Thursday, February 28, 2008

Response to Style Weekly Review of Jillian Mcdonald's recent show.

In response to

Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.

Friedrich Nietzsche
German philosopher (1844 - 1900)

I send my personal apology for 1708's sidestepping art of the heavy, “deep” and moribund variety. Doing so, in Jillian McDonald’s show this February, has clearly unsettled Becky Shields’ tastes. She writes, “If I see one more hipster kid….I’ll scream.” Her nerves may be worn thin by irony, but while reading her review, I found it drenched with the thing that she claims to decry. As it stands, her review could have stopped after the first sentence. “If you’re into irony, you’ll love “Fanatic,” New York artist Jillian Mcdonald’s solo extravaganza of postmodern video, multimedia installations and photography at 1708 Gallery.”
Ms. Shields writes in reference to the media in the show, “One might expect an explanation of performance and video art itself, but the multimedia presentation seems almost incidental.” I’m not sure if she is reaching for some kind of Modernist self-referencing in this statement or if she is concluding that Richmonders are so clueless, that like mythic lost tribes, they can’t make out what’s in front of them when confronted with electronic technology.
Shields goes on to extol the merits of “using performance and video art to their full, shocking potential”. I’d like to extend an invitation to Ms. Shields to enlighten us by helping to curate a show of wonderfully shocking performances and video. All irony aside, I’m all for it. 1708 might be the perfect place to start such a radical aesthetic revolt. Let's have some fun, as long as the hipster kids are also invited. -Justin Lincoln

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