ROUND-UP February 25-March 14, 2019

New writing! Enjoy!
"For better or for worse, the songs on each successive Dream Theater record seem to be increasingly crystallized into discrete categories, meaning that a B-side type of frivolity like "Viper King" is all the more welcome. Unfortunately, for people who have listened to all of the band's discography, it means that it's as if you can check off a list of what to expect on a Dream Theater album, meaning that the pleasant surprises come as actual surprises."
"But beneath his calm veneer of expertise, Ruben Brandt is suffering in a truly isolating way: these culturally ubiquitous objects of art that have so much beauty and meaning for everyone else have been causing him psychic and even real physical pain, and nothing he does seems to help. While the cat may not have escaped Olympia to scratch him, or the little girl from Diego Velázquez’s Infanta Margarita might not have appeared outside a train window and bitten his arm, the scratches on his cheeks and the bite marks on his arm are very, very real."
"The linkage of text, image and textile that is central to Vicuña’s practice is best represented in the series of tiny, delicate artist books placed in vitrines along one wall. While several of the artist books resemble the more standard codex form, the most delightful are those that push the boundaries of what we consider books to be. ‘Libro de Errores’ (c.1984), for example, is arranged in a fan-like shape, held together at one end loosely with thread, the pages marked with typos. Vicuña elevates these “error”-laden slips of paper into art objects, though it is worth considering whether these are actual errors that have been recovered and re-purposed or whether they are meant to merely simulate mistakes for the sake of art."
"On a purely theoretical level, it’s worth wondering whether the technique Wang uses –- removing her mother’s form while keeping her presence evident – is a potential way of eliding, or at least complicating, problems of the gaze. We cannot see Wang’s mother; we cannot study her for some kind of attempt to understand her emotions or state of mind in each image, but she is also unmistakably there in each image. Not knowing who took these photographs adds to the intrigue, as it creates another layer of remove between us and Wang’s mother."