Marxist historian Eric Hobshawm argued that the technology of cinema had superceded anything traditional art could accomplish. The latest show of multimedia art by Joshua Curry at Kaleid gallery tempts fate by
Marxist historian Eric Hobshawm argued that the technology of cinema had superceded anything traditional art could accomplish. The latest show of multimedia art by Joshua Curry at Kaleid gallery tempts fate by vernacularly re-creating that technology, in a way that is not unlike the methodical, often-photographed, work of Michael Snow. In Curry's hands, the camera, the camera as instrument, becomes a form of communication, an instrument for the transmission of a sense of time. The works in the show are photographs, often taken in the wild, taken by Curry's own camera, a handheld camera with a relatively small aperture. The images are presented as still photographs; the artist often renders them in oil on canvas, and then transfers them to canvas.The photographs show the artists walking in the woods of the Chicago suburb of Gresham, a place whose residents are among the most socially marginalized in the United States, but whose work has been extensively represented by the likes of Barbara Bloom and John Baldessari. These are not portraits of everyday people, but photographs of places that are unfamiliar to the artist, places that are both remote and intimate. The work shows the artists taking a walk through the woods, from one side of the image to the other, and at times, like Baldessaris pictures of city streets, the two images are blurred together. The shots are then cropped so that the subjects look as if they were standing in a forest, and Curry takes care with the edges of the photographs so that the artist's body, and the landscape it casts as a backdrop, appear blurred.The work also features the artists's own body, in this case posed as if in a dance, though not necessarily in the choreography of an art performance. A video projection on a wall shows Curry in the company of an older woman who appears to be in a trance, and the artist herself appears to be in a trance. Her hands and feet are thrust to the side, as if in a trance. In the video, Curry appears to be asleep, but her body and the landscape are in motion.
Marxist historian Eric Hobshawm argued that the technology of cinema had superceded anything traditional art could accomplish. The latest show of multimedia art by Joshua Curry at Kaleid gallery tempts fate by vernacular art. Curry has been making video art since the early 90s, and it was not until 2007 that he had his first solo exhibition. He has since developed a style that combines a blend of folk art and high technology with a knack for creating engaging narratives. The videos on view in his latest show were made in the past two years, and they were produced primarily on video and computer, but they have also been used as stage sets for performances and events. In a few cases, the artist has used the images of the video installations as the basis for his own works. For example, the artist performed a video on the walls of the gallery, creating an environment that resembled a mausoleum, and a group of people gathered to watch the performance. In a similar way, Curry has made a number of videos that use the videos of fellow artists as the basis for his own works. For example, the artist has been performing a video with a group of strangers in the Bronx as the backdrop for the performance of a performance by the band Blur. His own video installation, In the Back of the Car, 2010, features the video of the band with the words of the words being sung by the group on the radio playing in the background. The video was originally shot in a gas station in New York, but the performance was filmed in a parking lot in the Bronx.Curry has also made videos that incorporate the video of his performances, sometimes in the same piece, as in The Other Ones, 2008, a video that combines the sounds of a live performance with the video of a live performance. In this work, a video projection shows Curry as a character in a video who walks through the streets of New York, looking for people, and then, in a final shot, of a video projection showing the artist himself as the character in the video.The exhibition also included a number of videos that Curry has made using other video installations.
Marxist historian Eric Hobshawm argued that the technology of cinema had superceded anything traditional art could accomplish. The latest show of multimedia art by Joshua Curry at Kaleid gallery tempts fate by vernacularly mimicking the technologies of TV, video, and film. The work, which is all about the status of the artist as a commodity, is less a critique of the system than a celebration of the possibility of the commodified self.In the video The Whirling Dervish, 2006, Curry turns the Dervishes into a stationary, nonfunctional, and opaque apparatus. The Dervishes are shown dancing on a platform, but their movements are caught in a loop, their movements made impossible by the loop. This makes them look like the animated video of a Disney character, and it also makes them seem like a kind of toy, a sort of craft object. In the video, however, their movements are linked to a separate, nonlinear narrative, one that is never interrupted by the visual or audio cues of a film or TV show. It is a narrative that is constantly in progress, an ongoing event that is always being played over again. This sense of the double and inevitable repetition of the same event is also present in the video, in the cycle of the Whirling Dervishes, and in the images of the Dervishes themselves.Curry has said that he takes the Dervishes in the form of a fetish. He is interested in the way the body is appropriated as a form of sculpture and as a commodity. He also uses the Dervishes as a metaphor for the body as a commodity, a commodified form of being. In The Whirling Dervishes, 2007, the Dervishes are replaced by an old-fashioned television set, which, in turn, is replaced by a modern-day model of the Whirling Dervishes. In the video, the Dervishes are replaced by a modern-day sculpture, which, in turn, is replaced by a contemporary model of the Whirling Dervishes.
Marxist historian Eric Hobshawm argued that the technology of cinema had superceded anything traditional art could accomplish. The latest show of multimedia art by Joshua Curry at Kaleid gallery tempts fate by vernacularly posing the question of the mediums potential to create a new world. In this case, Curry is one of the few artists who have addressed the question of how to bring the mediums otherness into dialogue with its own history.Curry has focused on the interconnections between art and politics in the past, and the exhibition's title, The World as Cinema, echoes a phrase from a 1957 essay by Jean-Luc Godard: Cinema is not merely a means of communicating, but an end in itself. Curry has written that the medium is political and the political is the medium. In an interview, Curry responds to a question about his work by saying, The very premise of the exhibition is that all art has to be political in some way. . . . [Curry] is very much in tune with the politics of the moment. His art is political, too.A selection of photographs, paintings, sculptures, and collages by Curry, made between 2006 and 2009, were on display. Each photograph is a sequence of a single frame, and each image is composed of a number of tiny squares, one for each person in the photograph. The images are of various people: a smiling man, a man in a suit, a woman in a bikini top, and so on. The show featured a great many faces. In the center of the gallery stood a gigantic bronze face, with a fistful of dicks, a face with an absurdly wide mouth, and a nose. The bronze was set on a pedestal. On a desk next to it was a red velvet curtain, which opened onto a second face. The curtain hung on the wall, and on the desk, along with the curtain, was a large painting of a man with his hands in the air, a painting that evoked a scene from the film The Exorcist.
urning into the opposite category: the art of the artist as mere instrument. Curry has never been quite as daring as he once was; his works are sometimes too clever and too sly. But he is still able to make you laugh, and youll be happy to see him again.Curry is a video artist who knows the difference between illusion and reality, and he knows the difference between the real and the artificial. He knows that the real is always a lie, but he cant be too precise. He also knows that the artificial is always a lie, but he cant be too precise. Curry shows us the limits of the lies he tells, and he has the nerve to call attention to them. His work has always been ambitious and deeply ironic, but it is not cynical. He knows that the lie of art lies in the capacity to tell the truth, but he doesnt take the risk of being too strict. He has been the first to call attention to the problems of the lie of art. He knows that art, like a lie, can be a tool of power and that it can be used to control people and to exploit them. He knows that the lies it tells are a lie, but he doesnt care. He knows that when art is used as a tool of power it can be used to control the public, and that it can be used to exploit people. He knows that art is a lie, but he doesnt give a damn.