Wendy Vogel

  • Left: Artist Suna Kafadar, Produce director and curator Zeynep Öz, and Fol Cinema Society's Burak Çevik. Right: Ricardo Cástro (left) and Daisy Lambert (right). (All photos: Wendy Vogel)
    diary May 23, 2016

    Fresh Produce

    EQUIPPED WITH NEW BALANCES (sneakers-as-fashion were made for Istanbul) and an iPhone with international data, I landed at the opening of Produce, the third SPOT Production Fund biennial, late last month, just a few hours after touching down at Atatürk airport. Even though I had visited the city before, I remained in need of cultural decoding, and not just the headset I donned for simultaneous translation during the mostly Turkish-language program.

    Directed by SPOT cofounder Zeynep Öz, a former assistant curator of Ashkal Alwan’s Home Works festival in Beirut, Produce replicates the Home Works

  • View of “Willa Nasatir,” 2016.
    picks April 08, 2016

    Willa Nasatir

    Over the past two decades, photography, like film, has suffered an identity crisis in the face of proliferating digital technologies. The situation has led to a rise in self-reflexive practices—photography about darkroom processing, for instance. This impulse, however, is waning, and photography seems ripe for experiments with narrative that fly in the face of objectivity and indexicality. Willa Nasatir is a young artist who steers away from the strictness of medium-specificity and embraces psychological subject matter in her work.

    Nasatir’s four glossy C-prints feel as though they’ve come out

  • Zarouhie Abdalian, Interregnum, 2016, printed mesh fabric, 93 x 44''.
    picks April 01, 2016

    Zarouhie Abdalian

    Displacement, dismantlement, and mirroring are at the heart of Oakland-based Zarouhie Abdalian’s first solo show in New York, “A Betrayal.” Despite a spare, poetic visual vocabulary, Abdalian’s site-responsive work reverberates with frustration and anger toward a failing political system and the violence of gentrification.

    Close of Winter (all works 2016), a window gate taken apart into four sections that stand as spindly floor-bound sculptures, testifies to the broken nature of “broken windows” policing. The works, with their delicate, organic motifs—a contemporary response to Giacometti’s

  • View of “Mika Tajima,” 2016.
    picks February 26, 2016

    Mika Tajima

    Mika Tajima’s work probes the tension between the rationalism of modernist aesthetics and the fragmentary—if not destructive—quality of modern life. Since the early 2000s, she has been creating noise music with her band New Humans and installations based on architecture that molds the activity of its inhabitants. Cinema sets, factory assembly lines, and Herman Miller’s Action Office of modular furniture are among her references.

    Recently, Tajima has explored the symbiotic relationship between design and human affect, aided by data-scraping technology. “Embody” (all works 2015–16), her exhibition

  • Douglas Coupland, Imagine a Car Crash . . ., 2011, acrylic and latex on canvas, 72 x 72”.
    picks April 01, 2013


    The first Armory Show in 1913 effectively introduced American audiences to modern art; the vast, widely publicized art fair served as the United States debut for European avant-garde movements like Cubism and Fauvism, and provided major exposure for stateside modernists like Charles Sheeler and Marsden Hartley. “DECENTER: An Exhibition on the Centenary of the 1913 Armory Show” at the Abrons Arts Center—the initial announcement of the venue’s construction was made in 1963 on the occasion of the Armory’s fiftieth anniversary—pays homage to the show’s particular influence on contemporary art by

  • View of “The Empathics,” 2012.
    picks December 26, 2012

    Saya Woolfalk

    Saya Woolfalk’s first solo museum exhibition—an ethnographic display of artifacts from a fictional all-female tribe of plant-human hybrids called the Empathics—demands a suspension of disbelief. Created by Woolfalk as an idealized metaphor for cultural hybridity, the Empathics blend racial, ethnic, and species characteristics, gaining supernatural powers of compassion through their mix of qualities. The immersive installation of colorful life-size mannequins, textiles, paintings, video, and photography, all credited as loans from the fictive Institute of Empathy headed by the Empathics themselves,

  • View of “Jennifer Bolande Landmarks,” 2012. From left: Side Show, 1991, cibachrome, frame, 55 x 32“;  Aerial Phonograph, 1991/2010, cibachrome on record album, formica base, turntable with motor, 28 x 16 x 16”.
    picks February 10, 2012

    Jennifer Bolande

    Working between photography and sculpture, Jennifer Bolande collapses objects into images and creates photographs that resist the medium’s flatness. Bolande, now based in Los Angeles, came of age in New York during the late 1970s. With an emphasis on the artist’s relatively lo-fi aesthetic and funky material choices, “Landmarks” celebrates Bolande’s absurd humor, an aspect that can often be overshadowed in the historicization of her Pictures generation peers.

    Some of her best riffs appropriate the work of her fellow artists. Aerial Phonograph, 1991/2010, an homage to Jack Goldstein’s records,

  • Jennifer West, Daisies Roll Up Film (16mm color and b&w film neg rolled with hard boiled eggs, oranges, lemons, avocados, pickles, green apples, milk and watermelon – a remake of a scene from Vera Chytilova’s 1966 film, Daisies – rolling off the bed performances by: Mariah Csepanyi, Finn West & Jwest, lit with black light & strobe light), 2008, still from a color film in 16 mm, 5 minutes 53 seconds.
    picks July 29, 2010

    Jennifer West

    Jennifer West’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States comprises five experimental short films in which she documents the traces of allegorical and alchemical performance actions. Hypnotic and chromatically saturated, these nonlinear works are created through and in response to singular repetitive gestures. West draws inspiration equally from popular recreation (darts puncture clear film leader, snowboarders shred on a film of a moonlit sky, and a wild session of Guitar Hero is seen through acidic washes) and high art (two films re-create, respectively, Pollock’s 1950 Lavender Mist

  • View of “Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with the Yes Men,” 2010. Hanging from the ceiling: SurvivaBalls.
    picks May 17, 2010

    The Yes Men

    Culture jamming comes full circle from the fringes to institutional validation in “Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with the Yes Men” the first solo exhibition of the collective’s antics. The show includes props, PowerPoint presentations, and media reports of Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno’s best-known examples of “identity correction,” their technique of impersonating the officers of corporations in order to expose the executives’ malicious intentions. Though hijacking mass media has been an avant-garde tradition from the mid-twentieth century onward, the Yes Men’s ability to seamlessly

  • Jonathan Marshall, Quest of Sight, 2009, still from a color video, 29 minutes.
    picks February 11, 2010

    Jonathan Marshall

    Inaugurating Art Palace’s new Houston home, Jonathan Marshall’s “Doubled Vision”––his second solo exhibition at the gallery––offers a new chapter in his homespun folk mythology. Quest of Sight, 2009, an almost thirty-minute-long video that is part western, part sci-fi epic, combines segments from the artist’s older videos with new footage shot in remote Texas locations. Nearly devoid of dialogue, the work introduces three self-styled adventurers fated to meet one another: Lenny, a mop-bearded nomad, played by Marshall; Johan Pilgrim, a ruggedly sexy cowboy; and Skelebones, a beach-dwelling witch