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.