Saturday, July 30, 2022

Lili Reynaud-Dewar at Layr


"I invited men into my hotel room and asked them very personal questions about their lives" - making for the most overloaded artwork ever.  Sophie Calle by way of Ryder Ripps. Or Leigh Ledare. A conceptual gesture precluding/eclipsing its subject. An art as a set of procedures. It's a way of making sure you end up with something "interesting" - the program defines it. The psychoanalytic baggage becomes super saturated, too many rung bells to define a tune. Lest you forget, there is a hidden-not-hidden object here under all this red flag. Which is less the paradox of art's "contractual obligation to display freedom" than it is artistic-commodification of one's own body as an object for psychological projection, for MEANING. Everything is reflected back into the object of one's displayed-not-displayed body. Hannah Wilke but now dancing its inkblot in front of you. To interview a human is not enough you must find a way to paint yourself red into it. Self-immolate into it. Wilke was forced to get cancer to prove it.

Friday, July 29, 2022

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."

Yuki Kimura at Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen


"Photos of brandy glasses usually are shot in the white cloud of virtuality to reduce the room, whereas these are built to hold it." Objects to hold a room. Its a compelling idea. a mirrored sphere like cupped hands turned inside out. An aleph holding all points in one stupid ball. You don't see yourself. 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Past:Yuki Kimura

"Glass which we don't really see but for its reflection, or flaws, it only warbles a world surrounding it, refracts what we put through it. Photos of brandy glasses usually are shot in the white cloud of virtuality to reduce the room, whereas these are built to hold it."

Yuki Kimura at Jenny’sYuki Kimura at Wattis

"...a celestial beauty, a man of so much public weight it begins to accrete its own egg-like shell, his image..." 

"Eyes phosphene in darkness, in vacuity your mind alights. It's called "prisoner's cinema," a useful term for art. Writing about blank art you are confronted with the theater of your skull, your dome's skeletal movie screen.  Blankness rewards the already full mind, handing the viewer back to themselves, allowing all the self-satisfied self-congratulations they can self-muster. The philistine sees checkers; the learned, chess; the PR wonders about the things that aren't there, and the aesthete, Sherrie Levine, Rosalind Krauss's Grid, the whole history of Modernism to fill whatever text space allowed: art abhors vacuum. The tension here: whether this beacon actually broadcasts idea or simply clears space for fill, me, this, now."

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Matthew Angelo Harrison at MIT List Visual Arts Center


Compositionalization, as an artistic strategy, might have born out a Broodthaers' insight that "the arrangements of display [were] credence to meaning, institutional or otherwise." Highlighting museum display absurdity, a department of eagles. Oddly meaning still worked, stupidly. The meaning was in the display's pedagogical function, implicitly stating "meaning, here, now." Somewhere along the trickle of this history things got confused and now press releases are written now where objects once again "speak of" histories or "examine" the great big. But its a function of display, of compositionalization, of rearranging signs in picasso-like forms, until an inkblot appears in the sandbox of culture, art, where we move playthings around to feel control over them, wizards of a fantastical land, us. 

Saturday, July 23, 2022

 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."

Friday, July 22, 2022

Past: Ida Ekblad

"Paint coagulates, a crust like Kellog's Cornflake Scab stuck to fine surfaces. Scabs are excess of bodily presence, we want to pick them, peel them from our elbows, remove the corpsing exuberant. It's itchy [...] 

Like Lasker's stupid strokes, a clownishness, an exaggeration of the painterly ... forcing painting to speak with a mouthful of bubble gum."

Click for full:Ida Ekblad at Herald St (2) Ida Ekblad at Max Hetzler, Ida Ekblad at Herald St (1)

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Past: Klara Liden

"At best Liden's 'examinations of the anxiety of urban space' demonstrates the fraughtness on which society rests: flippantly publishing the keys to city, (e.g. bolt cutters and flashlight); implicit threat bashing a bicycle to death (see too: real violence); or the small smile of this exhibition's theft of things that delineate private property (i.e. stealing the things that make private property possible). Bristling the small hairs separating us from chaos. Feel the rush of anarchism from the safety of the institution...""At worst, wonder whether the rich whose wealth rely on this power don't feel some sort of safety in the irony of owning these"

 Klara Liden at Reena Spaulings (1)Klara Liden at Reena Spaulings (2)Klara Liden and Karl Holmqvist at Kunstverein BraunschweigKlara Lidén, Alicia Frankovich at Kurator

Monday, July 18, 2022

Zak Prekop at Galería Marta Cervera


Prekop has notably remained unphased, almost unchanged, for the last decade. There's a sense of - like fractals - any one Prekop painting already contains every other Prekop painting, you just need to change the level of vantage. Even the color has remained a consistent off-crayola. A palette called Millennial Realtree. (Camo for the average Brooklyn apartment.) The pleasure of these paintings, succinctly stated, is abstraction turned to labyrinth. Not Stella's "what you see is what you see." But painting the puzzle before assembly. "obfuscates any sequence of steps that were taken." Which we are Jack Torrance and painting the boy sweeping away footprints in snow, us hunting for the meat, for the tender innards of poor painting. Painting must build defenses, attempt to elude apprehension, axe. 

See too: Charline von HeylTomma AbtsZak Prekop at Shane CampbellZak Prekop at Essex Street

"The preponderance of overly tasteful paintings today is, in one sense, critically justified through its “reexamination” of modernism, particularly looking towards the forgotten’s more decorative tendencies, Delauney, Munch, Jawlensky, Hantai...."

"... revealing painting's construction that Prekop turns into a game, all the jazz hands of "how's it made." It’s easy to say what is good about these. There's a level of illusionism defeating their ostensible lineage - abstraction's - matter-of-factness. We have a trust in abstraction that it isn't attempting to "hide" anything from us, its paint merely there, that these utilize against us as bait. Set the parameters and run. To mess the usual temporal signifiers of painting ... Flat Cubism. Painting as the interesting display of its information ... interesting conditions."

Past: Zak Prekop at Shane CampbellZak Prekop at Essex Street

Friday, July 15, 2022

They come three, four, at a time. Zebra hard to chase not because the stripes provide camouflage but because the predator cannot single a specific focus, i.e. with overabundant choice the selector's (predators) cognition malfunctions; in nature videos you see lions, surrounded by cheeseburgers, acquiesce, lay down, stupefied by movement, flow, numbers which disrupt the ability for sense, sensation ruins, the surface effect which short circuits our ability for recognition, to choose, to see individuality for a moving surface of pattern and stripe across a broad plain of thing. Eventually the lions that do not starve in the face of such are selected for reproduction.

originally published November 15, 2017.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Past: Jana Euler

"The image today a total malleability. Photoshop makes surrealism quaint, Magritte's entire practice premised on its most basic tools, transpose, cut, drag and drop; and today phone apps like magic mirrors to show you elderly, replace your face with your dog, barf rainbows at will in a world that is totally virtual. "

"and we revel in its mud. ... paintings more like a mirage, shifting muck of material images, and so uncertain about whether that shark officially looks like a cock or if that's just you."
"Against our wishes for clean aluminum concepts and graspable truths, a "conceptual abstraction" is like having mud in your mind. And Euler's feel loose, threaten spillage, a filth inside. 
"like an opened lid and staring into the bait to unpack the whole, pulling one referential string and the whole thing deluges like clowns out of cars, only guessing at the number of clowns in the office.  The thread pulls endlessly, and the sweater never comes."
"Do not open them up in here. It will get everywhere. I am not the cleaner, I cannot keep up with this level of dust."

Friday, July 8, 2022

Chadwick Rantanen at Bel Ami


".. collected images of the cross. ...Rantanen removes the cruciform’s transom or horizontal beam, reducing it to a simple column. The subtle alterations are surgical...  grafting and stitching to restore ...."

At first was thinking circumcision, but realized: it's tearing off the wings a butterfly, removing the potential of resurrection/metamorphosis - returning the butterfly to its immanent flightless body, a grub, snivelling across surface. Witnesses say "flee from idolatry ...  Because there is one loaf, we, although many, are one body, for we are all partaking of that one loaf." No transcendence. A staircase to nowhere, here.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Peter Wächtler at dépendance


Wächtler is always learning a new skill. Usually a craft (for its labor representing love.) A handicraft that a lot of people have spent a life "mastering," but which Wächtler gets suspiciously close to competent before abandoning it. (It should be noted this will all be abandoned.) Desertion of techniques perhaps preventative against said technical mastery, a mastery that would prevent identification with its wet-eyed novice. You "an uninvited spectator to his own stubborn failure at coming of age." Jeff Koons of the rags we call him. The rag is sympathetic in a way diamonds aren't. But it structures Wächtler's question, is it still earnestness if you forbid any other sentiment? Can it be manufactured?

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 5, 2022

Past: Ann Craven

"A disposability, amassment, like pages in diary, sketches in a notebook, kleenexes to breeze, dust to the wind. Cheapness enhances their temporality ... They come pre-wounded as chintz."

" Surely if one cares to paint the moon this many times, one cares. The clock critiqued with an On Kawara style of deliberation: accumulation. Irony tempered by luxury fordist production."

"Is this Stockholm syndrome, or has Painting simply filled with her derivatives making Craven's appear buoyant, floating on her lineage. Even what had seemed so saccharine, seems now somehow tastefully polite. Or a literal process of desensitization, Craven's endlessly repeated imagery eventually producing "diminished emotional responsiveness to a negative,"...   a coping apathy toward any repeated stimulus, called "learned helplessness in rats."

Read full: Ann Craven at KARMA, Ann Craven at Confort ModerneAnn Craven at Southard ReidAnn Craven at KARMA & Léopold Rabus at Wilde

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Past: Steve Bishop at Kunstverein Braunschweig

"Nostalgia a toxic substance used to preserve our memories in formaldehyde's rose tinted veil. New research shows that nostalgia is actually the brain's way of combating negative feelings and nihilism, it is basically the brain self-administering drugs in the form of a memory, recalling a time when one did feel comfortable, safe, happy, as a means to hopefully jumpstart its human.."

"Bishop's seem like medical grade injections of nostalgia. Like leftover cake, nostalgia is an artificially sugary concoction we can bring with us, a souvenir that, like Gober's donuts, we desire forever. Nostalgia is how we laminate our heads to look like there's more precious substances inside."

Read full: Steve Bishop at Kunstverein Braunschweig

Friday, July 1, 2022

Anne Imhof at Galerie Buchholz


Adolescence repackaged as fashion, repackaged as art. We get it. This is vampire. The capitalist extracts value from his laborers as the artist/fashionista extracts libido from teens. The excess of energy in locker rooms. Teen boredom that sediments itself in scratched desks, keyed cars. A culturally loaded mark marring expensive glass, now for sale! "My kid could do that" becomes "my child literally did that in high school and was forced to see the school therapist." Like Michaela Eichwald at dépendance, "a school desk's attempted Baphomet comes out more as a hairy devil with tits, not really satanic at all. Because the acne poxed kid's hard desire for satanism outshines his ability to actually conjure it. (This is endearing.) ... a teenage libidinal excess that has a tendency to spill, run over, an excess energies that stain things." An artist then collects that, markets it as art. The circle of life. 

Think Klara Liden repacking vandalism for its safe glossed consumption. This switches anarchy for apathy. Bored teens being the hottest. The art of that fashion runway stare, where no one smiles, why? That would be the craziest thing to wear in fashion.

Klara Liden at Reena SpaulingsMichaela Eichwald at dépendance, Leave the teens alone 1, 2

 Past: Anne Imhof

"... It's hard to watch bodies adopt ad campaigns. If Imhof's performances seem made for the documentation 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

Certain Dinners