Jimmie Durham’s “Works of Science and Yellowness”
              Nav Haq
              Jimmie Durham has had a significant presence in the Low Countries of late with a major survey (co-curated by Bart De Baere and Anders Kreuger) in 2012 at the Museum of Contemporary Art (M HKA) in Antwerp, as well as a solo exhibition at De Vleeshal in Middelburg earlier this year. For this reason, a third monographic presentation of his work within such a short timeframe might not seem particularly urgent. However, given the curiously distorted sense of scale that people have in this part of the world, many art lovers rarely take it upon themselves to travel the relatively short distances between Belgian cities. Durham’s exhibition also marks the inauguration of Galerie Michel Rein’s new space in Brussels, who like numerous dealers, has been attracted by the recent developments of the European capital’s art scene. In reality, the artistic potential of the city remains largely open and unresolved, leaving a number of expectations as yet to be fulfilled. The gallery space, and thus the exhibition, is relatively modest in size, but this is not too much of an issue, as it brings together three sculptural works and five drawings rather neatly into a formal unity. With an opportunity for more …
              Allan Sekula’s “Polonia and …”
              Jian-Xing Too
              Allan Sekula’s exhibition “Polonia and …” opens with a new piece, Europa (2011). Hung on a dark pink wall, Europa shows a man trying to sleep on a long narrow baseboard heater at the foot of a glass wall in Charles de Gaulle airport. A difficult balancing act, three of his limbs tentatively rest on a slightly higher cable railing and a low metal barrier that protects the heater from being bumped by luggage carts. Stemming from a desperate search for warmth and constrained by airport architectural details, his bodily posture uncannily resembles the pose of Titian’s Europa (in The Rape of Europa, 1562) being carried off by Zeus disguised as a bull. Rather than replicating the latter’s dynamic diagonal composition, this Europa lies as horizontally within the picture plane as does Walker Evan’s sleeper-cum-unemployed-drifter on South Street in his American Photographs. Indeed, instead of being transported by a divine force, Sekula’s Europa is paralyzed by economic forces. Nothing is less certain about the open market of today’s European Union than its promise of mobility. One wouldn’t delve into such a reading of this single image if it weren’t for its title and the fourteen photographs and two quotes—selected from the …

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