Donald Moffett

Stephen Friedman Gallery | 25 - 28 Old Burlington Street

Hands up, all those who find the Ten Commandments irrational, inconsistent, and scary. OK, not killing is an excellent basic principle, but should one’s neighbor happen to have a really superb ass, let’s say, is it so very wrong to covet it? Are the Commandments arranged in order of importance? Surely the eighth, stealing, must be far more grievous than the third, swearing. And what of all those other God-given and thoroughly alarming laws in Exodus (chapters 20 ff.) regulating the stoning of oxen, deflowering of virgins, beating of slaves, and so on? Are these as binding as Commandments, or negotiable? Donald Moffett’s new project, “The Incremental Commandments,” 2000, doesn’t contain explicit references to Old Testament legislation, but, as the show’s press release informs us, the series evolved from the artist’s interest in the Commandments as the “fundamental text of Western law.” It

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