Sydney Pokorny

  • Doug Aitken

    The desert is home to everything from tumbleweed, prairie dogs, and cactus to missile-testing grounds, atomic detonations, nuclear-waste storage, even as some people would have you believe, freeze-dried space aliens. On the one hand it exists in collective mythology as a no-man’s-land, a deterritorialized region of harsh extremes where nature reigns in its rawest form; on the other, it’s a “forbidden zone,” harboring a myriad of secrets in its sandy soil. Doug Aitken’s latest video installation, Diamond Sea, 1997, captures this contradictory nature of the desert by focusing on the Namib, a

  • Kerri Scharlin

    Kerri Scharlin considers herself a conceptual artist; in a generous mood, I would concede she’s a rather clever impresario. As creative director of her very own Kerri culture industry, Scharlin has asked her friends to give physical descriptions of herself to police sketch artists; has posed for life-drawing classes; has hired the creator of a Barbie coloring book to do a similar publication with Kerri as protoganist; and has commissioned a battery of feature writers and designers to create glossy-magazine profiles of herself. The results have all been exhibited as her “artwork.” For her most

  • Sharon Lockhart

    For Virginia Woolf, a moment was best understood by dissecting the particular elements that made it up, so that “the truth of it, the whole of it” might be composed. Just as Woolf sought out the small details of a scene—a lamp being lit or the hoot of an owl—to convey the singularity of an instant so, too, Sharon Lockhart dwells on the minutiae of the particular settings her figures inhabit. In one of the eight color photographs presented in her second New York solo show, a waiflike girl stands on a fuzzy gray rug, staring off into the distance, completely absorbed by whatever it is that has

  • Lisa Yuskavage

    Five chalk-white cast-Hydrocal figurines of grotesquely infantilized women with bulbous boobs, bloated bellies, and ballooning asses each strike their own lewd pose. No, this motley crew is not a Franklin Mint series in honor of Larry Flynt, it’s the latest cast of characters to spring from Lisa Yuskavage’s twisted psyche—her statuettes The Bad Habits: Asspicking, Foodeating, Headshrinking, Socialclimbing, Motherfucker, 1996. In the past Yuskavage has tested the limits of good bad taste by painting eroticized prepubescent girls’ heads, fleshy blondes in bikinis, fat-bottomed girls, and a busty

  • Cyberspatiality

    Cyberspace is where you are when you’re talking on the telephone.
    —John Barlow

    William Gibson, father of our collective imaginings about virtual terrain, recently wrote of cyberspace as a “neologic spasm: the primal act of pop poetics . . . awaiting received meaning.” As a telecommunications network, cyberspace is shot through with complexity and contradiction. Theorist Hakim Bey declares it both a “net” and a “web”—the net a high-tech operating system occupied with the concerns of multinational capital and the military, the web inhabited by technoanarchists, activists, and assorted partakers in


    Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays, by Camille Paglia. New York: Vintage Books, 1992.

    So far we have seen two acts of the razzle-dazzle Camille Paglia show. The first act—the exposition, as it were—was Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, a tumescent tome that ranges swaggeringly over the whole of the Western cultural patrimony, resembling in its ambitions such old-fashioned surveys as Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis and E. R. Curtius’ European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, but hyped-up and amphetamized for the MTV generation. Dirty, too—Paglia’s willful