Thursday, August 17, 2006

Art: Vigilance, self-awareness, self-criticism

A good article from the NY Times by Holland Cotter about a summer group show in Chelsea: At a Group Show in Chelsea, the Art Is Sharp but the Categories Blurry
Ms. Backstrom’s contribution to this show is political in a very different way. Rather than address specific in-the-news issues, it poses skeptical questions about the very concept of group behavior, whether in the macrocosmic form of wars, politics movements and global markets, of which the art industry is one; or in the microcosmic form of artists’ communities, collaboratives and collectives, like those included in the show.
No group, she suggests, is beyond making a compromise. And Mr. Heitzler is clearly aware that his show keeps one foot in the commercial world at the same time that it is trying to feel out firm ground in an alternative sphere. The necessary ingredients are vigilance, self-awareness, self-criticism — resistance to the passivity that holds the present art world in its grip. Mr. Heitzler brings this message home to Chelsea. May it continue to be brought home in a hundred ways this fall.