dayoutlast is a record of my direct engagement with mostly contemporary art, mostly Los Angelean.

As this blog has evolved since its 2010 inception, so has my perspective. What I once perceived as central within the investigation was what was central, literally, within the photographic frame that I shared here. While still an important consideration, such thinking has also given way to more peripheral considerations, ones also accompanied occasionally by text (written manifestation of thought) and the oscillations between them. What's missing here are larger unknowns surrounding issues of presentation and representation; the amount of time and space it actually takes to accomplish such first-hand observations; and the quandaries between documentation and interpretation.

Despite my attempt to communicate here with image and text what is essential in some respect about the artwork, neither representation should ever be considered a substitution for the primary viewing experience. Of course, occasionally there are exceptions.

Most of the time, these posts are merely remnants---residual fragments---from my last day out.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

dayoutlast Critic's Choices 2014

Having blogged for five-plus years about Art here on dayoutlast, it seems time to take greater stock and reflect accordingly.  While it would be fun to go back to the beginning, I will have to save that for a later date. For now, as with the previous post regarding the dayoutlast Viewers' Top Twelve of 2014, I want to provide a more condensed list of what I think were some of the best of the best in my own opinion. Please keep in mind that this list also does not include shows that opened in 2014 but that I was unable to view until 2015.

This process has proven no easy task for several reasons.  First, having seen nearly 200 shows and blogged most of them, it seems daunting, and perhaps even foolish to try and get to so few on my first try, let alone the twelve and its rationale that I allocated in the previous post.  Secondly, since I only share things that I believe are worthy of consideration in the first place, I could potentially say all posts from 2014 were tops,  right?   But the reality is that over time, this does not remain the case as some works stay stronger in my mind while others fade.  Of course, this is what I find great about reviewing photos of works.  It restores some forgotten bits.  Lastly, I have discovered that there is some disparity between the dayoutlast viewers' popular vote and my own.  So, then I started wondering what it would mean when my own interests do not entirely mesh with my audience? I like this question, and will be thinking more critically about it this year.  As such, I hope to define my criteria more specifically.

So, while I would like to summarize a year’s worth of Art-viewing and place it all neatly into tidy categories/systems/sensations, the reality is that what I like best about Art in general is its ability to both acknowledge and exceed such frameworks.  Systematic thinking in my version suggests objectivity while accounting for subjectivity’s messiness and willfulness.  Some of what I like in Art fits nicely into my critical reflections of work that challenges, challenges me, and proposes something that I can’t entirely figure out. This kind of Art asks me to both think about something in the moment as well as what I must revisit.  The strongest ones don't let go easily. Therefore, they open up space with lingering questions attached.  Of course, at other times, it just hits me in the gut and that’s another kind of good.  Certain works are just works of poetry and not much needs to be said about them. No questions. Again, logical thinking (objectivity) gives way to more irrational being (subjectivity).  This conundrum is seriously difficult and to be synthesized as time changes views.

Whatever the case, I made an attempt to highlight the works that I enjoyed the most, the ones that caused me to pause, look, think, and reflect.  While twelve seemed a good number initially, the situation is that there were just so many interesting ones.  Rather than provide a de rigeur top ten or even a twelve to align with my previous post, I have gone with 10%, the  approximate amount of my total viewing from last year.

Note: Since some of my choices can already be found in the dayoutlast Viewer's Choice Top Twelve of 2014, I decided to highlight all different ones here in order to provide a broader spectrum between the two groupings though Ann Veronica Jannssens, D.E. May, and Robert Irwin could make a nice overlay between them.