You’d never guess when you enter the apparently empty exhibition space that minuscule works by 44 artists—Fischli & Weiss’s polyurethane peanut shells, Tony Matelli’s brass cigarette butt, Alix Lambert’s painting on a fingernail clipping and a grain of rice, and Laurent Pache’s tack among them—are hiding in plain sight, along with David Adamo’s cliff-hanger: a tiny wall painter on a scaffold halfway up a vast empty wall. Sylvie Fleurie scatters a bit of glitter, Rudolf Stingel veneers a few floorboards, and Martin Creed leaves crumpled wads of paper lying about. Others make alterations to the clock or the exit sign, or hide their works under a chair, atop a wall, or—as Massimo Bartolini’s golden pill (which now sits on the counter) was during the opening—nestled in someone’s fist. And you might not suspect there’s a dialogue going on. Steven Parrino’s black mini-monochrome (a miniature of Robert Barry’s tiny black monochrome hanging in the same spot last month) nods to the Swiss Institute’s previous show, as does a snapshot by that show’s artist-curator, Olivier Mosset. And Maurizio Cattelan’s doll, clinging to a windowpane, is a likeness of artist John Armleder, who curated this one—raising the cleverness quotient a notch, lowering the bar for reductivist art, and hugely enlarging the post-conceptual parameters of minimalism.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 14, 2004