Shotgun Review Archive

This Place Reminds Me of Home, only I do not know anyone

By June 5, 2006 I finally made it out to Oakland's Art Murmur and was not disappointed. What dislodged my inertia was the fire sale at 21 Grand. All works were under $100 and supported this noteworthy non-profit space. I got there early to hunt for some likely bargains and left loaded down with a fetish trophy or two. I love buying cheap art. It puts lots of things in perspective. Like that all the critical baggage in the world cannot compete with an exposed penis. Like who needs fancy clothes and dinner dates when you can stay home and gaze at frozen surrogation? This, this will always be mine. Thank you Darren Jenkins. And by the way all you emerging artists, editions matter! Lets be straight about how slutty my unique love object is. Please? Moving on past invisible cafe art and affirmative virtuosity... You discover like so many before you Ego Park. What a great name, or as the old saying goes; what a great name for a band. Skeptical of another goofy interactive playspace replete with clich├ęd lab coats, clipboards, and chalkboard paint; you are nonetheless engaged. Mostly by the friendly confrontation at the door. "Where are you from?". Clearly these people recognize Euro-trash when they see it. But you pass their passport check and are made to feel free to do as you like in Kevin Slagle's community park. So you scribble on the wall and join in a Bushism Mad Lib with other glib punters. Yes, it feels good to "spread mustard and wisdom" on the war mongering word mangling doublespeakers of this fair land. Ha!, take that! But also effectively scary that each line comes off so plausibly spot-on. By the time we hit Rock Paper Scissors we are tired and confused from the wine that keeps getting pressed into our hands. RPS is a rollicking messy zine and t-shirt outlet totally unconcerned with the etiquette of art slumming. Welcome to the anti-garde! We did not see too many cutesy birds here, but maybe we were distracted by the action. In the front space was an installation of stills from the upcoming Under Ten [minutes] film festival (June 21 & 22, 9-11). Viewed in abstract they offer the voyeuristic joy of You Tube surfing with the hope of thoughtful intentionality. Especially delightful is the double framing created by shooting stills off of idiosyncratic TVs and the clunky wooden mounts. Here is a tip: each is only $6, so snap them up while they are hot. http://www.oaklandartmurmur.com http://www.21grand.org http://www.egopark.org http://www.rpscollective.com

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