Holy crap, I'm way friggin' behind. I want to go over some stuff that I failed to write about last week, as well as the stuff I went to this Friday. So let me take you back, a long, long time ago, to a galaxy far away...
Stardate: March 6th, 2009
I made my second pilgrimage to Lloyd Dobler, pausing momentarily outside to hold my boom box aloft, to see something they were calling “Case-By-Case Basis.” I was initially attracted to the event by my previous memory of the place (“Oh yeah,” says my brain, “that's the awesome apartment gallery I saw John Opera lecture at.”) and partially because I recognized a buddy's name on the line up (Joe Hardesty, who, unfortunately, wasn't there, he's out of the country right now doing art or some such crap). After looking over the show, I decided that the show in particular, and Lloyd Dobler in general, consisted of fine stuff. The show, which consisted primarily of printmaking, was on the whole strong, well curated, and enjoyable to look at. And, of course, the people who run the place are great, hospitable, and giving of their back room for jacket storage, and their beer (sorry if the micro brew wasn't supposed to get drank BTW). After hanging out there for about an hour, Jeriah and I left, with the assumption that we were going to go find more art, then head to David's. Instead, we were sucked in by the Blue Line (the bar, not the transit), stuffed our faces with tasty food, and headed home in a total food coma. Mmm...
Stardate: March 7th, 2009
So, I like Catherine Opie. And I like Robert Mapplethorpe. Thus, I was naturally excited when I heard that Catherine Opie was going the be lecturing on Mapplethorpe at the Block Museum, and I proceeded to tell everyone about it. Unfortunately, I was a bit mistaken. It was not Opie lecturing on him, but rather a panel discussing his Polaroids. The other panelists were informative, but I was there for Opie, and my memory of the panel attests to as much. I enjoyed the way in which she approached the task of the lecture, writing a “Dear Robert” letter and reading it to us a she went through his X Portfolio and her response, her O Portfolio. Though I wished she stayed with the letter format, rather than occasionally breaking character to elaborate on details, I found it the most stimulating part of the panel.
J: I also really liked Catherine Opie; I wasn't familiar with her work before. I really like her images of the performance artist. The imagery, with the pearls coming out of his ass, or dressed up as the queen or whatever, reminded me of the imagery in the movie The Cell, which had some really awesome sets and costumes in the dream or imagination-land sequences.
S: Afterward, I took a walk through the show, and it was exactly what it purported to be: Mapplethorpe's early and formative work. Interesting for historical context, but underwhelming in comparison to his later work. After the lecture, the crowd/herd was treated to tasty appitisers and wine. I found Opie in the lobby, but being to shy and unable to come up with anything useful to say, I just stood nearby and made eyes at her. Then we were off again, Jeriah home to work and me to a party to terrorize interviewing potential-photo grads.
TIMEWARP FORWARD! (such a sweet transvestite...)
Stardate: March 13th, 2009
Jeriah and I headed (contrary to our usual bee lines) to River North, primarily 'cus Edelman was having an opening. The work up right now, that of German photographer Achim Lippoth, is hauntingly Leni Riefenstahl's Sound of Music-ish. Beautiful to look, but quite disconcerting at the same time. It gave me the creeps in some ways, but I couldn't stop looking. Strange stuff, a must-see if you ask me.
J: Lippoth's show should have been called, “Triumph of the Village of the Damned.” I liked it, generally, as a sort of Fascist Gregory Crewdsen. There was something about these images that struck me as very specifically artificial, which is perhaps where the Crewdsen association comes from. They look very, very staged, not like period pieces at all but much more like movie stills, maybe like something from a Nazi version of Pleasantville. I liked, also, that there was definitely something creepy about them, but also that it wasn't something you couldn't put your finger on.
S: We popped across the hall to Zg Gallery, and I was pleasantly surprised with the show. Usually a place showing abstract 2-D work (something I often have a hard time getting up in arms about), the group show up right now is a balance of abstract and figurative, with a definite dark and dirty bend to it. I was particularly attracted to the work of Suzy Poling, Mark Murphy, Dan Gamble, and Gregory Jacobsen. Jacobsen's work was of particular interest to both of us, existing as something simultaneously disgusting and titillating. Puss, rot, genitals, you get the picture.
J: I first saw Gregory Jacobsen's work in the 2005 Midwestern Edition of New American Paintings. If I recall correctly he had a very funny artist's photo and a statement that struck me as both hilarious and very sincere. His was some of my favorite work that I've seen in that publication, and also some of the best I've seen in Zg; there was some other good work in the current exhibition but Jacobsen's appeals to my aesthetic. He shares my love of the grotesque, and he uses it well. It's equal parts Hieronymus Bosch and the liner notes from a GWAR album. His paintings evoke some of the more viseral, gritty pieces from Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation; they look like stills from Gumby's secret collection of snuff porn. I love them.
S: We tooled around the neighborhood a bit longer, then we were off to the movies. I had grand plans for arting later in the weekend, but aside from a failed attempting at a meeting at the Co-Prosperity Sphere, the rest of the weekend was work, bookended by the Godfather trilogy. So remember my friends, care for the family, and the family will care for you. Until next time...
J: P.S. Watchmen was alright, certainly better than your average comic book/superhero movie, but it was no Sin City. I'm still waiting for someone to make Transmetropolitan, and I'm praying they don't fuck it up. Over and out.