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Feeling more like an MFA show and less like a polished exhibition, Moti Hasson Gallery opened its doors to independent curator, Omar Lopez-Chahoud, who took the opportunity to fill the space with a number of artists whose works have little in common. However, Lopez-Chahoud's pluralistic approach is not necessarily a bad thing. Rather, it leads to some interesting discoveries, for Lopez-Chahoud is known for including names not yet wholly familiar to the art world. Take Ben Godward for example, a recent graduate of the University of Albany. His outlandish freestanding sculpture, Convenience War Head, is comprised of brightly colored foam with a variety of equally bright laundry detergent bottles wedged inside. It's like a gooey explosion of material excess. Or take Maia Valenzuela, whose intricate pen and ink works blend Aztec iconography, mandalic imagery, and biomorphic forms to create ornate and beautiful drawings.
And don't let Joaquin Segura's irreverent 1960's throwback, Go Take A Leak In Some Gallery Corner, fool you. The work on view isn't all fun n' games, though most is. Segura's other contribution to Intransit uses Mexican televisual clichés of homosexuality to loosely reconstruct a notorious crime involving a young gay couple that plotted and successfully killed one of their mothers in order to cash in on her newly-acquired life insurance plan. The 12-minute film, titled Acapulco Golden, stars Alejandra Bogue, a trans-gendered actress with cult status in Mexico, who plays the role of the murder victim. Segura's Acapulco Golden takes the theme of homemade reenactment in contemporary art to a new level, mixing Guy Ben-Ner's low-budget production quality with Sue de Beer's penchant for bloody horror movies.
Though the exhibit does not live up to its politicized curatorial framing as spelled out in the press release, it is certainly worth checking out before September comes and all the group shows fade into the distance.
John Everett Daquino
Images: Joaquin Segura, Go Take A Leak In Some Gallery Corner (2007); Ben Godward, Convenience War Head (2008). Courtesy Moti Hasson.