Robert Nickas

  • Melvins

    Every three to five years there seems to be one band that artists, intellectuals, and cultural critics gravitate toward as symptomatic of the moment and, on a higher level, as a symbiotically beneficial organism. A few years ago it was the expansive fucked-upness of the Butthole Surfers that entered/altered art-world consciousness; and now it’s Melvins. Nearly ten years after escaping the redneck logging town of Aberdeen, Washington, and spawning the so-called Seattle sound of Mudhoney, Nirvana, et al.—the current “loser’s revolution”—Melvins seem to have arrived, and right on time.

    The

  • PUNISHMENT AND DECORATION: ART IN AN AGE OF MILITANT SUPERFICIALITY

    MICHAEL CORRIS: In the service of a souped-up formalist view of Modernism, Rosalind Krauss recently enlisted Algirdas Julien Greimas’ semiotic square to reanimate that most conventional, reductive, and central modalization of Modernism’s development: the relationship between “figure” and “ground.” The basic conceit at work here is that the terms “figure” and “ground”—canceled, mirrored, and restated within the logic of Greimas’ square—will bear significant conceptual results. But the very cancellation of the terms of this dichotomy reinforces their power, resuscitating the figure/ground