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to be packed up to go to the Miami art fairs)
distracted me from her uninspired offerings.
(4)
Air Kissing: Contemporary Art About
the Art World, Momenta Art
The ghosts of New York institutional critique
seem to have the Whitney Museum Independent
Study Program’s curatorial chapter in a
headlock – or such was my impression after
seeing its spring 2007 show on economics and
the art industry, which made tried-and-true
works from Louise Lawler and Hans Haacke sit
alongside austere images of Elmgreen & Dragset’s
Prada Marfa (the duo’s 2005 Prada storefront
built in the Texas desert), among others. So
naturally I balked at the prospect of a show
titled Air Kissing, curated by one of the
programme’s alumni, and nearly turned heel at
Momenta’s entrance, where two more images of
that damn Prada hung opposite Jeff Preiss’s
video documentation of an Andrea Fraser
performance. But I stuck it out and was happy
I did. I have to give credit to curator Sasha
(4)
Archibald for setting a humorous tone to a
Cut, Thierry Goldberg
normally dry affair, courtesy of vintage works
by Alex Bag and Lee Lozano. And I would normally
Fortunately I managed to get to this group
extend further credit for her inclusion of
show before official opening time, because the
some younger voices, like Jason Irwin and
gallery looks as if it can only tolerate about
William Powhida, had their additions to the
20 people. Keren cytter’s three-channel video
exhibition amounted to anything more than cheap
Repulsion (2007) was a lo-fi, psychologically
satire. Seeing those works sit alongside some
claustrophobic (or maybe that’s just because
of the greats of the discourse, I started to
the ‘project room’ is so small) kind of horror
wonder whether institutional critics
melodrama that borrows its title from roman
voluntarily beat the drum of their heyday for
Polanski’s first movie in English. Although
lack of a more sophisticated, contemporary
something of a cyclical narrative resulting in
alternative.
a girl getting her head bashed in by a man,
Repulsion compels the viewer to rubberneck to
(5)
catch the action across monitors placed on the
MIcHAEL VAHrENWALD The Mythic Has No Medium,
south, east and north walls, each of which
Southfirst
showed a cut-and-pasted version of the same
thing, though staggered as a means to disorient
I loved Vahrenwald’s large nighttime photographs
and play with narrative readings. Meredyth
of grassy hills lit by the unending glare of
Sparks’s collages riff on Malevich or El
surrounding strip malls when I saw them at the
Whitney a few years ago, but I also knew that
the artist had only so many more in him before
they became shtick. I’m pleased to say that
his current exhibition is a departure, if a
conceptually tired one. Interweaving series of
images of suns, lightboxes and desert-based
scientific facilities has something too 1970s-
conspiratorial-cinema about it, though those
lightboxes – captured at that halfway point
between celmins’s heater and Magritte’s
Surrealism – are truly strange (and yes,
illuminating) things.
(6)
Overboard and Return of the Masters,
Secret Project robot
Given that Secret Project robot got its street
cred as an aesthetic playground for the
Williamsburg locals, it seems a bit beside the
point to hold it to the standards of contemporary
Reviews Marathon.indd 65 7/1/08 16:47:18
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