May 18, 2012
December 11, 2011
A Review of Maurizio Cattelan: All at the Guggenheim
At risk of tritely introducing an artist by claiming that he or she needs no introduction, it so happens that Guggenheim Chief Curator Nancy Spector’s expository statement provides an excellent survey of his career, a worthy complement to her institution’s current Maurizio Cattelan retrospective.
In a sense, a major museum exhibition, even (or perhaps especially) at the Guggenheim, represents a kind of demise, Cattelan’s often-noted obsession, an expression of Heidegger’s Being-unto-Death in which the artist is ‘looking back,’ per the parlance, at an oeuvre that has ossified into something cohesive on the premise of comprehensiveness, a body of work that is consummate—immortalized—in a way that can be only defined in terms of mortality.
Nevertheless the work is not collectively bereft of the myriad meaning that it had in 1989, 1990, 1991, etc., though many of the specimens are indeed taxidermied. If there is an overall sensation that Cattelan has turned the museum into a mausoleum, it’s worth noting that it’s impossible (and futile) to determine whether the artist has done utmost respect or disrespect for the dead.
In any case, I was immediately struck by the sheer presence—i.e., the physicality—of the elaborately-suspended spectacle. The radically vertical arrangement attenuates the otherwise vertiginous nature of the atrium, allowing the viewer to see each piece from virtually every angle, a veritable infinity of perspectives and, likewise, juxtapositions that simply could never be achieved in a regular gallery space.
Indeed, the overarching sense of discovery is refreshingly more like a curio shop than the partitioned tabula rasa of, say, MoMA’s sixth floor: one encounters the smitten pope thrice over (La Nona Ora, 1999); a readymade bicycle; a particularly long-eared leporid; anti-authoritarian sentiments abound; sleeping dogs; banality revisited time and again; and, of course, the artist himself at varying levels.
The five-story spiral of Wright’s sometimes-frustrating interior imparts an anthropomorphic scale to the mass of artwork to brilliant effect, the undeniable totality made manageable as it unravels in the viewer’s two-dimensional orbit. By presenting the work as a kind of anti-architecture, Cattelan transcends—or at least annuls—the antagonism between artist and architect to realize a near-perfect stasis between figure and ground, each fulfilling the destiny of the other.
It’s not so much that Cattelan has exploited the space as an ideal (as Matthew Barney did rather callously, or at least cartoonishly, in his magnum opus), but that he has masterfully harnessed its potential as a venue. Gravity and tension cancel out as pure inertia—physically, if not quite figuratively—to incorporate the disparate objects as a self-contained system that can be circumnavigated as a world. (As in Sartrean phenomenology, Cattelan’s world is subject only to ontological inquiry; one gets the sense that not even Spector herself could convincingly justify the existence of these artworks.) Read the rest of this entry »
February 18, 2011
See also: Rob Walker on ‘Scalies’
August 11, 2010
Not sure why there’s so much Williamsburg because he lives in Fort Greene…
August 9, 2010
July 31, 2010
- Nice interview with Raf Simons (WWD via HB)
- Lengthy inverview with David Andrew Sitek (BV)
- Awesome interview with Bill Murray (GQ)
- Telling interview with Penn & Teller (Telegraph)
- Decent interview with Ari Marcopoulos (Dossier)
- Hip interview with Pedro Winter (Busy P of Ed Banger) (OC)
- Strange interview with Spike Lee (Gothamist)
- Passable interview with Rafael de Cardenas (S×H)
- Brief interview with Tara McPherson (PSFK)
- Urban China, ever the work in progress (NYT)
- China’s Banks: Great Wall Street (The Economist)
- Bad PR for the nouveau riche in the PRC (WSJ via Gawker)
- The other oil spill (NYT / Salon)
- A green movement grows in China (The Economist)
- The Economist also draws an ophidian metaphor for China’s growth / lack thereof.
- That’s Cool But Can You Make It More Shit?—short James Murphy interview (Nowness)
- The Antlers were amazing at Pier 54 last week (pics / video / new song @ BV)
- Why Music Is Good for You (via 3qd))
- Lil’ Wayne on a typical day in the clink.
- (More on) the Gaga Effect (NYT)
- Trent Reznor scores David Fincher’s The Social Network (NIN via Pitchfork; trailer)
- Inception, musically (NYT)
Media & Technology:
- When cars fly: Wired / n+1 / Bits (Recommended)
- Pure CSS Fail Whale
- Meta-commentary on Old Spice’s post-racial social media marketing.
- Paywall doesn’t pay (The Guardian)
- Apple’s Antenna(e)gate (The Economist / Daring Fireball)
- AWAD items: Frenemies by tongue (NYT); Tech-neology (NPR)… also, autocorrect in theory and in practice.
- 101 quick grilling recipes. (NYT; Bittman also talks watermelon)
- From table (or kitchen, at least) back to farm; also, a pig in a blanket, six feet under, etc.
- Salon asserts that Top Chef is in top form this season, though I find that the casting and challenges for D.C. have been less-than-inspired.
- Um. (AdFreak)
- The High Line, continued (Revs!) (Highly[ne] recommended)
- Diller Scofido + Renfro’s Culture Shed (PSFK)
- The Economist marks George Steinbrenner’s passing with a rough analogy between the man and the city he came to represent.
- The Times wants to know how we do in Brooklyn.
- Hotels host Manhattan’s nouveau nightlife (NYMag); compare and contrast to : “It is part of the legend of New York, real or imagined, that vastly different cultures can thrive quite separately on the same block.”
- An older article on Messi. (Wired)
- Do Typefaces Really Matter? (BBC News) (Yes; highly recommended)
- Um. (NYT)
- Yoko D is back (Racked)
- Galen Strawson on moral dilemmas; it’s another version the ‘Original Choice’ (which is not chosen but embraced, or ‘owned’) in Sartrean ontology… (The Stone)
- Moral dilemmas, again (3qd), which (sort of) leads to…
- Lebronicles: He got game theory; the China factor; Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is tragic sans his two-time MVP (is the original online anywhere?), but perhaps not as bad as some outspoken critics might suggest.
- What Caravaggio means to me (The Guardian)
- Where America Really Came From (via 3qd)
- 52 architects choose the 21 most important buildings from the past 30 years. (VF)
- Denzel Washington on Wesley Snipes (who is going to jail): “Wesley is like a mighty oak tree… Many who know him have witnessed the fruit of his labours. I have sat in his shade and even been protected by his presence.”
Filed under: Assorted Links · Tags: Apple, architecture, Ari Marcopoulos, beer, Billy Murray, Busy P, China, David Andrew Sitek, Design, Ed Banger, fashion, food, gardening, green, James Murphy, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, marketing, NBA, NYC, Raf Simons, soccer, Spike Lee, Sports, Technology, The Antlers, transportation, Trent Reznor, web design, words
July 7, 2010
About damn time: Very Small Array is back with another instant classic.