• Pick of the Week


    Arthur Jafa, at MADE IN L.A. 2016, Hammer Museum

    As we are posting this, we are informed that Arthur Jafa has not been awarded the Mohn Public Recognition Award; and we can’t help wondering if he might have been at some competitive disadvantage simply because visitors to the Museum were unable to actually flip the plastic-sleeved pages of montaged/collaged magazine photos and image fragments held in the three-ring binders Jafa assembled as books or albums. The selection of double-page montage layouts give some sense of the innate poetic power of Jafa’s image-construction, their deep mythographic, narrative de- and reconstruction. Each juxtaposition – of ancient and contemporary, ritual and utilitarian, iconic and demotic (e.g., bathing suit models over Ballantyne Ale cans counterposed against an ancient Egyptian gilded stele) – offers fresh beauties and illuminations. But these are really multi-directional, multi-dimensional film montages – movies in four (or more) dimensions. Sealed off in their vitrines, the viewer cannot really plumb the morphing macro- and micro-narratives embedded in the successive pages. Would that the Hammer had provided facsimiles to actually page through. Still (if not ‘crashing’) – you don’t want to miss this ‘wave.’

    Hammer Museum

    10899 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90024 Show runs thru August 28, 2016

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