Strange Instrument: 3rd Ward 195 Morgan Ave, Brooklyn
Strange Instrument, curated at 3rd Ward by Dana Orland, takes up the fundamental principle that the light condition in which a photographer works is central to the photograph itself. Each work on view is a testament to the range of possibilities from which a photographer chooses and the nuances of meaning created. Ofer Wolberger’s Self Defense, Miami, captures two young men kickboxing in a turquoise racquetball court. A natural white light fills the court, lending the picture a tranquil neutrality. Best of all, Type A employs very controlled natural light in a series of five photographs entitled Spittakes #5. Two friends are sitting on concrete stairs; one arrives at the punch line of a story just as the other is sipping from his carton of milk. The result is a projectile of flying milk, but the joke is really on us. The whole scenario is carefully staged. Through September 9
B. Wurtz: Feature Inc. 530 W 25th St.
The most frustrating kind of sculpture is that which does so little, so well. The work of B. Wurtz, like his contemporary Tony Feher, requires patience because of its delicate simplicity. A lone string holds a plastic yogurt lid, four supermarket coupons and another yogurt lid vertical against the wall. Plastic bags rest on unfurled coat hangers or wire, attached to a geometric wooden base. Mundane, disposable objects receive an egalitarian touch from Wurtz. Everything is precise but not fussy. His assiduousness suggests a latent utopianism and the small scale of his sculptures relate them to architectural models. All of the pieces in this show are untitled, refusing to disclose anything about themselves. Wurtz’s sculpture is content with itself and indifferent to whether we like it or not. It exudes confidence, and therein, an optimism about forging an alternative relationship to our cultural jetsam. September 6–23