Monday, April 27, 2015

On Kawara at the Guggenheim

JAN. 4, 1966
“New York’s traffic strike.”
New York
From Today, 1966–2013
Acrylic on canvas, 8 x 10 inches (20.3 x 25.4 cm)
Private collection
Photo: Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London

The poetic in art is the sign's inability to complete its connection, conclude.  The painting's dates point to a specificity that immediately is lost in largess and unknown, a fissure, in the inability to circumscribe a date's entirety, or one man's marking of it. This distending distance between the signifier (the date) and its lost signified (the entirety of a day) is its affective pathos. The weight of this. Kawara's index hypothesizes its accumulation of time and date, one million years, eyeing a library of Babelinian proportions, to feel small in front of this vast empty expanse, sublimely romantic. The desire of viewers to find dates to which they can link "significance" eases the longing for the sign to conclude, to fill with meaning.  Like July 20, 1969, the moon landing's meaninglessness given to mean everything, the largest painting to date.

Trevor Paglen at Metro Pictures, John Baldessari at Marian GoodmanAlejandro Cesarco at Midway Contemporary Art, Mitchell Syrop at Croy Nielsen & Glenn Ligon at Regen Projects, Jason Dodge at Franco Noero , Sean Raspet at Jessica Silverman , Simon Starling at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago