New York

Syvia Kolbowski


That writing necessarily distorts the memory of the event it chronicles may be the principal irony of Sylvia Kolbowski’s recent installation, entitled Review, 1989. This time the culprit takes center stage. Raised to the status of this year’s exhibit, the various letters, manuscripts, student papers, and published reviews about Kolbowski’s previous show, Enlarged from the Catalog: USA, 1988, create a hall of mirrors in which the image of the original exhibit becomes remote. This collection is likely to elicit additional commentary—which, in turn, might inspire more art.

Taken together, the descriptions of the 1988 show are puzzling, indeed; the various writers’ impressions don’t add up to a coherent picture. The need to render vision in words constitutes art criticism’s Achilles’ heel, its most pathetic weakness. The following contradictory remarks are culled from some of the pieces Kolbowski

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