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In the comments we've been discussing the issue of presenting Paper Rad artists as individuals as opposed to promoting them as a collective. Someone asked whether the decision to do the former originated with the gallery or the artists. My reply:
I don't think it matters so much how the decision got made. Every step in the art world ends up being so strategic and fraught with importance. When I said the power of the status quo is huge, well, I'm up against it, too. All our brains are colonized by these social Darwinian ideas of individuals struggling against individuals. I think here the issue is one of mystique-building. Everyone assumes the weight of commerce and habit will eventually turn the collective into a "bunch of talented, readily identifiable individuals" so it would be cool to hold out as long as possible resisting that "inevitability." A good role model would be the musical group The Residents, who perform in masks and reveal little of their back story--I still have no idea who those people are. Who sings? Who does the writing? Are the southern accents real? Are they really from Louisiana? Are they men? WASPs? I'm sure I could figure some of that out googling but they never really made me *want* to know. We should just be listening, not nosing after "stories." And they're in music where a certain amount of ego-submersion is expected. In art you would drive the whole art-historical trainspotter structure insane if you continued year after year to thwart the all-important Alfred Barr chart of which rugged individualistic genius influenced which. This would never happen but it's nice to dream.
"Teleclysm" [3.3 MB .mp3]
This piece starts with "One Minute Techno Song," with a new "techno" theme added. Then, it slows down and goes into the "K-hole," and ends with the "techno theme" recast as a kind of a reggae song.
Teleclysm is a googlewhack--which means probably no one's used it before. It could be a really bad TV show, like Alias--I get so sick of the close-ups on that show that I want to reach through the screen and push the characters into the middle distance so I can see what's really going on.
I prefer to think of teleclysm as a horrible teleportation mishap--like Captain Kirk being split into Evil Kirk and Weak Kirk, or even worse, when the explosion of the "link gate" in Cowboy Bebop turned the moon into a belt of meteorites that constantly rain down on Earth.
Another photo from the Jessica Ciocci show at Foxy Production. The orange cast is because this is taken inside a tent in the corner of the gallery--the lights are shining through various colored fabrics. I told Paper Radder Ben Jones that all the artists in the three-person collective are equally good, and I think they are, but this was my favorite of the Foxy shows, including their collaborative effort. It's the most materially sumptuous. I still don't agree with the gallery's decision to show the artists individually so soon, though. It's not like the Who, where you have Pete Townshend and John Entwistle solo albums or whatever. Or actually--you had a bunch of Who albums before the solo efforts started appearing. In any case, everyone knows and expects musicians to work as groups. The art world, however, still clings to the myth of the Leonardo-like solitary artist, moving culture forward in a single heroic leap. The most rad thing about Rad, to me, is their rejection of individuality cliches--who made what? Who cares? If you're a gallery you pound that message home. You don't immediately take your strongest artists and start presenting them the way everyone else presents their artists--as individual branded commodities. The power of the status quo is insanely huge. [/rant]
"One Minute Techno Song" [mp3 removed]
There might be more to this but I wanted to put it up while I have all the settings.
Photos taken at the opening tonight of Jessica Ciocci's exhibition at Foxy Production, in Chelsea. Jessica is a member of the collaborative art group Paper Rad. The show has a bright, inviting feel, and is full in the sense of meaty, not busy--a series of patchwork grids line the walls, each composed of a single predominant medium: paintings, snapshot photos, yarn, sewn fabric... The installation breathes, and makes you forget you are in a white cube environment; it could be a school art fair or swap meet but with underlying organization that belies the casualness. With her knack for arranging objects in physical space and command of materials, Ciocci does a great job of scaling up the underground comix sensibility to fit the room.