Author: Sante Scardillo --- Date: 11/12/95--- Copyright: ThingReviews NYC

Lewis Baltz
Models, Etc.
Janet Borden, Inc.
560 Broadway, NYC
(212) 431-0166
Oct. 21 - Nov. 18

The piece that I like in this show is a story on two large photographic panels, one written in English, the other in French. They tell of a piece that never was, but its far from a sob story.

Jean Marie Amat built a small, exclusive hotel near Bordeaux to provide hospitality to culinary pilgrims sampling the cuisine at his fabled restaurant. On advice of Jean Louis Froment, the prestigious director of the local FRAC (public fund for collecting contemporary art), Amat invited artists to create environments in each of the 18 unique rooms of the building erected by Jean Nouvel and partake in the proceeds of the first 10 years of the room they designed as compensation. Baltz, during a stay to prepare his presentation of a project, discovered that 2 of the rooms had almost identical lay outs, culminating in an acute angle at one end of the room. His idea was to put one video camera in each of the rooms' acute angles and to give each rooms' guests a variety of options to contact the other side; Watching only, watching and being watched, being watched but not watching, no contact at all. The violation of one's private space (even more sacred when one is away form home), and the dialogue the piece gently forces between the two parties, I find fascinating. Allan Kaprow used similar ideas for an installation he made in a factory a few years ago, but one had to travel to it specifically for the piece. Here, we have the titillating notion of private space involved together with the doctrine of mutual consent required to make the piece work, or at least function. Amat objected, because he found the piece too much at variance with the kind of hospitality he wanted to provide his guests.

-Sante Scardillo

see also:
(Sante Scardillo: Me, as a critic, -vs- Me, as an artist )

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