30
Apr 04

The Apple Stretching

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 163 views

The Apple Stretching (WWIISINY, part the second)

Here you are then: more of the same (only different).

5. Jim Lambie: Mental Oyster (Anton Kern )

Good old Jimbo Lambie, he’s doing here what he does best, taping up the floor so it’s all eyeball-scrambling op-installation and then planting grubby / intriguing bits and bobs around the place. Here’s a varnished mattress and there are a pair of trousers, rock-hard with glitter and glue (he did that with a pair of pants in Oxford’ have I spotted a transatlantic quip?). This time he’s put up (and taped up) these little extrusions from the floor, meaning not everything is visible at once. Not much new ground covered, but when the ground is covered this entertainingly, how could it be wrong?

Also: Mental Oyster!

4. Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated); Boccioni’s Materia: Guggenheim

I know it’s cheating because it’s a proper famous museum and it’s not even in Chelsea but I thought it was worth mentioning for a curatorial masterstroke. Singular Forms is a minimalism show and is tremendous if that’s your sort of thing. It’s mine. Better still, halfway along the Guggenheim’s spiral ascent (actually a descent if you’re a lazy lift-using top-starter like me) is a small show of futurism based around the Boccioni. It’s brilliant: just as you’re beginning to think that you might have seen enough white squares on a white background, there’s this blast of painterly intensity. Each show enriches the other. Top work, Goog!

3. David Stephenson: Cupolas (Julie Saul Gallery)

Simple and smart: Antipodean photography professor travels the world photographing domes’ innards. He uses long exposures to ensure that the subjects are lit using the light sources provided architecturally. As Jonesy said, it’s all in the cropping: each one is deadly centred and the series strikes you as a series of abstracts dealing in crazy geometry and dashes of colour. And they’re pretty!

2. Ray Beldner: Counterfeit (Caren Golden)

More classics reproduced: Beldner has re-fashioned classic works of modernism and pop from real actual dollar bills. The green-on-green Lichtenstein ‘The Melody Haunts My Reverie’ looks fantastic in its own right, as do the Carl Andr’ tiles. The real winner, though is the Felix Gonzalez-Torres knock-off. It’s a pile of sweets in the corner of the room, each painstakingly wrapped in a dollar. There’s a sign inviting patrons please not to take one.

1) Vito Acconci 1969 ‘ 1973 (Barbara Gladstone)

Vito’s a nutter.

That’s probably not fair at all, but this retrospective of Vito’s work shows him placing himself in various embarrassing or uncomfortable or absurd situations. Read VA’s account of following a series of innocent folks around all day and documenting their every move! See VA bite his own arm so hard and for so long that he leaves an upsetting impression (marvel at the Acconci fan who asked for the same treatment and then had the marks tattooed on). There’s more, and nastier, and worse (better).

This stuff reminds me of work of a similar age by the great UK conceptualist Stephen Willats and by Art and Language, mostly I suppose as a result of the obsessive documentation, and how the documentation looks: increasingly scrappy 1970s xeroxes, yellowing photos. I love the way these artefacts look now, like intense messages from a parallel world. Yet where A&L took on politics, aesthetic and academia, and Willatts concerned himself with art in its relationship to society (perhaps more properly sociology), Acconci’s all about the personal. His work, even at its most absurd, is oddly affecting. The two Anglos in there (me and Pumpkin Pete) were the only ones laughing.

I didn’t have forever to look at this: I wished it was showing in London, where I’d have had the chance to live with it for a while.

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