Amelia Jones

  • “Action/Performance And The Photograph”

    From the late ’50s to the present, performance-oriented body art has radically displayed and enacted the artist in/as the work itself. This excellent exhibition, organized by Craig Krull, explored the photographic documents that memorialize these performative acts. The hundred or so images ranged from the modest (Vito Acconci’s tiny vintage prints of himself rubbing his body against a sooty wall), to the pretentious (Hermann Nitsch’s gory color photographs of naked men covered with animal blood and hoisted up on crucifixes), to the understated sublime (Carolee Schneemann’s elegant grid of uncanny,

  • Anna-Maria Sircello

    Displayed at one of Los Angeles’ newest and funkiest gallery spaces, Anna-Maria Sircello’s small, weirdly anthropomorphic objects are irresistibly erotic. Sircello’s corporealized forms (sometimes human, sometimes animal or insectlike) elicit the interpretive responses appropriate to a chaotic ’90s cultural imaginary. Constructed of hair, panty hose, hair nets, and embroidery hoops, these phallic and/or vaginal “bodies” use the tools of feminine beauty and feminized handicrafts to tell a story that ultimately rubs the sexual against the supposedly deeroticized femininity of the domestic. The

  • José Quintana

    In its presentation of diverse male subjectivities, José Quintana’ series of photographs is conceptually as well as visually seductive for the viewer usually starved of male objects of desire. Photographed in color and with the calculated spontaneity of photojournalism, the images are positioned as artsy yet “anthropological” studies of American manhood. While hung with a sometimes heavy-handed didacticism in thematic groups, the work thwarted the potentially clichéd effects of this arrangement with the humor and empathetic impulse underlying these far-from-simply-celebratory images. White men,

  • Adam Fuss

    Using the direct printing method of the photogram, Adam Fuss has produced a body of visually exquisite and theoretically inquisitive images. In the ’20s, Man Ray and László Moholy-Nagy viewed the photogram as a means of subverting the mechanicity of photography because it provided a means of creating a photograph without the technological eye of the camera: Fuss exploits it more for its capacity to estheticize, to transform objects and substances into ghostly and ephemeral silhouettes of the “real.”

    At first glance, it is the tightly orchestrated formal elegance of these photograms rather than

  • Daniel Wheeler

    Characterized less by the sterile estheticism of sculpture than by the exuberantly inviting playfulness of a children’s jungle gym, Daniel Wheeler’s interactive, almost architectural pieces politicize spatial relations, engaging the visitor with their tightly conceived, beautifully crafted forms. Drawing on Minimalism’s dogmatic monumentality, Wheeler eschews its macho “thereness,” extending its project in order to engage, even seduce, the spectator: his installations have a corporeal quality and present open-ended narratives that can only be completed by the gallery-goer.

    Upon entering this show

  • Laura Howe

    Laura Howe works to take women out of the footnotes of Western history and insert them into its normally exclusionary texts. Isolating photographs of vaguely remembered female faces and deteriorating the images through excessive photocopying, Howe stacks and overlaps these indexes within steel contraptions that resemble a cross between designer office furniture and post-Minimalist sculpture.

    Chronocology, 1992, the most elaborate piece in this compact but powerful exhibition of works, questions the linear narratives of Western history (“chronology”) through the interrogatory image of the specifically

  • Richard Long

    Known for his melancholy treks across barren and remote landscapes, “earthworks” memorialized in stunning black and white photographs, Richard Long brings only traces of his wanderings to this exhibition, consisting primarily of mud “paintings” on paper. These images do not so much represent external ideas about nature as symbolize some higher transcendental truth.

    Long literally domesticates and estheticizes nature. In fact, the only piece not decorously contained as a work on paper is the scatological Mississippi Mud Line (all works 1992)—swirls of mud smeared like adult finger-paints in

  • Zizi Raymond

    Zizi Raymond’s newest collection of “sculptural” works orchestrates a chorus of female voices chanting their disenfranchisement. Together, Raymond’s “sculptures”—typified by a pair of girl’s undies, the crotch shot through with a menacing cluster of pins—proclaim the negativity or absence of the feminine. The female body, which can’t “exist” except as an object of exchange, is rendered metonymically through female clothing: a deep-green taffeta evening dress, a virginal little girl’s dress with white ruffles and pin-dots, a satin wedding gown, a Girl Scout uniform, a slip. So whimsically begun,

  • Lynn Aldrich

    Ever since Reaganomics began to take its toll on the vestiges of the middle class, the American dream just hasn’t been the same. The multimedia installations in Lynn Aldrich’s recent show, entitled “Running Out,” collectively interrogate the nefarious underside of late-capitalist ideologies of domesticity.

    Entering this complex, tightly packed exhibition, the visitor is overwhelmed by the pervasive smell of air-freshener—an assaultive “spice” odor that insinuates itself into one’s consciousness. Placed ceremoniously on a faux-marble-topped pedestal, a huge wedge of Renuzit cast in the extended

  • Alison Wilding

    In this spare exhibition, Alison Wilding has constructed three disparate sculptural experiences—three tightly ordered arrangements of forms that play out pseudo-narratives, stories promised but seductively withheld.

    In Temper, 1991–92, for example, a three-part configuration of shapes situated discreetly in the center of the room scarcely interacts with the space. Two seductively symmetrical, curved sheets of steel come together to form an eye-shaped wedge, with one of the two open ends resting on the floor. While this portion of the piece recalls Richard Serra’s walls of steel looming aggressively

  • Betye and Alison Saar

    A collaborative installation here by mother and daughter Betye and Alison Saar, called The House of Gris Gris, 1990, was a collision of the natural and the fabricated—a hut with walls of twigs and moss sandwiched between industrial screening. The work marked out the potential power of art to deal with boundaries, to operate in an “in-between” position. The rest of the exhibition was like a prolonged odyssey or three-dimensional scrapbook. It was prefaced by an intimate, dimly lit foyer in which family photographs and childhood drawings of both artists were exhibited. To each side of this room,