previews

  • Damián Ortega, Elote clasificado, 2005, one of a set of four digital prints, 11 x 14".

    “Damián Ortega: Do It Yourself”

    Institute of Contemporary Art

    September 18–January 18

    Curated by Jessica Morgan

    Due in part to his background as a political cartoonist, Mexico City–based Damián Ortega has a knack for animating objects in unexpected yet incisive ways. Cosmic Thing, 2002, a fastidiously exploded 1983 VW Beetle whose disassembled parts are suspended in midair, is characteristic: at once playfully destructive and rigorously diagrammatic. A common car in Mexico, the Bug is one of many stereotypically Latin American products stacked, rolled, or pulled by Ortega, along with tortillas, pickaxes, and bricks. Indeed, this exhibition, which includes eighteen sculptures, photographs, and videos made between 1996 and 2007, promises not only technical finesse but a wry commentary on the movement of global commodities. An accompanying catalogue features essays by Gabriel Kuri and Jessica Morgan and a selection of the artist’s writings.

  • Gran Fury, Men Use Condoms or Beat It, 1988, crack-and-peel sticker, 7 1/4 x 8 3/4".

    ACT UP New York

    Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
    24 Quincy Street Harvard University
    October 15–December 23

    Curated by Claire Grace and Helen Molesworth

    The list of lenders for this exhibition, subtitled “Activism, Art, and the aids Crisis, 1987–1993,” reads like a who’s who of the outraged queers—among them gifted artists, filmmakers, designers, even a hairdresser—who over twenty years ago created art that helped galvanize the movement to “take direct action to end the AIDS crisis.” In addition to some seventy works of mostly collectively produced agitprop by, among others, Fierce Pussy, Gang, Gran Fury, Donald Moffett, the Silence = Death Project, and Ken Woodward, the show includes sketches and mock-ups offering insight into the collaborative process that yielded such unforgettable “demographics.” Also, for the first time, audiences can peruse the hundred-plus recently videotaped interviews with surviving ACT UP members, which Jim Hubbard and Sarah Schulman have been coordinating as an oral-history project.