At PORT, we try to keep Portland from navel-gazing... so here is some European style international navel-gazing from Documenta 13. In case you missed it part I is here
. All photos by Damien Gilley
Sanja Ivekovic's The Disobedients (The Revolutionaries)... it is a series of stuffed animal donkeys with name tags of visionaries
With its relentless layers of history at every turn euro-art can be likened perhaps somewhat to being in a perpetual art school situation? Note Eeyore the Disney donkey was excruciatingly self aware... which makes the donkey a great mascot for Documenta, which is all about being excruciatingly self aware... except that real donkeys are not terribly self aware. Being stubborn and disagreeable is not the same as being self aware. Maybe it's just because you have to make an ass of yourself to make anything interesting happen? Hmmmmpf!
Every European mega art show is contractually required to have at least one empty room installation. This is Ryan Gander's I Need Some Meaning I Can Memorise (The Invisible Pull). In fact, it isn't empty and a gentle breeze pulls the visitor through the room.
The mighty "institution as patron" wind in action... a good piece!
Damien felt that the Theaster Gates takeover of an old house was the most successful presentation of the show. I have to agree, there is a lived-in freshness to the entropic occupation here. Artists who respond to their immediate surroundings are a Documenta forte
and this just gets me.
Theaster Gates bathtub. Pretty much the best picture of the hundreds Damien took for us! This has energy, improvisational energy... something that is usually missing from most large scale institutional survey shows.
More Theaster Gates
...and then there is Ida Applebroog doing the typical euro art thing (similar to Portlanders RYANNA's different thing at TBA last year, only with way more attitude... both seem to say the same thing that, artists use words to promote the fact that they are artists
. No Ryanna you can't use that, though Ida Applebroog can, but wont! She's better than that... I hope?)
have some Broog with a 'tude
Julie Mehretu being predictably very good in a predictable way
Pierre Huyghe gave visitors another enigmatic journey
And what enigmatic journey would be complete without a hive of bees on the head of a sculpture?
Link to Part III