Not-So-Incredible Piss Hulk
Smashed into Significance

Loyal readers may recall our recent post reviewing the University of Chicago’s exhibition Passing Through. A startling act of vandalism at Logan Center Exhibitions has prompted us to reconsider a work we had previously dismissed, Takashi Shallow’s Piss Hulk. Artcasserole.com has obtained exclusive security footage of an unknown assailant approaching Shallow’s piece and striking it with a hammer-like tool, breaking the glass and puncturing the artwork. We must now reckon with the fact that at least one viewer found Piss Hulk provocative enough to vandalize.

We are left to wonder if the hooligan comprehends that they have materially improved the object of their outrage while also raising its legitimacy. Tobin Siebers argued in Disability Aesthetics that “vandalism modernizes artworks.” For Siebers, in modern aesthetics, “damaged art and broken beauty are no longer interpreted as ugly.” Environmental protesters recently made headlines for “modernizing” Van Gogh’s Sunflowers with a splattering of tomato soup–a masterful exercise in bridging abstraction with social justice and even a Warhol reference. Nowadays, it is rarely enough to hang rectilinear works on a wall. It is only when we include the act of vandalism in the frame that Shallow’s Piss Hulk transforms into compelling art.

Like mighty Thor, a single blow from the hammer-wielding miscreant has left behind a wound of broken glass. Paradoxically, this hole fills in what the work previously lacked: a center, a voice, a soul. Prior to its defacement, the original photograph depicted an Incredible Hulk action figure submerged in a bright yellow liquid. But why not make a sharper rebuke of the over-commercialization and cheapening of Marvel iconography in contemporary culture? At most, this image strikes the viewer with a mildly amusing contrast between the action figure’s angry grimace and its tranquil suspension. In the original Piss Hulk, the rage on the Hulk’s face is washed away by a sense of relief and vacancy.

This transubstantiation is only enhanced by the mystery that surrounds it. Was this an incredibly pissed Hulk fan “hulk-smashing” Piss Hulk? A patron disgusted by the Marvel-ification of the arts? A community member offended by its scatological references? Or the artist himself crafting a hoax?

~~

A Review of Passing Through at
Logan Center Exhibitions

RECOMMENDED 

This is an amazing show, even for viewers not brought in by the Department of Visual Art’s (DoVA) prestigious reputation. All works were made by 37 artists after completing their DoVA programs. Few works share style or modality, but collectively they generate a festive spectacle with layers of meaning that range from orderly patterns of pop cultural motifs to dramatic statements of identity. Each work feels as sharply cut and rigorous as one expects from the university “where fun goes to die.” But sometimes fun rises from the dead like a maroon phoenix.

Some pieces exemplify the tradition of representational painting, but with conceptual twists like Anthony Adcock’s partial self-portrait. Others are more psychedelic, like the surrealism filtered through pop art in Shanna Zentner’s oil and acrylic painting. A few celebrate the angst of a political rally with works like Jazmine.’s collage featuring a caricature of Trump. Most have the energy of the up-and-coming, enhanced with swirls of windblown, post-pandemic acuity. David Nasca’s sculptures entice the viewer to reach through the holes spaced dynamically across their display case and to touch the cnidarian, “bespoke genitalia” within. There is a complex provocation that is soft, objectifying, and cozy. 

These stoic sensualities feel distinctly critical, which is probably intentional. DoVA matured during former Yale sculpture director Jessica Stockholder’s tenure as chair, and it continues to sharpen its theoretical bent with art historian Matthew Jesse Jackson at the helm. The artists appear to embody the pathos of their senior faculty. What curator Scott Wolniak organized here is more of a homecoming than a time capsule, turning a network into a community. 

October 7 – December 11, 2022

https://www.loganexhibitions.uchicago.edu/exhibitions/passingthroughdova

~~

no signal has arrived

Dear friends, artcasserole.com is delighted to announce its very first exhibition in our brand new virtual gallery. In the midst of her busy international schedule, multidisciplinary curator Iona Liu presents a spectacularly versatile and dynamic group exhibit entitled No Signal. We hope to see you there! Free and open to the public.

https://nosignalvirtualexhibition.carrd.co/

The 10 artists featured are intrigued by the signals that humans send, receive, disrupt, and ignore. Their respective practices scout the frontiers of new media, exploring the affordances of mundane forms–from screen recordings to Google Drive folders–as artistic media. At the same time, these experiments cohere insofar as they announce the voices of an “always on” generation bombarded with a steady buzz of misinformation and phatic communications amid the machinations of surveillance capitalism. Through these transformations of objects and images, No Signal offers the viewer new ways of looking at digital space, life, and personhood. 

Major support for No Signal and artcasserole.com has been provided by the legendary initiative of Superstructure LLC. At Superstructure LLC, we take great pride in our excellent workmanship, competitive fees, and the ability to deliver outstanding results. Since our founding, we’ve worked hard toward building and maintaining a stellar reputation as a company. We provide clients with a wide range of services to cover all their needs. No matter what your project might be, our team of professionals is ready to bring your dreams to life. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

~~

FIRST HELPING

~~

Windfall

1. Sara Ahmed, Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others (Duke: 2006) 2. Louis Althusser, On the Reproduction of Capitalism (Verso: 1997) 3. Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (Aunt Lute: 1987) 4. Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora, Surrogate Humanity: Race, Robots, and the Politics of Technological Futures (Duke: 2019) 5. Houston Baker, Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance (Chicago: 1987) 6. James Baldwin, Collected Essays (Library of America: 1998) 7. Etienne Balibar, The Philosophy of Marx (Verso: 1994) 8. Molly Bang, Picture This: How Pictures Work (Chronicle: 1991) 9. John Bean, Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating, Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom (Wiley: 2021) 10. Ruha Benjamin, Race after Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Polity: 2019) 11. Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism (Duke: 2011) 12. Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello, The New Spirit of Capitalism (Verso: 1999) 13. Bartholomew Brinkman, Poetic Modernism in the Culture of Mass Print (Johns Hopkins: 2016) 14. Bob Brown, Readies for Bob Brown’s Machine: A Critical Facsimile Edition (Edinburgh: 1931) 15. Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (Routledge: 1990) 16. David Cecchetto, Listening in the Afterlife of Data: Aesthetics, Pragmatics, and Incommunication (Duke: 2022) 17. Audrey Wu Clark, The Asian American Avant-Garde: Universalist Aspirations in Modernist Literature and Art (Temple: 2015) 18. Carrie Conners, Laugh Lines: Humor, Genre, and Political Critique in Late Twentieth-Century American Poetry (Mississippi: 2022). 19. Andrew Culp, A Guerilla Guide to Refusal (Minnesota: 2022) 20. Jodi Dean, Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies: Communicative Capitalism and Left Politics (Duke: 2009) 21. Regis Debray, Media Manifestos: On the Technological Transmission of Cultural Forms (Verso: 1996) 22. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Penguin: 1972) 23. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Minnesota: 1980) 24. Jacques Derrida, Dissemination (Chicago: 1981) 25. Darryl Dickson-Carr, Spoofing the Modern: Satire in the Harlem Renaissance (South Carolina: 2015) 26. David Dunkel and Paul Taylor, Heidegger and the Media (Polity: 2014) 27. Craig Dworkin, Radium of the Word: A Poetics of Materiality (Chicago: 2020) 28. Lee Edelman, No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (Duke: 2004) 29. Brad Evans, Ephemeral Bibelots: How an International Fad Buried American Modernism (Johns Hopkins: 2019) 30. Scott Ferguson, Declarations of Dependence: Money, Aesthetics and the Politics of Care (Nebraska: 2018) 31. Hal Foster, What Comes After Farce: Art and Criticism at a Time of Debacle (Verso: 2020) 32. Michel Foucault, Archaeology of Knowledge: and The Discourse on Language (Vintage: 1972) 33. Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction (Vintage: 1978) 34. Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (Vintage: 1970) 35. Paolo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Bloomsbury: 1970) 36. Patrick Giamario, Laughter as Politics: Critical Theory in an Age of Hilarity (Edinburgh: 2022) 37. Édouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation (Michigan: 1990) 38. Graham Harman, Art and Objects (Polity 2020) 39. Stefano Harney, State Work: Public Administration and Mass Intellectuality (Duke: 2002) 40. Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, All Incomplete (Minor Compositions: 2021) 41. Byron Hawk, Resounding the Rhetorical: Composition as Quasi-Object (Pittsburgh: 2018) 42. bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress (Routledge: 1994) 43. Frederic Jameson, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Duke: 1990) 44. James Weldon Johnson, The Book of American Negro Poetry (Harcourt: 1958) 45. James Weldon Johnson, Writings (Library of America: 2004) 46. Leon Katz, The Notebooks of Gertrude Stein for The Making of Americans, 1903-1912 (2021) 47. Razmig Keucheyan, Left Hemisphere: Mapping Contemporary Theory (Verso: 2014) 48. Friedrich Kittler, Discourse Networks 1800/1900 (Stanford: 1990) 49. Jacques Lacan, Ecrits: First Complete Edition in English (Norton: 2006) 50. Ellen Lupton, Design is Storytelling (Cooper Hewitt: 2017) 51. Paul Mann, Theory-Death of the Avant-Garde (Indiana: 1991) 52. Reinhold Martin, Knowledge Worlds: Media, Materiality, and the Making of the Modern University (Columbia: 2021) 53. Aja Martinez, Counterstory: The Rhetoric and Writing of Critical Race Theory (CCCC: 2020) 54. Karl Marx, Capital: Volume 1: A Critique of Political Economy (Penguin: 1867) 55. Achille Mbembe, Necropolitics (Duke: 2019) 56. Mark McGurl, Everything and Less: The Novel in the Age of Amazon (Verso: 2021) 57. Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Northwestern-Newberry Edition (Northwestern: 2001) 58. Herman Melville, Complete Poems (Library of America: 2019) 59. Fred Moten, B Jenkins (Duke: 2010) 60. Fred Moten, The Feel Trio (Letter Machine Editions: 2014) 61. Fred Moten, In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (Minnesota: 2003) 62. Harryette Mullen, Sleeping with the Dictionary (California: 2002) 63. José Esteban Muñoz, Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (NYU: 2009) 64. John Timberman Newcomb, How Did Poetry Survive?: The Making of Modern American Verse (Illinois: 2013) 65. Sianne Ngai, Theory of the Gimmick: Aesthetic Judgment and Capitalist Form (Harvard: 2020) 66. Onora O’Neill, A Philosopher Looks at Digital Communication (Cambridge: 2021) 67. John Durham Peters, Speaking into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication (Chicago: 2001) 68. Jacques Ranciere, Modern Times: Temporality in Art and Politics (Verso, 2022) 69. Anne Royston, Material Noise: Reading Theory as Artist’s Book (MIT: 2019) 70. Michel Serres, Religion: Rereading What is Bound Together (Stanford: 2022) 71. Michel Serres with Bruno Latour, Conversations on Science, Culture, and Time (Michigan: 1995) 72. Sarah Sharma and Rianka Singh, Re-Understanding Media: Feminist Extensions of Marshall McLuhan (Duke: 2022) 73. Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being (Duke: 2016) 74. Evie Shockley, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (Iowa: 2011) 75. Min Hyoung Song, Climate Lyricism (Duke: 2022) 76. Susan Sontag, Essays of the 1960s & 70s (Library of America: 2013) 77. Gertrude Stein, Writings 1903-1932 (Library of America: 1998) 78. Hito Steyerl, Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War (Verso: 2017 79. Rachel Trousdale, Humor, Empathy, & Community in Twentieth-Century American Poetry (Oxford: 2021) 80. McKenzie Wark, Capital is Dead. Is This Something Worse? (Verso: 2019) 81. Matthew Wizinsky, Design after Capitalism: Transforming Design Today for an Equitable Tomorrow (MIT: 2022) 82. Geoffrey Winthrop-Young, Kittler and the Media (Polity: 2011) 83. Allon White, Carnival, Hysteria, Writing: Collected Essays and Autobiography (Oxford: 1993) 84. Tracy Wuster, Mark Twain: American Humorist (Missouri: 2016) 85. Slavoj Zizek, Parallax View (MIT: 2009) 86. Slavoj Zizek, The Sublime Object of Ideology (Verso: 1989) 87. Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power (Public Affairs: 2019)

~~

Formula

~~

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This website is dedicated to all those predecessors both known and unknown who made it possible for me to be here and who taught me about perseverance, process, and craft, particularly http://artradius.com/, https://artjar.com/ and https://www.artcart.com/ all of whom set the highest professional standards for my generation to follow. It is also dedicated to https://artquest.com/ and to http://www.artsider.com/ who both nurtured my interest in art. Finally, this site is dedicated to https://www.artbroker.com/ my mentor, who helped me with my prose and taught me: “Big art, bigger value.”