This week at The L Magazine I discuss Nancy Hwang’s work at the Kitchen, Meet Me at Home. I think I played the asshole.
A keypad-less red phone, just like the one you might imagine sends a line straight to the president, sits near the front of The Kitchen’s upstairs exhibition space. In actuality, gallery goers end up coordinating a visit at home with Nancy Hwang, the owner of said phone and a participating artist in curator Miriam Katz’s The Absolutely Other (through August 7). The piece is a logical inclusion in an exhibition that culls work some way informed by strangers.
A full review of this show will appear in my column next week, but since my experience of Hwang’s piece Meet Me at Home took me off site, I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s article to recounting that experience. It wasn’t good.
Hwang told me her house was nearby so I figured I’d try to keep an open mind and stop by on my way home from Chelsea. In as much as one can gather from a brief phone conversation, I didn’t get the feeling I’d found a new best friend, and the idea of two strangers meeting in a mutually agreed upon home as art annoys me. While I don’t mind considering the viewer’s exchange with an artist as a medium (which is what this is), there’s something mildly grating about a project in which the sole interest is creating a situation of such tepid risk. Inviting art strangers into one’s home isn’t the same as drawing them off the street. Further, the artist gets far more out of the piece because she’s the only one with amassed information from the visit. None of that experience is made communal, nor is there any attempt at reflection.
To read the full piece click here.