New York

Hans Haacke

Paula Cooper Gallery | 534 West 21st Street

Hans Haacke is never without an agenda; for almost forty years, he has been investigating, exposing, and protesting, refusing to be silent in the face of corporate crime, governmental corruption, and artworld mischief. He’s a perennial whistle-blower with a long and notable history of social activism and doesn’t blanch at the problematic designation of “political artist.” Frequently, he names names: Jesse Helms, Philip Morris, Daimler-Benz, Deutsche Bank, and Ronald Reagan have all figured in an ever-growing pantheon of culprits.

Anyone familiar with this oeuvre might be justified in wondering why it has taken him so long to get around to his latest inductee into the hall of shame: George W. Bush. In Commander in Chief, 2005, a digital C-print posted at the entrance to “State of the Union,” his recent exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery, a dopey-looking Bush, his eyes closed, seems to confirm

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