Fresh Paint
Sunday, February 20, 2005
The Day After
...Art Saturday.

Since I had to drop off my piece for the SAIC Ox-Bow Benefit at G2 Gallery, I laced up my boots and hit all the rest of the galleries in the West Loop Gate. Missed only Monique Meloche and Bucket Rider, I think (doors were closed).

Let's start with G2 itself, the gallery of the School of the Art Institute, where a monthly piece of the MFA program (sculpture department) was up. Man, I'd rather have nails driven into my skull than be an MFA candidate these days. As you all know, I'm very fond of the BFA show, especially years when they haven't been reading Artforum overly much and getting scared about the job situation. The MFAs have been ruined already.

The only installation I did like was by Ross Moreno, comprised of 2 pieces (and possibly a third), "187 Ways to Say I'm Sorry," glass, light, and wood on a slightly raised platform like a camp cot. To the left of it, "1752 Ways to Say I'm Sorry," nails, lights, wood, on a similar surface. I thought this was hysterically funny. The nail bed was made of rusty nails all precisely aligned and evil-looking. The bed of glass seemed to be of large chunks of smashed amber beer bottles. In the corner to the right was a vase of red roses. So we have simple content, discussable meaning, and excellence of execution all in the same place, so very rare in student work.

Another highlight was the overwrought video, "Reading Augustine," by Rebecca Ratzlaff, yet another of these things projected down from the ceiling onto a surface of water, seemingly a genre of its own these days. For some reason there's an IV drip hanging from the ceiling over the piece, which I didn't get at all. She doesn't need this crap. The video is of a whispery voice reading text that has been apparently burned into bones of various sizes that are picked up and turned and fondled and twisted this way and that. I watched the video for quite a long time, since it's quite beautiful, as the fingers move from large leg bones to the tiniest of vertabrae. Lovely movement and rhythm that could just as easily have been given a simple DVD presentation. Why do they feel they have to make everything complicated and silly?

Anyway, here's what I'm donating. Link to benefit on the side. More later.

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