Courtesy Dallas Contemporary
Last Friday afternoon, I stepped into the Dallas Contemporary galleries with select members of the press to get an early view of Loris Gréaud's The Unplayed Notes Museum, an exhibition meant to fill the mammoth warehouse space -- roughly 26,000 square feet of emptiness for the artist to play in. And he created what he calls a "new kind of natural history museum," filling much of it with a taste for slick decadence. There were lacquered black paintings and oversized sculptures. In one room a herd of black, mutated sheep were frozen mid-motion, running past globular lights that seemed straight out of the many design boutiques on Dragon Street just a few blocks away.
In another room there was a video of a man and a woman having sex, but filmed with a thermal imaging camera. So, as Gréaud explains it, he hired "sex professionals" and asked them to attempt orgasm so he could film the way heat travels through their bodies. Then, he spins the image in strange ways to make it look artistic. Ah, yes, genius.
And this sort of interest in appearances runs throughout the space. In each room, the only thing binding it all together beyond decorative hollowness are books that line a small portion of the floor in each room, titled Encyclopedia of Irresolution." And in each room of really boring art, I have this urge to topple the statues and tear the art from the walls and throw it across the room, screaming, "ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?"
This is perhaps one of the few things I understand about Gréaud and this exhibition, because he also wanted to destroy it.More »