Lauren Mackler

  • “measuring with a bent ruler”

    The announcing dispatch promised this exhibition would “unravel,” and the unconventional group show was, indeed, deconstructed into a sequence of solo presentations—unwieldy exhibitions that embraced undoneness. Each iteration treated the exhibition space as a forum for making and showed works neither nascent nor completed by three artists (introduced in the press release as mutual strangers). Their pieces segued into one another conceptually as well as formally, offering distinct and complementary approaches to text, collage, and performance. 

    PART ONE: Dylan Mira’s Night Vision (all works

  • Fernando Palma Rodríguez

    A small red robot with a coyote head pivoted. It drew back, ready to take a step, but found itself tethered to a rock. Its agency was neutralized by this unjust mechanism, yet it was still threatening, as its blade-clad hands rotated menacingly. Just like its blue double, on view in a simultaneous exhibition across the country, the work is titled Soldado.

    The architect of this machine, Fernando Palma Rodríguez—an artist, engineer, and activist—is based in Milpa Alta, a key agricultural region near Mexico City, where, in addition to his studio, he runs a not-for-profit institution

  • Patrick Jackson

    Starting with its title, Patrick Jackson’s summer exhibition “DUM MUD” was a palindrome. Typeset on the invitation in large, bubbly letters dripping like cartoon blood (or perhaps more obviously like mud), the made-up word established the tone—and material—of the show. Palindromes are, after all, allegorical representations that upend the linear sequence of language and, in so doing, ping-pong time, focusing a reader’s attention equally on the form and the meaning of a word.

    Staged “off-site” in the artist’s one-bedroom apartment, this unconventional exhibition invited visitors to come

  • picks September 06, 2018

    Colin Campbell and Lisa Steele

    For a few months in the late 1970s, Toronto-based video-makers Colin Campbell and Lisa Steele lived in Venice Beach. Like anthropologists arriving in a foreign land (as Steele has noted), they kept a scientific distance from their subjects and shrewdly consumed the native culture (in person and on-screen) in order to cannibalize it, spitting it back out in dispatches on video-art tapes. Their stint in California was a marathon of highly productive role-playing, tape-making, and persona-building that continued to feed their work long after they left.

    Before California, Steele viewed her work as

  • Allen Ruppersberg

    Self-fiction and play, double entendre and wit, slippery authorship and off-site-ness are the underpinnings of Allen Ruppersberg’s oeuvre. The Conceptual artist’s retrospective at the Walker Art Center, “Intellectual Property 1968–2018,” foregrounded his persistent fascination with the American vernacular—its humor, horror, literature, and pop culture—unfurled through a thematic and chronological sequence of galleries. EACH WORK IS ONE OF A KIND, as Ruppersberg once wrote in “Fifty Helpful Hints on the Art of the Everyday,” 1985. The show strung experiments into a narrative, bracketed by