Stewart Uoo, Out Here, 2014, C-print, 26 x 40".

Stewart Uoo

Galerie Buchholz | Berlin

Stewart Uoo, Out Here, 2014, C-print, 26 x 40".

In Joan Didion’s famous description of New York’s “insistent sentimentalization of experience,” she claimed it involved a century-old “distortion and flattening of character and the reduction of events to narrative.” Today, however, her observation calls for different terms. The distortion of character may be ubiquitous, but flattening is too simple a word to describe what links self to surface; and rather than being reduced, events are exaggerated through narrative. New York’s “downtown scene,” for example, thrives on its relationship with its own romanticized past, which is not to deny the thrill or the legitimacy of its current incarnation as a celebration of new intersections of ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and charisma. But the temporal lag between a counterculture and its co-optation seems ever smaller, and once the party’s over, the two may seem almost indistinguishable.

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