Tuesday, June 28, 2005

David Hammons • Phat Free • 1995-9 • Still • Jack Tilton Gallery

There is an underwhelming pewter drain inserted into a whole in the wall by Robert Gober. Looking at the wall card it took him quite a few years to make it (untitled [98-04]). If you notice, pieces with no titles are usually called “untitled.” Exhibition organizers confronted with this situation tend to put the word “untitled” where the title would go on their wall placards or “didactics.” To further undermine the fact that the work has no title, the word “untitled” is usually capitalized and italicized. Essentially titling the piece. In the abstracted photos Louise Lawler has on view, she addresses this, calling them Not Yet Titled (2003) and Twice Titled (2004-5).

For some reason Robert Gober has been re-enthroned as important. He is mainly a bad reminder of what people of the 80s and 90s thought was good art. You see Robert Gober, and you think, “thank god that time period is over with!” Except it is not! Matthew Marks and Artforum seem to have decided it is time we all bow before the Goober. Hal Foster was called in to provide critical backup for Gober’s triumphant return to the limelight in the pages of Artforum. Hal Foster’s writing is illegible for a number of reasons, as his tenure with October would indicate. Regardless, the cover is the cover, even if no one reads the feature. So Robert Gober is featured in the new Walker Art Center, has a solo show at Matthew Marks and the cover of Artforum.

I could be wrong, but I thought all the October editors were banished from Artforum a while back in order to save art. I guess we are back to killing it from above as well as below. It should also be mentioned that, as reported in New York magazine, Matthew Mark’s longtime partner, Jack Bankowsky, was formerly Artforum’s editor-in-chief. (Just sayin’ is all.)