Christine Sun Kim’s works attend to sound beyond the threshold of the listening ear and emphasize the potential for a critique of identity as not essential but relational, of language as contextual and dynamic, and of time as multiple and disjointed.
The layer over this tumultuous monochrome pulls things together, measures the previous level’s dynamism and tension. Containing again, like a structuring embrace, the final line straps on like a harness: channels power and settles.
To situate oneself within Jibade-Khalil Huffman’s installations is to recognize what new languages we share. Formally trained in both poetry and visual art, the artist prioritizes our contemporary fluency of montage, sensorial distraction, and the particular lifespan of memes. While his expansive videos, performances, poems, and photographs are densely layered with images, sounds, and text, his intentions do not rely on in-jokes or exclusionary references. Rather, the works speak to the ceaseless endeavor of locating oneself in the sprawling cultural world built around us, a frame of enforced sentiment and constructed humor. Huffman’s work exposes the limits of self-identification and representation, instead finding potency in the transitional spaces of his visual, aural, and linguistic materials, where meaning is constantly recalibrated.
While watching a beauty pageant on television, Mark Greif saw the camera addressing the young women contestants about their favorite reliefs from schoolwork and pageantry. “What were their hobbies? Many listed ‘eating.’ I suppose you could hear ‘eating,’ not ‘cooking,’ as a victory for feminist equality. It’s not housework.”1 The array of cake sculptures by young artist Gina Fischli in the last FIAC booth of the London gallery Soft Opening suggested a comparable but different competition, a fight not between beauties but between mothers, ambitiously parading their efforts at matriarchal birthday-party dominance—in either case, food as spectacle of leisure or rivalry or both, pointing to the pathetic connections between beauty tournaments, competitive parenting, TV cooking battles, and the survival of the fittest artist.
Vertical integration of subsidiaries was a hallmark of an era in which the automobile and its appendages of debt, production line, and worker were cornerstones. This was before Toyota-ism’s outflanking of Detroit with a subcontracted and more flexible regime. But by the millennium, General Motors had also shifted from making automobiles to assembling and marketing them. Within a logistically liberated geography, a renewed frontier opened for uneven development. It is this “maelstrom of perpetual disintegration” that we peer into like a snow globe in American Factory (2019).