Jan 9, 2014

Best MN Exhibition
Patricia Esquivias - Reads Like the Paper - Midway Contemporary Art
Floating in understated, lingering quietly before disappearing back to Europe, Esquivas anachronistically landed, and in hindsight of NY Moment’s artistic schizophrenia over the digital vacuum, the exhibition had already, in its precocious know-too-muchness had jumped past the NYmoment’s digio-existential crises and instead pre-predicted nostalgia existing with its present, doubling its moment to feel the it, as if two moments could exist concurrently, knowing, nostalgia is not the photo in your hand but your hand holding the photo, your face in front of the screen’s screen.

Bjarnne Melgaard’s Protest Banners

3 Worst
Ai Weiwei
Emptying out politics in service to spectacle, Ai showed how a branding of “Political” could shortcut/circuit a substitution of attention exchangeable for action. Using the “poetics” of art to fill in for understanding, Ai made politics an aggressively manufactured psuedo-conflict in exchange for hyper-visibility: Ai WeiWei need say nothing, only perfom “politically.” The fact that he “did nothing wrong” and was still jailed, taken by the media as a sign of China’s brutism, was never considered as a criticism that the man “did nothing.” Nor did anyone. Discussion is reduced to “AI Weiwei is in jail: The situation must be bad.” The Manipulation of being just annoying enough to get a reaction, but dare not enough to get beheaded; garnering the artworld’s incapable attention, given to hyperbolic rhetoric as our savior. AgitPropaganda. Meanwhile real politics lacks visibility, flounders. Assuaging the artworld by thinking their support for Ai somehow condones their a-politic and lack so long as they support him. Brand.
Can’t wait to see what he does when he takes over Alcatraz in 2014.

Jerry Saltz’s loyal following constantly up in arms.
Long since voluntarily removed himself as a viable source of even what people call “accessible criticism,” the unbelievability of Saltz’s eternal return to people still find themselves reacting to something sensationalist Jerry Saltz says or does achieved apogee this year: skepticism finally transferring to the people who still find Saltz’s endless misunderstanding of the problem a problem.  

The Dissapointment of the Claes Oldenburg Show.
For reasons vaporous, vague press perfume and breaths of mouths, the show rode a wave of favorable feeling to its landlocked US setting setting expectations high.
The excitement of “seeing it in person,” gave way to the realization that the most interesting of came straight from the Walker's collection, and which if you'd been paying attention the show felt oddly, perhaps unnecessarily, like a rerun. Save for THE STORE, whose highly revered (never-see-em-again) objects seemed, in their store-less display, glitteringly sad.  More dead butterfly catalog than exhibition the show did little to reevaluate the standing of artist who has remained firmly in high standing. If anything the artist’s repeated insistence on sad-dad fifties innuendo, and ogled breasts made Oldenburg’s endless commodic punnery seem even if prescient, horribly outdated. The sly latent sexuality of most of the best objects was finally rammed dryly to bed by drawings with no question of what the spoon digging gratingly into the fertile crescent really stood for. It’s a dick.
Like an uncle nostalgic for when his slightly misogynistic dick jokes were still culturally acceptable, or even funny, the show felt uncomfortably unradical, and definitely not of this moment.  

Runner Up:  The fact that Absolut Vodka caught onto the fact that art implies cultural/symbolic cred-bling before rappers did.  Shame on rappers.

Rise of the new SuperCools
From the first moment of Mathew’s first Press Release it was apparent the gallery was birthed fully formed as the coolest space. Its terseness a list of social credibility, the PR contained an implicit knowing of its social capital in stocks enough to be exchanged for immediate visibility. It would have attention. Its mere listing of artist-names would have been enough. The fluff about nextdoorness and dj/artist/curator trichotomy in hindsight seem redundant if not cloying. At the time, probably, it seemed pertinent.  Its first show was immediately picked up by ContArtDaily.1
1 for those surely wondering about the seemingly over-importance placed on CAD. In Forrest Nash’s talk at Midway, a statement was made that in order to remove subjective choice from its vetting process the CAD “group” would want possible galleries to have established themselves as being part of the “conversation.” There would be no outside. CAD would choose what mattered by seeing first who could make things matter. CAD remains a great allegorical evidence of how things gain real visibility, when visibility is easily some form of capital.
Exporting Berlin socio-capital to cities throughout the globe was easy, remaining connected to the artworld made flat.
FreedmanFitzpatrick in CA. In Frankfurt, Neue Alte Brücke, operating cooly for a long time before Dr. Will Benedict became their first CAD show, Chez Valentin in Pari.... etc etc.... Galleries began franchising Stadeschule vetted Berlin cool all over the map, greedy for their moment.  (  “Neue Alte Brücke and Real Fine Arts” at Valentin (for which no listing who made what because that would be besides the point.)) Pro Choice Vienna, etc etc. et al.

Herr Krebber had played it for laughts in 2011. In his vampirism of the blogs which mocked him, taunting them with goosey paintings (neutering their spite), He at the same time also exhibited paintings (stolen from a princess) at these blogs’ author’s gallery, at Real Fine Arts in Brooklyn - artists showing there members of Jerry Magoo such as Sam Pulitzer who was, of course, RealFineArt’s next show - Dr. Krebber put Real Fine Arts literally on the Map: Becoming its first exhibition hosted on Contemporary Art Daily, who, RFA, in a completion of the ouroboric vampirism mirrored CAD’s site as their documentation for King Krabber’s show.  Krebber proving the same way the princess’s paintings were only valuable due to her princessness... etc. etc. etc.   It was Michael Smith’s ITEA groupshow slogan ““Elevation through Association” come to life without irony and with all the dead seriousness of one who is really willing to suck blood.  What was so transparently cloying to Smith it could only be mocked, was to Krebber so explicitly obviously working it could only be exploited.

Will Benedict and later his better half seemed the key, getting passed around like the party’s drugged body asking for it and loving every minute of it, pants off party on, and CAD the lascivious choiceless detective whose well attended spotlight shone partiers like deer very happily in the headlights as they all incestously diddled each other under the penumbra of ghastly light.
Seeing Benedict in 2011@Renwick/Leslie Fritz show, the then critique of, “How contemporarily perfect and boring,” had missed the point. It was instead hot potatoes for all this great gravy.  
FreedmanFitzpatrick opened with two group shows. First “Hi from California,” speaking to the outside, that while California was their home (and what a cool one at that) they were speaking to everyone else watching.  That their second group show stole a little more directly from the Berlin scene mixed with a little more LA, maybe a sign of having played it a little too cool.  At this point Lucie Stahl easier to get for the guest appearance than Will Benedict, Benedict having long since entered middle age.
Milwaukee/Chicagoans had been playing on for years. The slow rise of the Suburban legend, with its Luc Tuymans mythos. But here on Berlin amphetamines and phantasmagoria of instant vis and credibility. Word of mouth was steampunk, the critic, once the harbinger of visibility, totally cut out by CAD. A democratization by way of glistening effeciency, in which colossal networks trumped the coal-fired writer or the laughably still getting-on-a-plane-for-studio-visits gallerist.  The privilege of those having traveled New York was mocked by their returning home to see doubled on the screen the shows they had just paid a 300 dollar ticket to see.
Get yrself a scene and get yrself another one.
Ceccaldi siblings, Genoveva Filipovic, Anne Imhof, Veit Laurent Kurz, Julien Nguyen, Mark von Schlegell, Eric Sidner, Taocheng Wang, Max Brand, Karl Holmqvist, Matheiu Malouf, Yngve Holen, Lena Henke, Heji Shin, Heike-Karin Foell,  Etc. etc. etc. etc.. et al. et al.....

End of The autonomus mysterio object, The New Directness
Mark Lecky's proposal for an exhibition, The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things.

our Top 5 posts of 2013

So there is, obviously, a problem.”

You  hear it all the time, ever present, broadcast on NPR every so often, people talking about how great the art scene in the TC is.”

The drawing’s tension exists in abutting the vacuum of architectural rendering's lifeless code against imaginations breath; skeptical over imagination's "excessive valuation:" that sensitivity without rigor breeds the horror of poorly painted flowers.”

This work is not after viscera, but viscera as a signifier, held at the distance of interpretation, behind glass, as if for want of study.”