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Gallery Crawl: 5/21/05


Nina Katchadourian at Sara Meltzer Gallery presents The Genealogy of the Supermarket and Other New Works and while the main piece was impressive and funny in the end it did little more than cue up The Clash in my mental iPod. Rather than being "lost in the supermarket" Katchadourian takes the American fascination with geneology to its consumerist limit by making a family tree out of familiar and not so familiar brands. Good idea nicely articulated (I now know the familial relationship between Aunt Jemima and Mr. Clean) but she left me feeling, as a one-liner, it could have been done more economically.

Her multi-channel video Accent Elimination is far more successful because of its simple idea and spare execution. Her parents are very engaging subjects and her ethnic background is so quirky that her attempts to learn their accents is both profound and loving at the same time. My own accent is a result of urban Irish married to a country drawl and given our President's affected Texas twang this is fertile territory to explore.

Katchadourian also collects loose video tape she finds on the street and restores them. This sort of urban archaeology is always interesting but I'm not sure they constitute art work anymore.

David Diao at Postmasters Gallery continues his investigation of the confluence between the minimalist surface and the history of 20th century painting and design with wit and formal invention in a show titled Demolished/At Risk. A visit to Philip Johnson's Glass House gave Diao the unique opportunity to insert himself into an icon of modernist architecture in a place (New Canaan, CT) where many other examples are being demolished. This unfortunate fact of urban development is emphasised by his use of a map of the cemetery where Jackson Pollock is buried, and where many artists have reserved plots, in other paintings.

CRG Gallery gives voice -- OK, gallery space -- to the vast and ignored hoards of newly graduated MFA's who ride the L train home from Chelsea with Greater Brooklyn. Curators Alex Dodge and Glen Baldridge put out an open-call to artists via email and selected those who they felt were unique and innovative based on digital images and samples of writing. This premise is intriguing if the result less so but, all in all, it's a good, solid show you'd find in any midwestern university art school with a library and internet access. This is the end result of a curatorial mindsweep and I'd have liked to see what it was that got them in. Otherwise, it's just another example of galleries trolliing for something to fill their space.