KEN OKIISHI

source: artforum

Ken Okiishi’s current exhibition, “Gino / Marcel Duchamp on Streeteasy.com,” is also this gallery’s first solo show, and it extends his efforts to enter into an artistic dialogue with modernist narratives, especially those of New York’s postwar art scene in the mid-1940s to late ’50s. The exhibition takes its title from an iconic but now closed Manhattan Italian restaurant, Gino—a 1940s hot spot of the New York intelligentsia—and an online real estate platform Streeteasy, which recently listed Marcel Duchamp’s former studio in new York’s Lincoln Square for sale. The show picks up on Okiishi’s essay in the November 2011 issue of Artforum, which discussed the reopening of another legendary artist spot, Café des Artistes (one of Duchamp’s regular haunts), this past spring.

Looking back at the café’s history and its flamboyant role within the New York art scene in the first half of the twentieth century, Okiishi emphasizes its contemporary additions as only fragmentary repetitions of a style. Here, Okiishi stages a revuelike set, in which one of the gallery’s side walls is painted in chroma green, while the other is covered with dark red wallpaper teeming with zebras surrounded by flying arrows—a copy of the pattern that had been designed for Gino in 1945. The same pattern is also printed on five umbrellas that are fixed on the wall in a straight line and spin slowly.

This installation obscures five framed black-and-white screenshots from Streeteasy that display views of Duchamp’s former studio. But none of these actually repeats the website’s views of the refurbished stock. All of the screenshots are retouched, providing photographic reminders of its past. Okiishi pulls a series of historic views of New York to the foreground to arrange a stage set in which the past appears as a pattern of the present.
.
.
.
.
.
.
source: unlikenet

Named after an assistant fired from his New York gallery job, Mathew is a most unique assembly of creative aspiration. Its origins lie not in the art world, but rather in the world of music, as the gallery was set up as a special project between David Lieske and Peter Kersten—the co-founders of electronic label Dial Records, known perhaps more for its flawless roster of techno artists and talents. Yet now, however, these label bosses-cum-gallerists are exhibiting a full-stop exhibition schedule featuring artists including Kim Gordon, Ken Okiishi and Christine Lemke. View the currents of pop culture, within its full implications, from within this small space that sets Berlin’s art boundaries another step forward towards the West.