Monday, March 30, 2020

They come three, four, at a time. Zebra hard to chase not because the stripes provide camouflage but because the predator cannot single a specific focus, i.e. with overabundant choice the selector's (predators) cognition malfunctions; in nature videos you see lions, surrounded by cheeseburgers, acquiesce, lay down, stupefied by movement, flow, numbers which disrupt the ability for sense, sensation ruins, the surface effect which short circuits our ability for recognition, to choose, to see individuality for a moving surface of pattern and stripe across a broad plain of thing. Eventually the lions that do not starve in the face of such are selected for reproduction.

originally published November 15, 2017.

Thomas Hirschhorn at Chantal Crousel


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Hirschhorn provided fantasy. Conflated the constructions with construction work, of a philosophy being useful like plumbers, a pragmatic attitude that "fans" of philosophy armed with nothing but his packaging tape could assemble some good in the world. In hindsight much of it was tone deaf and not really useful. But it looked utilitarian. That was important.
This exhibitions "conversations" are a clever way to commodify another's thinking in a neat package AND provide a fantasy, of our communication being clever. Making your fandom pay through resale.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Özgür Kar at Édouard Montassut


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Our twitching little bodies. Cramped into screens, boxes, glass, chopped into talking heads, dismembered in little windows, in corners. And asked to fit in these broadcasts of personal nightly news, to loved ones, alone and connected. Excessive tech to just prove we are still twitching, murmuring night lights, stand ins for comfort.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Barbara Bloom at Capitain Petzel


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Displays themselves become uncanny; they are the living dead, lacking human they were designed for. They are stage without actors, so when we seen them we see death. (IKEA displays create anxiety that must be counteracted, feeling our homes could feel like death if we don't fill them with otherwise.)  This exhibition comes with a packet explaining which exact ghost haunts each.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Rodney McMillian at Petzel


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This seems to be Petzel's first solo exhibition of a someone black?  Is that possible? 25 years. The press release seemed odd.
Past: Barbara Kasten

"...like exorcisms to make photography reveal its surface: what was made to represent everything but itself ... a surrealist project of photography's desire-surface, the paradox of photographing glass ... desiring the wet image of surface. Like making love to someone's glistening sweat... making its car-body self expose without getting a look under the hood,

...like now pretty much every photographer today not necessarily trying to break the glass, at least looking to place a sticker on it or find some odd way to warm its domination of us, with a filter say, the image.


Read Full: Barbara Kasten at Hannah Hoffman“Every Day I Make My Way” at Minerva

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Kayode Ojo at Praz-Delavallade


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Fashion/perfume advertisement setting, sedimented as sculpture. Awaiting moistened Drake to pour and offer, not just a drink but a life. They traffic in advertising's same lifestyle projection. We've forgotten this because no one opens Artforum anymore, it's sent out as hamster bedding and subscriber inflation, but a distant memory of its filler comes back in these sculptures, an air we would call nostalgic. The smallest narrative allows the biggest projection. We like chintz, and better any excuse to play it as ironic, look down upon it. How much artworld glitz comes with heavy justification, armor against actually liking it. Excused glamor are why artists were invented. The surgical/esthetician set barely register as an anomaly. Maybe the Snook Hook. A lot of Tom Burr.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Past: Marie Angeletti

"exacerbating all the annoyances of images today, Angeletti's are always claustrophobically opaque, too close, dim. Not quite sure Angeletti has ever shown in a completely lit space...
"which, in an era of almost total fuck-all of images our cognition is molested by daily, could make an art practice mirroring such seem a brutal finger but at some point we have to be trained for this, we could attempt to make sense of, it all, if we wanted to start lifting."


see too: Marie Angeletti at AtlantisMarie Angeletti at Beach Office

Marie Angeletti at Carlos/Ishikawa


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Seduction, eroticism, through glass. What a time for it. Pornography is sex through glass, like our isolation, like our galleries, please remain six feet away from the
Both pornography and art must find visual means to sensate through this barrier. So you adopt its methods. Live through the window of her, ordering distant contact online. This is our prophylactic erotics.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Benjamin Echeverria at Parapet Real Humans


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At one end of the artworld we the rendered and ecstatic, at the other end the scrappy material and careworn. These could seem worlds apart. But they begin to feel in the same way affected. You apply a video filter, you belabor the painting. Both become search for means to make "residue" appear, of time, of warmth we're after. A weathering effect you can turn on and off like rain.


see too: Moyra Davey at Institute of Contemporary Art

Monday, March 23, 2020

Solange Pessoa at Mendes Wood DM

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I think we find some comfort in dirt smeared not because of its primeval "truth" but because it seems like it can't obsolesce, it can't be superseded, blown away as dust, which we mistake for being eternal.
Past: Silke Otto-Knapp

"The ethereal silver surface appending some Last Year at Marienbad memory"
"Yesterday's brand strategies reemerge in painting's today. Mona Lisa handbags, af Klimt on a tank, Carl Andre halloween costumes. You can't water down a public's desire for a painting, prevalence only increases the throngs lined to see it, at distance, behind glass. "


Read Full: Silke Otto-Knapp at greengrassiSilke Otto-Knapp at Taylor Macklin

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Calida Rawles at Various Small Fires


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I think the reason you can google "underwater realistic painting" and see its a popular theme is that a photograph of people shattered in water intrinsically appends the abstraction we want and associate with painting while giving the value of the photographic, it does the work for it. It's already painting even without it, the mechanistic process of representation doesn't ruin it.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Johannes Wohnseifer at Meliksetian | Briggs


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Our paintings collect culture like a surreal flypaper. Like seeing phantasms, after-images with your eyes still open. At night in bed from dark currents in your brain emerges a decade old jingle.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Federico Herrero at Lulu


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In our fishbowl isolation we look out through so much glass. Through your monitor through a photographer's camera lens. Through the gallery's look-but-don't-touch air imitating glass and, in the distance, a painting's stained glass, zoomed pixels. Which are material turned highly-tuned images, windows, more glass compressed into a final glass, a code, a jpeg, our vitreous body. We try to polish this glass further and further, correct for it, so it seems like we aren't just seeing it, a fishbowl. If you move a fishbowl does it experience a different part of the world? Do you see glass? You can purchase Christmas through it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Magnus Andersen at Neue Alte Brücke


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An exhibition titled "Stockholm Syndrome" which is "a condition in which hostages develop a psychological alliance with their captors during captivity." Which CAWD called Andersen's last Neue Alte Brücke show: "which we, [Andersen's] visual hostages, on a long enough timeline, learn to love..." Stockholm Syndrome is thought to happen because "the victim’s need to survive is stronger than his impulse to hate the person who has created the dilemma." In order to survive one must begin to identify and find compassion for the captor: people held captive for decades will defend their captors in court. An analogy could be made for a decades long acclimatization to certain types of aesthetic abuse, where an artworld begins to actually like the Jeff Koons, or Josh Smith.  On a long enough timeline they begin to appear quaint, lovable, despite their demonics. To deny it would simply place you outside it. And so, "Andersen knows that to survive is to triumph. And so with defeat you must accept its march into visibility." You will be seeing more of these, and as always with hideous painting, "half the fun is learning to love it."


see too: Ida Ekblad at Herald St.Josh Smith at David ZwirnerMagnus Andersen at Neue Alte Brücke

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Jan Kiefer at Swiss Institute


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You're on lockdown, staying in. The Swiss Institute is closed. The food only being delivered. You log on to www.contemporaryartdaily.com to find some interest, to find a snowman mocking you, enjoying his pumpkin headed freedom. The joke is on him; soon he will be dead, melted like the glaciers he skis. This is what you come here for, the beautiful vistas, windows, cruelty.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Past: Ken Kagami

"Stupidity becomes the vernacular of a world that is so saturated by it; we are awash in it, berated with it, nor innocent of it. Stupidity is to comedy what holding your breath is to drug expanding consciousness, practiced by primitive schoolyard psychonauts. Stupidity cannot be advanced through elegance or profundity, and 3 Standard Stoppages eventually evolves this raft of cranial blockages, an aspect MoMA says "to display the inherent indeterminacy of life." Indeterminacy sorta like stupidity, the big irrationality. Picasso in his underpants. And one way to feel better about the stupidity of the world is be the one enacting it. Allowing yourself to feel at the helm, in control of the thing that berates. "Everyone in the world is acting smarter than me" is a more comforting blanket than what is likely our own opinions on bell curves and self ranking..."


Read Full Ken Kagami

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Tam Ochiai at Soft Opening


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Ochai's painting collect their painting like a window sill collects dust. The only requisite might be time passing and its loss sedimented of whatever accumulate. You might write your name in the dust, but these collect places as dust. We could just be happy it doesn't look like painting.
Past: Tam Ochai

"Names, dates, things are hidden behind the curtain of their signifier and us all looking at blank paintings trying to grasp the thing they have purposely lost behind words for us."


Read all posts marked Tam Ochai

Friday, March 13, 2020

Bri Williams at Queer Thoughts


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What a time for an exhibition about soap. What is the history of cleanliness in art, the drains of Gober, the Purell of Puppies Puppies... Under certain conditions old paintings exude soap. Your body itself is barely not-soap, and soap opens your body to becoming not body, cleanses you by blurring self with soap, which goes down the drain, leaving you clean, dry.  Milk congeals skin, becoming subject, but soap is flesh become object, stuff. Classic Kristeva:
...under the cunning, orderly surface of civilizations, the nurturing horror that they attend to pushing aside by purifying, systematizing, and thinking; horror that they seize on in order to build themselves up and function? I rather conceive it as a work of disappointment, of frustration, and hollowing-probably the only counterweight to abjection. While everything else-its archeology and its exhaustion-is only literature: the sublime point at which the abject collapses in a burst of beauty that overwhelms us-and "that cancels our existence." (Céline)
Past: Bri Williams at Interface

"Soap we consider clean but we wouldn't want to touch a bar found on the floor of a public shower. If I covered you in lye, your body would turn to soap, a simple process of an alkaline solution mixing with fatty tissues, "liberating" your glycerine."


Read full: Bri Williams at Interface

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Kelly Akashi at Tanya Bonakdar


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Our touch cast in glass, is there a better image for today? Visual metaphors for feeling. Porn is metaphor for sensation, the internet is our aquarium and the world is a kunstkammer, we look but don't touch, preserve it in zoos, on swatches, designated scenic lookouts. The world is covered in glass, we now find sensuousness in glass, rubbing erotically on the aquarium. Eventually we prefer glass.

We've been talking about this for so long: Materialphilia


See too:  Kelly Akashi, Cayetano Ferrer at PP,

Jeanette Mundt at Overduin & Co.

"A relation to their subject is ambivalent despite their load. Mundt often targets content that is full of juice, yet is left on canvas to fall apart. A gap that reviewers seem unable to fill with their own: Travis Diehl seemed to conjure the process of glaucoma's blindnessTess Edmonson said about the film on which a painting was based: "the gallerist warned me not to watch it"; and Zoë Lescaze aptly called it "ready for viewers and critics to plot their opinions onto her body." Her body of work which fails to deliver on the subject."


Read full: Jeanette Mundt at Overduin & Co.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Past: Gracie DeVito at TIF SIGFRIDS

"Like Bonnard's rags, we like paintings looking picked from studio floors, rubbed with, spilled on, rather than painted ... sentience from captured artistic sneezes. Though these are a lot nicer than the usual strains of scatalogical nappies of the idiot-savant, of say Joe Bradley, of the real base impulses collected.
"the frame had once aggrandized its painting haloed, now redundant to white walls, to the cost of real estate, the frame cartoonifies, ironizes, self-deprecates in the goofy expense of custom routed framing: each an individual like a thumbprint or a mess. Frames are dumb if necessary, and these admit to that, a sort of excusing itself by way of clown. "Oh this red nose?, no."


Read full: Gracie DeVito at TIF SIGFRIDS
Past: Ann Cathrin November Høibo at DREI

"Materially in excess condenses through glass, perspires its objecthood through the glazing. [...] CAD is a window in an abyss of many windows. Everyone trying to feel something through. Our personal panopticon."


Ann Cathrin November Høibo at DREI

Sunday, March 8, 2020

“No Joke” at Milieu


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Groups shows look like if you blew up the mall and then cleaned up pretty well.

Friday, March 6, 2020

François Curlet at Micheline Szwajcer


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Darren Bader, Bertrand Lavier, Baldesarri, Martin Creed, Mungo Thompson, François Curlet. Not quite pop art, not quite conceptual art, derived from each, a cartoon of both.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

New Red Order at Artists Space


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Important for performance to begin to swallowing its own promotional material. The relevant info being self-contained is part of good documentation. Everything there, apparent. Punctured back in, the reason we're here, promotion. The website being pretty good.
Past: Sturtevant

"Dynamo for so much of the 1960s art world, Oldenburg was also, at times appallingly, no cartoon. (Séance Hannah Wilke.) Did an artist with such psycho-aesthetic investment in the invagination of commercial space ever stop to consider what might happen if, courtesy of a wildly inverting repetition, the phantasmatic derangements of capitalism or branding embroiled in his concession shoppe and its merging of philosophical and commercial notions re-rendezvoused to, vagina dentata-like, bite him in the ass?" - Bruce Hainley, Under the Sign of [sic]

"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. "


Read full: Sturtevant at Freedman Fitzpatrick, Sturtevant at Air de Paris, Sturtevant at MoMA, Sturtevant at Thaddaeus Ropac,

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Nicolas Grenier at Bradley Ertaskiran


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Infographics given 70s gloss, retro and surreal. We like information, we've basically been evolutionarily programmed to find its stimulating, it feels like meaning, and given nostalgia's candy coating. This painting shows a scene from the new Indiana Jones where Jones uses the Staff of Ra to reveal a map on of the interior of Ed Ruscha's The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire before it sinks into the tar pits beneath Zumthor's black eyesore, all illuminated by a Kanye/Turrell floating stage.


See too: Emily Mae Smith at Rodolphe JanssenAlexandra Noel at Freedman Fitzpatrick, AtlantisOrion Martin at BodegaRay Yoshida at David NolanSascha Braunig at Kunsthall StavangerAlice Tippit at Night ClubLui Shtini at Kate WerbleSascha Braunig at Rodolphe JanssenMathew Cerletty at Office BaroqueAnne Neukamp at Greta Meert,
Past: Sophie von Hellermann

"Such softness, it's abject. Saccharine. Like walking around with cotton candy between toes, sugary resolve to true grit. Till your teeth fall out your head. But softness something of a ruse, a narrative lacking definition..."
"We look through the paint at some cloudy apparitions like a Renoir got wet. For all their candy von Hellerman's aren't all that appetizing; Suzanne Hudson called their characters etiolated, plants grown leggy in darkness, a feeling of being deprived of crucial nutrients..."


Read full: Sophie von Hellermann at Office Baroque Sophie von Hellermann at Greene Naftali

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Birke Gorm at Croy Nielsen


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Materialize has become a word of extra meaning in art, a new process akin to electroplating, anodizing, or gilding. Artists "materialize" things like text into substance, into a material with weight, turd like figures, objects which feel material. Distinct from artistic objectification (which merely turns the virtual into the concrete to make it transactable), materialization is the patina of objectification, an excess. As if the content was inherent to the material object itself, as if it speaks.


see too: MaterialphiliaBirke Gorm at Croy Nielsen (1)
Past: Sam Anderson at Rowhouse Project

"There is rarely an object of Anderson's we don't look down at, that you don't watch where you step, a presentation whose, like early Wilkes or Aran's tables, dust settled marks this instance and foreboding its wind. A little dog rolling over exposing belly's soft pink skin veiling easily destroyed guts." There is a fragility.


Click for full: Sam Anderson at Rowhouse Project

Past: Birke Gorm

"Our rising desire for materiality in a world losing it manifests in fetish for increasingly grotesque versions. Coprogenics. "Author Donna Williams [...] points out that fecal smearing serve many real purposes that are often overlooked by caregivers and medical providers: ..."


Birke Gorm at Croy Nielsen

Monday, March 2, 2020

Past: Ser Serpas at LUMA Westbau

"Hoarding as a sort of extended compassion for the derelict neglected of culture, a sympathy moving to material itself, material that a world simply would like to rid itself of. Composing it into art objects becomes a blessing for sending the objects into the "heavenly" afterlife, a means of delivering them to the majority white institutions to get them to care for them in perpetuity. Hooking the hose from the expelling parts of our cultural body to the part that feeds, getting it to eat its underwear."


Ser Serpas at LUMA Westbau

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Merlin Carpenter at Reena Spaulings


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Irony was fun about a decade ago, seemed to have its peak in about 2010 before the political discourse shifted abruptly and boots on the ground politics seemed pressing. But now, recoil, irony is back with people wearing clown makeup and being disingenuous online. Irony is a scapegoat for so much. A means for someone to deflect and quagmire conversation by being deeply unclear. Carpenter feels like a game of "well I know that he knows that I know that he knows..." en abyme. 

Carpenter knows this is dumb, and knows that we know he knows this is dumb. But us all gripping chins wondering on which floor precisely the middle finger is resting. Our cerebral assessments of navel's swirl that 5 years ago couldn't have been less interesting now return in way that feels apt to the political moment. Because we're exhausted. And perhaps what Carpenter is actually trading in is the feeling of exhaustion. Can you imagine being forced to explain these to someone? Explain politics now to someone?

Because people often don't think this is dumb:
"Interactive art, of which this is, like Web 2.0's [...] the system shifts from content generation to interactivity itself, turning itself into interface for the user themselves to self produce, the turnkey-op entrepreneurial dream, in which as long as the structure is up and running "content-revenue" will self-generate, [...] because like Scanlan on Sehgal, even mediocrity is acceptable to a public so long as it has a hand in it."Read full Urs Fischer at JTT

Read all posts tagged Merlin Carpenter