Ritual Work
Art in America | 08/2017 | Feature

Not knowing how to emulate the swift athletics of other dancers, she slowly, simply crawled across the stage. No one moved. No one talked. The restrained movement captured the audience's unwavering attention: they were, as she put it, in "a trance." In the art of seduction, one application of sexuality is control. I'm reminded that the etymology of "entertainment" includes the Latin root for "to hold."

Harry Dodge
Art in America | 09/2017 | Review

The android, who seems to be self-aware, explains the problem of “perverse instantiation”: artificial intelligence getting too eager about the ends and therefore too brutal with the means. AI, he tells us, may not recognize the danger in making us happy by linking our brains to a more manageable system, like a vat that would administer a kind of drug, allowing us to play a “minute-long bliss loop” until we’re dead.

"Fiona Connor, Sydney de Jong, Audrey Wollen”
Minerva | 14/2016 | Catalog Essay

Doors are how we tell ourselves about
what’s public and what’s private. In other words, gender is a doorway.

A Real Deal: LAPD at the Pasadena Armory
Art in America | 01/2016 | Review

How do you write a history of a neighborhood that has to fight to be considered a neighborhood? How do you reflect community bonds often broken by dislocation? Police often refer to Skid Row residents as “transients,” though some have lived there for over a decade. To read a timeline about the history of Skid Row installed at the front of the exhibition space, you had to find a path around a shopping cart—a gesture that mimicked how the demands of the present quite literally get in the way of understanding the past.

Charles Atlas
The Art Book Review | 01/2016 | Review

Atlas made movies about movement. This book rests on screenshots and stills. “Exquisite images that capture [his] structure and flow,” says the back cover. Picked by Atlas himself, says the editor’s note. Without Atlas’s luxuriating takes, or rapidfire cuts, or shlocky pans, or disorienting close-ups, or cranes-eye zooms, in short, without Atlas’s filmmaking, the filter of “past” washes over these images to rob them of their power: stock images of the Merce Cunningham company, or the rise and fall of glam.

One in 144
With Respect To | 06/2016 | Catalog Essay

You are raped. You are raped five blocks away from a police station, just a mile from your house. (Suzanne Lacy, 1977, 2012). You are raped, and the abstraction of the term “rape” fails always to explain it, not an event, but a color through which you now see the world (Sue Williams, 1992). You are raped, and found only later, stripped from the waist down and bent over a table (Ana Mendieta, 1972). You are raped, and police photography sees no difference between your body and the broken-into door (Cindy Sherman, 1981).

Peter Linden
Art in America | 03/2016 | Review

Perspective often transformed abstractions into figurations and vice versa. Seen from where the snout lay, the steel sculpture Table, with its four legs, was as much a dog as it was support for a vehicle or a meal. And “dog” here was as much an animal as a raunchy pet name.

The Place Where People Pay for Porn
Mel on Medium | 31/2016 | Feature

Clips4Sale’s nearly 2,000 studios target those consumers who want to see exactly what they want and nothing else — a strategy best described as “fetish first.” The site divides its content by hairline fractures of sex acts, portraying just one action at a time: Brake failure. Balloon popping. Cake sitting. Feet. Female domination. Spanking. Ass worship. Gum chewing. More feet. The immense, alphabetical list of categories runs from “abused shoes” to “zit squeezing.”

Let’s Take a Very Fucking Poetry Lesson: Art’s Crush on Poetry
X-Tra Contemporary Art Quarterly | 05/2015 | Feature

The fantasy of poetry as a refuge, the impression that poetry circumvents the demands of art, is condescending at best, and facile deception at worst. Like most exoticism, art’s crush on poetry is founded on a fascination, not with an escape from but rather a return to the real.

Jake Cruzen
Artforum.com | 01/2015 | Review

Like a seedy contemporary departure from Gustav Klimt’s Symbolism, the artist’s works make a compelling appeal for an unironic turn toward so-called Sunday painting.

Waveforms
Art in America | 01/2015 | Feature

Gabriel Lippmann’s foremost contributions to turn-of-the-century science were the color photograph and the capillary electrometer, a device essential to recording the beat of the heart. Both of these inventions produced an image by documenting waves of energy, one visible, the other invisible.

“Ha Ha! Business!”
Art in America | 01/2015 | Review

Surely, business was the paramount impetus for this and much of L.A.’s recent smattering of limp group shows, and the curation here was pure laughs.

Americanicity's Paintings
Contemporary Art Review LA | 01/2015 | Feature

Orion Martin's wild figuration, an unruly sense of color, and forays into decorative kitsch appear so quintessentially and excessively American I feel downright patriotic to celebrate them. “Here we have an advertisement,” Barthes began his classic text on Italianicity. And here we have Americanicity’s paintings.

In the Studio: Stanya Kahn
Art in America | 01/2015 | Interview

ROSENTHAL: I think of Beckett’s “I can’t go on, I’ll go on” as a good description of what your characters are up to. This cast of the unruly sick, just going on.

KAHN: The “unruly sick”—that’s really at the core of everything I’ve made. I think you have to be a little unruly in order to puncture what could become stasis or apathy or chronic indecision in this world, where it’s not easy to locate where we have agency. And I think that performers are sick and unruly.

John Currin
Art in America | 01/2015 | Review

Is Currin’s dexterous perversity enough to reinvigorate the subject of assorted naked white chicks?

Pierre Huyghe
Contemporary Art Review LA | 01/2015 | Review

Human isn’t. Human, I mean. Famously, Pierre Huyghe’s Human is an Ibizan hound with a fuchsia front leg. At Huyghe’s autarchic LACMA retrospective, a fact sheet assured me that the dog was the proper weight (the breed is thin) and had proper breaks (from playing himself).

Alex Chaves
Art in America | 01/2015 | Review

Chaves revamps not just the anachronistic medium of oil but also melodrama, with its high-wire excesses of subversion and escapism. At stake is the pathos of interiors, both lonely and suffocating, the sublimation of feelings within things, and the drive that makes a Disneyland of every crotch.

Asher Hartman
Art in America | 01/2015 | Review

The play’s first line is, “I’m sorry.” And perhaps Hartman should be, depositing the dead skin of revolutionary rhetoric onto another corpse—the theater—peppering good lines with terrible French accents, and smearing the rage of abolitionism into contemporary creative-class disaffection. And perhaps I should be, too, because je l’adore.

Sky Candy
Art Los Angeles Reader | 01/2015 | Feature

An exchange of the future for the present, credit has a way of hijacking time.

Aesthetics & Anaesthetics: Olivia Erlanger after the crash
Art Los Angeles Reader | 01/2015 | Interview

"The logical result of Fascism is the introduction of aesthetics into political life,” Walter Benjamin warned. How? The State doesn’t redistribute power, but lets its subjects “express themselves.” With sculptures and wall works that exploit customization, wearables, proprietary currency, Olivia Erlanger explores the ways in which capitalism takes up aesthetic expression as a productive but ultimately anaesthetizing power, keeping us in our place.

Beau Rice's TEX brandishes a kind of authorial whip only the masochist understands.

Finally, three people are about to fuck. There are 12 other people in the room.

The urgency underlying A Museum of Immortality is the recapture of life and death as public matters from capitalism's private necropolitics.

Trolling Anal: Eugene Kotlyarenko at Top 40
Rhizome | 01/2014 | Review

I'm getting squashed with elbows and shoulders, alternately averting my eyes and craning for a view of the floor in front of the DJ booth, where, with frat party fanfare, Eugene Kotlyarenko's girlfriend is inserting a zucchini into his ass, and a curious, deeply unpleasant combination of boredom and offense is flowering in my insides like Giardia.

Waiting for a Techno-Future: Mark Hagen
Art Los Angeles Reader | 02/2014 | Review

This ambivalence about technology, the failure of positivism to deliver on its promises, animates Hagen’s space frame sculptures, as they call out to (and become implicated in) the sinister evolution of the form.

Martin Kersels Suspended
The Curve at MOCA | 01/2014 | Interview

If Martin Kersels points at social codes, he points with a limp finger.

If rabbits are meant to imply endless reproduction, TaskRabbit reproduces both symptoms and the disease. A neoliberal eternal spring is poisoned from the start.

Still Life: Fionna Connor
Art Los Angeles Reader | 01/2014 | Review

Fiona Connor’s replicas of the built environment are not replies. They are repetitions. She leaves the world exactly as it is.

Artists Aren't Fair: EJ Hill
Art Los Angeles Reader | 01/2014 | Review

Hill’s performance was a heartening reminder that art fairs emerge because there are artists.

Mad Marginal Cahier #1: From Basaglia to Brazil
The Art Book Review | 01/2013 | Review

But rather than the flighty, jagged rhythm of schizoanalysis, the book whips its many strands into centripetal motion, forming concentric rings. Basaglia plays the pebble hurled into the lake.

Ali Liebegott Obsessed
HTML Giant | 01/2013 | Interview

Cha-Ching! is an addiction story without recourse to self-help and redemption. It’s a romance built not from exchanging vows, but traumas, drugs, and fluids. You had me at the puke on my sheets.

A Guide to Getting Lost
Art Los Angeles Reader | 01/2013 | Post

“The truth will be revealed” claimed Lost’s Season Two tagline. “Everything happens for a reason” claimed the Seventh. Of course, the truth never showed and the reason never came. It was the hunt, connecting the shifting, kaleidoscopic dots of the past, future, and present, that viewers craved.

My Next Life Is This Life
Art Los Angeles Reader | 01/2013 | Post

“In my next life I want to live backwards,” Woody Allen wrote. “You start out dead and get that out of the way… You wake up feeling better everyday… You work until you’re young enough to enjoy retirement. You party… You play…You become a baby until you are born… You finish off as an orgasm.”

Rowan Smith
Wanted Magazine | 01/2012 | Interview

It’s the retro-futures and relentless pasts that Smith wants to give weight to. It’s a present so heavy with meaning, that if you’re going to pick up a fedora, remember to lift with your knees.

Where There Is Smoke
What If the World Gallery | 01/2011 | Catalog Essay

Each one of the objects in Smith's latest collection functions as map, charting the embroiled territories of semiotics and history as they’re dissimulated into the language of things.