Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Park McArthur at MoMA


Imagine this space as an apartment. With a sort of Asherian bend to the institution as material, reflecting its navel for it to self assess. But whereas the historical genre had been content to hold up broad mirrors, McArthur's is a little more pointed if not necessarily legible. Like a monochrome, like a Robert Ryman the white constant pushed interest to the peripheral, attachments, names, edges and construct of its medium, context.
"Let’s begin with a description of the area where McArthur’s exhibition is located. The 4th floor space is rectangular and has 2 entrances connected by a spacious hallway. Depending on which way you enter, the sound of automated glass doors opening and closing arises to your left or to your right. These doors lead to other galleries. [...] As you face the windows, there is a long white wall to your right. Up high on the wall, close to the windows, grey letters in the same style as The David Geffen Galleries spell out: The Werner and Elaine Dannheisser Gallery. The Dannheissers gave most of their art collection to MoMA, and this 4th floor gallery bears their names. The Projects series, of of which this particular exhibition is a part, was re-named the Elaine Dannheisser Project Series in 2006 in honor of Ms. Dannheisser. 

The description of the almost terminally boring museum spaces (museological architecture an exercise in steroidal-elegance through omission) is either comedic for the dry descriptions of things  generally ignored or necessary for its recognition of things of what we have the ability to ignore. Leave the path and encounter "terrain." Suddenly the land, the hike, becomes difficult, experience nature differently depending on you ability to move through it. Would mountains have been still beautiful to the Donner party trapped within them?  We can mostly ignore things until they become a problem for us as a major theme of McArthur. Reading about all the elegant facilities of 53W53 feels like brambles.