CLR Hello, I am a Clarification.
MK Hello, I am a Matt Kalasky.
CLR What was the objective of your recent post?
MK The goal of my recent post was to challenge.
CLR Challenge whom?
MK I wanted to apply pressure to the traditional exhibition review. Fracturing the authorial voice, varying the paragraph structure, and hyperbolizing sentences, all serve to highlight the static organization of most reviews.
CLR What’s wrong with “most reviews?”
MK I think there are many approaches to the exhibition review. Each possessing their own unique benefits and failings. What I am critical of is a homogeneity of analysis. The method of applying a formulaic response to each exhibition in a way that does not always serve the art, the audience, or the conversation. Isn’t that the point of all this?
CLR Yeah…but what you wrote didn’t have much to say about the art on display.
MK True. In fairness it was more an art review about art reviews than anything else.
(For a way better example check out Gabriela Vainsencher’s review of Ryan McCartney’s recent show at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, published in Title-Magazine.)
CLR Is that all? I mean you sounded like kind of a jerk.
MK But what about the rap battle? A situation in which friends provoke each other to progressively elevated plateaus of excellence and mad lyrical sickness. Criticality is a healthy component to any analysis and exhibition reviews that deny such criticality frustrate me endlessly. If my tone was perceived as antagonistic, that’s because it was. I was playing the part of the provocateur; one partner challenging the other to excel, not of out of aggression but rather a love of the game, the art, the whatever.
CLR OK. But that doesn’t explain why you hate First Fridays.
MK When I compared the second-floor to a house party, I wasn’t trying to be derogatory. I think socializing is an immensely important component of any art community. Maybe just as important as making art. I think that the architecture of the second floor hallway invokes a leveling atmosphere where individuals of all backgrounds (artists, curators, students) and intentions (movers, shakers, professionals, amateurs) can interact on a face-to-face level: sort of like the best egalitarian house party. This is a palpable feeling not invoked at most Chelsea openings. This is our blessing, and our curse. Going back on Sunday is not a dis to First Fridays—it is an acknowledgment that looking at art and engaging with people are equally important and both deserve their respective days.