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There is a tendency in some new contemporary art that the work must do something, and if so then the tendency here is to eschew that. In doing so, the work asks the viewer to look in that way too, to eschew the point in viewing and to let that be enough to enjoy the works on display. Drawing is a traditional form of art making. If art has been defined as a tendency to eschew its own purpose in order to become whole within itself (the field worker’s shoes), then must that tendency to eschew also be eschewed? Thus, the return to drawing. But through this process of losing and then finding itself again, the medium has taken on the patina of time (the shoe again), damaged and waterlogged— is this enough, though? To take what was sacred and debase it to the point of re-igniting its transcendental quality? And dare we learn something along the way? Benjamin answers with yet another refusal, the refusal to answer or even acknowledge the question, sidestepping the mistake of countless well-intentioned artists before him. The drawings balance on a tight rope, pulled at a distance between the points of “being” and “self.” Ben Scott doesn’t give a fuck. Ben Scott just wants to have a good time. Ben Scott thinks his art is trash and maybe all of it is, his art and everyone else’s. Good art is detritus, bad art is trash. All art is detritus trash, and that’s reassuring. Ben Rocks.
"Ne Krokodilu!” goes the Esperanto idiom; literally: “don’t crocodile!” It means not to speak one’s native tongue when one should be speaking Esperanto, or, more simply translated: “Speak Esperanto!” There are many explanations for the origin of this phrase— some say it stems from the idea of “crocodile tears,” that is, a false sympathy, others claim it came from the educational puppet shows put on by early teachers of Esperanto, during which the character who spoke only in its native language would be portrayed by a crocodile puppet, or from Esperanto classes in which participants were only allowed to speak their native languages when holding wooden crocodile toys, still others say it refers to the use of non-Esperanto languages in Esperanto-speaking circles as being unfeeling or socially uncouth, like the behavior of a cold-blooded reptile. No one can pinpoint exactly when it became undesirable, in Esperanto, to be a crocodile. Regardless, it has become a social custom.
The joke, of course (or the tragedy, depending on your feelings towards Esperanto), is that there are precious few times when it would be more appropriate to speak Esperanto than nearly any other language. Esperanto is the world’s most widely spoken “constructed language,” that is, a language that, rather than emerging organically over time, was invented by one man (an L.L Zamenhof, or “Dr. Esperanto” to his followers), with a specific goal in mind: to create a universal, perfect language. Despite this, it is today a language actually spoken by very few: the most generous of estimates place the number of Esperanto speakers at less than two million. Still, those who do speak Esperanto do so passionately. They comprise a small, self-selecting group of like-minded individuals. When you speak Esperanto, you know that anyone who can speak back shares a certain set of ideals. People who would believe their passion transcends borders, languages, ideological differences, despite all evidence to the contrary. And yet, if the idiom of the crocodile is any indication, even within the most insular of groups there is always some latitude for interpretation.
In painting, no one is the “crocodile”; no one is really speaking the wrong language. It is ambitious to paint with the intention that everyone will understand just what it is you are painting, just as it is ambitious, even naive, to believe in a world united by a common tongue. The paintings in this exhibition were not selected because of their shared thematic content, nor were they chosen because they might speak the same visual language. Each work is able to converse not due to their formal similarity, but merely because of the ambition of the artists, who believe, much like Esperantists, in an ongoing, sometimes lateral, progression of a timeless system. Marc Matchak paints the protagonists of a Young Adult novel series, annonymizing these characters with a shifting sense of style, texture and pattern. The gray bed cover that comprises two-thirds of the frame further complicates our attempts to situate the figures between memory and their original context. Emma Battlebury’s despondent fairy is a fantastical creature with an impressively modern sense of angst. Wings drooping, head bowed, the fairy takes a phone call with a sense of gravity antithetical to her whimsical nature. Timelessness is also abundant in Georgia Gray Gardner’s vividly rendered oil paintings. A woman with eyes closed as if in veneration is haloed like saints in medieval paintings; on her neck, she wears a 90’s-style tattoo choker. Chemtrails and scarlett clouds of smoke in the background mark something foreboding in this collision of the contemporary with the divine.
To many, the ideals of Esperanto and its speakers are cause for scorn. And yes, there is a danger to looking in either direction, past or future, through rose-colored glasses. Universality has fallen out of vogue. It might even be viewed as insidious. At best, it’s a dream from the past, not a way of looking towards the future. Today, we try our best to love each other’s differences, to let what separates us become what unites us. But isn’t that a form of universalism, too?
When we talk about art with one another, even our disagreements are predicated on a certain mutual understanding, that we care enough in the first place to parse out the details of why this image makes us feel or think one thing or another. And so in a way, when we look at images, which do not speak any one language and are, in at least this sense, universal, we are all speaking Esperanto, which is to say: we are doing something absurd, together, which we all feel is therefore very worth doing.
— Violet Saxon
Triest Gallery has proudly announced that it is launching an inspiring new art show called
AMOUR at Triest. AMOUR at Triest will be featuring the work of seasoned American artists,
Thomas Blair and Jake Shore. Triest Gallery is based in Brooklyn and is one of the most
prestigious art galleries in the City of New York. The art show is open by appointment and those
interested in attending are welcome to make an appointment by calling Triest Gallery.
“I am very grateful for the overwhelming response and appreciation of everyone who has
attended AMOUR at Triest so far,” said Jake Shore, while sharing his thoughts on the art show.
“Every artist uses art as a mode of self-expression, and it is a moment of great encouragement for
the artist when people can understand and admire the work,” he added. According to the artist,
he has used simple yet deep techniques in his artwork in order to connect to the people through
Thomas Blair’s work is also on display at the exhibition alongside the work of Jake Shore. Both
artists have shared artwork that is interesting and captivating for the people of all age groups.
From cartoon style paintings for children to deep abstract art, the drawings and paintings put on
display at the art show are truly remarkable. Visitors are taking keen interest in the work of both
artists and the overall response of the art show has been phenomenal.
THE ART SHOW IS OPEN BY APPOINTMENT & THE ART WORK OF JAKE SHORE &
THOMAS BLAIR IS ON DISPLAY FOR THE ART LOVERS.
The hybrid (of nature-culture) was advocated by Bruno Latour in We Have Never Been Modern, claiming that such a dualism never existed and that people and social agents should not study specialized totems of nature or culture respectively, but rather everything (politics, science, opinion, discourse, art, popular discourse and specialist discourse) has been mixed together. It is no longer tenable to accept the modern, post-modern or anti-modern positions. This exhibition is a melange/bricolage of varying discourses/artifacts that attempts to pluralize meaning and break any distinction between high and low, commodity and pure art, comic and tragic, nature and culture, dispersion/distribution and central authority, central banking and crypto, content and form, style and originality, codified systems and subjective singularity.
The term poi dog is Pidgin-English colloquial for a specific mutt that would be fed taro until it was fat enough to be eaten. Poi dog is also a term for a mixed breed dog, or a mixed race human.
January 30 - February 19, 2021
“Just like the desert that is one and the same and precisely because of its homogeneity we don’t have access to its landscape, the monism of nature does not allow us to know nature without organizing an epistemic breakage. Ontologically, nature does not distinguish itself from itself. Monism is in this sense an ontological reality that demands a necessary epistemic strategy: Exactly because of this excess of informational homogeneity—a desert that is one and the same everywhere—we can’t immediately approach nature or navigate it. The nature-culture division is an epistemic division, not an ontological one. From the possibility of epistemic traction, this division is necessary and far from rigid. It provokes approaches to nature hitherto unimagined. To claim that everything is nature is at best an indulgence in the vulgarity of the obvious and at worst, a complete blindness to the epistemic conditions through which we are able to progressively make sense of nature.” (Reza Negarestani)
The de-ontologized metaphysics of transmodernity (see my prolegomenon) requires a mode of navigation which does not posit any apophantic (I’m smarter than you/I used to listen to that band) amphibology between being and Being. Rocco Gangle has compared it to Jean-Luc Marion’s God without Being. The ontological pariah is he who authorizes himself in the theological-political authority that the King once did as both celestial and corporeal Godhead -- the community of believers and the body of the King. Such a pariah exhibits a systematic exclusivity of a modernist ideal (good taste, high brow, rights to being flippant, being passively authoritarian about culture, I heard that band first, mysticism) which undermines not only the subaltern and the Other, but is according to Negarestani, an “indulgence in the vulgarity of the obvious” at best or a “complete blindness to epistemic conditions” at worst since the ontological becomes not political, but rather nature and culture become the ontological; nature is presupposed by the cultural, cultural superiority becomes a divine birthright of coronation: nature is approached as a world full of meanings and stories.
My prolegomenon hopefully begins a project divorced from the question of the ontological and diving straight into epistemology. Epistemology may be our only hope. 2 Person Show navigates a multiplicity of different mediums and conceptual premises. We are at least 5 generations after the conceptual legacies, with Conceptual Art, Postmodern Art, Neo-Conceptual art, and then 'Painting Beside Itself'. All of this is passé but we still can gain traction with the tools and vocabularies they provided since it's history. This show hopefully presents a possibility for the Buchlohian tautological experience of the conceptual idea or its reinvigoration in the 90s (Christian Philipp Mueller, Andrea Fraser, Peter Fend, Mark Dion, Nils Norman)...BUT...now with the hindsight of the reactive responses of a tradition of materialist artists today basically following a parallel trajectory beginning with Martin Barré before Conceptual Art and culminating in a re-materialization of the art object after a big Turn in Conceptual Art with Broodthaers (Michael Krebber, Michael E Smith, Stephan Dillemuth, Emanuel Rossetti, David Flaugher, Heike-Karin Foell and even Christopher Williams arguably).
“Trying to understand nature without an epistemic division, solely through the ontological monism, is an appeal to mysticism. It results either in an ineffable conception of nature or an image of nature as a reservoir of meanings and stories about itself. Once we insist that the world is a repository of meanings, that it has stories to tell the subject without any demand for the subject to create a necessary epistemic condition, then we have already committed to conserve a stable relation between the knowing subject and the world. The world is always facing the subject as if it wants to tell a story, there is no need for the subject to destabilize its given status, to epistemically uproot itself so as to procedurally navigate the landscape. The subject of the world as a ready-made object of experience and a reservoir of meanings is quite stubbornly an anthropocentric and conservative form of subject even though it claims to be completely the opposite.” (Reza Negarestani)
Good taste is only invoked as an artifact of its distanciated self within the frame of mechanized picture with a distanciated border (taking after Christopher Williams; in this show, see the Etsy band t-shirts in white matted photo frames) or within the frame of a post-conceptual painting which suspends the impotency of the formalist truism through its distanciation of such rigidity, sterility and pristine (yet impotent) precision (taking after Heike Karin-Foell; in this show, see the paintings with collages of Fontana & Vienna around 1900 with Sharpie formalist marks). If we are stuck in a contemporary realm of “the move”, the key may be to not only destabilize codification and trends, but also bear in mind the legacies which could be metaphysically deflated from the original context of their modernist/avant-garde/neo-avantgarde program/utopia. The blatant commercialization and industry behind the art world, where "artists are no different these days from doctors or lawyers" (as Antek Walczak said), is anthropomorphized here in a series of personal photographs, but only as a means to de-ontologize any personal politics of theological-politcal authority, as to expose oneself within the constraints of an elliptical autobiography (after Danh Vo). For the collaborative painting, I picked the fabric (thinking of Krebber or von Bonin) and Adam painted on it (thinking of the Viennese Aktionists). Then Adam made drawings which resemble fragments of drawings, which have denied a certain self-sufficiency of pictorial representation. Maybe if we remember the stories which the world is telling us, we can uproot ourselves and destabilize those meanings and stories and actually navigate epistemologically. Being hyper-aware of yourself, how you treat others, your intentions, your influences, your precedents, society, industry, and your psychology, but also science, the news, music, art, applied mathematics, cybernetics and varying epistemes without indulging in belief of some ostensibly objective Truth determining your subjecthood (i.e. being completely aloof--an asshole with a superiority complex really into 'Werner Schwab the Good'--or completely blind--a mystic, sell-out, or 'Lulu Lemon normie'). Maybe the 'axiomatic method' is our way out of shitty metaphysics.
Jamie Lynn Klein January 6 - 29, 2021
One Moment Please
November 3 - 24, 2020
In a direct refutation of the bourgeois individualist liberties of solipsistic development of individuated criteria for aesthetic judgement, “One Moment Please” problematizes the notions of craft and “goodness” through a reflexive awareness of the conceptual legacies of Lucy Lippard (et al) and through the transmutation of such dematerialized performances of didactic language games ultimately arrive at the possibility of broad strokes of contemporaneity which de-ontologize today’s naturalized post-cybernetic production of affect, hyper-circulation of codes, hybridized assemblages of market economy/democracy. The ossification of this nebulous condition demarcates the limits of receptivity and production, in a time when snobs of the neo-avant-garde have been outmoded by their mere recourse to apophantic meanings of ontologized faktums of an axiological registrar. For example, through the individualized aestheticism of “good art” in hipster coffeeshop bohemias. The refraction of this (global) condition onto itself creates an aesthetic registrar which is valuated not according to the hermeneutic circle of craft or originary onto-theological meaning (Heidegger), but rather a pragmatic rule-based emergentism, where “goodness” or any authoritative invocations of “mystical access” is completely beside the point. This reduction of affect to a post-emotive relation between “knower” and “knowed” problematizes the interiority of the classic subject of say St. Augustine and deracinates the epistemological framework for the assessment of supposed autonomous art. This movement away from technological enframement (Heidegger) toward the inhumanism of “eliminative materialism” (Churchland), whereby the autopoetic dimension of art is its expression manifestly as/qua the underlying processes of “societies of control” (Deleuze). The desublimation of figuration, representation and craft (in the metaphysical sense of pictorial truth) is quietly ontologized by the material as its negatively defined enframement of aesthetic categories (see the mechanical reproduction of David Ostrowski’s painting, through the negative device of mesh banner) to achieve the recursive constitution of the “body/mind” (or even “soul”), but only as a de-ontologized appropriation of neo-Platonic categories of consciousness (the “body/container”, e.g. of canvas, of diptych/mesh banner, of mandala). But clearly, to the contemporary citizen, said hermetic poetry of pre-modern categories via modernist allegories is merely an unscientific parable a la Borges. “One Moment Please” should instead be analyzed as a topological heuristic to manifestly express the local-global continuum by which access to a local singularity (Karin Sander’s canvas, for example) can create a global phase shift (the networks, geography and logistical systems which are invoked through the shipment of the package-cum-painting). After the advancements of catastrophe theory in the 70s and more importantly, its twin sister chaos theory, the contemporary neuroscientific view was to view the subject as a sequence of “phase shifts”. This notion originated in topology with manifolds with regional discontinuities (catastrophe theory). The initial conditions of such a differential field/system has huge ramifications for the convergence or divergence of the attractor of a system. In the Luhmannian sense of a systems theory (of culture), which is reflexively recursive, the system achieves patterns through autopoiesis itself. For example, the synchronicities of street light systems within a city or non-Gaussian outliers such as black swans in the stock market. The initial conditions (time=0) of said original categories serve as a window into the fractal geometry of a simple Euclidean construct becoming complex-valued, such as a mere triangle (a pre-modern symbol) becoming reiterated onto itself into a Sierpinski triangle (the global epistemological landscape). Following Reza Negarestani, such conditions should not be confused with mere “ontological monism”, but rather the “nature-culture” dyad is an epistemic distinction.
Nina Cristante NUM October 10 - 27, 2020
Whichever payment that has been verbally agreed should be confirmed in written form in the contract to avoid any misunderstandings. I feel I have been a fair, respectful and on point lodger so it is not in my nature to lie. I will be happy to pay the bill if featuring somewhere in the contract that was emailed or handed to me when moving in as I cannot simply pay because I trust we spoken about it once six months ago.
“I’m a practician. I’m in the kitchen and have to cook. That’s my relation to it.”
-Michael Krebber, “Painting Forever”
(Interview with Isabelle Graw for Kaleidoscope Magazine)
A text has no interior. This wasn’t always the case: before the age of industry and capital was the age of hermetics; an object had meaning because it had authenticity, and it had authenticity because it had scarcity. All reproduction was an act of craftsmanship and sacrifice, a life for a life.
The artist in a world of stocks and flows of capital and data no longer wields the power to create irreplaceable progeny. A given artifact is but a husk adrift in an interminable sea of diagrams, viscous oceans of arrows connecting endless productions and reproductions alike, each object distinguishable to denizens of the network only to the extent that they inhabit different roles. Today’s artist, no less an inhabitant, is always submerged in the medium, their signature found only within the inimitable waves they make with each connection they draw.
As a persona, the artist remains the same: they still rise, shine, shit, eat, fuck; because they must. Once possessed by gods and made the servomechanism of a cruel telos, the contemporary artisan is every bit as hands-on in their compulsive grasping at endlessly multiplying avenues of inference running between paintings, sculptures, galleries, exhibitions, reviews, calendar dates, websites, bits, bytes, cables, wire transfers, hedge funds, governments, arms deals, wars, green zones, and every other conceivable type of occupation. Their medium on the other hand has nonetheless changed: once tasked with excavating mimesis from a platonic solid, they now traverse surfaces in order to carve out new concavities amidst their collective topology.
To the untrained eye, such behavior looks like little more than a self-indulgent love affair with artifice, ornament, obfuscation, irony, and kitsch, when the truth is that this prolonged neoteny exists on account of an intransigent devotion to their craft that takes their medium too seriously to allow themselves to be ossified by fairy-tales and platitudes about content and identity. They are dandies, flaneurs, idiots who give their full involvement to the idiosyncrasies of each brushstroke and their full attention to the distinct context of each viewing as a way of relentlessly hacking new escape routes from a constant encroachment of cybernetic reification. These distanciated inductions of haecceity are by no means haphazard but rather actions carried out through a matrix of scrupulously considered decisions that directly refutes the impotence of figurative painting a la Baselitz/Lupertz, the senescence of idea/systems art a la Tomas Schmit, or any other such reproductions of chimeric pretenses.
Without painstakingly cultivated skill, one’s actions, no matter how superficially rebellious, remain mere permutations of an operationalized system of identity, marked-to-market catharsis dressed in the manufactured garb of rebellion. Thus the Fluxus movement, though prescient in their professed emphasis of process over product, was looked upon with contempt by Dieter Roth for their inability to master any matter at hand enough to exceed extant syntax. Positing that one comes up with a “novel” idea independent of some supposedly subsequent act of craftsmanship puts the cart before the horse; any truly unique concept is inextricable from some corresponding practice, conceived only to the extent that, when the time comes, one actually gets in the kitchen and cooks.
Flyer by Ben Schumacher
Bonnie Lovina August 1 - 31, 2020
Bryant Canelo Bryant & His Stuff June 15 - July 4, 2020
Valentino Gojcaj March 12 - April 2, 2020
In Lieu of a Press Release: COVID-19 Update
There’s a character named Selena in the 2003 film 28 Days Later. Her monologue begins as such: “It started as rioting. But right from the beginning you knew this was different. Because it was happening in small villages, market towns. And then it wasn't on the TV any more. It was in the street outside. It was coming in through your windows. It was a virus.” The virus spreads in such a banal manner at first that you don’t even realize the apocalypse is here, or near. Messianic visions of grandeur and delusional Mayan predictions that the world will erupt in flames all of a sudden have never proved reliable. Indeed, it’s the slow-burning, zombified virus that spreads with a nefariously languor.
Valentino Gojcaj’s show at Triest coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic. Coincidence? Probably, but there’s no way to be sure. Who is Tino Gojcaj and what is his artwork? I don’t know, because I’m self-quarantined and I imagine he is too. Gojcaj’s show, however, happens to work on your iPhone—a QR code will lead you there, bringing you first to a private Instagram page with no profile picture or bio or name.
There’s a certain beauty to the sincerity of Valentino’s paintings at Triest. There’s a three-quarters-finished painting of the Hollywood sign in the Hills, perched over LA, but in the painting we see a small gold star at the bottom of the hill. There’s a painting of the QR code, in a stained-rag color that brings the digital to the physical and back to the digital again. There is—what looks to be—a banana in a purse going through security at an airport. The bag is being scanned by a desperately exhausted TSA agent. The banana is a gun, but it’s also a piece of sweet fruit. Gojcaj is working here in colloquial, contemporary imagery, instantly recognizable artifacts. A code, a sign, a security screen. Hollywood, airports, iPhones. There’s no distinct narrative, but there is a digital string or USB-C cable connecting each painting to the last. The palette is soft—the mood is friendly and unassuming. The space is America, and the subject is likely America, too.
There is no COVID to be seen in Gojcaj’s paintings. But that is precisely why it is possible that it is there. In the bag, in the hills or in the oils. There is only one way to be sure you will avoid the virus: scan the QR code and browse Gojcaj’s work from the safety of your home.
Valentino Gojcaj’s most recent project consists of a nameless collective, a QR code as the face of a brand— fashion and software intertwined. The exhibition also features five paintings.
Andy Heck Boyd & Bryant Canelo February 7 – March 5, 2020
The neo-Victorian “philosophy of brick” was a plan to return to the humble domestic constructions of the Victorian era in rejection of the concrete-obsessed modernists of the 1950s. Brick houses are humble beginnings for humble people. They are safe and solid. But bricks are not always for solid foundations or structural integrity. Bricks rupture houses and create a path for chaos in the form of walls, graffiti, algae.
Bryant Canelo and Andy Heck Boyd’s exhibition at Triest is about bricks and their liberation from meaning. Boyd’s series of brick wall paintings creates a world where bricks and other industrial materials play with animated characters, cars, toys and colors. The world moves from wall to floor to chair to table: Canelo’s clumps of Spanish moss cover the wooden floor and a large piece of leather is draped across a table and chair in a manner that begs to be painted. A canvas laying in the middle of the room which reads “your [sic] so broken” begs to be treaded upon. The exhibition as a small map-less habitat.
The paintings are direct, sincere, simplistic, and simultaneously ironic, taunting. Rapidly alternating between extreme minimalism (a few brush strokes of red on a small canvas) and material-maximalism (thick layers of oils, tape, various other unknown materials), the paintings display the variety of approaches to constructing the Boyd-Canelo toy-universe (cartoonoverse). The cartoonoverse, whose characters include Mickey Mouse and a middle-aged Glenn Gould, is open – like the bricks that make up its wall and the oil paint that fills its center, this world dries over an extended period of time after the artists have left.
Being an open system, there’s a certain amount of chaos that is allowed to flow through the paintings and assault the viewer. Simple representation or extractable meaning proves elusive – MESSAGE: (no message), a white canvas tuned nearly grey from the heavy confluence of various materials with “MESSAGE” written atop in black, avoids any hint at attempting to expand on truisms, which is why I don’t feel the need to destroy it.
Bricks and toys have become objects of particular fascination recently in academic philosophy with regards to thinking through AI, cybernetics and games. It turns out LEGOs (bricks) are more representative of the world than the world is of itself. There is nothing Carl Andre about these bricks, because they do not seek to bore, but rather to open up a world of cartoons and games. Glenn Gould will play his red antique piano, mickey gets up from his chair and reads from a book, Lou Reed drives a black Ferrari into a brick wall. Fun will be had and no meaning will be found.
Jamie Lynn Klein December 8 - January 2, 2020