Friday, December 30, 2022

Daniel Turner at Kunsthalle Basel

Sculpture never had its Zombie formalism. But this is it. The industrialization of aura through reference-shredded-process. This stuff comes from hospitals! And, like, chemical factories! Spooky. Think of hospitals, stuff happens there! Chemicals! I bet they linger! Wow, have you heard of On Kawara! It points! Things in the world! Oh my! Traces! Like the Shroud of Turin in relation to the face of Jesus, they are fake. But asking questions! Artworld JAQing off. A more steroidic budget. Turning human blood into wine for rich consumption. 

This value added of anecdotal content, of reference converted to sign...
While this was the central conundrum to conceptual art since its inception, the rupture and distance between sign and object (always at risk that its sign didn't actually contain its object) it has since been taken as granted, as a granting agency for value added. While On Kawara's July 21st 1969 poses the question of whether it actually contains the weight of a moon landing, [now art] is given to absorb the history. 

Jason Rhoades built a career of mocking this value-added system, performing it under absurdly comical conditions, to create his referentially seminal signature: PeaRoeFoam, a mess of so much reference and history and jest that it self imploded. A satirical factory of art aura.

The animism that pervades contemporary sculpture is a compositional strategy of curators and artists drawing out a latent feature of minimalism described already in 1967 by Michael Fried as a "theatricality," and used as a showroom potentiality, a sort of pornographic objecthood in a showroomization of art, imbuing importance with display strategies arranging attention, prioritize the presence of the object in relation to a viewer, no longer the blank mirror objects of minimalism creating a stage to hold the viewer/actor, but objects which the actor, you, holds in relation to themselves, Hamlet touching the cranial vault to his own, all under the shadow-less white light of product photography or god.

See: “Being Thing” at Centre International d’Arte et du Paysage & Treignac ProjetJames Hoff at VI, VII