New York

Castro-Cid

Feigen Gallery

At the Richard Feigen Gallery Castro-Cid exhibited machines that control jets of air on which clear plastic or gold enameled balls ride, powered by the whimsy of a photo-electric beam or by other circuitry that arranges seemly unpredictable beginnings and endings to the machines’ play. The artist’s ideas rest on art becoming meaningful through a presentation of bottled randomness, a palpable demonstration of the modern subject’s lack of control over the object. However in Castro-Cid’s packaging of this experience, an incredible kind of triteness creeps in. The machine’s cases are painted with hard-edged camouflage and the plastic balls carry either Surrealist biomorphic imagery, or a miniature screen onto which one of the pieces of equipment projects movies of a nude woman posing before the camera. Presumably the conventional subject of the nude has here undergone a manifest disembodiment onto the suspended, luminous face of the ebullient plastic ball. Instead of making any really telling statement about painting, however, Castro-Cid parodies traditional subject-matter within a visual context which depends both on large unexamined chunks of older styles, and on large, visually inert segments of an equally sacred cow: Modern Science.

Rosalind Krauss