Sunday, October 7, 2012

David Cole at Dodge Gallery


Standing in front of American Flag (Lead) 2012, a large soot gray monochromatic flag by David Cole; I was immediately reminded of two things: White Flag 1955 by Jasper Johns and a quote from Salvador Dali, “The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot.”

Understanding these words may carry a compounded level of vulgarity due to the context of their use -- a review of a solo exhibition by David Cole at Dodge gallery, I ask for pardon.  Of course, I do not intend to insinuate Cole’s intelligence lacks in quality or quantity, in fact, his exhibit points to and well beyond his meticulous craftsmanship and inventiveness  to a complex historical comprehension and insightfulness.
The exhibit highlights a deep knowledge and devotion to the visual semiotics  (signs, symbols or “codes”) of Contemporary Art.  Which deeply troubles and slightly intrigues me,  as Cole flirts with the nullification or realization of arts (un)usefulness,  he produces objects that express the bankruptcy of moral didacticism even as they revel a "sincere" commitment to a Marxist critique.

If that isn't enough,  Cole offers  The Music Box, an industrial 10 ton paper weight that plays a horrifically smashing version of the Star Spangled Banner, what more could a society in and of the spectacle hope for?  I shudder the thought.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate how much you engaged with this exhibit to produce such a well thought out and personal review. The Dali quote is both amusing and clearly sets the reader up for where you're headed.

    My biggest concern is that you're attempting to say more than is possible in 225 words. In the second paragraph there are some big statements that you don't have enough room to develop. I would suggest that potentially you narrow this argument slightly in order to follow through on one of your ideas. Additionally you may consider including more formal analysis.