Juan Downey

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center

By now the forms of TV are powerful as much because of their familiarity as because of their unswervingly simplistic view of things. In Information Withheld, 1983, as in his earlier The Looking Glass, 1981, Juan Downey borrows aspects of the structure of a very familiar TV genre—the cultural documentary—and proceeds to weave through them a

The larger screen of a UNEX sign, the future, dateline 1984, with an opti richly textured argument about a subtle subject—in this case, the ways in which people use signs, and the relationship between signs and art. Moreover, these tapes are the first two parts of a projected series of 13 segments called The Thinking Eye, in which, Downey told me, he intends to examine “how we project order onto space—how we symbolize.”

Downey constructs his argument from a broad range of references, in shots that command attention both for their high degree of craft and

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the February 1984 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.