Monday, May 05, 2008

Kriston announces that the City Paper has given him the boot.

I still technically work there, even though I seldom write anything these days (I should have a piece on the Martin Puryear show in June--my first time in print in '08), but I haven't talked to my editor or anyone else there about the situation.

So I only know Kriston's side of things...but my gut feeling is that unless Capps was stealing giant bags of money, or stabbing staffers with a letter opener, they should've kept him on board. And I get the feeling that they'll be receiving a number of letters to that effect.

Seriously, folks, there's a dearth of smart, ambitious visual arts coverage out there, and Kriston's one of the very few in a position to offer it. I may have complained here on this blog about his piece on Collectors Select--but it was still the most thorough and considered piece of coverage the show received, and it afforded a welcome opportunity for some dialogue.

And, of course, the correction from that piece--one of the stated reasons for the end of his tenure--is a little silly: Kriston wrote that the show featured five collectors; but then he proceeded to describe each of the six collector exhibitions. To me, that's not a factual error; that's just a typo.

Luckily for Kriston, he has plenty of other outlets vying for his talents.

Elsewhere out there: J.T. takes a trip to see Spring Solos at the AAC, and returns with this report. I know I can always count on J.T. to focus on big picture issues--like, say, the placement of electrical outlets in our building, which he finds troubling. (Hey, how many great visual arts reviews haven't started with reflections on air vents, duct work, or stray bits of wiring in the venue?)

Seriously, though, I'm pleased that J.T. expresses something I've been insisting: You need to come see Laure Drogoul's piece in our experimental gallery downstairs. It's such an outré assemblage--featuring vintage military uniforms, music from Pinocchio, and lots of glitter--yet it's really powerful, and a bit of a balancing act.

The piece draws connections between military rituals of immortality and the trappings of the parlor séance: On the far wall, Drogoul projects video footage of the guards at Arlington National Cemetery--who live in a bunker underground, in the cemetery, and are out and on duty in all weather, at all hours--counting off their supremely controlled movements. On the floor, against a black pentagon, she projects video of a ring of hands clad in white gloves (echoing the gloves worn by the guards in the cemetery), making synchronized movements around a flickering candle. All the while, a loop of When You Wish Upon a Star (sung by the artist herself) plays in the background.

It's strong stuff, but not didactic--just expressing a sort of sadness over the deaths of young men and the weird, persistent power of American magical thinking.


Blogger zillustration said...

good point about CP overreacting - sounds like a fact checker editorial slip... part of the editor's job, no?

if you've got time this evening between 6 and 8:30 (the 8th)- stop over to pepco's edison place gallery. my work's part of the IC of DC, MD and VA's 14th annual juried show... may not be your flavor, since it's all illustration, but this region as a huge pool of talent hanging on those walls - a bit outside of the usual gallery norm.
702 8th street between g & h, across from the national portrait gallery. -

1:28 PM  

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