Michael Connor

  • picks November 14, 2012

    Hito Steyerl

    Visitors to Hito Steyerl’s latest exhibition are greeted by the heady smell of a brand new carpet, which has been laid across e-Flux as part of her installation Adorno’s Grey, 2012, one of three works on view. The other two works on view—the video November, 2004, and two-channel video Abstract, 2012—posit a dynamic, intertwining relationship between political violence and mediated representation. In Adorno’s Grey, a similar set of paired concepts is at stake: direct action and theory.

    Along with the carpet, which is indeed gray, this installation comprises several photo panels, a

  • picks October 14, 2012

    Michelle Stuart

    The photographic series “Fuerte Quemada: A Short Story,” 2011, opens and closes with a similar split image: on the left, a man wielding an old-fashioned tripod-mounted camera; on the right, his subject, a grainy image of a field of flowers. The rest of the piece could be read as a psychosexual journey into the mind of this photographer, which is populated by a chef with the head of a bird, headless mannequins, and crotch-flashing androgynes in pantaloons. In this oneiric sequence, one image stands out for its directness: a little girl gazing at the camera, nonplussed, under the typewritten

  • picks September 12, 2012

    “HELP/LESS”

    Attentive visitors to Printed Matter’s sprawling summer show “HELP/LESS” may come across a handwritten sticky note with the following exhortation: AMAZING ESSAY ON APPROPRIATION BY MIKE KELLEY. PLEASE READ. The note marks a page in a photocopied facsimile of the catalogue for the 1993 Kelley-curated exhibition “The Uncanny”—the original sits behind glass nearby. This text, which probes the strange psychic resonance of figurative sculpture, isn’t exactly an “essay on appropriation,” but it does offer an excellent starting point for an exhibition that finds similar psychic resonance in the copy.

  • picks July 24, 2012

    Jayson Musson

    The striking thing about Jayson Musson’s “Halcyon Days” is its apparent seriousness. This is an exhibition, after all, of fragments of Coogi sweaters that have been stitched together and stretched to look like abstract paintings. Know for its computer-generated designs, loud colors, and brash patterns, the Australian high-end knitwear line was founded in 1969 and worn in the 1980s and ’90s by Bill Cosby (when he ran low on Koos Van Den Akker or Missoni), by Phyllis Diller (as a joke) and by the Notorious B.I.G. (as a way of looking rich while still offending white bourgeois taste). Musson is