Friday, April 06, 2012

Stan Douglas, Coat Check, 1974, 2012

The new salon. Perspective-box symmetry; even, multiple-exposure lighting; pattern 'n decoration; "learned" quotation (The Destroyed Room; Olympia; Death of Sardanapalus); the Props Department's fussy hand, arranging things just so.  Appearance of disarray.  "For this exhibition, titled Disco Angola, Douglas has again assumed the fictional character of a photo-journalist, this time a regular in the burgeoning disco underground of the early 1970s New York." (Zwirner press release).  I seriously doubt that Douglas, who is not an uninformed or careless critic of his own work, wrote this text, whose conflation of the tableau with photojournalism is almost comical in its misapprehension of the two modes.  The ubiquitous Greek NYC coffee cup is a nice touch; so too the tableau's apparent stillness vis-a-vis the speakers' heavy bass, which escapes photographic representation and so can only be suggested obliquely, gestured at, alluded to.

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