Art Fag City at the L Magazine: Your West Village Gallery Tour

by Paddy Johnson on June 24, 2010 The L Magazine

This week at the L Magazine I give a tour of the good, the bad, and the hilarious at West Village/ Soho galleries. The teaser below:

Let’s face it—no matter how big Gavin Brown’s Enterprise becomes, it still won’t make the West Village—or even Soho—an art world destination. The specific gravity of Chelsea’s 500 galleries is just too strong. The result is that I don’t visit these neighborhoods enough… But you know what? It’s not a bad idea to go out of your way for a visit to some of the following galleries, even if you run into a few bumps along the way.

Speaking of bumps, first duds first: Team Gallery‘s KRATOS—ABOUT (IL)LEGITIMATE(D) POWER, a group exhibition curated by Raphel Gyax that promises to examine power and how it functions in a “broad social field.” This is what I like to call “invisible history art”—work overly reliant on the weight of its material’s history to give it value. Teresa Margolles‘s intellectually vacant vitrine jewelry, crafted from shattered glass extracted from the victims of drug-related crimes, adds no insight to the history she wishes to pay homage to. On another side of the room, Maria Eichhorn photographs images from her Robert Mapplethorpe catalogue, which was temporarily confiscated by Japanese customs officials who sanded away the genitalia. If there’s any power in this piece, it’s in the gallery’s description, and frankly even that’s not very compelling. Better was Gianni Motti‘s strangely euphoric back-room video of alien and clone believers RaĆ«l and Brigitte Boisselier. In contrast to Margolles and Eichhorn’s esoteric art, the video itself makes the narrative transparent.

To read the rest of the piece click here.

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