Jeffrey Kastner

  • Gerard Byrne

    Gerard Byrne’s brilliantly imagined and rendered film In Our Time proceeds from a concept that is, in its basic shape, so simple and straightforward that it almost eludes description. Set in a commercial radio station, the film—originally commissioned for Skulptur Projekte Münster in Germany in 2017—focuses on a DJ with a graying goatee and a magnificently fugly cardigan performing his duties in a cozily cluttered control room: introducing pop songs, cuing commercials, reading news and traffic reports. Meanwhile, on the other side of a soundproof window, a few men and women fiddle with

  • Omer Fast

    In the autumn of 2016, Omer Fast had a solo exhibition in his adopted hometown of Berlin. Mounted by the Martin-Gropius-Bau, the show included a number of the elegantly perplexing, serious-minded video and film works the artist has made across his fifteen-year practice, including his newest, August, 2016, an impressionistic elegy for the early-twentieth-century German portrait photographer August Sander. In something of a departure for Fast, the show also featured a series of spatial interventions, with three of the show’s seven works set in installation environments meant to simulate transitional

  • “Artaud 1936”

    “I came to Mexico to look for a new idea of man,” wrote Antonin Artaud in the summer of 1936, a few months into his year-and-a-half-long sojourn in the Americas. Financially strapped and strung out, the poète maudit had arrived from Paris on a grant; while in the country, he wrote prolifically, gave lectures, and lived for a time in the mountains with the Tarahumara, witnessing their rituals and experimenting with peyote. As was the case for so much of his short life, Artaud’s time in Mexico was framed by his search for ecstatic authenticity and revolutionary potentiality.

  • Bernadette Mayer

    A self-described “emotional science project,” Bernadette Mayer’s Memory—1,100-odd photographs made by shooting a thirty-six-exposure roll of 35-mm color slide film on each of the thirty-one days of July 1971, accompanied by six-plus hours of diaristic narration that the artist later revised into a book—is one of those conceptual pieces from the 1960s and ’70s that have been better known as anecdote than as physical fact. The work was first shown in its entirety in February 1972 at Holly Solomon’s 98 Greene Street space and has been re-created in various partial arrangements over the

  • Tom Sachs

    Predictably winking but at times also unexpectedly personal and even wistful, Tom Sachs’s recent solo show was figured as a kind of material autobiography: a trip down an artistic memory lane paved with a thousand different things, each subsumed within the systematizing logic of his famously relentless, tongue-in-cheek didacticism. The exhibition showcased the ways his artistic persona can both charm and chafe—it was maniacally overstuffed with objects and language, rich in obsessive-compulsive tics, and marked by a cultivated mash-up of gravitas and juvenilia, of amiable self-deprecation

  • Michel Houellebecq

    THE MAP AND THE TERRITORY, Michel Houellebecq’s Prix Goncourt–winning 2010 novel, takes its epigraph from the fifteenth-century nobleman and poet Charles d’Orléans: “The world is weary of me, / And I am weary of it.” The sentiment will be instantly familiar to anyone acquainted with the celebrated, controversial French author’s work, which teems with an apparently inexhaustible array of sad sacks and misanthropes—the damaged, the soul-sick, the emotionally stunted. Among other things, The Map and the Territory is the story of an artist and a satire of a particular kind of cosmopolitan

  • “MARK DION: MISADVENTURES OF A 21ST-CENTURY NATURALIST”

    Although the title of Dion’s first major US museum survey might imply a certain waywardness, in fact few artists can match the concentrated single-mindedness of his intrepid, polymorphously curious three-decade-long practice. Yes, Dion’s hands-on critiques of the protocols of cultural institutions—assays of the ideologies that shape collection and display, just as they shape our larger senses of history, value, and meaning—are often framed within a wry mode of address that would seem to subordinate the artist to the eclecticisms

  • “MONA HATOUM: TERRA INFIRMA”

    Mona Hatoum has spent her nearly forty-year career sharpening the edges of the everyday. The London- and Berlin-based artist was a signal figure in the turn toward a conception of both the bodily and the domestic as sites of political complexity and psychic menace that stretched across the 1980s and 1990s; this exhibition will be her first major museum survey in the US in two decades, showcasing some thirty sculptures and installations, including such signature works as the electrified household space of Homebound, 2000. In recognition of the often uncanny estrangements

  • Allan D’Arcangelo

    It’s no great trick to locate signs of American culture in Allan D’Arcangelo’s work. The paintings on which he made his reputation in the 1960s and ’70s are, of course, filled with them: road signs sleekly abstracted into directional tangles, advertising logos floating with uncanny serenity along the dark edges of empty highways. But even as D’Arcangelo, who died in 1998 at the age of sixty-eight, began to move away from these early signature motifs, he continued to conjure a kind of echt American landscape, producing enigmatic environments populated with elegantly stripped-down infrastructural

  • Walead Beshty

    With an intermittent soundtrack provided by the futile jittering of wrecked office equipment displayed like broken bodies skewered on pikes, and colossal flat-screen displays that had been mortally injured and then strung up in the fashion of cold-room carcasses, the opening rooms of Walead Beshty’s recent exhibition at Petzel suggest a Dr. Moreau–style project updated for the digital age—a ruthless program of mechanical vivisection designed to forcibly bestow an organic bearing on a set of captive entities. Yet if this ambitious show initially seems to wear its high-tech-abattoir vibe a

  • Morgan O'Hara

    Across the past three decades, Morgan O’Hara has produced more than five thousand examples of what she calls her Live Transmission works, a strand of her practice situated between performance and drawing. These renderings are the product of a process whereby O’Hara “records” movement—of musicians, orators, actors, and fellow artists; of workers of all sorts, from gardeners to bakers to stonemasons; of bees and carp and turtles—in real time with only pencils and paper, tools that function for the septuagenarian artist as a mediumistic interface between herself and the world of space

  • “99 CENTS OR LESS”

    The largest municipal default in US history occurred when the city of Detroit, roughly $20 billion in the hole, filed for bankruptcy in the summer of 2013. In the years before and after the municipal wipeout, a deflated real estate market made the metropolis a low-cost Shangri-la for artists and artisans looking for space on the cheap. This socioeconomic background provides the context for MoCAD’s sprawling group show, which proceeds from the idea of giving ninety-nine American artists $99 each to spend at 99-cent stores to create new works, which will then be sold for

  • Richard Mosse

    Susan Sontag wrote that “photography implies that we know about the world if we accept it as the camera records it. But this is the opposite of understanding, which starts from not accepting the world as it looks.” Richard Mosse’s unorthodox approach to recording the world—beginning especially with his photo series “Infra,” 2010–15, and its related six-channel video, The Enclave, 2012–13, and continuing with his new body of work, “Heat Maps,” 2016–, recently on view at Jack Shainman’s Twentieth Street space—engages with some of the central notions underlying Sontag’s well-known dictum,

  • Marianna Simnett

    Among the various forms of affectual experience typically available to gallerygoers—from dead boredom to rapt fascination and many more between—genuine fear remains a rarity. Part of the reason for this is that it’s actually pretty difficult to induce the emotion amid the anodyne precincts of the white cube, an environment that tends to disrupt the usual mechanisms and thwart the requisite level of empathy necessary to generate true dread. If the work of the British artist Marianna Simnett doesn’t entirely sidestep certain familiar sorts of scare tactics, it does vividly recast them,

  • Elmgreen & Dragset

    Across twenty-odd years of collaboration, the artist team of Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset have created a rangy, often memorable body of sculptural and installation work that oscillates—perhaps too freely for some tastes—between the melancholic and the glib, the subtle and the slapstick. All in all, they’re probably better known for the latter than for the former: for works such as Prada Marfa, 2005, their winking dig at the cultural gentrification of the art-saturated West Texas town, or Van Gogh’s Ear, 2016, a charmingish public-art non sequitur—amputated body part as

  • Marilyn Minter

    Anyone with even a passing acquaintance with pornography—which, given its utter digital ubiquity, is pretty much anybody who’s ever turned on a computer—will know that the contemporary taste in female pubic hair (certainly, at least, among the largely male producers and consumers of erotica) has for some time been decidedly on the side of less is more. And so it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that a few years ago, when Marilyn Minter was commissioned by Playboy’s creative director, curator Neville Wakefield, to produce a project for a special issue of the magazine, her photographs

  • “Paul Ramírez Jonas: Atlas, Plural, Monumental”

    An artist for whom audience participation is at the very conceptual—and ethical—core of his practice, Paul Ramírez Jonas creates work that is not simply for civic spaces but also interrogates how such spaces and the publics they serve are constituted. Over the past decade, the artist’s engagement with the mechanics of sociospatial interaction has become increasingly physicalized—whether involving the distribution of keys that offer individuals access to (alternately) a single tiny park or a city’s worth of museums and other culturally notable sites, or the

  • “Moving Is In Every Direction: Environments, Installations, Narrative Spaces”

    Installation art’s ability to produce, or disrupt, narrative experience—to alternately conjure and complicate linearity through interventions in spatiotemporal conditions—is central to its effects on the activated, decentered spectator it proposes to produce. Taking its title from a comment made by Gertrude Stein on the state of narrative in a lecture at the University of Chicago in 1935, this exhibition represents the largest consideration of the genre’s postwar history ever mounted in Germany. The show is slated to include some

  • Roy McMakin

    The dozen or so objects—call them sculpture, furniture, or something poised indeterminately in between—included in Roy McMakin’s recent exhibition at Garth Greenan Gallery for the most part proceeded from a superficially simple line of inquiry: What happens to a conventionally functional artifact when that artifact has its conventional function tampered with? It’s a question with which McMakin—a Wyoming-born artist and craftsman who studied at the University of California, San Diego, in the late 1970s and early ’80s with teachers such as Allan Kaprow and Manny Farber and who today

  • Andrea Zittel

    It’s been twenty-five years now since Andrea Zittel initiated her eponymous “A–Z” enterprise, the generative Gesamtkunstwerk that has become, for all intents and purposes, indivisible from her life. Run out of a complex she’s built over the last decade and a half in the desert a couple of hours east of Los Angeles, the artist’s “institute of investigative living” has grown to encompass furniture and home design, as well as clothing, textiles, food, and more. Descended from both Donald Judd’s experiments in Marfa, Texas, and such counterculture-era utopian communities as Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti