Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Superconscious, Automatisms Now

Rachel Harrison, Sean Landers, Oliver Payne & Nick Ralph, and Danica Phelps round out the final show at the CAMH curated by new Cleveland resident Paola Morsiani. "Stream of consciousness" is the theme, and shutting off your brain may be a good way to see the show. If anything is needed in the depths of the holiday season it is a lobotomy or something equivalent.

Sonic Youth Day, Sean Landers, 2007

A Student, Sean Landers, 1999

The slacker image of Sean Landers first garnered praise in the early 90s, and the artist's pathetic constructions and drawings have evolved into an industry of graphic designers, illustrators, artists and outsiders like Daniel Johnston. Calculating or intuitive, you decide. The drawers from Domy's Sketch Klub should be intrigued.

Nose, Rachel Harrison, 2005

Schmatte with President, Rachel Harrison, 2006

Can I start off where I just left? Calculating or intuitive? Every review seems to be glowing like a they just got out of bed with her, and the flowery foam HERE and HERE doesn't tell me shit about her career or philosophy. If humor- or pathetically constructed art with a dash of humor- is the focus of Automatisms Now they we may be in cult of personality territory instead of a show about free association- at least I free associate more wildly than this artist seems to but not as much as...

1,2, Nick Relph & Oliver Payne, 2005

Swoon Soon, Payne & Relph, 2006

Mixtape, Payne & Relph, 2002

...Payne & Relph, who are some crazy motherfuckers with both the humor and pathetic down pat. Looks like the CAMH site is intent on referring to one half of he collaboration between Oliver Payne & Nick Relph as "Mr. Ralph" which made then pretty hard to google for a minute. These young artists (in their 20s) describe their film Swoon Soon as:

"soft-focus council rhomboids and nouveau pagan triquetras taking revenge from distinctly average weather, velociraptors in leisure-mode and Wimpey homes made entirely of misspellings. Why? Why is my exclamation mark better than yours?"

Their free associations are a lush continuation of YBA art, with a pathetic and haphazard mix of Larry Clark and Luis Bunuel that seeks to dispel monumentalizing artworks based on the everyday. Fun, fucked-up review of a 2001 show HERE. Jerry Saltz weighs in HERE.

Making love with D. January 6,
Danica Phelps, 2003 (5th Generation)

Artist, Collector, Curator, Spy, Danica Phelps, 2002

Danica Phelps seems to have nothing to do with either 'stream of consciousness' or 'pathetic humor'. Financial transactions and sexual acts are equivalent to the artist, she documents her exchanges with equal aplomb. Probably the best part of her practice is her integration with the artworld structure, where her tentacles extend thickly from Brooklyn through her practice of exchanging musings from writers on the themes in her artwork for 'copies' of her work- each generation is another drawing sold and then replaced on the wall.

I don't know much the title fits the bill, but down in the basement of the CAMH make sure to come out for the Landers and stay for the Relph and Payne.
Will it be 'dumb' art? I hope so. I'd like that for the holidays.