Joshua Decter

  • Jill Magid

    In a 2007 work, Lincoln Ocean Victor Eddy, Jill Magid enacted a performative infiltration into a remote world by cultivating an ambiguous, clandestine relationship based on her fascination with a New York police officer: She persuaded him to train her as a cop, shadowing him on the night shift. Magid’s 2010 Reasonable Man in a Box—a project developed for the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Gallery on the Whitney Museum of American Art’s first floor—composed of a large-scale video projection featuring the shadow of a scorpion and a wall text with manipulated excerpts from the now infamous Bybee memo (

  • Rodney Graham

    “Don’t Trust Anyone over 30,” the title of one of Rodney Graham’s catchy and drily humorous alt-rock songs, emblematizes the artist/musician’s uncanny talent for redeploying cultural clichés and received typologies—“’cause they’re fucking old and they’re fucking mean,” he gently snarls on the track. Cunningly self-deprecating, meta-ironic yet seriously accomplished, Graham’s work allegorizes the vexingly absurd contradictions of making “original” art and music in an epoch of radical uncertainty regarding aesthetic criteria, value systems, and ideological distinctions (e.g., between the authentic

  • Sam Durant

    No one would accuse Sam Durant of restraint when it comes to contesting mainstream, representational narratives of American history. His recent work includes Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington D.C., 2005, which envisages moving all the memorials to Native Americans killed during colonization to the National Mall in Washington, DC; End White Supremacy, 2008, a sign adapted from a 1963 civil rights protest displayed on the façade of Paula Cooper Gallery during the 2008 presidential election; and a show of former Black Panther Emory Douglas’s posters and prints

  • “Pergola”

    A pergola comprises two parallel rows of colonnades that support an open roof of girders and cross rafters, providing a structure for climbing plants, usually set within a garden and attached to a house. The Palais de Tokyo—with its aspirations to function as a socially permeable, transparent, and nonhierarchical platform for contemporary art—recently became a metaphorical pergola for an idiosyncratic constellation of exhibitions and projects by five artists who engage history and memory through the languages of sculpture, the monument, installation, technology, architecture, and design.

    I was

  • Superflex

    Since 1993, the three-person Danish art collective Superflex have been encouraging locally driven, globally networked forms of self-organized cultural and economic labor in order to counter the abstractive tendencies of post-Fordist global capitalism. A well-known project is Guaraná Power, 2003–, an actual soda for sale and consumption, which Superflex are producing in collaboration with a cooperative of guarana farmers in the Brazilian Amazon. They have also tested the possibility of “free” economic exchange, for instance with FREE SHOP, 2003–, wherein real shops are temporarily converted into

  • Bruce High Quality Foundation

    The Bruce High Quality Foundation—an officially anonymous New York–based art collective, which drew attention to itself in 2005 by prankishly attempting to deliver by motorboat a scaled-down version of one of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s saffron-colored “gates” to Robert Smithson’s posthumously iterated Floating Island on the Hudson River—is now taking on art education. In September 2009, BHQF established the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, promoted as a free, unaccredited, antihierarchical, and collaborative art school in Tribeca. The declaration on the group’s website speaks to

  • Emily Jacir

    For her second solo show at Alexander and Bonin, Emily Jacir presented a new film, Lydda Airport, 2007–2009, and documentation of stazione, 2009. In different ways, both works are emblematic of the artist’s manipulation of subjective geographies to reimagine identity, history, and place. Stazione was commissioned as part of Palestine c/o Venice, a collateral event of this past summer’s Venice Biennale. The artist had envisaged the temporary inscription of Arabic translations alongside the Italian names of the vaporetto stops on the legendary route number one along the Grand Canal. A trilingual

  • K8 Hardy

    That K8 Hardy, one of the founders of the queer feminist art collective LTTR, wants to screw with our assumptions and expectations about how she should represent herself—or her multiple selves—to the world was loudly broadcast in “To All the G#%$! I’ve Loved Before,” her first one-person show in New York. With a post–Riot Grrrl intensity, neo-punk-inflected irreverence, and a dose of acidic wit, Hardy endeavored to provoke with a series of photographic (meta)self-portraits (and supporting props) that exploit campy visual tropes of gay cruising imagery, restaging gender/sexual identity as a

  • Stephen Shore

    The Velvet Underground has been aboveground for decades, and all tomorrow’s parties have become all yesterday’s parties, yet the Warholian milieu of the mid-1960s continuously resurfaces as the eternally hip subaltern. The Factory has been fetishized, romanticized, historicized, and analyzed as an incubator for the cross-pollination of art, experimental film, fashion, music, performance, parties, glamour, sexual/identity transgression, a new sub-pop culture, and more. So it’s a rather quaint experience to revisit that environment through the eyes of Stephen Shore, who was a mere seventeen years

  • The University of Trash

    Envisaged as a site of alternative pedagogy, The University of Trash, 2009, was a collaborative project that took place over three months this past summer. Organized by New York–based artist Michael Cataldi and British artist-activist Nils Norman, it posited DIY design and urban social activism (e.g., squatting) as factors influencing the emergence—and, increasingly, the adoption as policy—of progressive urban and environmental politics. Against the backdrop of hyper-development and gentrification, Cataldi and Norman invoked a countercultural ethos to develop an authentically public (i.e., free

  • Alfredo Jaar

    Alfredo Jaar, an artist who has committed many years to examining the potentialities of art’s response (and perhaps responsibility) to those at the extreme margins of life or in the crosshairs of social/political/existential crisis, produced an unremittingly complex and disturbing installation in 2006, The Sound of Silence. Originally presented at DiverseWorks in Houston within the context of FotoFest 2006 (and subsequently in a number of international contexts), the work here made a long overdue appearance in New York.

    Passing in front of a vast array of vertically organized fluorescent bulbs—a

  • Yael Bartana, Kings of the Hill, 2003, still from a color video, 7 minutes 30 seconds.

    Yael Bartana

    DISPUTATIOUS CLAIMS of belonging and emplacement; boundaries and flows; communication and misunderstanding; historical narratives in contradiction: These are the preoccupations of Yael Bartana’s postdocumentary, allegorical practice. Born in Israel in 1970, Bartana makes work that delivers resonant poetic-political reflections on the cultural, political, geographic, psychological, and religious irreconcilabilities of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, who seem incapable, in their mutually reinforcing fears and misunderstandings and their reciprocal—indeed, at this point, ritualistic—gestures