Magazine article Artforum International

Steve Keister: Bill Maynes Contemporary Art

Magazine article Artforum International

Steve Keister: Bill Maynes Contemporary Art

Article excerpt

"Interstitial Archaeology," Steve Keister's first solo show in New York since 1988, consisted of five exceptionally thoughtful sculptures, all of which sprang from either positive or negative casts of Styrofoam packaging. They also alluded in some way to Meso-American architecture of the pre-Colombian periods, and were installed, in a nod to the bas-reliefs and temple icons of those civilizations, so as to ineract with the physical structure of the gallery.

A positive cast in green polyester resin of the packaging for a camcorder, Xochipilli, 1996, was affixed to the gallery wall with wooden plugs attached to the voids designed to encase the camera's parts. As with most of the show's pieces, this work's immediate appeal lay in its estrangement of the familiar. As strategy, however, this is as commonplace now as the quotidian objects it frames, and it took Keister's focus on packaging to overcome the staleness of what is esentially a riff on the Duchampian readymade. Thus Xochipilli lovingly restores - down to the grain of the Styrofoam - a fragment of our technocentric culture, but does so in order to emphasize that the beauty and incidental complexity of its vernacular emerges from a profound indifference to the value of what it houses. …

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