Critics’ Picks

View of “Bobo's on 27th.”

New York

“Bobo's on 27th”

Foxy Production
2 East Broadway 200
July 3–August 1

Last summer, the performance collective Bobo (Phil Cote, Nick Payne, Drew Gillespie) opened an experimental space—not to be confused with a noncommercial one—in Philadelphia’s Italian Market district. Only a year later, it presents “Precious Delights,” which deliciously combines the repugnant rituals of the blockbuster midcareer retrospective and the wholesale summer group show, in New York and Philadelphia. Over a dozen artists present works that are hyperaware of their loose sensibility, and can be completely literal in their conflation of obsolescence and the frame. Miles Huston’s Shout Out-Neo-Fordist, Metrotech/From the Pyramids to the Projects (all works 2008), which consists of polished wood and a Plexiglas display frame, at the center of which is a single shrink-wrapped sneaker, suggests two options to the viewer: Use the shoe and render obsolete the frame, or fetishize it.

The sense of “experimental” looseness is frequently checked by the works’ suggestion of surveillance, which arises from the sculptural forms’ anthropomorphic and generally daunting character. The playful, poorly decorated plastic objects of Jesse Greenberg’s Touchables, from his “Megabinx” series, solicits participation and creative handling but feels more like a morose directive. The exhibition’s centerpiece is Bobo’s two-way live video link with the Philadelphia gallery space (courtesy Apple). Cote spends much of his time sitting in front of the camera in the original venue: during one visit, only his distorted forehead was in view; in another, he recommended I turn on the jukebox.