Sarah Lookofsky

  • Haim Steinbach, Creature, 2011, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    picks October 06, 2011

    Haim Steinbach

    The Kong is the most represented object in the latest iterations of Haim Steinbach’s signature shelf assemblages. It is a curvaceous rubber form that comes in a variety of colors, the size of a small fist. Somewhere between a Brancusi and a butt plug, the Kong is in fact a dog toy, but in this exhibition, only canine connoisseurs would recognize it as such. Throughout the show, the Kong bookends and supplements frog-shaped cookie jars, a ducklike Alessi soap dispenser, a Star Wars trooper, and an amateur rendition of Mr. Peanut carved in wood, among other anthropomorphic objects. The show’s

  • Dara Birnbaum, Arabesque, 2011, four channel video installation, 4 stereo audio, 6 minutes 30 seconds.
    picks July 30, 2011

    Dara Birnbaum

    “It is true that my health would be better if I exerted myself less, but after all does not every man, who is worthy of the name, give his life for his calling?” These words, drawn from the diary of Clara Schumann—the wife of Robert, the composer—are superimposed over her journal in Dara Birnbaum’s new multichannel video installation Arabesque, 2011. That a woman is behind “every man” is telling, given that Clara often supported the whole Schumann family, including her sometimes mentally ill spouse and their eight children, with her musical practice. Although she was a gifted composer and pianist,

  • Nanna Debois Buhl and Liz Linden, Stormy Weather, 2008–10, umbrellas, sound, dimensions variable.
    picks July 12, 2011

    Nanna Debois Buhl and Liz Linden

    While the word “dérive” (literally, “drift”) is now frequently used in art writing to describe any randomized stroll, it is worth remembering that Guy Debord advised a more specific aim for such wanderings, namely reversing the dominance of “habitual influences . . . generally categorized as tourism, that popular drug as repugnant as sports or buying on credit.” Similarly pointing to the insidious commodification of free time, mobility, and flexibility, Nanna Debois Buhl and Liz Linden’s SUITCASE WISDOM, 2011, is a wall-based installation of luggage purchased in Chinatown in which the sequencing