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Reviews: Ordinary Culture

Rodney McMillian’s Words Are Deeds features a Wittgenstein quote affixed to a gallery window In today’s Star Tribune, Mary Abbe says Ordinary Culture: Heikes/Helms/McMillian has “a surprising visual harmony and psychological coherence,” but what’s most interesting about her review is hearing curator Doryun Chong and two of the exhibition artists speak on themes in the […]

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Rodney McMillian’s Words Are Deeds features a Wittgenstein quote affixed to a gallery window

In today’s Star Tribune, Mary Abbe says Ordinary Culture: Heikes/Helms/McMillian has “a surprising visual harmony and psychological coherence,” but what’s most interesting about her review is hearing curator Doryun Chong and two of the exhibition artists speak on themes in the show.

Chong:

When I was scanning the field, I realized there was this zeitgeist of anxiety and anguish, which I think is natural, in this country. We’re living in wartime and have all these issues about invasion of privacy. I think Americans’ certitude about their own culture and beliefs is being shaken right now. So I was thinking about how that was reflected in the work and how artists are reconciling this culture we’re living in with their own practice, methodology and lexicon.

Rodney McMillian on his video piece, where he appears, clean-shaven and in a suit a la Barak Obama, to give Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society”/”war on poverty” speech:

It’s beautifully written and very lyrical and it speaks about national desires and how communities can be created. Poverty today is mostly talked about as a pathology as opposed to something that society could address and change. So much was going on in the world then — the Cold War, the confrontation with Cuba, the civil rights movement and post-colonial changes — and I’m curious about those ideas in that context and what history does to our perspective.

In its review, “Warfare in the Suburbs,” The Minnesota Daily writes of the exhibition:

Like jumbled, mismatched piles of junk at your typical garage sale, they evoke obscure American allegories via the display of things once prized and now discarded. When such a vast term like culture is dragged into the light and scrutinized, dichotomies arise and different angles and perspectives flourish. Even things as omnipresent as running jokes and insurgent masks on the news become oddities at a second glance.

Walker shows on tour:

Kiki Smith: A Gathering, 1980-2005 at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (through 9/24):

Newsweek: “Mortality, Morbidity, and More

Houston Chronicle: “A Gathering presents a look at 25 years of Kiki Smith

ANDY WARHOL/SUPERNOVA: Stars, Deaths and Disasters, 1962–1964 at AGO (guest-curated by David Cronenberg, through 10/22):

Globe and Mail: “Lips, tongues and making out … at the art museum