Walking through this sprawling, highly theatrical exhibition, what struck me most was not its aesthetic or formal merits—though there was certainly much to ponder on these points—but rather its poised reconciliation of two very different milieus of art production in Los Angeles. The objects, sounds, scents that filled Ace’s airy vaults were the appropriated component parts of Lauren Bon’s 2005 project Not a Cornfield, an icon and model for experimental design arts institutions in this city. Their presence here—in an established commercial gallery—thus effectively re-spun their meaning.
No longer were those miles of irrigation stripping and the yield of the cornstalks themselves part of the necessary and total apparatus of the earlier public project. Now Bon’s objects were unnecessary, formalized, arranged just so according to the grammar of a traditional exhibition. This fact proved quietly provocative, as it spoke to an inherent anxiety about the ability of art production to transcend the market’s economic system, as literalized in the display case of the white cube.
- Nico Machida
(*Images, from top to bottom: Lauren Bon, Bees and Meat, October 27, 2007 - February 29, 2008; Ace Gallery, 90 Miles of Irrigation Stripping (detail), 2007, Black Plastic Irrigation Stripping (1" Diameter), Dimensions Variable, Ace Gallery, Los Angeles. Lauren Bon, Bees and Meat, October 27, 2007 - February 29, 2008; Ace Gallery, Corn Crypt, 2007, The yield of 1 million corn seeds planted in Not A Cornfield, 2005-2006, Dimensions Variable, Ace Gallery, Los Angeles. Lauren Bon, Bees and Meat, October 27, 2007 - February 29, 2008; Ace Gallery, Installation view, 2007, Ace Gallery, Los Angeles.)
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