Sunday, June 12, 2022

Michael Rakowitz at Rhona Hoffman Gallery


Totemizing the debris of culture. Art as church for contemplation. We come to see the cultural oracle.

[Art] 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." 

At least here the politics are clear. A giant trashbag in the other room inflates and deflates, turning a political act into performance. Press "on" to repeat history for audience. The PR asks a telling question about an artist who sculpted monuments to both Confederate and Union generals: "What does it mean that the same pair of hands made these two works?" But the obvious answer is telling. In cultural war artists are mercenaries.