New Langton Arts
1246 Folsom St.
(between Eighth and Ninth sts.)
San Francisco, CA 94103
April 1 to May 9
Opening reception: Thursday, April 2, 6-8 pm
In America, self-obsession is a curiously revered trait. On
countless Jerry Springer-ish talk shows, jilted lovers engage
in intimate personal dramas and physical fights, seemingly oblivious
to the camera, yet hyperaware of the blazing lights of fame.
Artists traffic in a similarly ambivalent world, caught between
the desire for notice and star status and the inherent solitary
nature of the creative process - not to mention the idea that
artists are hardly revered media figures in this country. "All
of Me" taps right into this sometimes uneasy look-at-me
terrain and attempts to uncover a happy brand of narcissism.
Not surprisingly, this group show is alive with the chattering
sounds and flickering lights of dueling audio and video pieces,
all starring the artists themselves. Scott Trattner donned art-star
status for a site-specific piece in which his air-kissy hobnobbing
through the opening reception was recorded celebrity documentary
style. Nearby, Tony Tasset presents an infomercial exalting the
role of the artist as lovable chap, while Alex Bag stars as various
types of art school babes in her comedy-sketch/character-study
art video. Others chart a lonelier life. A curiously funky installation
by the singularly named Carter looks at how he turned his tiny
apartment into an ersatz version of Warhol's factory - complete
with wigs and a live camera. His computer desktop video is a
particularly revealing creation of a personal universe. Poet
Eileen Myles uses the more time-honored slide show format to
tell autobiographical anecdotes, lecture style. And Steve Reinke's
engaging "100 Videos" serves as an impressionistic
self-portrait through carefully edited, and frequently erotic,
moving images. Only Carolyn Castaño uses a static medium.
Her candy-colored paintings form a playful self-portrait via
images of all her ex-boyfriends. To absorb all of "All of
Me" requires some hefty viewer commitment - it's an insular
collection of lengthy videos - but it's worth indulging in.