I haven't been doing much art reviewing lately, but here's an excerpt from "Michael Parker 101," which will be included in the catalog for R.S.V.P. Los Angeles at Pomona College Museum of Art, Fall 2015 (ed. Rebecca McGrew and Terri Geis).
"The history of Modern art could be mined for precursors to relational aesthetics at least as far back as the Dada antics at the Cabaret Voltaire. But most of the current practitioners of this newest of New Genres distinguish themselves by subscribing to a conceptualist austerity of means—favoring deadpan structural and procedural documentation; emphasizing, often exclusively, the social interactions produced by their artworks; and eschewing formalist content, such as the tactile, sensual, and perceptual elements of art and the visual language they comprise.
In his most recent solo exhibition, Michael Parker brought the juice with a vengeance. For Juicework, held at Human Resources in Los Angeles’ Chinatown district over four days in February 2015, the artist filled the cavernous white cube of the gallery—a former neighborhood movie house—with an array of interactive components that took sensual engagement to an absurd but exquisite extreme. Consisting of a dozen or so stations where visitors could produce and consume juice from the abundant supply of citrus fruits (plus a dishwashing area), the installation functioned perfectly as a locus of conviviality, with perhaps a spritz of social commentary (juice boutiques being currently synonymous with the sustainable gentry).
But the pith of the display consisted of over 1000 handmade ceramic artifacts—mostly freeform juice reamers of various sizes, but also sufficient quantities of cups, funnels, trays, and larger vessels to hold the mounds of yellow, orange, and green fruit. The ceramic tools were mutantly variegated in shape, scale, and finish—with organic forms recalling sea anemones and sumptuous mottled glazes in the blue-violet-red end of the spectrum.
Better pictures and more info at: http://humanresourcesla.com/michael-parker-juicework/
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