City Limits is an artist-run gallery located inside of an apartment at the edge of San Francisco, not quite in Daly City. “The Misbehaving Object” is their sixth exhibition. The humble space holds the pieces responsible for their strangeness here – neither giving the impression that they (the space nor the work) are anything more than they simply appear. This is a good thing, because it is hard to take these works “seriously” – but I think that is the point.
The work makes fun of itself, but not making fun of the fact that it is presented as art “objects”. Or is it? Objects which, as the title suggests, are “misbehaving”. In that sense one could assume that the work is behaving badly – as art – or behaving badly as bad art…that’s a double negative, so does that make it good? I’m confused! But I think that is the point. Still wrapping my head around the provided text, I read the tiny statement and humorous titles for their poetic quality. Then I read it again to get a better understanding of the work, but to no avail. Again, I think that is the point.
I looked around the room at the various things presented. I laughed at the absurdity of some of them and enjoyed the aesthetics of others. There is a care to the gestures that falls just shy of elegant. There is an awkwardness to the “found” items that prevents them from becoming compelling. I am still confused because Im and Harbour are known for curating very current, thoughtful exhibitions.
They work with artists who make compelling, beautiful art objects. They do it right, from professional essays, to publications, to art fairs. Having attended numerous exhibitions curated by them, I get the impression that Im and Harbour love art and what artists say in their work. With that in mind, I can only view “The Misbehaving Object” as a humble parody of what they do and who they work with – which is admirable – which is the point with this.
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-Contributed by Leora Lutz