Brian and Marc review Tony Lebat’s “Bulk”

January 8, 2008 · Print This Article

Tony Labatt

Brian and Marc recently collaborated on a review of Tony Lebat’s Bulk at Queens Nails Annex for Shotgun Review. Here’s an excerpt:

“Tony Labat’s exhibition Bulk opened to throngs of art students, smoking and drinking on the sidewalk. At first, the event seemed like any other gallery reception. However, as a show focusing on the manifestation of social relations in an art event, the students hadn’t come to see anything in particular, but to rather simply be with one another. With the gallery’s main space converted to a bar, complete with amateur bartenders, swill cocktails at criminal prices, and makeshift wooden tables; Bulk turned Queens Nails Annex into a speakeasy, one built like a cheap theatrical set.

Bulk’s events have drawn together those who share in a common perspective – art students, gallerists, curators, etc.- participating in their prescribed roles of social exchange and power dynamics, as if the events had a written script. The exhibition doesn’t challenge itself to compose the audience, who provide its labor, or translate their efforts into meaning. Any examination into the relationship between the mechanics of audience as a means of production, and how it conditions the possibilities of interpretation, is absent. Without intervention, the events emerged as expected; codified and rigid. Creating work that fosters social relations shouldn’t reduce an event to the calling together of a coterie, turning the artist into a socialite of aesthetics whose practice would be a chain of well-hosted shin-digs. Bulk is emblematic of this festivalist, lackadaisical attitude that’s far too common in contemporary art.”

The full review can be found on Shotgun Review. This writing is an extension of a survey of the San Francisco art scene Brian wrote for Artnet.

3 Responses to “Brian and Marc review Tony Lebat’s “Bulk””

  1. This is what art is all about, the essence if you will. All of the objects, performances, etc. just gets in the way. Just strip it down to what it really is — a party!

  2. Your link here on Shotgun review doesn’t work.It has an extra “http” without colon after the first one.

  3. Richard Holland Says:

    Sorry folks, Chris is super busy at the moment and hasn’t had a chance to fix this.

    Click below for the time being:

    http://www.shotgun-review.com/archives/queens_nails_annex/bulk_1.html

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