me a visitor, a looker, and and a skeptic.
I happened upon a gallery yesterday, the Robert Kananaj Gallery, on the second last day of a show by Oscar Figueroa called ‘me a talker’. As I type this, the show should be wrapping up. So you’ve missed it. I’m not sure what you’ve missed.
below: The paper that is half on the floor and half propped up by the wall has the words “Think Less With Me” written on it. This summarizes a lot of Figueroa’s work in that it is a rejection of the verbose and often jargon filled ‘artist statements’ found in contemporary art and especially conceptual art where the words on the wall are more important than the technical or visual aspects of the work. The gallery website says this: “What if instead of a logical artist statement we decided to write thoughts, or sentences, that go through our heads when making art. This is not poetry per se, this is a form of idea communication, just as the conventional artist statement was intended.” Does it make you wonder?
I want to cheer him on for trying to reject the overthought concept behind art these days. I appreciate the fact that he does not confront me with an essay that bears no relationship to the artwork. But all is not well. He wants us to think that his art is special because he rejects the mainstream thinking. Too bad it also rejects all attempts at, well, everything. The gallery looks like a space that someone has just moved out of but neglected to take their garbage with them.
below: A yellow rubber glove taped to the wall, a happy rock on floor. Does it talk to you?
I found it all rather depressing. There could be more to it than this. No, make that: there should be more to it.
below: him: “Be a sidewalk or be a balloon, there’s no fucking difference.”
me: Be a piece of art or a piece of garbage, there’s no fucking difference.