Friday, September 18, 2009

“Target: My life as an Object.” by G, Minneapolis. Multimedia installation

“Don’t speak to me like a child.”

We’ve all said it or had it played back to us at some point in time – and most certainly years beyond our childhood days. But when a child voices this protest, it is a biting reminder that linear age is not a true barometer of our ability to comprehend, express and grow. Truth be told, the very young exhibit advanced cognitive reasoning as proven by the infamous “Why can’t I have that cookie?” tests conducted by the University of Texas throughout the late 1950s. The grants were later pulled from the research – at a crucial time no less – when it was discovered that the first round award of $1.6 million had been squandered by researchers on cookies, milk and massive amounts of street-grade heroin. So it is with a wink and a smile that I took in G’s “Target: My life as an Object.” I get what the artist is saying – I really do; how can one not sense the biting sarcasm, the bottled patronization finally gushing forth like a needless duplication of exclamation points.  “Super!” says the octopus; “Extraordinary!” clucks the hen (all that’s missing is the Eggs-traordinary play on words). And it’s certainly no accident that the young child takes the shape of a giant X – an obvious target for wide-eyed, bended-knee degradation. But what’s ironic about this piece, and perhaps it’s by design, is how G speaks to his audience like children – there’s no room for interpretation, it’s simply paint by numbers. As parents often tell their children, two wrongs don’t make a right. Or, in this case, a mirror is not necessarily art. Framing the reflection is what begs for a closer look.    

1 comment:

  1. As I re-read my review, I must say it's still, 48 hours later, spot-on!