Diana Kingsley: In Pari Delicto

diana kingsley

Diana Kingsley has a show of new work opening Friday night at Leo Castelli gallery [ArtCal listing]:

Leo Castelli Gallery is pleased to present In Pari Delicto, an exhibition of new photographs by Diana Kingsley, her third solo show at the gallery. Kingsley, continuing to mine the terrain of the slight incident and the small indignity, has ratcheted up a sense of the absurd while maintaining the cool formalism and deadpan humor of her previous work.

The exhibition’s title, In Pari Delicto, a somewhat archaic legal term meaning “in equal fault,” connotes an elegance and charged sensuality belying the prosaic resignation of the phrase's meaning. Dress gloves, cigarettes, sterling silver sets, antiques, and thoroughbreds anachronistically symbolize sophistication, while barely disguising a standoff between ordinary, commensurable forces: incumbent and invading, animated and inert, covetous and restrained. In the slow unfolding of non-events each side acts in balletic concert; no side is privileged.

In “Delicate Beast” a tangle of unruly dried branch arrangements impossibly grows into a silver chalice as a live praying mantis materializes under the tangle, creepily mocking its own cartoon depiction on the background wallpaper. In “Bad Seed” the busywork of an unseen miscreant defaces the back of an antique chair with a spray of equestrian stickers. In “Night Ramble” a hand in an ill-fitting glove confronts a succulent gardenia in a mysterious stalemate as a cigarette in the gloved fingers languishes, ready to drop ash on the mitt's clean whiteness.

Though the images are strikingly lush, there is something discomfiting about their deliberate, almost defiant prettiness. Kingsley’s precise compositional rigor even hints at an inherent inanity in such photographic strategies. It is the unexpected contradictions and tensions in both form and subject matter that give the work its mischievous wit and power.

previous posts about Kingsley: "Get Those Breasts Out of the Lobby, Theyre Offending Women" and several from my digital media tree blog. I've been a fan of the artist's work since first seeing it in Soho around 1997, and look forward to this show.

All Flickr Top Ten

My "all Flickr Top Ten" has been posted on Paddy Johnson's blog as part of her Best Of The Web series, check it out.
Johnson has paired my BOTW selections with Ceci Moss's. Moss recently rebutted my "New Media vs Artists With Computers" post on Rhizome.org--that was much appreciated but still waiting for a reply to my reply to her reply.

You can see the argument continuing tacitly in our Top Tens. Generally speaking, her links go to sites heavy on interaction or documentation and mine favor direct, "one click" visual experiences (right-brain-aimed images or photos sans verbal narrative, instructions, or back story).

This isn't to say we can't appreciate each other's other brain halves and I've enjoyed her rebloggings of animations and other so-called eye candy on Rhizome.

twitter-vvork nod

Much appreciation to Kevin Bewersdorf for including twitter/vvork in his top ten this year, on Paddy Johnson's blog.

Guthrie Lonergan explained the project thusly.

Ennui Magazine said: "...the only comprehensive attempt to assess a popular, mostly visual blog that endlessly recapitulates tropes of international conceptualism."