Anthony Discenza: Additional information will be provided later

  • Location:
    MacArthur B Arthur, 4030 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland, California, 94609, US

Anthony Discenza
Additional information will be provided later

Curated by Jackie Im and Aaron Harbour
April 6 – 29, 2012
Reception Friday, April 6th, 7-10 pm

Open Sundays, 1-5pm, and by appointment.

MacArthur B Arthur is pleased to announce Additional information will be provided later, a solo exhibition of work by Anthony Discenza. Curated by Jackie Im and Aaron Harbour.

In popular remodel shows such as “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” the operation of a domestic interior is suspended, and re-envisioned as a production site for the creation of a new, “better” home. The home is denied its identity, its home-ness, for the duration of an unoccupied remodeling. The engine of such shows is the spectacle of a certain “behind-the-scenes” voyeurism, where aggressive demolition is followed by Sturm und Drang consultations regarding fabric colors and bathroom finishes. At the end, a satisfyingly cathartic release is provided for all via the big reveal: the bus is moved, the doors are opened and the home-turned-production site shifts radically, via the implied return of use value, back into a home, one more in keeping with the dictates of conventional tastes and the market.

It can be said that contemporary artistic praxes, in their current deployment, suffer from a similar logic. The metaphor is a tenuous one, but there is some use in it. The artist’s studio is a place where signs and matter are subjected to a process of being broken down, re-imagined and re-assembled, in order that they may be assigned a new status/identity, that of the artwork. Then, magically, these materials, having undergone their makeover at the hands of the artist, are delivered to a venue and set up for display, in the big reveal of “The Exhibition.”

But, as Godard declared, ‘Every edit is a lie.’ What is problematic here is the cut at the end of the show. In EMHE, a large bus reveals the house to the family/us after the remodel is completed, and they/we scream, cry and emote as we proceed to tour the result of the miraculous transformation from old home to new house. But there is always a mysterious break, a point of discontinuity, between the final stages of labor and production and the presentation of the finished result. The remade house is now re-presented as a fait accompli, from which all traces of the intense upheaval we have just witnessed have been purged. Similarly, under the paradigm of exhibition practice, we are typically denied the intense uncertainty of the artist as to the status, quality, and meaning of his/her own product. In this way, the exhibition is a false edit in the flow of actual artistic practice, placing the artist and the work into sharply delineated narratives of production (labor) and presentation (marketing) that deny the often incomplete nature of artistic investigation.

In Additional information will be provided later, Anthony Discenza is presenting work that represents a number of different inquiries within his practice. These works, which may or may not be “finished,” make no attempt to reconcile how they may fit together into a more cohesive narrative or artistic “brand.” We (the curators and Discenza) would like to posit that the remodel of stuff into art is a murkier business than the standard division between [studio production] and [exhibition display ] acknowledges. Our intention is to complicate this model by providing multiple points of access for conversation, critique, expansion, and general uncertainty. We intend to leave open the question of what constitutes a finished work, both in words (via artist/curatorial statements) and in space, by situating both the context and presentation of the work as things most unsettled, forestalling completion of the auratic makeover into art.

MacArthur B Arthur
4030 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Oakland, CA 94609