new-york

View of “Jon Rafman,” 2013.

Jon Rafman

Feuer/Messler

View of “Jon Rafman,” 2013.

Someone should have told Jon Rafman to restrain himself. His inaugural exhibition at Zach Feuer was packed, and unevenly so: Upon entering, you encountered racks of plastic video-game cases with labels showing Thomas Cole’s early-nineteenth-century Course of Empire landscapes; a granite floor plaque engraved with the names and closing dates of defunct New York State malls; stacks of a newsprint giveaway featuring an essay, oral histories, and a back-page comic strip; two Alienware laptops, one wrapped in fake reptilian skin, the other in fleshy epoxy; three featureless and fluidly warped urethane busts; an environment resembling a suburban den dusted with volcanic ash; displays of masks and weaponry alternately inspired by African tribal sculpture and sci-fi film props; and, interspersed throughout, several videos on flat-screen monitors. Individually, the works all pointed to

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