Outfront VOLTA at 34th and 5th, Friday afternoon
Were I a better art viewer I’d eventually get over feeling like I’m looking for a fax machine or a water cooler at VOLTA. As irrational as it sounds, I actually prefer some hotel fairs to the office building Merchandise Mart assigned the show. Even if VOLTA touts a more “cutting edge” brand than its big sister The Armory, (also owned by Merchandise Mart), the corporate context soils the art for me.
With that said, even through a dim halo of office cubicle culture, VOLTA easily bests Pulse. Their solo exhibition format creates a superior viewing experience, their galleries are better, and so is the art. Given the smaller size of this fair relative to The Armory and Pulse, VOLTA wrap up constitutes one post. Fair highlights and low lights compiled and edited with the help of Karen Archey below.
BEST IN SHOW
Short on wands? Center for Tactical Magic has a solution for you; The Pagan wand (a wooden stick), The Double Shoot Wand (a conductors baton), The Radio Shack Security Wand (metal detector), and of course, The Hitachi Wand, (Personal Messager). The collection highlights a long history re-making and envisioning of the wand, but as their literature points out, “while marketing mages will tell you to be sure to use the right wand for the right job, most witches, wizards, and magicians insist that it's not the wand but the person holding it who contains the magic(k).” I still want one.
Dmitry Gutov, Relativism is Dialectics for Idiots. Scaramouche c/o Fruit and Flower Deli.
Evoking the performative aspect of some Flux work, the “message” of Gutav’s painting is informed by its transmission. In this case, “wonder” resonates after it’s recognition by the viewer.
Bosse Sudenburg, Galerie Metro.
The rationing and balance of art made visible, through a modern minimalist aesthetic.
BEST EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHER
Positioned as if novelist and holocaust victim Anne Frank and Spencer Elden, the baby on Nirvana’s iconic album Nevermind were looking in each other’s direction, their histories may line up, but they never quite meet. And maybe they shouldn’t. Age makes history look different.
MOST INCONSISTENT BEST ADDITION TO VOLTA
Alejandro Diaz, Installation detail. Habana Gallery The Happy Lion
Habana Gallery won an AFC Pulse prize the other day for a piece we titled mind games, but may be cut some slack in the future for the above work by Alejandro Diaz. We’ve just been informed The Happy Lion is behind this exhibition, not Habana. Our award has been adjusted accordingly.
OBJECT MOST RESEMBLING CONTEMPORARY ART
Alejandro Almanza Pereda, Magnan Projects
Nothing says contemporary art like a florescent barbecue!
PIECE MOST RESEMBLING A PRODUCTION STILL FROM STOMP
John Goto, Galerie Dominique Fiat
Or, So You Think You Can Dance, in painted form.
THE SCHOLASTIC ART AWARDS
Christian Curiel, Baumet Sultana
A Teenage book cover waiting to happen.
BEST GOOD/BAD ART
Pesce Khete, Massimo Carasi – The Flat
There’s a strong possibility this work isn’t any good, but the absurdity of chosing to hang a pine tree from the ceiling while using a pillow to collect its needles wins points with us. A+ for effort guys.
WORST EYEBALL ART
Paule Hammer, Laden für Nichts
I hate eyeball art.