los-angeles

Daniel Joseph Martinez

The Project

I’ve had reservations in the past about works by Daniel Joseph Martinez; they felt like exercises in self-gratification and self-promotion ostensibly designed to push social buttons. (Think of his reputation-catapulting I CAN’T IMAGINE EVER WANTING TO BE WHITE buttons at the 1993 Whitney Biennial.) Martinez has seemed at times to be a kind of political pyromaniac, less interested inputting out fires or harnessing their energy than in fanning the flames and basking in their glow. His work in this recent show, however, an animatronic sculpture that had the gallery to itself, came as a surprise I hesitate to call pleasant. The piece is a kind of grand finale to a series of photographs Martinez has created over the past few years, in which, inspired by Nietzsche’s call to destroy idols, he presented himself destroyed, with the help of prosthetics and makeup, in a variety of manners. Here

Sign-in to keep reading

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

Not registered for artforum.com? 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 September 2002 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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