael E. Smith at 500 Capp Street Foundation, “Stories of Almost Everyone” at Hammer Museum,


Thursday, September 9, 2021

Seyoung Yoon at Galerie der Stadt Schwaz


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Painting has become a cultural interface anyway, so these make sense, compounding the issue as windows and signs, painting as adverts for painting itself, infographic without info, board without bulletin. But slick affect of tech niceties. What poetry and advert copy have in common, unburdened with having to say anything reputable. "an idea (that sells), that has no corporate use under the corporate surface." Painting after eating one's own tail, disappearing into chimera of surface, the new windows 11 display of painting.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Sean Raspet at Various Small Fires

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The cultural image of genetic mutation, a shared fear: three eyed fish, double headed calves, glowing cats, turtle ninjas, C.H.U.D.s. Or its potential, Golden Rice, AquAdvantage® Salmon, a cataclysm resistant earth.  Accurate or not, the point is a shared etherous cultural fear/potential, a readymade collective unconscious understanding, and these are artworks reaching in to press the button on this anxiety. They gesticulate a potential, a possibility that is aestheticized, juiced on techno-minimalism, to create a Rorschach test reflecting all the cultural baggage they can muster. They need not, nor shouldn't, produce any function of their possibility, because in good conceptual art fashion they neuter any aesthetic to be replaced with its potential. They are inkblots.
There are already artworks with GMOs, people paint with proteins modified for fluorescence, but they don't do thing we demand of contemporary art, clip the image and provide a space for projection.  (See too: Trevor Paglen) The potential monster in the closet is scarier than the monster that appears; an unfortunate fact for our cinematic universe is that most IRL apocalypse/advancement turns out looking pretty banal, but the fear/potential is pretty spectacular.




 Past: Sean Raspet

"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."

"Conceptual art’s hinging of itself on the poetics of its functionlessness, even the driest conceptualizations of dead art scrolls were in lineage with a Caspar David Friedrich existentialism ... conceptual art latently filled with men standing before crashing waves of their romantic ideals, positioning art within a cerebral vastness and nothingness. The go-to form of conceptual art now is a mannerist product version of it, sited within minimalist tendencies of theater, ascribing precepts to objects which evoke an endless myriad of poetic feels."

Full: Sean Raspet at SociétéSean Raspet at Jessica SilvermanMarte Eknæs, Sean Raspet at Room East

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Sophie Thun and The Estate of Zenta Dzividzinska at Kim? Contemporary Art Centre


(link)

The artist performing the resurrection on the dead artists career. Developing it, an emerging artist from the negative. It becomes a performance. The conjuring itself becomes the promotion, generates visibility, is the career.
Past: Sophie Thun at Sophie Tappeiner

"Forensic or creepy photo lab guy, you implicated in eyes looking back, our hands all over these eyes ... Uncertain, our relation. .... the ever slight variations in a human face are alone more than enough for an artwork, face's ability to crumple, wither, and smooth itself in expression. Hand manipulate them to be so."


read full: Sophie Thun at Sophie Tappeiner

Past: Pope.L

"but the joke dissipates and the punchline, lost, disperses the energy of its expectation to an audience as nervous flatness. This type of joke flips the roles, the performer now audience to their reaction, making the best of such jokes just complex enough to contain within the possibility of real punchline hidden and thus doubt, a heightened consciousness of where exactly it lay, the blankness of its meaning a projectable void that you can stand on many sides of..."

"Language abstracted to near illegibility would be frowned upon as a cake-and-eat-it-too cop out, the affect of meaning without having say anything at all. But Pope.L makes the illegibility unnerving... Aggravating an unspoken racial relation of a violet people."

Monday, September 6, 2021

Past: Tala Madani


"When Madani's brush smears shit it bears the shiver of actual ... because it feels someone imagine doing it. Reading a story of a murder feels less horrible than finding, even a fictional, a scrawled notebook saying how they would murder. ..."

"The paint - which painting professors will be quick to remind you is just fancy dirt suspended in fats - equates to shit, or cake, or flesh. Light is sprayed like urine. Children bear the face of men, bear the brunt of Madani."

"Conjuring in the virtual theater of imagination's Matrix-like plane ... the drawing of imagination from an abyss, that, like Bacon's claustro-realms, become spaces for enacting and enacted belittlements and torture, and what this means for Madani in psychoanalytic terms is hard to tell ..."

Click here to read full: Tala Madani at secession, Tala Madani at David KordanskyTala Madani at 303 Gallery

Friday, September 3, 2021

Pasiphae at House of Gaga


Pellicer was Metcalf's 4th wife, his third wife was Pellicer's sister (with whom he had children), and this is but one fun fact in lives wildly full of them. Wars, missing fingers, metal smithing communes, Paris, Brando. Surprise no movies have been made. The world is as full of stories as it is of art. This shouldn't feel like competition, but it does. Preserving the art, even good, seems like wrong archaeology. Keeping what we have the showrooms for. 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Heather Guertin at JDJ

(link)

The static noise, floating through low reception airwaves, the bad television of painting history. It arrives jumbled, confused, i.e. the "What we think we see is a creation of our mind’s eye." In other words, an inkblot.

see too: Heather Guertin at Brennan & Griffin 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Past: Jennie Jieun Lee 

"Like an art museum..  a world we see but don't touch. Separated by this glass, both art and porn must find ways to make physical sensation a visual code passable through glass. ...cabinets of curiosities collecting various exotic tokens displayed for enlightened society's pleasure"

Past: Materialphilia 

 Past: David Weiss

"...always tempting fate with their abuse of ideals, their jesting the seriousness life requires, and becoming admittedly bourgeois artists awaiting the comeuppance they teased. ... the eroding flippancy at life, taking it unseriously easy... which through the committee's business-like approach to mass frivolity finally made it the most artless serious business."

Past: David Weiss

Nicole Eisenman at Astrup Fearnley Museet


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Recent figuration - or perhaps figuration in the general last-200-years sense - oft used its skeletons as mere armatures hanging style, flesh was merely the tapestry of artistic identity, brand. Aesthetic invention was an artistic rug to throw over scene, this was called painting. The person's face was less representation than stamped by artistic trademark.  Brushwork as logotype. This is so obvious that is becomes part of the myth of art - we identify paintings based on well they showcase the "essence" of the painter. For a minute this is what we all loved Amy Sillman for - the awkward adolescence of artistic development, a becoming before it actually became. 
A difference between cartoons/comics and paintings is that comics ask you to understand them but paintings ask you to identify them. This is all to say that Eisenman seems - even when invested in style - to care about the image more than artistic overlay. This makes them more enjoyable than most, there are "surprises and not strategies." The above painting is basically a medical illustration of such.

 Past: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster at Century Pictures

"Reading a book in a commercial art gallery was a torture device invented for the late Medieval Era. A sort of mental flog, a public humiliation. The point being, you're not supposed to read the books. It is a show library. ... You peruse a person's library to triangulate a subject, denote their reader, here an artist, an ostensible brandishing of an intellectual pedigree."

Full: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster at Century Pictures


Past: Bri Williams at Interface

"What a time for an exhibition about soap. Soap we consider clean but we wouldn't want to touch a bar found on the floor of a public shower. If I covered you in lye, your body would turn to soap, a simple process of an alkaline solution mixing with fatty tissues. Your body itself is barely not-soap, and soap opens your body to becoming not body, cleanses you by blurring self with soap, which goes down the drain..."

Friday, August 20, 2021

Past: Kerstin BrätschKAYA

"Genzken the most influential living artist not because everything looks like it, but because it predicated a conglomerate speed absorbing any last vestiges of particular attention to individuated objects. And whereas others used this to produce "series," Genzken extrapolated, used this as a means of acceleration in which speed and production was the communication, amassing product and centering production as the point. That the production of itself became the product."

Adam Kleinman in TZK: "as many artists have learned to feed this desire with work made quickly, but with enough conceptual acrobatics to make them acceptable as part of a canon of their own oeuvre—or that of a supposed canon on the critique of modernity. And here, the artist has found a way not only to maximize the circulation of his/her work, but also to reduce the budget in terms of both time and materials—the original shady business of “skimming”, although one that is justifiable considering the low rate of artist fee’s. Within this particular loop, a potential critique of excess is ensnared as another symptom of that very excess. And it is with this dual farce of today’s production and related branding activities, namely the desire for the curator to collect and justify an artistic industry of prefab and ready-at-hand esoterics, that one should enjoy DAS INSTITUT’s irreverent something for everybody with a little for everyone approach."

"WHO says by 2020 depression will be the second most prevalent medical condition in the world. Rats pleasure themselves to death. ...use of beauty as a deployable assaultive thing, prolific- likely what critics refers to as the artist's "advertising strategies" - exhausting..."


Click here Kerstin Brätsch at Gio Marconi
Click here DAS INSTITÜT at Serpentine Gallery
Click here KAYA at Deborah Schamoni
Click here Kerstin Brätsch at Gavin Brown


Thursday, August 12, 2021

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."

 Past: Talia Chetrit at Sies + Hoke 

"The particular fabric of business suits and the explicitness of world's origin selfies' rawness makes for an interesting fetishistic photography."

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Past: Yngve Holen

"We treat objects as if they are magic, we acting like a cargo cult, arranging the droppings of the industrial gods like paganists worshipping more technically advanced nations. We place their refuse in our altars. Objects are designed to affect us, strangely adept at it, advertising like a massive psychologic program and objects are the sediment of its energies. But despite every attempt to make technical objects sympathetic to us, they are unfortunately cold and this is difficult for us."

"That terrible emptiness of objects, an indifference that hurts, and in Holen and other's objects we begin to see boogeymen that we assume must be there to fill the cold object with anything but an desolation. We exceed at inventing gods where there are none. What is behind it is only us. It is obvious at this point that objects we design are reflections of us, this is how the field of anthropology operates. We are designers or our world, of our water coolers cut in half in attempts to find its ghost. There is only us standing around it attempting the small talk of art writing."

"These insectile eyes we recognize is an anthropomorphism softening the blow of cold dead indifference."


Read full: Yngve Holen at Fine Arts, SydneyYngve Holen at Kunsthalle BaselYngve Holen at Modern ArtDavid Lieske at MUMOKYngve Holen at Modern Art

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Past: Lin May Saeed

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

"Making art that expresses care for animals by carving it in material that - if left uncared for - would quickly degrade and release poisons to harm those animals depicted is sort like selling live grenades in a puppy shelter. Why not take a grenade home, why not take back some of this asbestos to protect the earth if not your home, these animals need you. 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."


Full: Lin May Saeed at Jacky StrenzLin May Saeed at Studio VoltaireLin May Saeed at Lulu

Eliza Douglas at Overduin & Co. and Tina Braegger at Friends Indeed

(Overduin, Friends)

Perform our little tortures of cultures. Twisting its nipples to make it say uncle, make it "speak." This stands for criticality. A corpse forced to dance with all the electricity of abstraction. Take culture, give it a little stir. This is our auto-ritual. This is how we make it "mean." Stand in for meaning. These aren't paintings of the t-shirts, these are the t-shirts. 


See too:Eliza Douglas at Overduin & Co.Eliza Douglas at Air de Paris“No Joke” at Milieu

Monday, August 9, 2021

Past: Eliza Douglas

"...clever ideas for coating painting in a candy shell, creating frames that exist as excuses for painting. Like before's hands which cast spells for some "painterly moment." ... means to fill an exhibition."


Read full: Eliza Douglas at Overduin & Co.Eliza Douglas at Air de Paris

Cassandra Press, Kandis Williams at LAXART, Los Angeles


(link)

Cassandra Press is good and interesting thing and this is an exhibition to put the laurels around that. Basically proof that more interesting "aesthetic politics" exist, it isn't whatever generation of conceptual navel gazing we're on. (Possibly this is because what has become "aesthetic politics" has been so gelatinized by art discourse PR that the "political" itself has become a non-sequitur.) So much so that just recollecting discourse for a reader is more interesting. Just like an imaged wall of culture is more interesting than a wall of art. The point is that, like Jafa, we can be direct without sacrificing art's poetic opening.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Past: Pieter Schoolwerth at Miguel Abreu

"... the stylistically performative running the permutations of their look. ... aptly describe the loss of your viewer-self within, metaphor for the free floating body that everyone everywhere is at pains to describe but not touch. So we’ll say it here, it hurts to touch nothing. So when looking at the coldness and feeling the stylistic chrome they contain know it’s a real possibility."


Saturday, August 7, 2021

grounded at Berthold Pott


(link)

"Group shows always look like you blew up a shopping mall, like its reassembly after catastrophe, like hangers categorizing airline wreckage. Trying to make sense in debris. Us, a cargo cult. Us, a primitive culture, drawing aurochs on our white cave walls. With the debris of culture. Our Mystic auto-anthropology. "

"art treats culture as a system of artifacts to be interrogated by its own white light certification process, a factory for meaning production." 

Which this show takes literally. Less a criticism than the exhibition understanding, reifying, the cultural ether. This is what these shows do. Catalog the wreckage. 

Thursday, August 5, 2021

 Past: Anne Imhof

"... It's hard to watch bodies adopt ad campaigns. If Imhof's performances seem made for the documentation that echo them it's because they have our beautiful youth retension this conformity to the fashion that will transmit them. ... fashion, as art performance looking like a fashion shoot, is a nightmare. All of youth's beauty is wasted, by everyone, but now you can watch it be caged live in the clothing of another."

"...Buchloh’s vivisection of Anne Imhof in Artforum only lead to her being in Bankowsky’s Top Ten, which mentioned Buchloh’s gutting as value added...."

Full: Anne Imhof at German Pavilion, Denny's

No couch!



No couch! Amazing! 10/10. What a performance. In all the wildest dreams...


Darkened Rooms, their couches


(Top, CenterBottom)

It's nice on these hot days, to have all these promotional images of dark rooms, to keep our brains cool. The couch becomes the main signifier. We're going to start a collection of these, send in your own finds. Which will you choose? What does your couch say about you?













Tuesday, August 3, 2021

 Past: Michaela Meise at STANDARD (OSLO)

"Meise's 15 years of reproduction of modernist tropes in awkward phrasings is, like Raoul de Keyser, its visual aberration:  Meise's (or de Keyser's) irregulairty forces a recognition of their having been a regularity, a system of rules to which these avoid conforming. ... allowing inference to see why these wouldn't have been acceptable then ... Like, placing the thing outside the circle allows the circle to be seen at all."

Michaela Meise at STANDARD (OSLO)


Monday, August 2, 2021

Manuela Gernedel Alice Select, Berlin

(link)

Transplanting content into a different frame, here a dishwasher.  The white space of art becomes the cube of watery dispatch. Anything in it will get wet, clean. A fantasy.



Past: Phillip Lai

"What Romance! The remnants, records and romance of the hand, the touch. The expressionist stroke absorbed into sculptural gesture, a sensitivity so heightened they feel stunted by their own fetish of sense.  The fetishistic attention to details which remind us of all the sexual deviant's interest in attachments, space, and knots, the fetishist knowns the beauty of his knot is bearer of his love, the pleasure in pained restraint."

Phillip Lai at Modern Art

Sunday, August 1, 2021

NADA House 2021 at NADA House, Govenors Island

(link)

I swear these walls are not white but that new shade of CAD background grey (#ebebeb). The walls were whiter in 2019. I'm not saying we've painted, they didn't, we're just adjusting our visuality - there's new settings on our frame. This new one is more cake like, frosted even, a more indulgent cream. 

see too: A new grey























Friday, July 30, 2021

Rosy Keyser at Parrasch Heijnen

(link)

The secret to Keyser's paintings is that, beneath the scum and the janitorial chunder sponge, the fecal and snot rags like a mother's sleeve in winter, or the sock under boys' bed, they are just really generally pleasant paintings. Opening the tissue to reveal flecked orange magic. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Magnus Frederik Clausen, David Ostrowski at Spazio Orr, Brescia

(link)

The less you try the closer you are to getting something uninhibited, almost natural. You get raw wood, a brushstroke that looks free. Like it's not in a cage. Of course no one really thinks it is. But you maybe get to imagine it. 


see too: David Ostrowski at SundogsDavid Ostrowski at Jir Sandel

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Yona Lee at Fine Arts, Sydney

(link)

The objects of capital, our world, are strange enough. So they become the hieroglyphs of the gallery world, moved into cubes for contemplation. Artists perform the rituals. We glean a ritualized understanding. 


 Past: Yona Lee

"You can attach anything to anything today. A subway pole becomes a mop, runs plumbing, becomes lamp, attaches a table for when we're all stuck underground. The signs get slippery, confused (the thin difference between a barrier pole or a handrail.) This capitalist surrealism that seems inherent to our age - symbolic orders melt to some other demand. Efficiency - the invisible hand pressing everything into everything else, together, the same."

Yona Lee at Fine Arts, Sydney

Past: Judith Hopf 

"Each brick lain a decision by the artist to continue."

Read full: Judith Hopf at Museion, Judith Hopf at kaufmann repetto

Monday, July 26, 2021

Bradley Kronz at Lars Friedrich, Berlin

(link)

Kronz has shown everywhere, making the rounds, leaving an exhibition at every cool young space, once. Sorta like the work, unable tell where we're at, what scale we exist on. Is this a model for something, is this a representation, or is it an object? Everything happens only once. (Except for the time it happens 3 times.) Then it's off somewhere else. Never firm ground to stand on. A fun press release. Weird enough to be interesting, scrappy enough to leave you skeptical. A friend you can't form a relationship to.


see too: Manfred Pernice at Galerie Neu

Friday, July 23, 2021

Hamishi Farah at Fri Art




(link)

Pusha T and Drake's longstanding beef ended with Drake having to release a statement admitting, yes, he was hiding a child and, yes, that was him in blackface. It exploded. People said Pusha took it too far. Drake vocally conceding the beef would have been less of an L than his hand forced in apology.  Beef was supposed to remain in the land of publicity grabbing headlines, in hyperreality, in the game. I.e. Children, etc., shouldn't be involved. Farah's own "going nuclear" would also involve children that should maybe be left out of the game's foibles. Do you see where this is going? For those seeking beef's reportage: After Schutz excused her razzle dazzled murdered black child through her relation as a mother, Farrah, no stranger to surgical summer, painted Schutz's child. It exploded. Farrah's painting of the child was censored in Monopol, labeled an "act of revenge" (language seemingly no German paper used to describe Schutz's painting of someone else's child.) The jujitsu here is black belt. Returning all the stakes of painting - that artists are quick to claim in the same breath they claim to be outside of -  into the real. The virtual sacrosanct of poised conceptuality - "in the game" of hyperreality - Farrah is all too canny in, happy to, throw into the artistically hot water it supposedly was already boiling. Basically, if you want stakes in art, here are your stakes. This is isn't conceptual, these are people's lives, not necessarily all in the game. Not a game. Farah, reasonably, has beef. And there is more of it. His instagram, @merlincarpenter, documents another beef with none other than. Carpenter's once conceptually excused racist joke, that he seemingly would prefer to disappear, Farah continuously drags back into the mud of the real. 

Choosing a side in a beef is always part of the fun. And your choice here is going come with political questions on the limits of art's unquestioned terrain, stakes, Debord, and how much hyper faux reality we can take from rappers. But I fucking hate Drake.

 Past: Lewis Hammond at Casa Masaccio

"Dark in amber, scenes held in brown glass. A "wine dark sea," a Homerian world devoid of azure. ... scenes reflected in another substance, using a mirror to inspect the bathroom, ... An aberration in the glass or in you."

 Past: Lewis Hammond at Casa Masaccio

Past: Michael E. Smith

"A google search says no one has used to word tumor in any online writing about Smith. Which seems odd; his objects seem awfully affected by a lot of lumps, red dots, growths on institution and inflated with resin crusts. Teratomas: the classic hair and teeth of your twin in your tummy. You can google pictures of these, they actually look a lot like Smith's more "bodily" objects. Of growths without cause, find a potato in our eye, the "categorically promiscuous." Things sliding into new subjects like bare knees across asphalt..."

"Threat of bodily violence (a body to become goo as any other) is implicit to art that treats materials as categorically promiscuous (surreal), e.g. if you can put puffer fish under the table's summer sky, inflate them like footballs with whale ears, aren't you as wiling to place skulls at your knees. The disregard for the categorical order is like gore, crushing bodies."

"It's a cliche at this point to say that Smith makes the mundane object estranged. And in a sea of so many surrealists currently operating, less than helpful. Estrangement is today's go-to strategy. Smith's is individuated, each object set off so that we can no longer "know" the sculpture, eroding a complete vision, and opening a distrust. A psychological sliver. We cannot know the object, its relation to other objects is broken, either categorically (there is no category to place the object within, surrealist) or psychologically (the unknown threat). The rocking chair I project from the two elegant bones still in contact with the substrate of the real is not the same as the one in your head. This unknown destabilizing of our ability to conceptualize the objects in equitable terms to exchange with another -both objects and other people - (eroding the material semio-substrate with which our exchange is based) breaching a distrust, is its sinister quality."

"You can never be certain you've seen all the butterflies, their artwork is everywhere."


Click for full: Michael E. Smith at AtlantisMichael E. Smith at 500 Capp Street Foundation, Michael E. Smith at Sculpture Center, Michael E. Smith at Michael Benevento, Michael E. Smith at Zero, Michael E. Smith at Lulu, Michael E. Smith at Susanne Hilberry,

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Mathis Collins at Crèvecoeur


(link)

Perviously there was a speaker for an eye, which makes a metaphoric sense for the haptic reversal of carving. Seeing a feel. The vibration of carving, a touch without. The labor dabbles the surface. While Guston's heavy belabored stroke plodded its anxiety, the sweat here seems less anxious than proof of work, not frivolous, not quite etched in stone, but heading there.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Ceal Floyer Massimo at Minini, Brescia


(link)

Historical anti-retinal trends led to concerns with meaning, to an audience's battles with "getting it." Many things were written, both for and against. But eventually getting it was the prize, was the humor, conceptual art distilled to its simplest form, comedy. The set-up, delivery and a vast emptiness. But these begin toying with something different. Almost nothing to get, attempts at non-meaning, attempts on its life. Anti-thought art. A head "kept clear" with the sound of one hand clapping, masturbation pleasure.

 Past: Peter Fend

"Art has been co-opted for worse things than environmental boostering. Fend's utopic aspects seem nice if not necessarily utilitarian, but since when has art been confronted with actualities. Art is a space without expectations of internal success, of even internal logic. ... giving the boring problems of our coming environmental cataclysm at least ostensibly interesting solutions. ... ideas are less the feasible-solutions-for-actualization than they are acts of branding and dissemination, where being excited-for is itself the solution. Whether or not you feel excited is yours."

"... How can one invest in getting Musk to stop?..."

Read full: Peter Fend at Museo NivolaPeter Fend at EmbajadaPeter Fend at Essex Street

 Past: Ceal Floyer at Aargauer Kunsthaus

"...cleverness - the set-up, tension and click of conclusion- and its bathetic pull, "this interplay of expectation and disappointment." ... less fun than sinisterly aware of their exchange of the broken sad comedy of puns as like existentially it, this small disappointment threatening to replace understanding with "getting it," our world as a series of painfully dumb effects."

 Full: Ceal Floyer at Aargauer Kunsthaus

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Ryan Huggins, Jacob Mason-Macklin at PAGE (NYC)


First there was zombie figuration, now headlines declare Figuration Fatigue. No longer tired painting but tired viewers. The blame shifts. Our eyes weary. And it's true, there is a "diminished emotional responsiveness to a stimulus after repeated exposure to it." Ostensibly time will sort this out, but is it true? Or does first claimant get spoils. Looking new is often more important than being new. How many times has assemblage been rekindled by the fresh dumpsters outside artist studios, a new trash appearing different than Rauschenberg's? In a long enough view eventually everything might return to garbage, and we sort through it then I guess as artifacts. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Past: Elliott Jamal Robbins at Kai Matsumiya

"Enough emotional dissonance eventually causing psychologic desensitization, feeling a lot like living slumber.

Full: Elliott Jamal Robbins at Kai Matsumiya

 Past: Alan Ruiz at Bad Reputation

 "... the displayed droppings of dominant culture, broken into artifacts, and presented it in our white altars to press heads against it. We used to draw aurochs on cave walls; we relocate the world into art, to make it manipulable in our realm, sandbox, aesthetics. To stand in for control. Aesthetics becomes the religion of fictionalized understanding. It substitutes its little problem for the one big problem. And therefore claims knowledge, and thus domain.
If the dominance of mass culture includes threat to diminish art, [a diminishing] that we could call castration, then art's transmuting that culture into fetish item is classic Freud: it is "a token of triumph over the threat of castration and a protection against it." i.e. You can't cut off what I own of yours."

 Past: Alan Ruiz at Bad Reputation

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Past: Oscar Tuazon at Le Consortium & Paradise Garage

"See, generally these things are so boring and ubiquitous, we don't notice them. These everyday things. So Tuazon uses all the common ways of making things, but assembles them in different ways that our brains aren't bored with, that allows you to recognize or see what your brain would normally be too bored to see. So you notice even the boring stuff. See he has a feti-, er, intense affinity for the protestant, er, blue-collar, or like, see, he appreciates the common job, son. The vernacular, er, that's why nothing is that spectacular, that interesting. The muted tones. It's a moral ethic, son. Have you ever seen Bruce Nauman's "Setting a good corner?" Of course not you're five. Right"

... or like those dog-eared books with cross-sections, cut-intos, of like houses and steamships? See Tuazon's sculptures are like that. You get to see everything, you notice the structure, you glean a moral appreciation for hard work. For the structure, son. Yes, son, endlessly romantic..."



Oscar Tuazon at Le Consortium & Paradise Garage
Past: Cathy Wilkes

"Since sculptural figuration’s wastelanding after modernism, its return in inhumanist impulse made sense in conceptual and post-minimal fallout. The humanist passe was instead fit into the acceptable accounting methods of the 60's ruling doctrine, e.g. Nauman’s uncanny serialization of it. It continued time and artist again until it started actually resembling the body reflected in cold capital, looking prescient for whole new reasons...."

full: Cathy Wilkes at Kunstmuseum LinzCathy Wilkes at Tramway

Friday, July 16, 2021

Past: Paul P.

"...There shouldn't be this much desire, resting on the surface, as if the surface itself exuded it [...] And P.'s structure become excuse to hang painting's flowers, blooms, cause shimmers in paint. Look how the painter's hand trembles. ...   factories for desire. The steam is hung by painter. ... Do these men sweat, or does the painter sweat for them? The glass of fashion. Desire placed on like a mask... the 'expression is from Page 18 of the Victoria’s Secret catalogue.'..."


Read full: Paul P. at Lulu & Queer ThoughtsPaul P., B. Wurtz at Cooper Cole

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Lisa Williamson Amplifier Tanya Bonakdar, Los Angeles

(link)

They're always like a half of a sculpture. Like the other part should be somewhere nearby. Like a piece pulled out of IKEA both, some assembly required. Something missing.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Srijon Chowdhury at Foxy Production


(link)

Drip with meaning. Or glisten with it. The other one glows. That one prickles. Down there that one has firework flowers that burst with it. A moonglow to spotlight it. These are the painterly wreaths that halo meaning. Bestow objects a blessing. In a video game the object would hover and spin. In a novel, the detective would would pull them from earth for a magnified look. The monolith us monkeys dance around, point at. They are the MacGuffin. The monolith only as meaningful as the plot/painting can ascribe it. The actual meaning is in this means to distribute meaning. 
Past: Peter Wächtler

"... an Edenic earnestness as if unspoilt by social awareness, and reattempting it through the mistakes of a Forest Gump or incompetent detective still winning the hearts if not criminal with immaculate sincerity, which of course isn’t true, but the interest lay in ascertaining the discrepancy, the disorientation of its irony."


Past: Peter Wächtler at JoseyPeter Wächtler at Reena Spaulings

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Alexandra Noel at Antenna Space, Shanghai


(link)

CAWD wrote the release for this. Go check it and the show. 

Past: Alexandra Noel

"... a psychic mess, more pollution than collage, tinged with repression. The shadow of a plane is the specter haunting here, but throughout is an "offness" that is more motion sickness than fear. ...  Noel's light too, toxic, the haze as permanent fixture, everything feeling smogged, poisoned. Pollution as repression, spectacular sunsets, and black oil beneath feet. The 9/11 in everyone's bedroom."

Full: Alexandra Noel at Freedman Fitzpatrick, Atlantis 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Teresa Baker at Pied-á-terre

(link)

Crust composition, stitched twigs, punk weavings, arranging "painting" like a conductor waving his hands to conjure the cultural myth music. 


Sunday, July 11, 2021

SIGNA at Simian & Angélique Aubrit, Ludovic Beillard at Centre d'Art Contemporain La Synagogue


We had always predicted Wilkes to come back, but never expected its haunting to be literalized into performance. Nor in matching colors. Wilke's materialism no longer enough, we need stronger ghosts.  

see too: Cathy Wilkes 

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Past: Joanne Greenbaum

"... gentility balanced with an undercutting maximalism, like a dog having found the birthday cake to lay it out once again on the patterned rug.

"the confusion of painterly terms, parsing the difference in Greenbaum's marks between accident and expression, calculated or automatism. The categories get blurry in regurgitating expressive modes, flaunting its social codes ... always teasing something that we might find repulsively not-painting, irrational.

"... the schizo positioning of painting today, in which everyone wants a subjectivity expressed but no one wants human expression. The hysteric is the ability for the human to appear through the grate of order; social, relational, capital, or artistic."


Joanne Greenbaum at CroneJoanne Greenbaum at Richard Telles

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Leda Bourgogne at QBBQ's


Really got everything.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann at Noah Klink, Berlin


(link)

Little hosts, infected with virus, because their users wanted love. We find such odd proxies for ourselves, we are able to anthropomorphize at distance. Find identification with Wall-E robots rather than corpulent humans. The stupid magic of little underdog computer as effigies, set to slow burn.
Past: Darren Bader

"that if we're going to take seriously the idea of dead fire bricks arranged gravenly on floors, or water become tree, then too so we must accept with it its ideological twin, shrimp tossed in a foosball table or muffins arranged. To argue the importance of bricks/floor vs shrimp/game is to already enter into Bader's standoff, and lose to the man brilliantly willing to lose everything to win."

"Possibly the reason a lot of artists hate Bader, besides the general impishness, is the refusal to perform any sort of critical consolidation of his practice, that moral underpinning of art, "criticality." Instead, at the cost of any "critical" structure a near incessant expansion.  Any of Bader's "good ideas" are buried in an avalanche of "any idea." Darren Bader is exhausting. A lot of artists - despite whatever art's claims to freedom and ostensible rejection of cultural values - wouldn't let themselves behave half this stupidly. The criticism is perhaps that acting stupidly isn't really freeing, but really neither is what most artists do anyway. "

"...on the internet you would see mugs printed with inane images auto-designed by algorithms. It dredged everything available to place it onto a mug. Everything onto everything. A tornado of reference and attachment, and the audience in the whirl attempting to see anything to relieve the anxiety of so much garbage, vertigo in feeling one's toes sense the full ocean of production."



See Full:
All posts tagged Darren Bader
Darren Bader at Franco Nero
Darren Bader at Blum & Poe
Darren Bader at Andrew Kreps
Darren Bader at Sadie Coles
Darren Bader at Radio Athènes,
Darren Bader at Kölnischer Kunstverein
Darren Bader at Andrew Kreps

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Sarah Rapson at Modern Art

(link)

As our arts fight against the endless behind-glassing of virtualization, the distressed look of materiality is in right now. But these seem less about flaunting swatches of a quickly etherealizing world than about an insistence on the material substrates of our thought. A reminder that these are the moldy objects we build our empire on. 2,000 years of grandiose diction projected on slowly eroding blankets. We proclaim "painting now and forever." In reality it will last as long as it's cared for. Not so much painting/materiality as the loss of. Be careful.

see too: Lutz Bacher at Galerie Buchholz and Sarah Rapson at Essex Street

 Past: Sarah Rapson

"While early Conceptual Art was interested in the document ... its second generation is a bit more lossy, interested in the fossil, more precisely the fossilization, that slow decomposition into eternality, history. Recoups its own acidification, hazing, foxing, all the condition reports it will accumulate. ...  a pathos in the materials we find to mediate our touch to the world.

"It would not take a freudian to posit why particularly women appear to be more sensitive to material conditions of the world. Like, while Kosuth was concerned for all the mysteries of "Chair," Wex and Mary Kelly were like yes, but we also get pregnant. The "cerebral" of men's white concerns was treated as the higher plane and, for all its agnostic posturing, the "conceptual" allied itself with a reverence akin the religious divinity it ostensibly exiled. Men, oblivious to their own bodies that had never been in question by culture, had the privilege to etherealize themselves above everyone's heads to some assumed universal while women's were increasingly entrenched in politic ground war...."

"looking "pure," like objectivity, removing the human. ... Of course this was the lie of any commodity: that the clean aluminum sheets comprising boxes or laptops weren't simply wiped of their indentured sweat."

Full: Lutz Bacher at Galerie Buchholz and Sarah Rapson at Essex Street

Friday, July 2, 2021

Group Show at The Downer


(link)

It's courageous, setting your art against the outside, to compete with the real. This is space of painting's "pure idiocy." Its hard headed survival. Or the PR more descriptively, "On the whole, [painting] is fully unbothered by its detractors and lumbers on, buttressed by history and money. Like Don Draper telling some irate underling that’s trying to shame him, “I don’t think about you at all.”" Painting is "this invincible thing that is constantly at war with itself is exhilarating." A stupid animal surviving in spite of itself, protected by some aura, which we all love to argue endlessly what. Art, as our collective cloud based MMORPG. As long as there's players, the game continues. 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

David Korty at Derek Eller Gallery

(link)

Laying somewhere in a lineage between Carrol Dunham, David Reed, Math Bass, painting becomes cipher, a code for it, turned into its puzzle pieces. PR: figures "haunting me from logos and bygone cartoons, advertisements meant to sell desires more than childhood entertainments." The wacky fun of painting converted to information, iconographies of, which connote but don't mean. We feel like we could make sense of these, connecting the dots between its puzzled parts. But we won't, they are their scrambled non-sequitur. What is important to note is that painting converted to symbols for it.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Past: Stefan Tcherepnin

"Like Rat and Bear before them their best feature is banality, their inertness, don't really do much of anything, the muppets grown and birdbrained, as boring as any of us, taking on the roles of young adults, drinking, watching TV, sinking Karaoke, acting as neanderthals, getting all the same shows as Tcherepnin."

Monday, June 28, 2021

Richard Sides at Schiefe Zähne


(link)

The inability to structure information under a rubric, to organize, like CAWD writ previous: "the new drug of conceptual art is the complete meltdown of sense."  This has been true for a while, e.g. Berger's diamond ads next to war atrocities. And Wolfson weaponized incoherence into a final boss, irony. But the version here is more kin Carissa Rodriguez, Darren Bader, Morag Keil. Maybe Keith Farquhar. It's less attack than a slow trip, an inability to find hard ground, the more one looks, the more information, the more the world liquifies, almost psychedelically incoherent, the world begins to fall apart. Psychosemiotnaut?
The fallout of [this] semiotic manicism/collapse/supernova, of the 00’s assemblage (Harrison, Genzken, Pernice et al) and the exploding of Unmonumental’s detritus, left the next generation picking cultural rubble. Artists became post-apocalyptic cargo-cult, artists, still wanting to believe, began to reassemble totems of cultural meaning. Staedelschulites rehashing a form of ready-made-marxist-surrealism, societie's tchotchkies made to “speak” the tongues of the Invisible Hand, worship of gods who must be crazy. Post-Lieske - the real rabble of Neue Alte Brucke, Pro-Choice, etc. - Ceccaldi, Yngve Holen and everyone else - rearranging/collaging/juxtaposing the signs of capital as some sort of anti-altar to them - the whole "arrangements" phenomenon, tableaus of cultural artifacts, seen again and again and again on the rugs of art fairs everywhere - finally hitting bedrock in the strip-mine of Darren Bader just arranging capital’s objects on the floor.

see too: Carissa Rodriguez at WattisRachel Harrison at Whitney MuseumMorag Keil at Real Fine Arts

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Inga Danysz at Sydney, Sydney

(link)

Been seeing a lot of slumping glass lately. I can't even think of all who, Kate Newby, Kelly Akashi, but others unremembered. Jean-Luc Moulène, etc. Is that that glasswork is a craft return, or does glass have particular attributes. Glinty. Liquid jewel? The firm/soft thing? Maybe why Torbjorn Rodland took a photo of a penis behind melt glass. To desumblimate its soft allure? A chair is a just an innuendo for a body. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Christopher Williams at Capitain Petzel

(link)

Williams once admitted in an interview to looking at Contemporary Art Daily every morning, and one wonders how he feels about it now having had the scene slip so far from his particular register of work. Does he even recognize his anomaly in the deluge of representation? Even what might be considered his progeny - say Cameron Rowland - have rid themselves of the Knightly Cold Cuts opacity, with work that clearly delineates itself. Because we don't want opacity anymore, we want clearly established intent. This probably makes Williams important to moment, a medicinal flavor. But the en abyme of institutional/self reflection requires an outside party to discern the navel's tea leaves. Otherwise it's just tying up the institution in your ornate slick personal knots to look at your button. Otherwise it's just kink. 

 Past: Christopher Williams 

"Williams' institutional mirroring - reusing walls, indexing the gallery, reflecting and marking the gallery - its ostensible critique also simply multiplies and reiterates its institutional halos."

"MoMA finally succumbing to its role mass incarcerating tourists - its expanding culture-industrial complex finally warranting destruction of neighborly competition to further house its prisoner-patrons - yet, MoMA, still desiring relevancy to the system, art, whose name it bears and not merely to the throngs from which it happily accepts 25$, delivers the academic-respectable retrospective of Kapital p Photography godhead, Christopher Williams.

"Walking through the space it’s a nice gesture but hard to see the decades’ work or installation subtlety amongst the brambles of families asking themselves aloud, literally “When do we get to see Matisse?” the Frenchman whose tickets are timed before you can even get in line and so the Williams show acts as a sort of slumbering-area for the masses awaiting the carnivale nearby. The punchline to this whole joke, is that there is no punchline at all, the wall texts have been eliminated..."

"Commuting in the same deception, that no amount of looking will explain the object/image, they are representations, deferring elsewhere, and never conceding what lay beneath."

All: Christopher Williams 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Kye Christensen-Knowles at LOMEX

(link)

I'm reminded. Recombinative aesthetics. Like how Grimes recent aesthetic is 9th generation Akira ran though 15 years of Deviant Art, echoed so long until it becomes its own Grimes' "new." How in the storm of West's Ye arrival samples slipped though the stream of producers, missed credits and Francis apologizing afterward. Leading the label head of the stolen artist to lament that Kanye was "another case of an artist who capitalizes on culture ... and because culture trickles up, this means we are all basically working for him." This is likely what the PR refers to as its "degenerative history." Is anyone lauded for collecting Michael Whelan originals? Instead it's the katamari dredge of art that absorbs it into star. The found VHS tape of history, which feels like an artifact instead of a representation. This is a problem for all culture but it does show there's still a crowning distinction between high and low and who gets to wear it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Wangechi Mutu at Gladstone Gallery, New York


(link)

Last time's nguva sculptures had at least owned the slickness of bronze. Palpable. These seem more bronze than myth.  These are monuments to, maybe rather than of. If we're having big badass sci-fi-myth sculpture.. then the sculpture part of that phrase seems the least interesting. The Alien-like pool in the other room seems to do it better. Towards a narrative art that is neither monument nor film setting.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Reina Sugihara at Lavender Opener Chair



(link)

These look old. Probably because no one paints this way anymore. (Maybe Cathy Wilkes' rare painting?) Probably because at some point it became important to not look like 2nd generation abex, because that looked dated, because looking new stood in for being new, and thus painting adopted technology like acrylics and cartoons and metal plating and whatever other process it could cling to its surface. But, with a wide enough historical lens, all painting condenses into the same gooey dumb thing. And these just stand out as strange as weird good things.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Past: Yuji Agematsu

"What is contained in a day, what does a date contain, etc. If you pressed anyone on these questions they would admit the hairiness of the situation. But that isn't how we act, when we write press releases the questions themselves are preventatives against answers. This because "raising questions" is, we are told, the power of art. Which makes actually answering its questions a loser's affair - the questions must be kept on life support; Art, for its shareholders, must be eternal. (And thus why thousands of artists continue redeploying On Kawara's essential question. It becomes a mannered tool for evoking, but not answering, a question.) This is one of the worst aberrations of art. There is no critique if that critique never cancels. "Our fingerprints are ours, but we cannot be created from them."

"Expelled from cultural bowels onto streets and corners, and hook it to the intellect, placing the ass into the head, its virtual cubes, its broadcast mechanism, its hermetic boxes, proffering it, holding it in hands up, saying look at this shit. The new ecologies of waste. In old Germania the toilets were backwards and you would poop onto a shelf so you could face your fear. Look at what you had done. The ropes of your making on stark white planes. It had some medical diagnostic purpose, to know what you had expelled, reading tea leaves in shallow pools, to determine how our cultural digestion was going."

"Our growing attraction to trash..."
"Like Tetsumi Kudo's radioactive ecology, or Thek's plexi-flesh, Agematsu's warm materials of human cast-offs reanimated... Agematsu's delicate compositions as ecosystems, precious, resituating the natural to include microplastics dissolved into heavy saturation islands in the great pacific beverage...bears witness to the beauty of Butterfly collections of petri dish human waste, packaged"