Thursday, January 28, 2010

OPENING TOMORROW!! Alex Hubbard@ Maccarone



While "Art Observations" is pretty shameless in the art it promotes, it's not as terrible as every other G.D. awful other art blog out there, many of which simply pull even more rarefied Vidolke moves; moves that probably are viral marketing campaigns for eurotrash like Balice Hertling or Dépendence—if not these places, some god-foresaken zone cottoned to Yau, Rubinstein, etc. Even propped on the man-hungry shoulders of a supposed p'zone princess, Hubbard is the real deal. So, if the 'Goo don't see ya, you pose! Peep the ridic press text.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Look out! Coming this week!



Booyah, Greene Naftali is killing it this winter! After last year's best painting show closed at the gallery last weekend, they bounce right back with the art world's favorite invaders of personal space, Gelitin. Unless the 'Goo don't know better, these Austrians seem to have achieved a rare position in art: broad appeal. Look at those performers, who woulda thunk so many faces would deliberately drink Gelitin's "open for business" kool-aid? Sure, I've heard grumblings that certain NY art bros are fearing the imminent arrival of these Old World juans onto our Hudson shores; that they'll sweep into town and leave nary a committed woman/dude around given their wicked muenster and bi-curious-flavored nipples (do they deodorize? exclusively with cologne?). But such gripes are a mere consequence of not wearing flowing pants, using one's erection as a signpost, one's anus as candelabra, urine as public art, etc. Sure they get around and, unlike their NY peers, they don't even bother pretending not to shy prudishly away from the spectacle of post-millenial art. Gelitin asks, Why say no? Well, Ass is ass.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

If you seek...BHQF



Does Bruce High Quality Foundation still have a show??? Or their school, or whatever they're cooking to stay afloat theez days? Now the last installment of "If you seek..." happened to include art that da Magoose actually grooves to... HOWEVER, this time I let the homophonic pun rest unfacetiously on these minor league'rs. While it goes without saying, BHQF if-you-seek'ing S.....U....C....K.....S. Despite the social darwinist agenda embedded within its narrative, the theatrically unreleased 2006 film Idiocracy managed to depict a rather palpable dystopia predicated on the lobotomizing effects of a hands-off democratic bureaucracy run amok by the cultural lifestyles authorized during the worldwide wholesaling of post-soviet capitalism. While doctors, lawyers, filmmakers, politicans and blue-collar laborers largely received the butt end of the film's jokes, artists were curiously exempt from the film's presciently moronic humiliations. But one must wonder, if these professions still live on in the regressive future, where might art fit within the film's landfilled horizons—especially the ever-enlightened subgenre, "institutional critique." Yet after Magoo's radar having been blipped by Bruce's foundation, the imbecilic vanishing point of institutional critique becomes readily apparent: BHQF="Upgraydd" Haacke, Renee Green "with Electrolytes," "full-release" département des aigles, etc. Truthfully such equivalents are far too complimentary to the thick-as-a-brick BHQF as the group's art historical "heritage" draws a far more resonant analogy to the film's depiction of the fast-food chain, Fuddruckers, gradual change in nomenclature to "Buttfuckers." Please join Magoo in saying peace to these scrotes!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Our Little Baby, Alls Grown Up: Claire Fontaine @ Reena Spaulings



Much like the art of their fictive gallerist, Claire Fontaine's new work has managed to become "better" in the same sense that an art student's gets better in the 2 or 4 (or 8 to 10) years they spend on the receiving end of pedagogy. Unlike most doe-eyed students, the paperback-moniker'd "artist" clearly announce their artistic inauthenticity, preferring to détourn contemporary art's familiars into Tiqqun-fueled "agency." With earlier work, cleverness aside, these appropriated idioms rarely ceased in their banal overfamiliarity despite Claire's politicizing efforts. This became especially evident as the work was plunged into a commercial context flooded with artists and gallerists peddling neo-traditional art objects as contextual deterritorializations—same stone, different book (do they still do that or are we onto post-boom cultural anthropology?).

Years later though, after accelerating through the known repertoire of usable artistic norms, Claire now settles on an approach that almost feels—much like a student having effectively synthesized their formative influences—individuated and self-actualized (again Reena Spaulings has also "accomplished" a similar feat with her recent show at the Liz Dee of Europe—i.e. desperate for publicized legitimation, Sutton Lane). Of course, some may mourn for the impish days of yore when it was all fun, kinda dumb jokes, the venerable "demo" years before hourly labor entered into the picture; when one could doubtingly sink their fingers into Claire's ragged seams and praise her ability to effectively conceive ineffectual objects while simultaneously dispersing subject-identities like hootch in Cocktail—RSFA's then stock in trade. However, Claire's slick synthesis of phantom/jeune fille subjectivity with the neoliberal doctrine of self-improvement is a daft "accomplishment." It subtly counters the familiar creative regimes initiated by such a lift-yerself-up-by-the-bootstraps doctrine, aptly demonstrating how subjectively-endowed "lives" needn't be "real" to cohere to the folktales of immaterialized polities. Well, that or she started ripping off Chinese artists—

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pablo Bronstein @ the Met



Who on earth—and by that I mean, New York—would show Pablo Bronstein? Has anyone, aside from artforum.com, seen Herald St.'s uptown viewing gallery? Clearly Ethan and Thea, and now Magoo! Is NY allergic to Bronstein? Hmmm, probably not for long. Kreps, are you gonna do it? Can YOU save the day?

But srsly enuff speculation by a person who has no clue. What's cookin' in el kitchen del Pablo? The mixed-up files of Basil T. Frankweiler? A Night at the Museum? Where's Stiller and that fat kid from Superbad in those doodles, Pablo? The decorum of "institutional critique" vaguely rears its head—perhaps for Pablo it's a cutesy "institutional awareness"—but this decorum is tweedeedly twisted into arab-strap wearing phantasias that Wes Anderson would envy Sophia Coppola for adorably owning (paging 303?). Who woulda thunk architectural "interventions" could get so zany? Or could it be, "On the Museum's Ruins: An Unabashedly 'Faggy' Children's Book"? While Pablo's childish imagineering has the potential to be a crowd pleaser, it's still above the heshers who race to the Dalis and the foreign exchange nü-masters crowding the european galleries with bespeckeled easels and snug DKNY tees. Pablo, are you too "indie," too uniquely self-styled with your interests that the mainstream "doesn't know what to do"? Perhaps you like nü-darkwave/minimal synth or are you too old/"justified and ancient" for that, preferring to "stand by the jams"? Does America make you feel "weird"? On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate Control? Factory or Disques du Crepuscule? Do you secretly like Harry Potter? Did you pour one out for Gwathmey? Any home furnishings I should be on the lookout for? Do you "struggle for pleasure"? Pablo, these are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the questions that Magoo has for you.

thanks to whatisjameswearing.com for the pic!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Rachel Harrison at Bard



While comfortably sinking my toes into Hawkins' faggy beach sand, this Magoose was smacked with a wicked comeuppance: like a no good floyd, Rachel Harrison's first museum survey slipped through the 'Goose's to-dos in the same manner children fall off Clapton's balcony. Seriously, why would anyone deprive themselves of the natty high that is Harrison's primo jimson? Sure, sure pics were provided. Notable among them: an early notecard piece concerning a stolen peanut, that is in many ways Harrison's unavowed Resonator to the rest of her practice, a neurotic Rosetta stone to an allegorically complex sculptural practice. Responding to the slight yet detrimental larceny of an early work where a gallery visitor had taken a peanut that Harrison had "placed" (because "it didn't feel right to glue it") on a record player, the notecards hurriedly ask the same question 50 different ways in 50 different shades of pissed off: "Who stole my peanut?"

But more on this resonator! In Stuart Gordorn's Lovecraft-inspired horror masterpiece From Beyond a group of unwitting scientists are flung, no thanks to the sadistic patriarchy of the head scientist, into a psychedelic atavism that remaps human consciousness into new morphology of transdimensional depravity. Attempting to recover the pineal gland from being lost in the biogeography of a rationalized brain, by simply turning on a harmonic resonater, this gland—which I may also note is about the size of a small peanut—enlarges to the point of piercing through one's skull. Once it has reached this point it effectively becomes a "third eye," bringing awareness not only to the chthonic forces inapparent to everyday consciousness but also a counter-intuitive enthusiasm for the varied pleasures of human flesh, be it sexual or cannibalistic. Once the pineal gland has fully grown, it leaves the film's principles with no choice but to succumb to the ruthless energies of an abject universe, thus making the resonator a crucial point of distinction between what is human and that what is essentially "beyond" human.



Now let's take this relationship and replace the term "human" with "sculpture" and we can begin to return Rachel Harrison's work to the conversation. For in Stuart Gordon's vision (helped out greatly by legendary make-up artist Screamin' Mad George) what formally constitutes "beyond human" is in fact the Cartesian mind/body awkwardly aggregated with the inapparent sensory matter made available by its exposure to this libidinally-engorged ur-consciousness. Much the same is Harrison's material approach to the formal legacies of Western sculpture, opening up not only the purity of enlightened form and culture to the bizarreness of inapparent, archaic libidinal economies such as flea markets and kitschy bazaars or the ill-rehearsed pathology of the unexamined, pop-cultural life. Unlike a culturally ghettoized, straight-to-tape charlatan like Gordon who seems content to dwell exclusively on the disturbia of an oppressor's infinitely mutable perversions, Harrison conversely dolls up these abject "beyonds" into sculptural "bodies" conducive to the very artistic norms she exposes to the entropic "bizarre;" making the potential threat of such "perversions" a latent one comfortably wrapped in familiar cultural idioms.

This important distinction also separates Harrison significantly from many of the young, primarily male, sculptors today who consign the western sculptural canon solely to detrimental physical operations, see Aaron Curry, Sterling Ruby or Thomas Houseago. In many ways, these "boys" return the patriarchial oppressor and his perversions immanent to western culture to concretized artistic norms, effectively reversing and trivializing the abject tribunals earlier male artists, most prominently Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley and Franz West, brought upon such an ever-present phantasm. I blame Reagan...



Harrison's ability to invoke both historical semblance and profanation within her artistic practice is apparent even in her "signature" material—the synthetic stucco, Parex. An ideal material for weather-proofing, Parex goes along way in achieving the technologically-refined anachronism so necessary to the "post-modern" look of much suburban architecture (see here). Thus while Parex is capable of being considered "lowly" or "base" given its entropic materiality, it is in fact just as capable of weathering a corporate plaza as the tried-and-true metallurgy and masonry of Holt, Ferrara, Opie, Oppenheim, Heizer, West, Flanagan, Shapiro, Aycock, etc., etc., etc. Whether or not it would be embraced as public art is another argument, even though the potential public appeal of Harrison's entropic aggregrates seems more on the side of a Koons' floral pup (humbled perhaps by a Dion excavation) than a torqued ellipse, a performance biennial or a gallery-funded art school—especially since these latter few seem to bespeak patrician haute contempt for the Gaga-loving lunch-crowd plebes more than anything else.

If my irreverent analogy proves apt, one must wonder, where is Rachel's peanut? Thanks to the neurotic "resonator" Harrison has constructed in the nut's apparent absence, the peanut in question seems to have grown to enveloping proportions, exposing the historical norms of art exhibitions as ostensible constructions sourced from pathological heteronomies.

Looking at Harrison's work as it proceeds from this act of petty larceny, one now observes of her recent work that, at first glance, it might appear like a monumental Nevelson curiously stucco'd in acidic colors; yet as soon as one draws such a comparison, the work cancerously vaudvilles as a prelinguistic dolmen as readily as it becomes post-Lawler invective. Or perhaps a late-period Stella encrusted like a pillar of salt topped off with an air purifier to ensure lasting "freshness"? An unpacked Noguchi with Haacke nearby, wagging his finger? One of Franz West's scatalogical dicks unexpectedly sprouting a Heidi (Montag?) wig?



At every moment the multiple lines of (often titular) histories embedding the work communicate simultaneously in narratives both within artistic reason and beyond it, tongues spoken both by those human (those artistically codified) and by those "beyond" (those artistically heteronomous). It is this simultaneous communicativity that effects its "bizarre" pathology onto the historical narrativity of human forms (even these forms' negative, iconoclastic iterations), through which art, especially "contemporary art," finds its institutional materialization as a communicative social apparatus. Thanks to Harrison's fugitive peanut, this swollen sculptural ur-consciousness not only lays bare the murky zone of "bizarre" libidinal investiture that inapparently navigates "beyond" art's nominal institutions but also testifies to the likelihood that such pathological investments are constitutive of the very narratives bolstering artistic institutions, namely the one we all regale (or perhaps consolingly elect) as "contemporary art."

While the 'Goose missed her retroview—which include classic "hits" like her amazing Perth Amboy installation—closing this weekend is her latest show, Haycation, at Frankfurt's Portikus. Click here for pics!

for immediate release



Custodian/Facilities Assistant
David Zwirner
(New York NY)

Custodian/Facilities Assistant

Job includes:
- Sweeping, mopping and general cleaning of galleries and office-space
- General maintenance of facilities, reporting directly to the Gallery Director

**Experience working with or around fine art required.**

Candidates must be highly responsible, trustworthy and motivated. References and background will be checked.

Schedule is Monday 8 AM-4 PM, Tuesday-Friday 8 AM-1 PM. Flexibility required as hours may change according to exhibition schedule. Compensation is approximately $15/hour and commensurate with experience.

To apply, please email your resume and three references to hr@davidzwirner.com. No phone calls or faxes please.