Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Using your GPS (Gallery Positioning System) in New York

By Paddy Johnson


[...] Another fascinating new space is the artist-run Pocket Utopia in Bushwick. It's by far the best gallery in the neighbourhood. Since opening last fall, the still-unfinished space has hosted Not Yet Utopic, a strong photography exhibition
introducing the brilliant portraits of Eric Hairabedian, A Lawrence Weiner salon, featuring a reading room, a re-creation of A 36" x 36" Removal to the Lathing or Support Wall of Plaster or Wallboard From a Wall, (1968), and, up now, Rico
Gatson's intriguing solo show. Gatson delights in manipulating cultural symbols, or simply revealing their fluidity: in Untitled (X) (2008), he leans a wooden cross on its side against the wall so that it ends up looking more like a
negating 'X'. Gatson again plays with slippage in recognition in a small video of a man running, which is played on an indefinite and disturbing loop. The soundtrack similarly repeats, though the track is much longer than the footage,
there by obscuring the length of the video. Speaking to the content of the work Gatson will give a talk on 'the relevance of the situational prefix "post-black"' on 21 February at the gallery.

As the success of Gatson's show and others at Pocket Utopia indicates, what matters is not so much that new galleries should operate with a unique business model or find a particular niche, but rather that the owner has an eye for
talent, and finds the resources to promote it. Even as the number of commercial and not-for-profit spaces continues to rise, the challenges for artists, viewers and galleries remains much the same.

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