new-york

Christian Jankowski, The Eye of Dubai (detail), 2012, video, black-and-white, sound, 47 minutes 20 seconds; ink-jet print, 48 1/2 x 48 1/2"

Christian Jankowski

Petzel Gallery | West 18th Street

Christian Jankowski, The Eye of Dubai (detail), 2012, video, black-and-white, sound, 47 minutes 20 seconds; ink-jet print, 48 1/2 x 48 1/2"

As a metaphor for art criticism, “message in a bottle” is, at best, rather anomic. Is that what we as writers do: just chuck it out there and pray some random reader halfway around the world stumbles on the entreaty of our otherwise lonely prose? Review, 2012, part of Christian Jankowski’s exhibition “Discourse News,” consists of approximately one hundred bottles sealed with red wax, which contain handwritten art reviews the artist solicited from critics and were here organized in clusters throughout the gallery space. Not only are the enclosed texts proleptic—Jankowski asked the writers to appraise a work that hadn’t been made yet—and therefore not reviews, but the fraught image of the many mute messages in their bottles imparts an unmistakable whiff of futility to the notion that critics’ discursive efforts have any audience at all.

Jankowski often initiates

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the October 2012 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.