Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Saw Mark Bennett and Matthew Sutton at Conner Contemporary and *gogo art projects, respectively.

If you don't know *gogo, it's a space-within-a-space, a roster of younger emerging artists that Leigh Conner has grouped together under a different brand. The artists get presented together in different formats than the ones that the Conner stable does--fairs, alternative or indie spaces, web stuff, etc. Kudos for Leigh for this concept.

But it gets a little weird when, as with the current show, *gogo artists appear in the same brick-and-mortar space they'd be in if they were actually with Conner. It's not like there's a clear division, a partitioned project room: Sutton's work is near the table & window that faces the street; Bennett's takes up the rest of the gallery. By the door you can pick up two separate postcards, for these two different shows, appearing at two different galleries...but those spaces have the same address, phone number, and e-mail. Creepy!

It must be magic.

Of course, maybe this only seems like a problem when you consider explaining the existence of this phantom, trans-dimensional gallery in one sentence or less--say, in the course of a 250 word CP blurb.

Again, I do understand and appreciate the idea. In the case of Sutton, I'm just happy that I continue to get to see his work, no matter where or how. His Complete Inventory of CVS by Memory was the only real standout for me from the
Whippersnappers group show last year--the group that in large part became *gogo.

Sutton seems really driven to understand--or at least play with--the ways in which humans rely on assumptions, stereotypes, and master narratives to process their experiences in the world. With the project I'm working on right now, the persuasive power of the inauthentic occupies a lot of my thinking, so I can't help but admire his work.

Anyway, expect a pick for both shows in this week's CP.

Next week you should see a longer piece from me on the Modernism show at the Corcoran. I attended the preview yesterday.

Last Friday, our performance at
14K Cabaret went pretty well--aside from having to scrub paint off of every part of our bodies afterwards. Video and stills of the piece will be included in our show at DCAC in May.

For that show, Meg Mitchell and I have transformed ourselves into Ian and Jan, a married collaborative duo that was active in the '60s and '70s.

Ian and Jan founded the Washington Body School, a body art and performance collective that stood shoulder to shoulder with the Washington Color School. Their output has only recently been rediscovered; their legacy is only just beginning to be understood. Their work looks plausible and period appropriate...but frequently slips into sheer ridiculousness.

I think we're making, as Meg puts it, "the best worst art ever."

I know it's been quiet here lately. I'll see what I can do to remedy that in the future.

Pictured: Mark Bennett, detail from Home of Norma Desmond, ink and graphite on vellum, 2006


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