Jessica Lott

  • picks July 31, 2019

    Richard Learoyd

    Richard Learoyd’s technical process is everything contemporary digital photography’s is not: a cumbersome, restrictive, time-consuming event with a high rate of failure, resulting in one unique grainless print. These photographs—made with a room-size camera obscura he designed himself—have an otherworldly luminosity. Their shallow depth of field brings the foreground into startling, exquisite detail, while softly blurring what’s behind.

    The photographs are often compared to Pre-Raphaelite and Neoclassical paintings, particularly those of Ingres, in their formal composition and lighting. The

  • picks December 19, 2016

    “FAKE. It Is Not True, It Is Not a Lie”

    “The only interesting answers,” Susan Sontag wrote, “are those which destroy the questions.” “FAKE. It Is Not True, It Is Not a Lie” is one of those rare exhibitions that illustrates her point. Organized by Jorge Luis Marzo, this show encompasses fifty artists and art collectives that hijack mass communication, invent artistic identities, and create false documentaries, exposing not only our gullibility but the fault lines of our most preciously held convictions.

    In the videotaped action Real Snow White, 2009, Finnish artist Pilvi Takala, dressed as Snow White outside Disneyland Paris, generates

  • picks August 23, 2015

    Michael Snow

    The real subject of Michael Snow’s retrospective—encompassing fifty years of the Canadian artist’s forays into film, sound installation, video, painting, and sculpture—is the viewer. Snow’s work reveals a genuine, open-ended interest in visual perception, especially as it relates to the two-dimensional plane. There’s a lot of play—with windows, projections of windows, reflection, opacity, and transparency. Powers of Two, 2003, features four enormous freestanding transparent photographs of a couple having sex, with the man turned away while the woman is staring, in frank absorption, at us. Circle

  • picks June 04, 2015

    “The Beast and the Sovereign”

    The most dramatic, and popular, exhibition in the museum’s recent history borrows its title from Jacques Derrida’s late lecture on the beast and the sovereign—the two entities he identified as being beyond the law’s reach due to ignorance and supremacy, respectively. For Derrida, the two subjects are not only a binary opposition; they are also engaged in an act of co-becoming. This idea infuses the most intriguing works in a thirty-artist exhibition exploring dominance in surprisingly intricate ways. Artists address surgical pandrogeny and fictional identity, provide a narrative analysis of