Ikaw Na, Ikaw Na ang Nagbabasa ng Foucault
Sure, he rails about art economy and how commerce simultaneously impedes and allows viewers to experience art. But hey, the world has been in a capitalist system for hundreds of years, isn’t that stating the obvious? “The art world is commercialized!” Oh no! Really? How could we have not noticed? Gasp.
Despite the lack of fresh insight, the piece—wittily and appropriately titled Consumer Lay Down, in all fairness—is written with much self-consciousness and arrogance. The 1,700-word piece is sprinkled with his stylized contractions like “w/,” “w/c,” “&,” “1st,” “connexion” and “thruout,” as well as a plethora of quotes from famous, if not fashionable theorists like Slavoj Žižek and Michel Foucault (to whom he refers only by their last names, as if saying to readers, “if you don’t know who I’m referring to, well well well, you’re dumb. Mwahahaha.”) Suarez maximizes the use of sexual/fetish terms and references throughout (“striptease,” Discipline and Punish, etc) to make his argumentation seem less elementary and more particular to Dy’s show.
w/ no outright nudes in the exhibition, [lover lay down] appears not so much as a total exposure of these relations but as a striptease (the images being still, the act of undressing is always in suspension… never in full exposure but in anticipation of it)—a revelation whose partialness is partial to furthering business rather than curb it. The statement implied by every drawing: ‘If I’ve drawn you in, if you really want me, if I turn you on—buy me. Lay down, consumer.’ It’s the purchase that finally gives the audience license to touch the artwork, the sale that gives intimacy completion.
So the sex-themed drawings are for sale. Mmm. Insightful.
Suarez’s concluding statement goes: “Christina Dy’s [lover lay down] is an exhibition not only of drawings… but an exhibition of the structural violence that is present in any exhibition to occur w/in the capitalist paradigm…” Can’t one say that for every show mounted in a commercial gallery?
One wonders why Suarez had to quote all these people just to say that art is (godforbid!) a business. To appear more erudite and academic? To make his arguments seem more valid? To make his review seem more “discursive”? To flaunt his intellect–or his Žižek collection? To assert his superiority over us all? Perhaps, all of the above.#
*image swiped from the SLab newsletter
Entry filed under: Art, Edgar Allan Paule, Writings. Tags: angelo suarez, art criticism, art economy, art world, capitalism, christina dy, criticism, drawing, galleries, gallery, gallery system, lover lover lay down, metacriticism.