Thursday, February 24, 2011

Maybe not the Woerst of 2010, part whatever: Gedi Sibony @ Greene Naftali

When garbage activates the rest of the showroom, does that include its temporary visitors? What if Sibony's yoga-and-weed-fueled weltanschauung activated nothing but our bodies’ osmosic becoming-garbage under the orgon-ic assault of these meticulous bouquets of new-age detritus?

In what felt like a harsh swig of bongwater, Sibony revealed the earth-toned vacuousness that constitutes his sculptural practice. A levitating couch couldn’t even save this stinker from its Anthropologie display window patina. With Granola-friendly patterns, zoomorphic abstractions and fussy formal interventions, Sibony managed to further embarrass Brooklynites with the stereotypes that this increasingly petit-bourgeois suburb has assumed. Ideas swindled from the early works of Michael Asher and Lawrence Weiner are immersed into the total-work of the locavore, that entrepreneurial solve et coagula whose subjective mastering whips the dregs of metropolitan impoverishment into a gourmet cultural experience. Sibony plants our impoverished presence in the very soil where the "organic" Wirtschaftwunder of his gentrifying gestures takes flourishing root.

score: one Trader Joe’s bought dried-out BrätschWörst with a dab of dried ketchup

Friday, February 18, 2011

Digital Tour Bus

Magoo is taking the weekend off. The Millionaires, though, are recording a new single with Jeffree Star which should be out very soon and which AO is eager to use at the bottom of a post. In the meanwhile, they let us visit their tour bus.
Digital Tour Bus

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

MNTW of 2010 entry #5: Elad Lassry@Luhring Augustine

“Presented in the same context as his photographic work, the film serves as two interchangeable portraits that provide a relational narrative devoid of resolution.” reference to a video piece located in the “back room” of Lassry’s exhibition, where an oversized reel projector projecting a digital video of an alt-attractive actress handling a snake greets visitors with congenial erotic implications not completely dissimilar to the twee sex of a Belle and Sebastian record sleeve. A ubiquitous late-noughties strategy especially among young artists who plunder late-20th century conceptual art aesthetics (most of T293+Simon Fujiwara, etc) and dead artist retrospectives, the use of obsolete projectors is intended less in, say, a Kluge-ian reflection on capitalist time and creative destruction that anthropologizes industrial detritus than a sort of American Apparel gesture based on the already-vintage items made new-in-box.
Passing on the dubious use of the word “relational” in the press text, “lack of resolution”, almost always invoked alongside ‘language”, applies here to a photographic language difficult to locate in time but which is clearly entrenched in post-war commercial photography. Starburst, American photography in the 70's. “Indecision” as a surrealist tool for detournement is found in a post-digestive state, after its been broken down by enzymes, guzzled by advertizing and re-packaged as an accessory for a cool item for your apartment. The new conceptual space is precisely the retail space of Urban Outfitters. Photos emptied of their associations are well composed and seem to always convey the etsy charm their intentionaly nebulous purposes need to achieve their mesmerizing and—arguably a better choice of word for the press release but possibly for different reasons than those invoked—disquieting effect. There are reasons to think that names like Jack Goldstein, maybe John Baldessari, are mentioned in the sales pitch, and it’s difficult to say whether the
work presents itself as updating some of the aesthetic and conceptual concerns of the past “critical” art or if it takes nothing but the west-coast hedonistic swag, dissolving semiotic concerns to the shelving strategy. Rather, “lack of resolution” seems to be Lassry’s only option as long as long as his art maintains its strict appropriative diet of ineffectual communication (there needs to be a better term than vintage or hipster art)—a point of comparison with the oddly pathological humor of recent young “conceptual” art that fails to understand that the future of smart is INFORMATION ART. Resolution is not desirable because the pictures have to be obsolete as economic objects of communication before they can be soaked in the enzyme. And the pr might be appropriate when it describes this art edible like underwear as bypassing intelligence or sensuality—money enjoys and produces the lap-dance.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Maybe not the Woerst of 2010, entry #4: Tobias Madison @ Swiss Institute

It feels at once wrong, yet completely natural, that, as humanity plunges further toward its bitter conclusion, primary-market artworks aren’t as precious as the genetically kosher animals in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? However, it’s nice to try. And despite their shortcomings as biological commodities, Madison's augmented simulacras of euro-trash ebay curiosities do have promise for their potential use-value. For when the partition of the world's political economy disintegrates into roving packs of hooligan corporate liquidity managers trying their hand at primitive accumulation, much of Madison's art could function as barricade material. As it doesn't take much ingenuity to realize that Bamboo and sturdy climbing ropes can be jury rigged into all sorts of improvised—and edgy—guet-apens to protect both family and home...
Meanwhile, this faithless contemporary moment is salvaged only by the armored refuge of culture devoted solely to the benedictions of the bicephalous prophet, Guyton\Walker. Though, let's not ever entertain the ideologically cannibal notion that these defensive materials could be plied against us…

score: 30 thousand hundred million BrätschWörsts

Sunday, February 13, 2011

guest post by Dee R. Schwigger: why Berlin now

Having emerged from the boom years as a $oulle$$, balkanized and ambiguously urban aggregate where serious serious contemporary art transactions are being conducted within a growing patchwork/network of commercial contemporary galleries and artists which now seems—if not appealing or wholesome in any way—at least stable, Berlin is in fact under siege. Threatening the creative communities that found a welcoming terre d'adoption-cum-cheap rent and established the metropolis' reputation as an international center for art and culture, the deterritorializing workings of capitalism are slowly but surely poisoning the unique essence of this bustling post-Weimar bohemia. In these times when the market value of the cherished and "mandatory" (source: Artforum 4 years ago) 1-year German sojourn for predominantly white north-american artists is under attack, AO salutes creatives who resist heteronormative models of neo-liberal art capital with more décomplexé, utterly br00tal post-electroclash etsy neo-liberalism.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Maybe not the Woerst of 2010, entry #3:Free @ NuMu

photo courtesy of disimages

“And in our ignorance we let them take control
And in their wisdom they decreed that we should bow
Their grips extending to encompass all the world
The cages open to accommodate the crowd
When we put our lives into their hands
We put our hands into their chains”
- Amebix

A 17-story shitshow of the latest, most neo-liberal, dumbly naive and repulsive incarnations of overdetermined transparency, democracy and corporate-sponsored leftovers of “generational” tater tots. Etsy-esque in its user-generated fascism, countless with rampant sophisms that no seriously-minded institution could ever afford to approach with a ten foot pole… Free is chock-full o' WAGE-certified ingredients that make up this ideologically indigestible “magister smoothie” of entartete mediocrity.

Offering yet another example of the fanatical recasting of contemporary media’s enslaving jouissance as emancipatory artistic content, this exhibition's curatorial fixation on the vaporous stuff of digital ether—that evaporated substance whose mercurial relation to value maintains the post-Fordist bottom line—makes apparent the literal economy of form so crucial to the tumescent careers of young contemporary artists. With this artistic and curatorial inscription of emancipation onto the back of no-cost content, services and enthusiasms, it is necessary for one to critically examine their monadic relation to the communal becoming of this accursed share. We must parse our exegetical tie to the servile economy of these digitized potlatches; plumb the sumptuous abandon to which we subject our selves to this communal overflowing of marketable subject-identities. It remains up to the user-generated proletariat of self to will a discursive agency capable of contesting the very techniques of connexionist knowledge that foster its present conscription. And all while not lapsing into the affirmative cynicisms or catastrophic atavisms that have come to demarcate many of contemporary art's operative sites. That the coils of a serpent are more complex than the burrows of a molehill almost goes without noting given the context of Free, blah, blah, blah…

Another exhibition in a long line that continues to demonstrate that Marcia Tucker's lower-case museum has further left its socialist-inspired, non-museological roots in the dust with yet another group of bankable up-and-comers who make work "like, kind of about the internet," work perfectly sited for the 21st-century kunsthalle. Despite her noted sense of humor, Marcia no doubt rolls over in her grave once again.

score: 666 million BrätschWörsts

Friday, February 11, 2011

Maybe not the Woerst of 2010, entry #2:Rob Pruitt @ GBE


Of course it’s horrible. Why wouldn’t it be? Yet in comparison to Dan Colen’s NY Gagosian debut, Pruitt managed to actually keep the superficial perversity of Pop alive, or more accurately, exhume its corpse and prop it upright for at least month. Alongside the second, blah-ier version of his Art Awards, his exhibition at Gavin Brown presented art objects whose thought and consideration rivaled that of Miley Cyrus’ tweets. Shaped by the 21st-century spaces of American domesticity—that abundant nexus between cyberspace and the flea market—Pruitt’s gee-whiz artworks offered American decadence yet another material form tailored for the dignified hoarders of the collecting elite. And the biggest question lingers, is Pruitt’s affirmative Pop still art? Or has such a historico-cultural distinction been subsumed into the frenzied spirit of popular culture? Does his latest work artistically re-present the images and experiences of America’s hegemonic entertainment industry or is it simply another embodiment of one of its many totalizing facets? “To understand it is to understand why the terrorists hate us,” was film critic’s Armond White conclusive remark on Jackass 3D; that the same can be said of Pruitt’s 2010 contribution to American culture remains unclear, and perhaps disconcertingly so. However, there is no doubt that the title of White's review, "The Bland and the Bonkers," can fittingly describe Pruitt's celebutante playthings.

score: one large vegan BräschtWörst

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just saw Spiderman on Broadway and it was f#%$ng AMAZING!!!!! I honestly cannot believe the haters (critics) stand a chance when the crowd from front to back to to bottom was totally electrified by this knockout show! I am not even interested in comics or the story of spiderman on any level and I was blown away by this production! I am definitely going back to see this show again!!! --Richard Phillips, 1:35 AM, facebook

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Maybe not the Woerst of 2010, entry #1: Brätsch/DAS INSTITUT

While no official show of this sleaze committee transpired this past year, it was very much in the air to feed the discourse of collaboration and “shared” authorship into the fluorescent euro-trash blender of post-recession amnesia.

How could it even be possible for artistic subjects to produce the absurdly normative stakes of corporate culture in a more exhausted fashion? Screen-saver doodles in favor of culture’s institutionalized ineffectualities? An ESL cathexis with the euro’s fiscal supremacy over the American dollar? If the life of the flaneur once lead to crime, then the life of the poseur now leads to the cubicle. What goes into the making of a Brätschwörst? One thing is for sure: nothing that shouldn't have been left in nature.

Only time—funkyzeit—will tell what exotic corners of the connexionist city this plaidoyer for across-the-board bullshit will manage to squat before it is rejected like the first dip into an expired half-eaten qvark. In the meanwhile, we impatiently wait for “Institutional Cupcake”, the Gavin Brown debut imminently scheduled for later this year.

score: a full cornucopia of BrätschWörst! :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

despite the "apparent" lack of activity, Magoo has a lot in store... Expect 2010 holiday greetings, a top-notch selection of the best of the worst of last year and an exhaustive roundup of local and international contemporary art exhibitions and events served with an always generous scoopfull of the in-depth commentary that has made AO your destination of choice for one-stop up-to-date cultural commentary.

before the hot dog basket de résistance can be laid on the table, ao proposes this fine entrée of norwegian press release confit...

Ida Ekblad: Poem Percussion

"Ekblad’s art has never been about cool, strategic, calculated appropriation – it is more a quite personal reworking of her own immediate reality."

"That Ida Ekblad’s exhibition in Bergen Kunsthall opens 45 years to the day after the Danish Cobra painter Asger Jorn filled the same exhibition premises (Bergens Kunst¬forening, 1965) is probably just a curious coincidence, but nevertheless..."

"“I believe in painting in the same way as I believe in music,” she has said in an interview..."