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Eutopia: Vol. 5 _2016 (12x12)

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S: EUTOPIA Volume 5

BC: eutopia.us

FC: EUTOPIA Volume 5

1: EUTOPIA: Contemporary Art Review Volume 5 Spring 2016 founder/editor: Ryder Richards eutopia.us

2: EUTOPIA produces concise 100 word reviews on contemporary art, architecture and artists. Founded to increase arts writing and reading we are pleased to present the first season of collected reviews in book format. ~ Ryder Richards

3: Alison Knowles Linnea Glatt PLURAL: Doris Salcedo Adam Shirley Daniel García Andújar Jeff Ferrell Maria Hassabi Laetitia Soulier Teresa Serrano Ann Veronica Janssens Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller Michael Mazurek Darren Lee Miller Hippie Modernism | Lauren Fulton Thomas Motley Colette Copeland/Ryder Richards Trevor King Chad Dawkins Colette Copeland Colette Copeland Ali Soltani Colette Copeland Ryder Richards Colette Copeland Ryder Richards Ian F Thomas Jake Weigel

4: Alison Knowles Forum Gallery Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh The Carnegie’s gallery is exactly as Dick Higgins described Knowles’s Big Book decades ago: as an “anthology,” an “accumulation” about situation and experience. Her survey, like this life-size, live-in publication and its ancestor, The Boat Book, cannot be described in any other way, except to borrow another of Higgins’s terms: intermedia. Objects spanning Knowles’s earliest Fluxus activities until now both excite and calm, puzzle and amaze, and ignite the senses. Sounds of beans shuffled by feet and the artist’s gentle voice float throughout, drawing in adults and children alike to experience excerpts of Knowles’s life, inseparable from her art. Lauren Fulton images courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art

6: Linnea Glatt Continuum Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas Overlap broadens and narrows, rises and falls, like a wave, like breathing. The fragility of the fabric’s weave is countermanded by the stature and consistency of a classical organization. Like stoic Roman pilasters, the thread-drawn rectangles cling close to the ground plane of the paper. In Verse #1 is drawn with precisely cut sheer-cloth circles that float above one another, both in their alignment and actual surface application, resulting in delicate chiffon-glazed tonal layers. Linnea Glatt’s latest drawings provide stunning testament to her continued fascination with intricate, illusive materials cast in timeless configurations. ~ Thomas Motley photographs by Kevin Todora, courtesy of Barry Whistler Gallery

8: Doris Salcedo Plegaria Muda Nasher Sculpture Center, Dalla Meticulously crafted, long, narrow, wooden tables topped with earth and another upended table crowd the gallery. Viewers carefully wind their way through the maze-like, sacred space. The intimate proximity to the sculptures prevents distant, passive viewing. Sparse, straggly shoots of green grass sprout from the tabletops. Resembling coffins, the installation references the thousands of youth killed on the streets of L.A., as well as youth murdered by the military in Colombia. Rather than a somber memorial focusing on the dead, the grass symbolizes resilience and perseverance. Plegaria Muda, translated as “silent prayer,” suggests hope and a collective call to witness. ~ Colette Copeland Conflating poetics with the politics of victimization Salcedo contextualizes her work with exhumation of the dead. Metaphorically and literally fecund, the dark platitude of survival through hardship physicalizes loss as symbolic graveyard. Plegaria Muda references Columbian youths found in mass graves, while mentioning 10,000+ youth deaths on the streets of LA. Disturbingly, the work offers no specific voice to the victimized voiceless of LA, relying on its powerful, universal vagueness to co-opt any tragedy. From a stratospheric art career the strategic franchising of the distant dead becomes questionable as empathy, yet highly valuable as cultural capital. ~ Ryder Richards images courtesy of Colette Copeland

10: Adam Shirley Ordinary Objects Simone DeSousa Gallery, Detroit, MI A lot of artwork needs an audience and rests on fragile social or circumstantial conditions to build meaning. Ordinary Objects does not. Shirley’s installation is rigid, square, plumb, and absolute. The exhibition renders a contemplative spatial deconstruction, a remembered space rebuilt to destroy the vagueness of memory and description. Perhaps the greatest potential for sculpture lies in the notion that sculpture is made of matter. Materials do not have opinions; instead they retain actual, undeniable physical properties. In Shirley’s work, these material truths both resist and resonate with more illusive social or personal ideas of truth. ~ Trevor King

12: Daniel García Andújar The Butterfly Funnel Artpace, San Antonio, Texas Andujar’s archive is, like all archives, compromised. What he offers is, not unlike history, neither accurate nor false. Whereby our reliance on interest as a qualifying aesthetic feature blinds us to the subtle truth in details. The exhibition, as a formality, threatens to become a monument to the personal disillusions of its subject. Then why concede to this threat? How much louder must we exclaim into the void of the exhibitionary space? A flag, a sign, a literal symbol modifies its environment without even touching it. Ultimately, this fleeting gesture compromises the exaggerated destinations of display. ~ Chad Dawkins Originally commissioned and produced by Artpace San Antonio. Photo credit Adam Schreiber

14: Jeff Ferrell American Dirt The Reading Room, Dallas Featuring 150 found photographs from Jeff Ferrell’s dumpster diving expeditions, the exhibition is an eclectic, anthropological survey primarily featuring Ft. Worth residents’ detritus. Unlike traditional archives, the display is not organized chronologically or by subject or even photographic process, but rather a curious juxtaposition between family snapshots and commercial portraits produced over the past 100 years. What can we glean from these discarded images? What is their sociological value? The image of the trophy hunter posed with his prized hippopotamus and the child with the shotgun resonate with current, sadly unchanging, socio-political issues. And dumb cat pictures are still all the rage. ~ Colette Copeland images courtesy of The Reading Room, taken by Kevin Todora

16: Maria Hassabi Plastic The Museum of Modern Art, New York Exploring the body in almost imperceptible action, choreographer Maria Hassabi’s dancers performed daily for one month on the 2nd floor stairwell and atrium. Hassabi intends to remove the theatrical barriers between subject and object, but I question the actuality of such a missive, since the museum is already an artificial construct of stage and audience. The day I visited was the dancers “day off”, so in the spirit of re-performance, I had my friends re-enact the works on the stairwell, to test whether visitors would stop to gawk or simply step over their bodies as they traversed the stairwell. Performance aborted after the vigilant guards noticed our intervention. ~ Colette Copeland images courtesy of MoMA and the artist

18: Laetitia Soulier Fractal Architectures Claire Oliver Gallery, New York I am reminded of the perspectival loom of the Quattrocento period in early Renaissance when viewing the pictures of Laetitia Soulier as though experiencing a subliminal stroboscope that rapidly alternates between a still shot and it’s underlying mathematical lattice-work on which it is constructed. The viewer is plunged into a kinematic rotorelief of pulsating fractals and figures that through a juxtaposition of contrasting scales is effectively internalized, subject to the same perceptive inquisition it employed to examine things. The installation serves as a threshold to an un-folding itinerary from where one emerges like a charged Baudlairean kalaidoscope gifted with consciousness. ~ Ali Soltani images courtesy of the artist and Claire Oliver Gallery

20: Teresa Serrano La Piñata [2003] Video, duration 5:45 Contingent Beauty, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Using a common childhood game as a metaphor for the murders of young women in Juarez, Mexico, Serrano’s graphic, polemic video depicts a man brutally bashing a piñata shaped like a young woman. The male protagonist takes perverse pleasure as he calculatingly taunts his paper maché prey. With only her head remaining, he plants a tender kiss on her face, before striking the final blows. However, it was the sound that haunted me for weeks—five long minutes of escalating grunts of exertion and heavy breathing mingled with the sound of the bat making contact, followed by silence. ~ Colette Copeland images courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston

22: Ann Veronica Janssens Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas [link] January 23, 2016 – April 17, 2016 Experiential works, such as Janssens’ fog room or layered cubes, require little or no explanatory text to engage. The optical spectacle triggers a digital image impulse: documentary investigatory tourism is the mass socio-cultural statement. However beautiful, stunning and wordless the work, sustained consideration reveals a Kantian knot of perceptual inquiry. Made of relatively humble materials the work exemplifies a proletariat modernism –“it is what it is”— while simultaneously mystifying the common through sublime transmutation. By questioning how one perceives a loop of self-reflective inquiry prompts reconsideration of correlative objectivity, forcing re-engagement with the world as potentially unknowable and profoundly mystical. ~ Ryder Richards photos by Kevin Todora, courtesy of the artist, 1301PE, Los Angeles and Nasher Sculpture Center

24: Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller The Infinity Machine Byzantine Fresco Chapel, The Menil Collection Inspired by Pythagorean theory Cardiff & Miller’s latest collaboration features a large-scale, kinetic, audio mobile. Suspended from the ceiling over 150 antique mirrors revolve, casting shadows throughout the darkened gallery. Sounds referencing space vibration echo in the Chapel, paralleling the tilting movement of the mirrors as the layers transform the environment, evoking an ominous rather than meditative space. The stark, disorienting experience reminds me of Kusama’s Infinity Rooms or Alice trapped in a myriad of looking glasses. One questions the work’s connection to the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, however the installation’s immersive quality provides the infinite atemporality promised. ~ Colette Copeland images by George Hixson and George Bures Miller, courtesy of the artists and the Menil Collection.

26: Michael Mazurek New Paintings BEEFhaus, Dallas Mounting appropriated doors as painting smacks of post-modern irony: a high-modernist parody: a conceptual-minimalist “fuck you” to a system that revels in cleverness. Nonchalantly distressed by nonstandard usage the panels bear scars and lackadaisical attempts at concealment. If personified it is tragic, begging acute angles of painterly inspection, as though appreciation of casual violence against objects parallels social insight. However, if the surface is catagorically accepted it presents an improbable poetry: inaccessible and of higher authenticity than meditated actions. The piece, unwillingly, exemplifies the noumena gap, questioning our occasional correlationism at odds with our systemic un-knowing of daily life. ~ Ryder Richards photography by Kevin Todora, courtesy of the artist

28: Darren Lee Miller SIT STILL: photography, portraits, and doubling Curated by Nicole Coffineau Revision Space Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Expressing a primordial innocence of arousal, Miller shifts exteriors internally to provide a surreal, subconscious glimpse into longing, acceptance, and power. With “childhood” propped as simultaneous voyeur and youthful naiveté, the physical players similarly mirror the interchangeable role of giver/receiver. In so doing the work illustrates the power of willingness, irretrievably tangled and consummately fulfilled by the identifier. While the title is a short game pun, “Pansy” deeply proposes questions about one’s understanding of self and how desire is nurtured. ~ Ian F. Thomas image courtesy of the artist and Revision Space

30: Hippie Modernism: The Struggle For Utopia Curated by Andrew Blauvelt Walker Art Center Minneapolis, Minnesota “Hippie Modernism” offers an engaging combination of sociopolitical, economic and aesthetic inquiries of the 1960’s and 70’s without the pejorative use of terms. Pragmatic, intuitive and political methodologies for a new age include perception-shifting headgear, inflatable architecture, temporary cities on islands, educational literature, “truckitecture”, and negative utopias. Heineken developed bottles for building materials and Info-Gonks were 1968’s Google Glass. The exhibition demonstrates with prescient physicality the creative, freethinking nature often dismissed as a “hippie pipe-dream.” As evidenced in overwhelming detail at the Walker, the era’s core values are still a driving force in current politics, architecture, art, and design. ~ Jake Weigel images courtesy of Walker Art Center

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  • Title: Eutopia: Vol. 5 _2016 (12x12)
  • Eutopia art reviews: Spring 2015
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  • Published: almost 3 years ago