Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Michael E. Smith at 500 Capp Street Foundation


A public's anxiety over the status of the artwork represented in the likes of online quizzes to differentiate children's from famous, a prank gone viral placing glasses on the floor of SFMoMA, or Pierre Brassau. We feel comfort with the artwork identified and labeled, packaged by the camera or work list, catalogue raisonnéd. We appreciate butterflies pinned spread behind glass.  Removed from the packaging artworks and butterflies disperse, cling everywhere, etherealize into suspicion for them. You can never be certain you've seen all the butterflies, their artwork is everywhere. The entire space becomes a distrust of what means and what is merely meaninglessly there. Never really be sure. In Marfa seeing - in the hordes of Judd's objects arranged on tables - a small box repeated amongst many different rooms and asked what this one object of Judd's was: It was a recorder for humidity and sunlight for archival purposes put there by staff, not Judd's at all. Was it meaninglessly there, or should we choose it to mean. For Ireland everything would seemingly be encompassed with open arms, comfort to know. For Smith, building this distrust likely the point. Anxiety artworks.

See too: Michael E. Smith at Sculpture Center, Michael E. Smith at Michael Benevento, Michael E. Smith at Zero, Michael E. Smith at Lulu, Michael E. Smith at Susanne Hilberry