Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mark Leckey NEW YORK, at MoMA PS1


Mark Leckey


at MoMA PS1

View of the exhibition “Mark Leckey: Containers and Their Drivers,” 2016–17, at MoMA PS1.
The recent midcareer survey of Mark Leckey's work at MoMA PS1 was, by turns, humorous and thought-provoking, wistful and disturbing. Only sometimes did the prodigious array of hundreds of videos, films, sculptures, audio installations, and appropriated art objects offer much in the way of warmth or connection. Often, as Leckey rifles through the symbols and images of life immersed in pop culture, the work lapses into an obscure didacticism.       
The exhibition's title, "Containers and Their Drivers," reminded me of Walter Benjamin's description of a souvenir as a container of the "deceased experience," into which "the increasing self-alienation of the person who inventories his past as dead possession is distilled." Leckey's dense, meticulous, dioramalike rooms and arrangements resembled at times the elaborate curio displays of obsessive fans. Many of the art objects were his own (collages, posters, inflatable renditions of Felix the Cat); many were borrowed from other artists, including Ed Atkins, Emma Hart, and Alex Hubbard. There were also copies of other artists' works made by Leckey; these included photographs of photographs and replicas, in mediums like cardboard and 3D-printed polymer, of sculptures by Robert Gober, Louise Bourgeois, Max Ernst, and Henry Moore. If art can be viewed partly as a collaborative encounter between maker and observer––a form, ultimately, of collective ownership––then Leckey's exhibition suggested that an art object can be forced to become a kind of souvenir. 
Leckey's work often draws from the street and club cultures of his youth in North England. In one large gallery stood Untitled (Bridge), 2016, a full-scale re-creation of the space beneath a concrete overpass (where illicit teenage memories are often made), complete with pylons, an embankment, and the underside of the road overhead. The gallery was bathed in hazy yellow light, and included works by Leckey such as Leckey Legs (2014), a 3D print of the artist's bottom half wearing what look like club-hopping pants, and Pylon/Transmission Tower #1 (2013), an expressionistic, cardboard version of its titular subject, outfitted with a sound-making device. Placed nearby were thematically linked works by other artists, like Becky Howland's metallic Transmission Tower #1 (1986). One thinks again of Benjamin, and his argument that an art object loses its original "aura," or "its presence in time and space," when it is copied. The same must be said of youth.
At its best and most direct, Leckey's work communicates something significant about the difficulties of clear, lasting, and authentic self-expression. In films like Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) and Dream English Kid, 1964-1999 AD (2015), snippets of urban decay and the iconography of youth culture are edited into hypnotic mash-ups. The hedonism and energy are as terrifying and ephemeral as they are beautiful. In the darkly funny GreenScreenRefrigerator (2010-16), we hear a voice yearning for fulfillment, lamenting the emptiness, the chill. But the voice comes from a "smart" refrigerator, describing its condition in a tone both mournful and robotic. 
At its least accessible, the meaning in Leckey's work seems to exist somewhere amid the wall texts and the free-associations that arise from shared conceits. Pairing Felix the Cat with ideas about long-tail economic theory, as he does on several occasions, seems to offer little more than a pun on the cartoon character's tail and the history of broadcast imagery. If there's a deeper message, it requires the viewer to search for it. 
Leckey might insist that this disconnect––between searching and finding––is partly the point. He has long fought against perceptions of stiltedness and inaccessibility in his art, complaining to the Guardian, after winning the Turner prize in 2008, that critics who say his work is remote "are middle brow and they want stuff that looks like art, and maybe my stuff doesn't look like art." (To wit, the exhibition included Guardian.co.uk Painting 1, 2011, a painting by Michael Krebber depicting a negative review by Jonathan Jones that was headlined: "Mark Leckey's Art Creates Noise Without Meaning.") And yet, in a recent New York Times interview, Leckey derided the art school notion of "being asked to understand Derrida, just because you can draw," declaring that it leads to bad art. He seems to want it both ways. Sooner or later, one longs for something declarative.

200 more books


Why Pay For Another Art Book When You Can Download It For Free?

The Guggenheim Museum’s ever-expanding digital library of free art books has grown to include the works of Picasso, Lichtenstein, Klimt and more.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is doubling down on its mission to make more of its archives accessible to the public by converting more than 200 art books into PDF and ePub formats that are free to download.
From Rrose is a rrose is a rrose : gender performance in photography
In collaboration with the Internet Archive, the Guggenheim Museum has been releasing a sizable library of content over the years, typically consisting of out-of-print or rare books. The museum’s latest release includes books featuring the art of Mark Rothko, Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Gustav Klimt, Wassily Kandinsky, and more.
Peruse the Guggenheim’s full (and free) catalog here.


KC works covers entertainment and pop culture for Fast Company. Previously, KC was part of the Emmy Award-winning team at "Good Morning America" where he was the social media producer.

O rei, o bobo e o Porto


O rei, o bobo e o Porto

Já conhecemos a fórmula de Rui Moreira: a cidade espetáculo da "marca Porto.", a repetição de anúncios por concretizar, a guerra aos partidos. Assim se investiu vice-rei do Norte, ocupando o centrão nas impotentes barbas de PSD e PS.
Há quatro anos, Rui Moreira era o anti-Menezes: contra o político dinossauro e esbanjador, a aposta no independente antipartidos que bate o pé a Lisboa. Por conveniência, o PS submeteu-se à narrativa e, até ao fim de semana passado, ajudou a fazer de Moreira o produto final da decomposição política no Porto. Moreira é um caudilho que não hesita em devorar quem lhe abriu caminho, roubando-lhes o palco e os velhos métodos.
Hoje conhecemos melhor o presidente da Câmara do Porto. A política-espetáculo evita a mobilização democrática, para que nada faça sombra ao projeto pessoalizado e aventureiro. Politiquice primária e ausência de pensamento coletivo de um rumo para a cidade que não vem no postal, a que perde população, onde a pobreza persiste e é quase impossível arrendar casa.
Rui Moreira mandou no Porto, incluindo em Pizarro. Enquanto na Assembleia da República os dirigentes socialistas portuenses ajudavam a aprovar avanços importantes (como a lei das rendas apoiadas ou o imposto sobre património de luxo), na cidade calavam-se perante as críticas de Moreira a essas mesmas medidas. Isto para não falar do apoio, tão entusiasmado quanto acrítico, ao mandato do presidente. A subserviência foi inequívoca, de tal forma que o apoio do PS à candidatura de Rui Moreira foi decidido por unanimidade. Tal votação "não é comum com um candidato do PS, quanto mais neste cenário, o que reforça o caminho que os socialistas estão a fazer no Porto", dizia há seis meses o deputado e líder da Concelhia do PS, Tiago Barbosa Ribeiro.
Manuel Pizarro foi mestre e executante deste processo de anulação política do PS. Enfrentou tudo e todos defendendo a continuação do apoio a Moreira. Foi preciso António Costa obrigá-lo a avançar, mesmo se a consequência é o vazio da política: como pode quem, até sexta-feira, tanto elogiava o mandato de Rui Moreira apresentar-se no sábado como uma alternativa política? A candidatura de Manuel Pizarro à Câmara do Porto é uma impossibilidade programática. Quem durante quatro anos apoiou Rui Moreira, queimando as pontes à Esquerda, não pode ter um projeto credível.
Nesta história de cortesãos, cabe pouco Porto. Moreira e Pizarro esqueceram-se dele. Está fora das jogadas e do palácio, a ver a triste dança dos barões. E não tem de ser assim.