Paradoxical in part, “ERIK LINDMAN/PHOTOGRAPHS/ZAK KITNICK/STAMPS” sees the two New York-based artists collaborating in parallel projects to pursue a diffusion and elaboration of identity.
The four-by-six-inch color film prints that Lindman presents here picture undercover police officers—or at least they suggest they might. From the road, Lindman has captured figures, primarily middle-class males in plain clothes hanging out around precincts or police vehicles. In some of the pictures, civilians fraternize with uniformed officers; in others, the men’s generic figures seem to bleed into the urban architecture. The context of Lindman’s series gives the scenes gravitas, as the artist inverts the procedures and the prejudices of surveillance, and invokes the latent constraints brought to bear by common law. Witness the motto of the subway: “If you see something, say something.” Meanwhile, the photographs are “time-less”: casually composed they push the possibility for visual interest entirely from the image. Tapping into universal themes of voyeurism and control, they go undercover as art.
Kitnick’s works on paper depart from a similar understanding of privacy: his untitled works comprise countless marks, overlapping and in grids, rendered with an identify-theft prevention stamp, an analog tool that claims to uses permanent ink to cover personal information. The works abstract the lettering into a design motif, while blurring the lines between found tool, found material, and finished result. Stamped in squares on rectangular paper, the shape alludes to the reductive, utopian modernism spoused in the works of Josef Albers. Kitnick locates in the act of theft—and the suggestions of common law as proposed by Lindman—insight as to the boundaries of artistic originality, and identity.
The work in “ERIK LINDMAN/PHOTOGRAPHS/ZAK KITNICK/STAMPS” has been compiled into a newsprint publication, published by the artists, designed by Juan Olivares.
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