Monday, April 2, 2012

"Looking Back"-The 6th White Columns Annual Selected by Ken Okiishi and Nick Mauss December 10th 2011-February 18, 2012 at white columns, New York:by craniv boyd.

"Looking Back"-The 6th White Columns Annual Selected by Ken Okiishi and Nick Mauss December 10th 2011-February 18, 2012 at white columns, New York:by craniv boyd. 

Participating artists: Miwako Arakawa, Fia Backström, Alvin Baltrop, Sid Branch, Mary Cassat, Antoine Catala, Donna Collins, Jossie Collin, Chloe Dzubilo, Thomas Eggerer, Michaela Eichwald, Loretta Fahenholz, T de Long, Jean Genet, Grand Openings, Pierre Guyotat (Live), E'wao Kagoshima, Alex Kwartler, Maria Lassnig, Lousie Lawler, Margaret Lee with Michele Abeles, Alisa Baremboym, Antoine Catala, Gregory Edwards, Debo Eilers, Josh Kline, Andrei Koschmieder, Ajay Kurian, Amy Lien, Siobhan Meow, Joan Mitchell, Adrian Piper, Carissa Rodriguez, Emily Sundblad, Nicola Tyson, Cosima von Bonin, Amy Yao, Michele Abeles, David Benjamin Sherry, Carissa Rodriguez, Lisa Jo, Anicka Yi.

Two artists were invited to select, at the end of 2011, artists for an exhibition, based on no other rubric than, their personal experience of looking at art in New York the preceding year.  This is the sixth time that artists or curators were given that task, at New York non for profit, gallery White Columns. The pluralistic, inclusive, non hierarchical, exhibition, which resulted from a medley by artists Ken Okiishi and Nick Mauss, is at best, selections from conceptual art seminary. As such with its inclusion of droves of, anti art, artless art pursued with great zeal, by many adherents, "looking back" was arid. That the art was selected from, predominantly gallery expositions, could be taken as an indicator that there was a great deal of boring art, to be seen in New York, during the year 2011. 

Much of the arts, were artworks on paper. A select few were videos, still others were collage, and painting. Installation was a rare bird. 

Of the most striking, due to its color alone, within a sallow group showcase , was the work of Cosima von Bonin. in  work titled The Bonin/Oswald Empires Nothing #4, a human scaled stuffed animal lies prostrate on a strange piece of furniture. The work was shown at the artist New York dealer ship, Gallery Friedrich Petzel, in an exhibition titled the Juxtaposition of nothings. Weird that this grouping of objects titled, nothing, is a substantial something, when contrasted with the innocuous documentation of an event, Titled Grand Openings Return of the Blogs, planned by the chief: Sabine Breitwieser and assistant: Jenny Schlenzka curators of the department of Media  and Performance art, Museum of Modern art. A exhausted in appearance blue woolen stuffed animal with ambient electronica music, was more visually appealing and therefor memorable, than a video depicting attendees to some overcrowded cocktail event at MoMA

One video installation that looked good was that by Antoine Catala, in his work titled HDDH, 2011. In it two high definition televisions hung at identical heights on facing parallel walls, were conjoined by a mirrored cylinder, set center screen. Satellite television with the news from Network television is in that installation device, rendered ludicrous. You simply can not watch television news in a meaningful way in that manner. The wrongness of this art work rests in: the action of installing, two identical components of the latest , high quality home entertainment systems, objects known and desired by most consumers, aggressively. the doubling of the flat-screen, and the reflective bar that melds the images of both, in addition to the reflection of people who view HDDH, is a trap. The reflection of viewers is caught between the reflection of two opposing identical moving images. One is both between and in the skewed rotund reflection of U.S. network news. The reflection of the immediate spacial reality of the room in White columns is ensnared in a purposefully distorted reality of a twin television image. 

Another video art work which looked bad was that of Loretta Fahrenholz and Emily Sundblad. A work titled ¡Qué Bárbara! featuring hipsters shopping in claustrophobic New York bodegas. An anarchic design element was a semi randomly placed, intentionally awkward video picture frame within the larger HD picture format. This video art work contained the entertainments of a burgeoning creative artistic cast. Peoples who between band practice and art collaborating, in the quickly gentrifying slums of New York, hastily record for a group show, some of their sauntering, claiming that is their non hierarchical art collaboration practice. Basically, ¡Qué Bárbara! might hold a modicum of interest for the friends, acquaintances, professional associates who are affiliated with the two women artist who authored it. It is ungenerous to anyone else. 


It is perhaps a sad endeavor to beg of an artist to make an exhibition, based on the artworks that they saw within a year in the epicenter of the ART-WORLD. A daunting chore that could pose a large dilemma. To assist ones friends and acquaintances, by inclusion in the exposition, in the hopes of professional advancement? Or to select a good exhibition with fewer art works that is more intelligible in visual form, but inclusive of artists one does not know, or hope to one day know. Many artists under 40 years of age living, working in the big apple, are by nature enthusiastic, and supportive of their fellow artist peers, I presume Ken Okiishi and Nick Mauss are of this sort. The amiable approach to their selection, however, I find did more to mar the net significance of their edition of "Looking Back". by craniv boyd. 

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