Thursday, February 13, 2014

Just received: Bruce Hainley's Under the Sign of [SIC]: Sturtevant's Volte-Face (Semiotexte, 2013).  The first full length critical study of one of the most radical artists I know.  Sturtevant's brave late 60s work made me feel less alone the first few times I drove out location-hunting, and her reception history made me less puzzled and disappointed when some folks initially failed to grasp what I was up to.  Along with yesterday's Image & Narrative essay, it's a good week for explication.

Hainley:  "[Claes Oldenburg's] The Store was never just a single thing, rather, in many ways, two or more.  Discerning such multiplicity was all the permission Sturtevant needed to activate repetition for difference.  Returning to the Lower East Side, she doesn't stress on the significance of  'no significance,' but, instead, she opens a critical site at which to consider, materially, significantly, what comes to matter and why -- and how it all depends upon using visible goods as a front to push invisible concepts."


"With an obnoxious hodgepodge of typefaces and font sizes as well as impacted blocking, the brash red and black of the Babel of the announcement card for [Sturtevant's] The Store of Claes Oldenburg looks like the design of a disgruntled Constructivist on a grappa bender.  Whatever it announced -- action or emporium -- wasn't corporate or accomplished 'in cooperation with' gallery backing; not sitting on its ass, it opened downtown, unsanctioned, under the sign of Sturtevant."

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