Wednesday, March 26, 2008

unMonumental vs. Biennial 2

(double click on image to enlarge)
Omar Fast "The Casting" The Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial
Totally Amazing - The story of a drive with a cute German Redhead at high speeds combines
with another story of the death of innocent boy and a roadside checkpoint, this video needed no back story.
(This and the following photographs were taken taken without permission of The Whitney Museum of Art and The New Museum, the guards acted aggressively and should in no way be punished.)
Rachel Harrison Whitney - I do not agree with Jerry Salz I think Installation at Whitney this piece with the painted photos rocks and i expect we will be seeing a lot of painting on photographs. Too bad they did not give Michael Smith a room like this.

Joe Bradley

This artist I have been looking at since his Roberta Smith review in the New York Times. The work looked clean but the vinyl had a pucker in the canvas above and it made me question the formal quality or integrity of this piece but, considering how Cynthia Bloom's work is stretched who cares. While minimalism always seems attractive to me and the a la Joel Shapiro in 2d/Peter Halley is really cool, I am no longer convinced. While the geometry, pixcellation and shininess attract never the less they looked better at Canada. Stretching vinyl seems a dauntingly noble task. Given a whole room to himself this artist like Rachel Harrison and Charles Long are certainly going to continue to be a good investment.

Michael Bell Smith The New Museum

This piece was shown in the stairway with lots of natural light flooding in. Despite poor placement it stopped me with it's quick loop of what seemed a familiar image from the late 60s early 70's protester/Bob Dylan with a sign reading oonce. Paddy Johnson informed gave me the back story, (Initially I really missed the piece.) Allen Ginsburg is in the background and Smith takes all the political content from the original footage and formalizes it into something completely unmonumental. It is completely successful. So here the video with it's political content is neutralized, this is not an erasure but an additive process and so something that may appear existential, becomes even more political, or funny and ridiculous- the more I think about it the more I like it. As in so much New Media work unless the viewer has some insight the work can be easily overshadowed by the more theatrical strategies of sculpture and installation. I wish this art-form would be given the same space in both the Whitney and New Museum shows, given central locations and ambient sound. Headphones cause irritating lines. Although sometimes it is fun to watch an animation with a lot of people.

Kenneth Tin-Kin Murig New Museum Postmasters Gallery

Paul Slocum UnMonumental

This piece blows everything else away. Even though it is just the screen shots of generic icons and menu boxes on his desktop by taking lessons learned in modernism from Peter Halley/Mondrian he converts into a psychotropic and psychcodelic slide show.
Look for more when I get back from Willington.

rocks being an enclosed space...
China Tracey (aka Lao Fei) "Mirror"
John Stezaker

(Biggest Disappointment) Looking though entire 3 floors of the Whitney for the Mike Smith a personal favorite of mine and asking 3 guards and supervisor for it's location who have no clue where it is, I find it does not play for 40 minutes. I can not wait-I think putting an artists work on a loop with 3 or four other artists is a bad idea. Start the show on 2nd floor and work your way up. This brings up the question whether one can see either one of these shows on one visit?

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