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Hernan Bas at the Brooklyn Museum

Post #1333 • April 21, 2009, 11:58 AM • 3 Comments

Hernan Bas at the Brooklyn Museum. This is a proof-of-concept regarding the use of Docbook and XSLT, as well as a new design. Since the format requires that I build HTML from scratch, I'm going to be posting this way a few times to make sure I have all my edge cases covered.




April 26, 2009, 12:17 PM

I appreciate your willingness to see the positive in this work, Franklin. And while I disagree with the relative weight you give to the negatives, I think that substantially you're right there, too.

Where I think you've missed the mark is in the long opening dedicated to questioning the motives and intellectual underpinnings of the exhibition, and in the conclusion that "the work ... ends up getting upstaged by the question of who was in such a hurry to make this exhibition come to pass, and why." While there maybe some shady economics at work (although I'm far from convinced), this seems to me to be exactly anathemical to the take-the-work-on-its-own-merits philosophy I'd thought your critical practice stressed.

It seems odd that the motivations of the exhibition's organizers sink the work for you, but I'd hope at least you could admit that that is far and away the most subjective claim in your review -- and that others could be welcome to regard this with a passing frown and move on to examining the merits of the work itself?



April 26, 2009, 12:24 PM


1) Congrats on the re-enabled comments. Hope I'm not part of the problem.

2) I'm not sure why the review calls for a section separate from the main blog. But I have to say that the CSS over there is a lot easier on the eyes. Perhaps a foreshadowing of yet another redesign over here?



April 26, 2009, 12:46 PM

I agree - it would have been nice to be able to tune all that out, but as I said, circumstances made that pretty difficult. The problem with this situation is that when the art isn't working, you not only get the problem of its not working, you get the additional problem that someone thought it was museum-worthy. When half the work looks like juvenilia and it's installed simultaneously with Caillebotte, there's both a visual and a practical problem that's hard to disentangle. It's a shame, too, because it looks like his show at Lehmann-Maupin is the show that he should be having at the Brooklyn Museum. But there's not enough work at that level in the RFC to make that happen.

That said, concluding paragraphs are difficult, and I'm not sure I got that one right.

The review is sort of off-blog because it involves technology that the current setup can't handle. But yes, that's where the blog is going both technically and visually.



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