From the category archives:

Reviews

Send in the Clowns: Ugu Rondinone at Boijmans Van Beuningen

by RM Vaughan on March 10, 2016
Thumbnail image for Send in the Clowns: Ugu Rondinone at Boijmans Van Beuningen

After tip-toeing through the trash at Charlemagne Palestine’s toyland next door at the Witte de With, I braced myself for another smarmy, high-concept dose of infantile and over-determined abjection before wandering into Ugo Rondinone’s “50 clowns in a big room” installation Vocabulary of Solitude. Well, face paint me surprised! I loved it.

Read the full article →

Filthy Toys Aren’t Subversive Anymore: Charlemagne Palestine at Witte de With

by RM Vaughan on February 29, 2016
Thumbnail image for Filthy Toys Aren’t Subversive Anymore: Charlemagne Palestine at Witte de With

Respect and admiration are very different forms of devotion. To wit: I respect Charlemagne Palestine’s long career as a sound and performance artist and his pivotal position in the emergence of spoken word/noise art in the 1970s. I do not, however, admire his visual art: maximalist assemblages of stuffed toys, found fabrics, and other clumps of tat. I wonder if I, or anyone else, is meant to?

Read the full article →

Revisiting “Powers of Ten” After Almost 50 Years

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 18, 2016
Thumbnail image for Revisiting “Powers of Ten” After Almost 50 Years

At the Museo Jumex, Andrés Jaque / Office For Political Innovation mine the Ray and Charles Eames classic for content to politicize in the exhibition Superpowers of Ten. It is mostly a big stretch.

Read the full article →

SET: An Art Show in a TV Studio

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 12, 2016
Thumbnail image for SET: An Art Show in a TV Studio

Last weekend I attended a pop-up group show from Public Art Projects on a quiet industrial block of Juarez just south of the Material Art Fair on its last day. The group launched a pop-up exhibition that mischievously embraced site-specificity in a venue that is by nature the most mutable of non-places: a television studio.

Read the full article →

Katherine Bradford and Drawing for Sculpture: Swimmers and Gender Politics

by Paddy Johnson on January 22, 2016
Thumbnail image for Katherine Bradford and Drawing for Sculpture: Swimmers and Gender Politics

With a snow storm threatening the weekend gallery goer routines of most New Yorkers, perhaps only the most intrepid will make out tomorrow and Sunday. But for those who haven’t yet seen today’s recommended shows—Katherine Bradford at CANADA and Drawing for Sculpture at Tiger Strikes Astroid (Bushwick) I have good news: both run through February 15th. You’ve got time.

And that’s a good thing, because pretty much any serious art lover in the city needs to see CANADA’s Katherine Bradford show, “Fear of Waves”.

Read the full article →

In Review: American Realness at the Abrons Art Center

by Paddy Johnson on January 22, 2016
Thumbnail image for In Review: American Realness at the Abrons Art Center

Once a year “American Realness” takes over the Abrons Art Center to present two weeks of new and experimental dance-cum-performance. Last year, the pervasive theme running through the festival told a story of survival. It’s hard out there for an artist. This year, curator Ben Pryor assembled a group of performances focused on identity and institutional critique with a bit of self-reflexive formalism thrown in.

I saw too many performances to review, so what follows is a brief recap of my viewing, along with a few thoughts and reflections.

Read the full article →

M. Lamar Brings Down the House at Abrons

by Paddy Johnson on January 15, 2016
Thumbnail image for M. Lamar Brings Down the House at Abrons

There are times when the apocalypse may be warranted. That’s a statement I never thought I’d even consider making, but after seeing M. Lamar’s stunning operatic masterpiece, “Destruction” at Abrons Art Center, I’ve come around on it. (The show runs tomorrow at 10 pm and is part of the American Realness Festival.) The libretto (co-written by Lamar and Tucker Culbertson) tells a retribution story from the perspective of a black descendent of slaves. Distraught over the loss of life that occurred during times of slavery, segregation and neo-segregation, he calls the dead back to life. When they wake, they are very, very unhappy.

Read the full article →

Just the Right Amount of Reverence: Culture Administration & Trembling at Abrons

by Paddy Johnson on January 12, 2016
Thumbnail image for Just the Right Amount of Reverence: Culture Administration & Trembling at Abrons

Before entering Culture Administration & Trembling at the Abrons Arts Center last Thursday night I had to take off my shoes. Reverence for Dominique Pétrin’s handcrafted stage, and pretty much everything else that took place that night, was part of the social contract performers Jennifer Lacey, Antonija Livingstone, Dominique Pétrin and Stephen Thompson put forth.

Read the full article →

The Best of the Web, 2015

by The AFC Staff on December 23, 2015
Thumbnail image for The Best of the Web, 2015

Millions of years from now, aliens and artificial intelligence will be confounded by the follies, foibles and idiosyncrasies of the human race. Henceforth, the 2015.

Read the full article →

Childhood Conditioning Crisis: Liz Magic Laser at Mercer Union

by Rea McNamara on December 17, 2015
Thumbnail image for Childhood Conditioning Crisis: Liz Magic Laser at Mercer Union

I’ve always been wary of blonde children. Maybe this stems from having grown up in a mostly white Canadian small town, where civic pride swelled for the farmer boys with hair the yellow of corn who became NHL players, or the figure skating girls able to lutz and flip jump in their sparkling spandex.

In Liz Magic Laser’s Kiss and Cry at Mercer Union, the chilling universalism of the sacred, blonde prodigy is affirmed. Commissioned by the artist-run center, the video follows figure skating coach Marie Jonsson MacKenzie conditioning her blonde blue-eyed children, seven year old Anna and eleven year old Axel, from training practice to spot-lit performance. It’s a straight-forward and minimal video work install: a blacked-out gallery, a large-scale projection, and not much else. Their dialogue with each other is stiff and unsettling—at one point after a performance in a darkened, empty North Toronto arena, young Axel says in a robotic-sounding voice-over “fuck the child … fuck the future”.

Read the full article →