reviews

  • View of “Electronic Superhighway (2016–1966),” 2016. Photo: Stephen White.

    “Electronic Superhighway (2016–1966)”

    Whitechapel Gallery

    THE SUBTITLE of “Electronic Superhighway (2016–1966)” puts forth an intriguing premise, suggesting a reverse-chronological survey that might retrace the past from the perspective of our current moment, providing the present with historically secured consistency even as it empowers the past with contemporary relevance. And such an inverse approach certainly seems appropriate to the exhibition’s avowed mission of exploring the virtualization of the real catalyzed by networked technologies over the past half century. In following this narrative of disembodiment, however, the show has succeeded

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  • Steven Claydon, Bifurcated Development, 2016, powdercoated steel, flatbed print on plywood, resin, steel, gold-plated copper, Roman-bronze amulet, nylon sling, 76 3/4 × 99 1/2 × 44 1/8".

    Steven Claydon

    Sadie Coles HQ | Balfour Mews

    James George Frazer opened his anthropological study The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion (1890) with a description of J. M. W. Turner’s 1834 painting of the same title. “Suffused with the golden glow of imagination,” Frazer wrote, the painting of the Italian woodland around Lake Nemi depicts the site of a “strange and recurring tragedy.” In antiquity, one might find a priest guarding the sacred tree, waiting to be killed for his priesthood in the same way that he killed his predecessor. Steven Claydon called his recent exhibition “The Gilded Bough,” and his slight modulation of

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  • View of “Maria Taniguchi,” 2016. All works Untitled, 2016.

    Maria Taniguchi

    Ibid Gallery | London

    Known for a diverse practice that includes video, sculpture, and printmaking, since 2008 Maria Taniguchi has also been making black paintings that schematically depict a wall of tiny black bricks. Her recent London show included eight such works, all in vertical formats, with two sizes on view (ninety by forty-five inches and nine by four feet); in the past, she has exhibited much bigger ones—a piece shown in Basel in 2013 was nearly fifteen feet long. Here, as is often the case, the paintings were installed leaning against the wall à la John McCracken. They were also positioned spaciously

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  • View of “DIS,” 2016. From left: Becoming Genre, 2016; Serenity Now, 2016; Apology, 2016. Photo: Michael Heilgemeir.

    DIS

    Project Native Informant

    Remember those Benetton ads from the 1980s and ’90s? Their contrived rainbow of human skin tones and Pantone-color-chart clothes and their public support of victims of the AIDS crisis were considered representationally radical by the mainstream press at the time. Central to “Image Life,” the first London solo exhibition by the DIS collective, was the video installation Image Life (Related by Contour) (all works 2016): It depicts a similar hybrid of performed racial inclusivity and inclusive chromatics but aspires to stock-photography genericism. The work comprises a flatscreen inside a bespoke

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