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Josh Mannis, Zeal for the Law, 2012, still from a color HD video, 7 minutes 56 seconds.

Josh Mannis

Anthony Greaney

Josh Mannis, Zeal for the Law, 2012, still from a color HD video, 7 minutes 56 seconds.

The rather beguiling title of Josh Mannis’s exhibition “Zeal for the Law” interconnects what might otherwise seem to be a rather disparate body of work. Such an emphatic allusion to authority also invites appraisal of the artist’s drawing, collage, and video work as successful citations of art-historical styles and provocative explorations of genre. His compilation of procedures, which hits all the right contemporary signifiers, emits a distinct whiff of le bon ton; yet, with equal aplomb, Mannis transgresses these very same aesthetic regulations.

For example, The Law, 2011, is a hanging tartan textile adorned with two safety pins, each fastening a gold-plated brass nipple from which an ample golden chain dangles to the floor. As this work cleverly explores the hybrid possibilities of painting, it is difficult to fathom whether Mannis is also evoking the symbol of Scottish nationalism,

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