04 March 2011

Review no. 2, after actually seeing the stuff..

It being Friday, now the early evening, I'll get to what's there just this week, beginning with Kai Althoff who doesn't have his name anywhere on his show at Gladstone (515 W 24th), presumably to make the space seem lived in by a fictional character. What impresses me in addition to obvious painterly chops is how each work comprises a separate aesthetic conception and composition, so even as the works relate in unspecified ways to each other, repetition is kept to the minimum that is inevitable, that of days and motions. The ceiling is low, a soundtrack accompanies the two relatively small rooms, and the room has an odor. I will expand the commentary to shows with a longer running time only to say that 24th Street seems to have taken the olfactory dimension and ran with it what with Nitsch's dried blood and whatever scents are added to the effect of Terrence Koh doing what he is doing for eight hours a day in a windowless room.

Moving Image: You only need to know that it's free, located in one of the most interesting local industrial renovations, and giving out free canvas bags and ground coffee. It is amongst other things a showcase of the historical range of feminist video, set up so you see this section first, including the snappy dialogue of Melanie Bonajo and a 1983 Carolee Schneeman mop repeatedly hitting a TV with bombed out Lebanese buildings. A 1978 Hannah Wilkie video comprises a determined attempt to use Method techniques to project as much intimacy as she could for the camera, including strategic use of music, reacting to phone messages of her loved ones, and picking letters from their names off her chest. (pdf)

Two artists at Independent stood out for me: This page on Marta Riniker-Radich (above, represented by Hard Hat) from a gallery in Basel called New Jerseyy (here I live the myth) has a good selection of images. In the real place of New Jersey we had a show of the poet-artist Dmitri Prigov (below), whose metaphysical interiors have a similar layout: the square room in perspective with objects of subconscious significance. Whether she is depicting interior or exterior space she takes care to do so subversively.

Galerie Susanne Zandler offers a generous assemblage of pencil drawings, narrative tableau of military figures, by outsider artist Oskar Voll, who was repeatedly sent to psychiatric hospitals by the Nazis until 1935, after which there are no records of his life.

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