Friday, February 10, 2012

Next Thursday I will finally get a chance to view Doug Wheeler's Infinity Room at David Zwirner in Chelsea up now thru February 25. The wait is apparently long so be prepared, but the reviews are off the charts.

UPDATE:  February 28, 2012:  After waiting in line and then in the gallery anteroom for nearly 2 hours, I finally saw the exhibition on February 16.  I forgot that I had seen one of the previous three iterations of Wheeler's infinity room.  It was in 1983 in Los Angeles, at the inaugural show at MOCA.  I think for whatever reason, the execution of the piece was much more seemless there than at Zwirner.  I could see some dark areas in the upper areas of the so-called Infinity room. 

The Men in Dresses Win Again

In the issue between the medievalists and the modernists concerning contraception, the Obama Administration appears to be capitulating to the medievalists.  On this issue the White House got spooked because a few of its reliable media allies like EJ Dionne, Mark Shields and Chris Matthews got their panties in a wad over a silly issue that comes down to tribalism and sentimentality.  These old-timers are still sentimental about their religion and their identity as Catholics.  Funny who the ones really tied to identity politics are.  

That these U.S. Catholic Bishops have been planning this campaign for months speaks volumes to the fact that the Roman Catholic church hierarchy is committed to joining forces with the right wing here in the United States.  They pay lip service to the social justice teachings of their purported leader while getting all worked up about what they always get worked up about--women's bodies, and gays. They obsess on these two things.  These privileged men who protected child molesters and protect obscene wealth get some kind of perverse pleasure in their assault on women and their rights.  

Obama should not give in to them.  Fight them.  Just like we fight the crazy Muslims, fight the crazy Christians with their hypocrisy.  This is not a theocracy.   The U.S. Catholic Bishops really know how to play the victim card.  They are  a disgrace.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mike Kelley Kills Himself

Mike Kelley died of an apparent suicide in his bathtub a few days ago in Southern California. He was perhaps the most influential artist to emerge in the 1980s.   His progeny spread far and wide especially in the 1990s when his brand of the art of the abject was celebrated all over the world.  My own take on Kelley's art was that it bore the same relationship to art-making as snuff films did to the world of cinema.  Except that Kelley's was a world of make believe gross out juvenilia with a patina of filth thrown in along with the punk guise of Darby Crash.  The collectors and curators ate it up.  Why own something slick and austere and beautiful when you can announce your own dark/alt side by owning a gen-yoo-ine Mike Kelley.  Are you a boring haute bourgeois hedge fund investor?  Not anymore, not with with that creepy looking Kelley doll with pus coming out of every orifice in the living room.  The guys at the office will think I'm positively edgy!  

His curios were inspired by many trips to the now defunct AMOK book store the former Los Angeles emporium for the study of the bizarre, ugly and the unsettling.  Kelley's work was a practiced detached engagement with these subjects but he ultimately could not avoid trivializing them.  He tried to make the muck cute; reveling in it while simultaneously dismissing it.  He was always superior to his subjects.

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing the wonderful art of that other Kelly in a few weeks when I will be in Los Angeles.  You know, the 88 year-old guy running around with an oxygen tank but still making achingly beautiful art with his spare language of color and form? The guy that the likes of Kelley in his black leather jacket have been launching spitballs at all his career from the back of the class.  Rest in peace Mike Kelley along with all those demons and all those spitballs.