Monday, April 28, 2008

and the winner is...Technology!!

Hey K!
Just got home from the NEXT art fair (part of Art Chicago: Artropolis) in the merch-mart. It was completely overwhelming, like Scope Miami or the Armory. I don't even think I saw half of it!! Here are a few excerpts:
Battle of "the Cute" by Kathy Aoki (My Little Pony was fighting Teddy Ruxpin in viking ships)
This was titled something like the slow death of American muscle. They were crashing into each other at such a slow rate, that I wouldn't even have known if it weren't for seeing it two days ago (when they were only nose to nose, yet all wheels on the ground). There was this gnawing noise of metal on metal---slow fingernails on the chalkboard kind of thing. Violence in slow motion seems quite perplexing.
Crazy maximalist collage installation by Mark Fox. Look him up, it's gud stuff!
"Diorama Drama" by Tracy Snelling. Little models of shady hotels and baptist churches with scenes of ill repute via figurines, eerie lighting and tiny videos. The dollhouse of adult misfortune. One of my new faves!
Best in Show (in my opinion) was this video piece by Jakub Nepras. It's hard to tell from this image, but it is as if he took several bits of video showing groups of people in action and blended them together to create this hybrid organism. Every tiny element is in motion, seeming very molecular, biological, and totally unreal! My co-worker, D, said "it looks like the future of art." And I said, "it looks like the future!" All those little people, like viruses, moving at super-speed, producing and destroying, reproducing and recreating. Soooo incredible! Beautiful and frightening!
Many, many others I didn't write down or take pics of, but...three that I thought you would especially like. Beginning to overload, I missed this artist's name. Shopping bags, set up like shadowboxes, with one solitary tree cut from the top of the bag so that is stands in the center of light.
And with similar delicacy both Sara Bridgland and Stephanie Backes (from Berlin) make tiny architectural forms from bits of paper and cardboard. (I didn't mean for this to be the longest blog ever. Sorry!)
Overall, NEXT was a very fashionable affair: excellent video work, tight drawing, sloppy po-mo painting, pop culture + political + art-historical references, glam installations, and flash---a revolving snake made of acrylic nails (scales) and sequins. It was money! Of course there were loads of polished galleristas chatting up unexpected buyers. Some of the equipment used to display the artwork costs more than my rent for a year!! B said he easily overheard "so...would you like 18,000 on your card or?" You know the drill. I don't completely get it (the money thing), but I did enjoy the visual stimulation!

Wow! Too much. Sorry for the overload. I gotta get to work!

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