New York

Joseph Nechvatal

Semaphore Gallery

Joseph Nechvatal, like Picabia, traces figures from Renaissance art, a strategy of quotation that is fast becoming so repetitive as to render it a meaningless gesture except insofar as it indicates the impoverished language of a reality unable to represent itself other than by a doubling back to the myths and icons of the past. Nechvatal does attempt to forestall this closure by also incorporating into his drawing images of American media icons and objects of modern technology. We are guided, therefore, into a reading of power and exploitation, impotence and alienation, that nevertheless is still too literal to overcome a stereotypical humanism.

Where the work begins to transcend its sociological subject matter is in certain features of its execution, which go some way toward recognizing that we need a new spatial model to represent our location (or dislocation) in a late-capitalist-mediated

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