Left to right: View of the Fifth International SITE Santa Fe Biennial,“Disparities and Deformations: Our Grotesque,” 2004. From left: Maria Lassnig, Sensenmann (The Grim Reaper), 1991. Thomas Schütte, Grosse Geister No. 1 (Big Spirits No. 1), 2004. Jörg Immendorf, Pinselgespräch (Brush Conversation), 2000. Thomas Schütte, Grosse Geister No. 2 (Big Spirits No. 2), 2004. Neo Rauch, Scheune (Barn), 2003. Photo: Herbert Lotz. Right: Paul McCarthy, Penis Hat, 2001, charcoal, graphite, oil pastels, and mixed media on paper, 13' 11 1/4“ x 8' 4”.

SITE Sante Fe

SITE Santa Fe

Curator Robert Storr’s title for the Fifth International SITE Santa Fe Biennial— “Disparities and Deformations: Our Grotesque”—has promise. The grotesque belongs to quotidian life no less than to the history of art (more so, I believe), and Storr’s exhibition potentially revives the now antique avant-gardist position that the territorial borders between lived and aesthetic experience might, even for an instant, be erased; that the flux and reflux of grotesquerie could circulate freely between discrete art objects and the Lebenswelt of those who regard them. Could art attain a measure of relevance beyond hair-splitting head games and financial speculation? Storr dives headlong into the pop-cultural grotesque at the very outset of his catalogue essay, describing in detail an advertisement for a popular HBO series: “Half tableau-vivant, half tableau-dead, it is the emblem of the new season

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