Critics’ Picks

View of  “Richard Prince and the Revolution,” 2009. From left: Scott Myles, Everything in-between, Dundee, Scotland, Oct 02 1996, Everything in-between, Monument Valley, USA, Mar 23 1998,  1996–98; Isabell Heimerdinger, Untitled, 1999; Kati Simons von Bockum-Dolffs, Three Minus One, 2009; Ryan Gander, Without Process (too close to the sun again), 2008.

View of “Richard Prince and the Revolution,” 2009. From left: Scott Myles, Everything in-between, Dundee, Scotland, Oct 02 1996, Everything in-between, Monument Valley, USA, Mar 23 1998, 1996–98; Isabell Heimerdinger, Untitled, 1999; Kati Simons von Bockum-Dolffs, Three Minus One, 2009; Ryan Gander, Without Process (too close to the sun again), 2008.

Barcelona

“Richard Prince and the Revolution”

ProjecteSD
Passatge Mercader 8 Baixos 1
June 25–September 10, 2009

“Richard Prince and the Revolution” is neither directly about the American artist nor about any kind of violent action or dramatic change, as the exhibition’s title suggests. One might say that this handsome show “appropriates” both Prince and the revolution, while perhaps making an oblique nod to the singer Prince and his band the Revolution. Accordingly, the exhibition, curated by Jonathan Monk, addresses appropriation and its relationship to originality, examining it through a collection of thirteen works in different media by an international group of mostly younger artists, including Ryan Gander, Annette Kelm, and Scott Myles.

For these artists, without question, “any picture containing multiple images of excessive similarity . . . is a benevolently powerful picture” (Prince’s observation included in the press release). Daiga Grantina’s floor piece Working Hard, 2007, which offers a pair of jeans spectacularly damaged by a gunshot in the crotch area, and Kati Simons von Bockum-Dollfs’s two handpainted basketballs, Three Minus One, 2009, could just as easily be visually linked to Prince’s work as to that of a number of other artists—Chris Burden or Jeff Koons, for instance, or Monk himself. The works in the show confirm, in fact, that everyday materials and common photographs, often culled from the Internet, make up a large part of our visual culture, but that their meanings persist mainly in an emphatic relation to past art. Perhaps not surprisingly, these works appear intimate, even romantic, despite their reductive visuality. Similarly, a selection of Prince’s books on display—which forms a link to an artist’s book by Monk, produced in collaboration with Tobias Kaspar and presented as a part of the exhibition—appears delightfully nostalgic.