Critics’ Picks

View of “Power, Corruption and Lies.”

View of “Power, Corruption and Lies.”

New York

“Power, Corruption and Lies”

Andrew Roth
160A East 70th Street
June 23–July 23, 2004

Like the 1983 New Order album from which its title is borrowed, “Power, Corruption and Lies” throbs with staccato anger. Each work has been selected by its curators, Adam McEwen and Neville Wakefield, with a precision that reinforces this sense of contained rage. A Rudolf Stingel wall-to-wall carpet introduces the show: Oil-slick black and spiky, it covers the entire floor and aggressively unbalances the room’s otherwise refined atmosphere. Similarly taut critiques reverberate throughout. In Nobuyoshi Araki's Untitled (The Imperial Family), 1973, the portrait is mottled as though directly representing the rotting power structures of Japanese society. Jeremy Deller's photo of policemen guarding a McDonald's during the May Day 2000 riots is printed on a plastic shopping bag, while a Tippex mark disrupts the line of Öyvind Fahlström's gorgeous, bulging Improvisation for Night Music, 1976. Neither the entire exhibition, nor a single part, falters—every one of the thirty-seven works on view is a shot at the establishment, driven home.