reviews

  • View of “Michal Rovner,” 2011. From left: Makom IV, 2011; Makom II, 2011.

    Michal Rovner

    Musée du Louvre

    In a corner of the Cour Napoléon, the Louvre’s central courtyard, Michal Rovner and a team of Israeli and Palestinian masons added two temporary monuments to the celebrated axe historique of Paris. Makom II and Makom IV, both 2011—the word means place in Hebrew—were aptly framed by the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, a Neoclassical homage to Napoleon’s military conquests, and I. M. Pei’s Pyramid, a spectacular punctuation mark to postmodernism. In activating these composite spaces and layers of signification, Rovner delved into the conundrum of how to find common ground between Israelis

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  • Douglas Gordon, Phantom, 2011, stage, screen, burnt piano, black piano, monitor, HD video. Installation view.

    Douglas Gordon

    Yvon Lambert Bookshop

    Three different interventions made up this Scottish artist’s recent exhibition: some neon writing, a photographic installation, and a video installation. The neon piece, Unfinished, 2011, installed in the gallery entrance, carried the words JE SUIS LE NOMBRIL DU MONDE (I am the navel of the world). The neon was fractured right in the center, and fragments were visible on the floor. While it was turned on, the words were difficult to read, and thus it became a metaphor for an active subjectivity that is nevertheless conscious of its own limitations.

    The other two works were perhaps exemplifications

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  • Denis Savary, Ostende, d’après James Ensor (Ostend, After James Ensor), 2011, elastomer mask, couch, overall 71 7/8 x 26 x 29 1/2".

    Denis Savary

    Galerie Xippas | Paris

    Featuring works in video, installation, and sculpture created between 2006 and 2011, this show emphasized contemplative aspects of Denis Savary’s art, rather than the straight-facedly humorous, cool side for which he is also known. Perhaps more important, it reaffirmed the Paris- and Lausanne, Switzerland–based artist’s interest in exploring simple pleasures in his own “backyard,” in the bucolic yet cultured French and Swiss farming country, evocative of the region around Lake Geneva where he is from. For Savary, it is an emotional and, to a certain degree, physical “stillness” in such places

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