Games People Play

A curated selection of 100 word reviews from Eutopia for Temporary Art Review.
This month’s selection is curated by Carolyn Sortor.


Between Two Worlds [2015] _ Acrylic over archival printed canvas _ 55 x 60 inches

Michael Bevilacqua
Between Two Worlds
Jacob Lewis Gallery, Chelsea, New York [link]


Modding the surface, graphing code, and appropriating iconographic references Markus Persson disciples’ would worship, Bevilacqua acts as guide straddling the present reflection with current nostalgia of yesteryear. From Atari 2600 to now, he tracks the embryonic pixel’s exponential growth culminating as a reflection back upon it’s dumb, Euclidian self, revealing the origin as a Byzantine master story teller. An elusive iconoclasm of chrono-collapsed familiarity contrasts with specificity, requiring a cypher to enter a flat world. The user is now the witness and the recorder, and an experiential teacher being taught multi-layered understanding of our digitality.

~ Ian F. Thomas
images courtesy of Jacob Lewis Gallery



Ryder Richards
a thing of this world
Public Address, Brooklyn [link] _
The striking aspect given the relational nature of power is the implicit presence of a subject through its absence; we see the instruments that compel obedience, the police, the guns, the blunt matter of fact-ness of a neatly folded Kelvar® hoodie, the field of conflict, but we don’t see the other side of it anymore than we can see ourselves. This intricate collection of works, as in the system of vowels and consonants in language, are joined in the likeness of “a thing of this world,” drawing on a priori aesthetics of partitions established between the law and its subject.

~ Ali Soltani
images courtesy of Public Address and the artist




Calum Craik “Leisure”

Calum Craik
Leisure [2013] Space Blanket, bowling ball, image of Californian swimming pool, steel
Sextant, curated by Marco Antonini
Nurture Art, Brooklyn [link]

A cartography of sociologic desire, Craik’s ludicrous simulacra1 earth floats in orbit around a radiant golden mountain:2 mythic wealth manifested as hollow skin.3 4 5 The heavy hobbyist planet eclipses an idealized cliché of personal oceans, darkening the American dream.6 The game sphere condescending to a postcard attenuates an episteme of juvenile vapidity, shallowness a parody of nihilism.7

Leisure indeed: the surreal map,8 a nouveau fabled teleology,9 10 amplifies labor for the consumer: discernment is a cultural effort.11 12 The key/legend is a vague context pointing at content,13 inferring vast social aptitude only attainable through swaths of leisure labor.14

~Ryder Richards
images courtesy of Nurture Art


Alan & Michael Fleming
The Shining
Cydonia, Dallas [link]

Presenting Kubrick’s complicated version of “The Shining” maze the Flemings offer a Cartesian abstraction: a game of self-knowledge from a god’s perspective, notoriously failed by minotaur Jack Torrence. Flanked by ionic columns –architectural follies and figurative proxies— the setting belies stability while implying simulated contrivance as docent to madness. Dialectic knowledge tends to dwell on itself, says Hegel, erecting more elaborate constructions of diversion as a means to avoid sublation. Through the twin artists’ lens of replication and difference self-knowledge must be arrived at through a Lacanian fun-house mirror, where the other is consistently uncanny and each revelation generates occlusion.

~ Ryder Richards
images courtesy of Cydonia and the artist



  1.  “Today abstraction is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror, or the concept… It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real… Never again will the real have the chance to produce itself – such is the vital function of the model in a system of death.” Jean Baudrillard, Simulacrum and Simulation
  2. Gorillaz “Fire Coming from a Monkey’s Head
  3. John Maynard Keynes confidence economics
  4.  “Kate Gompert’s always thought of this anhedonic state as a kind of radical abstracting of everything, a hollowing out of stuff that used to have affective content…. Everything becomes an outline of the thing. Objects become schemata. The world becomes a map of the world. An anhedonic can navigate, but has no location.” David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest, (p 692-3)
  5. Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain
  6. ‘It’s snowing on the goddamn map, not the territory…’ David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest, pg 333 in reference to “A map is not the territory it represents” by Alfred Korzybski
  7.  The Big Lebowski on Nihilism Walter Sobchak: “Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.”
  8. “The map does not reproduce an unconscious closed in upon itself; it constructs the unconscious.” ~ Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus
  9. “In time, those unconscionable maps no longer satisfied, and the cartographers guilds struck a map of the empire whose size was that of the empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following generations, who were not so fond of the study of cartography as their forebears had been, saw that that vast map was useless, and not without some pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the inclemencies of sun and winters.” Jorge Luis Borges, On Exactitude in Science.
  10. “The map he had made that morning was fresh in his mind, but the city had changed.” Maurice Blanchot, The Idyll. pg. 29
  11. “We have been adequately cautioned about mapping as a means of projecting power-knowledge, but what about mapping as a productive and liberating instrument? … mapping unfolds potential.” ~ James Corner, Agency of Mapping
  12. Are you working too much?: Post Fordism, Precarity and the Labor of Art, e-flux journal
  13.  “context providers” rather than “content providers,” Peter Dunn quoted by Grant Kester, Theory in Contemporary Art Since 1985, Chp 12. Conversation Pieces: The Role of Dialogue in Socially-Engaged Art (2003)
  14.  “You can do whatever you like in your non- work time, providing that it affirms your competence as a trustworthy worker and a credible citizen.” Chris Rojeck’s Labor of Leisure pg.2

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