Sunday, July 6, 2008

Opening at the Lab on May 28

Opening at the Lab of the Invisible Women, Iraqi Casualty and Artforum Excavations

I was happy to get a few good reviews. This one was in the SF Chronicle:

"Congratulations to Francesca Pastine for making Artforum involving again.

Decades ago, in simpler times, people actually looked forward to reading the magazine, when it served as the New York art world's journal of record. Since then, Artforum has followed the trajectory of the art market itself, retailing moneyed glamour and the atmospherics of contemporary art. Meanwhile, most of the intellectual substance has shifted to its outrigger, Bookforum.

Each issue of Artforum now boasts slab-like bulk and a power like kryptonite to drain the strength of any art professional who tries to face it.

But in an ingenious series showing at the Lab, Pastine has found in the magazine the makings of memorable art, by means connected incidentally to Villeglé's practice.

In "Artforums 2001: (Artforum Excavation Series)" (2008), she has meticulously carved a crater in a stack of 2001 issues. At one corner of the top cover - December - we can make out the remains of a tone-deaf banner: "Best of 2001."

The hole Pastine has cut in the magazines, stratified with color from their glossy pages, irresistibly brings to mind the physical and emotional voids left by Sept. 11 massacres.

In a related piece without obvious topical reference, she has cut an irregular hole - again looking something like a comic-book strip mine - into a single issue of the magazine, exposing a page apparently empty of all but a soft gray glow.

In two other series here, Pastine has selectively effaced pages from the New York Times to expose not very deeply underlying contradictions, such as the collision of values in advertising and war news or fashions' real and ostensible values to the women who model them and those who covet them." Kenneth Baker

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