Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wish You Were Here.

On Saturday I found an extra half hour in my day so I stopped in to see the late Jason Rhoades' installation, Black Pussy, at Zwirner for the second time. I loved this show. I mean, I really loved this show. I am not going to use italics in this sentence. But seriously, I really loved this show.

I'd never seen any of Rhoades' work before, but after his death at the age of 41 it was impossible not to have heard about it. From what I'd read about this show (See Roberta Smith's laundry list here.) I was expecting to be bouncing towards a seizure from over stimulation. Yet this prayer to the inside felt more like a temple to me than anything. After five minutes in the room I felt a sense of reverence. We'll ignore how Freudian this paragraph has become and just keep moving.

Just to be clear, when I say "inside" I'm talking about the Webster's definition, "relating or known to a select group". Black Pussy feels very backstage or, maybe more accurately, after-hours. In it's original incarnation the artist populated the "set" with insiders and friends. Before the exhibit closed on Saturday, the ghosts of the artist and the included populated the space at Zwirner, making the nocturnal space into a waking dream. It was like walking through someone's heart. What was once private and the off-limits became public and well, mine. This one is going to stay with me. It already has. Wish you were here. I was, and I thank you for it, Mr. Rhoades, wherever you are.


Unknown said...

It looks like a Mike Kelley installation. TOO MUCH like a Kelley.

Heart As Arena said...

But it didn't feel like a Mike Kelley installation.