Reviewed: Math Bass “Off the Clock,” MoMA PS1, 3 May—31 Aug 2015

Image Courtesy: MoMA PS1's Instagram

Image Courtesy: MoMA PS1

Math Bass’s (b.1981, New York) work explores the ambiguity of forms and multiple ways of contemplating compositions. The artist’s debut solo museum exhibition “Off the Clock” features her ongoing series of goauche paintings on raw canvas all entitled Newz!, an assortment of low-standing powder-coated steel zig-zags, leaning ladders, truncated and inverted casts of legs, and her new video piece Drummer Boi. This selection is representative of the artist’s work produced from 2011 to the present and includes many of Bass’s more recognizable pieces such as her paintings of alligators and cigarettes, her cleanly crafted basswood ladders, and boldly-colored shrouded forms.

Bass has a visual lexicon and is known to recycle forms, colors, and compositional elements. She creates crisp arrangements which are built through repetition—applying subtle alterations to her vocabulary of form, thus giving her work an uncanny and familiar feel. This is especially apparent in her Newz! paintings, many of which evoke the same transient dream-world composed of labyrinthian stairwells, alligators, and wafts of smoke.

The implication of potential motion or action is another quality of the work. This is most apparent in her sculptures. Ladders leaning against the wall, steel forms which appear as though they are about to writhe across the room, and obscured square forms shrouded in vibrant striped fabrics appear as though kneeling. Suspended between motion and stillness, organic and inorganic, human, animal, and object, Bass’s pieces nurture an impulse to decode, identify, and attempt to understand how everything fits together.

Her work benefits greatly from being shown in clusters and groupings. They seduce the eye, activating the potential for an array of possible compositions to emerge and carry a magnetism that permits the perception of a composition that occupies the entire gallery. It is not dissimilar to the experience of traversing a 3-D immersive digital rendering of an unknown planet—an environment that is somewhat uncomfortable in its unfamiliarity yet designed with the intention of having users question and learn how to navigate within it.

A thoughtful exercise in seeing, re-examining one’s expectations of forms and bodies, and striving to develop a new language for approaching the unfamiliar, Bass’s work is both challenging and powerful in its messages.

-Nico Alonso, Digital Assistant

Reviewed: Francesca DiMattio, Jeremy Couillard

“Domestic Sculpture” Francesca DiMattio, Salon 94 Bowery, Apr 1 – May 7, 2015

“Out of Body Experience Clinic”, Jeremy Couillard, Louis B. James, Apr 3 – May 10, 2015


Image: Courtesy of Salon 94

Francesca DiMattio’s fourth solo show at Salon 94, “Domestic Sculpture,” consists of five sculptures that confront feminine domesticity. Inspired by Turkish tiles, Meissen vases and contemporary kitsch craft, traditional porcelain vases form spouts and morph into a Hieronymus Bosch-like chandelier. There is a true sense of discovery in this show for both the artist and viewer: DiMattio, typically known for her paintings, is new to this medium and her reference to the high-low approach of Betty Woodman is less-than subtle. Still, there is a deftness and individuality to her ceramics. The materiality and weight of Francesca’s work have an undeniable presence.


Image: BM247OBENN, 2015; Courtesy of the artist and Louis B. James

Jeremy Couillard’s “Out of Body Experience Clinic” at Louis B. James Gallery also imparts a sense of discovery. The entry to the show is constructed as a clinical waiting room, replete with magazines on the table, a Keurig coffee maker, and a check-in desk for your appointment.

Each ‘patient’ is led from the waiting room to a chair, where they are seated and strapped into a virtual reality headset.  Using Oculus Rift technology, Couillard has manipulated an OBE (Out of Body Experience) for the viewer.  Once donning the appropriate gear, we are propelled into an unknown landscape and introduced to a crowd of characters. These figures do not directly interact with the participant:  we are spectator and subject, watched and being watched.  After the OBE is over, you are invited to view an installation of photographs and small sculptures that document the landscape and figures of the other world. The static and confrontational objecthood of the sculptures pulls one back to the reality of the living world, while recalling the immediacy of the virtual world.

The dichotomy between these shows – one using traditional (perhaps antiquated) art making means, the other using the latest technology – couldn’t be more highly contrasted. Yet they succeed on the same ground: each create a heightened experience and symbiotic relationship between the viewer and the gallery space. DiMattio and Couillard amplify the physical limitations of experience via both old and new technology and strike an accord of mutual sublimity.

-Brooke Tomiello, Administrative Assistant 

3 Cool Things 4.24.2015

“One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North”, MoMA

3 Apr—7 Sept, 2015


Image: “During the World War there was a great migration North by Southern Negros,” Jacob Lawrence; Courtesy of the Whitney

“One-Way Ticket” is a group exhibition of African-American artists that documents the Great Migration period (1915-1960) of U.S. history. The show is a well-organized and thoughtful presentation of art and ephemera documenting this historically rich era, including a timeline of notable events that provides context and orientation for the viewer.

For the first time in 20 years, all 60 of Jacob Lawrence’s “The Migration Series” (1940-1941) paintings are shown together. The 18 x12 inch panels and accompanying text are installed as an unfolding narrative.  With this series, Lawrence used a restricted palette (shades of black, brown, green, yellow, and blue) and straightforward language. The simplicity of Lawrence’s highly-graphic characteristic style elucidates the historic event and their enduring impact  on our country’s cultural and political fabric. Other works on view include: music by Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Bessie Smith; literature by Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Richard Wright; and photographs by Gordon Parks, Dorothea Lang, and Ben Shahn.

This exhibition prompted me to think about the poetry of activism as art (or vice versa). As Jacob Lawrence, Billie Holiday, Langston Hughes and so many others included in “One-Way Ticket” did this for their generation, I wondered: Is there a comparable group, artist, or approach at play today? What would an exhibition of this caliber look like for our Ferguson-era of civil rights, 50 years hence? Possibly a hologram of rapper Kendrick Lamar reciting 2010s-themed racially and politically charged lyrics? Will it resonate and move the public as “One-Way Ticket” does now?

“Arts and Laughs (w/ Nathaniel Mary Quinn)”, The Brilliant Idiots, Podcast Episode 43

Brilliant Idiots Blog Image

Image: Andrew Schulz, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Charlamagne Tha God

Following the experience of “One-Way Ticket,” I was reminded of an episode of one of my favorite podcasts. “The Brilliant Idiots” is a weekly podcast hosted by TV and radio personality Charlamagne tha God and comedian Andrew Schulz. I have been a loyal listener of this podcast for almost a year and continue to be entertained by their often hilarious (and sometimes inane) antics.  Every Thursday they deliver a rousing conversation about the social, political, and pop-cultural events  of the previous week. So far, the most memorable episode has been with contemporary artist Nathaniel Mary Quinn.

Charlamagne has been skeptical of so many hip-hop artists “running down to Art Basel” when he feels as if they “have no clue about art.” Quinn was invited to help Charlamagne understand the basics of the art world so he could begin to realize the allure of the art scene to rappers.  Quinn successfully fulfills his task, using pop-culture references to best explain the art market in terms a “brilliant idiot” could understand. In addition to the art lesson, Quinn speaks about his life experiences both inside & outside the arts. A Chicago native, Quinn speaks about the gang violence that continues to plague the city. He touches on The Great Migration to offer insight as to why some of Chicago’s neighborhoods have developed such a turbulent atmosphere that continues to stifle its communities. According to Quinn, during The Great Migration housing projects were built to accommodate the influx of southerners; over time, these environments bred gangs.  Somehow, Quinn and the “Brilliant Idiots” used humor in a way that tempers the heaviness of the subject. This discussion gave the audience stimulating cultural  and historical commentary unique to their show and format.

To listen to the podcast click, here.

“Sunday Candy: Short Film” by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment

Sunday Candy

Image: Center: Jamila Woods and Chance the Rapper; Courtesy of

“Sunday Candy” is an upbeat homage to grandmothers everywhere. ‘Sunday Candy’ is a single from Surf, the highly-anticipated debut album of Chicago-based musical creative The Social Experiment. They perform as a live trio (trumpet, keys and drums) alongside MC Chance the Rapper. “Sunday Candy” has been released as a visually stimulating short film, written by Chance the Rapper and co-directed by Austin Vesely, Ian Eastwood and Chance. The short plays like a sophisticated high school musical, complete with a moving set, 50’s costumes, and elaborate choreography. The lyrics are colorful and heartfelt as Chance raps about his beloved grandma. With the combination of bold lighting, energetic dancing, and the warmly colored costumes and set, the film succeeds in mirroring the exuberance of the feel-good tune.

The Social Experiment has a sophisticated understanding of musicality and a knack for blending Chance’s hip-hop lyrics with soulful instrumentation. They are discretely providing their generation with a healthy dose of updated jazz and soul music disguised as hip-hop.The grandmothers of the Social Experiment should be proud.

To watch the video click, here.

-Naana Frezel, Digital Intern

On the LES

Image: Toshiko Takaezu, Senga Nengudi, Tony Conrad; Courtesy of Essex Street 

“Tony Conrad, Senga Nengudi and Toshiko Takaezu”, Essex Street

Mar 12 – Apr 26 2015

Bringing a refreshing energy to the LES, this exhibition focuses on an older generation of artists notable for their contributions to action-driven object making and ritual performance.

The work of Nengudi, an African-American avant-gardist from the 1970’s, presents a bold dynamism that is in direct conversation with the body as a physical engine that moves through space and as a marker of identity. Using bundled and stretched materials such as nylon, Nengudi builds forms that appear transmutable, touchable, and familiar.

Conrad’s Yellow TVs satisfies the expectations put forth by minimalist conventions of the early 1970’s. The scale approximates the width and orientation of the human head and shoulders when installed. The series consists of a grouping of repeated forms – black cloth with a white ovoid shape painted to resemble a television screen. The most intriguing element of this work is its subtle performative quality. Rather than evoking timelessness or a confrontational sensory experience, the work was designed to yellow slowly over time, creating an extended durational experience akin to mediation.

Takaezu’s oblong ceramic sculptures are perhaps the most mysterious objects in the exhibition. Oriented towards the back of the room, the three expertly-crafted and expressively-colored ceramic forms stand around waist-height. Each was made from 1994-2000 and together they are typical examples of her larger body of work. These forms are strictly non-functional objects, clearly divorced from the utilitarian nature from which ceramic is derived and commonly associated with. Envisioning these objects as closed forms, she often conceals small objects or balls of clay inside of them before sealing them off. In doing so, Takaezu explores the intimate experience of creating something that, once completed, is no longer accessible to the artist or the viewer.

All-and-all the exhibition is a celebration of craft, identity-exploration, and the wedding of process and product, giving rise to a thoughtful meditation on artistic practices which diverged from the dogma of Minimalism during its most viable years.

TT2015-003cropImage: Torey Thornton, O Called O Mitt, 2015; Courtesy of CANADA

“Third Heat,  CANADA

Apr 3 – May 3 2015

Featuring the work of Gina Beavers, Brian Belott, Annie Pearlman, and Torey Thornton, “Third Heat” takes as its subject the fantastical, unseen, and phenomenological experience of an artist living in an urban center.

Beaver’s corpulent paintings emerge from their canvases built-up in a high-relief style. Sexualized bodies, fast food, and other snapshots of quotidian consumerism are painted from a first-person perspective. Viewers therefore share with the artist a vantage of point of entry into a fantastical and indulgent world.

Pearlman and Thornton’s architectural interiors and exteriors ring true to the experience of moving throughout the cityscape. At times disorienting, energetic, or still, these works narrate city living through color and gesture. The two strike a nice balance: the highly representational, small-scale paintings of Pearlman foil Thornton’s larger-format colorfield abstractions.

Bridging all of the pieces in the exhibition is the work of Belott. A hybrid of collage, painting, and sculptural relief, Belott builds his compositions using found household materials such as cotton balls, string, paper, and news clippings. His application of commonly used objects allows for the materiality of his work to reflect the sensory dimensions of daily life.

Moving viewers to consider the grotesque, the unknown, and the playful, this exhibition is a must-see.

– Nico Alonso, Digital Assistant

“Full Burn” at Louis B. James, 27 Feb 2015—29 Mar 2015

full burnImage: Lewis B. James and the Artist

LA based filmmaker Mariah Garnett’s debut exhibition at Louis B. James Gallery features one video work, Full Burn (2014). Displayed in full and split-screen, the film portrays former combat military vets describing the impact of their military experiences on their post-duty civilian lives. The gallery astutely installed the work in their basement space, a wise choice that amplifies the psychological claustrophobia of the subjects. The video includes scenes of a vet performing a ROFLing session (a form of bodywork that deals with the connective tissues), while another vet meticulously cleans his motorcycle and another is set on fire as a stuntman.

The actions of ROFLing, taking extreme care for one’s possessions, and being a stunt double each require almost mindless and perhaps cathartic repetition. Through these rote actions, an awareness of the self emerges, producing a state of conscious reincarnation. By contrasting the extreme imagery of the stuntman, the mundane cleaning of a motorcycle, and slow meticulous bodywork, the contrived activities directed by Garnett evoke the metamorphosis of essential experience – time, memory, physical being – after an individual has endured the atrocities of war.

Mariah Garnett successfully confronts a subject at the core of American pride in an inquisitive way, allowing the viewer into a world that may not be comfortable but certainly merits our greater thought and attention.

-Brooke Tomiello, Administative Assistant

3 Cool Things

This is the first of an ongoing series: 3 Cool Things, highlighting recent discoveries or experiences of our Digital Intern, Naana Frezel.


Image: Courtesy of Kari Faux’s Instagram Kari Faux, Webster Hall 11 Feb 2015

Kari Faux, Webster Hall 11 Feb 2015

Kari Faux isn’t your typical female MC. She’s from Little Rock Arkansas, produces her own beats, and dabbles in photography. What sets her apart, however, is the lack of lyrical content about the struggles of a female in a male dominated industry. Her bars have refreshingly evolved past this topic. Faux’s meteoric rise can be attributed to a verse and hook on Childish Gambino’s latest mix-tape, STN MTN. Hip-hop enthusiasts would have eventually discovered the self-proclaimed ‘rap game Daria,’ yet a co-sign from Gambino – otherwise known as comedian and actor/TV writer Donald Glover – is expediting the curve from obscure to abuzz. The two MCs share a common theme: a heavy referencing of digital & Internet culture. Faux made her NYC debut at Webster Hall in February. We were treated to live renditions of underground hits, “Ken Griffey,” “Internet,” and a cover of Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl.” Faux closed out her set performing the latest fan favorite, “No Small Talk.” Confetti sprinkled the dark-lit room as a beaming Kari Faux solidified her emergence into mainstream hip-hop culture.


Image: Courtesy of

“Segregation Story: Gordon Parks,”High Museum of Art, Atlanta GA, 15 Nov 2014—21 Jun 2015

“Segregation Story: Gordon Parks” provides viewers with a striking look inside segregation in the Jim Crow South. The 40+ photographs on view, all shot in 1956, demonstrate Parks’ power as a documentarian, offering an intimate and empathetic look into the lives of others. There is a subtlety to the social commentary; most of the photos are a simple look at the everyday lives of African-Americans families. Parks humanizes his subjects, dispelling the beliefs that helped foster segregation. We see African-Americans in every day middle-class activities—buying ice cream, window-shopping, waiting outside a department store, etc. Parks’ subjects are “normal people”; yet in the details of each picture we see them conform to the spaces designated for “Colored” and “White,” a sad part of our history that implies they are something other than normal. Although segregation is a part of our past, racial conflict remains. In a Ferguson-era of America, Parks’ work demands the renewed attention received here.

Image: courtesy of

Image: courtesy of

Rafael de Cardenas: Architecture at Large in “See Delfina Delettrez’s new store rendered in tripped out 3D” by, 3 Mar 2015

I learned of the work of Rafael de Cardenas by working at SLP. Among his recent projects is the new London boutique of jewelry designer Delfina Delettrez; as a component of this, the Architecture at Large studio directed a digital rendering of the concept of the space. Cardenas and his crew created a thoughtful, futuristic, representation of the boutique, fit for the visually obsessed digital-age. The video is a conceptual rendering as apposed to a straight up maquette. In the video, materials used for the boutique like wood, glass, metal, and stone are elegantly represented by the four seasons and the four humors of medicinal teachings. Despite the fact that this is a re-imagined, cyber rendering of the store, the jewel-tones and signature use of geometry by de Cardenas are illuminated in the video as it is in the actual space. The video was made for Delettrez’s issue of A Magazine Curated By. NC17 produced the video in collaboration with Rafael de Cardenas, with edits by Daniel Spangler, and music by Broken Codes. This is by far the most creative form of product promotion I’ve seen in awhile!

-Naana Frezel, Digital Intern

SLP Staff Round-Up: 2015 New Museum Triennial

New Museum_Triennial_02_2015_Benoit Pailley

Josh Kline, ” Freedom” (2015); Image: Courtesy of Joel Berg

Presenting fifty-one emerging artists from twenty-five countries, The New Museum Triennial, “Surround Audience,” is the museum’s third round-up, this time co-curated by the museum’s curator Lauren Cornell and artist Ryan Trecartin. More than in all past New Museum Triennials, the innovation and evolution of digital technology as a medium or tool is the most paramount feature of the exhibition. The staff here at SLP went to see the show and here is everyone’s take: Over the past ten years (if not more), Lauren Cornell and Ryan Trecartin have become indispensable forces in the ongoing shifts of digital media in art – Cornell as its foremost scholar and living database, Trecartin as among the most vital and exciting artists yet to make the leap from YouTube to museum, musee, and kunsthalle. Personally, I was expecting the duo to produce a more-or-less mash-up extravaganza, rife with excitement and interactivity. Yet, to the show’s credit, Cornell’s professionalism guides Trecartin’s curiosity to a net result that is at once restrained and thoughtful as it is diverse and exuberant. Outstanding examples include: Oliver Laric’s morphing animation; Josh Kline’s teletubbied police state; the dazzling installation of Frank Benson and Juliana Huxtable, in which the latter is as much a muse for the former as she is for herself; Avery Singer’s paintings; and Ashland Mines’s audio work. Sure, the exhibition suffers the usual tropes of the –ial format: trying to cover too much at once, and the trickiness of presenting work from foreign cultures taken out of context. I might add that there are some installation pitfalls, particularly with creating the appropriate spaces within the New Museum itself for the most compelling (if not spacious) ways of presenting the work on view.   By and large, however, the exhibition so well encapsulates the moment – in art, culture, and otherwise – that typical gripes about notable absences or omissions may be avoided; the salient ideas on view are well-made, and there are few artists whose inclusion would have altered the outcome too drastically (if forced to name one, however: Artie Vierkant). Highly recommend!

-Sheri Pasquarella, El Capitan

Ashland Mines's sound and light installation in the New Museum stairwell,

Ashland Mine, “promise of echo” (2015); Image: Courtesy of Hyperallergic

Encompassing a wide range of media, the works in the show intersect passive and active deeds with individual and societal agents, leading to a self-reflection around the origin and extent of our daily battles. While Ashland Mines’s Total Freedom, 2015 sound installation in the staircase confronts us with the noise pollution that we are obliged to accept as a reality of space-sharing in big cities, Laurence Abu Hamden’s video work responds to the intentional  production of sound made in mosques in Arabic countries. Eva Kotatkova’s Not How People Move But What Moves Them, 2013 installation and performance uses a deterministic approach to question whether we are merely products of the environment we inhabit; while, on the other hand, Antoine Catala’s Distant Feel, 2015 functions as a campaign aiming to change the status quo by inspiring people to feel empathy. Whether actively or passively, purposely or unknowingly, in communion or in competition, the show makes us further notice how the technologies which connect us are also push us apart. Whether connected through social media, the Internet,  or via a flight, no one need feel out of reach: we are now everyone’s audience as much as we are our own. More than ever we are and we feel surrounded.

Tatiana Mateus, Apprentice


DIS, “The Island (KEN)” (2015); Image: Courtesy of CoolHunting

The density of the show’s presentation triggered less a evocation of wonder and more a sense of complete calamity—a dystoptic and cynical hallucination of multiple social, political, and existential paradigms collapsing in on themselves. It is a “chaos-stew” nurturing a fear of invisible hierarchies of control, the disappearance of the autonomous individual, and the dissolution of tradition across cultures. Many of the works looked back to both theory and practice emerging from the 80’s and 90’s, however the indulgent kitsch of early net art was intentionally absent. The exhibition was more of a reprise—digesting the immediate past to re-evaluate the present.  Many questions are raised but few conclusions illustrated.

Nico Alonso, Digital Assistant

Eduardo Navarro, “Timeless Alex” (2015); Image: Courtesy of Emerson Rosenthal

One contemporary acronym came to my mind while processing this show: FoMO – ‘Fear of Missing Out’. FoMO has become our shorthand the anxious nagging feeling that, while doing one thing, we are simultaneously missing out on something exciting or interesting happening elsewhere.  Our enjoyment of the present and what is in front of us is diminished by imagining the greener grass on the other side of the moment. Due to the relative ages of the Triennial artists, perhaps, “Surround Audience” appears to take FoMO as an underlying theme . This applies to both the artists and the viewers.  Two works by Olga Balema delicately exemplify FoMO by suspending (or maybe fetishizing) common materials in plastic casings filled with water. Balema’s works seem to be holding on to and haphazardly preserving these materials just in case the present moment does not live up to one’s expectations for a successful tomorrow. Another FoMO moment is evoked by Eduardo Navarro’s Timeless Alex (2015). This four hour performance stars dancer Jennifer Sullivan in the role of Lonesome George who is the last living Pinta Island tortoise. Sullivan wears the sculptural costume of Lonesome George and slowly dancers her way around Central Park. The work brings FoMO into the animal world by questioning Lonesome George’s perception of time and how that might affect cognition over the course of his long life. It is also introduced into the work by virtue of the fact that our viewing of Navarro’s installation at the exhibition ignites a FoMO on the performance which takes place offsite.  These two examples illustrate a a reoccurring trend in the exhibition at-large which leads to the question:  is ‘fear of missing out’ a timeless concept made timely by a our social media or rather is it a more commonplace experience for contemporary makers and audiences who’ve grown up in the simultaneity of Instagram and Twitter (all the more aware of what they are missing out on) and the inevitable failure-loop produced by following your daily feed or thread ritualistically?

Brooke Tomiello, Administrative Assistant 

Casey Jane Ellison, “Touching The Art” (2014-15); Image: Courtesy of WSJ

I went to view the exhibition on a popular night. While taking in each work I was almost equally compelled by the museumgoers’ reactions to the art. It was clear which works were “trending,” either because of the medium, the message, the aesthetics allure or maybe even the Instagram-worthiness. A work particularly on-trend that night was that of self-proclaimed “self-objectify(er)” Casey Jane Ellison. Her online talk show, Touching the Art, is installed on a flat screen in the museum’s foyer. The meta-infused work features a talk show about the use of triennials and biennials as a means of setting the precedent for dialogue in contemporary art. This work single-handedly sums up not only the content of the exhibition overall, but rings true to the connections between “Sound Audience” and the contemporary visual and social landscape we occupy.

Naana Frezel, Digital Intern

On the LES

Image: Courtesy of Eli Ping Frances Perkins



Mariah Dekkenga’s fascination with the mundane is left unchallenged by her new series of paintings now on view at Eli Ping. Transferring her boldly colored renderings from the digital realm into painting Dekkenga imagines herself as a “printer”—a medium transferring information from one language to another. While the poetics of her artistic identity are poignant her work itself celebrates an unbecoming nihilism.


Image: Courtesy of the artist



 Staging a performance mimicking the delivery of frontier research, Birch captivates audiences with a humorous rewriting of history. Using a digital slideshow and two projectors, Birch proposes a historic “intervention” in which he employs the rhetoric of pseudo-scientific and sociological practice to support the absurd claim that Great Emperor Napoleon had achieved his height of success due to extra-terrestrial forces.


Image: Courtesy of ROOM EAST



Globalization, urban transformation, and sustainability are themes addressed by Sebastian Lloyd Rees’ larger body of work. For his first show in New York, “Vendor”, Rees has constructed assemblages from objects encountered in his wanderings and travels. With a taste for the anthropological, Rees makes a point of noting the origins of his materials, acknowledging the greater context of their production and circulation. Consumer goods and urban waste from India, China, and New York prompt viewers to engage with intersectionality and divergence across geographic, cultural, and economic boundaries.

– Nico Alonso, Digital Assistant

Comments: “I disagree with Nico about Dekkenga’s work. I Like it.” -Sheri

“The Little Things Could Be Dearer” at PS1 MoMA, 26 Oct 2014 – 6 Apr 2015


Image Courtesy of the artist; BQ, Berlin; Team Gallery

Taking as its subject communication and embodiment in a “networked” age, “The Little Things Could Be Dearer” questions individuality and communion. The show presents diverse practices ranging from Ulrike Müller’s woven abstractions, to Melanie Gilligan’s interactive televised installation. Employing distinct references to and engagements with the body, the mechanisms by which these artists address the topic differ quite radically. Michael E. Smith’s solitary, suspenseful and uncanny found sculptural assemblage activates an interaction between the space and the viewer, while Carina Brandes’ photographs are primarily engaged in discourse surrounding the mass-mediated image of the female artist.

Each artist is designated their own individual room. This multiplicity of vision, practice, and experience is a nod to theories about the organization of contemporary life in a globalized world that is heavily infiltrated by communication technologies. While it could be argued that the show’s emphasis on embodiment is a sentiment expressing an anxiety about being “plugged-in,” there is also a sense that the show is attempting to address contemporary artistic practice that does not need to present itself through the net in order to be in dialog with present-day experience.

Overall, the show manages to effectively describe both what a networked culture is and what forms art produced within it take.

-Nico Alonso, Digital Assistant