new-york

View of “Jack Smith,” 2018. From left: I Danced with a Penguin, 1983; Yolanda la Penguina, date unknown. Photo: Daniel Pérez.

Jack Smith

Artists Space

In Artists Space’s final exhibition at 55 Walker Street, a hulking television monitor screened mottled, mid-1970s footage of Jack Smith standing outside the Cologne Zoological Garden, resplendent in a feathered turban. “The Museum is filled with a lot of stuff chosen from artists who represent the artist as the playmate of the rich,” he intones. “These artists suck art out of everyday life and transfer it to paintings and other kinds of crusts and sell it to galleries—who in turn sell it to museums and the rich so that the art eventually ends up in penthouses and storage warehouses of museums.” A quivering energy infuses his voice with helium hilarity—maybe even a hint of violence—until it reaches a fervor that, in our Twitter-tantrum era, calls for all caps: “Make that goddamn place open till MIDNIGHT—OR PUT something interesting in it and keep it open till FIVE IN

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