23 September 2007

Michael Cline v. Jules de Balincourt

Michael Cline, I Will Tell You Off, 2007

Jules de Balincourt, Think Globally, Act Locally, 2007

Strategically very similar. But the Cline show seems very full and the de Balincourt show seems very empty, and safe in its emptiness. The Cline images are quite wrong, and I like them that way. They're unabashedly romantic instead of ironically kitschy, closeup and human instead of landscapey and far away. De Balincourt is showing us an empty apocalypse, which does make sense if you are reading the news, but Cline refuses to take such an easy point of view. Cline's meaty brown police state scenes are anti-apocalyptic. They seem to be about the day after the so-called apocalypse, when we all have to get up and figure out what to do next, still full of our filth, history and humanity. Because they don't stop at horror, they are full of empathy and strangeness, and best of all, they make no fucking sense whatsoever.

Except they do. They make their own sense. More art should refuse to resolve itself like this, and more art should be this difficult to pull off. Any one of these paintings could collapse under the weight of its own romanticism, become sweet, get too many or too few chronological references and start reading as a particular time or place, or get all Walker Evans-ey and full of pity for them.

Instead, I left feeling actual, loamy sorrow for us and our time. We should not be afraid to embrace this richness.


Blogger Barry Hoggard said...

Great thoughts on those two exhibitions, Deborah. We saw the Cline show yesterday, and kept signing after you in gallery books all afternoon!

23 September, 2007 19:02  
Blogger fisher6000 said...

Barry, quit following me, I am increasingly paranoid!

23 September, 2007 19:14  
Blogger fisher6000 said...

Oh, and don't take pictures of me!

Or anyone else! Or of anything!!!!!

23 September, 2007 21:37  

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