Eungie Joo

Artforum International, December 2012 | Go to article overview

Eungie Joo


1 "ENDS OF THE EARTH: LAND ART TO 1974" (THE GEFFEN CONTEMPORARY AT MOCA, LOS ANGELES: CURATED BY PHILIPP KAISER AND MIWON KWON) Not only do Kaiser and Kwon brilliantly reframe the widely accepted idea that Land art was a macho US phenomenon, they actually provide a compelling plot that locates its origins in the aftermath of World War II, flows through various Conceptual practices, and becomes entangled with performance art. Certainly worth a trip to Munich, where the exhibition is on view at Haus der Kunst through January 20, 2013.

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2 FAUSTIN LINYEKULA, MORE MORE MORE. . FUTURE (THE KITCHEN. NEW YORK, OCTOBER 12-15. 2011) Created in collaboration with Flamme Kapaya, a central figure in the Congolese soukous and ndombolo music scenes, and inspired by the Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe, Linyekula's more more more ... future was simply stunning. The work's raw energy and urgency depended equally on the artist, two dancers from Studios Kabako, a five-member band led by Kapaya, lyrics by political prisoner and childhood friend Antoine Vumilia Muhindo. and Lamine Badian Kouyate's intriguing costumes, crafted from the plastic used in bags associated with refugees and the transportation of wholesale goods.

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3 ADRIAN VILLAR ROJAS, RETURN THE WORLD (DOCUMENTA 13, KASSEL) A massive installation of sculpture and architectural interventions, Return the World was conceived to unfold like a film with two endings, and some visitors may never have made it to the alternate conclusion at the top of the Weinberg Terraces. But if one was not terrified by Villar Rojas's daring figuration, commitment to hand-sculpted clay, and narrative overtones, the ravishing climax of this artist's work to date was the reward.

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4 RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA, LUNG NEAW VISITS HIS NEIGHBORS In his first feature (though by no means longest) film, Tiravanija crafts a staged portrait of Chiang Mai, Thailand, through the figure of Lung Neaw, a retired rice farmer. Whether foraging for edible plants, shopping in the market, fishing, bathing in the river, or listening to the radio, Uncle Neaw exists in a world of direct exchange and self-reliance that is clearly unconcerned with the late-capitalist desire and corruption fueling contemporary Thailand's political turmoil.

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5 JOAN JONAS AND KARA WALKER PERFORMING IN ART SONGS, MAY ii. 2012, FROM ALICIA HALL MORAN AND JASON MORAN'S-BLEED- (WHITNEY BIENNIAL, WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, NEW YORK) Improvisation by professional musicians is one thing, but witnessing Joan Jonas jamming wildly with Jason Moran's expert ensemble was a joyous rush. Not long after, Kara Walker channeled some of her other selves, including "Karaoke Walkrrr," who executed "Improvisation with Mutually Assured Destruction," a meditation on sex and power that exploded into a performance of the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" (think Tina Turner meets Living Colour).

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6 DANN VO (KUNSTHAUS BREGENZ, AUSTRIA, CURATED BY YILMAZ DZIEWIOR AND RUDOLF SAGMEISTER) Vo is a master of the conundrum of identification, interrogating subjects of great personal import, such as his family's migration, with a critical distance that admits empathy and desire. In his elegant presentation at Kunsthaus Bregenz, layers of repurposed cardboard marked in gold leaf with early American flags, images of the Statue of Liberty (based on gift-shop bags), Johnnie Walker Red Label liquor-box designs, and excerpts from the story of Rapunzel flowed from stairwell to galleries; his father's Mercedes-Benz transmission lay atop a clear plastic sheet lightly soiled with motor oil; and fresh flowers flanked a raised marble slab engraved with the names and dates of Catholics martyred in Asia from the mid-1600s to the 1900s. …

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