Keanu Reeves, Condoms, And Other Uncommon Materials
I’m not going to pretend to know what Michael Mahalchick’s exhibition, “Last Arrangements,” is about. The show–which opened over the weekend, and is on view at Louis B James through April 26–contains sculptures along with found posters and other objects that relate to a mixed-bag of pop cultural touchstones: My Own Private Idaho; Kate Moss; the band Motorhead; Jay-Z. The latter hip-hop star is represented by a collage work containing a print out of the lyrics to “Picasso Baby,” the song that Hova endurance-rapped at Pace last year. (Mahalchick, who is very tall, and very white, enacted his own version of that performance at Louis B James not so long ago). There are also mixed-media sculptures incorporating odd things (bear tchotchkes, trashy paperbacks). Oh, and those posters–none of them are presented in their natural state. Mahalchick takes the advertisement for Gus van Sant’s film and augments it with colorful condoms, so that it looks like a clueless Reeves is being harassed by radioactive cartoon sperm. A Calvin Klein advertisement featuring Moss is altered with latex rubber and pearls.
If you’re looking for theoretical guidance, the exhibition’s press release–which is either an earnest attempt at explanation, or a winking parody of obtuse press releases, or a bit of both–won’t be much help. Your best bet is simply to dive into the weirdness and see if it moves you.