In a 1982 essay on the work of Dan Graham, Jeff Wall offered a resoundingly downbeat assessment of the shifting relationship between artists and the city. For recent artists, he argued, the metropolis was no longer a source of inspiration or aesthetic advancementinstead, “the key revelation of the city was in the shock of an absolute loss of hope.” Tellingly, these words were written at the start of the Reagan era, when the old urban order was collapsing, and blighted, postindustrial cities were being remade into commercial centers, shiny simulacra of urban experience. This same transformation is visible throughout “At this stage,” a group exhibition organized by Olivia Barrett at Château Shatto, which featured a range of mostly contemporary works juxtaposed with a few choice examples from the 1970s and ’80s. Chris Kraus and Sylvère Lotringer’s half-hour video How to Shoot
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