Ajna Lichau’s video installation “Dominion,” which just closed on Saturday at the Tribute gallery (625 NW Everett #102), explored the representation of control and resignation without being polemical.
I was initially interested in the title “Soluble” for this months show at Nationale. Now, the title seems like a superficial attempt to unify the four artists that are featured. However, soluble, as an adjective, brings to mind process, change, dissolution, and for me in the context of a group show, the potential for an examination of the identity of each individual artist when faced with exhibiting in a group environment. The unity of this show derives from the use of textiles while some of the concepts presented seemed to struggle against one another rather than melding or even participating in the same conversation. The resulting exhibition, while presenting a few strong pieces, as a whole left me with unanswerable questions about the solubility of the ideas of these four artists.
There are all sorts of reasons to paint poorly, lack of skill, iconoclastic tendencies, Romantic leanings, rejection of traditional formal values and hierarchies (although “bad” painting is a whole tradition in itself), valuation of expressivity over careful craft etc. etc. Another way to examine the show this month at Rocksbox is to ask, why look at “bad” paintings?
On October 23rd I attended the PICA presented screening of Destricted at Washington High School, one of the first since its delayed U.S. release. The screening of Districted was quite a bit like internet porn surfing, sometimes fun, fascinating, often boring (although potentially arousing for others) with sporadic bursts of appeal and an overwhelming heterosexual bias.