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The Jewish Museum gives it up to The Unseen Eye


Free Stuff, like t-shirts, temporary tattoos, fortune cookies and candy,
girly photos, used clothing and more, plus a plastic bag to carry them in, is all there for the taking at The Jewish Museum’s Take Me (I’m Yours) on view until February 5th.

“The Unseen Eye” loves any sort of exhibition that breaks the norm of black frames, hung bathtub ring style at 60 inches and that plays with the metabolism of the museum visit. Felix Gonzalez-Torres was the genius when it came to challenging the visitor to think and to react. One of his iconic works, his foil wrapped candies, “Untitled (USA Today)”, 1990 is the centerpiece of this show.

This is fun. TMIY s based on a Serpentine Gallery exhibition of the same name curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Christian Boltanski in London in 1995. Here Obrist has been joined by Jens Hoffmann and Kelly Taxer from  the same  Jewish Museum.

Photographically the show opens with Hans-Peter Feldman’s The Prettiest Woman, 2016, a giant, playful installation of wallet-sized copy prints of vintage cheesecake images that can be taken away or rearranged – however the sprit moves.

There are some political pieces, a stack of Jonathan Horowitz posters with potential president-elect Hillary Clinton and all of her predecessors. Gilbert and George have a sweetly subversive grid of posters which the guards insist is NOT to be photographed by visitors.

Even the handout for the exhibition comes out of paper towel dispenser and the fun continues to the paper products in the toilets apparently although the Eye missed that freebie.

The Gonzalez-Torres is nicely riffed on by Carset Höller’s Pill Clock (red and white pills), 2015, but then most of the show seems indebted to him, from Allen Ruppersberg’s Untitled (Felix) skycapes to Yoko Ono’s Air Dispensers (1971-2016) to Andrea Bowers Political Ribbons to Rivane Neuenschwander’s Watchword bulletin board to Daniel Joseph Martinez’s (America) Adopt a Refugee, offering Mylar emergency blankets.

It’s all a democracy of generosity and giving. Happy New Year.

W.M. Hunt
W.M Hunt is a photography collector, curator and consultant who lives and works in New York. He is a professor at School of Visual Arts and is on the Board of Directors of the W. Eugene Memorial Smith Found. His book entitled “The Unseen Eye” (published by Aperture) and focusing on his personal collection is one of the most intriguing compilations of photographs.

Take Me (I’m Yours)
September 16, 2016–February 5, 2017.
Jewish Museum
1109 5th Ave
New York, NY 10128

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