new-york

Doug Aitken

303 Gallery

Work for the attention-span impaired in all of us, Doug Aitken’s installation provoked the sort of fleeting engagement that characterizes watching television. This should come as no surprise since Aitken supports himself by producing and directing music videos and television ads. Presenting this so-called commercial work in a gallery would be a rather welcome development in the art world, but the problem here is that Aitken is too preoccupied with the notion that what he presents in that context must resemble, behave, or feel like Art. There should be nothing particularly embarrassing about finding creative success in the terms of popular culture—and if Aitken is considered a vanguard music video and television commercial maker within that context, more power to him—since that’s the true heart of this society.

So why didn’t he just exhibit unadulterated, unmanipulated versions of his MTV

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