Saturday, December 31, 2016

Lee Lozano at KARMA

Lee Lozano at KARMA

Hard to do better linguistic service to Lozano than the Molesworth quoted in the PR. And then what better book than Lehrer-Graiwer's One Work, Dropout, taking Hainley's detective format (though in far more FBI sanctioned means) to find the criminal gone and the epilogue, the loss, as the climax. And so despite the wellness of our language's attention it doesn't yet deplete the metaphorical meat from behind their crust. And Which like the dropout itself, painting a series of subjectivities, of choices, consequential actions leading to a piece bereft of its initiator, the death of their author, and their corpse surface left as a reflection of us.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Koenraad Dedobbeleer at Clearing


Go back and look through it. Dedobbeleer never quite producing the same object twice. Packaged as units, the additions make for an n+1 movement continuously distending itself, a palliative against the headache of art's circumscription i.e. eluding the circle by adding one more, not so much resisting identity as a resisting "signature." Rather than the signature's motif of some variable we can solve for, instead we look for an equation that would satisfy any new addition, any one more, the sensibility at the heart it. An ambiguity manifest in the objects themselves who lack any taxonomic class beside that of simply objects, feeling less sculptural than misplaced, removed, the small look of the functional. Making their absolute functionlessness sort of spooky, like looking at a corpse.

See too: Charline von Heyl at Gisela CapitainRichard Rezac at Isabella Bortolozzi
Amy Sillman at Sikkema JenkinsMark Grotjhan at KarmaOscar Tuazon at Le Consortium & Paradise Garage

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Isa Genzken at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel + Daniel Buchholz

(Hauser Wirth & SchimmelDaniel Buchholz)

Genzken's (post-fucking-the-bauhaus) work is a box containing the sound of its own making. Genzken so loved by artists as a consummate "maker," a producer without pretension or ideology but whose work advocates its creation: the amassment of itself, the making of the work contained within itself, the object created, creative.  Genzken founded strategies rather than objects, an artistic down-shifting, a speed that could overtake. "the most influential living artist not because everything looks like it, but because it predicated a conglomerate speed absorbing any last vestiges of particular attention to individuated objects" i.e. When we see Genzken we react to the deployment or manipulation/alteration to its strategy, the means of attending the object rather than object itself. Weirdly deny the consumptive act of looking by permanently existing in a state of limbo that, with the rise to rule of art's image alongside the internet, allowed its acceleration to not self-deplete under an all seeing eye. See Josef Strau.

See too: DAS INSTITÜT at Serpentine GalleryKAYA at Deborah SchamoniIsa Genzken at David ZwirnerIsa Genzken at Institute of Contemporary ArtJosef Strau at House of Gaga

Monday, December 26, 2016

Puppies Puppies at BFA Boatos


Like the oral tradition whose stories allowed modification to fit the moment’s ethos, PP’s unconsensual public domaining of intellectual property proposes the Chiquita banana as open material. Beyond the usual mash-up/mix-up of post-warholian popists, PP’s appropriation remains intact, using brand as pre-established content for its storytelling, inhabiting the corporate/commercial sign systems that have come to determine our world. Harry Potter is the new Iliad for better or worse. And rather than collage systems of most contemporary post-Kelley-Walker appropriationist whose vita-mixing of signs stand in for the dismantling of Empire’s own, PP takes the post-cybernetic appropriations at their word, using the contemporary no-copyright anarchism along the lines of much more politically activated and transgressive forms of appropriation of, say, slash fiction. But so this public-domaining of the private one could posit as having to do with, not only, drag (drag as corporeal parasitization) but too the dirty and cruel world of bodies forced to adopt the identity and means of the larger cultural empire that oversees it, i.e. Adorno’s conform or perish: and that there is a sadness at the base of PP’s comedy that involves the body adopting not its own subjectivity but the the larger culture's as its means of representation with the implicit and ostensible threat to not be seen at all. Making the work super gay, even without the title’s innuendo or PR’s suggesting. Like same-sex marriage, acceptance for a subaltern group within a larger dominant culture comes with the implicit warning necessitating conforming for its acceptance. Of course PP’s marriage proposal as part of its exhibitionary history. PP obviously positing the tertiary: replace conform with thieve, steal the banana.

Which then, 2.): Like Gober’s drains and sinks conflating cleanliness and washing with sickness and waste (drain - and all its attendant synonyms: bleed, deplete, exhaust, consume, empty, reduce) draining away in the wash, PPs hand sanitizer updating Goberian themes to its hypochondrial present, the drain of wash is replaced with the sterilization and preservation of self. Like fruit gone overripe, the body, the vanitas of PP’s early interest, and all its attendant themes of transience, under overarching theme of homosexuality of this exhibition (for whom viral conditions have dark history) and Puppies own experience with a body that betrayed him, and the fruits of the title and the fruits on the table whose bodies and the metaphorical ones too all too early compromised themselves and rotted away on tables, and the desire to be clean, to preserve bodies, the new chemical cleanliness, antibacterial science replacing good-ole-soap, a sterilization that, as we know of those who adolesce under such conditions are prone to new problems, eating boogers reduces asthma in children, the need to be cleanly to conform your body to dominant standards erupts new problems. Dirtiness a real drag, drag as dirty; do you see where this goes?

See too: Puppies Puppies at Vilma GoldPuppies Puppies at Queer Thoughts“Friday, July 24, 2015″ at Essex Street

Past: James Hoff

"Let's make a fictional example, an artist, let's say this fictional artist is named Lucien Smith.
Lucien Smith makes paintings with a fire-extinguisher. This is called "process based abstraction." But if Lucien Smith had made paintings with fire extinguishers pulled from the wreckage of an art warehouse burned to the ground with so much of Saatchi's art within it, fire extinguishers unused and thus a testament to dashed hopes of prevention and ready for Smith's painting well then he'd really have something wouldn't he."

Past: James Hoff at VI, VII

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Matthew Watson at Federico Vavassori


That despite the overtness of their visual frenzy - the visible rendered as technical proficiency - and the importance placed upon it, the visible is - or could feel- unnervingly subordinated to our relation to and what we know of the objects, which is very little, the heavy weight placed toward their unidentifiable reason versus the degree of their depiction, and the less we know about these objects the more psychotic they become: the arbitrariness of the subject incommensurate with the exhaustive - pathological - attention paid, and even if the objects are of some discerning import - which, doubtful - what good does paying them attention in paint do - beside re-inscribing their wealth by leveraging technical prowess and labor time. The attention paid to objects as things of their own intrinsic, post-human, value is unnerving, an uncertainty created at how we relate to our world, everyone is only ever both a mirror and an object, do you see yourself?

See too: “Being Thing” at Centre International d’Arte et du Paysage & Treignac Projet

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Paul Sietsema at Matthew Marks


The hamfisted questioning of painting representation which we all thought had died when pipes were called to question, and Foucault treatised, returns possibly with intonations of "Forget Foucault" whose simulacrum comes bulldozing in with questions of representations replacing real. It's literal here in the currency whose IRL lines authenticate it, and questions abound as to whether perfect replication of those lines would still make authenticate currency, since the map makes the territory, the code to make the currency, etc. etc. and MFA questions of whether painting a drip is the same as a drip. The most interesting question is "Hey, what's under there?" covered by authentication lines. Did Sietsema expose his underwear showing his own very-technically-unaccomplished painting or is it very technically reproduced copy of an unaccomplished painting? The main point is we like looking at dead things and wondering if they can still be considered life.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Silke Otto-Knapp at greengrassi


The Otto-Knappian nostalgia glossed contemporary palette's palatability makes her recycling fun. We get its depictions at the remove we can respect them. Modernism in a dark lens so we can talk about it without being it. With the ethereal silver surface appending some Last Year at Marienbad memory as surrealism. They're backdrops to us looking, sort of ingratiating you as the actor to them.

See too: Silke Otto-Knapp at Galerie der Stadt Schwaz“Seven Reeds” at Overduin & Co.

Past: Herbert Brandl

"The Germanic brushstroke. The fanned and smeared.  Brandt's earlier paintings joining Richter's always distinct two practices, abstraction and fan-brush, lead to mutual horror, revealing the lapse Richter himself couldn't even..."

Click Here for Herbert Brandl at Bärbel Grässlin

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Ree Morton at Alexander and Bonin


Usually art's sentimentality comes as a latent or numb form, like Gonzalez-Torres whose catatonia in place of speech is its pathos, articulates it as loss, distance-from as its means. This a common theme in art; expressions come pre-packaged with their antidote and us all walking around quite well medicated by it and in the face of such desensitization Morton's explicit sentimentality is overbearing, with a theatricality almost comforting.  We need it now obviously, some comfort food, and like the character of Clinton singing elegies for losses, we create a collective fantasy, we desire revision, that someone will step in and just read us the good parts, a fantasy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Walter Swennen at Xavier Hufkens


Flat-footed painting, and the precedent to today's Richard Aldrich or Allison Katz. There is a distinct aversion to deftness. Swennen's painterly literalness: nothing hidden, there is no magic, just the object and just the plodding painter's sisyphean onus, push paint. It makes an image. The interest in this hamhandness is in never pulling the same gambit twice, still producing some object interest while lacking any painterly ambition whatsoever. Doing so with half the sleeve of tricks of most painters, almost ascetically so.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Mark Manders at Zeno X


There isn't a Manders sculpture that doesn't use an instance as a permanent fixture.  This stasis, like a pause, blurs sculpture as its image, blur their bronze eternality with the fresh moment they inhabit. A moment replaced with its object. To be both an object and its ossification, the chair is still a chair even if its a sculpture of it, and bronze dogs are sculptures well as depictions of them, these odd points of superpostion between their difference that makes the world uncanny, reduced 88%, like all the various fives in the world still representing the other. Its a subtle thing treating the world as an image, masking the violence of our treatment of it as such.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Tino Sehgal at Palais de Tokyo


There's been some phenomenal take-downs of Sehgal. From Benhamin Meyer-Krahmer's comparison of Sehgal to Paris Hilton in TzK or Scanlan's to the Music Man in Artforum. Both unfortunately unavailable online. Both wildly lucid and entirely written with the same tongue-in-cheek smile and slightly exasperated understanding that, despite their overwhelmingly negativity towards it, provide the most incisive compelling explanation of it free of the jargon usually accumulating in stacks as the columns that herald them, the artists. It is perhaps the trait of the negative review that the author wishes to be understood, as opposed to the masses of words which however useless semantically already denote the crown.

The radicality of Sehgal's practice softens as it finds ways around its ascetic limitations, as it is documented by onlookers, as it sells itself to museums, as images on CAD.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Sara Deraedt at Essex Street


Vacuums look like Star Wars robots, that is a technology not sleek but faux mechanical, overly so. The term "greeble" was invented for Star Wars' scene builders to describe the false detailing added to increase surfaces visual complexity, to thus exoticize if not heighten the inferred technology. Vacuums are a tube that sucks and yet their encasements evolve all sorts of sleek sexual-mechanical curves and corners, a shell that infers the inner without much referring to it. Agree with the assesment that these are more Konrad Klapheck than Christopher Williams, but only because the objects themselves are. Removing William's pornographic white light for the pseudo-affectlessness of point and shoot reveals the objects themselves as Klapheckesque. The casing isn't designed for the object inside but for person deciding upon it, obviously.

See too: Nina Beier at Croy NielsenNancy Lupo at Swiss InstituteNancy Lupo at 1857Nairy Baghramian at Marian GoodmanKatja Novitskova at Kunsthalle LissabonKlara Lidén, Alicia Frankovich at Kurator,

Past: Will Benedict

"Thinking of Benedict like a gothicly depressed Baldessari is helpful. These look the way having a cold feels."

Will Benedict at Overduin & Co.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Past: Urs Fischer

"...because like Scanlan on Sehgal, mediocrity is acceptable to a public so long as it has a hand in it."

Click here: Urs Fischer at JTT

Michele Abeles at 47 Canal


Signs distressed like denim, "suggesting the works as literal vortexes into which you might be pulled" "Call them pictures generation 2.0" the symbols vita-mixed into oblivion, like David Salle amphetamined on Kelley Walker for the attention deficit. And today the Nytimes posts an article about decision fatigue, the overabundance of information, in which people at malls faced with so much choice cognitively exhaust and the brain, in crisis, in attempt to manage resources, begins to decide either impulsively or not at all, purchasing unrestrainedly or leaving with nothing. So whether you feel tired of these or want to purchase one probably has something to do with that.

See too: CAWD on DesensitizationSteve Reinke at Isabella BortolozziRachel Rose at High Art

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Georgie Nettell at Reena Spaulings


Okay so let's be honest here: what we've got is Nettel taking cultural-cool's fetishization of politics and basically metastasizing it into garishly obvious and horribly blank versions. Like Shepard Fairey posters for today's political desensitization that feels like a personal catatonia, the semio-dissonance frustrates. Like the iconic hope poster quickly depleting its utopic optimism, now appearing ironic gravestone. Embodying the corruption of desire for political agency and replacing it with the politically negligent. The strategy of corrupting its signs, of language, ruins our ability to form political response. If you fuck up language, the rational, enough it destroys the opposition's ability to speak, to rebut. Enough of this causes the "learned helplessness in rats." Again, our political desensitization. Common assumption that art should be a positive force is mistake, sometimes it just proves how evil things can be, like leaving dirty dishes in place of discourse, we feel nothing but alienation.

See too:  Will Benedict at Overduin & Co., Gili Tal at Jenny’s, Merlin Carpenter at Overduin & Co.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Sarah Charlesworth at Campoli Presti


Not being able to see the object inferred, the faintness and its soft faded form, leaving it where sight doesn't quite apprehend it, indefinite states where even though we barely see the thing we still think we know it. Charlesworth's excision of variables from photography leaves portions of its experience as it. Here we don't really see anything, but still see. Dropping the context from objects so we are left with ourselves reflected in them, nobody to hold your hand through it.  The coldness of such a practice might seem to border cruel.

See too: Sarah Charlesworth at New Museum

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Kathy Prendergast at Kerlin


Scientists detect distant planets by measuring the color shifts marking the slow wobble in the precession of stars. The unseen planet's gravity pulling on the star. The amount of wobble infers the size of the planet orbiting it, with everyone hoping for a roughly earth sized planet in the "hospitable zone" to make headlines and add to the list places where life may exist. The point is looking at the blacked-out-except-for-cities's-dots atlas pages is analogy to the stars-which-may-harbor-life. You look at them and imagine worlds.
Like Lutz Bacher's interest in the granular, or Paul Thek's dust, or Gonzalez-Torres' replenishing feilds, it converts the world into an expanse, appending distance, we feel distant, its loss, its dissolve, things returning to dust.

See too: Lutz Bacher at 356 Mission

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Charles Mayton at David Lewis


Mayton's tooling around inside painting's molding corpse has gone on way longer that most, way further than necrophilia - while others have cleaned their pallets of its thick blood in exchange for the clean tools of airbrushes, rendering, and illustrative blending - Mayton has tent-poled the corpse, setting up shop in its really-getting-old flesh. A lot of this was predicted by Polke and mocked by Kippenburger even before it had turned but it's Mayton's stubborn continuation of the corpse-fuckery that manifests whatever interest might lay here, still itemizing black organs turned to mush from already several decades of autopsy in hopes of finding a new clue. Like long ago the host asked the guests to leave but one person's commitment to the party long since past you stay for just to see if anything might come of it, and everyone waiting and everyone else screaming please leave, please stop.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Past: Jamian Juliano-Villani

"Of course the concoctions going to make you feel nauseous it's still got a face."

Past: Jamian Juliano-Villani at Tanya Leighton

Nina Beier at Croy Nielsen


Moving from a visual virtuality to a dispersed cultural one, finding points to overlap as sculptural homophones: cultural cross points bringing their distance together like two ends of a blanket. All the points, listed neatly in the press release, converge here in the voluptuous ass as its breakthrough. You thankfully get to assemble the metaphors yourself, the spine of it: the venus's absorption into our cultural memory (like, the most latent image) surfacing in strange objects, objects that massage the asses they mimic. The vibrato chair's pleasure, or the rotund tourist thieving the paradisiacal pubis he cannot contain himself from taking, utlimately ruining his desire, what an ass.

These latent images precipitated by human desire, embedded into common objects, as anthropologically surreal manifestations of it continually becoming a more interesting aspect of today's surrealism resurge, strongly produced mostly by women. See too:

See too:  Nancy Lupo at Swiss InstituteNancy Lupo at 1857Nairy Baghramian at Marian GoodmanKatja Novitskova at Kunsthalle LissabonKlara Lidén, Alicia Frankovich at KuratorNina Beier at David Roberts Art Foundation,

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Michaela Meise at STANDARD (OSLO)

Meise's 15 years of reproduction of modernist tropes in awkward phrasings is, like Raoul de Keyser, its visual aberration:  Meise's (or de Keyser's) irregulairty forces a recognition of their having been a regularity, a system of rules to which these avoid conforming. Aside from visual interest, allowing inference to see why these wouldn't have been acceptable then and are of interest now. Like, placing the thing outside the circle allows the circle to be seen at all.

Raoul De Keyser at Inverleith House

Monday, December 5, 2016

Alma Allen at Shane Campbell


Smooth muscle occurs mostly in the gut, uterus, walls of blood vessels, bladder, sphincter, etc.- the body's transit tubes - and these sculptures look like the things those organs produce: turds, early fetuses, blood cells, kidney stones. Shapes assembled resemble a basset hound, the artist's sculptures, partially digested. There is analogy to be made: exchanging the smooth muscle tube for linear time and the sculptor for an intestinal tract. Freed from the striations of skeletal muscle that once predicated historical sculpture, the smooth muscle sculptor turns to the open touch of just rubbing, frottage with the inanimate until the rocks are tumbled to our gratification. The basset hound even looks like a partially digested dog.

See too: Nicolas Deshayes at Modern Art

Friday, December 2, 2016

Aaron Garber-Maikovska at High Art


"It will never be realistic for him to claim a critical position for his current works outside of consumerism" says Jonathan Griffin before connecting this thought to the artist's investment in areas of bland mass commerce (which we could extrapolate here to the gallery itself) but never really seeing the point through: What is with the strong connection between commerce and Garber-Maikovska? The higher powers commanding the hand on Garber-Maikovska's ouija-board canvases appears a ghost suffering palsy attempting graffiti: A lot people point out they like hieroglyphs or some beginning cuneiform. The point is they're inscrutable but look meaningful. A ghost affect. This has something to do with commerce, with commodities' ability to move us to buy.

See too: Group Show at Salle PrincipaleMerlin Carpenter at MD 72Aaron Garber-Maikovska at Clearing

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Nina Canell at Wien Lukatsch


I'm not entirely convinced art's absorption of the technologic look isn't simply a means to bring something it doesn't understand into a realm it does in order to feel some small control over it. Let's face it, the world has moved beyond pretty much everyone, we only get our small corner of it, and it would make psychologic sense to develop pathologies in order to feel control of something you have little over. Fetishes develop over a lack?

See too: CAWD on Fetish, Ajay Kurian at Rowhouse Project, Simon Denny at MoMA PS1, Ben Schumacher at Musee d’art contemporain de Lyon

Past: Tris Vonna-Michell at Jan Mot

"the glowing object claims some illuminated significance that connotes but doesn't necessarily mean but just gives a screen to look into and empty."

Click here for Tris Vonna-Michell at Jan Mot