Vienna

Nina Canell, Brief Syllable (Truncated), 2017, subterranean cable fragment, 9 × 25 5⁄8 × 9". From “Transmissions.”

Nina Canell, Brief Syllable (Truncated), 2017, subterranean cable fragment, 9 × 25 5⁄8 × 9". From “Transmissions.”

“Transmissions”

Vin Vin

Alex Bacon’s curatorial premise for this concise and elegantly installed group show, part of the annual “curated by” initiative bringing international curators to Vienna galleries, was to examine how artists address “rates of transmission—of energy, information, goods, bodies,” and the like. Questions of circulation, dissemination, and exchange have a significant Conceptualist lineage (think of Hans Haacke or Allan Sekula), but Bacon’s engagement with these highly relevant issues of contemporary life displayed a rare sharpness. Perhaps counterintuitively, however, the exhibition’s strength derived from the physical reality that underpins the abstract and invisible process of such transmissions. Materiality was the show’s bass note, so to speak. The dumb thingness of the works on view was what made this exhibition a spatial situation worth spending time in, lending substance to its intellectual

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