New York Holiday
Published July 1, 2010
LEFT TO RIGHT: TREES: ALEX DA CORTE, LOVED DESPITE OF FAULTS, 2010;
SCULPTURE: KEEGAN MACHARGUE, UNTITLED, 2010; POSTCARDS:
ALEKSANDRA MIR, THE DREAM AND THE PROMISE, 2009
Still wishing you had gotten more for Christmas this year? Curated by advisor and V and VMAN art editor Simon Castets, the group exhibtion “Christmas in July,” which opens tonight at Yvon Lambert, asks questions about exchange, desire, and ritual. The show features young artists like Alex Da Corte, along with more established ones, including Kris Martin, John Baldessari, Douglas Gordon, and Lynda Benglis. Part of the show is cordoned off for Jonathan Horowitz’s “Free Store,” which allows you to take and leave any object you choose. On its surface, set-up is utopian; in the spirit of Christmas, Horowitz can’t guarantee you’ll leave satisfied.
Castets says that, while the Christmas theme may seem like a cheery escape in the peak of summer, the show was actually based around the inevitable low that follows the holiday season: “It’s is a love-hate relationship for everyone I think,” he says, with Christian Holstad’s yellow cloth mandala (dedicated to his mother, no less) on the wall behind him. It’s one of the many domestic accidents you’ll find within the show. For example, Roman Signer’s Zimmer mit Weihnachts Christmas Tree consists of a decorated Christmas tree mounted on a motor, spinning at 300 rotations per minute, which forces ornaments to fly off and smash against the walls: “It seemed to convey the conflicting feelings a lot of us have about Christmas, which is ubiquitous” Castets explains. “It’s a holiday that you can’t really escape in our world—even if you don’t celebrate it.”
“Christmas in July” takes its name fromthe Ancient Roman festival Saturnalia. In the holiday’s festival, societal roles were reversed—slaves became masters, and laws were suspended—permitting one day each year for all hell to break loose. Castets hopes the show will demonstrate constraints experienced daily, the persistent need for the experience of carnival, and a “general sense of doom and gloom, in the after-math of the party.”
YVON LAMBERT IS LOCATED AT 550 WEST 21 STREET, NEW YORK.