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Hasty Pudding: notes and assorted paraphernalia

Allan D. Hasty
The Proposition
559 W 22nd St
July 1 - August 8, 2008

In his previous photographic work, Allan Hasty has evinced a decided Southern Gothic tendency. His images are replete with tabloid visions of sex, sleaze, sin and death, with B-girls in bustiers brandishing guns, with freaks and geeks. With portraits subjected to the choreographed flash of strobe lights, analyzing motion into a series of post-Eadweard Muybridge smears, tearing bodily into the fourth dimension. With memento mori awash in a sea of multimedia distress, the surface of the photo intentionally dirtied in its development from the negative. A photo from Solicitation, his last show at The Proposition in 2004, is representative of his penchant for the freakish and extreme, for his manipulation of the image, and for his peculiarly gothic obsessions.

On Steve Powers' "The Waterboarding Thrill Ride" at Coney Island

Reposted from my commentary on a thread on Artworld Salon entitled "Arts of Torture?"

Are we witnessing the birth of waterboard chic? Can it be marketed as an XXX-treme sport, with designer face masks, bindings and boards? Might there be a dress code, with teams and uniforms? What would the suspected terrorist wear? or the sartorially correct interrogator? Relevant to this, a T-shirt for sale on a "humorous" conservative website has recently engendered intensely partisan commentary on The Atlantic blog. Humor, not surprisingly, retains a red state/blue state dichotomy.

On "Who's Afraid of Jasper Johns?"

A show conceived by Urs Fischer & Gavin Brown
Tony Shafrazi Gallery, 544 W. 26th Street, NYC

May 9 - July 12, 2008

A comment on a New York Magazine review of the show.

I like art that delivers a "kick in the shins", but reject the thesis that "all art stems from iconoclasm" as simplistic. The bad boy, kill-the-father strain is obvious, audacious, testosterone-induced, and rules the moment (Hirst, Koh, Lowman, Colen), but there is also something to be said for contemplation, stillness, centering and wholeness. These quieter inspirations form a basis for Minimalism, Post-Minimalism, Arte Povera and a number of other historically-labeled schools that provide fodder for contemporary praxis.

On the Occasion of the Passing of Orchard

Orchard Gallery closed its doors on Sunday, May 25, after three years of operation. Don't cry for its demise; the ending was planned from the beginning, was a pre-condition of its founding.

There was a modest brunch of coffee, donuts, bialys and pickles (all purchased from local merchants) and a viewing of the last day of its last show, Spring Wound, a series of video collaborations between filmmaker Jeff Preiss and several of Orchard's founding artists and sympathetic fellow travelers: Andrea Fraser, Nicolás Guagnini, Moyra Davey, Anthony McCall, Josiah McElheny.

Öyvind Fahlström also has a widow

Many artists have created games to satisfy their aesthetic and political longings, Duchamp a prime example. Then there is the singular case of Öyvind Fahlström (1928-1976), painter, installation artist, poet, critic, creator of happenings, co-conspirator with Robert Rauschenberg and Billy Kluver. Within a very varied body of work, he produced several world political paintings with movable magnetic elements in the early 1970s, modeled after the famous Monopoly game board, dealing with the Vietnam War and with the global realpolitik of emerging nations in the Third World.

Kurtz Innocent, Government Still in Power

As reported by the Associated Press, Professor Steve Kurtz of the Critical Art Ensemble was cleared yesterday of all charges related to the biological material found in his Buffalo, NY home four years ago. The indictment of mail and wire fraud in the improper obtaining of these specimens for his art work, which is critical of U.S. government agricultural policies, was dismissed in federal district court as "insufficient on its face."

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