Art Fag City at The L Magazine: My Review of My “Review” Review

by Paddy Johnson on July 5, 2012 · 2 comments The L Magazine

Installation view of Christian Jankowski's "Discourse News" at Friedrich Petzel. Photo: Jason Mandella

This week at The L Magazine, I review my review of Christian Jankowski’s piece “Review”. The excerpt below.

I made up my entire review of Christian Jankowski’s piece “Review.” Thankfully, no one will read it: it’s sealed in a bottle for display, along with the handwritten responses of more than 80 other critics. The piece is, itself, the reviews. Currently, they’re arranged in groupings that resemble small islands on the floor of Friedrich Petzel Gallery.

So how accurate was my made-up review? I’d republish it here so you all could judge for yourself, but Jankowski told me I shouldn’t do that. “For me the idea is that all of the reviews are not published… If what is written in the bottle-review becomes public, the bottle as an artwork is destroyed and loses its point.” Jankowski likened the piece to capturing ghosts in a bottle.

This makes a review of my review a little difficult, but I don’t think I’m divulging that much when I say I wasn’t that far off. You don’t need to experience a room full of bottled reviews to know that a piece no one reads communicates nothing. Past that, there’s nothing particularly substantial about looking about a bunch of bottles around your ankles.

To read the full piece click here.


Jennifer Chan July 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm

boring institutional critique 🙁

Benjamin Bruneau July 6, 2012 at 10:41 am

Hi Paddy, in Toronto, prolific artist and curator Xenia Benivolski has started a site (and published a book) of review reviews, and reviews of those reviews. It’s called Rearviews ( (full disclosure: I reviewed all the reviews as a meta-review in C Magazine 114).

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