Jan Avgikos

“EXCUSE ME, COULD YOU turn the sound up? This piece is supposed to be making music.”

“No. No one can touch the art.”

“But,” I say, wanting to give my companion the full benefit of Jack Pierson’s Diamond Life installation of 1990, “part of the work, the tiny, tinny, mono-sound of Brenda Lee belting it out, is missing.” Besides, I had heard it a day or two before, and seen another guard tending to the record player and selecting LP’s. I knew my request wasn’t outrageous, and anyway I was somewhat irked that none of the installations that were supposed to have a musical component, like Renée Green’s Import/Export Funk Office, 1992–93, and Pepón Osorio’s The Scene of the Crime (Whose Crime?), 1993, had any volume, without which they were sort of dead in the water.

“I told you. No.”

He was wearing Daniel J. Martinez’s lapel pin that said “I CAN’T IMAGINE EVER WANTING TO BE WHITE.” So was I. He was

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.