Omitted from the above photo is the security guard stationed at the other end the room, whose only job is to warn people not to get too close to the piece. Given the recent online discussion about photography rights in galleries, I had initially thought he was stationed there only to police my camera, though it turns out the concern is public safety. I can’t imagine the art viewer who has enough strength to make that sculpture pose a safety risk to themselves, but I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Mostly I was interested in the guard because I’ve been noticing a lot more gallery security these days, 303 Gallery being the most obvious example. Incidentally, I asked the person positioned at 303 gallery what their purpose was, and apparently they aren’t the photo police, but simply stationed to make sure theft doesn’t occur. Given various reports online, I suspect they’ll also nail you for clandestine photography, but the woman I spoke to told me this wasn’t her job.
Despite the impression my lead Serra photo might give, as you’ll note above, Matthew Ronay’s sculptures compose the main space exhibition. For those wishing to read a full review on the subject, Deborah Fisher wrote a piece for ArtCal zine a while ago I largely agree with. As she wisely points out, the new hanging tree leaves and other hippy looking sculptures certainly lack the teeth of his anal cupcake beads, and cum finish lines of previous years. Rather than repeat Fisher’s thoughts however, I will mention as an aside to the exhibition, that it’s been difficult to look at Ronay positively, since watching his bad punk band The Final Run Ins play last spring at Taxter and Spengemann. Andrea Rosen only adds salt to this wound every time I enter the gallery, his CDs prominently displayed at the front desk. For what it’s worth my reaction to the band was something along the lines of: This is worse than mediocre band I’d ignore were they playing at a venue other than a gallery. The low point of the performance was clearly reached when The Final Run Ins played a cover of the Sesame Street pinball song; though it normally doesn’t need to be said, if the Family Guy beats you to your best cultural reference, you might consider dropping the song.