Monday, September 18, 2023

Hamishi Farah at Maxwell Graham / Essex Street


It's a hard press release to beat. One can only be more explicit. In gaming, "the meta" is the strategy created by players using knowledge of the inner workings of the game mechanics. For something like chess, "playing the meta" is axiomatic to the game, whereas for a role playing game, a certain suspension of disbelief is required, and "playing the meta" is frowned upon. Since Art is our collective cloud based MMORPG, it is a game requiring its players to pretend like they aren't playing the meta - like they didn't lick the curator's cheeks clean after dinner. Like their abstractions are of conceptual merit. We know art's function and follow that to its form. Broodthaers aside, artists acknowledging the meta is tongue in cheek - Krebber or contingent painting or whatever. But Art's meta was basically laid out by Bourdieu and everyone kind of just steps around this like they stepped around the rich but racist patron until recently it became more meta advantageous to call them out publicly. The meta is always up for debate. The point is, "black portraiture has been through an intense though not unprecedented revaluation in recent years" and that was white's first move. Black to move next. And since we know art's inner function can predict the form, and lo: Farah makes that obvious move, Black Painting. Farah does what he does best, the politics self represent. The exchange in chess, in art, is a foregone conclusion. It's the stupid, brazenly open transaction, of seeing the pawn offered, being taken, that makes it fun.

See too: Hamishi Farah at Fri Art