new-york

Erik van Lieshout

Maccarone | 630 Greenwich Street

The camcorder-video installations for which Dutch artist Erik van Lieshout is best known transgress boundaries to push upon our society’s unspoken weak points. He is a crooked man in a crooked world, and his rebellion against decorum—whether he’s cajoling his gay brother into cruising Rotterdam’s immigrants, or teaching a Chinese woman how to pronounce the word feminism—has long functioned as a thorn in the side of social and political complacency. His utter disregard for courtesy, decorum, and deference often seems calculated to make us uncomfortable: While our curiosity compels us, for example, to look through a Duchampian hole in a door in Peep Show, 2007, do we laugh when we see the irreverent music video that plays on the other side, showing people bobbing their heads to a hip-hop tune as they pray at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall?

Van Lieshout’s work is premised on our being voyeuristic

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