Friday, December 05, 2008


The invitation to the opening of The Station in Miami on December 2 was billed as a special performance by Terence Koh. But the elusive artist, who once called himself "Asian Punk Boy", arrived quite late and then just walked around the space, talking with friends. When questioned, he indicated that this very act of doing nothing was his performance.

Which kind of left Station curator Shamim Momim holding the bag. But she did not become curator of the 2008 and 2004 Whitney Biennials (she included Koh in the latter) for her lack of resilience in the face of adversity. Commenting on the No Koh Show, she indicated: "Terence's art is about nothing. His performance is that he is not playing music."

Then again, this is the man who, after a previous trip to ABMB, declared that "MIAMI SUCKS LIKE A COCK IN AN ASS THAT HAS BEEN TURNED INSIDE OUT."

A text from his one person show at Kunsthalle Zurich (August 2006):
Terence Koh generates aspects of seduction and irritation – a kind of dark Romanticism hovers over all his works. His “contaminations" of cultural practice are achieved using the principle of purity underlying modern aesthetics: either completely in white, black or gold with a superficial artistic surface vocabulary that derives from Minimalism and classic abstraction – but it is in the details that observers experience the contradictory aspects of his creations.

Contradictory indeed. Considering his "installation" in the lobby of the Whitney Museum in February 2007, an intensely bright light that burned through our retinas, the insouciant Mr. Koh seems to have mastered the twin talents of minimalism and confrontation, of doing less but having us talk about it more. Perhaps his real talent is public relations.

On the other hand, if "doing nothing" is his new schtick, might it have been more appropriately accomplished at another venue during Art Basel week: the NADA art fair?


Blogger Hayward said...

I hope he continues the same practice of "doing nothing", the world might feel the relief of fewer gaseous objects floating around and we can thus criticize his practice for what it has always been, a camp schtick faux glamophile public narcissistic preening. We can then ask ourselves if we ever liked it.

Sunday, December 07, 2008 6:45:00 PM  

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