Wednesday, September 28, 2022

John Lindell at Corvi-Mora


There are just certain curves that imply. That we will relate to. Not tell mom about. "The most direct rules of inanimate erotics are first- that the object be becoming flesh, and second exemplifying the curve of inside into out. These turns are important, they mirror our body's soft points, the vulnerable pink cusps. Your lips, eyes, anus, ears, urethral opening, these twilight moments rolling into... an expression of explicit vulnerability. They resemble, brandish resemblance, which morph in sinuous exterior/interior unsecured - aortic openings hint interior chambers, others skeletal - they twist in on themselves like an ouroboric muscle car. Like cutting open your abdomen to reveal a cathedral. ... but the transitional state of the objects isn't so much a becoming-subject of the abject, but instead a faint pubescence of gender, objects just arriving at a split, a fork budding a semblance of female or male possibility..."

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Sophie Reinhold at Fitzpatrick Gallery


"Aporia" industrializes the poetic - it is the rupture in understanding, the internal disjunction, a preventative against relieving meaning its burden. You read a sentence, understand it and move on. But the poetic aporia of a poem's line provides no conclusion. This is the life support of art, meaning eternally suspended from conclusive death. Ever further "meaning," ever longer wall texts. But as we've gotten better at corralling interpretations, butterfly pinning beauty to theory - the artist must gather from further ends in the fields of elusivity. Eventually the canyon becomes large enough and field once again becomes meaningless and we get to enjoy flowers again. Sink into the bubble's bath.

"...the only thing left to do is to produce greater and greater gulfs of meaning": Carissa Rodriguez at WattisAdriana Lara at Algus GreensponHenning Bohl at What Pipeline

Past: Maggie Lee

"coolness is an affect ...  the subject expresses through the grate of social coding, is its pathos. [...] self-expression immediately confronted with the terror of self-consciousness. 'Gigi is me in 2006.' A teenage self-conciousness..."

"The bedroom as terrarium, the girl as experiment."

Monday, September 26, 2022


"humor in searching for spiritual value in commodic life ... juxtaposed with the day's small tragedy turning over a can of beans to read its ingredients"

"endless mockery of her subject's desire to appear ... bullying our desire for comfort in recognition .... somberly kicking us when we're down with a medical donut strapped to our ass"

"You've got to actively believe for the things to have effect: the point was the power was inside you all along... The placebo effect so strong in the US that drug manufactures have difficulty time creating new painkillers that are stronger than sugar pills. The effect is not seen in Europe, or pretty much any where that does not allow pharma advertising."

"That this mass inculcation might be the strongest effect of all, like we're all living in a theater in mass suspension because thats what gets the crystals like art to work."

Click full: Shana Moulton at Kunsthaus GlarusShana Moulton at Gregor Staiger

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Past: Ghislaine Leung

"...the gradual creep of its suspicion, the John Knight cold cut ominousness in staging. Why must the light be blackout? Why the floor silenced? Why does the carriage require staves? The creep builds suspicion: a house haunted under glistening sterile light. A crime scene scrubbed, we, detectives."

"...increasing modern "miracle" conveniences and the then latest "smart objects" is hard not to read as a fear of these conveniences, submissiveness, actually infiltrating us, until we became, if not kitchen appliances ourselves, at least frighteningly subservient molded to kitchen surrounding us. The fear of our kitchen as a mold. Such that options for expression become limited by the cultural detritus available in stores.  You join in union, with a multitude, a choir, signing "THE BOSS." Whether or not highlighting these cultural walls with a gloss is helpful, it does make for good scary. "

"Important:  a meaning not generally associated, a meaning dissociated. 'an emotional response repeatedly evoked in situations in which the action tendency that is associated with the emotion proves irrelevant or unnecessary' causes desensitization. 'WELCOME'"

Read full: Ghislaine Leung at CabinetGhislaine Leung at Chisenhale & Essex StreetGhislaine Leung at Künstleraus StuttgartGhislaine Leung at Museum Abteiberg

Monday, September 19, 2022

Past: Jutta Koether

"but whereas today’s puzzle painting exists as a kind of confounding delay of symbol's comprehension, Koether's over-saturation never a maze but a hyperlink version..."

"what you're looking at isn't what you're looking at: what you're looking at is cultural baggage, garbage piling your sentience. It floating to the surface like diapers, the noise of signal and symbols. You can't see purely, you are clogged with reference."

"Well these are as ugly as they come. There is almost weight to the ugliness, like it sags off the picture ... continuously giving painting an excess content, the hyperlink references, the hung on glass, adding layers until it's gluttonous, unwieldy, here: bloated.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

 Past: Martin Wong & Aaron Gilbert at P.P.O.W

"Which against this dull light, Gilbert's figures grow etiolated, leggy, soft. They bend in strange ways. Squishy vulnerability. For all the bad situations they still manage to find a lot of pleasant lighting, lovely pastel color."

Full: Martin Wong & Aaron Gilbert at P.P.O.W

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Past: N. Dash

"swatches of touch, the anthropological preserves of our dissolving physical world. These are like catalogs for its remains, our once sensual pleasure distributed over digital networks."  
"The Kunstkammer conveyed the patron's control of the world through its indoor, microscopic reproduction" "but no one is that hubristic today, these are about the loss of that, mourning it, our desire to once again touch things again, like all those salvaged wood paneled Brooklyn bars, churches for mourning"

" at base they are still the butterflies, material, pinned behind glass, catalogs of physical sensations you see but cannot touch. Materiality porn. " is the world's development project in all the ways to [build] a materiality so strong it visually empaths itself, feel something through glass.""Our touch, now more than ever, comes from sight, comes from packages of it in the high definition of images and advertising, we feel through sight"

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Stella Zhong at FANTA


Hard to make fetish baroque. Baroque require excess, a quantity which supersedes the detail-attention of the fetishist. The fetishist doesn't want a thousand feet, he prefers one exquisite foot to totemize, as mother. This exhibition's attempt to make sculptural fetish an ever expanding orgy relies continually segmenting space and scales which fractally segments and conceals. So you can be alone with your feet and still have them in the hundreds, precious held each. 

Less Pumhösl than a Wurtzian Cronenberg sort: B. Wurtz

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Ulala Imai at KARMA


They are skulls, cultural memento mori, a vanitas post plastic, already going out of style, soft with the sugar of sentiment (and fondant flowers), passé, hints of fading photographs, like a 70s spread left to the light, going blue with that ultimate death, cliche. 

Past: Ulala Imai at Nonaka-Hill

"... Paintings that feel sort of worn in, faded, like your life. The things ready to date themselves, the air exposed fruit, the bordering passé culture - it's all so ready to expire. Which makes them skulls."

Full: Ulala Imai at Nonaka-Hill

Monday, September 12, 2022

Notes on Stitches

(Clockwise from top left, ektor garcia, Diedrick Brackens, Brendan Fowler, Helen Mirra)
Why does "stitching" make a comeback? ... Do we need proof of work? ... like the ornately etched lines of paper currency prove scarcity: the labor of reproduction becomes more expensive than the bill it represents. Time equates to money. Thus representation equated to money. But now we have copy machines, CNC routers, childlabor and interns. Perhaps proof of work is just nostalgia for an era before there was infinite time, for when there was time. 

A stitch had correlated to time, it is a labor visible. While brushstrokes may have been the impressionist equivalent of stitching, later modernism seemed orientated toward removing the marks of labor (first for a performative "expressive," ...painting not labor but expression, sprayed) before culminating in Minimalism and Conceptual art, two legacies infatuated with things springing from ether. (The instructions being the art, not the 40 museum interns drawing it.)

Minimalism's infatuation for the industrial process, of say Judd et al, was, in part, premised on these industrial processes deletion of the body and its "expression" (if not a promise of subjectivity lifted entirely) in looking "pure," like objectivity, removing the human. Of course this was the lie of any commodity: that the clean aluminum sheets comprising boxes or laptops weren't simply wiped of their indentured sweat.

...but it's still a desire today, no wants want to imagine fingerprints on their new iPhone. So the workers hands are latexed. Work, labor, sweat is the parcel of something we denigrate to the great purity of "good design," that cerebral craft we revere, which should be clean, elegant, and without a trace of sweat.

Commodity fetish was, confusingly named, our mistaken relation to capital's objects as an economic relation rather than a human relation. It was a concealment: the aluminum clamshell of your laptop being seen as economic product of capital innovation itself, rather than the hand-sweat of laborers distanced beneath gloves. A price tag for a face. Almost nothing is this world is actually automated - everything you touch is hand-made by workers.

This separation of our social relations we've so completely assimilated that labor itself returns as a literal fetishism, stitches mark this labor, look compelling, can be brought out onto white walls, as aura, as artwork. Labor itself becomes auratic, the look of it. Simulacra. Because every cheap objects is an equal tapestry. The stitches in time are smoother, hidden. Hold up your child's plastic toy and feel another at its end.

 Past: Diedrick Brackens at Various Small Fires

"A stitch correlates to time, it is a labor visible. While brushstrokes may have been the impressionist equivalent of stitching, later modernism seemed orientated toward removing the marks of labor (first for a performative "expressive," ...painting not labor but expression, sprayed) before culminating in Minimalism and Conceptual art, two legacies infatuated with things springing from ether. (The instructions being the art, not the 40 museum interns drawing it.) I'm not sure what this meant for them, desiring to wipe the sweat from their aluminum, their desiring to be capitalists, but it's still a desire today, no wants want to imagine fingerprints on their new iPhone. So the workers hands are latexed. Work, labor, sweat is the parcel of something we denigrate to the great purity of "good design," that cerebral craft we revere, which should be clean, elegant, and without a trace of sweat."

Past: Diedrick Brackens at Various Small Fires

Past: ektor garcia at Cooper Cole

"...a very modern problem, our world, mediated by screens .. becomes enshrined in gallery or touch screen glass, and art is the world's development project in all the ways to surmount it, a materiality so strong it visually empaths itself, that we could actually feel something through glass. A "supernormal stimulus," exaggerated materiality that begins to look like fetish for."

Read full: ektor garcia at Cooper Cole

Friday, September 9, 2022

As we near the 9th anniversary of Contemporary Art Writing Daily, we haven’t had a donation drive in three years, not since we built Contemporary Art Writing Quarterly, a free public service of research after bleeding eyes at 500,000 pieces of documentation. In the year since CAWQ launched we’ve been inundated by requests to explain ourselves, in addition to the ongoing work of writing Contemporary Art Writing Daily. We’re thrilled to see the Anti-Ligature Room grow so quickly, but each archive takes time and labor, and for that, we need your help. Please make a not-tax deductible donation to our no-profit work here.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Past: Liz Larner at Regen Projects

"'Painted trash' sounds like an insult, but it's what we have here. A decorate filth. ... a self-inflicted wound, pointing out that the jewels too are just mud with a glaze. Eventually the plastic disintegrates, washes away, and inside the [x] remain." 

full: Liz Larner at Regen Projects

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Adam Martin at Galerie Buchholz


Think of the promotional image and its parallel to art documentation. And then around 2011 they became the same. Where documentation had generally lagged behind the object/exhibition, the image now preceded the object. Then replaced the object. And this was useful to art's promenade - the Matthew Barney effect. 

"[Cremaster was a] Levi's ad campaign of artistic hubris. Cremaster succeeded, regardless any filmic merit, on its ability to manifest excitement and intrigue as a promotional vehicle, a cultural mythos that mirrored the mythos within. At the time you could almost talk about Cremaster without having seen any of it, the image was so omnipresent. Seeing was of less import than having being able to have an opinion, know of it. Having gained traction ever since, this form of promotional vehicle cannot be understated in importance post CAD/insta etc. when pipes and what they can funnel is tantamount."

The image allowed an opinion, allowed the chatter, fostered the spread. At the same time the promotional image mirrored the structure of art - it refused resolution, instead creates a hole, a lack, that need to be filled. A gap mirroring art's life-support of eternalized "questions." Consumable without destruction, depletion. What is salesmanship in advertising, is the poetic in art.

Which is all to say (in the current vogue for promotional stills of people wearing 3D head sets staring off like Galileo into space) Martin's very lofi promo documentation is somehow alluring and perfectly opaque.


"Against this someone like LaToya Ruby Frazier's grayscales confuse time and conflate eras, make chronology slippery, and deny a continuum of progress, inherently anti-nostalgic."

"...appear as from some distant past because surely we can't believe it's the present; photos from last year seem in some nebulous era ... of historic tumult."

"a question of why today can look like 30 years ago, and  30 years ago look like today. Antidote to nostalgia photography. "We have facial recognition tech in the palms of our hands and water we can't send through pipes.""

LaToya Ruby Frazier at Gavin BrownNostalgia photography

Past: Wong Ping at Kunsthalle Basel

"Comedy in anxiety over the bile we all believe lurking beneath surface norms... The candy shell animation serving coprophilic chocolate just below. Ping's protagonists narrate their chocolate predicaments with a general numbness. Mama died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know. ... This is all believable because the world is already a cartoon."

Full: Wong Ping at Kunsthalle Basel

Friday, September 2, 2022

Leonor Antunes at Taka Ishii Gallery


Antunes is the link in the fossil record from Eva Hesse to Hague Yang. Hanging stuff like flypaper in the air to accumulate reference, innuendo, feeling. The materials change but the vibe remains the same.

Christmas trees to capitalism: Haegue Yang

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Todd Gray at David Lewis


Land acknowledgements become the prayer before meal. An expression of gratitude, humility. Our original sin. God is replaced with another adjudicating sin. Forgives the mechanized reaping from an overseeing eye, guilt. (The material substrate underpinning increasingly abstracted.) There exists no similar expression for houses built by slaves, the wealth extracted from under the feet of dominated peoples. Though Armand White did call out 12 Years a Slave for allowing white people to self-congratulate for feeling aghast at slavery. Art becomes a similar guilt release valve, an acknowledgment as prayer, talisman, a badge to prove we thought about it, and found ourselves humbled in East Hampton.