Tuesday, December 14, 2010
A young artist sits in front of the computer. The framerate flickers before his eyes. The first cup of coffee, one youtube video leads to another. Wikipedia. Learning many new things. This is a complex world. Information, Wikileaks. What is free? This is a fucked-up place.
Among the ruins, a small boy emerges. The villagers are in awe. A fantastical creature, half-cat half-dog, mister Sauerkraut. He whispers in the boy's ear: "use art the way you would use anything else." A sage's advice in a world that has already met its end.
The complications of having a post-studio practice in an object-selling world are many. What a sport to materialize ideas into appealing, transitive objects. Art schools are a site where this athletic imperative is in full gear. Given a studio by the same institution that produces legitimized value through academic credentials, how is one to imagine an adequate transition from this pedagogical conundrum to a professionalized adult life?
From the melancholic vacuousness of information's manic accessibility to the quirky hodge-podge of performative wikiselves, the labor of extracting historicity from the shallow tidepool of contemporary art's recent historical awareness becomes a key tool for constructing a career from other careers. Many emergent young players on art's Occidental map build these legitimizing techniques into careers marked by a fluidly object-based practice that relies wholly on the avoidance of redundancy. The need for an aesthetic that never repeats itself too much, concealing the repetitive pattern of labor through randomly assembled artistic novelties wrought material—art production to the tune of iShuffle. The economy's constant need for excitement and can-do imperatives re-territorialize the post-studio studio, transforming the site into a concept-engineering workshop that explores the art object's communicative appeal across the gamut of publicized taste. Within an open-source market, options abound.
Yet how many ideas can one fit in one show? Is more than one too much, falling as it could into tasteless excess? Should the multitude be crafted into a focus group, fanboys whose enthused will-to-consumption determines the very object-derived experiences that they seek? True, that the canalization of information's animistic spirit into discreet objects is a sorrowful affair. What constitutes the post-"studio" if not the begotten mind of the creative producer: a novel site where many moods and inspirations come and go at their own leisure. The stranglehold of the marketer's sardonic sentiments onto the art object is an inheritance best suited for nonentities; dupe artists keen on amassing slush funds for a political life possible outside of art.
Sitting with an artist. Punk rock pizza. Wearing bless pants. "The show will be remarkably clear: One idea, 13 oil paintings, 13 numbers. 1 to 13." Roman numerals? "Not this time. We could use them to number the slides though, what do you think?" The pizza is hot. It burns my tongue. "Are you okay?" I clench my sphincter.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Among the ruins, a small boy emerges. The villagers are in awe. A fantastical creature, half-cat half-dog, mister Sauerkraut. He whispers in the boy's ear: "use art the way you would use anything else." Sage advice in a world that has already met its end.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
It is within these contextual tensions that AOWJM is pleased to present "At War With The Preps," a mix of music that blindly instrumentalizes seraphic argot with an impolite brun canard.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
many reasons to be excited by this bar—how many Chinese gangsters have shed their blood on the wooden surface your artiste biedemeyer cocktail rests on? the throbbing techno makes it impossible to have this conversation inside the bar, but it creates a binding atmosphere where all are forced to retreat into getting trashed on sophisticated cocktails as their skulls are raped by audio.
tonite, is cool
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The circulation of extreme metal identities about financialized culture is nothing surprising (as if any identity resists circulation…). These identities have been parasited by capital since their inception: Thurston Moore's bootleg 7" capturing Venom's stage-banter being a first-wave example of this, ossifying a highly circulated joke-tape among america's hardcore punk circles––the recording was made by a Black Flag crony when the band opened up for Venom in '86––into a saleable piece of wax for Moore's boutique "indie" label, Ecstatic Peace. Harmony Korine's use of Mystifier and Nifelheim as a score for his Dogpatch cum mondo-fashion ad, Gummo, is a prime example of the second wave, oedipally reprimanding all soon-to-be Vice readers for not matching their Darkthrone tees and homemade Slayer tattoos with red & black flannel or ironic mustaches. Furthermore that the identities associated with metal can be traced to the origin of KISS's merchandising empire goes to show how available such a subjective posture is to consumer docility and the agency of abject accumulation (merch hoarders, etc.).
So what happens when someone whose identity hinges on the cathexis with such consumer tropes decides to make contemporary art? Well, the last few decades brought us a taste in the guise of Matthew Barney. But now we are provided with a full-on feast thanks to Lionel Maunz's current show at Bureau, "Wail Eternal Scorn of Geologic." That I mentioned Barney is no coincidence, Maunz draws heavily from Barney's output as a sculptor and draughtsman, yet inauspiciously avoids the abject-baiting performativity that is the core of Barney's lionized practice. Instead, Maunz's sculptural work comes across like stage dressings for a concert (excuse me, "ritual") where even the scheduled acts don't even show up, sculptures that make one wish more people had taken to heart Michael Fried's foreswearings against theatricality.
The drawings fare better, perhaps solely on the merit that their physical encroachment on reality is limited to the virtual surfaces of the picture-plane. A mix of the mystical hoo-haw not only of Barney but also of wackos like Paul Laffoley or Stanislav Szukalski with the refined pencilwork of plagarized-by-Quorthon illustrator, Jos A. Smith. Within these works Maunz more convincingly illustrates the corporeal mysteries that are the emotional core of most "extreme" culture, offering the viewer schematic prompts to "Fornicate the Pyramid of Being" or that "Paradise lies in the shadow of swords," or no doubt other carnal mysteries to ambiguously seize.
Yet it is these very corporeal obsessions of extreme metal, the dasein of the mortuary, that provide it with a self-aware agency in the face of limitless capital; that the ecstatic limit of mortal life is offered as a bitter riposte to Empire's enforced paradise of self. For a cultural knowledge that began within the logic of consumer goods whose preordained obsolescence effects an inevitable death (picture if you will a cheap product gaining sentience only to remark, "only death is real") upon their objective livelihood, being asked to "Fornicate the Pyramid of Being" isn't a half-bad notion.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Josh Kline, Stuff, 2010, Mixed Media
At the confluence of tenuously held real estate, fractured subjectivities, and contaminated wares one finds the recent group show at White Columns. No need to go into the details, all the moes who read this blog know it all anyway... So where to really start then? The collective vibe is thick but the butter is weak, especially when it replaces canvases—oh soap :(... In all frankness it feels like walking into a party where several good friends are lost in social haze rich with snooze, people droning off about celebrities you don't care about, food no one eats, viral vids, career outlook, etc. No, I don't want a cocktail; no, I don't read New York Magazine; no, I grew up without electricity. The chicanery of appropriated banality fails to cease being pulled from its quotidian mores, rather the dullness of lower manhattan's street commerce finds itself dumped into the flabby sac of air that epitomizes the lugubrity particular to new york's non-for-profits. Might as well buy a house in bergen county and get on with your ever-constricting Weltschmertz. Here I wrote you a poem:
Your youth is over
wasted on these wildless streets
woe is you even though you
will say woe is me.
Yes I'm the bitter dick,
ye olde Ragged Dick
savoring plastic water
tossed from a party window.
Hark! From that end of the spectrum,
do I swallow?
Thursday, November 18, 2010
while we here at AO are slowly warming up to the idea of publishing art criticism about less obvious targets, the tired, formless faces of the subhumans dragging tired repressed facebook bodies in the streets of the metropolis and the accumulation of increasingly decadent forms of cultural blasphemies reminds us that the finest dish one finds when out for free thrills on a Thursday night at the New Museum is not dumplings or void discursivity—although one surely finds a lot of that—it is PURE HATRED. There is nothing like the NuMu to stir up and actualize deeply held heartfelt monarchist convictions...
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Digging into the still unsettled soil of the 1990's, Algus pulls out another corpse for display. Is it a martyr or just a bad painter? or both ;-) From AO's recent on-site investigation we have concluded that, for reasons that escape us, no one cares. Is there a lacking alchemical essence, No solve et coagula that heats the seat of so many doe-eyed art critics? Yet what's on view is certainly worthy a glance. Most notably for its inverted take on art's lingering monographic obsessions as Hohn––himself facing the reaper's sickle––imagines gerhard richter's early death so as to piss on the old fart's heteronormative grave. The intricate Nachträglichkeit of being German has never before been so felt (or maybe it has, but only by Annette Schwarz), praise god, hail satan!
Hohn's frank statements, sometimes painted atop an "anal" wash or backdrop, elicit a train of connotations and ponderings; it's not hard to finish the punch line, follow the trail of urine and dook into whipsy hazes of knowing ineptitude. These works demand to be taken as a collection of ironic one-liners, despite all appearances of this work falling in line with recent Teutons' adorable criticality. They are total performative acts of painterly sacriledge, of singing heavy metal like a "faggot", of sodomizing aristocrats with a sunday painter's easel. An aptitude of cultivated insensitivity, shamelessly diving headlong into overdetermined painterly rough trades, as in Tan Enamel, 1993, a large canvas from a series in which abstraction is equated with abjection, where these works' alchemy is lead into gold but gold into excrement. Hohn's staged blasphemes of painted desecration and belligerent commentary both swap the painter's studio for a body whose sickness is an outrage––figuring a painting that is an explicit act of protest against the hegemonic valuations of a politically indifferent elite; confronting the viewer with the hazards of art and its miraculous potential––an alchemy created by the adversarial coupling of its basest material.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
A proper review of provence 3 has been long overdue here at AO and unable that we are to attend either of the launch events accompanying the new issue O or even just look at a physical copy, a filler review of the random/scarce pieces of information gathered on the internet about it is in order!
Incest (Art Club 2000, The Runaways, the Jackson 5…?) can sometimes act as a lever capable of enabling clandestine desires to circulate within more mainstream networks, but how much of this aristocratically detached social networking labor actually contributes to such a process rather than a mere connexionist-city jeune homme wet dream as glossy, krebber-via-jonkers knockoff of FMR? What does this brand of elegance capital trade for when it's not adspace or leeway to push difficult forms of cultural production into the spectrum of normality?
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Yet both apprehensions of Melgaard's work leave unchallenged the lack of responsibility that is the by-product of his insecurity-fueled prowess; the victim who refines their victimhood into an expressive technology synchronous with the machinations of mainstream cultural production. This is rather than, say, re-performing this victimhood as a critical platform for exploring alternative social and economic valuations—which is possible without making "Manifesta art." Melgaard's cultural war against the heteronormative social values of the Obama age is the same cultural war waged by the media industries who build retail markets around anti-social behavior, self-mutilation, parental-advisory stickers and eating disorders, industries who refined the Helms-era controversies of Kathy Acker and Ron Athey into the Bush-era lifestyle stores of Spencer Gifts and Hot Topic. This is why I can't link Melgaard's provocations to the ultraconservative forms of (sub-)cultural production, like the actual hate of Angry Aryans or Afrikankorps (or even the antagonistic posturing of the Frogs or Boyd Rice), but rather to the market-friendly tantrums of Slipknot or Jeffree Star, artists who are latter-day billboards for the age-old refinery of shocking subjectivites into desirable (primarily youth) lifestyles; artists who are veritable "kid-whore" manufacturers.
What is hate when its communicative vector is synchronized with an economy of limitless capital, rather than a subcultural hate whose communion is limited by capital scarcity? That mainstream coverage of these hateful acts is relegated to a journalistic documentation of this music's political criminality rather than the thoughtful cultural analysis granted to an artist like Melgaard gives a clear indication that whatever Melgaard's hate-laced "politics" are, they require quotation marks.
ps If you're looking for a "good" time read Sotos and forget Bjarne of Norway...
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
—And out of the kennel, onto the track. Or, hmmm... it was the best of times, it was the worst of times? Expect commentary some day.
Michele Abeles, David Adamo, Ei Arakawa, An Atlas of Radical Cartography, Tauba Auerbach, Darren Bader, Kerstin Brätsch, David Brooks, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Leidy Churchman, Deville Cohen, Brody Condon, Caleb Considine, William Cordova, Delusional Downtown Divas (Joana Avillez, Lena Dunham, Isabel Halley), DETEXT, Debo Eilers, Franklin Evans, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Zipora Fried, Daniel Gordon, Tamar Halpern, K8 Hardy, Tommy Hartung, Sharon Hayes, Vlatka Horvat, Matt Hoyt, Alex Hubbard, Alisha Kerlin, Liz Magic Laser, Deana Lawson, Leigh Ledare, Dani Leventhal, Kalup Linzy, Tala Madani, Nick Mauss, Ryan McNamara, Dave Miko, Amir Mogharabi, Sam Moyer, Nico Muhly, Rashaad Newsome, Dominic Nurre, Brian O’Connell, Alice O’Malley, Virginia Overton, Adam Pendleton, Maria Petschnig, Zak Prekop, Ishmael Randall Weeks, Gilad Ratman, Lucy Raven, Robbinschilds, Mariah Robertson, Adele Röder, Emily Roysdon, Aki Sasamoto, David Benjamin Sherry, Erin Shirreff, Xaviera Simmons, A.L. Steiner, Elisabeth Subrin, Hank Willis Thomas, Naama Tsabar, Guido van der Werve, Conrad Ventur, Amy Yao, Pinar Yolacan
Monday, April 26, 2010
While I am breaking the oath I swore to myself not to sully AOWJM's wicked musk with IMHOs en faveur de Deitch but after downing a few artisanal pints with a former colleague this past weekend, I saw the light, er... well, at least the invisible "everything must go" sign glowing grail-like through the Avalonian mists slowly enshrouding Soho's king of kings and his palace of wonders. 50-75% discounts? More? Is it possible to acquire a Borofsky and a Paperrad installation at the same value as a Lauren for Ralph Lauren 2-piece? Will I be able to "dumpster dive" on June 1st and find not only VG/VG++ Jim Isermann wall fixtures but also Mariko Mori's monumental "lady essence stick"? Is it too late to exchange Barry McGee "paintings" for Tauba Auerbach "paintings"? What was the Meth Lab's carbon footprint? Oh, what about the Josh Smith LIC show collecting dust and silverfish? Oh, that's free.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Bruno Brunnet of BB Fine Arts and CFA Berlin fame is opening a French/Deitch-themed new space in time for gallery weekend. Deeper in Charlottenburg FTW! Will it be more "fun" than CFA? Is a casual, wood-frame-not-necessary policy to be enforced? Will there be a couch, a pinball machine? What will the security guards wear? How much cheaper for the cab ride to Paris Bar?
Saturday, April 17, 2010
The Berlin gallery weekend is soon!
afterparty jungle-cat JK broing down with non-bro