Critics’ Picks

Daniel Davidson, Picture Booth, 2007, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Daniel Davidson, Picture Booth, 2007, mixed media, dimensions variable.

New York

“Come One, Come All”

3rd Ward
195 Morgan Avenue
April 27–May 21, 2007

“Come One, Come All” is a variegated reminder that joining the circus once served the current function of BFA programs and that art shows themselves share considerable common ground with the state fairs, rodeos, and big-top spectaculars that persist as the United States’ predominant forms of exhibition. Organized by Summer Guthery and Sophie Landres, the exhibition first celebrates the circus’s tattered edges, with Lisa Kereszi’s photograph of a harlequin tent’s faded cloth and Meredith Allen’s Popsicle portraits, which grant a certain dignity to candied eyes (even as they melt). The show hits its stride, however, with a number of projects that gamely stake out the turf between art gallery and shooting gallery, offering a Conceptual twist to carnival pleasures and tugging at the curtain over fine art’s tawdrier touches. A two-bit commerce drives Dewanatron's erratic music box and Douglas Repetto and LoVid’s arcade-style Etch A Sketch—literally, since the former requires quarters—as well as ubiquitous poster designer Wolfy’s Darted Target, 2007, where competitors win whichever drawing their dart pierces, denting the pride of ownership (and pricking contemporary notions of participation). Daniel Davidson’s makeshift photo booth, powered by the artist himself, sketching behind a two-way mirror, recalls the Chapman brothers’ painting endurance feat at the 2006 Frieze Art Fair, tying art fair to fairground. Davidson’s finished drawings spit out from a slot marked NO REFUNDS. A bit of fine print adds, IT LOOKS LIKE YOU MORE THAN YOU THINK—an intimation that art can double as a swindle and the honest truth.