Posts Tagged ‘Lisa Kirk’

Stripped Bare

Friday, September 12th, 2014

“It’s not another tree, is it?” That was a friend’s response to my excitement over Roxy Paine’s new solo show, Denuded Lens, his first project with Marianne Boesky Gallery.  It looks like a major departure from those signature, arboreal Dendroids, which populated Madison Square Park in 2007.


Roxy Paine, “Checkpoint,” 2014 at Marianne Boesky Gallery

Denuded Lens features four sculptures that look like wooden amalgamations of various machines used in agriculture, manufacturing, and medicine. They all lead up to Checkpoint, a wood, life-sized diorama cast in anamorphic perspective. Checkpoint is a chromatically-restricted and barren TSA checkpoint high on detailing and low on details: an accurate and dutiful representation of a real checkpoint that allows only scarce traces of human traffic.


Roxy Paine, “Checkpoint,” 2014 (detail) at Marianne Boesky Gallery

Checkpoint recasts those Homeland Security machines, routines, and institutions that confront us so intimately, but in a formal and generic manner. That is, we surrender our privacy (and disbelief) to programs and probings that ostensibly do not discriminate between individuals, who occasionally are randomly selected for further screening. In the eyes of TSA scanners and staffers, there is no “my” in “Don’t touch my junk” – supposedly.


Like a Chocolate Grinder? Roxy Paine, “Machine of Indeterminacy,” 2014 [detail]

Checkpoint gives viewers the time and space to gaze at these neutered security apparatuses, which look like museum relics of our post-9/11 crackdown mentality.  This might feel empowering to some viewers, who will sense the polychromatic pulse of autonomy as they freely snap photos and then walk away.


Roxy Paine, “Scrutiny,” 2014

But we can’t get too excited about our empowered gaze. The anamorphic perspective is unsettling and disorienting; we are fooled into sensing a depth of eighty feet where there actually is a depth of only eighteen feet. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who swore that a pane of glass separated me from the diorama! svablogroxypaine2 Denuded Lens is riveting, but it isn’t unique.  Recently, other artists have overlapped into similar material and thematic territory, even if their intentions were different. For example, In 2012, Tom Friedman exhibited Untitled (video camera), a life-size video camera hand-crafted from wood and paint. In 2011, Lisa Kirk exhibited Untitled (Camera), fabricated through 3D printing. As for the distorted perspective, look at Richard Dupont or many of Robert Lazzarini’s sculptures, especially his iconic Payphone, 2000.


Camera sculptures by Lisa Kirk (l) and Tom Friedman (r)

Richard Dupont sculptures [Image: Gail Shields-Miller]

There’s also that haunting feeling you get from a Thomas Demand environment, partly driven by the uncanny evacuation of a purposeful space.

Signed, Sealed…

Thursday, July 9th, 2009


For her Performa 2009 project, SVA alumna Lisa Kirk led bands of smiling demonstrators throughout the LES, all bearing homemade picket signs crafted from Lisa’s instructions.  That is, some assembly required – pun intended.

We've All Been There
We've All Been There

About 30 men, women, and children congregated for the perambulatory culmination in Seward Park.

For “Demonstration,” participants responding to an open call were invited to complete the statement “I AM…” and send their ideas to Invisible-Exports.  All are absurd, most are a hoot, some are reassuring, a few are eww-creepy, and the rest are so meta.

Though Lisa was the creative impetus of the project, the “protestors” deserve applause for inventing, printing, and crafting the signs all by themselves.

Rebel Leader Lisa Addresses the Crowd
Rebel Leader Lisa Addresses the Crowd

It was a hit!  The game of comparing signs – “you show me yours and I’ll show you mine” – provided inexhaustible comedy.

Signified, justified, hellafied

Double the fun when signifier and signified flip out in the recontextualizing oils of a child’s hand!

The Darndest Things
The Darndest Things

Double, double your fun when when Chinese children playing in the park seized the signs.  Diplomatic efforts from both sides ensured a happy alliance.

She's Crafty
She's Crafty

The unwitting audiences were surprised, amused, and stumped; and their responses were immediate, candid, and no less a personal declaration of identity and autonomy.

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