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curiously weak

Post #73 • August 1, 2003, 5:19 PM

If someone looked underweight and listless, and you put them in front of a beautiful banquet, piled with any kind of food you could desire, and they only wanted to eat a napkin, you would feel sad for them.

Likewise, if someone was an artist, and the whole world of color and shape and drawing was open to them, full of countless possibilities, and they spent their time slicing up a sheet of eighth-inch grid paper into eight-inch squares and gluing it back together again, as Jen Kim did in the “Altoids Curiously Strong Collection,” you would feel sad for them.

At least I do. “Altoids” is a coup for our little art center on the beach, a prestigious event that could command a bigger space if it wanted to. But the show is a drag. It is a selection of artists working at the nadir of wonder. This includes local artist William Cordova, whose No More Lonely Nights is described in the Altoids press materials as “a work that began with free association of his immediate environment, injected with a healthy dose of pop culture references.” It ended as evidence that not everything that runs through the artist’s mind is interesting. Harrell Fletcher’s Babies – a split screen, futzed-with video of babies – was annoying as hell.

Natalia Benedetti’s An Immaculate Murder was deprived of force on the small screen; it was better when it was projected huge on the wall at MoCA. It’s still cute, though, as the tabby is voiced over with Hitchcock dialogue.

But if you find yourself on Miami Beach this weekend, go see the show – for Scott Teplin’s book art, one piece of which had little drawn windows cut out of each page so that it formed a honeycomb-like structure, and for Patrick Jacobs’s Living Room Corner #11, a looking glass that peers into a tiny, constructed, architecturally sound room with a light coming in around the corner. These last three pieces aroused curiosity. As for the rest, the only thing curious about “Curiously Strong” is the curatorial program.




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