Eva Díaz

  • Claudia Joskowicz, Vallegrande, 1967, 2008, still from a color video, 8 minutes.
    picks September 28, 2010

    Claudia Joskowicz

    Of his song “Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young, and Leave a Beautiful Memory,” country singer Faron Young once remarked, “This was a tune I detested.” But it topped the charts: Outlaw legends rage in popular culture, fueling brittle fantasies of going out in a blaze of glory. Claudia Joskowicz has taken two of the most enduring of these events—the shootout that killed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Harry Longabaugh) in 1908, and the assassination of Che Guevara in 1967—and restaged them as eerie tableaux vivants. That these incidents took place in her home country of Bolivia has contributed

  • View of “Your History Is Not Our History,” 2010. From left: Julian Schnabel, Rebirth I: (The Last View of Camiliano Cien Fuegos), 1986; Jenny Holzer, 10 INFLAMMATORY ESSAYS 1979-82.
    picks April 12, 2010

    “Your History Is Not Our History”

    In “Your History Is Not Our History,” two megasuccessful figurative painters juxtapose works by other megaprominent male figurative painters of the 1980s (Schnabel, Clemente, Fischl, Basquiat, Winters, and Dunham) with contemporaneous photographic and textual works by female artists (Lawler, Levine, Sherman, Simmons, Holzer, and Kruger). This awkward marriage explores, according to the exhibition’s curators, David Salle and Richard Phillips, the works’ shared concern with “the pictorial” whose “real subject is loneliness.” These and other claims presented are strange: Why, for example, reduce

  • View of  #class, 2010.
    picks February 28, 2010

    “#class”

    Mass education in the post–World War II period positioned pedagogy as a pivot between personal growth and wider sociopolitical transformation. Recent large-scale student protests against fee hikes and the profit-driven campus at the New School and throughout the University of California system can be seen as part of a larger reaction to how the prospect of education was subsequently instrumentalized as a consumer transaction. Similarly, a spate of artist collectives are reassessing how progressive pedagogical models can be employed as consciousness-raising tools. Joining related endeavors such

  • PROW, Pyre (detail), 2010, aluminum, polyester, theatrical lighting, industrial fans, electric equipment, cello, violin, various technical parts, dimensions variable.
    picks February 03, 2010

    PROW

    How might artists position themselves between entertainment culture and traditional techniques of representation such as drawing? How might those different possibilities map onto the display practices of commercial gallery venues or nonprofit art spaces? Peter Rostovsky and Olav Westphalen, collaborating under the name PROW, challenge conditions of spectacularization that entangle artistic practices, paradoxically by adopting elements of the most successful model of collective media production: cinema.

    In “PROW: The Prequel,” the foyer of Sara Meltzer Gallery contains a series of light boxes

  • Sam Lewitt, Natural History, 2009, collage, 23 x 35”.
    picks January 08, 2010

    “Frottage”

    Leave it to Max Ernst to exploit the dual meanings of the word frottage by coupling artistic production and illicit sex: On holiday in 1925, Ernst was attracted to the worn floorboards of his pension. He remembered how, in his youth, shadows on a wooden panel near his bed triggered fantastic conjectures—mysterious creatures a sleepless child might imagine in the dim light of half sleep. Ernst made a rubbing of the boards and was struck by the ambiguous forms friction produced. “Images superimposed,” he recalled, “with the persistence and rapidity characteristic of amorous memories.”

    Revisiting

  • Emily Jacir, Lydda Airport, 2007–2009, single-channel animation, 5 minutes 21 seconds. Installation view.
    picks November 06, 2009

    Emily Jacir

    Famous aviatrixes stand you up, passenger planes mysteriously vanish midflight, and the elegant aerodrome is eventually stormed and conquered by hostile forces. Emily Jacir’s depiction of events in the former Lydda Airport of British-occupied Palestine, now Ben Gurion International in Israel, is significantly more baffling than contemporary travel conundrums, like why an unopened bottled water bought only five minutes ago must be confiscated. The missed connections, and the sense of preternatural coincidence Jacir captures, are due in large part to her use of an innovative technique of animating

  • Lisa Oppenheim, Art for the Public (Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 116), 2009, silver gelatin fiber-based print, 29 1/2 x 35".
    picks September 15, 2009

    Lisa Oppenheim

    Dead letter office. The phrase nags at me; it seems too direct, perhaps insensitive to use, given the context. The dead letter office is what happens to public artworks that have outlived their civic life and, due to the vicissitudes of time, taste, and politics, find themselves with no public. Their large scale makes it unlikely they’ll find another home, so they may end up stored in the basement of the World Trade Center until 2001. Then, well, we know the rest.

    Lisa Oppenheim’s photographs of these works, taken from a 1986 catalogue documenting the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s