Holland Cotter reviewed our exhibition, curated by Natasha Ginwala, "Corruption: Everybody Knows..." in the New York Times today! He has many nice things to say about e-flux in general, and the exhibition, the last in our Manhattan space, below. The original version here. Also, check out installation views of the show here.
E-flux began in 1998 with an emailed news release for a one-night group show in Chinatown. Since then, it has grown to include a monthly journal and a wide-reaching distribution system for art world information, and it’s become one of the few galleries in the city to present politically minded global fare consistently. Its current show, “Corruption: Everybody Knows …,” will be the last in the organization’s Manhattan space — e-flux is moving to Brooklyn in 2016 — and is very much in its signature think-piece mode.
Organized by Natasha Ginwala, a curator and writer based in Berlin and India, it approaches its theme through gnomic works — each feels like a piece of a larger project — by two dozen artists and a collective. Occasionally, the corruption is in the form of physical decay, depicted or actual: In a 1955 ink drawing by the Indian artist Francis Newton Souza, from his “Gentlemen Series,” a head seems to be disintegrating; in an installation by Charles Stankievech about nuclear waste, cobalt-radiated grapefruit rots away.
Moral corrosion is implied in a piece by Yin-Ju Chen and James T. Hong involving sex toys and live fruit flies. And geopolitics is the defiling agent in satirical cartoons by Sarnath Banerjee and Gabriel Acevedo Velarde; in videos by Hassan Khan (about Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt) and Naeem Mohaiemen (about the 1971 war in Bangladesh); and in audio scripts based on Indian government phone taps by the collective CAMP.
Is there no anti-corruption hope to be had? Franco Berardi, also known as Bifo, finds some in a recent address by Pope Francis. So does Hu Fang in an ensemble of horticultural prints titled “Why We Look at Plants in a Corrupted World.” And there’s sound thinking in essays by several artists — Denise Ferreira da Silva, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Wietske Maas, Aaron Schuster — in a concurrent issue of E-flux Journal. E-flux is talking about reducing its exhibition schedule after its move. I really hope the principals change their minds and keep bringing us artists and ideas we would not otherwise find.