When not writing about art, I am also part of running an art space in Bushwick, and god damn am I continuously jealous of the shows Kimberly-Klark puts on. Their programming is what everyone argues would happen if the market was taken out of art. It is a constant stream of work by people I haven’t heard of, making things that are interesting and don’t look like art I’ve seen before, and it’s endlessly cool. It is work that has a clear skill level despite having no reference point to what the artist might be coming out of or they might be in dialogue with, but it looks like art that is certainly what is coming next. I can guarantee you that most galleries operating out of the spotlight of the international art market aren’t at this level of exciting work. As a group show, Bad Windchime is no different. The show featured a large doll house by Dayton Castleman and Alix Jean Vollum with standard doll house furniture and decorations mixed in with details that made the inside both more contemporary and more complex, like a broken framed picture of Mark Zuckerberg or a jack-o’-lantern in the process of being carved, complete with tiny little pumpkin leftovers. The show also featured an attractive video by David Sherman, featuring young people wandering in beautiful landscapes, inexplicably combined inexplicably with animation and clip art that was both confusing and engaging. Also, there was a bulletin board by Cole Prentice filled with printouts documenting cars driving into swimming pools and proclaiming the value of having a little glass-breaking hammer in your car. Oh, and there was a very realistic-looking folded-up folding chair by Morgan Canavan, which took me a while to realize was part of the show. Now, I am not sure what this all is, but I left excited to have seen the show, and I have thought about it since. I tried looking up some of the artists online to find there was little to nothing to little there, and the press release was a story about a talking dog with chunks of the text blacked out, so it is fair to say neither the work or the show isn’t striving to supply the viewer with context, and that’s not uncommon among younger artists these days. So, I guess I get that it is okay not to get it, and for that, I feel a little less like an old person who has lost touch with things that feel very contemporary.
Kimberly-Klark (788 Woodward Ave., Btw. Madison St. & Putnam Ave., Queens, NY)