this essay serves, as many catalog essays do, to superficially introduce the artists represented in the exhibition. thompson states that political art is not dead but has been flying under the radar throughout most of the 90’s. he, like helguera, talks about the way of making political art that is not restricted by representation. he also talks about the use of “tactics” by the artists or “interventionists”. the whole essay reads with aplomb and a little bit of aggression, kind of like a carl hiaason novel. though the projects are assertive and exciting, like william pope’s black factory and lucy orta’s art fashion they kind of rub me the wrong way. they have a common spirit, of course, that’s why they are being exhibited together, but there’s something about that that kind of cloys. maybe they are very 90’s feeling??
i can’t help but feel like they are, collectively if not respectively, TOO dramatic. they lack elegance and beauty and wonder. the biographical film about steve kurtz, founder of the critical art ensemble exemplifies this for me. after the unrelated, tragic death of his wife, steve kurtz was arrested and the art work of the CAE was seized. the film felt exploitive and flippant to me.
i guess it’s an aesthetic thing.