Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sturtevant at Air de Paris

Sturtevant at Air de Paris

Literalness in Sturtevant's work is always a sword's doubled edge, a trap  - that many fell into seen in early writing on the artist - literalness was staged obviousness acting as a foreground which blinded with its hamfistedness. The dark thing next to the bright light. Often this blinding was to hide a negation, the hole of the duplicate, Baudrillard speaking about the Twin Towers: "The fact that there were two of them signifies the end of any original reference. [...] Only the doubling of the sign truly puts an end to what it designates," never concludes the thought, leaving a question of what happens to a sign that no longer designates, leaving a void. Repetition's semantic satiation feels like what exactly? Does what exactly?
To take Sturtevant literally here, constructing the idea that she wants to "KILL STUPIDITY" where the wallpaper is her declarative and the duplicated video exemplar of stupidity is a trap. The advertisement isn't stupid. What the video does is assimilate a contradiction so well as to negate any distinction between its words, between smart and stupid, to basically make it unthinkable, elegantly producing a negation, a blindspot, what Sturtevant had been predicting for years.

See too: Sturtevant at MoMASturtevant at Thaddaeus RopacMark Leckey at Haus Der Kunst + Kunsthalle Basel