Scratching up historical documents and the itch, or Itch, of the Art World (or art world) in this set of art picks from our 7/17 issue.
THE AFRIKA BAMBAATAA MASTER OF RECORDS OPEN ARCHIVE
Gavin Brown's Enterprise, 620 Greenwich St., through August 10th
As today's überrich hip hop artists fill stadiums, collect yachts, flash diamonds, purchase sports teams and wield—when self-granted scepters are out of reach—original manuscripts of the Magna Carta, it is perhaps all the more important to get schooled on the far more humble, and indeed much more creative origins of this musical genre. Gavin Brown's Enterprise has organized an 'open archive' to foster precisely that. Sorting and categorizing Afrika Bambaataa's deep vinyl collection will take place before your eyes, while timeless beats and DJ sets will shake things up in your ears. Here, the historical records on view—unlike certain founding charters—are most certainly meant to be scratched.
DIONICIO HECTOR MENDOZA: HUMANO(+)
Slag Contemporary, 56 Bogart St., through August 12th
Bound to arrayed geographical localities as a result of incorporating found objects into the mix, Mendoza’s sculptures tend ultimately toward the geological. Like the readily legible chapters of time and terrestrial torque in metamorphic rock, the visual divisibilities and material morphings in his creations speak to change over time, environmental and technological alike, and to how one’s sense of self, substance and place might evolve and alter therewith. The California-based artist's first solo show in Brooklyn features a potent mix of recent and site-specific works in a range of media.
THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ART WORLD, PART I: THE ONE-PERCENTERS
Freight & Volume, 530 West 24th St., through August 17th
This group show takes as its muse, quite clearly, not the art world, but the Art World, and in doing so it might be aimed at reaffirming the validity of variably understood lower cases. Or maybe not. The exhibit's anti-pontificatory statement composed in opaque hues of conditioned hypotheticals isn't exactly worded to be a lucid transmission of intent. No matter, though, for these artists craft works that are themselves straight-shooters: compositions that crackle with voices making digs, lodging complaints, spreading rumors and recounting histories. Should Part I succeed in cutting A.W. down to a.w., perhaps Part II—if it's in the cards—will confirm that 'a' can be 'A.' It's imaginable, one might say. At least in theory. Or Theory.
Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 54 Ludlow St., through July 28th
This intriguing version of a summertime group show merges, explores, morphs and exploits notions of process, collaboration, art workshop and fabrication at once, in one space, with the full exhibition produced over the course of two days. Two busily structured days, it seems, as the 14 participating artists were required to spend one day planning the collaborative crafting of one small painting, while the following day was reserved for the mass-production, Model-T-style, of the same. The toil behind Work is of course meant to raise various sorts of questions related to labor issues and the like, but it also sounds like a fair amount of fun. Or maybe unfair, but that's another discourse.
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