The following article about the politics of apartment galleries was originally published in The Artists’ Run Chicago Digest. It was later published on the badatsports website.
On the matter of public (1) vs. private space : or my apartment gallery is an arctic explorer
“‘Oh, you have a roommate?’
“ ‘Yeah, she’s actually here right now, but she’s sick….Don’t do that—she’s trying to sleep.’
“I heard them but pretended to remain asleep by keeping my eyes closed; [closing your eyes] is what passed for privacy then. My ‘room’ was in a corner of the kitchen on the other side of a folding screen. If you were tall enough, you could see me from either side at any time. The above exchange took place during the installation of a show when I happened to have a cold. I lived at the Green Lantern from 9/06 to 8/07. Recently out of college, I moved to Chicago to get my bearings. I had just spent two years living in the French countryside with no heat, no car, no Internet, no noise, no zines, no sushi, no shows, no jargon. When I moved in, I had never owned a computer. Suddenly I was in the middle of an art scene.
This article was originally written for the badatsports website and was later included as a Coda in Psycho Dream Factory.
SMELLS LIKE A MOVIE STAR
Celebrities always line supermarket check out lines, always peering at you from glossy magazines dedicated to the torrential madcap folly of their lives. Their faces, bodies, lifestyles wallpaper not just culture but also the basic practice of obtaining foodstuffs. The ubiquitous presence of persona/brands like Jennifer Aniston, Johnny Depp etc., reinforce particular moirés about success, beauty and sexuality. Where repetition and familiarity elicit desire, the repeated surface of the celebrity remains the poster child of consumer society, reinforcing the criteria with which non-celebrities (that’s us) measure their own legitimacy, accomplishment and worth. Celebrity provides a filtered perspective through which we view and interpret immediate experience, history and cultural production. The celebrity exemplifies a model for success which, while applauding the individual in an immediate sense, further stabilizes predominant hierarchical structures of society. To consider the influence such a model has on the contemporary art world is of particular interest because of its function as an historically transgressive and transformative force in culture.
I have been thinking about the apartment gallery as a form, at least in the form I participate/create in. I’ve been thinking it’s meaningless, kind of. I’m very excited to think of it as such. I think it’s an insightful meaninglessness that reflects, perhaps, on a larger meaninglessness, out of which meaning is born.