new-york

Peter Campus

Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

Peter Campus is trying desperately hard to give imaginative consequence to the iridescence of electronic media and cyberspace. But he ends up confirming the stalemate of so much current art: bogged down in a sense of irony and absurdity that have become a kind of smug, vacant hype, he strips the nature he renders of all significance, emptying it not only of its organic veracity and the emotional import we traditionally give it but also of its simple density of presence. The magnified detail and vehement color of bee being, 1994, and scout, 1994, make the predictably disconcerting point succinctly: not simply mind-teasing simulations qua simulations, every element in these two pieces—in all of Campus’ work, for that matter—contributes to the artist’s pseudosublime, quasi-existential parodies of sensuous experience and honest curiosity. In particular, the fraudulent perversity of his luridly

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