Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lucas Blalock, Id, Ed, Ad, Od, @ Ramiken Crucible

I might have officially become old. I don’t get the Lucas Blalock. I know the kids (and The New York Times) like him, but I am really at a loss for what is going in his show. There is a string of rather underwhelming and awkward still-lifes, pictures with intentionally sloppy photoshop work and a picture behind a fake wall that is only visible through the front window. Actually I liked the fake wall and hidden picture. It was the physical version of an easter egg (as in hidden digital content, not the ones from Easter). But the rest I just don’t understand, and what worries me is, I imagine the blank indifference I have for Blalock is the feeling that older people have when they see Roe Ethridge’s work. For instance, Ethridge has done awkward still-lifes of what I always suspected was his studio space, and in Le Luxe he had screen captures of his pictures being edited in photoshop. I am unresolved, when it comes to the screen grabs, but for a man whose work has always pushed the limit of when something stopped being vernacular and started becoming art, the screen grabs seemed to be the possible breaking point, where yes, I as a fan am not sure this is art. But more importantly, the screen grabs and the occasional awkward still-lifes were buttressed in Ethridge’s work with a slew of really attractive pictures, which is where for me Blalock’s work falls apart. Maybe the intentionally bad photoshop pushes the limits of what an art photograph can be and highlights the now hackneyed point that photographs are always a construction (be it technical or cultural). When you come down to it, none of Blalock’s pictures are terrible engaging. They’re often just clunky and ill-formed. Now is this some attempt to challenge an older generation of art fans? Or is this a less skilled extension of a line of thought that Ethridge started almost a decade ago?

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