Santa Barbara

“Dialogue/Discourse/Research”

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

“Dialogue/Discourse/Research’’ gathers six people—David Antin, Eleanor Antin, Helen and Newton Harrison, Fred Lonidier, and Barbara Strasen. Despite a rhetorical attempt to consider the six allied by a post-modernist attitude, in that ”they recognize that there is no domain of human investigation that can not also be the province of the visual artist," the evidence as shown here supports no such alliance. Mr. Antin, as a poet, hardly qualifies as a visual artist—his contribution to the exhibition is a transcript of a recitation he made at the museum. Similarly, Strasen’s work is really not post-anything, but standard illustration. Her extravagant titles (Octopus Empathy: Contemplating Its Own Mortality Through The Eyes Of Its Enemies, for example) are insufficient to lift this work out of its place as minor graphic accomplishment, or, as in the case of a batch of painted plates, pretty

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