Getting This Party Started Early

by Art Fag City on September 6, 2006 Events

If you want to say, kill yourself looking at shows for the next several days, you might as well start tonight, since there are some worthy openings to consider. ArtCal sent out specific instructions yesterday on how to drown yourself in art, so I'm mostly borrowing from their list, but I have some additions to note as well. Here’s what you can see tonight between six and eight.

Jeff Brouws, Approaching Nowhere
Robert Mann
210 Eleventh Avenue

Look at photographs of bleak rural, urban and suburban landscapes, and let depression wash over you. Awesome.

Daniel Lefcourt
Taxter & Spengemann Gallery
504 West 22nd Street

This show has the potential to be profoundly good, but up until recently it was impossible to know, since the only visual provided by the gallery was jpeg of a bunch of black tape, and a press release that begins with a story and ends with words “you'll see what I mean”. The show is typically minimalist in nature as it is made up entirely of simple elegant forms, and backed by a greater narrative. The artist provides this below:

I was digging through some web server when I found a link to a database of scanned black and white photographs. Later when I returned to the server with the intention of downloading the images, each had been replaced by an error symbol–a small, square, graphic with an ‘x’ in the corner. At this point the server is completely offline.

Each photograph depicted a stage in the process of print production. The majority of photos were of a typical ‘paste-up’ board (‘paste-up’ was the technique used to do page layout prior to computers). Text and graphics were carefully placed along blue guidelines, which had been hand-drawn on a sheet of wax-covered paper. I tried to figure out the exact date and location of the publication but the heading for the page had not yet been inserted into the layout (I think it must have been a small-town newspaper). On the page were pieces of a story about a local political scandal. There was an assortment of potent fragments such as “…deregulated field…”, “…put it in writing that he had seen…”, “…difficult to maintain such a position…”, “…in direct contradiction to previous…”. From what I could gather funds had been surreptitiously diverted into some kind of cultural institution. The politician at the center of the controversy neither affirmed nor denied any involvement. (How quaint such overt spin seems when compared to our current administration’s linguistic machinations.)

Perhaps what I have stumbled upon is a useful methodology–answers are provided to the wrong questions, statements are issued as a type of evasion, and sudden changes in position are conspicuously combined with incessant repetition. I’m working with a stage-prop company called Scenicorp… definitely appropriate for the subject. You’ll see what I mean. – Daniel Lefcourt

I have to say, I think this methodology is indeed extremely useful, since there is nothing worse than looking at art that lays out a set of questions for which you already have the answers. In creating a body of work that is based upon crimes we are already familiar with, Lefcourt can make wildly absurd propositions without necessarily confusing his audience. I guess we’ll have to look at the work in person to see if he manages to pull all this off.

Hey, Hot Shot!
Jen Bekman
6 Spring Street, between Elizabeth St. and Bowery

Jen Bekman has been curating shows using flickr for well over a year, and what I like about this exhibition series is that it doesn’t use a web platform as a gimmick to promote the show. It’s just a tool to put the exhibition together. Tonight, we see if the work stands up.

Michel Gondry, The Science of Sleep
Deitch Projects
76 Grand Street
I've written about this show five million times. Wait for the review tomorrow.

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