Does anyone else think January’s opening round of exhibitions looks a little thin? I’m not looking forward to much tonight, which frankly, depresses me. I’ve come up with a pick or two below, but issue the speculative warning that there may not be a lot of good work around Chelsea for the next month or two.
Michael Bell-Smith looks like a good bet, though unlike his last show, there are fewer works available on the Foxy Production website for preview so it’s hard to do much prejudging of jpegs and quicktime videos. I am however relieved to see Electricity in the Air, (American Beauty) has not been included in this “digital sublime” themed exhibition, since far too much cultural narrative on the subject of beauty accompanies the piece to ever achieve that goal. As a bit of background to his work, I recommend reading Geeks in the Gallery, a three part conversation I moderated between MBS and Tom Moody in July 2006, which discusses their respective shows and a number of issues the work brings up. Both artists are incredibly smart and well spoken, so it’s well worth the read.
AA Bronson returns to his collaborative roots at John Connelly Presents this month. Those who were fans of the General Idea, a three person collective of which he was a member, may similarly find interest in this show, though I suspect the results will be very different. Now collaborating with 11 other artists Terence Koh amongst them, Bronson presents at least one body binding photograph, a double toilet cubicle joined by a glory hole, and an array of other works including a small piece by Joseph Beuys. As I mentioned in Miami, Terence Koh’s installation at Perez Projects might have benefited from a little more editing in the anal bone probing department, so I naturally have some reservations about this show, but I guess there’s no need to judge prematurely. Even if I don’t wholly agree, AA Bronson’s defense of Koh’s work posted in a previous comment thread, provides a good counter point;
I have to admit, I liked Terence's photos. I always thought that artists like Dieter Rot, who just let art pour out of them, without self-reflection, are the real deal. They may not edit very well, and the marketplace thrives on editing, but who cares? Terence is similarly unique, I think, in his ability to just let the art flow”¦ and to do that you ultimately have to not give a shit about the marketplace, which—contrary to appearances—describes Terence well: another quality I favor.
If Koh’s interested in spectacle, which I think he is, he probably gives shit about the current market, because it embodies marvel and exposition. Art does pour out of the man though, and as imprecise a term as that is to describe an endeavor of merit, I buy it.