Malik Gaines, Frieze 2011

“Looking Back, Looking Forward”

by Malik Gaines, frieze 2011

frieze asked a range of artists, critics and curators from around the world to choose what, and who, they felt to be the most significant shows and artists of 2010 and what they’re looking forward to in 2011

Malik Gaines—in frieze,“Looking Back, Looking Forward”
Curator at LAX ART, Los Angeles, USA and a member of the performance group My Barbarian.

It’s encouraging to look at Los Angeles, more than a decade after magazines were trumpeting its arrival as an ‘important’ art centre, and see a maturation of the ‘emerging artist’ class. Of course stalwarts such as Mike Kelley, Lari Pittman and Marnie Weber continue to shine. But impressive shows this year from Edgar Arceneaux, Alexandra Grant, Pearl C. Hsiung, Stanya Kahn, Yunhee Min, and many others suggest that an intelligent, technical young practice can evolve nicely over the long term, and that LA’s art culture has produced much more than a sensational moment; there is an art civilization here that feels durable.

These artists are producing works that are great to look at, but that resist the encroaching spectacle culture.

This defence is now a necessity. While the LA art world has typically functioned in détente with Hollywood, the lines have blurred. Earlier in the year, University of California performance scholar Jennifer Doyle wrote good analyses (published on frieze.com) of Nao Bustamante on the television reality show Work of Art and James Franco’s and Kalup Linzy’s appearances on the daytime soap opera General Hospital. la moca’s complicity with the latter project drew attention to the institution’s Deitchification, which has been a mixed bag. Ryan Trecartin’s recent exhibition at the museum was impressive, mixing a YouTube sensibility with an inheritance of queer cinema and performance, while skillfully presenting the work as an immersive museum installation. There, the mode of entertainment occasionally produced awareness of generic structures and their logic, an effect that entertainment genres themselves only rarely propose.In showing Dennis Hopper with one hand while cancelling Jack Goldstein with the other, moca has also sent some disheartening messages in the last year. Despite ( . . . )

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