Josephine Meckseper’s show at the FLAG Art Foundation reminds me of Robert Frank’s “The Americans” because often it takes a foreign perspective — insert Alexis de Tocqueville quote here — to tell us who we are as a nation. And both artists captivate the viewer with their deja vodoo, an esthetic confrontation of visuals achingly familiar and yet utterly novel.
How do we counter consumer culture or maybe (more importantly) how do we consume increasingly ambiguous markers as art-market source material?
Open questions meet open secrets in her vitrines. Luxury interventions are shrink-wrapped and glassed-off for our protection. Slacker abstract paintings nod to the CIA’s attempt at exporting Ab Ex imperialism around the Cold War world while Dubai art fair installation shots hint at the false polarity of East versus West ideology among the upper echelons of late-stage capitalism.
Her mirrored horizon of glistening tire rims are black environmental holes reflecting back early Jeff Koons’ meditations on newness as inanimate stabs at immortality. A stack of sunglasses on display proves that red, white and black is almost more all-American than red, white and blue — at least to the fashion conscious — and plants Meckseper’s diminished flag firmly next to David Hammons’ in the halls of reclamated history gone wild.
Josephine Meckseper, Feb. 23, 2011-May 26, 2011, at the FLAG Art Foundation, 545 West 25th Street, New York, N.Y. 10001.
BILL POWERS is proprietor of Half Gallery and a judge on the Bravo TV show, “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.”