Joshua Decter

  • Willie Doherty

    Every city is a palimpsest of its own history, each urban territory an accumulation of linguistic and visual signs that constitute the representation of place. Since the 1980s, Willie Doherty’s practice has addressed the complex significations of Derry, a city in Northern Ireland that was at the nexus of the social unrest and violence associated with the “Troubles”—the conflict between Protestant unionist and the Catholic nationalist communities between the ’60s and the ’90s. This included the infamous Bloody Sunday incident of 1972—which the artist witnessed firsthand as a twelve-year-old

  • Alec Soth

    The initial photograph encountered in Alec Soth’s “Broken Manual,” Roman, the nocturnal hermit, 2006, embodies the tension between disclosure and concealment that underpins this exhibition, which comprises a series of photographs and a new installation generated from Soth’s journeys to remote areas of the United States in search of men—from eccentric loners to paranoid survivalists—who have excommunicated themselves from society. Roman’s ancient, bearded visage surfaces reluctantly from a grainy black-and-white miasma—he is a ghostly afterimage of himself. With a subtly quizzical

  • Zefrey Throwell Klemens

    On August 1, less than a month and a half before last year’s occupation of Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, Zefrey Throwell staged the performance Ocularpation: Wall Street. At 7 AM, fifty volunteers, dressed in the garb of a range of professions—from personal assistant to trader, prostitute, dog walker, janitor, and lawyer—gathered in front of the New York Stock Exchange and at other locations on Wall Street and stripped naked for five minutes. Three performers were arrested, charged with exposure, and later bailed out by the artist. Throwell has stated that this project was triggered

  • Jim Lambie

    Spiritualized is the name of an English space-rock band; it was also the title of Jim Lambie’s recent quasi-psychedelic, kiss-me-I’m-so-clever display of painting and sculpture at Anton Kern Gallery. At once obsessive and frivolous—and maybe just a tad too enthralled by rock ’n’ roll culture—the artworks played with conventions of painting and sculpture and referenced the aesthetics of everyday things. The whole enterprise swam in an ether of Pop, containing repurposed items of clothing (zippers, T-shirts, and belts) and allusions to popular music (Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones) and

  • Paul Ramírez Jonas

    Presented in the Octagon project space at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, The Commons, 2010, is further example of Paul Ramírez Jonas’s investigations of art’s social contingency. Foregrounding the different ways in which art becomes public as it enters various zones of social contact, Ramírez Jonas typically deploys objects, sculptural installations, and “public works” to explore agency and meaning. For the 2005 “inSite_05” exhibition in San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, for instance, the artist produced a situational, research-based project, Mi Casa, Su Casa (My House, Your House), which

  • Aïda Ruilova

    From the early Oh no, 1999, to Meet the Eye, 2009, Aïda Ruilova’s fast-art reflections on filmic constructions of women have progressed from schooled DIY antiaesthetic to polished commercial appearance (the latter work features 1970s B-movie queen Karen Black). In their synthesis of formal and stylistic elements from experimental filmmaking, avant-garde video, and mainstream psychological thrillers and horror flicks, Ruilova’s works conjure a condition of endless, narrativeless suspense: Women—her protagonists are usually female—confront existential and corporeal jeopardy, often

  • Harun Farocki

    “Harun Farocki: Images of War (at a Distance),” Farocki’s first museum survey in the United States, features thirty-six films, videos, and installations recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art. Organized by chief curator of media and performance Sabine Breitwieser, the exhibition offers an illuminating view of the artist’s development over the decades, beginning with his emergence in post-1968 West Germany and moving through his subsequent engagements, over some forty years, with filmmaking, writing, editing, and curating. Consistently in his work, Farocki deploys strategies to foreground

  • Rirkrit Tiravanija

    Rirkrit Tiravanija has always understood, intuitively and intellectually, that a gallery is a social frame, at once quasi-private and quasi-public, wherein a diverse range of encounters and frictions connected to rituals of making, displaying, and consuming art are staged. I vividly recall his exhibition “Untitled, 1992 (Free)” at 303 Gallery, for which structural elements and appurtenances from the space’s back office were displayed in the front of the gallery, and the office was converted into a rudimentary cooking and eating area, with free curries offered daily. I saw this as a deftly

  • R. Luke DuBois

    Curious about the geographic distribution in the United States of men and women who characterize themselves as, say, submissive, shy, bored, or lonely? If so, you’ll likely be delighted by R. Luke DuBois’s project “A More Perfect Union,” 2008–, for which he created statistical maps of the nation describing the ways in which people represent themselves on online dating services—and the qualities those people are seeking in a possible mate. In 2010, DuBois, who might be considered something of a polymath (he is an artist, composer, performer, and a coauthor of the software Jitter, which

  • Sean Snyder

    What does the classic Warner Brothers cartoon “Road Runner and Coyote” have to do with the urban condition? Sean Snyder’s 1996–98 Urban Planning Documentation (Road Runner & Coyote)—the earliest of the eight works in this modest, twelve-year survey—proffers tentative answers. Beside a monitor playing clips of Wile E. Coyote’s elaborate, doomed-to-fail schemes, Snyder presents two groups of black-and-white photos, all depicting seemingly innocuous elements from the urban landscape. In the first set, each image is accompanied by an ambiguously descriptive sentence: A FAILED LANDSCAPING

  • “Serbia: Frequently Asked Questions”

    Yugoslavia’s disintegration commenced in 1991 with the secession of various republics, triggering an ethnoreligious civil war among Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats, and Muslim Bosnians. Much of the conflict centered on Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, for many in the West, the genocidal campaign against Bosnian Muslims, orchestrated by the Milošević-led Bosnian Serb ultranationalist army and paramilitary, came to typify the egregious violence of the war. Aware of this legacy, the curators of “Serbia: Frequently Asked Questions”—organized by the Austrian Cultural Forum New York and the Museum of

  • Do-Ho Suh

    If R. Buckminster Fuller were around today, he would likely be entranced by the idiosyncratically utopian vision and technical ingeniousness of Do-Ho Suh’s “Perfect Home: The Bridge Project.” Suh, working with a team of collaborators—architects, engineers, computer programmers, and animators, among others—has developed prototypes for four bridges that connect the artist’s home in Seoul with his home in New York. More allegorical than practical, the bridges represent imaginary links between disparate geographies and urbanisms, thereby emblematizing the artist’s long-standing concern with identity