new-york

Martin Beck

Orchard

The title of Martin Beck’s exhibition at Orchard—“The details are not the details”—is a quotation from Charles Eames, whose thought concludes with the assertion that, indeed, details are hardly mere accoutrements but themselves “make the product. The connections, the connections, the connections.” Beck, who (often in collaboration with Julie Ault) has long been engaged in plumbing the material, historical, and ideological specificities of exhibition practices, structures his own as a kind of hymnal to the detail par excellence: not just connections but literal connectors (system connector joints, a type of utilitarian gewgaw that links together other mass-produced parts, to be precise), which came into widespread use in the late 1950s and early 1960s. If the connector joint seems an unlikely muse, it nonetheless offers a succinct exercise in methodological telescoping from micro to macro

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