Magazine article Artforum International

"Boofthle Booth-Booth: Deux Doox-The Hollywood Biennale"5: Pauline

Magazine article Artforum International

"Boofthle Booth-Booth: Deux Doox-The Hollywood Biennale"5: Pauline

Article excerpt

Given the ruinous economy and the resulting shrinkage of the art world, it's hardly surprising that someone would literalize the collapse by squeezing a biennial exhibition into the space of an art fair booth. "Boofthle Booth-Booth: Deux Doox--The Hollywood Biennale," a thirty-artist show organized by artist Mateo Tannatt, attempted to do just that, though the "booth" in question was Tannatt's apartment, which for two years has doubled as the gallery Pauline, and the self-styled "Biennale" label was a parodic reach. As the subtitle "Deux Doox" implies, "Boofthle" was a sequel, and, like last year's installment--which was not explicitly pitched as a biennale--the show coincided with the city's fledgling art fair, ART LA. The title also acknowledges the show's site-specific origins--Pauline sits on a bland side street below the Hollywood sign--and the meaning of the homo-phonic phrase doo doo is hard to miss.

Despite its ridiculous, even asinine, title, which pokes fun at two of contemporary art's easier targets, "Boofthle" was a deftly orchestrated group show, with Tannatt playing both artist and conductor. His presence loomed largest among mostly small-scale works--and not just because he lived there. Tannatt's Hollywood Social Form/Social Club, 2009, an oversize, biomorphic abstraction constructed from papier-mache, partially slathered with plaster, and decorated with seashells, dominated much of what was otherwise his dining room.

Plaster provided a backdrop--literally, as the white walls of the apartment are noticeably spackled--for many of the works on display; two of the walls featured murals by Tannatt, each a grid of yellow dots--a sort of "signature" carried over from his previous silk-screened canvases. Works by other artists were installed on top of these pieces (loosely recalling Chicago-based artist Gaylen Gerber's "Support" series) and divided into sections named after different Hollywood thoroughfares or intersections. "Hollywood Blvd.," for example, was blatantly thematic, with a trio of works--Alex Klein's framed photo Study for Fool's Gold, 2008; Kathryn Andrews's Lubrication, 2009, a rented neon sign blinking its suggestive title phrase; and Heather Cook's bleached fabric veil, Untitled, 2009--all suggesting the lurid reality of the Holly-wood dream.

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An adjacent group of work employed a similar tag-team effort: The angular forms of a vintage, untitled Vincent Fecteau sculpture from 1999--sitting atop Alexander May's A-Frame Fixed Dial, 2008, a sculpture with a white, pancakelike plaster top--rhymed visually with Lesley Moon's 2008 solarized photogram of her elbows; the thick, impasto brush tracks of Lisa Williamson's painting Head, 2008, situated below Moon's image, recalled the texture of the gallery's walls and May's tabletop. …

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