Monday, October 3, 2011


After years of crafting a unique formal vocabulary out of ambiguously auto-biographical references, an often tongue-in-cheek conceptual approach and presentation strategies borrowed from various dematerialized forms of art-making, Jordan Wolfson has managed an impressive "return" to a more standard exhibition format that feels effortlessly adapted to contemporary image distribution requirements for his last solo presentation at T293's new gallery space in Rome. Evoking the playful digital/analog experiments in which digital techniques are used in combination with a painterly sensibility the way peers like DAS INSTITUT, David Lieske, Michael Krebber, and Tobias Madison have been using them to general acclaim, Wolfson re-introduces a cycle of references familiar to close observers of his work (Hassidic Shyloh figures, cartoon characters, infantile nudity, politically incorrect material found on the internet...), cooked up in a set of 14 loosely hung digital prints on canvas and two single-channel videos.
Often described as moving freely across media or even, "post-studio", Wolfson's practice here innovates by delivering its accumulated subject-matter in a subtly presented on-demand response to the requirements of his role and vocation as an artist. Feeding back most of the presentation strategies routinely encountered in the art circuit most visible on blogs such as Contemporary Art Daily to the a gallery prominently present within that circuit, Wolfson's solo show and adoption of a distribution-friendly presentation format casts the ever-changing nature of his formal vocabulary (the artist often produces using skilled outsourced labor like animators, actors and mimes that leave a strong imprint on the technical signature of the work) in a self-deprecating, humoristic light that confers T293's new space a playfulness that will no doubt be repeated by other artists in the roster. In many ways reminiscent of a contemporary hockey rink (banners commemorative of the players' history circling the main play area and providing an inspiring decor for the spectators, two flat screen televisions sets facing each other from either sides of the room like nets..), this exhibition is a one-player, one team championship: Jordan Wolfson, for Jordan Wolfson, scoring a never-ending series of highly de territorializing goals in both nets.


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