Monday, November 17, 2008

Art's spectrum

I saw two shows in Dallas over the weekend that just about set the limits for the spectrum of activities covered by the blanket term "contemporary art."

At the Dallas Museum of Art the Olafur Eliasson survey "Take Your Time" celebrates and explores the conundrums surrounding perception and consciousness -- specifically the consciousness of perception considered as experiences in a continuous duration. It's all Bergsonian philosophy and the embededness of perception in the ever changing objects of its awareness, except when it's all look at the facts of the museum experience and how that context attends what you're getting out of these things you're looking at. The audience Saturday was enthralled. Smiles and appreciative murmurs abounded. Fun philosophy. (image via

At Conduit Gallery I caught the last day of a smart, hip show by Fahamu Pecou, a painter and graphic designer based in Atlanta. His day job involves working with assorted hip-hop performers, helping to design the particular street-smart, tough guy images of masculinity so central to marketing their music and personas. This led Pecou to generate a Warholesque campaign for himself involving a series of paintings based on imaginary covers for (mostly) actual magazines like Artforum and Tema Celeste featuring himself as a star. His campaign slogan: "Fahamu Pecou is the shit." It's all the intersection of public image, race, and constructed gender executed with a fierce wit. The title of the painting above is Warn a Brother.

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