Jian-Xing Too

  • Haegue Yang, Blind Curtain—Flesh Behind Tricolore, 2013, aluminum venetian blinds and frame, 15 x 23 x 5'.

    Haegue Yang

    An unusually close observer of mundane objects, Haegue Yang throws into relief the warp and woof of their form and function, sometimes even weaving in a sort of cognitive Walden Pond by which to contemplate them. With new sculptural works at Aubette 1928—in the only three rooms preserved of the 1928 four-story nightlife complex conceived as an avant-garde Gesamtkunstwerk by Jean Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, and Theo van Doesburg—and an overview of two-dimensional works from 1999 to 2013 at the Department of Prints and Drawings of the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain Strasbourg (MAMCS),

  • Pauline Bastard, Les États de la matière (States of Matter), 2013, video, color, sound, 60 minutes.

    Pauline Bastard

    Many Conceptual artists, such as John Baldessari, who employed sign painters found in the telephone book, have let their fingers do the walking. Pauline Bastard, however, brought new meaning to that yellow-pages slogan with her exhibition “Like Jenga.” The video Les États de la matière—le mur (States of Matter—Wall; all works 2013) shows her nimbly breaking through the wall of an early-nineteenth-century stone house with her fingers, dislodging stones by picking away at the crumbling mortar. This house, located in a remote French village named Saint-Yaguen, was purchased by the artist

  • Ryan Gander, Ampersand (detail), 2012, one element of a mixed-media installation additionally comprising a conveyor belt and sixty-five objects, dimensions variable.

    Ryan Gander

    Ryan Gander’s solo show “Ampersand” is the first installment of an “Artist’s Library” exhibition series curated by Akiko Miki. It begins with a window presenting, one by one, sixty-six objects on a conveyor belt. While some were made by the artist and a few were gifts of sentimental value, the majority are consumer goods. All belong to Gander’s personal collection. Ranging from absurdities worthy of a SkyMall catalogue (Zippo perfume) to status symbols (a Leica M9) to what could be office belongings gathered by somebody who’s just been fired (a box of Niceday binders), they amount to a library

  • Bojan Šarčević, He, 2011, onyx, 96 1/2 x 65 x 18 3/4”.

    Bojan Šarčević

    The output of this Belgrade-born, Berlin-based artist can appear by turns massive and delicate, highly political and exclusively aesthetic, serious and absurd.

    The output of Bojan Šarčević can appear by turns massive and delicate, highly political and exclusively aesthetic, serious and absurd. Such complexity is an active component of Šarčević’s practice. After all, this is the artist who gave us a wilderness survival guide written in phonetic English, to reflect a thick Eastern European accent, and who republished a report on Balkan-EU geopolitical relations and called it an exhibition catalogue. Now, for his first large-scale museum exhibition, Šarčević will occupy the entire upper floor (four thousand square feet)

  • documentation céline duval, Les Allumeuses, 1998–2010, Telephones, 2011, still from a color video, 5 minutes 50 seconds.

    documentation céline duval

    The artist Céline Duval, who chooses to be known as documentation céline duval (all lowercase), has steadily built up a huge stock of photographs and classified them according to personal impulse. She is best known for her appropriation of amateur photographs, notably from family albums. Regrouping pictures on the basis of recurrences in pose, subject, or composition, she reproduces them in artist’s books or blows them up for digital slide shows and as prints. Staging new focal points within the photographs, dcd effectively disorganizes the memories crafted by the albums. Her frequent choice of

  • Spread from FILE Megazine 3, no. 1 (Fall 1975). Rodney Werden, portrait of General Idea. From left: Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal, AA Bronson.

    General Idea

    According to Frank Zappa, “God made three big mistakes: The first mistake was called man. The second mistake was called wo-man. And the third mistake was the invention of the poodle.” Seeing “Haute Culture: General Idea, Une rétrospective 1969–1994” made one suspect that the consummate artist, as fashioned by General Idea, was part man, part woman, and part poodle.

    The male part of this artist was created in 1975. A previously unpublished 1991 interview with General Idea in the catalogue to this recent exhibition reveals that the name first appeared in 1970, not 1968, as legend has it, and that

  • Marlie Mul, Me (Connected) (detail), 2010, wood, varnish, ink, plastic tubing, approx. 12' 1 5/8“ x 3' 9 1/4”.

    Marlie Mul

    Marlie Mul’s exhibition “Your Wet Sleeve in My Neck” had something green and full of potential about it. In the gallery’s street-level space was a low-lying sculpture diagonally laid out in serpentine form. This piece had the smack of an extravagantly long wind instrument or hookah pipe, but in fact it had no passage for air. It consisted of lightly polished, solid-wood spindles set on the floor, joined end to end with straight or bent segments of clear PVC tubing. Each rod had a lathe-turned design for what would appear to be anachronistic stair balusters—twisted spirals, orbs, tapered

  • View of Sarkis, "Le monde est illisible, mon Coeur si (The World is Unreadable, My Heart, Yes), Musée d'Art Contemporain, Lyon, 2002. Photo: Blaise Adilon. From the 10th Biennale de Lyon.

    10th Biennale de Lyon

    Titled “The Spectacle of the Everyday,” this year’s biennale proposes that, worldwide, artists are taking inspiration from the Situationist strategy of dérive and gaining new critical force in a time of grassroots globalization.

    In a sprawling look at how artists are reinventing the everyday, veteran biennial curator Hou Hanru assembles some fifty artists and collectives in four central Lyon venues. Sarkis presents a newspaper-scattered agora complete with invited speakers, Shilpa Gupta has constructed an automated gate that will progressively destroy a wall, and the Xijing Men declare their invented, eponymous city an independent state. Hou also takes on the challenge of addressing communities outside city limits: A pair of Lyon suburbs, infamous sites of past police violence and anti-immigrant

  • “Voids: A Retrospective”

    I keep wishing “Vides: Une Retrospective” (Voids: A Retrospective) were a work of art, but it wasn’t. It aimed to be a retrospective survey. The curators—John Armleder, Mai-Thu Perret, Mathieu Copeland, Gustav Metzger, and Clive Phillpot (along with curators from the two hosting institutions, Laurent Le Bon of the Centre Pompidou and Philippe Pirotte of Kunsthalle Bern, where the show will travel in September)—brought together nine past exhibitions where the artist left the exhibition space empty and fundamentally unaltered. They chose to simply present these shows through other empty, unaltered

  • “Les Feuilles”

    “Les Feuilles” (Sheets) took place at two sites. Works by Barbara Bloom, Robert Breer, Isabelle Cornaro, Aurélien Froment, Ryan Gander, Benoît Maire, Clément Rodzielski, and Raphaël Zarka were presented at Super, an artist-run space that opened last year, while works by these same artists plus Julien Crépieux, Mark Geffriaud, and Jiří Kolář were shown at Module 2 of the Palais de Tokyo. Curated by Élodie Royer and Yoann Gourmel, “Les Feuilles” mainly included artists in their late twenties and early thirties but, holding to a convergence of artistic approaches rather than claiming inheritance,

  • Cécile Babiole and Laurent Dailleau

    Layering sampled speech and sounds created with an analog synthesizer, Laurent Dailleau’s music for the performance Mexican Standoff, 2008, fueled a tension that never slackened in its nearly fifty minutes. In response, Cécile Babiole’s live video projection showed details of publicity stills in a series of continuous shots that felt like one long take. Concocting film sequences within individual film stills, the shots glide over each print at close range in short, straight paths, pausing briefly before changing direction. Part of the Cube Festival of digital art that takes place every three

  • Claude Closky

    For his retrospective “8002–9891,” Claude Closky showed nothing. Instead, visitors were provided with a floor plan and headphones: This was a show to be heard. An artist disloyal to any single medium, Closky forged his retrospective out of a common museum accoutrement, the audio guide. The visitor’s infrared receiver picked up sound files from transmitters suspended above the vast, empty, undivided, sparsely lit exhibition space. But in place of explanations, one heard aural renditions of Closky’s works. For instance, at the entrance to the show, a voice recited in French, “. . . the seventy-ninth