Installation view, Jacob Ciocci, “Show #28,” And/Or Gallery, Pasadena

Installation view, Jacob Ciocci, “Show #28,” And/Or Gallery, Pasadena

Jacob Ciocci

One doesn’t quite know how to act inside Jacob Ciocci’s deliberately underwhelming installation. The artist has transformed And/Or Gallery into a bland arena that feels more like a waiting room than an exhibition. Chairs line the walls—are you supposed to sit? Tablets upon side tables play banal videos; they seem to invite the viewer to pick them up and surf the web or search for clues to more meaning; but this is, after all, a gallery installation; mightn’t changing the setup spoil its effect? This insipid uncertainty is most compelling. Pictures bearing powerful messages look like memes devised to complement décor. In the adjacent room, a boring video oozes futility. In denying the visitor’s implicit expectations of clever artistic gestures and/or grandiose spectacle, Ciocci expertly unmasks bromidic contrivances of institutions like the Internet, offices, gyms, even galleries. The main gallery is painted in Planet Fitness’ trademark palette; vinyl letters reverse the ubiquitous fitness chain’s motto and declare the gallery a “Judgement Zone.” Planet Fitness’ “Judgement Free Zone” sounds ideal, but beneath its utopian pretense is oxymoronic impossibility in the form of strict discriminatory rules. Ciocci’s installation urges reconsideration of institutionalized half-truths and hypocritical paradoxes lying just beneath our polarized society’s feel-good veneer. Its refusal to gratify the viewer’s desire to be impressed makes it fascinating

And/Or Gallery
980 S Arroyo Pkwy. #200
Pasadena, CA 91105
Show runs through April 29