Thu Mar 22 2007
Photograph courtesy T. Courtesy Participant, Inc.
Time Out Ratings :<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5
Rene Green covers a lot of ground in her first show in New York since 2000—perhaps in order to make up for lost time. Titled “United Space of Conditioned Becoming,” the survey of films, audio works, performances and publications—all credited to Green’s production company Free Agent Media—is an abridged report on the last seven years of this compelling multimedia artist/cultural anthropologist’s work. The result is an information-rich, if occasionally overwhelming installation.
In her 2000 show at Pat Hearn, Green invoked eclectic icons of the ’60s and ’70s—from Angela Davis and the Kent State shootings to James Michener and Robert Smithson—to chart the complex connections between radicalism, race and culture in America. Here, she is less concerned with reconstructing specific histories than with documenting the rapid, transcultural mutations of the globalized present. A short list of the topics addressed in casual videotaped interviews and straightforward documentary footage includes the reception of dub reggae by electronic musicians in Finland; the changing model of the European University; and football festivities in Brazil.
A good neo-Conceptualist, the artist is careful to make information, not appearance, the focus of her show. But smart concessions to aesthetics—the ceiling of colorful printed banners, a hypnotic soundtrack—give the challenging exhibition a user-friendly feel. The show is engrossing, but so much material is packed into each work that a roomful verges on overkill. One hopes that Green will resume showing more frequently, giving New York viewers a chance to keep up. — Roger White