“Please Stay Out, We're Open”

Redling Fine Art
990 North Hill Street, entrance on Bernard, 2nd floor),
July 1, 2008–September 6, 2008

Morgan Fisher, Two Televisions, None of the Pleasure of Television, but None of the Guilt, 2008, two televisions, infinite duration.

Group shows litter the landscape during sluggish summers. They last for months while collectors and often even dealers are out of town, and allow artists to play without too much pressure. This year, at Redling Fine Art, the summer heat has more than slowed things down—it has made the gallery shut its doors. With no air conditioner strong enough to cool the high-ceilinged space, the staff has checked out. But the show goes on, and at a dizzying pace. Twelve artists—both on and off the gallery’s regular roster—will present work that can be seen only from outside the glass front doors in exhibitions technically “open” twenty-four hours a day. Each has approximately five days to do whatever he or she wants in the gallery. For the first session, Morgan Fisher pointed two televisions away from the doors; their spectral light, postspiritual white noise straight out of a DeLillo novel, cast flickering shadows on the wall. The second installment pitted Martin Kersels and Jason Kraus against a host of musical instruments, and it was clear from the resultant videos just how difficult it is to actually destroy an electric guitar. The raucous clamor made it sound like a noise band warming up for a funeral dirge, while the blurry (but unmistakable) figures stand in a California yard, attempting to slowly smash the life out of their unfortunate quarry.

Other installments of the show include Walead Beshty (July 15–19), Drew Heitzler (July 22–26), Stuart Bailey and Frances Stark (July 29–August 2), Jeff Kopp (August 5–9), Mario Correa (August 12–16), Valerie Schultz (August 19–23), Margaret Honda (August 26–30), and Barb Choit (presenting her Division Museum of Ceramics and Glassware September 2–6). Though conceits for group shows can often seem silly or haphazard, when reality takes a hand in shaping the context, the formal simplicity and limitations can, as they do here, drive innovation, experimentation, and play.

Andrew Berardini