Posts archive: March 2008

The Way That We Rhyme, Women, Art and Politics, which opened last night at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, is a firecracker of a show. It pops with ideas and tart commentary. Most remarkably, it moves beyond the tired notion that feminist art of the 1970s belongs in the dust bin (as Susan Faludi has so aptly described, the powers that be love to consign feminism to history). The works vividly present the crackling dialog between women’s art then and women’s art now. Curated by Berin Golonu, a Stretcher contributor, The Way that We Rhyme is a “don’t miss” contribution to the current wave of exhibitions re-discovering the humor and energy of liberated women.

IMAGE:  Julie Atlas Muz, photo by Karl Giant

- Meredith Tromble [Saturday, March 29th, 2008]

Amanda Curreri and Jeronimo Roldan’s installation, ROYGBIV Me, at Mission district bakery Tartine, subtly transforms the entire space. Initially, it appears that the bright yet minimal encaustic panels, digital prints, and mirrors work as design elements on the walls and pillars, creating a lively atmosphere through intense hue and contrast, but fully appreciating the implications of the work requires that one be in the space both optically and socially. Each component of the total work contributes to an understanding of the specific installation space.

The panels, thick with bright, glaze-like encaustic, are arranged so that various physical viewpoints in the bakery render surprising constellations and alignments of color fields visible, disrupting ordinary spatial relationships between walls and interior. At the opening, I saw many people pointing out different viewing angles to each other, and the crowd moved playfully in the eating area as it engaged with the work. This playful movement stopped at the pastry counter, calling attention to the fact that even after hours, a social-spatial distinction exists between bakery workers and patrons. The area behind the counter is made visible from the middle of the room by a series of mirrors, reinforcing this separation and contributing to the theme of visual fragmentation. The digital prints, laminated like menus create a continuous line encircling the space. These small rectangles echo the minimal reference of the encaustics with their flat rainbow of color, and mimicking an American Apparel color catalogue, characterize the crowd within it.

— Mary Anne Kluth

- Meredith Tromble [Tuesday, March 18th, 2008]

Artist Xu Bing, best-known for this installation featuring characters that appear to be Chinese but are in fact unreadable, has been appointed vice president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, the oldest and most prestigious art school in China. In this interview, from The Arts Newspaper, Xu Bing discusses why “Chinese artists today have an easier path to success.”

IMAGE: Book from the Sky (1987-91), Xu Bing

- Meredith Tromble [Saturday, March 15th, 2008]

That an exhibition of Iraqi-born, Chicago-based artist Wafaa Bilal‘s video game “Virtual Jihadi” should turn into a case of censorship is, sadly, not much of a surprise. That it should take place at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which not only hosts a high-powered electronic arts program but also will soon be home to a state-of-the-art media arts production and presentation complex, is the real kicker.

- Ed Osborn [Tuesday, March 11th, 2008]

The scoop on Damien Hirst’s taxidermist and other unsung fabricators of British art… from the Guardian.

- Meredith Tromble [Friday, March 7th, 2008]

The works on view in Two or Three Things I Know About Her at Harvard’s Carpenter Center are strong overall, but Moyra Davey’s “Fifty Minutes” (2006) is a knockout. A meditation on nostalgia, psychoanalysis, photography, and reading in post 9/11 New York, the video shows the ordinary details of her apartment as Davey directly and laconically addresses the viewer about her changing relationship to the city around her. At once intimate and expansive, the piece maps out a personal geography which seems to shift and deform with every new thought. Through April 6th.

- Ed Osborn [Tuesday, March 4th, 2008]

From the editors