by Jerry Saltz
I went to Venice, and I came back worried. Every two years, the central attraction of the biennale is a kind of State of the Art World show. This year’s, called “ILLUMInations,” has its share of high points and Âartistic intensity. (Frances Stark
’s animated video of her online masturbatory tryst with a younger man hooked me; Christian Marclay
’s The Clock,
which captivated New York earlier this year, rightly won the Gold Lion Prize for Best ÂArtist.) Yet many times over -- too many times for comfort -- I saw the same thing, a highly recognizable generic Âinstitutional style whose manifestations are by now extremely familiar. Neo-Structuralist film with overlapping geometric colors, photographs about photographs, projectors screening loops of grainy black-and-white archival footage, abstraction that’s supposed to be referencing other abstraction -- it was all there, all straight out of the 1970s, all dead in the Âwater. It’s work stuck in a cul-de-sac of esthetic regress, where everyone is deconstructing the same elements.