Philagrafika 2010: Psychogeography at Medium Resistance

Guest-post by Jena Osman, A Friend of Printeresting

The Medium Resistance show now at the Ice Box in Philadelphia is subtitled “Revolutionary Tendencies in Print and Craft.” From Carl Pope’s wall of “Bad Air” to Leslie Mutchler’s “Manufactured Utopias,” the show is pretty breathtaking. One of its pleasures is a distinctly psychogeographical strain running through it.

To read an in depth review of this exhibition following Jena Osman’s line of investigation proceed after the jump.

An Atlas of Radical Cartography, a series of maps and essays collected by Lize Mogel and Alexis Bhagat, is on display, and a flatscreen hidden behind a wall at the back lets the viewer browse through a series of provocative maps by Bill Rankin. Two of his maps of Philadelphia—one coded by income and one coded by race—are particularly compelling.

Colette Fu also forays into the Philadelphia landscape with three jaw-dropping pop-up books. The books present three-dimensional deconstructions of the Academy of Music, City Hall, and the city morgue. Make sure to read the wall labels for these works.

Francesc Ruiz—who has a great piece in the Temple Gallery “lobe” of the Graphic Unconscious —has an equally impressive contribution here. Two 400cm x 200cm digital prints titled “Don Quixote” cover one wall.

The figure depicted here in duplicate is a sculpture that sits at an intersection near the Crane Building (where the Ice Box gallery is located). The sculpture itself is a replica of a 1967 piece by Joaquin Garcia Donaire that was given to Philadelphia by the Spanish city of Ciudad Real in 1996. In Ruiz’s replication of this image, a thought balloon emanates from Don Quixote that says “I am the one that fame speaks of, and not the unlucky one that has attempted to usurp my name and deck himself out in my ideas.” Cervantes’ Don Quixote was a blockbuster bestseller by early 17th century standards. It was released in two volumes, but in the decade between the two parts an imposter released his own second volume—a situation which then caused the “true” Don Quixote to proclaim his authenticity in the “real” second volume. In this 21st century moment where appropriation is mucking up all originary auras, Ruiz’s piece gives the viewer a lot to chew on in regards to role of the multiple.

Bookmark / Share / Print
Categories: Uncategorized


Leave a Reply