Friday, August 31, 2007

"Infinite Island" Rules, or why the NYT needs to GET OVER IT

Check out the review of Brooklyn Museum's "Infinite Island" in today's NYT. and then read why I think NYT needs to get over itself:


Here are my complaints: "I’d like to report that the labor has paid off in a triumph, but it hasn’t. Nor has it produced a failure."


"One of the show’s stated purposes is to ask whether there is, in fact, a cultural entity — or a type of contemporary art — that can be securely identified as Caribbean. And it arrives at its answer — no — through a display of sheer multiplicity."

And how, exactly, is that a failure? The reviewers main complaint is the packaging.. that is: "what can it mean now to stamp diagrams of slave ships in an attractive pattern on a gallery wall? Or to offer blurry photographs of tropical landscapes, or deep-colored lifestyle pictures, images that gain what interest they have only from explanatory wall labels?" Whatever!

"the show feels warmed over and sluggish: it doesn’t have the sense of risk or discovery that a re-arguing of identity as a subject now needs, at least in a New York context"

Can a show that is an "in house job" and a "labor of love" be sluggish?

The NYT's main complaint about the show is that while the art is really good, it is, uh, sluggish?

WTF? Check out some of the images from the show:

Sluggish? Yeah, right.

The closing line reveals what the NYT is trying to do:

"turning its back on art world whims and fads in “Infinite Island,” the museum is staying true to its present self, against all objections, and there’s something cool about that."

In other words, the art is great. We just love to hate Brooklyn Museum.

NYT, get over it. The show is BRILLIANT, as is its presentation and its curator, Tumelo Mosaka. If you live in NYC, go to this show and see why.

* yeah, yeah, I am not exactly objective. I worked on this show (not exactly - it's a long story) and I am astonished that NYT can continue to hate on Brooklyn Museum, despite how consistently, as NYT says, cool it is.

No comments: