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.