15 April 2006

The Bigness Of It All


Ben Davis' generous ass-esment of Barney's latest effort has me thinking about something other than Kara Walker. Gawd, Walker to Barney...

Not sure where I am going with this--let's call it a trailer for future posts. I haven't had the time to see DR9 yet, and plans to surf the freakshow at Gladstone's Barney opening got covered in a thick blanket of deadlines and tired. But I can be honest with you, can't I? I completely identify with Barney's utter self-importance. And that very acknowledgment makes me want to barf.

One of the foundational concepts of this blog and Greenpoint Sculpture is that sculpture is a specific practice that separates itself from other stuff-in-a-gallery practices in the same way that painting and photography manage to stay separate somehow, even though they are both images on a wall.

And MB is so aware of himself, his body, his gravity... that he is definitely a sculptor extraordinaire. We must examine him thoroughly!

Why are sculptors such ponderous assholes? Why am I such a ponderous asshole? Davis makes the buzzer go ding! when he points out what Kierkegaard thought of Hegel. The way all this works is a joke, and sculpture has the most serious pitfall of all--earnestness. And that problem of earnestness must be understood and harnessed. Barney's fatal flaw and greatest strength is that he indulges ths earnestness so reflexively. This is why Davis can choose to give Barney a free pass and let his review consist entirely of the mental gymnastics he had to do to get the crushing weight of Barney's earnestness off his neck. It's a great review. It's really quite illuminating.

There are technical reasons for all this weight that Davis spins into unbearable lightness, and it has everything to do with the process of actually making something that will work in space. And, of course, I would rather not remain on the surface of that process with Davis.

So homework for me: this week I will get really, really stoned and go see DR9. Scratch that, I will surely fall asleep. I will drink a big cup of coffee while watching DR9. And I will go check out the sculptchah. And since we are gnawing at a theme here, I'll throw in Blessed are the Merciful.

Blessed Are The Merciful? What the fuck kind of show title is that?

Good times ahead. Good times.

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