(Sally McKay is on blog-sabbatical, writing her PhD.)
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Anthony Easton's 25 Best Visual Experiences 2011
1. That Sholem Krishtalkaís Lurking Drawings work on different levels depending on if you see them online or in person.
2. Twombly Sculptures, all of them, see for example this one
--named Epitaph for Jupiter, because of the classical references, and the island in Florida; itís sad and funny!
3. The huge new book of Robert Adamsís photos out by Yale, and also how Adams complicated and often lovingly melancholic attitude towards the suburbs has changed.
4. The you tube video: Hooters Girls Remember 9/11 because kitsch and sexual politics always under gird what is best about America:
5. The ďbutchĒ remake of Donít Tell Mama that Alan Cumming did at an AIDS fundraiser--Wiemear fuckery at itís ahistorical best.
6. Attack the Block choosing to use analog monsters instead of CGI trickery.
7. Jenny Kellerís Field Notes. because there is something powerful in the accuracy of pure observation translated into an attempted objectivity
Sheet sketches of hippopotamus anatomy and behavior. By Jonathan Kingdon (Harvard University Press)
8. Those 15 Minutes of Tree of Life, you know, with the creation of the universe, and the dinosaurs and the interesting mix of analog and digital--the interesting bit that rewarded the slog?
9. Puppy Baskets Cause they are cute. (hi/lo, talent and craft, mini-Koons, etc--but mostly cute)
[Anthony that is so fucking 2006, puppy cupcakes are what is happening now- LM: ]
10. Ai Wei Wei--his tweeting, his writing, his interviews, his big installations, and his small performances, his entire presence.
11. High School Milk Jug--video cause of the disco lights, and the costume.
12. Liz Magor at Susan Hobbs I cannot explain why this moved me so much, itís something about the plainness, and the idea of making the repairs of found damage obvious, and the textiled memory of loss, and the reworking of the domestic, and well all of that and still...
13. The 15 Minutes where Bill Cunningham talks and doesnít talk about his religion and his sexuality--the whole documentary (Bill Cunningham's New York) was fucking brilliant, but those intensely brittle moments of silence where the holiest thing i have seen all year.
14. The Sothebyís Catalog for Liz Taylor--We all spent the year talking about the nature of Capital, but sometimes we just want to look at something pretty, and there is something grateful in Lizís blunt vulgarity.
15. Tatiania Bergís Shaped paintings --All of that good bad painting that has become bad, and the clashing colours, and the just sort of hipster aggro amateurism of all of it, and you spend the year craving finish fetish, and this smart woman makes work that looks like Palm Beach bored housewife ceramics, but better and deeper and you just sort of think--if this wasnít sculptural, I would loathe it, itís like that.
I'm Not Going to Eat You Later Tent 2010 Oil, spray-paint, enamel on canvas
16. James Cameron Mitchell video for Dio.r Russel Toovey, Marion Cottiard and Ian McKellon all make me swoon.
17. Big Frieda for the unadulterated joy and political implications of ass shaking (Choose a video, a public performance, or that shot of her and Ryan Gosling )
18. This photo of Merce Cunningham by Rberg--It is a great photo of a dancer, and a personal reflection of that circle, and both of those things suggest we keep it, but the recent working of his back catalog makes the argument of his photography as a separate practice, and not just grist from the Combine mill--this proves that point.
19. Bram Dijkstraís book Naked, on the American nude: queer, straight, man, woman, illustration, fine art, pulp and academia--an entire book on all kinds of ways that America by creating texts about the nude worked a new identity--with brilliant insights on everyone from Grant Wood to Julie Bell, and everything from Public Hair to De Kooningís misogyny. Groundbreaking.
20. The film Margin Call, for itís costumes---as restricted and as about status as a Geisha house, and for itís cool blue/grey aesthetic
21. Timber Sports sponsored by Stihl-- I could make a case about pure athleticism, but mostly itís the eroticism of Walt Pageís beard:
22. Warhol Panda--saw as they were hanging at the Detroit Museum of Art, claims have been made that his endangered animal series was about AIDS or something, but itís so cheap, so commercial, and so badly screen printed, worth more than itís worth, and has the same cheerful vulgarity and easy money that Liz had.
23. Animal Talking in All Caps Aesop for a more cynical age:
24. Catherine Opie's photo of the marathon swimmer Diana Nyad--Opie's best work is myopic--about the best self of itís subjects--and though the article about Nyad talks about how she can do nothing but train and swim, convincing others to feed her and clothe her and to train with her against their better judgment, the photograph just shows Nyad, with a web of jellyfish scars, her skin the colour of her background, her hair the colour of her skin, making a bicep, to prove to the photographer (not the audience, she is not facing us) that she is capable.
25. The House of Sharon--I saw it in the last 20 minutes of a Friday afternoon after spending the day with baptists at the dedication of Rowan, my friend Spenserís kid. I cannot imagine a better way of seeing it.