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lutz bacher

On the P.S. 1 Spring Openings and the Post-Alanna Era

P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center
Lutz Bacher, My Secret Life
Jonathan Horowitz, And/Or
Kenneth Anger
February 22 - September 14, 2009

February 26, 2009. I might eventually write something more extensive on P.S. 1, but a first impression of the three shows that opened on Sunday, February 22 - Lutz Bacher, Jonathan Horowitz, and Kenneth Anger - was that it felt like a rather thin and tepid affair, the issue-oriented credentials and vaunted cultural semiotic concerns of the various artists notwithstanding.

Bacher's main gallery, which the press release defines as "the installation's frenetic epicenter", contains her alterna-captioned news photos, reformulating world leaders as kibbitzers (JFK with Barry Goldwater: "So you want this fucking job?") or focusing on the utter strangeness of Jane Fonda during her anti-Vietnam War days.

Bacher also appropriates, to tasty effect that both critiques and rewards the "male gaze", some Vargas girl pinups taken from Playboy Magazine. It is a heady send-up of America's heedless cultural hegemony and shameless vulgarity during the 1960s, particularly trenchant in light of our current moment of uncertainty.

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