Thursday, February 12
Gleaning the cube
I read a fantastic article today in New York Magazine about the White Columns show "From the Archives: 40 years/40 artists," which is currently on view. Two things struck me as pretty interesting ideas put forth by the author. The first: Jerry Saltz's thoughts on the evolution of the gallery space into a visual presence itself. The New Museum's new digs is a good example of this: a beautiful space that does not feel like it houses the work it shows well. For a space that historically has been a fantastic laboratory for the cross-breeding of visual culture and socio-political thinking, it feels like the pressure of having a fancy building on the Bowery has really affected it's exhibitions and programming (i.e. a definite slant towards trendier work.) Anyway, it's refreshing to hear that there are voices in the art world who consider the space the work is in as much as the work itself.
Secondly: I love the idea of showing ephemera or revealing process, as this show appears to do. Saltz describes the gallery as "a test site" for new, experimental work and it's great that the gallery chooses to reiterate that by revealing that process. It reminds me of a "retrospective" of David Hammons' work at Triple Candie a few years back, which exhibited reproductions of varying quality of his catalog of work. It revealed the object in that the images were of artworks that could not be loaned due to monetary restraints, legal agreements and other bureaucratic hoops to be jumped through. The idea was illustrated for the viewer through the reproduction, as was the bureaucracy that prevented a small space like that to mount the show. In both cases, the importance of "test sites," especially at a time when the art world is positioned to reconfigure itself, can't be more relevant.