Los Angeles

“Michael Bastian Looks at Environment”

Aura Gallery

A single red ceiling light in a blacked out hall reveals piles of styrofoam chips and plastic garment bags, some of which have been tied to the pillars of the room in a manner resembling tatter sails. A few odd objects are scattered about. One, a fragment of a newspaper headline, “Dr. Alvarez Discusses Problems of Insomnia,” is probably the most revealing of what Michael Bastian had in mind in putting his experiment together. Even as anti-art it cannot be taken seriously. Vital as that movement is at its best, in its lesser efforts it can be very bad. Ingenuity is more rare than the artistic ego would like to admit.

Constance Perkins