New York

William Wegman

Sonnabend Gallery

Something of a Minimalist Ernie Kovacs in his video work, William Wegman’s incisive timing, eye for absurdity, and ironic deflations of expectation (shaped by popular television) delicately convert the most banal situations into wryly entertaining parodies of themselves. He makes stooges of his viewers by manipulating their credulousness through his deadpan sincerity in purposefully insipid skits—showing us just how addicted we are to the predictable and trivial both in the media and in our lives. In his best tapes we become a captive audience of psychological props, like his docile protagonist, the Weimaraner May Ray, whose attention is manipulated while performing the most feeble tricks, no more interesting when they succeed than fail. Wegman seduces his viewers to the threshold of boredom through his progressively ironic “persistence in a situation,” a strategic idea of Duchamp.

In his

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