Monday, April 30, 2018

Camilla Wills at Gaudel de Stampa


There is a lot of things, but not a lot of light shed on it. Wills' stubborn opaqueness like low-light conditions, our systems for recognition short-circuit in attempting resolution in scarce information, causes hallucinations. At home science experiment: With just 200 lumens and 10 minutes in the mirror will see your face notably disfigure, like low information voters whose perceptions deform our candidates, a lack of information causing boogeypeople's appearance.  Instead we must "Control the narrative," "get ahead of it," not allow viewers in darkness to install their own figments of imagination, prefill everything with a narrative control that Wills seems obsitinately intent on eliminating, the lack of press releases, or dressed in lorem ipsum, causing a contextual vacuum, a dearth of writing on her, perhaps because writers all so afraid what they are writing is simply themselves in the mirrors on the mantel, invent ghosts in ignorance.

See too: Trisha Donnelly at Museum LudwigAnna-Sophie Berger at JTTYngve Holen at Fine Arts, Sydney

Sunday, April 29, 2018

New Museum Triennial: “Songs for Sabotage”


A triennial scorned, its overt political posture embedded in monuments as gestures for wall and catalogue texts throwing around almost unanimously reviled underdefined politics as big ideas:

"New Museum Triennial Looks Great, but Plays It Safe" -nyt
“Songs for Sabotage,” the New Museum’s 2018 Triennial, tethers fresh artists to stale palaver." -newyorker
"Fielding the hazards of art as activism." - 4columns
"How the New Museum’s Triennial Sabotages Its Own Revolutionary Mission" -artnet
"Ignoring its faux-dissident title" -frieze
"And the curators’ understanding of a systemic problem like this doesn’t diminish it" -art-agenda

Which McGarry goes on: "The most conspicuous effect of introducing them to the market via the museum is the institution’s own accrual of various capital—intellectual, geopolitical, and, with regard to claiming names untouched by rival fundraisers, territorial. The fastidiously heterogeneous selection of artists constitutes a risk-adverse portfolio that secures growth for a museum whose projection of its identity, in an especially crowded local context, has been remarkably ambitious." 
and ends with an honesty: "Part of me wonders if I should continue reviewing international group exhibitions when I am so predisposed to be bored and disappointed by them. I consider it my duty to speak out against the convention when given the platform. I don’t know if it’s fair to cast artists as victims and curators as complicit, if often well-intentioned, facilitators who are ultimately either too weak or too disempowered to change how biennials and triennials are done. With a handful of discoveries, this show does its job, but “Songs for Sabotage” doesn’t sabotage the mold of the triennial itself, so in most respects it feels like lip service."

But perhaps most telling, in Artforum Chloe Wyma's preview had already presumed the critiques at before the show even opened in a single quip, "But will the master’s tools, as Audre Lorde famously cautioned, ever dismantle the master’s house?"

So what does it mean then that we can pre-critique our exhibitions, we already know the aperture for knife's insertion? Whose game is already played out, reviewer and curator.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Ken Lum at Wattis


Whereas for Baldessari the image and text ruptured to dissonant stupidity, for Lum the relation between text and its image, or stylization as font, vacillates in complicating tone, affect, and comprehension, fritzing usual relations to vertical text so usually standardized, corporate, and sanded of any possible misunderstanding. Vertical text is intended to be clean, sleek and lozenge like, a clearly defined transaction between speaker and reader, and Lum's version bubbles with all manner of nerves in us. You see the human erupt through the advertorial transaction which is supposed to remain free of subjectivity - there is never a plaintive plea in advertising, and in witnessing this breakdown of decorum we feel pity.

See too: Mark Grotjhan at KarmaJohn Baldessari at Marian GoodmanJohn Baldessari at Sprüth Magers

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda at House of Gaga


Artists continually forcing a reading between the lines they force distinctly apart so that the blank white space feels ominous and full, like a detective novel, figure it out, Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda adept at objects in aura of evidence or clues. Bits of knowledge that are brought up in the PR, starting with the failure of the cult to deliver its prophecies, its promised cataclysm falling to a gaping white nothing burger, a lot like the art's lines. Providing no auto-bloodshed or endorsement, instead a musing on the aquarium shark (and its connection to Hirst) as a symbol of contemporary art's "predicted avant-garde revolutions [that] never came to pass" and the "set of special texts, rituals, and institutions whose purpose is to manage the disparity between the prophecy and the reality of its non- appearance."  This is all uninteresting, another meditation of art's failed deliverance we've been rehashing for 20 years but now cults and sharks and texts. Except for the text accompanyment which is itself its little own hard-boiled plot that itself empties and fills like a corpse on the beach and you could attempt to use the detective's cultish tools to attempt post-mortem on the story's failure to deliver catacylsm or just think of it as "set of special texts, rituals, and institutions whose purpose is to manage the disparity between the prophecy and the reality of its non-appearance."

See too: Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda at Francesca Pia, Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda at 356 Mission

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Dadamaino at Mendes Wood DM


Looking back now you have to imagine life was, if not hell, at least a brutal minefield for women of the era who, free of a patriarchal home, were paroled to experience the full trauma of a world of men, those sexually "liberated" of the artworld excusing discomfort as "no major offense," the assaulters still allowed their sexual plumage to hang out openly in museums, forced to dodge big pendulous egos swung to wide berths, the male surety allowing the Greenberg-likes to steamroll the scene almost on machismo alone, to allow Judd to state as an entire thought about Anne Truitt in Art International: "She doesn't have a clear idea of what she is doing though," - that's it that's Judd's entire sentence - the defense of which is simply Judd was this much of a prick to everyone, and maybe Italy was kinder, less of the implicit patriarchal rules for gender so pervasive you still hear a generation occasionally defend as "natural," and within this then to somehow find some small elbowed room to make something soft.  Only to have echoing in your head Judd's castigation of Frankenthaler: "Frankenthaler's softness is fine but it would be more profound if it was also hard."

See too: Hannah Black at MUMOK

Monday, April 23, 2018

Past: Sarah Lucas

" The dirty mind sees the content of a culture that is present but subsurface. Some early "venuses" were barely human let alone women, yet we see the maternal. The lengths to which stretch it, how deep it runs. Man two spheres a tube, woman a bucket and curves."

Click for full: Sarah Lucas at CFA Berlin

Eloise Hawser at Somerset House


Plumbing the depths, the correlation between waterways and our most technically advanced medical imaging, the ability to peer under surfaces and into our sewage systems you and me. The human body is indistinguishable from any sufficiently complex sewer. The metaphorical transpositional points are numerous, we're all just bodies of water with structural needs to remove waste through complex veinous systems, and the methods of mapping those bodies mirror each other somewhat as tubed networks. "This will be the first time phantoms, a crucial part of modern medical practice, will be shown in a creative setting" seems like an oddly specific Guinness World Record, but a preliminary search through Leckey's Universal Addressability of Dumb Things and Kelley's Uncanny shows it maybe technically correct if beside the point in a long history or alternative figuration. The long symbiotic history of medical and artistic representations, artists interest in them. Why did Simone Ambrogio come back, what are these medical professionals really up to? The difference in interest may be instead of the representations is how the representations are made here, flaunting the medical science it remains at least somewhat disconcerted with, the new means of figuration, your body like a toilet.

See too: Quintessa Matranga at FreddyYngve Holen at Fine Arts, Sydney

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Autumn Ramsey at Crèvecoeur


The decorative embellishments adorning the subject like Christmas tree, a structure for the hanging of means, that while Moreau's wreaths of ornamental doodadery shimmer with objects and riches, Ramsey's warble with the various means of representing those objects, the paint itself.  Us again gathered around the yule pine's glow, decoration, at an object that has more or less lost its meaning to act the tradition itself, history painting glitz.
Past: Autumn Ramsey

"As painter of things, and cat butts sensuous..."

Click:  Autumn Ramsey at Park ViewAutumn Ramsey at Night Club

Friday, April 20, 2018

Fred Lonidier at Essex Street


"1984 Benjamin H.D. Buchloh wrote '[Lonidier's] work addresses the questions of the detrimental impact that we would not normally be confronted with as a museum or gallery visiting art audience, since the system of representation that we traditionally refer to as ‘the aesthetic’ by definition extracts itself from the economic and political reality of the basis of culture in everyday life, in order to construct the aesthetic mirage that generates pleasure due to its mysterious capacity to disembody and disassociate our perception from the weights and demands of the real.'"

A blinding piece of criticism. The circuses of the aesthetic. Lonidier mending or "fixing" conceptual art's rupture of language to make it say actually something rather than serve up that effervescent lightheadedness I associate with it and deep sea fish. Ron Cook is a bricklayer or craftsperson, which is true, and there is no need to bring Tom of Finland into this despite my desires. We should attempt to recalibrate our politics not to the high drama of spectacle, but to the begrudging daily wear. Let's not get entangled with Ron's glistening bulk, but rather in how we can ease Ron's burden, even the unattractive Rons. Its hard to pay attention to these less attractive details, but this is something art and its sensitivities should be training us for is the point I guess. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ghislaine Leung at Reading International


"For [Chris] Burden the question of, “How did our world end up like this?” is posited as the product of thousands of megalomaniac children grown never learning their childhood fantasies of the world need not be enforced upon it. That the train barons and real estate developers creating the world may have less to do with money and more with the latent remains of childhood fevers." - Chris Burden Metropolis II at LACMA

That we learn in childhood to act as gods. We are given realms. Build castles to smash, bricks to heights, dolls to have our way with. The megalomaniacism of childhood is rewarded endlessly with no wonder why later we are left with it blooming all over our world.

"Increasing prevalence of the diorama, the miniature, their vessels staging us as onlookers to worlds as sandboxes. A dissonance between our interior worlds that of course we find increasingly virtual and beholden to our godlike control of drag/drop materiality conjuring our desires that the outer world increasingly doesn't reflect, the world steamrolled at the whim of other's control. So our turning to dolls and miniatures and virtuality makes symptomatic sense, fulfilling our need for control over a world we increasingly seem to not have much over makes psychologic sense. The world providing ever further customizable habitats to busy ourselves with while remaining deaf to our desires, a lot like playing with dolls."- “Sylvanian Families Biennial 2017” at XYZ collective

See too: Mathis Altmann at Freedman Fitzpatrick

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Erika Verzutti at Misako & Rosen


Material excess, crust, small holes cut in flesh to place tiny stones. Little pimples to pop, nubbins,  to squeeze out excess, or pull an ingrown hair from under tender flesh. Feel bodily presence inside squares. Cut carrots in your belly button. Fill your ears with plastic beads, your salivary glands with pearls, your tear ducts with coral. Connect several puzzle pieces to feel that satisfying soft click. Fill your colon with concrete. Easily fit the average lightbulb's glass end into an open mouth to find it cannot come back out, the skeletal structure of your jaw is one way, leading to a series of horrible wet youtube videos. Remove the concrete to find a sculpture of your colon. How many apples do you think we could fit inside him? Surgically removed hangnails. Ingrown toenails. Rubbing mother's bunions. Rug burn so bad your uncle weeps. Reliquaries of saint's bones. Red swollen earlobes pinned to potatoes. Pizza face leaking. Red boogers wiped on pants. The entirety of childhoods perforations leaving a body like Spongebob. Pumice stones for exfoliant. Cartoon meat like cake. A pound of flesh removed without a drop of blood, just some sensitivity around the glands. I replaced my cheek with a smooth stone.
"Indeed, what the Pulitzer committee lauded him for was this precise ability to make something seen as highbrow, like art, seem less intimidating by his own buffoonery. They cite his “daring perspectives on visual art in America, encompassing the personal, the political, the pure and the profane” as reason for the award. But in a time when American politics has been profaned by the purely personal whims of one white man, the celebration of another doing the same in the arts raises some red flags for me."

see too: “Stories of Almost Everyone” at Hammer Museum

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Miriam Cahn at Meyer Riegger


Like heat maps for sensation, it could be unendurable cheese, e.g. "the red stands for love" but its  their tenuous walk over the chasm of schmaltz that feels like its relationship to horror - the body's ability to fall into a meat grinder or sentimentality, crushed like Precious Moments figurines. There's something so fragile about our ability to feel empathy, to feel tender. We're stupid creatures that are easy to break. The ability for Cahn to at any moment move firmly into the world of melodrama feels as much a threat as violence, she could destroy them with a heart emoji.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Robert Colescott at Blum & Poe


Brush work that drip sarcasm, almost wrinkling with disdain, irony and ire. White flesh is like a plastic coating, like a makeup applied. While the relations are never as ambiguous as Kara Walker's later inkblots; and history reconstruction sees Manet'a Olympian servant reimagined as Klimtian lovers or de Kooning's women as made to sell syrup rather than Kehinde Wiley's grandiose revisionism; and the threading of cultural forms a bit more bare than Kerry James Marshall kaleidoscopes, you can see their protostages here in Colescott's struggle to unite them, the contradictory modes, grandiosity, uncertainty, self-deprecation, anger, and pain.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

“Idiorrythmia” at CACBM

Remember the flag art everywhere like 10(?) years ago, Grey Flags, flags screened with bricks, reflective flags, Reena Spaulings' whole product line of them, their flags half stuffed in trash bags, everyone trying to neuter wide legged stances, neutralize country, symbology, remove meaning. It was what we were into then, our anti-aboutness stage. Trying to make the image itself dissolve, disappear, into the format, the object, so it's almost an internal joke now, but the ability to wrest one more rabbit out of the hat is the talent, a clear flag, we hadn't thought of that.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

“HARSH ASTRAL: The Radiants 2” at Francesca Pia


A show about radioactivity because like the radiation itself its difficult to detect the energy that connects it, you need special tools to see it.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Arthur Jafa at Sant’Andrea de Scaphis


You only get to watch ten seconds of this but you still get feels its promotion. That advertisement creates a lack that can only be fulfilled through consumption it does not allow.

You can watch one whole minute of it here: “Elements of Vogue” at CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Calvin Marcus at Clearing


Marcus paints like a kid, draws like a kid, had huge crayons made for his big kid self. It would be an interesting history correlated, the desublimation of painting, its id-ification, from the surrealist's subconscious, to Pollock's becoming "nature," to finally the triumph of neanderthalism of say Joe Bradley, the history of men's important doodle. The mythology of the infantilized artist. Expressions of nubility, We must care for him, them, genius whose diapers we exchange.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

“Room Raiders” at Mathew


"On the show, three men or women have their rooms inspected, or "raided" by another single man or woman. At the end of the episode, the raider chooses to go on a date with one of them based on the contents of their rooms. The three contestants watch and comment, while sitting in a van, as their rooms are inspected. After the raider has finished with each of the rooms, the three contestants then raid the raider's room. Finally, the raider confronts the three contestants and makes his or her choice."

Which explains the interior design lighting to establish the scene, the artwork as personal artifacts unearthed from homes, pulling inflatable after inflatable out of your holes. What could a person really need with so many inflatable orcas. Perhaps a pool out back. Room raiders turned the common reality contestant into archaeologist inferring the life of the suitor. Regardless of the accuracy the point was we believed it possible for at least two seasons. Which means we believe its possible in art, objects as refractive lens into another, artist or owner, giving it meaning, a totem transformed. You opening your neighbors cabinet to find the hand labeled essence of books, we read shelves like we read people. The painting asking back at its viewer what do you represent?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Zoe Leonard at Whitney Museum

Stuff, decay, waste, time; data visualization has become hot button for business, the ability to represent comes the ability to wield it, and not necessarily inhuman, around for ages with question of how to mark time. There is of course the calendar's abstraction, a system individuating all dates in a grand uniform scale whose rectilinear crates go from now to infinity, days broken into increasingly smaller amounts, paid hourly, an inhuman scale for the mechanization of bodies. The calendar doesn't conjure passing, only compartmentalization, tomorrow's meeting, the calendar is the future, schedules. In attempts to see subjective scales of time, we see wear on shoes, stores closing, passports stamped, fruit rotting in vain. Leonard's practice seems in establishing marks to gauge the rise and fall of water, the rising and falling breath of the city. Stores close, cities revitalize, we pack and move, the body wears, the books become obsolete, our fruits into the floor, the water changes but the falls are still the same, is the point seemed to be made.
Past: Wilfredo Prieto at NoguerasBlanchard

"The Rorsharch tests that nature makes. Predators don’t search for meaning. God gives them to ours to mock us: the more inkblot-like mammals resultant from human domestication; wolves, foxes, and bovine undergoing human selection make Rorschach blots appear. Like God putting an easter egg in genetic biology. Messing back a message to those messing you. A good God joke..."

Click: Wilfredo Prieto at NoguerasBlanchard

Monday, April 9, 2018

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven at M HKA


CAD a disservice to artists whose exhibitions come to look like amassed icons floating in the etherous white of networks we scroll through, aggravating the cognitive fatigue of diaspora, ending in images as hyperlinks we cannot click or know. En abyme we fall into the fatigue of image consumption, the documentation illustrating the pages we scroll through.  If much of 2010s art succeeded on its ability to alleviate symptoms of screen fatigue by presenting walls of neutrality's palliative, or meme-like jewels for spread, see Sanchez et al., then the big exhibition's ostensible generosity and vanity becomes its disadvantage.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

exhibitionary largess

No contention these exhibitions don't hold up well in documentation, often barely in person, a sprawling fest whose largess is also a request, like serving a 47 course meal everyone wondering how many is required for politeness to be transacted, the paper soaked swells and breaks apart, oversaturated, the books behind glass, presenting the covers you can not judge the book by but cannot open either, lectures sedimented as image, a catalog for anarchist reading, an effort of "slow programming" is pressed into a egg of publicity, which we are given to swallow whole here, a list of events that have already past. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Joëlle Tuerlinckx at LLS Paleis


"We know the sky’s blueness even before we know it as “blue”, let alone as “sky.” as Robert Irwin paraphrased, may actually not be true. Art's belief in the unfiltered experience, its underwriter, in that raw sight's could overcome cultural bias to see the thing itself but one of the scarier aspects of where cognitive science seems to be toeing is that raw experience is rife with blindspots to the point of collapse held to together by our cognitive structures we believed as fault, that sky is actually possibly culturally blue. Whatever. There's no truth here, just the carnival of experience, fun house made from the funhouse glass of cultural knowing, the warbled mirror of art's stuttering experience. "Having in this way blurred the borders between space and work, the unprepared visitor may at first not notice the work. Because in the world of Joëlle Tuerlinckx, anything can be exhibited."

Friday, April 6, 2018

Anna-Sophie Berger at JTT


Berger's exhibitions look like group shows, filled to the brim with objects inconsistent. If outward appearance needs consistency to "make sense," if fashion is meant as an expression of its subject, the wearer, we could draw a line from Berger's fashion discourses earlier to now: a breakdown in objects ability to communicate its subject, artist or wearer - the artistic object itself sediments its subject as an appearance - in Berger's denial of "sameness over time" - or pretty much any artistic "signature" - that thing that undergirds identity, instead the river carves new course with each exhibition amassed to the brim with disconnection and forcing a sort of refusal of the usual sense, resist the easy corralling that similarity would invoke, a person of many fabrics.

See too: Amy Sillman at Sikkema JenkinsDarren Bader at Sadie ColesAdriana Lara at Algus Greenspon

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Siera Hyte at Cordova


Like awaking to find the remains of the party with hangover fully in head, touched,  Hyte's littered objects evidentiary to what was, point to the artist as magistrate god hand, party organizer, but it's less requiem than happiness at the post-apocalypse the doors open to nature spilling into ours, the crust of time and hand, the paper that conforms to your pressure.

See too: Susan Cianciolo at Modern Art

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Tom Humphreys at High Art


A man bent over looking deep into his own anus to find in there a mirror.
Remember as schoolyard kids holding your breath until you passed out as a form of primitive pharmacological entertainment? That's sort of the experience of Humphreys' paintings and sculptures here, deprivation as pleasure. The directness of image construction - why belabor? While others in the circle have moved into production endeavors or installation, Humphreys' has almost doubled down on the crude plaintives. I appreciate this.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Max Brand at Galerie Bernhard


If you rolled a piece of silly putty across the newspaper of Painting's history, you'd have Brand. The paintings are worn, patinated with the accumulated hands of artists, like the graffiti at painting's urinal. Grave rubbings of history, frottage of so many corpses, the accumulated seed some primordial stew whose clean up rag is molding, beautifully, colors. Eventually congealing some fetal cartoon life. Brand's moving away from the neanderthal hamfists of say Joe Bradley puts him closer to Sergei Jensen's vintagification - the washing of fabrics for softness, stains like well-used blankets, the kleenex of history, the teenage folder, everything adolescent, sticky.

See too: Sergej Jensen at dépendanceIda Ekblad at Herald StIda Ekblad at Herald St (1)

Monday, April 2, 2018

“Stories of Almost Everyone” at Hammer Museum


The hammer opening a box. You likely have seen the video of Ferrell and his windblown partner comedically "not getting art." Sanctioned by the Hammer, Ferrell and everyone involved operating pro bono, Ferrell’s wife on the Board, an advertisement that was embraced and spread, and perhaps something to do with its appearance on CAD now.
In it the Ferrell mocks the art which he of course sees - at least a little - as mocking him. The comedy alleviates the tension of and fear of conceptual art - fear whose expression runs the spectrum from “just not getting it” or incanting “the emperor's new clothes” against it. The film does little in the way of traditional education even when glaringly obvious: Ferrell's explication of the pillow slept on by acrobats is exactly the point, to create a story like a dream inside your own pilloried head. This goes unremarked. Instead the advert supplants traditional education for an implicit training: how to feel okay in museums by arming potential visitors with a weapon against artworks: irreverence, jadedness, mockery, that interminable arms race of cool we all learned in grade school by proving who could care least. The Hammer’s spectacle almost begging people to feel okay mocking art. That we now feel the need to educate people in artistic insouciance is a symptom of how badly the artworld had arranged itself toward the opposite: decades guiding the public toward veneration and supplication toward it. Now needing to explain to people you can make fun of art, condoning it. That art and more specifically contemporary art museums have become synonymous with entertainment, younger people finding themselves gravitating to MoMA rather than the Met, the Hammer has made a decision to consciously align itself with this new audiential target, the young who are interested in art but have little or no education in it, and goes out of its way to cater to this audience by claiming a stance against the education priorly requisite. This makes sense. Even the Met is opening contemporary wings. The outreach seems sensible. Ah to be mocked by a famous comedian! what success, to be patronized by a movie star playing the everyman. “Stories of Almost Everyone”