Mistral Screamer, 2008 (detail)
Windsurfing board, wall mounts
22 3/4 x 172 inches
The image of a surfboard is one of the most beautiful images in the world, if not the most beautiful. Surfboards carved in slices like tuna-fish and hung on the wall like Donald Judd sculptures. These sculptures confront us with the weight and materiality which is required by object-based practice, requirements which can be avoided in teaching, philosophy and in other forms of mediation. All the ideas are either from bad jokes, or are just plain uninteresting, or are stolen or copied from somewhere else. A mime was killed in a forest by a falling tree. Who cares? The project is an adaptation of Paul Valery’s Monsieur Teste, who is incapable of identifying with any one role, whatever it might be, and who is aware of the possibility that forgery too can be forged. In this exhibition the answer to the question of how Monsieur Teste would deal with these sculptures is put on hold. Artificial Camp, "with a twist"—a soluble solution looking a bit like sculptures of the 80s. A simple folding by itself, but with no synthesis, like a Charles Ives symphony.
Greene Naftali is pleased to announce Michael Krebber’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. Since the late-eighties, Krebber has slowly gained recognition for his casual and penetrating artistic gestures. Always incorporating in some way the guise of “the painter,” Krebber enacts painting as only being possible within the highly coded context of contemporary art, the result being a seemingly awkward marriage of semi-abstract painting with the strategies of post-conceptual art like those of Broodthaers, Asher, Lawler, et al. Yet a question lingers whether Krebber uses this “gloss” of bygone critique simply as a trick—leftover ideas proposed but then immediately (or sooner) vacated. False bottoms, dead ends and illusions are everywhere immanent.
In this exhibition, Krebber will exhibit a new suite of secondhand windsurfing boards split into extended wall reliefs, a production motif also currently on display in his solo exhibition, “Puberty in Teaching,” at the Kölnischer Kunstverein. The simple gesture of inserting equal measures of blank space into the matrix of these readymade objects underscores Krebber’s gestural spareness and performs a simple act of alienating these boards into the realm of non-use and art. This conceptual vacancy can also unlock myriad artistic allusions (from Donald Judd to Damien Hirst to eighties Neo-Geo) and further enacts the artist’s project of staging himself within the gaps of artistic identity.