Make your way through the twists and turnarounds of Michael Arcega's visual puns and titular wordplay exhibit one: El Conquistadork, the 2004 Spanish galleon constructed of Manila folders that he launched in Tomales Bay, a point in the historic trade route between Mexico and the Philippines and you'll find yourself connecting the dots to the Manila, Philippines, native's first artistic incarnation: an elementary school graffiti artist who once went by the tag Design.
"Then I switched it to Sen, then I got turned in and dwindled," Arcega says, recalling his Read more »
REVIEW Years after Europunk deconstructionists copped a few tears, ties, and folds from Comme des Garçons' Rei Kawakubo and A-list fashionista Carolyn Bessette Kennedy championed the cutting austerity of Yohji Yamamoto, it's safe to say that the once-coupled Japanese designers and their slight predecessor Issey Miyake have been firmly ensconced as pillars of avant-garde fashion. But that doesn't mean their work and that of Kawakubo acolytes Junya Watanabe and Tao Kurihara is ready to be filed away without another look. Read more »
REVIEW I should stop editing? Well, an unedited issue of the Guardian has sprung to my wild or tired mind more than once, whether it be rated X or composed entirely of photocopied press releases. In the case of Ema Harris-Sintamarian's show at Jack Fischer Gallery, the phrase "You Should Stop Editing" might function as a creative credo one that allows the artist to range freely within works and between mediums. To put it bluntly, what the exhibit lacks in posturing, it more than makes up for in intricate intensity. Read more »
REVIEW I confess: despite having a disproportionate appetite for '60s leftovers from the children of Coca-Cola and Marx to the Mamas and the Papas, I eat it all up I've felt my enthusiasm flagging in the past couple of weeks. Is it Summer of Love indolence? Brightblack ballyhoo? Regardless, what a stirring relief to come upon "American Dirge," a solo show at Tartine Bakery spotlighting the charmed collages of local up-and-comer Ryan Coffey. Read more »
REVIEW Sixteen minutes with Lars Laumann? Well, I didn't say no, and discovered that his video Morrissey Foretelling the Death of Diana is as uncanny as its title is ludicrous. This present-day conspiratorial artifact makes a Smiths devotee feel like Jim Garrison during a virgin viewing of the Zapruder film. Read more »
PREVIEW If you didn't experience The Weather Project, Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson's 2003 installation in London's Tate Modern, chances are you've seen images of it in any number of nonart publications or photo blogs. The piece a dramatic emulation of an amber sun's atmosphere, created with such simple elements as a bank of lights and a mirrored ceiling reportedly attracted two million visitors, many of them repeat customers, who sprawled on the public floor, pondered their reflections on the ceiling, and basked in the glow. Read more »
REVIEW Dada artist Kurt Schwitters maintained that formal elements were second only to an art object's ability to remain in flux in spite of the static qualities inherent in his own work. No completed artwork could ever be fully finished but rather was kept open for future reinvention. In the current exhibition at the Legion of Honor, "Rembrandt to Thiebaud: A Decade of Collecting Works on Paper," which includes an approximately 5-by-7-inch collage by Schwitters, this constant plasticity of the art object seems to have come to the fore. Read more »
REVIEW "One single picture could be the mother of cinema," one of our leading auteurs has observed. Apichatpong Weerasethakul would have said saint, Jean-Luc Godard death, and Quentin Tarantino motherfucker, but only renowned Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami could glimpse in a lone image the maternal nurturing of reel life. Read more »
The CIA maintains a number of "black sites" around the world where suspected terrorists are "disappeared." You can get a recipe for Irish Eyes Chicken Pot Pie or instructions on how to commit suicide on the Internet. Thousands of starlings spontaneously converge in a suburb in Rome where Benito Mussolini once planned on holding an exhibition celebrating Fascism. I love having dreams. There are more than 130 revolving restaurants around the world.
These are all interesting tidbits. But what do they mean? Read more »