Los Angeles

William Wiley

Eugenia Butler Gallery

William Wiley’s show is mainly one piece, Movement to Blackball Violence, comforted (economically?) by five drawings in the smaller rear gallery. “Movement” is a process, a ball of black friction tape to which one is instructed to add 150 more feet and leave one’s name; a tape recorder lets out metronomic organ (?) blasts and a doormat lies quietly (the artist sat on it at the opening) inches away. Having little faith that any art, including this work, subtitled, “Homage to Martin Luther King,” can do much about anything except subsequent art, I find the most interesting thing about it the raft of (intentional) puns. Black tape: black man, King; “ball”: make love, not war; “blackball”: testicles, eliminate; friction tape: violence tape, recording tape; and “movement”: The Movement, King, the “movement” of the ball as it grows, etc., etc. Originated in 1968, its duration has been extended until the ball reaches a suitable size, when it will be donated to someone, somewhere.

Peter Plagens