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Coffee Table Curator: May 2017

Philip Iosca, EXQUISITE CORPS, Printed Matter, 15 USD

EXQUISITE CORPS takes its name from the French surrealist game Exquisite Corpse (Cadavre Exquis), wherein a series of participants add to one work of art, resulting in a multi-authored visual assemblage. In Philip Iosca's case, this meant building upon an inheritance. Five years ago he came into possession of a trunk of gay porn; after its original owner died due to AIDS years prior, it was passed down through a series of friends that ended with Iosca. He kept the collection, and for Printed Matter's 2017 Emerging Artists Publication Series repurposed it into a book of playful composites of men's bodies (which its cover only begins to suggest). It's also worth noting Iosca's removal of the "E" from corpse: corps implies the enlisting of generations of advocates in the fight against AIDS, all while maintaining the lofty, deserved descriptor "exquisite."


Shirin Neshat, Shirin Neshat: The Home of My Eyes, Walther Koenig, 25.77 USD

While artist Shirin Neshat's exhibition "Dreamers" is currently on view at Gladstone Gallery in New York, The Home of My Eyes—her series of 55 black-and-white portraits of Azerbaijani people—is a bit farther afield at Museo Correr in Venice. For those not visiting the Biennale or its coinciding exhibitions, like Neshat's, this catalog depicts the works as they're presently displayed overseas. It also includes stills from Neshat's recent film Roja, which can be seen at both Gladstone Gallery and Museo Correr.

The context of Museo Correr is affective, even through documentation. Neshat's photographs—which are inscribed with calligraphy that she wrote based on her interactions with each subject, as well as 12th-century Iranian poems—are shown among centuries-old works on the building's historic walls.


Thomas Albdorf, General View, Skinnerboox, 39.32 USD

We became familiar with Austrian artist Thomas Albdorf's work earlier this year when he exhibited "General View" at Deli Gallery in New York, but if you missed that exhibition, a new edit of the same series is now available in print form. The photographs—which embrace glitches, pixelation, and often echo one another—are well suited to a physical format where one can flip back and forth, grappling with their uncanny nature. 


Ron Jude, Nausea, MACK, 35 USD

The entirety of Ron Jude's Nausea was shot between 1990 and 1992 at public schools in Atlanta and Baton Rouge. Void of people, his compositions consist of banal subjects, including worn-out furniture and walls, crumpled pieces of paper, chalk markings, and grimy windows. Though the series' title is an existential one borrowed from Sartre, its content feels more evocative than philosophical. One can see the story of a deserted school perhaps, marked by children who have passed through, subject to the elements and institutional neglect. Jude leaves space to imbue the images with a plot of your own.


Jeremy Kost, Like One of Your French Girls, 100 USD

Jeremy Kost has shot Polaroids since he arrived in New York in the early '00s, and one of his first subjects remains a focus to this day: drag queens. His photographs of queens across the U.S., shot from 2009 to 2016, are collected in Like One of Your French Girls, a new decadent, self-published photo book. Each Polaroid is printed larger than life size and smeared with thick, vibrant paint, but the subjects are what hold your attention. Kost's love and admiration for each of them is clear; as he writes at the book's close: "I've been so privileged to play witness to their genius, become their friends, and make work that will hopefully stand the test of time as a document to their creativity and art."