|Brian Dick's (in collaboration with Christen Sperry-Garcia)|
The Nationwide Museum Mascot Project presents: OCMAscot, 2010
…we long ago discovered what has come to be known as Perreault's Percentage. No matter how talented the curator(s) or how vast the pool of artists, not more than 10 percent…of any large survey is worth looking at. Why is this? Judgments are limited. Plus, art worth saving is simply too hard to make…
|Brian Dick's (in collaboration with Christen Sperry-Garcia) |
The Nationwide Museum Mascot Project's Piñata Cozy with Glowfitti Room (detail), 2010
Inside the darkened van-cave one can "draw" on the glow-in-the-dark painted walls with the provided pen lights;
above is my temporary Lascaux hand.
|David Adey's Flock, 2010|
Looking at things from the other side of the fence, one can almost pity the damned-either-way curator: be inclusive, and be accused of hodgepodge-ism and lack of curatorial rigor; narrow the focus and suffer the slings and arrows of argumentum ad-hominem.
|Los Angeles Urban Rangers' Portable Ranger Station, 2009-2010|
The illegitimate love child of the Center for Land Use Interpretation and Ikea.
Way back when our love of art eventually brought us face to face with Gardner, Jason, or Hartt in the guise of Art 101, those color plates were like jewels in a literary saga--movements spread like communism across Asia and the Americas, and misunderstood artists went boldly against conventions like Jimmy Stewart went to Washington.
|Electronic Disturbance Theater/b.a.n.g. lab's The Transborder Immigrant Tool (TBT), 2007-2009|
A hundred years ago to the month, Roger Fry curated Manet and the Post-Impressionists at the Grafton Gallery. What would be considered a pandering blockbuster today, the show was universally panned, and for a laugh London's Tatler printed a Van Gogh sideways, calling it "Plague-Stricken Rats Up a Tree." In those Edwardian times the conventional art came from the academy, work that is usually seen as kitsch today. But the art of 1910 shouldn't be seen as a simple dichotomy between the likes of Alma-Tadema and Cézanne. Concurrent with the ruckus in London, Kandinsky was creating his first abstractions, Meiji period artists in Japan were incorporating Western styles, and movements like analytic Cubism, Futurism, Die Brücke, the arts Nouveau and Crafts, along with the Fauvists, the Ashcan School, and photo-taking Eds--Steichen and Weston (among others) were all making stuff. What plays out today like dominoes (or sequential pages in an art history text) were essentially a jumble of reactionary, conventional, interacting, and isolated movements.
|Sherin Guirguis' Bein El-Qasrein, 2010|
|Nikki Pressley's Untitled, 2010|
|Patrick Wilson's Romeo, 2010|
Driving back home, I had that same feeling I sometimes get after visiting LACMA, that other named-after-a-county museum of art. As interesting as Latin American Art, Korean Art, or privately amassed collections are, one can't help sense and underlying urge by the museum to pander to their various constituencies, e.g. Los Angeles' large Latino population, the museum's Mid-Wilshire Korean neighbors, and most importantly, the major donors and collectors who sit on the board of trustees. As Euro-centric as the East Coast's encyclopedic museums were, one doesn't feel the Met was buying their Titian or Caravaggio to entice the folks in Little Italy to come visit their museum.
|Nina Waisman's Between Bodies / Tijuana, 2008-2010|
Image of your faithful scribe (looking like the Professor Farnsworth from Futurama); image courtesy Diane Calder.
|Agitprop's The Third Party, 2010|
Can art that's made from stuff bought at Home Depot be lumped together as an art movement?
|Gil Blank's No Title, No Date|
Image Courtesy LaMontagne Gallery, Boston
|Zoe Crosher's Like Miko Smiling for Christopher Williams, 2008|
Image Courtesy of the artist and DCKT Contemporary, New York
Bonus points for referencing an Artforum cover!
|Alex Israel's Property (Detail: Desire), 2010|
|On the Wall Next to Drew Heitzler's OCMA Stack (detail) 2010|
This is one of the problems inherent in today's multiple modes of production. There were several "stacks" in the biennial, reminiscent of Felix Gonzalez-Torres' unlimited editions. Los Angeles Urban Rangers, David Wilson, and others and take aways and work you could touch. Eventually the viewer gets put off when he becomes frustrated by different expectations from art that is identical on a formal level.
California Biennial 2010: Orange County Museum of Art