"Black Narcissus" c-prints, 268 parts, 12" x 15" each
Everything Must Go: Jim Shaw MAMCO and Smart Art Press
To write a review of an exhibition catalogue, rather than on the exhibition, seems to me a bit out of order. The next logical step in such a backwards procedure would be to write a review of a catalogue from an exhibition you haven't seen. The work of Jim Shaw, however, makes this approach an appropriate one. "My Mirage" is overwhelming proof of this. It consists of almost 200 pieces made up of appropriated imagery ranging from Frank Stella to Hanna Barbara cartoons. These works all share a common scale of 17" x 14", which suggests that they themselves are reproductions. While the format of this series speaks of reproduction, others such as "The End is Here!", "Life and Death", and "Aioaeuie ntnlnqrr" have actually been published by the artist. In fact, Shaw is so well known for both receiving and transmitting information through published images it would seem appropriate for him to be granted both a museum retrospective and a box set of books including all previously published works by the artist as well as other projects (such as "My Mirage") adapted to book form. Hell, this catalogue is alright, but let's see some real merchandising for Everything Must Go.
Brooklyn, New York 2000